How To Slow Gun Purchases Down

by Phyllis Chesler

President Biden focused both on the Gun Lobby and on God in his speech at the White House in response to the latest horror—the mass shooting of nineteen children by an 18-year-old Hispanic man/boy who, we’ve just been told, had failed to graduate from the Uvalde High School. That was what he was allegedly arguing with his grandmother about when he shot her down.

I guess our President did not read my piece about the single most important variable which is invariably always missing, never mentioned, when it comes to mass shooting, namely, that 99.9% of mass murderers are all male.

Last night, watching the news, I said to my partner: There have to have been warning signs, surely an adolescent was in distress, was he a loner? Was bullying involved? Did he have a functioning family? Did a school nurse or psychologist note anything, do anything?

And now we know a little more about the Uvalde shooter, Salvador Rolando Ramos. His life checks all the boxes that we know are associated with potential future violence. A drug addicted mother with whom he fought continually; no father apparently present. But there’s more. Ramos lisped and stuttered for which he was bullied. He also endured anti-gay bullying. Whether or not he was gay is irrelevant. He once wore black eye-liner and was a slender, handsome (“feminine,” almost) boy. But Ramos was a lonely, quiet, angry boy who began cutting himself. 

He did not graduate from High School. His attendance was, arguably, sporadic. Those who would graduate routinely wore their caps and gowns and visited the children at the Robb Elementary School so that they would be inspired: Someday they would join these hallowed ranks.

Not so fast. Ramos would put a stop to that. No Mama’s boy. No gay boy, he. Ramos would go out in a blaze of macho, military glory.

President Biden: Where is the funding for mental health that our country needs so desperately? Chirlane McCray: What did you do with the three billion dollars allocated for mental health services? Clearly, nothing much, given all the epidemic of shootings on New York City streets and in our subways allegedly by mentally ill men.

The male ego. The supposedly male thin skin. The inability of some men to absorb abuse, frustration, failure, or disappointment without violently turning it against someone else. Yes, it is a real problem.

Like President Biden, all agree that the main and only problem is the availability of guns, especially military assault weapons—and the power of the Gun Lobby. No argument there and yet—we must also understand that getting guns off the streets is as hard as abolishing drugs, pornography, and prostitution/trafficking. I’m in favor of doing so but until then—what is to be done?

Sometimes a very good idea crosses my desk. Written by an unknown genius, and passed along by one Nev Schulman, please allow me to share this with you.

Our Anonymous Genius suggests the following:

“How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion—mandatory 48-hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from a doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence…Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.

It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean, no woman getting an abortion (is about) to kill a room full of people in second, right?”

In truth, I do not see any analogy between having an abortion and conducting a mass shooting. Others might. Those who do, should themselves, never, ever have an abortion.



12 Responses

  1. From my vantage point outside the US I suggest that the NRA and other associations of gun owners be made part of the solution. I understand the NRA may be short of funds/membership currently – don’t quote me.
    To buy a gun other than a self-proction pistol a prospective purchaser must be a member of the NRA or other gun-owner association. A certain number of members and geographical spread must the evidenced to qualify.
    Each association will be so scared that it might be one of their affiliates that perpetrates a gun volence even that they will make membership conditional on things like a gun safety course and (most importantly) some kind socialisation or mentoring arrangement.

    1. Pretty good idea, but I do not see why a “pistol for self-protection” should be exempt. I’m not 100% sure it would work, but it should be given a try. And unlike Chesler’s great idea, it has some chance to be implemented.

  2. Reqire all gun owners to carry insurance for their guns. The insurance companies will have so many requirements, and charge so much in premiums, that the problem will more-or-less be eradicated. There will always be a few who get by, just as some people manage to drive uninsured cars, but I’ll bet we’d see a big reduction in mass shootings.

    1. Mass shootings are in the news, because they are so senseless, but they are but the tip of the Iceberg: well over 90% of all gun deaths are suicide or ‘individual’ killings.

  3. PLEASE TELL ALL KILLERS BY GUN THAT THEY SHOULDN’T WORRY; AFTER ALL GUN SHOOTING IS SUCH F U N! (if you can avoid being chosen as the recipient). ahhhhhhhh, TOO BAD

  4. A good idea has traction. I watched as a female CNN reporter confronted a Republican legislator – and a shameless NRA supporter – with exactly that argument. when he stammered about Constitutional second amendment rights – getting in the way of of gun control, she countered that they know how to make an end run around the constitution when it comes to women’s right to abortion.
    Keep spreading the word Phyllis

  5. Me oh my? I guess I am a “shameless NRA supporter? For the record, I also support & belong to Gun Owners of America (GOA). There is no such thing as “gun violence.” People kill people. I’m still waiting for the guns I own to open up my safe and go out and commit some violence! “Assault weapon(s)? Knives, baseball bats, vehicles can all be “assault weapons.” “Shall not be infringed.”
    I am a retired federal law enforcement officer. Why do people and should people own guns? To protect themselves from my kind who are authoritarians at heart and think that their gun & badge give them the right to take away someone else’s natural right to protect themselves & others from their own government! I see it, saw it, and worked these types.
    Our culture was “assaulted” starting decades ago by the “cultural Marxists.” That “assault” includes drugs. I assert that much of what we are seeing today and label “mental illness” is the direct result of that assault!

  6. Mass shootings weren’t happening when I was growing up and when you were growing up. It was unheard of. So the notion that guns or simply male aggression is responsible is absurd. Liberals love to blame guns because it takes the focus away from their own culpability in our nation’s moral decay over 5 or 6 decades. The left owns the culture and media and has for 50-60 years. It’s no coincidence during that same period we have seen a complete breakdown of the nuclear family, moral values, of right and wrong and the sanctity of life.

    1. What? So you are young I guess. I was born in 1947. I remember this below – started military service that month in the US Army.

      “Texas Tower shooting of 1966, also called University of Texas clock tower shooting, mass shooting in Austin, Texas, on August 1, 1966, in which Charles Whitman, a student and ex-Marine, fired down from the clock tower on the campus of the University of Texas, killing 14 people and wounding 31 others (one of whom died years later from complications related to his wounds). Earlier in the day, Whitman had killed his wife and mother. The incident was one of the worst mass murders in a public area in the history of the United States and the first to unfold “live” in the era of mass media.”

      Thiss one was with knives and guns:

      “Tate murders, the shocking and grisly murders of actress Sharon Tate and four other people by followers of cult leader Charles Manson on the night of August 8–9, 1969, in Los Angeles. Two more people were killed on August 10. After two highly publicized trials, Manson and four of his followers were convicted of all the murders in 1971.”

  7. Agreeing with Laura above, and adding:

    Regardless of women’s liberation, the pressure on men remains outsized to produce more than half the income, work the dangerous jobs, and protect the family physically. Besides residual hormonal and cultural impetus, it cannot be changed that women must be sheltered during pregnancy and early nurturing. This is a metaphysically-given dis-balance.

    As a result, men are disproportionally victims of the Left/Progressive project to change the United States from hard money, free market capitalism, self-sufficiency, into a collectivized “social democracy,” in which all are bound in servitude to all by law. The Great Tool of this transition (it is subtle slavery, since overt involuntary servitude was ended by the death and maiming of over a million men) is: deliberate inflation of a fiat currency with government at the spigot of funds and the spender of first and last resort of coerced tax revenue.

    If you think there is no through-connection between this enormous pressure cooker and the urban shooters (single crime deaths stupendously out number mass deaths), think again — it is a home run explanation.

  8. Baldovin’s comments mirror my thoughts. Second Amendment provides me with an equalizer from the violent thugs, whether those thugs be from the street or the courthouse.

  9. I would support vouchers allowing families to choose their schools. Private schools cull out bad apples. They are voluntary. They can adopt safety regulations as they see fit.

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