By Mike Wilcox – Publisher
I thought I would pass my opinion spot in this week’s newspaper along to my son Jordan Wilcox who is this newspaper’s tech manager. He wrote this unique perspective on gun violence and I wanted to pass it one.
To solve the problem of American gun violence, the Government of the United States must implement a solution that causes the rate of gun ownership and concealed carry to increase.
The advantages of increasing gun ownership in America are numerous. The biggest one would be that a greater number of Americans would have the tools needed to defend themselves in the event someone tries to commit a gun crime against them.
Take gun-free zones as an example, where over the past 70 years, more than 95% of the nation’s most devastating shootings have taken place. This is because, in a gun-free zone, a shooter knows two conditions will always be true – no one will be armed, so they can’t fight back, and because of the greater number of people, located in the zone, it makes it easier to kill people in mass.
However, if gun ownership and concealed carry are increased, neither of those conditions would be true. Since more people would be armed, the intended victims would be able to fight back easily, and the greater amount of people in the gun-free zone would nearly make it impossible to kill people in mass. Also, theoretically eliminating mass shootings, altogether.
Playing off the above advantage, another great advantage of this policy is it would essentially create a state of mutually assured destruction, for all involved parties, thus dissuading anyone from being an aggressor.
The benefits of this gun ownership-induced state of destruction are shown very clearly by a few European countries with similar policies. Take Switzerland for example, there are 27.6 guns for every 100 people or more than one gun per four people. Despite this high rate of gun ownership, Switzerland has the eight-lowest homicide rate globally. Norway is an even better example. In Norway, there are 28.8 guns for every 100 people, yet they have the sixth-lowest homicide rate globally.
To implement the policy of increasing gun ownership and concealed carry in the United States, the federal government must implement a two-prong approach.
Firstly, the ability and desire of American citizens to purchase guns must be increased. This would involve selling guns at more places, more advertising of gun sales, and government advocation of gun ownership. Additionally, many of the restrictions on used and third-party gun sales would have to be lifted to facilitate easier purchasing.
Secondly, many of the restrictions involving concealed carry must be lifted. Restrictions such as mandating a person lives in a state for a certain period of time before being eligible for a concealed carry license or that they are a legal US citizen are antithetical to the policy, and therefore must be lifted. This also includes the dissolution of gun-free zones and allowing concealed carry in areas where it would otherwise be prohibited, such as federal buildings, airports, and post offices.
As with any policy as ambitious as increasing gun ownership and concealed carry, there are a fair bit of challenges that must be addressed before the policy can be truly implemented.
The largest of these challenges is ideologically based. This is of course the fact that gun ownership is a highly divisive topic in American politics, and is despised by a fair number of Americans, including high-ranking legislators. Since this policy requires direct participation from the entirety of the legislature and the American citizens, they need to believe in the policy for it to work.
Despite this sounding like a daunting task, it can be solved with a fairly basic solution. That solution is old-fashioned public relations and education. By educating both the legislators and American citizens on the benefits of this policy, through either lobbying or public speeches, many of them can be convinced that this is truly the best solution to America’s gun violence problem.
Another large problem when it comes to implementation would be the struggle of the supply chain to keep up with the demand.
However, the solution to this challenge is simply following the same methods used during any supply shortage, such as the United States’ current ammunition and computer part shortages. Things such as having retailers limit purchases to one per person and encouraging consumers to purchase used or from third parties would drastically decrease the stress put on the supply chain.
The last big challenge is the theoretical possibility that a bad actor, or even just an uneducated person, would have an increased ability to gain access to and concealed carry guns. This is easily solved though, by keeping many of the current restrictions. By keeping the comprehensive universal background checks, and felony restrictions in place for gun purchases, as well as continuing to mandate gun safety training for concealed carry license holders, one can be assured that bad actors and the uneducated will not be more of a risk than before.