Gun Control

As could be expected, the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas brought renewed cries for gun control.  Democrats, Republicans, Independents, liberals, progressives, conservatives, moderates, right-wingers, and practically everyone else agree that such carnage is evil and we should do everything possible to avoid such occurrences.   But, it isn’t all that simple.[su_spacer]

FIrst, we must understand that there is a difference between gun control and gun prohibition.  Put bluntly, prohibition doesn’t work.  They tried that with alcoholic beverages in the roaring 20s.  We are still trying it with cocaine, heroin, and meth.  Prohibiting something simply fuels the desire for it and creates an underground marketplace controlled by criminal elements.  Prohibiting guns has done the same thing where it has been tried.  Look at Chicago and Detroit.  Two cities with the toughest gun control laws and now the highest crime and murder rates in the country. Calling for gun prohibition simply confuses the issue and creates further resistance to those actions that may work to reduce events such as Las Vegas.  It even brings out the crazies that want to grab a few headlines.  One Democratic legislator recently said that “if no one had guns then the bad people would simply lay down their guns and go home”.  Another elected idiot said that “all veterans are unstable and should not be allowed to have guns”.  Now those statements take stupid to a new level and add nothing of value to solving the problem (s).  Comments like that simply provide a series of distractions and increase resistance to positive change.

So, let us consider some tighter gun legislation that could work to reduce the risks.  But in doing so we must also accept the fact that such legislation is still treating the symptom, not the core problem.  Tens of millions of Americans own guns.  Only an infinitesimal fraction of those people use their guns to commit a crime and an even smaller number attempt to do mass murders.  Explosives are much more effective and you don’t even have to be fingerprinted to buy the materials and set off a bomb.  For starters, there is a push to stop the sale of automatic weapons to civilians.  Sounds good.  However, it isn’ effective because with a little knowledge and a file you can convert many weapons from semi-automatic to fully automatic.  There are a lot of gun collectors, I was once one myself.  However, I think collectors should go through a more strenuous filtering process and be required to purchase a special “gun collector” license.  To enforce that there needs to be a system of reporting that is national in scope, not city or state specific.  (It is worth noting however that some states and cities are adamantly against a national system as they fear such a system will be less restrictive than their current state and city restrictions.)   If someone buys a gun in one location, then tries to buy a gun in a different location it should raise a flag and that person should be put on a “no-buy” list until further investigation can be made.  Something like the “no-fly” list now used.  That would reduce the chances of accumulating multiple weapons for mass attacks.  Would it stop it?  No, because there will always be an underground that will be happy to supply prohibited or controlled substances and items.  The 2nd amendment of the constitution grants the right for Americans to bear arms.  So, it is really an issue of establishing a uniform system of tracking sales of firearms and making it more difficult for unstable people to buy or have access to them.[su_spacer]

As one legislator recently commented, “you can’t regulate against evil”.  The problem really isn’t guns.  The problem is that our society has become so violent that the idea of using things as weapons against others is almost commonplace.  Guns, knives, bombs, vehicles, rocks, bottles, and 2x4s are fair game in attacking police and looting stores.  Maybe more effort should be made in finding why our culture has become so oriented to violence.  Maybe that is one of the core problems, not guns or knives.  Another core issue is identifying and treating those with emotional and/or mental problems.  There is a stigma relating to those issues and families, and even doctors often hide those away with devastating subsequent results.  We need to stop focusing on issues that are not core problems.  This isn’t a police violence issue.  Certainly, there is the occasional “bad cop” just like there are bad doctors, business leaders, and lawyers but by and large, cops are dedicated professionals and the last thing they want is violence.  This isn’t a race matter.  Over 90% of blacks that are killed are killed by other blacks.  Those, like Sharpton and others, that want to make the violence into a race issue do a grave disservice to all Americans and most particularly to minorities.[su_spacer]

And, perhaps the most frightening core problem of all that we can identify, is that we continue to elect men and women to leadership positions that have their own agendas and do not have the best interest of our country and its citizens as a basis for their actions, or lack thereof.[su_spacer]


Ken Vincent
Ken Vincent
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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