Michael Olenick’s post The Lesson of Newtown – Time to Charge for the True Cost of Gun Ownership (posted on NakedCapitalism) offers a pragmatic solution to the “gun rights or violence” dilemma. Olenick writes,
Rather than parsing the Second Amendment one more time there is an easier approach, one typically favored by conservative gun owners for other public policy issues: end cost-shifting. Force those who chose to own guns to bear the full cost of the mayhem their hobby unleashes. Ending the gun subsidies will eventually end the gun violence.
Olenick notes that,
This solution does not violate the Second Amendment: people are still free to own all the guns they want; they just have to pay full freight for the cost of guns to society.
Further he explains how his solution also leverages the right-wing’s propensity for use taxes:
Right-wing politicians seem to have equal zeal for taxation based on use and against cost-shifting, so it will be interesting to hear them defend why non gun owners should subsidize the massive cost of widespread gun ownership. I can’t wait to hear the Tea Baggers explain why the cost of open gun ownership should be externalized to the families of the slain children, those who survived, and all the other terrorized first graders, teachers, and parents in the country.
I realize that to many people their guns are precious. Guess what: I think my first-grade daughter is precious too. . . I know it’s brazen but I’m even willing to say our kids are a hell of a lot more precious than your guns.
Read all of his post here. The fact is that ethically, all rights are not created equal. Our right to life, safe schools, safe homes and safe neighborhoods trumps others’ right to own weapons. Gun ownership violates these basic human rights – at a huge cost to our society. Gun owners should bear this cost.