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The time for polite debate on gun control is over

  • Congress, the executive and judicial branches of government, in concert with the states, should clearly define what was, and is, meant by a "well-regulated militia."
  • The Founding Fathers, who lived before the invention of the Gatling gun, could not have envisioned civilians commanding the right to hunt turkeys, or humans, with modern ferocity.
  • Impact investors should wage proxy wars to alter the business plans of gun manufacturers.
  • Roughly 32 percent of Americans own guns, with the average gun owner having eight firearms.
Gun control, gun shop
Samuel Corum | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

It would seem that the time for polite debate about gun control is over. Of course, that could have been said many times in the last few decades, beginning in Austin in 1966, and later in Columbine, in Newtown, in Orlando and, of course, now in Las Vegas.

The absolute horror of the Las Vegas massacre should finally make it abundantly clear, to any rational person, that the framers of the Constitution did not have the rights of Stephen Paddock in mind when crafting and drafting the Second Amendment.

While House Speaker Paul Ryan refrained from bringing a bill to the floor that would have ensured the legality of gun silencers, this was hardly a profile in courage.

Nor is the GOP's apparent willingness to ban so-called "bump stocks," which are the easy-to-use attachments that turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons of mass destruction.

We need a much more radical approach to the problems of guns in America.

The statistics are widely known. More Americans die from gun violence in the U.S. than in any other developed nation in the world.

There have been over 270 mass murders (defined as gun murders injuring, or killing, more than four people in a single attack) so far this year … almost one a day.

And yet, the NRA, "gun enthusiasts" and Second Amendment conservatives fight tooth and nail for the right to own any, and all, kinds of weapons, even if one's name is on a terror watch list or a person has a history of mental illness.

"No student of history can plausibly argue that the Founding Fathers would have approved of such an ill-considered reading of our basic, natural, rights."

Among the more radical solutions that I would propose is for the Congress, the executive and judicial branches of government, in concert with the states, to clearly define what was, and is, meant by a "well-regulated militia," and refine and re-define the Second Amendment to suit the times in which we live.

Both intentional, and accidental, gun-related deaths have reached epidemic proportions. It is pure insanity to believe that individuals, who are no longer being forced to "quarter" British soldiers, need an inexhaustible supply of guns to protect hearth and home.

It is clear that the Founding Fathers, who lived before the invention of the Gatling gun, could not have envisioned musket-armed civilians, who could fire only one round per minute, commanding the right to hunt turkeys, or humans, with modern ferocity.

Hence, a total, outright ban on semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons seems not only reasonable but also necessary.

It has worked in Australia and other developed nations, where people no longer suffer at the hands of madmen, and criminals, as frequently and needlessly as we do here.

Further, investors could, and should, have a say in this debate.

"Impact investors," formerly known as "socially responsible investors," should wage proxy wars to alter the business plans of gun manufacturers.

Certainly, gun makers should have every right to supply the armed forces, police departments and other special forces the equipment they need to protect civilians.

Wall Street could make the difference

But investors should challenge these merchants of death. They have done so with other so-called "sin stocks," like tobacco and alcohol companies.

They have fought the actions of large corporate polluters or companies whose carbon footprints are unreasonably large.

They have brought about positive changes by being true activist investors, not angling for some financially engineered profit, but by making companies more accountable.

Gun makers, as tobacco companies have been, should be held accountable, and legally liable, for the mass casualties that their products are responsible for, with severe penalties, class-action lawsuits and other disincentives awaiting them at every turn.

The NRA, touting Second Amendment rights, not only through TV ads but also through enormous contributions to congressional and presidential campaigns alike, has prevented even the most sensible reforms from passing as laws, as the New York Times has outlined.

This is simply tyranny of the minority. Roughly 32 percent of Americans own guns, with the average gun owner having eight firearms.

In addition, we need sufficient, not reduced, funding to identify and treat the mentally ill, especially since those with such illnesses are still allowed to purchase weapons.

The "gun show" loophole needs to be closed. Magazine and clip sizes need to be shrunk, by law.
Waiting times need to be extended and background checks enhanced.

No doubt some 500 people in Nevada, where gun laws are among the least restrictive in the nation, would agree. Sadly, we will never hear the voices of 58 of them again.

There also needs to be a massive cultural campaign to re-educate the gun-toting, testosterone-fueled population who believe that carrying a gun is "manly."

This Washington Post story about one of social media's most popular gun enthusiasts is quite telling.

We've taken the "macho" out of smoking, drinking and abusing one's spouse, all of which were, not too long ago, viewed within the purview of the male head of household.

If you want deer meat, go to the butcher shop.

If you are a weekend warrior, go paintballing.

If you want to protect your family, friends, country and beliefs, join the armed forces.

Be all you can be. But do it where it counts.

I'm weary of the strained rhetoric that claims everyone has a right to own a gun, or that if we limit gun ownership, the bad guys will win.

The bad guys are winning. It's time for citizens, legislators and investors to take concerted action to wage the final war on guns.

It is painfully obvious that our very lives depend on it.

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WATCH: Following Las Vegas shooting, bump stocks are hot