Where common ground on guns can be found

On the issue of gun control, there’s not much common ground to be found. After all, one side seeks to make life difficult for law-abiding gun owners and the other side has no interest in stepping backward on the subject of the Second Amendment.

There are people who fall in between those two camps, to be sure, but common ground is still a sticky thing that isn’t likely to happen on most proposals.

Yet I came across a piece earlier that delves into an area where maybe we can find that elusive common ground.

I keep thinking about the case of Octavia Young. Just this past May in Wells, she is alleged to have been shot and killed by her 19-year-old uncle, Andrew Huber Young. Octavia wasn’t even 2 years old. Police say the gun belonged to Huber Young’s father. This one rash decision not only killed a little kid but also ruined a young man’s life and tore a hole in a family. Maybe if the gun had been properly stored and secured, she would still be alive.

We hear a lot about “gun control.” I’d like to see our politicians focus on gun safety. Specifically, safe gun storage. In 1990, there were roughly 130 cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) per 100,000 infants. In 2020, there were 38. This reduction in deaths coincided with an enormous nationwide educational campaign about safe infant sleeping practices (on their backs, with no blankets or toys that they can catch on to). I think we need a similar educational campaign about gun safes and trigger locks.

Guns are expensive and gun safety is expensive. On the website for Cabela’s, the cheapest available gun safe is $19.99 and it only has room for one small handgun. The prices rise quickly from there. A four-gun safe with a biometric lock is $289.99. The cheapest trigger lock on the website is $9.99.

I may be a bleeding-heart liberal, but even I know that unfunded mandates don’t work. If we want gun owners to use gun safes and trigger locks to prevent theft or accidental misuse of their deadly weapons, we need to make it as cheap and easy as possible. We need a massive amount of government funding to make gun safes and trigger locks rain from the sky. I’m talking free gun safes handed out at every church in America. Bowls of trigger locks at doctors offices like lollipops. Would it be expensive? Sure. But you know what else is expensive? Funerals. Hospital stays. Murder trials (which taxpayers pay for). Prison sentences. (Taxpayers pay for those, too.) And heck, there are plenty of gun safety products that are made in America. We’d be investing in local economies.

Now, the author and I probably disagree on a lot.

Further, I’m not a fan of the idea of government money going for, well, anything.

Yet let’s also be honest, a lot of people don’t agree with me on that and see no issue with using government money for various pet projects.

And this is hardly the worst proposal out there.

While I can’t find any hard numbers, it’s not difficult to imagine that proper firearm storage would reduce a lot of the issues we see with guns. Educating people on weapon storage and helping to provide the means to do so would likely do wonders to reduce not just accidents, but gun thefts and later homicides as well as many suicides.

Reduce the number of gun-related fatalities and you reduce the pressure to pass gun control. It’s as simple as that.

For anti-gunners, it’s unlikely they’d view something like this as nearly enough, but I also don’t see them actively opposing such a measure. Not if they want folks to genuinely believe they believe in gun safety rather than seeking to ban them.

As for our side, well, we actually do support the proper storage of firearms. I’ll oppose mandatory storage until the cows come home, but something that will facilitate people to do it on their own? That’s pure win in my book, especially if it undercuts the anti-gun argument.

The question is, will we see anyone pushing this federally?