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What will it take for us to act on gun violence? | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Yes, that’s a terrible thought. But it’s all I’ve been able to come up with on the subject of mass shootings.

What I mean is that at a certain point, the number of dead will reach a threshold that exceeds our tolerance to accept it. You can choose to disagree, but set the number arbitrarily high and see if that makes a difference. One million dead. Ten million dead. Fifty million dead. You see, at a certain point even the NRA will advocate for radical change because it’s bad for business. So, yeah, not enough people yet. Then, and only then, will we get serious enough to seek actual solutions.

When mass shooting really becomes a big problem — apparently, it isn’t yet — there are things government can do. It could take over a corporate business in the interest of domestic security, like the businesses of armaments manufacturers. Maybe we should concentrate on ammunition first. It may be easier: Stop the supply chain.

As for the guns, between inducements to turn them in and a dwindling supply of ammunition, there may even be space for people to keep their weapons. The point is to reduce their lethality. Naturally, hunting for sport or sustenance is a separate category.

For those who feel that weapons are necessary to protect them from the federal government, I offer this: It’s the job of the federal government to make sure that you’re overmatched in the extreme. And for those who feel that weapons are necessary to protect them from individual attackers, I have little to offer beyond a deep suspicion that we’ll all be better off without so many deadly weapons around.

If it’s a question of taking people’s freedom away, here’s an example of how we have done this with barely an ounce of controversy: Go back a number of decades and suggest to someone that their child should be locked up in a restrictive device, kicking and screaming, while going on a car ride. This is the modern child safety seat. Even lacking hard figures, we can see that this saves children’s lives. All that’s needed is the image of race car drivers, the cars literally having been torn to pieces around them from a crash, liberating themselves from their harnesses in an arms-up signal that they’re fine. We’ve learned something about how to take care of people.

But can we trust the government to take away our right to bear arms? The answer to this is that we’re going to have to trust something, or else continue to accept the consequences.

James Rothenberg resides in North Chatham.


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