"We Must Stop The Carnage"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, March 18, 2016

How can “we the people gain control?” Why has our country turned so violent with so little respect for one another?

Living in the rural, sheltered area of the Thumb of Michigan offers protection from the ravages of everyday killings. Of course you must not watch or listen to the news. Very little good news is broadcast from urban areas around the state and country.

News reports from most metropolitan areas often begin with the latest shootings, and fill much of the entire report, as multiple cases are described. A recent one told of a 3-year-old child who shot their mother in the head, but only once because the gun jammed. The father was questioned and claimed he usually hid the gun but had failed to do so. The mother fortunately survived but no charges were filed. Why not? If a gun owner leaves a gun where a child can reach it, they should be harshly penalized. It matters not if the gun is registered or the person has a right to carry it, irresponsible handling of it should be punished.

A news station carried an image of a mother crying in the arms of a relative as the story of her son’s death was reported. At the age of 20 he was fatally shot. His mother sobbed he had been shot three times in the past three years. Later in the broadcast, there was a report of a drive-by shooting that took the life of a 6-year-old as he played in his front yard. Everyone was asked to call Crimestoppers with any knowledge of the shooting.

If a drive-by crime is solved, forfeiture of the vehicle and any guns should be made and a very long, mandatory jail term should result. The driver and the shooter, plus any others involved should all be punished severely. I’m certain very few drive-by shootings are resolved, but if even a few are — and very stiff charges are brought and executed, perhaps they will not be the killer’s choice as they spray bullets without concern for whom they hit.

I understand all of our citizens wish to guard their Second Amendment rights and I adamantly agree we should. A way must be found that we can accomplish control of the senseless killings without relinquishing our rights. Punishment laws were put in place and amendments to them are possible.

The rights we enjoy should not protect shooters that abuse them. If we take them away from those who break the laws that protect their rights, we should be able to maintain our liberties and not have to fear for our lives in the streets of our cities.

I believe we have at this time a law that states, crimes committed with a gun call for two additional years added to a sentence. If we were able to pass such a law, why not make it stronger? Amend it to dictate a much longer term if a gun is used while committing a crime. If a known offender is found to be in possession of a gun without a permit, they should be jailed for at least five years.

If a traffic stop is made and an unregistered gun is found in the vehicle, a severe penalty should be levied against the operator. If they claim they had no knowledge of the weapon, they should be held until they receive a polygraph. If they fail the test, an additional penalty should be applied. They should lose the firearm, the vehicle should be confiscated and the license plate canceled. At some point, extreme punishment must be applied to deter those who are breaking the law and putting innocent lives at risk.

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