Once again, the National Rifle Association can be heard chanting its cynical mantra as it demands the right to unfettered firearms access for even the sketchiest of our fellow residents: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
I have pointed out, patiently, that people with spatulas do not kill people. People with tennis racquets do not kill people. People with garden hoses do not kill people. While most who own guns in this country never shoot anyone, guns are, in fact, used to kill people. Between 2000 and 2015, nearly 302,000 Americans died by gun violence. On average, in 2015, a toddler shot someone once a week. In that same year, nearly 800 children in the U.S. were killed by gunfire.
But today I had a revelation. The NRA has a point. Sort of. Guns do not kill people.
AMMUNITION kills people.
So I offer this compromise. Let those who feel the need or urge purchase as many firearms as they want. Let them stockpile and fondle arsenals; about 25 percent of gun owners possess five or more guns, with over five million Americans owning ten or more guns.
And then let’s regulate ammunition to the moon and back: background checks, purchase limitations, constraints on transfers, and so on.
After all, the Second Amendment, to which the NRA and its minions pledge absolute fealty, presents the right to “keep and bear arms.” It makes no mention of loading them.
I’m sure I’ll hear from the NRA any day now.
© Rhea Hirshman 2016