No one can talk realistically about banning all guns; we know that it's too late to even try to do that in "cowboy America." The key phrase here is that we must figure out a way to "reduce the amount of fatalities." And the key word here is that we must find a way to "regulate." That's the starting point and the ending point.
Look at your driver's license, your friends nursing license, your cousin's motorcycle registration, your old classmate's doctor's license, your kids' teachers' teaching certificates, your American Airline pilot's license, your dog's tag, your car safety inspection sticker, the breathalyzer used by the police, the safety inspection certificate on the elevator wall, etc.
These are all means not to eliminate abuse--but to limit abuse--and, as you can probably guess, it's working. How many accidents and dead human beings would there be if we did not regulate today? You do the math.
and Another Thing…
To throw up our hands and say we need less regulation and more guns is just a non-answer that the rest of the civilized world laughs at today and which our grandchildren will laugh at tomorrow.
The question that the gun lobby asks is, "Who will define what an assault weapon is?" The answer is: "Definitely not me and maybe not you." Most likely it will be some of the more sane members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) working closely with local police and military officials along with gun manufacturers looking for a solution-- all experts who can decide unilaterally which of the weapons available to Joe Blow do not belong in our homes and are meant only for soldiers, SWAT teams and other public safety officers.
Laws to protect our citizens have been created throughout history. It's time now to regulate these (what experts will determine to be) "assault" weapons and to background-check the people who use them--not take guns away from the people who are protecting their homes and families, but to reduce the number of deaths, just as we do with all other forms of regulation. And to those who insist that you cannot "regulate" a "right" that is guaranteed in the Second Amendment, I say that we have a U.S. Supreme Court which interprets our Constitution all the time; and someday in the future, perhaps nine members in black robes may decide that the right of a child to live and to pursue happiness outweighs the right to own the biggest gun in the neighborhood.
This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui since August 2000. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to his daily ramblings on Facebook.