Safford: Guns Are Here To Stay, Here Are Pragmatic Solutions To Curb Violence

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Sometimes I write fact-driven investigative pieces. Other times, like now, I write theorhetorical (that’s not a typo) articles. 

We want to open conversation and theorize questions to debate. But the opinions I will share here are fact-driven. I will attempt to draw the line on some issues, rhetorically. So don’t be offended.

Guns are here to stay.

I prefer the British gun law approach. But it’s taken me decades to convince myself that I am, in fact, American. I do, in fact, live in America. We have a right to bear arms here. We always will. 

Security Options

The only viable option is to embrace gun culture and explore viable security options to protect that American right to bear arms. 

The solutions are there. We just needed better people working on them. We spend so much energy doing the bipartisan shuffle that no one has stepped up and said “Guns are part of who we are. How do we make this work?” 

So I will.

How Do We Make This Work

HIPA can not be circumnavigated. The right to privacy should not be trampled to secure the right to bear arms. There is a practical solution.

Get a doctor’s note.

If each state generated a list of approved general practitioners that could evaluate all medical records, send a patient to a specialist, work with that specialists diagnosis, and evaluate their patients mental stability, we could protect the right to privacy HIPA provides us.

If a doctor finds a patient unsuitable to carry they simply decline, without public reason, the application to purchase a gun. 

Sound crazy? Think TDI, It could work the same way.  

A System Like TDI

Billions of dollars of disability and injury cases are based solely on the medical findings of doctors. Government funds are directly effected by your doctor’s evaluation–so why not the right to bear arms?

We have defined and amended disability acts to ensure those benefits are passed on to deserving people. The process of creating acceptable laws to dictate who can carry would take time to get right but would be an immediate alternative to infringing on one’s right to privacy.

Let the insurance companies cry about it. Write legislation that states insurance companies can’t upcharge before enacting the ‘Doctor’s note to carry’ laws. Set the program up to succeed from conception. 

Preserving Privacy

We should extend that right of privacy to the doctors so public backlash and lawsuits cannot fall on them if an approved candidate goes off the farm and kills people. Simply revoke their ability to approve patients and call it a day.

Liability is important but should be done in the approval of the doctors to the list and not the one exception they couldn’t predict. If a review board of their peers agrees with them we leave it alone. If a review board disagrees with them entirely and discovers collision with a patient that is a different story entirely. 



Once we tighten the belt loops on who should be allowed to carry we should be addressing the other issues that cause grey areas. State level control.

We need a national open carry law. New England is small. What happens when a Maine resident has to work in New Hampshire or Massachusetts for the day? 

The right to bear arms is a federal right and should be monitored as such. By moving this back up to the top we can pair it with another federally mandated area, education, and then we can address the next problem. School shootings.

I’ve heard some amazing suggestions from concerned citizens over the years. Arm the teachers. Hire retired veterans. Private security and/or metal detectors. That creates an insurance problem.

The bean counters have their hand in everything we do. Before we do anything in this country we need to classify what is being done first with legislation and then enact the solutions that have already been protected to protect against financial leeching of loopholes. 

A Reasonable Solution

The math adds up to around $123 per student per year to place three armed guards at every primary and secondary public school in America. That’s $6.2 billion. Throw in another $300 million for logistics and administration and we are looking for around $6.5 billion to fund this idea.

The best solution is to reinvent our national guard and offer these positions to National Guard members. We could even increase enrollment into the National Guard to support this. Which would raise the number of homeland troops and kill a second bird with one stone.

School shootings and domestic terrorism are byproducts of civility. We are not barbaric nations that can torture or inflict lateral punishments on family members anymore. We have evolved and our laws need to evolve with us.

Adding 270,000 armed guards and a national open carry law for qualified permit holders would create a web of safety that would deter all terror attacks on our soil. The $6.5 billion cost needs to be military. It would circumnavigate the loopholes insurance companies would seek to exploit and serve as a multifaceted answer to all domestic shooting problems.

Open Carry?

States with open carry laws loosely report 23% less violent crime. I’m not a fan of numbers like this and wouldn’t stand by them but reason stands to support this.

Would you walk into a retail store and rob it at gun point in a state where less people are armed or more? It’s basic common sense. Something we lack at a political level.

We cannot sacrifice the right of privacy to secure the right to bear arms. We cannot stand by and do nothing. We cannot disarm a nation. 

Be practical. Solve the problems. Think outside of ALL of the boxes. Protect your children and create a world where they can feel safe. Our current grey are approach is shredded by bipartisan disputes, fueled by lobbyists, and creates more fear than the fear of a national open carry law. 

Take your time to think about what I have said. It took me decades to come around. Your progression won’t change over night. But when it does, you will see the world in an entirely different light.

James Safford
James Safford is a member of the Scituate Land Trust and Conservation Commission. He has authored multiple books and sees politics though a bipartisan viewpoint. Send him email at jamessafford@yahoo.com.
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