Okay I’m a bit stressed for time today as I have spent most of the morning talking with Dana Rohrabacher about Benghazi (SPOILER ALERT: he’s a fucking lunatic). However if you were watching TV around lunch today you probably saw the Wayne Lapierre, President of the NRA and arguably the country’s most hated man right now, give a self-serving shit sandwich of a press conference. While President Gunnutz offered his usual insanity in the form of red meat bullet points to his base, the rest of the non asshole world was less than impressed with Lapierre’s “solutions” to the issues of mass shootings (which mainly involved turning the country into a fascistic police state).
The problem that people are mainly focusing on in terms of how to craft a sensible and pragmatic gun law, is the Constitutional issue that supposedly will prevent any substantive changes to the current national blood orgy. It is true that the Supreme Court did establish that an individual does have a right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and has in fact nuked a few city wide guns bans for this very reason. However the “Constitutional Crisis” regarding the Second Amendment is overblown. In reality the problem in terms of passing the legislation that a majority of people and experts on this subject want to see, has and will remain grounded in the political cynicism of our policymakers. The threat of a SCOTUS veto is a smoke screen for apathy on the part of recalcitrant conservatives in both parties who wish to avoid attracting the eye of Sauron from the NRA (lest they release their army of rednecks against them in a primary).
In other words, don’t wait for Federal or even the State legislators to do the right thing. This will have to be process that is born on the local level.
The problem with this course of action will of course be money and power. A hundred thousand dollar campaign against gun control is useless on the national stage, but can be devastating when applied in opposition to a local initiative. However local governments are also more susceptible to the changing attitudes of individual citizens, so perhaps the new found sense of disgust across the country can quickly manifest themselves within the towns and cities across America before they reach the States and the Federal government.
So here are a few of my more or less un-reasearched ideas for how a local city (perhaps one with over a million people in between LA Metro and Orange County that rhymes with “Wrong Peach”) could adopt with little to no resistance from enterprising wannabe constitutional scholars from the NRA, and without necessarily spending money that is necessary for other things (like caring for people who get shot).
1) Licensing: I’m not sure if state law specifically prohibits this, but I would imagine that a local government could, purely as an extension of their tax and spend powers, decided to “register” and “license” firearms in order to collect revenue. I mean I have to register my dog every year with the local animal control, and I’m sure that money goes towards the general fund of the city. Perhaps if this license was punitive enough, we could as a city at least tone down the incentive to keep a gun within the city limits (the rich assholes in OC can have as many guns as they like misfiring during RNC fundraisers).
2) Sales Tax: Again a punitive sales tax for every gun sold here, whether it from a sporting good store, a gun dealer, or even a private sale could disincentive the desire to purchase a gun and destroy the current THRIVING marketplace for those disgusting toys.
3) An extension of “gun free zones”: This one makes the lizard brains of gun nuts short circuit more than anything, but they are sound legally and politically non-controversial. If a city can create buffer zones for the sale of drugs (legal or illegal), porn, or the disposal of hazardous waste they could certainly be applied for this purpose. Perhaps zoning laws can become the new way to force gun enthusiasts to their true paradise of liberty: SOMALIA!
4) Gun Buybacks: hey rich dudes who want to appear to be magnanimous in their communities (looking at you Gary), maybe you could donate a 50K or so to bribe the gun nuts into giving their stashes away for cash. It’s relatively cheap, it’s popular, and it’s based on the free market, EVERYONE WINS!!!