Letter: Lawmakers must do more to prevent gun violence

To the editor:

People For Common Sense Gun Control are calling for action from Congress. We would like to see laws enacted that would make it much harder for guns to get into the wrong hands, and if they do, the consequences would be much higher.

There are three ways criminals get guns that need to be addressed. They steal them, they obtain them through “straw purchases,” and they get them from licensed home dealers who sell illegally.

This activity can be curtailed very effectively by enacting the following: 1. Require the registration of ALL guns. (If you have to be 18 to buy it, then you would have to register it.) 2. Make being in possession of an unregistered gun a crime that is a felony with a federal mandatory minimum sentence of at least 20 years. If it’s stolen, 30. If you use it to commit any felony, life, on the first conviction.

The registration process would work like this: You find a gun you want to buy at a gun store, gun show, from a friend or the Internet. You give that person cash or your credit card information and they give you what amounts to a “title” for the gun. You take the title to your local sheriff’s department to file and fill out all of the information for a background check. Then, if you pass, a deputy contacts the seller who then ships the weapon to the sheriff’s department where the buyer can pick it up. The whole process shouldn’t take a week.

The idea is that if you want a gun and are up to no good it is much less likely that you will go through this process to get one. So, you will get one illegally. That’s fine, until you’re caught. If it saves just one life this law would be worth it and we believe it could save thousands.

We don’t believe this is a violation of the Second Amendment in any way. Lucid, law-abiding citizens would still be able to purchase any gun they want from the same people they buy them from now. But, let’s just say that maybe someone thinks there is a constitutional problem with this law. Sure, alright, we welcome the challenge.

Laws have been enacted, put on the books and enforced before that were later to be found unconstitutional. The various marriage acts that were voted on by the people like the one in Michigan actually went into effect after 57 percent of the people decided that’s what they wanted. Then, of course the Supreme Court decided is was an argument that wasn’t worth hearing, so those laws have fallen off the books. We’ll be happy to take that same road.

The issue now will be this: why not put this on the 2016 ballot as a public referendum? There can only be two answers: 1. We are not afraid the people will make the best choice. Or, 2. We are afraid the people will make the choice some of us won’t like.

In my estimation the only people who won’t like this law are very likely up to no good.

Mark Duwe