The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 18, 2013

Your View: Guns

By Ed Goebel
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — The most dangerous mechanical device is the car. A 50-car pileup can kill 16 to 50 people. Because of this fact, the federal government requires a driver license that is acquired by passing a test in hopes that it will reduce accidents. Most states also require a driver education course or at least a permit time to learn about safe driving habits.

Guns have no such test or education except for those states that require a short course for a hunting permit or a concealed gun permit.

In Switzerland, all males ages 17 to 30 are required to take three months of military training, and as a result that country has the lowest crime and murder rate. I believe that this would be an extreme for this country. But an educational class for all teenagers around the age of 15 to 18 on safe use of both a pistol and rifle would be good.

Plus it would help them in making an informed decision on whether they want the responsibility of gun ownership.

With only 62 mass murders since 1982 (that is less than two a year), it points out that any social maladjusted person cannot be stopped from fulfilling his fantasies. In a country where a person is innocent until proven guilty, we cannot lock every socially maladjusted person up so we have to suffer the consequences of two people flipping out every year. To lower this number, we as a free people, have to have a real discussion about gun control.

Maybe better education about guns and more research on the socially maladjusted might be ways to proceed.

I do know that with the 150,000 some laws that we have, another one is not the answer. So let’s have a meaningful, open, non-radical discussion and hope to find a real answer so we can lower the death rate from guns to less than the 4.5 per 100,000 that we now have.

Ed Goebel