Hitting The Brakes On Gun Violence

Reflecting on yesterday’s Navy Yard shooting, Frum asks why the gun industry can’t follow the auto industry’s example:

Gun-rights advocates insist that the U.S. faces a choice between the status quo and the repeal of the Second Amendment and mass confiscation of firearms. That is false. Improved gun safety no more requires a gun ban than improved auto safety demanded the outlawing of cars. Gun design could be regulated to enhance safety. Those who wish to own guns could be required to take safety courses and pass a test. Individuals who are found to store their weapons unsafely could forfeit for a time their ownership rights. Persons convicted of drug offenses or drunk driving could be deprived of gun rights in their sentence, as felons now are deprived of the right to vote in many states. The classes of weapons associated with mass casualty shooting could be more strictly controlled.

It’s not all-or-nothing, not all-one-way or all-the-other way: moderate steps could achieve substantial results. The goal is not to reduce the level of gun violence to zero, any more than it is to stop all auto fatalities. The goal is to enhance safety while upholding legitimate rights. It’s been done before. It can be done again.