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Is owning a gun really worth all the heartache?

Ho hum, more mass shootings and subsequent panicked crowds spooked by mass shootings. This is getting old, and so am I.

The trouble is, many Americans or visitors to our country will not ever get as old as I am because so many are being shot and killed because they were just living. Apparently, it is pretty easy to get a gun of any kind because so many are doing it, and too many are getting them in their own homes or stealing them.

I have a solution! How about we charge a 100% tax annually on the value of all firearms owned in this country. That income would be used to provide 100% bulletproof, full-body suits and helmets to all Americans who want to go out to school, to work, to take a walk, to shop, to meet friends, or to stroll down Broadway in New York with hundreds of other people, or even to stay home if you have a home or all the time if you don’t have one.

I think this is as good a solution as anyone else has offered. The NRA and its supporters, as well as other Second Amendment maniacs, gun thieves, young people afflicted with depression and testosterone, racists, and those who live with loaded guns in their cars and homes are provoking and carrying out the huge number of gun deaths in this country while offering no sane solutions. The governor of Texas mumbles about video games and gun rights, and our president offers insincere platitudes to people who don’t want to hear them from someone whose blatant racism has only inflamed the shooters.

The mass shootings get the most press coverage and create the most fear, but many more people die on the streets of Chicago and most other large American cities. Guns are also the most common and most deadly means of committing suicide.

Is it really so very important for everyone to have access to guns when so many Americans are dying prematurely because someone else wants to make a big statement or wants to commit suicide and take as many as possible with him, (because) it’s usually a him?

The Second Amendment was written at a much different time. Why do we support police departments, national guards and armed services if we need individual firearms? I know about the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008 allowing guns. I moved to Albuquerque in 2006 after living most of the previous 40 years in Washington, D.C., where D.C. citizens, including me, voted regularly not to allow personal firearms in the city. I know there was a lot of crime involving guns in the city, but the borders with Virginia and Maryland were very close, close enough to buy or steal guns from those states.

In Albuquerque, a (15)-year-old was trained in and had access to guns that he used to kill five members of his family, similar to the Connecticut school shooter, who was trained and had access to guns that he used to kill his mother and small children and teachers, and then the parents of the dead children were harassed by Alex Jones, who said it never happened.

Unless someone has a sure-fire cure – pun intended – for all mental illness and raging young testosterone, doing something about guns is the only answer. They are now an insoluble conundrum: you have to keep your guns unloaded and locked up, but how can they provide immediate protection if you have to unlock and load them? But many gun owners don’t even try to do that, if the large number of loaded handguns that people try to carry on airplanes is any indication.

Is having guns constantly at the ready really worth the cost in lives, serious injuries and PTSD for the people who have witnessed the sounds, the blood, the dying of others around them?

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