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January 11, 2013

"I know I for one will never touch a firearm again."

[The following piece is a guest blog by gun owner David Myles. The views expressed here are his own, not those of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.]

Before you read this, take a moment to look at the pictures of the children and their teachers who were murdered a few short weeks ago.

I like guns and love the range, but I would trade every day of enjoyment I got out of skeet shooting, every rabbit I've cooked, and target I've blasted to hell (including an old Chevy that pissed me off) for the lives of those children, and all the children that—if if the NRA has its way—will die next, and the ones after, and after that, world everlasting.

Leaving out the sit-down with a psychiatrist talk we need to have about the argument that you should keep your gun because you might have to shoot at the police one day (for anyone thinking that a gun will protect you from tyranny, I'd like to see you go up against a drone with a Bushmaster), the only "weapons" you need these days are good information and your vote; and the only tyranny you need to worry about is the tyranny of an armed society which provides naught but the illusion of safety and the horrors of incidents like Newtown.

Here is my proposed path to stopping gun violence...

Ammunition must be stored at a licensed gun range. It is already illegal to fire your weapon within shouting distance of a home. When at the range you may fire as many rounds as you wish. Hunting licenses will also issue an ammo permit for your hunting weapon. There will be no more stockpiling of ammunition outside of licensed storage facilities. You may load your own shells, equipment, primer, and powder will be issued after a rigorous background check and standard military psych test. You may not posses more than one full magazine of ammunition in your home or on your person, for self-defense. May your God have mercy on the family member you are more likely to kill than an intruder. May your God have mercy on those of of you that will die alone in despair, by your own hand, with your own weapon.

Liability insurance is required if you have more than ten rounds of ammunition, multiple assault-style weapons, or a concealed carry permit. As the Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, nothing is mentioned about modern firearms and ammunition. Criminal and civil penalties will apply to those who fail to provide proof of insurance. Localities are encouraged to pass these laws for municipalities and counties.

All bullets are to be microstamped so crime guns can be traced to their source.

I understand that most gun owners live in the murky, scary world of criminals, rapists, and "commies who run our government" and I pity them for the utter terror in which they walk through the world. But I am tired of innocents dying to maintain their false sense of security. Aren't you? The real problem is that quaking gun owners, hiding in their military-style bunkers oiling and stroking their rifles with soft velvet hands, with their fear of attack and violence, and obsession with the fact that they have no reason with which to face the world, are supporting policies that are killing our community's men, women, and children, and ultimately, even themselves.

"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the same coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

- Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1810

Please be part of the solution. I know I for one will never touch a firearm again.