How to stop gun crime
Most Americans agree that violent crime is a national problem. According to the FBI, about 3,400 violent crimes (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, rape) occur in the U.S. every day.
Guns play a major role in violent crime, being used in more than 72 percent of murders, 40 percent of robberies and 26 percent of aggravated assaults.
Liberals believe the way to stop gun crime is to get rid of guns. Conservatives believe the answer is stricter enforcement of existing gun laws.
Because neither side seems willing to give ground, violent gun crime continues to haunt Americans.
There’s a simple solution that will cause most criminals to stop using guns, while leaving law-abiding gun owners alone. The solution is a federal law that puts anyone who commits a felony while in possession of a gun into federal prison for 50 years without possibility of parole. No exceptions. None.
“Possession” in this case will include having a gun on your person or in any vehicle used to travel to or from the scene of a crime. It doesn’t have to be your gun; it can be your buddy’s gun. It can be a stolen gun. It can be a handgun, rifle or shotgun. It can be in your waistband or your buddy’s pocket. It can be in the car’s glove box, under the seat or even locked inside a steel box that’s welded shut and stored in the car’s trunk.
Doesn’t matter where it is, who’s carrying it or who owns it. It doesn’t have to be displayed. The gun doesn’t have to be loaded or even operational. The law will be simple and clear: If there is a gun around when you commit a felony, you (and any accomplices) are going to jail for a half-century. No exceptions. None.
Within months of enactment, even the most dimwitted thug will realize that his next carjacking or convenience store stickup best not include any threat of gunfire.
Some will fret that such a law is overly harsh. Really? Guess they’ve never had a friend or relative shot in the face by some punk who wanted a new set of wheels or a fistful of cash.
Others will complain about the cost of housing all the gun-toting felons. I can’t think of a better way to spend tax revenue. And because gun crime will surely decline sharply because of this new law, the incarceration cost will moderate as the years pass.
So let’s do this. Thugs who wish to avoid the risk of a 50-year lockup will simply leave their guns at home. Which is the whole point of the new law. Thugs who don’t leave their guns at home will soon have a new home. No exceptions. None.
Thomas Torget is a retired corporate public affairs/communications executive. He lives in Kerrville.