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In the run-up to the presidential debates, gun control advocates are agitating like a Kenmore washing machine. In particular, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns are using Aurora Midnight Movie Massacre survivor Stephen Barton’s neck wounds (above) to “demand a plan.” The 30-second spot has done its job: stimulating mainstream media “debate.” But what, exactly, is their plan to “end gun violence”? The website attached to the ad doesn’t say. In fact . . .

Gun control advocates know they can’t argue to control guns per se. Aside from urban enclaves—who ignore the Supreme Court’s recent Heller and McDonald rulings banning gun bans—that dog has had its day. The antis’ current headline demand: register all gun sales, including private transactions.

Like all their other proposals (e.g. micro-stamping, magazine capacity limitations, banning “assault weapons”), registering private firearms transactions (a.k.a. “close the gun show loophole”) will do sweet FA to address “gun violence.” As reports, “According to an NIJ study released in December 1997 . . . only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows.”

So what will reduce firearms-related homicides?

First, let’s assume that “gun violence” means criminal gun use. Gun control advocates usually include firearms-related suicides in the term. Surprisingly, thankfully, the Barton ad does not. So we’re looking at bad guys shooting bad guys and, less frequently, good guys.

Next, let’s remember that it’s impossible to “end” gun violence. As long as guns exist, someone’s going to shoot someone. Unless gun control advocates want to amend the Second Amendment and remove our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms and confiscate all civilian arms, and probably even (especially?) then, we have to live with a certain amount of gun violence.

So, here’s my three-point plan to reduce gun violence . . .

1. Increase enforcement of existing penalties for criminal gun use

This is the National Rifle Association’s remedy for gun violence and it makes perfect sense. Rather than try to prevent gun violence, punish it when it occurs. D’uh.

The problem with this approach: our legal and penal system is over-burdened. It’s no surprise that people who use guns in the commission of a crime get to plead out: American justice has become a plea bargain machine.

Equally, there’s no room at the inn. The War on Drugs has filled our jails to capacity. And then some.

According to the Wikipedia hive mind, “As of 2006, 49.3% of state prisoners, or 656,000 individuals, were incarcerated for non-violent crimes. As of 2008, 90.7% of federal prisoners, or 165,457 individuals, were incarcerated for non-violent offenses.”

If we decriminalized drugs we’d reduce the prison population; we’d make space for individuals convicted of criminal gun use. Maybe not at first, but eventually and forever. We’d reduce the number of tooled-up perps and, thus, the overall amount of gun violence.

Yes but—would a society with “permissive” drug laws be more violent than one with a War on Drugs? Hey, at least it’s a plan.

2. Arm civilians

Statistically speaking, the number of Americans holding a concealed carry license (an unconstitutional abomination unfamiliar to residents of Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming but there you go) is zero. Despite all the hoopla, there isn’t a state in these here United where even than  ten percent of residents have a concealed carry license.

Doing a Mikeb anal fact extraction [h/t Bruce], I reckon less than half of all license holders carry a firearm on an everyday basis. The number who know how to draw and shoot it effectively . . . We’ll leave that for another day. Meanwhile, in short, Americans are disarmed.

If a larger percentage of Americans carried a firearm there would be a significant deterrent effect—at least for bad guy on good guy gun violence. At some point, bad guys would realize that good guys shoot back. The risk – reward ratio would not be in their favor.

[For those seeking statistical evidence of this assertion, please (try to) read John Lott’s seminal work More Guns, Less Crime.]

This raises an important question: what percentage of gun violence is bad guy on bad guy? Antis’ arguments that “flooding the streets with guns” would increase criminal gun use is nonsense; there is no firearms shortage in high crime cities with draconian gun control laws (e.g. New York City, Chicago, LA). Arming law-abiding Americans isn’t likely to reduce the bad guy vs. bad guy ballistic battle.

Still, it is a worry. So . . .

3. Mandatory Armed Service

Culture eats strategy for lunch. No matter where you place the blame—media, mothers, exploitation, political lethargy, the decline of the church, integration, segregation, drug pushers, teachers, unemployment—bad areas are producing bad guys. Chicago’s gangland shootings are legion because there are legions of bad guys.

When it comes to giving young people an alternative to lifestyles leading to gun violence, when it comes to changing the culture spawning these concealed carry killers, community outreach ain’t getting it done. We’ve wasted tens of billions of dollars trying to “cure” the underlying poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, etc. that perpetuates (often drug-related) violence.

The trick: brainwash the bastards. Pull them out of their communities, stick them into our armed services and give them the skills they lack to be productive members of society. I’m talking about the basics: discipline, self-respect, cooperation with others (legally), showing-up somewhere on time; reading, writing and arithmetic. The English language (where appropriate).

This training should include civics. Never mind what they didn’t learn in school. Explain the Constitution and our system of government. Teach young people how to vote (not for whom). And include lessons on the Second Amendment, including hands-on experience. Train the youths how to use a firearm, including handguns.

OMG! Train proto-gang bangers how to use a gun? Yup. If nothing else, firearms training for America’s youth will help eliminate collateral damage (e.g. spray-and-pray drive-bys). More likely, firearms training will instill a sense that young people are stakeholders in our law-abiding society. Because guess what? They are.

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    • No thanks to the draft i’m not owned by any man or any government. Here’s some constitutional proof
      Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
      Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
      The constitution has more than the second amendment. Now convicted criminals……. You might have something there.

      • If we applied such considerations to “convicted criminals”, the military would be vastly Democrat.

        As to “registration”, did it once (while stationed in Michigan). I’ll NEVER do it again.

  1. In regards to item 3, “Mandatory Armed Service”: Terrible idea. When it comes to respecting individual freedoms, it appears the Armed Intelligensia knows only about the second amendment. The desire to impose mandatory armed service shows that conservatives are no better than socialists. They just want to control you in a different way.

    In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes. … Like the socialist, he is less concerned with the problem of how the powers of government should be limited than with that of who wields them; and, like the socialist, he regards himself as entitled to force the value he holds on other people. –F. A. Hayek

    • Could’n’t have said it better. I’m not sure what Rob’s smoking, thinking that slavery is a viable option for lowering crime.

  2. Mandatory military service? What a drastic idea. I mean, it hasn’t worked anywhere else except everywhere that has it.

    • Hey, I remember this argument – everyone else bans peasants from owning guns and they have lower murder rates, ergo we should ban guns too!

  3. The one problem with the proposal of enrolling gangbangers in the military is that many have voluntarily done so just to get access to gun training and stealable military supplies. So yes, there is an opportunity to mold young men, but there is the risk that you will be infiltrated by gangs.

    • The military is already infiltrated by gangbangers. For RF’s proposal to work, the military would have to get rid of all the PC bullsh!t it was saddled with during the Clinton years.

    • Trust me, there are plenty of former criminals in the service. The shear number of reformed criminals I served with in the Marine Corps was staggering. The thing was almost everyone of them turned their lives around and were good Marines. Send the petty criminals to serve it works wonders (and I was a squeaky clean person before enlistment).

    • I’m calling BS on that. Even if you could give me an anecdote it would be a huge exception not the rule. Having served in the military with some people with particularly rough backgrounds, and questionable up-bringings, I still would NOT characterize any of them as a gang-banger. I would even argue that many of them (at least the ones I knew) joined to escape that life. The gang-banger attitude simply does not survive in a military atmosphere. It in fact gets replaced by a sense of responsibility, camaraderie, duty.

  4. Anti-Gun types hate empowering the people; won’t ever happen. To exist anti gun types and their various other objectional social/politicial ideals need a climate of fear and poverty to survive. If people could think for themselves the anti’s wouldn’t be in power in the first place.

  5. What about providing gun purchase assistance/vouchers for those in the population that can not afford to purchase a gun and related accessories? Ooooh or instead of a gun buy back, they hold gun giveaways. Show up, take a number, get a Glock (worn daily, used rarely) from the local police department. Winners subject to background check before taking home their prize.

  6. Not sure if I support the mandatory military service part. Nothing against military service, I just think that volunteers make for far better soldiers, marines, and sailors, then gang members forced into service. Though I have heard from a couple news sources that we already have plenty of gang members serving uncle Sam.

    I don’t agree with, and support everything that is said in this video. I’m using it as an example.

    • If you still think we have a “volunteer” army, think again. At least 30 percent of my unit was sentenced to Military service. That means go to war or go to jail. What would you choose? 99% of the crimes committed were drug related. Our military is filled with “criminals” who bargained their way out of jail time.

        • +1
          Criminal history waivers are very hard to get. We’ve been screening recruits at MEPS for gang, racial and hate tatoos for over a decade now, because we are aware that gangs and such will try to get in, get knowledge, and get busted out or just go UA (AWOL).

  7. “Mandatory service” = Forced Compulsion = Anti-liberty.

    I thought gun rights advocates were supposed to value freedom.

    Also: “would a society with “permissive” drug laws be more violent than one with a War on Drugs”

    Just like all the pervasive violence surrounding alcohol manufacturing and distribution ever since the end of Prohibition.

    • +1000 to your first statement. I tried to post (twice!) a Hayek quote, but the spam filter nabbed it. In short, conservatives are just as willing to take away your liberty as progressives. (Though each wants to take away different freedoms.)

      It is scary that of all the comments, yours is the first to recognize this fact. The Armed Intelligentsia is all about protecting individual freedom–when it comes to the second amendment.

    • The US Military doesn’t really want conscripts, they prefer motivated people who actually want to serve. So don’t expect the Pentagon to gin up support for a draft again. You objectors, conscientious or not, are safe.
      As to the idea of mandatory service of any kind being all anti liberty and unfair and all that well there is a certain amount of truth to that. There is also truth that freedom isn’t free and while you’re free to defend your house and only your house, that’s not going to cut it if we suddenly need a lot of troops.

      Feel free (pun intended) to paint in a variety of scenarios either for or against a conscripted army. But there is little doubt the results of military service by far are better quality individuals who in many cases went in the service with a lot of issue to deal with. Not all turn out sterling, but compared to college graduates with useless degrees I think military veterans are highly desirable citizens.

      I’ve recommended military service to a number of parents with aimless children. All who went in came out complete people with skills, ethics, and vastly better than they went in. I think it should be an option instead of jail for petty crimes like it used to be, and we should be doing more to encourage college grads who can’t find work to serve their country as officers.

      • I agree that an all voluntary military is far and away preferred. I have family members in the armed services, and I have great respect for the US military as one of our institutions. I also can see situations where conscription might be required–if the survival of the nation itself were at stake, for example.

        But the idea of imposing mandatory military service, in peacetime, on everyone of a certain age, for the purpose of giving people skills, or job training, or to keep them off the streets–no thanks. Terrible idea. That is a subject serving the state, not the state serving its citizens.

      • “Freedom isn’t free.”

        You’re right, but the US military hasn’t played a role in defending freedom much recently. “Nation building” and fake WMDs are certainly not defending my freedom. An argument can even be made the last time the military defended our freedom was the War of 1812.

        I like a lot of this article, but I think the mandatory conscription is too far. It is, as said anti-liberty, which is what the US is (supposed to be) all about. Perhaps due to your background RF you are looking a little too hard at Israel?

    • I agree that mandatory military service isn’t the way to go (the people that really don’t want in will find a way, and it will almost certainly be the very people who become anti-gun). That said, I can see the appeal because I can see the huge advantages it would offer to gun rights advocates’ arguments:

      1) EVERYONE would receive at least fundamental firearms training. Even if the antis that ran through the service actually learned something but stayed anti, at least then we could say “we tried.” More importantly, the people on the fence would learn and thus be more informed, making them more likely to call BS on anti arguments (George Clooney notwithstanding).

      2) The antis’ argument of, “oh, that person isn’t as trained in firearms as the military or police” would become *completely* invalid. (Editor’s note: the actual adequacy of the training process is irrelevant to this argument. How the public perceives the training is what matters, and good luck trying to adjust that perception on a relevant scale.)

      3) It would actually *encourage* familiarization with firearms on a societal level. This would help normalize guns, dispel myths, and help develop an appreciation for what firearms are and aren’t capable of.

      Like I said, there’s too much that could go wrong for mandatory service to work and do what I outlined above (see: Vietnam), but it’s still something to mull over.

      • We could accomplish all of those goals by simply making firearms training / safety a requirement in all high schools. Same results, none of the slavery.

        • +P+ (though I’d rather start as early as middle or even elementary school, even if it was just familiarization and safety training that started then)

        • So would I, but I figured getting the rest of the public to accept it would be much easier if they’re already in high school and thus about the same age that they’re driving.

    • Exactly – the biggest thing we could do to lower crime rates and improve economic conditions rapidly would be to legalize drugs and release anyone in prison for drug related offenses (and expunge the drug related crimes from their record).

  8. “First, let’s assume that “gun violence” means criminal gun use. Gun control advocates usually include firearms-related suicides in the term. Surprisingly, thankfully, the Barton ad does not. ”

    From the statistics I have seen on the topic, the numbers in the ad do appear to be including suicides.

    Also – “If we decriminalized drugs we’d reduce the prison population; we’d make space for individuals convicted of criminal gun use. ”

    If you decriminalize drugs, i.e. end the drug war, you kill almost 80% of the non suicide gun violence to begin with, thus you will need far less space in those jails. I dare say, you will have way more cell-space than you could possibly use, so then you could shut a few jails down and save some tax-dollars.

    • I take the first part back – I just say the “presidental term” caveat.

      I still don’t understand why the emphasis on gun deaths. Automobiles are higher and seem just as senseless.

  9. The idea of mandatory armed service is terrible. Does the armed intelligentsia only respect the second amendment, and care nothing about other aspects of individual freedom? This supports the idea that conservatives are just as willing to take away your liberty as progressives.

    In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes. … Like the socialist, he is less concerned with the problem of how the powers of government should be limited than with that of who wields them; and, like the socialist, he regards himself as entitled to force the value he holds on other people. –F. A. Hayek

  10. Germany had a system of compulsory service until just recently, though there was military or social service. If you could convince the German government the you were a conscientious objector then they would have you work in a hospital or retirement home.

    I always thought that it wasn’t a terrible idea, its even part of the German Constitution.

    • Who needs that pesky “freedom” thing when you can have mandated slavery, right?

      Sorry, but seeing how my grandparents still remember Germany’s previous “compulsory service” laws, I’m going to vote against any of that garbage.

  11. We can end gun violence easily! The same way we (virtually) ended club violence, spear violence, and sword violence: invent something better. Once we have some new hand held death ray for the antis to bitch about I’ll finally be left to enjoy my gun hobby in peace.

  12. Robert, regarding point #2: Washington has approximately 376,000 CPL active holders, for a population of 6,724,540 (as of the 2010 census) giving us about 5.5%.

  13. The problem with the decriminalization of drugs is that it still keeps the whole black market drug industry (and all of the suppliers and narco-gangs) around. They don’t have to worry about the po-po cracking down on them but they still have cutthroat competition and won’t get any help from the state in defending what they have through the legal system.

    Legalization is necessary. Decriminalization is a step in the right direction, but the legalization and regulation of drug manufacturing, possession, and usage is what it’s going to ultimately take to end the current unjust insanity.

    Legalize the drugs and let good people arm themselves.

    Your suggestion that we start up conscription again is ****, though. I refuse to have years of my life taken from me and be sent overseas to engage in endless “nation-building” campaigns. The way they do things now is so ass-backwards. If the US goes back to primarily engaging in congressionally declared wars, we’ll talk. But until then? HELL NO.

    I’d be open to local and state militia conscription but not into the armed forces or any subdivision thereof that can be deployed overseas without a congressional war declaration.

    The late Christopher Hitchens had a better idea, RF.

    “Thinking again about self-defense would involve reordering the idea of
    the “well-regulated militia”. In exchange for abolition of the military-
    industrial complex, who would not consider reporting for the occasional
    weekend – as in many democratic European nations – and acquiring the
    rudiments of weapons training, to be accompanied by a reading of the Con-
    stitution and the Bill of Rights? Utopian, you say. No more than the half-
    baked pacifism that, when preached by gun-controllers, has as its corollary
    a duopoly of force in the hands of the state and the criminal. Certainly no
    more utopian than the pathetic “guns for vouchers” swap meets that are
    now making police precincts a laughingstock as they concentrate on the
    disarmament of the law-abiding (and the opportunist).”

  14. Gun violence and, by extension, crime is more of a problem with society. For example, I really doubt there would be significant gun violence in Japan if their gun regulations were to be made less restrictive. In areas of high gun violence, I would look for what sort of social structure is common to the area: Jobless single parent with multiple children for example. I agree that harsher punishments definitely need to be implemented(Although I’m sure there will be lots of opposition from the families of the criminals). Additionally, if someone is deemed mentally unfit to possess a gun, then that person shouldn’t even be allowed in society in the first place. But to really lower gun violence, there needs to be a change in society.

  15. Disagree with the Military service being required just based on the economic requirements. According to the 2010 census, the total US population is 308,746,000 with 20 – 39 year old people numbering 82,380,000 (26.82%). The 2010 military population in the USA was 1,431,000 (.0046%). The total payroll was $84,460,000,000 for 2010. If my proportions math is correct, that would make the yearly payroll at 26.82% of the population $492,438,521,739,130.40 per year. This doesn’t take in those which would be released from service, nor those 17 to 19 who are eligible. This is why conscription would not work for a country our size with our current pay and benefits setup.

    • If you only look at the age group 18-24 which was 30,672,000 people, your payroll balloons from $84,460,000,000 to $1,810,312,452,830.18. A jump of of 21.43%

      • If they brought back conscription I’m willing to bet that women would get out of it somehow, so you could cut that number a great deal by eliminating them from it.

  16. mandatory military service is not a punishment. It could very well be a life saver for inner city youth with no good role models and not even a sense of right and wrong…I was a volunteer but i served with a number of young men that came straight from the court to the service.

    Without exception these men turned their lives around and became productive members of our society. better bootcamp than a ruinous trip into the legal system for these kids.

    • So because you worked with some idiots who were criminals, we should all be punished? Sounds an awful lot like the anti’s argument of “a few people use guns in bad ways, so we need to punish everyone”.

  17. The War on Drugs has filled our jails to capacity. And then some.

    The equivalent of saying that mikeb302000 occasionally makes a somewhat derogatory comment directed towards gun owners.

    Almost ironic in its understatement.

  18. i’m on the record here and elsewhere for legalizing drugs. I also think giving first offenders, not murderers and pedophiles of course, a chance to square themselve with service to their country is better than having these same people stuck in a system that gives them no out and brands them for life.

  19. According to the local news (sadly this asshat is from Southbury, CT) — the asshat in the video has move to NY to work for Mayor Mike to fight for gun control. Yep, he has a full time gig now with mayor Mike. And now we know. Unscripted, he sounded clueless!

  20. One practical criticism here – some kids are so screwed up at a young age, they are lost by the time they would become of age for any kind of military service.

  21. Not everybody is physically or mentally fit enough to serve in the military. But there must me a usefull service outside of jail that these first offenders can perform to get themselves squared with society. I’m willing to look at alternatives to making a large percentage of the young population in this country dependents of the courts.

  22. The anti gun extremists have nothing to offer in concessions or compromise, they only wish to take based on their unsubstantiated and illogical fears of their mythical boogeyman, the law abiding gun owner.

    Unless of course they are willing to wear a symbol to identify their gun free status, uh like the STAR OF DAVID. Such an appropriate mark for disarmed victims.
    Then they should be required to post on their front door, their lawn, their vehicle they are gun free. This way the police will know whom they must protect, even though by law they have no legal liability to do so.

    Those who choose to rely on the police, should themselves alone pay any increases in costs for the police to do so and those signs on person, clothing and home will allow the police to maximize and be efficient in their efforts.

    Then any company, organization, govt. entity that wishes to disarm patrons etc, must then put in place protective measures to defend the innocents they disarm, making it illegal on the federal level to increase their costs to pass on to their customer or patrons, taking such costs directly from their own profits.

    A law will be made that the BATF must prosecute every felon or person rejected by the background check instead of the less than 1% today or face federal funding cutbacks.

    This law will force the BATF to allow civilian access without extra licensing or control to use the NICS background check.

    Next the state govt. will be held financially and criminally responsible for failure to fund and resource the reporting function to the mental health reporting function. Today the NICS database shows only 1.7 mil records of those who by due process have lost their rights. All while mental health experts identify that 50% of current 2.7 mil prisoners have severe mental health illness, and 7% of adults (21.8 mil) also have severe mental illness in the US.

    Next, all laws that don’t apply to felons, will be judged unconstitutional and removed from the roles, simplifying gun control laws. See Haynes vs. US 390, 85, 1968 for the guidelines of what 85% of the existing gun control laws do not apply to felons due to the 5th amendment right of no self incrimination.

    Next, as noted above, legalize illicit drugs and destroy the cartels and gangs influence fueled by massive drug revenues. This will save $50 bil minimum in DEA budget, then taxes can be generated by using those agents to tax and control the former illicit drugs.

    This will open prison space where 30-40% are incarcerated for drug offenses to put the 99% of felons the BATF formerly refused to prosecute for attempting to buy firearms.

    Then of course, all anti gun extremists will have to admit that the govt data showing that 92% of all deaths by illegal use of a firearm are indeed committed by career criminals, gang members, and suiciders.

    That will be a good start and it is indeed concessions the antis have to available to offer.

  23. I’m astonished that you would presume the right to disappear if somehow the collectivists managed to engineer a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Cruikshank clearly stated, and Heller confirmed, that the right exists independent of the Constitution, hence resistance with force against mass confiscation would be entirely justified under the primary societal right in the Declaration of Independence.

    Second, conscription is slavery, and slavery is constitutionally impermissable. No matter how good an idea anyone thinks it is, the answer must always be “NO!” except in instances when our country is in a constitutionally declared war.

    Where is your head, Farago?

    • So “slavery” is ok during time of war. I don’t think the draft has ever been ruled unconstitutional so calling it slavery is a bit of a streacth. For the sake of arguing we all like to quote the constitution in these comments.

      But let’s not loose sight of the fact that we individuals don’t get to legally rule on the constitution. We still need courts and lawyers for that.

      • The draft is justified for declared wars.

        “Involuntary servitude” definitively qualifes as slavery. Although I take your point about what is “officially” recognized, any educated citizen knows what common words mean.

  24. No way i knew a Friend (No lets say a person) in Detroit got the same type of scars from being stabbed in the throat with an ICE PICK , you can get that type of scaring from some one hitting you in the throat with there hand, that come`s from the Surgeon’s scalpel not the weapon used.

  25. I for one like Sweden and Switzerland’s takes on armed service.

    I would never approve of legislation making everyone spend a few years of their life on a military base, but I like the idea of a malita-style national defense army where you get trained, get a gun, and then go home (with mandatory practicing and training at fixed arbitrary time intervals) and go about your life normally unless invaded.

    However, they would have to maintain the volunteer military for it to fly with me.

  26. Apologies for any thread necro, but just a quick note on mandatory service – I used to be really against it until I read a somewhat interesting blog post by an ex-Ranger Vietnam vet who now does real-estate investing in favor of it, where he outlines that the motivation issues aren’t because they were draftees, but because after WWII, draftees only had to stay until their tour of duty was up, so their incentive was to just stay alive until then, whereas before WWII they had to stay for the duration, so their incentive was to fight and win the war. Also that the draft results in a better fighting force because you now have people from all segments of society as opposed to a nucleus of people who sign up for the patriotism and many others who sign up because they had no other options. And that drafting results in less wars because people are much less likely to think casually about going to war when someone in their family has a very real chance of getting deployed there.

    Anyway, have for a long time sympathized with y’all despite never owning a gun just because your arguments generally have made more sense than the gun control arguments. But the “not owning a gun” part will soon change, anyway.

  27. I agree with the first two, and I agree with some of the ideas behind the third one. But I would flat-out refuse mandatory military service. I know plenty of veterans, and I have the utmost respect for our armed forces. But at this point, our young people in uniform (which is the vast majority of them) are just fodder for the military industrial complex, trading our once-good international standing and the lives of our young people for money.

    A simpler solution (not a practical one with the bureaucratic nightmare that is our bloated government) would be to simply improve education. There is a direct and well-documented link between poverty and education, and it’s a viscous cycle. Impoverished areas have less money going towards the schools, which means poor education and high drop-out rate, which means the poverty continues, etc.

    Improve the schools, and you’ll see a reduction in poverty (which is the largest driving factor behind crime), and (if combined with extensive community outreach programs and after-school programs) a reduction in kids joining gangs (another massive driver behind gun violence). Touching on the firearms aspect, gun safety and marksmanship should absolutely be part of the curriculum of public education.

    Everyone should at least be able to render a gun inert (eject the magazine, remove the round in the chamber, etc), plus, that would return the normalization of firearms and significantly cut down on the irrational fear so many people have of them. In addition to that, I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t enjoy shooting. As such, it would be quite effective to tie shooting privileges to grades, giving kids another incentive to do well.

  28. Mandatory miklitary service is stu[id ida. Supremely stupid.

    I signed up and served int eh all-voluntary military. I wouldn’t ahve eanted to be serving with people enslaved into it, or severe criminals whon took military service instead.

    Military service for the young is brainwashing into obedience without questions.
    We need more poeple in the military who’ll question orders and decisions to go to war, not mindless drones who say they’re proud to follow orders and it’s not their position to question the war.

    Willingness to serve and ddo the right thing can’t be instilled from outside.

    • Food for thought (because your comment popped up in my email updates, I mean no offense by anything I write here even though internet-talk sometimes comes off abrasive):

      You already are serving alongside people enslaved into it. Yes, there’s a good amount of people who join the military because duty/patriotism/etc, but there’s also a good amount who are there because it was a last resort, or because they were promised one thing by the recruiter and then found out that the actual military was something different, or that the opportunities promised were much harder and less available than the recruiter made it sound and are now stuck there. You are also serving alongside criminals already as well, due to the moral waivers being granted so recruiters can make quota, and the gangs sending their members in so they can learn tactics to bring back.

      Furthermore, the current “all-volunteer” method is extremely self-selecting. If your problem is that the current military culture is too much focused on following orders, the only people who volunteer are those who are attracted to that kind of life (or, as mentioned before, were mislead by their recruiters). Drafting actually gives you a larger proportion of the critical thinkers that you want, as well as solves the problem of “executive decisions” to use military force, as now everyone has a stake in it.

  29. How about mandary service in a federal capacity as a way of reaching “citizen status”. It doesn’t have to mean military.
    1. The military doesn’t want a bunch of recruits that do not want to be there.
    2. There is plenty of maintenance work on federal lands, Indian reservations, bridges and other US Govt buildings. The point would be to get them away fron thier homes to another place where they can change preset notions and get the homie atmosphere wiped away.

    It would be good for anyone coming of age in our country. I am not writing about killing them with hard labor, but trying to instill some pride in being an American. Those already married can go together and children be taken care of in rotation by others in that situation. This beats a young couple getting together and learning the mean streets and becoming victims of the hood before they are even adult. This could be like a high school diploma, or an AA.

    This would teach those that never had a chance.

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