Gun Violence Solution from a Gun-owning Iowa Republican

One of my best friends is a high school classmate who is a strong Republican and a longtime hunter and gun owner. He’s a successful businessman in Iowa and one of the most reasonable people I know. I would describe him as a country club Republican.  

He has been disturbed as much as the rest of us by the mass killings in American and, as a gun owner, has given a lot of thought to how they can be prevented. He took the time months ago to write a letter to his Senator with a recommended solution that involves the restricted sale of ammunition – as with other goods like Sudafed and cigarettes.  After the recent killings in Dayton and El Paso, he shared it with me and asked me to send it to Amy Klobuchar.  

I appreciate his confidence in my ability to reach out to Amy, but, as a sometimes volunteer, I’m not that high up in the campaign staff. What I will do is post his letter here and then tweet about it. It outlines an effective solution, so I hope someone in Amy’s staff will forward it to her or that others might forward it to other presidential candidates.   

Dear Senator,

I’m writing you as a concerned citizen regarding the gun violence that has been happening in the US.  I have an idea I wish to share with you. 

When I was a child my father would buy his alcohol from a state store. He would sign in and fill out a card with the beverage he wanted to purchase. The person retrieved the alcohol and the transaction was completed when Dad paid the bill. 

I think we could use this same type of system for selling ammunition.  A person would register each gun they were buying for and the type of ammo they wanted to buy. In order to buy more ammo for the same guns they had registered, they would have to bring in the spent cartridges in exchange as part of the condition to buy that exact amount of more ammo. This would eliminate stockpiling of ammo for bad purposes and would also register who has what type of gun. In addition, the state could restrict the size of the carton of bullets based on the caliber of the ammo. For example, 30 caliber cartridges might come in a pack of 6, where 22 caliber could be sold in a pack of 24.  If we could implement this across the nation as the only method to buy ammo and ammo supplies, then after a period of time perhaps we could get ahead of the problem we face today of mass murders and inner-city firearm murders. 

In an effort to set up the distribution channel from the states, the ammo could be taxed to offset the costs needed to implement the distribution. But the overall ammo cost to an individual might be held in check. Since the states would be the sole buyers, they would be able to negotiate from a much stronger position for the purchase of the ammo, thus mitigating ammo cost to the user. 

Also the type of ammo could be examined. Perhaps armor-piercing ammo would no longer be available. Certainly our law enforcement people who put their lives on the line for us would be in favor of such a move.

As a society we control many supply chains such as Sudafed, alcohol, cigarettes. We should examine controlling the ammo supply chain as well. 

I am a hunter and gun owner and have been for a long time. I don’t believe that our forefathers had semi-automatic or fully automatic weapons in mind when they wrote the Constitution.  

I hope you will reflect upon this.

Thank you for your time.

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