Check out how the President of Marin County California chapter of the Brady Campaign will reduce gun violence.
The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that in the United States there was a 200-year supply of guns but a four-year supply of ammunition. So what if we stopped worrying about the guns and instead focused on the bullets? Two steps would work wonders:
First, license buyers of ammunition. This license would take the form of a photo ID, and obtaining it could be as easy as watching a video, answering some gun-safety questions, paying a small fee and passing a background check.
No doubt, gun owners would scream that such a requirement represented a big-government intrusion into their privacy and constitutional rights. But what if the National Rifle Association, and not the government, was responsible for issuing licenses? Such a role would simply represent a return to the organization’s roots. The NRA was founded in 1871 to advance marksmanship, promote gun safety and provide training to gun owners. It’s only recently that it became political.
Second, mark the shells. All bullets could be stamped with a serial number, and stores could scan a buyer’s license and a barcode on the box. Since shell casings recovered at a crime scene could easily be traced back to stores and buyers, there would be a powerful incentive to see that bullets were handled responsibly.
How might the country benefit from this system? Almost immediately, it would become increasingly difficult for those who shouldn’t have ammunition to acquire it. After a while, the guns in the possession of criminals would become virtually useless. Of course, this wouldn’t put an end to all gun violence, but my guess is that thousands of lives would be saved every year. A reduction that large could be enough to end once and for all the battle between pro- and anti-gun forces.
A focus on ammunition wouldn’t infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Instead it would guarantee the protection of those rights — while saving many lives.