Last post, I analyzed the impact of gun control legislation and changes on gun related deaths, as shown by statistics. I analyzed it in a lot of details, because that was required. But for those not interested in all the details, the summary was this. The impact was clear that the Brady Bill had a major impact to lower gun related deaths per year and per capita by about 25% ! See 1994-1999 part of analysis in link above. That impact, one would think, had to do with the background checks required. That was true. But what was surprising was something in the process of that check.
In late 1998, the 5 day processing period to get the gun was replaced by an immediate computer check. Suddenly, the plummeting gun related death rates leveled off. Aside from statistical variations each year that amounts to what’s called “noise”, or natural variations, that rate has not changed. It seems that 5 day wait had some impact.
What would that impact be? I don’t think anyone can say for certain, but I had speculated how the way many Americans buy guns, it’s almost like how they buy candy. They want one or more for some reason, and just go get it. If forced to wait 5 days, the urge and joy of the moment is gone, and only those with real meaningful intent, like long term need or plan to use the guns, actually follow through to get the guns. It’s kind of like buying candy, when you think about it. If you had to wait 5 days, you probably get over it and not bother buying it.
Does that mean only responsible gun users buy guns with this 5 day wait? No. Of course, not. People who plot will also do this and wait it out, but the worse cases we hear about are not those who patiently plot. It’s about those who lose it on the moment and have guns accessible to them. Putting this 5 day wait won’t stop those cases, either, because there are plenty of guns already readily available in America. What I believe reinstating this 5 day wait will do is start the long term trend to reduce America’s gun death rate. I’m almost willing to bet you would see results within a year, with the long term trend I referred to being a significant drop as was seen between 1994-1999, just 5 years or not that long of a long term.
Could a bandage answer to temper America’s gun related violence problem be that simple? Reinstating a 5 day wait? Who knows, but how much could it hurt to try given the situation America is in right now?
Changing gun control is terribly hard in America, and a lot of people don’t seem to get that. The President just can’t demand it or even push it to any meaningful outcome. Congress and the Senate are often the biggest hurdle to it, and there is just no persuading a lot of these politicians. Some Republican representative Mary Bonehead, I mean Bono, Mack, was on CNN like the day after the Newtown saying it was all mental health and not guns without a doubt! Changing gun control is going to take “forever”, relatively speaking, to see any results, never mind impact if a meaningful result can actually be achieved.
What is beautiful about the 5 day wait solution I’m proposing is that
- It’s not gun control.
- It’s just a short wait, an administrative adjustment to a process already in place.
- It’s been tried.
- Positive results have been clearly shown.
- It doesn’t cost much to execute, if anything.
- It may even reduce the number of guns purchases, though the zealots may just buy more at one time, but it’d be fewer guns distributed around the population.
C’mon, America. Isn’t reinstating the 5 day gun purchase approval at least worth a try?
As for being practical, ask for a psychological assessment questionnaire done on paper or computer, to be submitted for profiling, or something of the sort if not that. How challenging do you think it is for a government to invent red tape and delay something for 5 days? ;-)