The solution to gun control is to stop debating gun control

My stance on gun control has always been stone cold.

I posted this video on my Facebook profile today and really only shared it because I thought it was hilarious. My stance on gun control has always been stone cold. I didn’t see what all the fuss was about over little things like background checks, restrictions seemed obvious, and I’ve always thought that guns were just kinda… pointless? I mean, a couple of years ago I wrote a piece that ends with a depiction of gun owners as unsympathetic and questioned their ethics. So I obviously have never understood the theory behind the right to bear arms.

I expected some hate, I grew up in a town where we got the first day of hunting season off from school because no one was going to be in school anyway. My friend responded with this picture:

Which actually made me start thinking about how the mail delivery system work, how it’s evolved over time in the United States, and, just to give him some shit, how long it would’ve taken for a message to get to my friend in Colorado by horseback. The Pony Express delivered a message in 7 days, that’s actually not much long than a package takes to be delivered if I were to drop in the mailbox. This made me think that there is a parallel here to draw. Both mail delivery and the right to bear arms have been a part of this country since it’s birth. In that whole amount of time the right to bear arms and the time it takes to get a packaged delivered have remained unchanged, for the most part. But what good comes from making that connection?

A completely pointless nightmare to say the least.

We need to treat the actual physical debating of gun control like we treated mail delivery, we pivoted into more efficient modes of communication. When we realized the Pony Express was limiting, we made the telegraph, then the phone, then the text, and now have smartphones and computers. We evolved away from writing a letter with a quill pen, we evolved away from having it delivered to people’s homes by horse back, we even evolved from it having to be delivered to them in person at all. We eliminated the wait time between receiving messages by rethinking how messages are sent, eliminating the wait time and people still getting their messages. We can see the outcome of what would’ve happened if we hadn’t progressed like this because it still exists – the US Postal Service. Imagine if that was the only way to communicate? A completely pointless nightmare to say the least.

Gun owners don’t want the right to bear arms to become the US Postal Service

Gun owners argue regulations won’t make a difference, that treating guns like cars isn’t going to work, and that background checks won’t lower the gun crime rate like we think. Gun owners don’t want the right to bear arms to become the US Postal Service, this government eye sore that has been regulated and re-regulated so many times and watered down by politics so much so that all we’ve done is spend countless tax payer dollars over hundreds of years to build a sophisticated waste of space that is no more efficient at what it was trying to achieve before. So, just like we evolved away from mail delivery and people still get their messages, I thought, let’s evolve away from debating the right to bear arms and people still get their guns. Compromise is about finding what key values the other person has, understanding and respecting those values, and ultimately finding a solution that adheres to these values and obtains the desired results. So, we need to know two things.

  1. What are the key values of a gun owner?
  2. What are the desired results from a gun control advocate?

How we go about this isn’t much of a concern for me because I don’t have a gun.

Well, I’ve always been an advocate, so I’ll go with what my desired result has always been. First, to be honest, I give a shit if you have guns, how many guns you have, shit I don’t care if you have a bazooka. Honestly, I can appreciate a man who has a beautiful collection of guns because I’m a collector, not of guns, but I can appreciate yours. I appreciate a gun for it’s craftsmanship and anyone who can shoot one well is truly gifted. I admire the hard work and effort gun owners put into their firearms. It’s passionate. My only desire has been to stop people getting shot for no reason. I’d like no one to be shot ever, but I understand accidents happen. So let’s limit the potential for accidents and the possibility of the wrong person shooting a gun to virtually zero. How we go about this isn’t much of a concern for me because I don’t have a gun.

In order to know what their key values are you have to actually listen to them. I grew up in a small, rural town in Michigan where everyone has a gun. I’ve never met a gun owner who thought guns were some sort of toy to play with or that someone should be able to handle a gun without proper training. They’re some of the safest people I’ve ever met But two things are very important that seem ingrained in them from day one. First, your gun is your responsibility, it’s an extension of you. Two, the right to bear arms is the cornerstone of conservative values. It’s the last remaining untouched freedom of this country followed in a truly conservative way; a right so important it’s falls second behind the ability to speak our minds.

Gun owners don’t want people using guns for mass shootings and they don’t want someone to shoot up an entire building for no reason.

Gun owners don’t want people using guns for mass shootings and they don’t want someone to shoot up an entire building for no reason. They want to limit the potential for accidents and the possibility of the wrong person shooting a gun to virtually zero too. They just don’t want anyone infringing on their right to bear arms in the process, they want us to understand it’s not the guns fault, they want us to understand that guns must be handled and looked at differently than anything else, and that our founding fathers understood what they were doing when they gave us this right.

So, how do we limit the potential for accidents and the possibility of the wrong person shooting a gun to virtually zero without infringing on their right to bear arms? We stop debating gun control and start looking for a solution that achieves the same result but in a different way, just like how telegraphs replaced the Pony Express, and smart phones replaced message delivery all together. We have to stop debating the regulation of guns and find an alternative method. But how?

I can see why gun owners think government oversight is paradoxical to their right to bear arms against them.

I look to how computers are monitored for the answer. Ever since 9/11 our computer data has been tracked and stored, flagged if it’s suspicious, and the IP address traced back to the person if needed, but computers themselves are never regulated or restricted because of this suspicious data that has been flagged. We all can have computers, do what we please with them, and it’s only in the event that data is flagged as suspicious that action is taken by authorities. But it’s only observed and only taken action upon if data is flagged, there is nothing about the actual machine that is regulated in this instance, only the data it produces. I can own a computer and never put it on the web and the government isn’t going to be tracking and storing the data because the data isn’t in the environment that can potentially create harm. For guns, every solution has required some sort of registry or list of gun owners, I can understand gun owners not wanting to be in some sort of system, believe me, as a guy who runs a server of computers it’s always in the back of my mind that the government is looming over every bit of data in and out it. I can see why gun owners think government oversight is paradoxical to their right to bear arms against them. So how can we do this without an all knowing list of gun owners?

I think a solution lies in ammunition. I want to adhere to the values of gun owners and I don’t want to limit the sales of ammunition, I don’t want to track who buys it, and I want any responsibility for these tragic gun related deaths to stop being placed on the gun. I purpose a method of counting bullets, knowing who sold each bullet, and keeping record of individual bullets. I picture the change coming at production and at check out. Each bullet being marked with a unique identifier upon production and that identifier being check off as sold when they are sold to a customer. In the simplest of ways, say we don’t change the actual bullet during production, we can have each bullet a bar be given a bar code of some kind that can be scanned easily upon sale. This way the gun is like the computer and the bullet like it’s data. Nothing changes about how you can own a gun, nothing about guns are changed at all, but the bullets they can shoot are individually recognizable. If we keep it at point of sale only, that accountability will fall into the lap of the person selling the ammunition. They can check who their customer was for that bullet, but the government doesn’t have an all knowing list and doesn’t keep track of who bought what bullets. We can even privatize this, make it self policing, that way the government has no involvement – that’s adhering to a very conservative value. The only reason they can ever know where a bullet was sold and who bought it is if something terrible happened as an outcome of that bullet being shot.

Gun owners are right, we need to stop blaming guns for these terrible accidents, and regulating guns won’t stop bad guys from getting guns. Doctors are also right, we can’t blame a mentally unstable individual either. If everyone is right – if it’s not the guns fault, if we can’t stop bad guys from getting guns, and we can’t criminalize a mentally ill person for their actions – then who is at fault in these cases? There is no repercussions in this country for the person who sold the bullets to the guy who shoots up a school. There’s hardly a way to figure out how many bullets are even out there, and that’s the problem.

they wrote this amendment in a time when muskets were used by both the military and civilians

People who are pro gun control always say “then make getting a gun harder”, but what they don’t realize is that to a gun owner that defeats the purpose of their second amendment. Being able to quickly defend themselves against an oppressive government with firepower and lots of it is their right, “Well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” In a conservative viewpoint of the constitution that doesn’t clearly outline any restrictions, and literally reads as though the founding fathers meant for there to be no limit and regulation. Another friend of mine made a good point of how they wrote this amendment in a time when muskets were used by both the military and civilians, it was the strongest fireman around, yet the government insisted all citizens may bear those same arms. Perhaps there is something very profound about that idea, that the strongest killing machines used for war in their time were made irrefutably available to the civilians, that this is a law that deserves to be treated conservatively.

I don’t know the answer to this debate and I don’t know if my idea was a good one. All I know is that we need to work together to solve this problem. Gun owners deserve to have maximum input in this process and their love for firearms shouldn’t be written off as some insane conservative viewpoint. We need to start thinking about how we can work together to make sure no more wrongful deaths happen and that guns, their owners, and their importance to the history of our nation all get the respect and importance they deserve. What do you think? Many of you reading are gun owners, I’m sure, as I know most of my friends are. I’d love your input, I’d love to hear what you think about my idea, and I want to hear about your ideas for a solution. We all want this gun control debate to be over, we all don’t want people to die, and we all want to keep the things about this country that we believe make us free. Maybe they’re not all crazy gun nuts with no ethics after all? To gun owners guns are what uniquely make us free, so, liberals, next time this debate is brought up, think about what you identify being free with (your thoughts for example) and try to understand how a gun owner must feel when you tell them we want to regulate or even prohibit their feeling of freedom.

brandon jp scott

My name is Brandon, and I like to make things. I'm a Full Stack Software Engineer and Linux Security Engineer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I started programming when some childhood friends and I decided to make a private Ragnarok Online server and host it in my parents basement. I got designated "code guy", fell in love, and never looked back. I started teaching myself as much as I could, and started my first online entity, a non-profit, with a high school classmate. Eventually I took this love to the University of Michigan where I studied Computer Science Engineering and Entrepreneurship. During my time there I was lucky enough to work for two iconic tech companies, Automattic and Google. Currently, I am the Technology Director of Argo Labs, an Ann Arbor based digital engineering, design, videography, and content marketing company aiming to build a more unique web that I cofounded in July 2015.


Michael Belong
Michael Belong - June 26, 2016 Reply

No, it’s not fun.

Randall Scott
Randall Scott - June 27, 2016 Reply

There are already gun laws in affect, Chicago, and Dc have the most strict gun laws, with the highest amount of gun crime. please explain?

Charles Ralph Scott
Charles Ralph Scott - June 27, 2016 Reply

He will be in Tennessee in a few days, he will explain this to the both of us…LOL

Candy Smith
Candy Smith - June 28, 2016 Reply

Jon says the ammunition can not be traced because people make their own. And what good would it be if you can own a gun but not get ammo?

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