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A plan for gun control

Feb. 6, 2013 |

I have not heard anyone in politics, or the media, propose discussion of anything resembling a comprehensive plan to solve our national gun problem. I do not believe that a rehash of past feeble attempts will ultimately be meaningful. But I do believe that a comprehensive policy to control, rather than an effort to take away or ban certain items, would be a reasonable compromise that could find sufficient public support to motivate Congress. All guns are killing machines, not just the "assault rifles" and large capacity magazines. We are said to have 300,000 of these killing machines currently in circulation. It is long past time for an earnest effort to achieve a comprehensive program that would safeguard the rights of gun owners and the lives of all Americans. We register cars and we license drivers, doctors, architects, engineers, lawyers, barbers, and dogs, to name a few. Gun owners are not exempted from social responsibility by virtue of the Second Amendment. And membership in the National Rifle Association (NRA) does not confer exemption of gun owners from lawful regulation, any more than membership in the American Medical Association, American Institute of Architects, or Amercian Society of Civil Engineers does for doctors, architects or civil engineers. It is time to subject gun ownership to similar rigorous control. Therefore, beginning with the bold printed "Prime Directive" below, I offer the following as a starting point for discussion: As a gun owner, you will have the following cradle to grave responsibility for your weapon(s) without exception as follows: 1. Anyone who feels the need for a hand gun may own and keep in his/her possession no more than one. The type and function of this gun must fall within certain parameters. It must be registered to this person in perpetuity. It must not be sold, traded, or given to any other person. It may only be disposed of through the police department, which must destroy it. Safety measures, such as trigger locks, are not required but may be employed at the owner's discretion. Any illegal act involving this gun shall be the responsibility of the registered owner, without exception. 2. Anyone may collect and keep in his/her possession trophy guns of any type and function, providing that every such trophy gun is certified to have been rendered permanently inoperative by a professional gunsmith. Each trophy gun shall be registered to the owner and may be sold, gifted, or traded only through a government controlled system established for that purpose. 3. Anyone may own a gun(s) of any type and function, each of which shall be registered to the owner in conformance with number one above and provided that these guns must be kept in secure storage at a registered gun club/shooting range. The owner may access these guns for use or maintenance purposes on site only, at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At the conclusion of such use or maintenance, the owner must return the gun to secure storage at the same location. 4. Hunters may own and keep in their possession one long barrel hunting rifle or shot gun, which must be of appropriate type and function for the intended hunting. These guns must also be registered in conformance with number one above and may be sold, gifted, or traded only in conformance with number two. above. Hunters may possess no more than one gun for each type of intended hunting. The media has reported that the intransigence of the NRA seems to be largely confined to the leadership of that organization. If that is true, the opportunity exists for all interested parties of good will to join in seeking a rational and reasonable solution to our nation's insane lack of comprehensive gun policy. The Second Amendment was meant to assure everyone's right to be secure, including those of us who choose not to own a gun. Philip Fregeau Longmeadow

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