There have been seven school shootings in the first three weeks of school in 2014. Our government has been unable or unwilling to protect us either through legislation or police protection. The mental/emotional state of our people and the ready availability of guns has become epidemic. Accountability needs to be established.
Our legal system through case law has assigned liability for a variety of horrific assaults on the people of this country but it depends on many factors.
In September 2008 a woman in San Francisco was fatally mauled by her neighbor’s dog and for the first time the owner was found responsible for owning a dog that posed a treat to others. She was sentenced to 15 years.
In most states each owner of a motor vehicle is held financially responsible for the operation of that vehicle through insurance or personal financial responsibility no matter who operates it. You may not go to prison if a friend drives your car while intoxicated and kills or maims someone but you will have financial responsibility.
Apparently a significant number of Americans are determined to own guns for a variety of reasons. It is my suggestion that it is appropriate to hold them accountable for the use of those guns. Gun owners must secure their guns in such a way that others cannot use them or accept responsibility for that use no matter how repugnant or unexpected it may be.
Parents whose children use their weapons to damage property, injure or kill others should be held responsible for those actions just as the dog owner in San Francisco was held responsible for her potentially dangerous dog.
Guns should be assigned to individual owners by serial number and when the gun is lost or stolen it should be reported immediately. Reporting would not be a problem if the owner knows they will be responsible for it’s use while out of their control. There should be no gun legally in this country that is not registered and accounted for.
Although this will not prevent the occurrence of these horrific acts, it will go a long way toward heightening awareness of gun owners and hopefully their sense of responsibility for owning a potentially lethal object. Guns are too readily available to individuals who are either temporarily disturbed or have a long history of mental instability. They are also too available when a person who is too distraught in the heat of the moment to think clearly, resorts to using a gun to solve a momentary issue and then cannot take back what is already done.
I don’t object to people choosing to own a gun, I do object to feeling unsafe in a shopping mall, public building or sending the children in my life to school. The issue of gun control MUST be addressed in some way to allow all people feel safe in this country and those who choose gun ownership must accept responsibility for that choice.