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Stop Shooting, Start Talking

On March 16, the Daily Sun published my letter “Basic plan for gun management” proposing that, under ATF regulation, the NRA be designated as responsible for gun management. On March 24, nationwide marches occurred protesting the vision and political power of the NRA.

I empathize with fellow citizens’ frustration and the NRA is a political force that needs inclusion to achieve meaningful resolution to the role of guns in our culture. Some claim that the NRA’s role in protecting the Second Amendment is analogous to news organizations defending the First Amendment; however, what are lacking is a “well regulated militia” and historic (1789) perspective on gun technology.

I propose the NRA become a public-private enterprise wherein, under appropriate federal supervision and lacking the capacity to contribute to political campaigns, it assists law enforcement to establish and enforce rigorous background checks, facilitates gun “sell-backs" for tax deductions” conducts gun safety education, and provides safe recreational shooting. Further, the NRA would establish a program whereby fees assessed on all gun, ammunition and accessory purchases goes to help fund victims of unjustifiable gun deaths or injuries, families of victims, and health recovery cost of survivors.

Recognizing this may not be popular among gun enthusiasts, remember mandatory insurance and registration are required for vehicle operation.

The solution lies in honest negotiation based upon those principles our country was found upon. Until realized, students and adults should continue exercising their First  Amendment to create the political will necessary to find an enduring resolution. It’s time to stop shooting and start talking.

BRYAN BATES

Flagstaff

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