Like millions of Americans, I’m fed up with the endless debate over gun control. On one side, liberals whine about banning this or that weapon, their rhetoric growing evermore ineffectual and hysterical as the nation’s supply of guns approaches 300 million weapons–one for every person in the country.
On the other, gun-rights ideologues and million-dollar-a-year lobbyists rant about encroachments on the freedom to bear arms as state and local governments lift existing restrictions and authorize pistol packing in public spaces former off limits.
It’s time for strict restrictionists to bit the bullet and admit defeat, and for Second Amendment absolutists to turn high-powered rhetoric into meaningful action. As National Rifle Association vice president Wayne (“Call me crazy”) LaPierre so pithily put it, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The silver-bullet solution is to return the job of national and personal security to where it belongs: the people. Obviously, we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot if we leave it to the government to target a few bad apples at the expense of the good. By their very nature, faceless bureaucrats will seek to disarm the American people, taking every opportunity to label rugged individualists as violence-prone psychopaths.
What America needs is compulsory gun ownership. Along with requiring every American school-aged and over to be armed, the government should ease any financial burden this might impose by offering a tax deduction of $100 for every pistol purchased and $250 for assault rifles. (To avoid excessive use of this loophole, annual deductions could be capped at $25,000.)
The gun lobby will be instantly obsolete. Instead of funneling money to senators and congressmen or pouring funds into expensive junkets, the staff of the NRA can go out into the private sector and get real jobs.
The rigmarole of background checks and licensing will end. A universally armed citizenry means that the need for the extensive and intrusive bureaucratic infrastructure of local, state, and federal police forces–with its immensely expensive burden of salaries, benefits, and pensions–will be done away with in a single shot.
In the short term, Congress should immediately abolish the U.S. Capitol Police. Representatives should be equipped with the weapon of their choice and be trained as marksmen. When some crackpot opens fire from the House visitors’ gallery, he’ll instantly find himself the recipient of bipartisan return fire by 435 crack shots.
Long term, we must pass the No Child Left Unarmed Act (NCLU), which will make firearms training part of every public school curriculum in the nation. NCLU will set a single national standard for establishing and measuring our children’s ability to shoot with the highest possible accuracy and rapidity. Insistence on developing basic firearms skills will bring our kids up to speed with global competitors in places like Somalia and the Congo, where children are presently light years ahead in the use of assault weapons.
Once we take these basic steps, we can concentrate on realizing the expressed purpose of the Second Amendment and make the right to bear arms a tool for maintaining an effective militia. Instead of depending on a standing army to man our global military commitments–a burden now shouldered by a relatively tiny number of soldiers and their families drawn unequally from the nation’s regions and classes–we’ll have a well-armed, multi-million-person citizen army representative of the entire country.
Without the vast expense of funding a professional army, the federal budget deficit will be DOA. Rather than exporting our precious gun resources overseas, which we did last year to the tune of $66.3 billion, we can keep them home and make America weapon independent once and for all.
When the need arises for foreign military interventions, a modern, armed-to-the-teeth, weapon-proficient, gender-neutral version of the Minute Men will spring into action. The sheer volume of citizen soldiers and firepower we can put into the field at a moment’s notice will prove a powerful deterrent to our enemies.
Universally mandated gun ownership in the United States is feasible, desirable and achievable. The Constitution implicitly permits it. Common sense demands it. The time has come to pull the trigger and get it done–now.