Treat guns like cigarettes

Remember when your teacher would light up during class?  Or the secretary, smoking and typing?  How about airline stewardesses passing out drinks and snacks with a cigarette dangling between her lips?  Or just anywhere in a public spot being surrounded by smokers.  Really, not so long ago; from then until now….


That’s the path we need to take with guns in America.

Smoking was an epidemic, deemed bad for your health but primarily for the health of others around you.  The secondhand smoke was deadlier than the smoker. And that’s what led the charge into transforming how the nation viewed smoking.  Looking back, it’s unbelievable how smoking was so readily acceptable.  Changing a baby’s diaper while puffing, smoking in restaurants, ballgames, plays and in the movie theatre.  We thought nothing of it even if we hated the smell of the smoke.  But then the public health department took notice and fought the tobacco industry.

Remember the commercials?

Guns should be deemed a public health issue. 

Our 2nd amendment guarantees each citizen the right to bear arms.  A right to defend itself.  A right to protect yours.  Devised at a time fresh off an emancipating war, this right was necessary with a fear of the return of England at the forefront of a new democracy.  Any nation for that matter, knew the vulnerabilities of the new United States thus the right to bear arms was formed.

Assault weapons are not ‘arms.’

There’s a public health risk taking place in America not just in its mass shootings but gun deaths in general.  Suicides, accidental, involving children, inner city etc. but we’ve allowed our frenzy over a basic right to over shine the true meaning of our Constitution.  “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  LIFE! – that’s the first value!

No armed civilian resistance can overpower any foreign govt. yet alone the U.S. military, so arming ourselves to protect ourselves from the public has become the outcry.  A public that is so afraid that it feels the answer to gun violence is more guns. 

We need common sense to prevail as we did with cigarettes but the problem of guns looms much larger.  You have the 2nd amendment, the NRA and politics.  Neither wanting to budge.  Neither willing to lift a finger to solve this epidemic.  And neither in fear of being a victim to this disease. 

But what supersedes these 3?  We the people.  Our vote.  And our determination.  We should always have a right to bear arms, but responsibly.  Assault weapons should not be allowed in homes.  You want to own one?  Utilize lockers at gun ranges and keep them there.  Do you need 20 guns?  No.  You may want 20 guns but you don’t need them.  Set a limit.  5 tops.  You want to upgrade?  Fine, just like a leased car or a cellphone, trade them in but no more than 5.  How about any gun used in a crime can be traced to the original owner and/or seller to make sure the transaction was legal.  If not, all should be held responsible for the crime.  A traceable gun, this will curtail the problems in Chicago significantly.  And the NRA lobbying should be regulated, by way of the tobacco industry.  Limits and accountability.  And lastly, politicians work for “We, the people.”

Epidemics need to be addressed and eradicated.  With freedom comes responsibility and to many gun owners are irresponsible, hiding behind their Constitutional right.  But we need to start protecting the rights of the innocent.  Their right to “Life.”  For any process to work, there needs to be compromise and a common ground.  Common ground being a safer nation and working towards that end of how can the public feel secure and protected.  America prides itself on freedom but again, freedom requires responsibility.

We changed the culture of cigarettes, let’s now change the culture of guns.

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