To the Editor:
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. However, this right is not absolute and does not exist in a vacuum. We have come to a fork in the road and we must proceed in the appropriate direction. We must modify our laws now! Our children’s lives are at risk. My thirteen point plan follows. To obtain a gun permit and therefore a gun, our laws should protect the innocent.
First, a person should be at least 21 years of age to obtain a gun permit.
Second, the person requesting the permit should be a citizen of the United States.
Third, a physician should have to sign off on the physical and mental health of the individual. Certain disorders and diseases should preclude a person from owning a weapon. Conversely, we should be spending more money and research on mental health in this country.
Fourth, there should be an extensive background check that is based on comprehensiveness, not based on time.
Fifth, a person should be required to take a written course and an examination at a shooting range. This exam should be repeated every three to five years.
Sixth, the amount of bullets a person can purchase should be regulated. High-capacity ammunition magazines, clips and armor piercing bullets should be banned.
Seventh, one should have a safe and/or gun lock at home to store the gun.
Eighth, if the owner passes away, or is unable to pass the physician or shooting range exam, the gun should be forfeited.
Ninth, all schools should have one main entrance. Metal detectors and one armed guard (preferably an off-duty or retired police officer, or at the very least a well-trained individual) will be an actual and visual deterrent.
Tenth, teachers have enough to do in shaping our children. They should not be armed guards as well. Gun toting teachers have no place in our school systems. As it is, teachers and our children practice lock-down procedures. What effect does that have on the psyche of our youth?
Eleventh, assault style weapons should be banned.
Twelfth, bump stocks should be banned. There is no need for these firearms in a civilized society.
Thirteenth, we must stand with the students and parents in Parkland Florida and demand change in our laws. If not, we should demand a change in our representatives.
Please go to CHANGE.ORG and sign our petition.
Marc Herman, DDS, FAGD, ACD, MS
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