Most citizens have already formulated and memorized their gun checklists. I’m writing mine down.
1. No one under age twenty-one can buy any gun. Nikolas Cruz, the deranged school shooter in Parkland, Florida, was nineteen. End of discussion. If you can’t support this sane law, Senator Marco Rubio, resign your seat.
2. Establish a universal database containing the names of everyone who owns a gun. If you own a motor vehicle, it is universally registered. If you have a driver’s license, it’s officially registered. The same standard must apply to guns, which, even for NRA members, aren’t as essential as cars.
3. Establish a nationwide database containing the names of all who have concealed weapons permits. This would be part of the universal database identifying all who own guns.
4. Establish a related database containing the names of all people who have made threats of violence. Many of these people are mentally disturbed. This law encompasses all threats especially those issued verbally, in writing, or through social media. People like Nikolas Cruz will be flagged if this system is properly monitored and acted upon. Early intervention and treatment of mental illness must also be expanded.
5. Ban assault weapons. Gun enthusiasts don’t need them to shoot deer or hit targets at the shooting range.
6. Ban bump stocks that turn a semi-automatic gun into an automatic weapon that performs like a machine gun. Las Vegas concert shooter Stephen Paddock killed fifty-nine people, riddling them with bump-stock-enhanced fire similar to that of machine guns.
7. Ban extra-capacity magazines. They can’t be justified. Even the most ardent hunters aren’t going to shoot a deer a hundred times.
8. No nationwide reciprocity for concealed weapons permits. It’s ghoulish enough to know that millions of citizens are legally packing in their states. They can’t be allowed to randomly roam the nation with guns shoved in their pants and concealed by shirts.
9. Improve school security by implementing procedures already in effect at airports, athletic events, and concerts. Shorten the defensive perimeters at schools. Existing fences should remain in place, but they don’t stop killers from walking in unlocked front and side doors. Metal detectors are needed at all points of entry, and these must be minimized. The points of entry would be staffed by armed security guards who have been thoroughly trained and regularly retrained.
10. Work to diminish the importance of fanatical gun organizations like the NRA, and dedicate yourselves to defeating gutless politicians who jeopardize public safety in order to bring in gun dollars.
11. Improve education, jobs programs, and community relations with law enforcement in low income areas where most murders take place.
According to recent polls, the overwhelming majority of Americans support most of the measures above. People have had enough.