In much of the recent discussion about gun control, the phrase ‘common sense’ has been used quite often. This is one of those phrases that doesn’t really mean much, as who is really against common sense? Nobody will claim they favor dumb ass gun control. But this term, when used in politics, means ‘only go as far as I like, and no further.’ So, I want to lay out what my ‘common sense’ gun control measures would be.
Here’s my plan: ban all semi-automatic long barrel weapons, and all handguns–and this is retroactive, with a mandatory buy back policy (as Australia did). If you want to hunt or shoot target practice, you can load the rounds individually or pump/lever the action. That dramatically slows down the rate of fire, without significantly inhibiting hunting or target shooting. Regarding handguns, they are, far and away, responsible for most of gun-related killings (murders and suicides). To the extent I worry about evildoers (I typically don’t), I worry about some chucklehead with a concealed handgun, not someone with a long-barrel weapon. We should also modernize our gun registration system. There would be exemptions for government personal and bonded private security.
For me, that is common sense. But I’m willing to compromise: I’ll allow revolvers too (i.e., no semi-automatic pistols). The rate of fire is lower, and the number of rounds before reloading is smaller (and revolvers are harder to reload). I never thought returning to the era of the ‘Saturday Night Special‘ would be an improvement, but here we are. I realize some people, even though I think it’s a bad idea, want a handgun for personal protection. So compromise and common sense it is, then.
This isn’t to say that smaller clip sizes, banning bump stocks, and the like aren’t worth enacting on their own: they will reduce the carnage, though probably only by a small amount. And the Parkland activists are doing good work: banning semi-automatic rifles will save some lives–and, as importantly, show that the NRA and ALEC can be beaten.
That seems like common sense to me.