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This will sound silly to some of you and infuriating to others. Perhaps a few will agree. The topic is automatic, military style rifles with large capacity magazines, that are designed and often used to kill people quickly and effectively.
We will not ban them. There are just too many people who like the idea, for whatever reason, of owning a weapon for killing a lot of people in short order. I suspect this is an issue of child development, actual and arrested. And there are too many people who manipulate the Constitution, like the Christian nationalists and most evangelicals manipulate the Bible. They come up with stuff to support their dark needs and attribute it to the Founding Fathers and God. As we say in the South, “Bless their hearts.” But they are not going to go away, and many have risen to high office.
We cannot get rid of the automatic rifles and the individuals who brandish and pet them; yet, I have a modest suggestion. When someone shoots up a bunch of innocent adults and children and the police have the rifle, its full origins should be traced. Once determined (not that difficult) the manufacturer will be fined $1,000,000. The retailer of origin will be fined $100,000. Any individual who sold the thing or gifted it to the shooter will be fined $100,000. If the shooter is under age 21, the parents are charged with third degree manslaughter. These should be federal offenses. I am also thinking that the number of people wounded or murdered would increase the fines ten percent per victim.
My proposal won’t happen in any form, but it would be at least something we could do to go to the source of the killings in some way. Mental health and sensible regulations don’t carry much water in our nation, but money does. Make those who profit from automatic rifles pay something for their sins, kind of like a tax. Come to think of it, a sin tax might be added to the cost of these machine guns, like the taxes on alcohol and tobacco. I suggest at least fifty percent. Or maybe one must register to buy the ammunition every time it is sold. Or maybe there could be registration to attend a gun show. None of this would ban owning a people-killing weapon and the right to bear arms in this bizarre way.
One would think that paint gun wars, violent video gaming, and even hunting should satisfy the lust for shooting something. They don’t. Some of us need more. It feels good to blow up a watermelon with twenty rounds in ten seconds. Target shooting, usually with a human form is acceptable. And you never know when you might “need more” against a real assailant. Right now, I am going outside to shoot some squirrels who are robbing my bird feeder. It feels good when I sting one with my high-powered BB gun. And yes, I have two kills. But I really don’t need a high-poweredmachine gun. Nobody does, but they do anyway. It’s just the American way, in some minds.