Only Women Should Own Guns
So far this year, more than 13,400 people have died from gunshots in the U.S. In one recent 72-hour period, 74 people died and 152 people were wounded by gunfire, including the unfortunate event at a mall in Alabama. It seems there is no stopping gun death in the United States. What is more horrifying is that “guns” and “man” have become joined as one word for good reason. Per FBI statistics, only 8.4 percent of murders are committed by women.
Over 60 percent of Americans favor stricter laws on the sale and ownership of firearms. Since Parkland a number of states have passed such laws. However, as the NRA argues, there is no evidence that current patchwork of laws have had any effect because of the free flow of people and goods across state borders. The renowned NRA slogan is very accurate except for one word: Guns don’t kill people, men with guns kill people.
So I have a fact based radical solution that should assuage all parties to the gun control debate. It will save thousands of lives. It will spare states time and money trying to address voter outrage with laws that have little effect. And it will give the NRA most of what it advocates: no background checks; no limits on the concealed or open carry of guns; no research on gun violence; and increasing gun sales.
Since most gun deaths are perpetrated by men, all guns currently owned by men will be turned over to female family members, female significant others, or returned to the manufacturer. This is not a confiscation of guns; it is a simple transfer. The women will be given firearms training and be the licensed owner of the guns. From the age of 16, women will be required to own and know how to use a gun so this will keep the manufacturers in business The weapons returned to the manufacturer will be re-purposed for those future purchases by being decorated and painted pink (to discourage men from wanting them).
Women have little history of gun violence, except as victims, so background checks will not be necessary. It is assumed that care and storing of weapons will not have to be legislated because women have a history of protecting home and family from harm and can be counted on to act responsibly. It will be known that all women are armed so open carry laws and concealed weapon laws will not be necessary.
The stand-your-ground laws will be expanded to protect women from prosecution when they shoot any man they feel threatened by, such as an aggressive partner, a bar hustler or a boss. “Time of Month” will be an acceptable excuse for accidental shootings.
Multiple munition clips and military grade automatic assault weapons will have to be confiscated and banned. This is to protect NRA men, whole fraternities and construction crews from annihilation when justifiably angry females take aim at their offending members.
Men in police forces and the military will be governed by the same rules in their private lives. Guns will be checked out and returned when their duty hours are over. Annual anger management courses will be a requirement. If a private militia is needed, women are capable of filling that role.
Criminals will not have guns because they were confiscated, so there should be little need for police to carry. These policies should save 24 officers per month from injury or death. Since black men will be unarmed, black lives will be saved because police will have no cause for an “accidental” shooting.
Since the FBI shows only 6.1 percent of gun deaths were by rifle or shotgun perhaps men could be allowed to hunt as long as they pass background checks, the guns are licensed, properly stored, and have no facility for high capacity magazines. Or hunters could own the same type of weapons used by our Founding Fathers at the time of the writing of the Second Amendment. That would be more sporting and constitutional.
Finally, men can gain the right to bear arms when they have reached the age of 40 with the following restrictions: 1) No history of hate blogging 2) No history of violence towards women 3) No bar fights or road rage incidents 4) No history of suicidal thoughts since men have a bad habit of taking loved ones with them when they commit suicide 5) They are and remain employed and 6) They pass an emotional maturity test. The age of 40 was selected because per FBI numbers almost 50 percent of all gun deaths are committed by men between 17 and 39 years old.
Here are more facts to support this proposal. Death by gun ranks second as cause of death for children and teens and the first cause of death for black children and teens. 50 women die every month from being shot by an intimate partner. A gun in the house raises the likelihood of death during a domestic dispute five times.
And, finally, there is no evidence that a good guy with a gun offers any protection. About 3 percent of gun deaths were the result of good guy intervention, and this benefit is erased when you consider almost the same percentage, 2.7 percent, are accidental gun deaths. Recently, a 2-year-old in Shreveport shot his mom.
It is a fact that gun ownership results in more than 13,000 deaths every year and gun incidents are primarily male. To protect women and children we must change the ownership laws.
Once in place this plan should be revisited when the number of men shot by women equals the number of women and children shot by men as of the date of enactment. By that time men should have experienced the daily fear felt by women and school children. Perhaps by then they will have developed empathy and finally value people more than guns.
Dee Maitland is a retired commercial banker, active volunteer and a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project.