Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh, you're 18? Here's a gun. (On gun control in Texas)

Possibly the most heavily debated topic in politics across the United States, (and even more so in Texas) is gun control.  Since the July 20th shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight premier of "The Dark Knight Rises," 'gun control' has been the main topic of news.  It's even been trending nationwide on Twitter, and is the elephant in the room when it comes to Texas' constant leniency towards the issue.  
Now, Texas of all states, is the most lenient on gun control.  An individual only needs three qualifications to be capable of buying firearms:
1. You can't be a convicted felon within the past 5 years of release or parole.
2. You must be 18, or have parental consent if you are not of age.
3. You cannot be confined in a penal institution.
I know what you're thinking...Let's just all go buy guns now.  In all simplicity, we could.  That's where our biggest problems occur here in Texas.
As seen in the shooting in Colorado, this man has to have some mental corruption to go and try to kill a theater full of teenagers and young adults.  (Let's be honest, how many adults or grandparents do you see at a midnight premier?)  Texas, of all states should re-look at the qualifications to bear firearms in the state.  While, we have a constitutional right to bear arms, there should be some disclaimers to this.  
First, we need to have a way to perform a more elaborate background check.  This could be detrimental in preventing loons from getting a hold of a firearm.  I'm talking, a background check that even mentions recent divorces or bar fights to recent diagnosis' for bipolar disorder/depression.  While these may seem like random events that have nothing to do with guns, divorces can be a huge cause of mental instability, which may then be the justification for someone to shoot up a school or public event.  A simple bar fight, on the other hand, could determine short temperament and aggressiveness, which could easily transfer into a quick trigger.  And, more controversial, is the background check involving what medications the person is taking.  While, yes, this impedes on an individual's right to privacy, (as promised by the constitution) these individuals are most susceptible to shoot up a room, or cause harm to themselves by having access to a firearm.
Finally, the state needs to take a look into the kinds of guns we are distributing.  Joe Blow, at a gun show, could walk away with a M-4 military grade rifle, and a magazine large enough to take down a whole movie theater easily.  Who's to say he won't?  That's where the state needs to step in.  There should be a limit on magazine size for handguns in the state of Texas, as well as the inability to so easily access anything over a hunting rifle.  I honestly think this could help ease the wave of distress falling over our state.  
If we can make a dent in gun control and prevent loons from having the access to firearms, we may have a better sense of security across the nation, and especially across the state.  The first stage of action is to change the ease of gun trafficking in Texas.  From there, we could try to implement a more rigorous background check, that (hopefully) keeps our great state off of national headlines when concerning gun control.  But, this all has to start with a gutsy politician because no one approaches this problem in the state of Texas.  It gets swept under the rug for generations when, in reality, it is the elephant in the room as of 2012.

That's the way Scott sees it.

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