By Dave Mulligan
No subject separates sides as quickly and as inelegantly as gun control, especially here in northern Nevada. Even just saying those words, “gun control,” freaks out the gun proponents so much that they reach for their arsenals. Those poor, frightened souls are still convinced that Obama is going to show up at their door and confiscate their eighteen firearms. Consequently, we can’t even use the term “gun control” if we’re going to attempt to discuss possible solutions with them. “Gun safety” or “gun sense” are possible replacements so we don’t offend our defensive, gun-toting friends.
What makes this whole debate so surreal is the fact that it’s already over. I don’t have to list the stats here. We all know that the U.S. is suffering from an obscene gun obsession and the bodies of our children are piling up. The numbers do not lie. They are as stark and as undeniable as blood on linoleum.
Can we all agree on that?
I am not foolish enough to suggest that all guns should be confiscated or deemed illegal. If I could snap my fingers and make that a reality, I would in an instant. But it’s unrealistic.
However, a compromise makes sense and therein exists the solution.
Even Ronald Reagan, the holy figure of the Right, said that nobody needs assault rifles. They are semi-automatic, high powered rifles with large magazines enabling them to put devastating killing power of many into the hands of an individual. We need to ban them immediately. This will no doubt lead to very loud whining by a certain segment of society. I could not care less about their complaints. If you are one of them, just stop. We don’t want to hear what you have to say.
Universal background checks must be made mandatory, immediately, for every single gun purchase in America. No loopholes. No exceptions. It’s amazing to me that the gun proponents constantly say that it’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem. Then those same people remove laws in place to prevent the mentally ill from having access to firearms. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is behind that and many other instances of resisting any and all reasonable safety measures. We need to neuter the NRA, label them as what they are (simply a lobby for the gun industry) and remove them from politics entirely.
The perfect solution we seek is something we’ll never have. But there are clear steps we can take to lessen the odds of our children ending up bleeding out on a classroom floor.
The debate is over. It’s time for our leaders – and the rest of us – to demonstrate the courage and moral fiber to protect our kids.
Dave Mulligan is a local Reno resident of over 25 years. He is a published author (Mulligan’s Wake), television producer and a left-leaning political activist (Masses Unite). He lives happily on the Truckee River and is the married father of three (his most important role, according to Dave).