Discussing the third rail.

If you travel on an electrified railway, I’m sure you are familiar with the third rail. That’s the one with 600 Volts of High Current DC that powers the train. It’s the one that under any circumstances you don’t want to touch. Everyone knows that if you touch the third rail you will be instantly desiccated into a puff of smoke. So we all know never to tough the third rail.

In America there is a topic, which is the equivalent of the third rail, it’s gun control.

I like guns. I’ve had the chance to fire a range of target rifles and pistols, colt 45’s, Magnums, semi automatics, an AK47 and once a grenade launcher, and it’s great fun. I’ve never hunted animals with anything more than a camera, but that really just because of lack of opportunity rather than any sort of tree hugging mindset.

When I’ve used a gun I’ve taken it very seriously, and I recognize the deadly power of the weapon. It amazes me that people keep guns at home, in their cars, in their handbags and on their persons. These are deadly weapons and need to be protected at all times.

I’ve known people that keep a gun in every room in their house, yet leave their doors unlocked at night and when they leave because “their” street is so safe. Badly controlled weapons will eventually fall into the hands of thieves, who sell them to those who plan to commit greater crimes.

Guns are NOT toys, and are a serious weapon and a serious issue.

Today anyone can get a gun. Go to a shop and buy one, with an ID and waiting period or go to a gun show and pick one up for cash, no questions asked. If you happen to have a tattoo on your forehead that indicates you plan to shoot someone, it’s possible that you may just have to pick one up on the black market. Bottom line is that absolutely anyone however obviously crazy can get a gun or several guns easier than a fifteen year old can get a pack of cigarettes. The controls in place are useless.

But there has to be some reasonable control on how guns are consumed and used in America. It seems crazy that there are such weak controls on who can own a gun and how they can use them. With the exception of farmers and hunters, guns for civilian use are almost entirely for fun, or terror. The concept of using a gun for “personal protection” is not reasonable in a civilized society. The chance of someone using it inappropriately is dramatically higher than using it appropriately.

Mandatory training, regular psych tests, yearly certification and registration, biometric access controls, limiting firing rates, limiting loaded capacities, restricting armor plate piecing rounds, limiting calibers would all be a good start.

The terrible cost of even a small number of nut cases with arsenals is not acceptable.

There will always be deranged people who perform horrible crimes, and society should make it as hard as possible for them to perform wide spread carnage.

It is not enough for politicians to look sad and say they will pray for the souls of the dead. We need a serious debate and serious action to ensure that every year the number of people killed by guns in America goes down.

If a country’s people wish to allow guns in society, then the people need to think very carefully about the consequences and put in place serious controls to weed out crazies and limit the chance of mass murder.

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