|image from the Uncyclopedia, by Handleyite|
President Obama announced he'll be authorizing executive orders addressing the issue of gun violence. A lot of sensible ideas, some a bit troubling.
Rather than buying into the "mental illness may lead to violence" line, which is fraught with potential for abuse, stigmatization and overreach, how about trying a "violence may lead to violence" policy.
Suppose "acceptable" violence -- non-lethal, non-weaponed violence like getting into school fights or bar fights, physical bullying (shoving, etc.), domestic-violence-lite like slapping (please note the airquotes I placed around "acceptable") -- was given gun-ownership penalties? Get in a fight as a teenager, you can't buy a gun until you're 25. Get in a fight, etc, as an adult who already owns a gun, you have to turn in that gun, even if it was locked in a gun safe at home, for a set period of years and can't buy another during that same period. Second offense, much longer period. Third offense, lifetime ban on gun ownership. Violence involving any type of weapon (brass knuckles, baseball bat, knife) also invokes a lifetime ban.
Instead of "You have mental and emotional problems, so you might become a homicidal killer someday," how about "You have an actual past history of violence towards other people, so society is restricting your ability to purchase the tools to commit more extreme violence."
(Convicted felons are already banned from purchasing or possessing guns, though I think in many instances this ends when they finish probation. Why does it have to be a felony? Why can't a ban be lifetime for repeat offenders?)
Shorter version: "No Guns For Assholes."
Another thought, to address the "stockpilers" who buy dozens or hundreds of guns: A gun-purchase tax or fee with an escalating scale. Your first gun purchase, a $100 tax. You want a second gun, you have to pay a $500 fee. Third gun, $2,500. Fourth gun, $10,000. And so on. (This ties into my earlier post, positing that four guns is the maximum reasonable number for anyone to own.)
Mandatory liability insurance, suggested by numerous others, also sounds reasonable.
And, on the alternate-Earth where I serve as Semi-Benevolent World Dictator, a complete and utter ban on concealed weapons. Nobody should have a "right to ambush".