GUN CONTROL — Saving Rights and Lives with Smart Reform


Progressives for the Second Amendment — Wait. What?!?

It might seem a little strange to hear a dyed-in-the-wool Progressive talking about saving gun rights. And you’re right; it is. I get slack-jawed stares from a lot of my friends on the left when I talk about saving the Second Amendment, and making machine guns legal. Rightly so. It’s an odd stance to take on this side of the street.

But, if you haven’t read any of my other materials on guns, you may be unaware (as they are) that I own and have owned many. All kinds of pistols and shotguns, a host of Russians including AKs, SKS and Dragunovs. Even had a Barrett once. Briefly. About the one gun I haven’t owned is an AR; strictly on the basis that Barbie dolls aren’t my thing, and .22s are for squirrels. Get a man’s gun.

I tell my Progressive friends these things, and usually get about the same reaction you’re having now. A Progressive gun nut?

How is that even a thing?

Ocala National Forest. That’s how.

Yes, I was born and raised in the Forest. Like every other kid there, I grew up with guns. They never bothered me. In fact, my first steps were towards my Dad’s loaded 9mm; which he left on the dresser after cleaning. He didn’t know I could walk, much less reach it. Which is how the gun would up falling on the floor between my feet, shooting me through the right thigh and buzzing by my ear an inch away. I still remember the fire coming from the barrel. It was love from then on.

So, I am a bit of a weirdo when it comes to gun control laws among Progressives. And my support for maintaining the Second Amendment isn’t just a matter of pandering to voters in District 3. It’s real, and I stand by it. Opposite many on our side, as it happens.

And it is for exactly that reason why I can say, confidently…we need effective gun control. NOW. Because we’re running out of time and political power. The Second Amendment is ending soon. That’s a fact. More on the reasons why in Section 2.

But, to lead with some the good news: Industrial Progressives like myself believe in maximum personal freedom, looking for tech solutions first, and passing laws second. Or never, if possible. To that end, we’ve worked together one pretty awesome tech solution to much of America’s gun control issues. I call it “The gCard.”

So, let’s start with a short summary on that.

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Section 1 — Tech Solutions for Privacy and Security
Section 2 — Rise of the Millennials; the Death of the Second Amendment
Section 3 — Why the NRA Doesn’t Care About You
Section 4 — Licensing and Registration
Section 5 — License Classification Systems
Section 6 — Lethality Index; Performance-Based Weapons Classification
Section 7 — Licensing Requirements; Full Auto, Baby
Section 8 — Private Mental Health and Reference Checks (Classes 3 and Higher)
Section 9 — The Family and Friends Loan Policy (FLiP)
Conclusion — Technology Prevails



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Section 1 — Tech Solutions for Privacy and Security

I care about your privacy and security. And nobody, least of all me, wants the government holding any list of the guns we own. Mostly because history says lists usually don’t work out well for the people on them.

So, to avoid that, we’ve created a very cool tech tool engineered to give all the benefits of licensing and registration, without any of the drawbacks. Because tech is always the answer.

In summary, our electronic gCard System will:

  • Keep all of your ownership data on private devices (not in government registries)
  • Provide a safe, secure and convenient method of buying and selling guns without disclosing ownership.
  • Eliminate the need for purchase-point background checks and waiting periods.

Yes, you read that right. Not only can the gCard do everything good associated with registration while protecting your privacy…it will actually make gun sales of all kinds faster and easier than they’ve ever been.

This is just a quick summary to put the rest of the article in context. I’m putting it up front for that reason, and so you know I’m not lying when I say I care about protecting your privacy and rights. Check the article below after you finish this one.

I do care about this issue. But some people on my side of the political isle don’t. And that’s going to become a very serious problem for all gun owners in the very near future.


Section 2 — Rise of the Millennials; the Death of the Second Amendment

  • In 2016, Millennials (my generation) became the single largest voting bloc in America. By a very slim margin. But enough to usher in a massive Blue Wave the next year, bringing in new faces like AOC, Ilhan Omar and the rest of the Squad.
  • The Big Boomer Die-Off started earlier this year, in 2019. You can read more about what that means for America’s economy in The Boomer Bust. Essentially, though, it means that Boomers are going to start dying off in massive numbers soon, causing a seismic generational power shift in America almost overnight.
  • By 2024 at the latest, Millennials will have secured an overwhelming voter majority in this country. Nothing to be done about it, by anyone; after that, whatever our generation wants to happen in this country, is what’s going to happen. Period.
  • The gun lobby is losing power in this country. The NRA is underfunded and falling apart. They’re not able to buy as many politicians as they used to, and it’s only going to get worse from here.

Now, consider the following:

  • Millennials are the generation that grew up getting shot at in schools. Now, we’re watching our own children get slaughtered in even higher numbers. If you make us choose between your cold, dead hands and our cold, dead kids…then the answer will always come back “That can be arranged.”
  • They’re not scared of you. Threaten Civil War all you like. I’ve written extensively on Why the Revolution Would Fail. But even that analysis aside…they don’t care. At all. In the minds of our generation, there’s nothing worse you can do that isn’t already happening. Daily mass shootings, pipe bombs to politicians, kids coming home in body bags from schools and churches. As far as they’re concerned, you’ve nothing left to threaten them with.
  • They won’t be the ones coming for our guns. They’ll pass bans, and send the cops. Who are trained (these days) to shoot first and save themselves under any threat situation. It doesn’t matter how much you “back the blue” now. When they start seeing gun owners resist with lethal force, questions will come after the bullets. And don’t expect the Left to do anything but laugh when today’s police brutality turns from unarmed black men to armed white ones. They’ll think it’s hilarious. Promise.

So, I hope you can see now why I say we need to pass real legislation today if we hope to save any kind of gun rights in this country. These people aren’t hearing this “shall not be infringed” crap anymore, and they will act to protect their children.

Wouldn’t you?

But, I hear you say. We’ve got some help from the gun lobby. From gun manufacturers funding the NRA, which funds our politicians. They’ll save us, right? Shall not be infringed!

Yeah. Don’t bet on that.


Section 3 — Why the NRA Doesn’t Care About You

The NRA is a corporation. And like any corporation, its first and only goal is to maximize quarterly profits. Corporations don’t care about your rights or well being. They don’t care about your safety or standard of living. They’re just machines created for the purpose of generating as much money as possible, three months at a time.

That’s not a conspiracy theory, or anti-corporate rhetoric. It’s just a fact. Legally, the CEO of any corporation has a “fiduciary responsibility” to that company’s investors to maximize profits. It’s literally illegal for them not to do anything it takes to do so. That’s doesn’t make corporations evil, necessarily. At best, it just makes them amoral.

Yes, there are some industries like weapons manufacturing (guns manufacturers and military contractors) who actually thrive on maximizing death and chaos. But, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they just don’t care about us one way or the other.

Now, there are a couple of important points to consider here.

  • Quarterly Profits: Three months. One financial quarter. That’s as far into the future as most corporations think. Except for certain manufacturing companies like GM, where the product cycles are longer, corporations only think about maximizing profits three months at a time. Same is true for the NRA as any other. Which means in all it says and does, the NRA is never thinking about what’s going to happen next year. Or two years from now, or ten. They only care about maximizing profits today. If it all goes sideways in five years…who cares? The CEOs get golden parachutes, and somebody will make money off it either way.
  • The Make Money on Fear. Fearmongering about government tyranny and gun bans is great for quarterly gun sales. Every time someone does it, every time a Beto O’Rourke opens his mouth, gun sales go up. The thing that benefits gun manufacturers most is the threat of gun bans; which is why they’re against any legislation that would reduce fear on either side. The last thing the NRA wants is for there to be effective legislation that actually reduces gun violence. Because then they couldn’t use their most profitable line.
  • “Shall Not be Infringed” is short-term gain, long term loss. Of all the idiotic, short-term thinking that’s ever existed, “shall not be infringed” has to be at the top of the list. You already know why this line isn’t going to hold come 2024 or so. You know why it’s going to fail. You should also know that if any gun owners decide to pull a Waco or Ruby Ridge and die for their guns…that’s going to put gun owners right at the top of every cops’ threat assessment list. Which means, shoot first and ask questions never. Afterward, gun owners like you get listed as terrorists, and we get full gun bans for everyone, across the board. “Shall not be infringed” is phrase that’s going to lead to complete loss of gun rights for everyone in a few years.
  • They Don’t Care. I think I’ve already made the case on this one. Do the math. The NRA doesn’t give a shit about what happens to your gun rights in four years, because they’re not thinking that far ahead. But we need to, if we’re going to have any rights at all.

End of the day, facts are this: We’ve got a couple of years, at most, to pass effective legislation that turns in real results. Not lip-service, not some bullshit background checks or red flag laws. Appeasement won’t work. The NRA isn’t helping us. We need results. Like, right now.


Section 4 — Licensing and Registration

Like it or not, licensing and registration is coming. At the very least, this much is going to happen. I know, because I’m both a Progressive and a Millennial, and this is what our friends are talking about. Bare minimum. Assuming they just don’t go for the Hail Mary of a complete ban from Day One. Which is entirely possible.

And I agree with them. On licensing and registration anyway. Over a long enough period of time, these practices can:

  • Keep guns away from the bad guys we all agree shouldn’t have them.
  • Take unregistered guns off the black market.
  • Close all sales and background check loopholes.
  • Allow the American people a little more control than we already have over who gets which types of firearms.
  • Expand rights for responsible gun owners.
  • Do all of this without sending the Gestapo in to enforce gun bans.

There’s a lot of good to be said for licensing and registration. Which is why it’s going to happen, Hell or high water. It’s just a matter of how that happens and (more importantly) how it’s enforced. That’s what we need to worry about.

Because as of right now, all licensing and registration efforts I know of involve putting gun owners’ names on a government list, next to the weapons they own. And, historically, this hasn’t ended too well for the people on that list.

So, I get it. Most people do. Some for good reasons, others for very dumb ones. But even if you don’t fancy yourself Patrick Swayze in Red Dawn, it’s just a bad idea in general to give the Powers That Be excess information about our ability to defend ourselves. Which is why we came up with the gCard system.

Plenty on that in the next article. But first, let’s take a look at the five-class licensing system we’ll be using for this card. A licensing system that actually expands your rights to own the coolest stuff.

Yeah. Machine guns.


Section 5 — License Classification Systems

Many countries including Canada and Germany issue gun licenses; but they don’t issue just one kind. Just as automobile licenses can be Class E, Class B or Class A (with endorsements), so gun licenses can be issued depending on the person’s qualifications and training. The higher you qualify, they better guns you can buy and own.

This isn’t very different from the system we use today; weapons are already broken down into classes. The highest is Class 3 (silencers, flamethrowers, full auto ect.), which requires an FFL, extensive background checks and massive fines and fees to keep. So, this isn’t something we’re not already doing. Our licensing proposal is really just an expansion of that system.

Better, since we’re doing all of the background checks at the time of licensing and renewal, you don’t need to handle it at the point of sale. Which is not only faster and more convenient, it closes loopholes and ensures no guns get sold to people who can’t pass the required checks.

But, how do we determine which weapons should go into which class?


Section 6 — Lethality Index; Performance-Based Weapons Classification

I get into this argument on what must be a weekly basis with other gun nuts. And it almost always centers around a single weapon: the AR-15; a kind of conundrum in the firearms world.

On paper, the AR isn’t much different from many other legit hunting rifles; but in practice, it’s a purpose-built tool of battlefield murder. Every bit as specialized as brake spring pliers or BMW type 87C fuel filter wrench. It was designed by Eugene Stoner as a replacement for the military’s M4, a battlefield weapon. He only later sold his design into civilian life after initial military contracts didn’t go through.

But make no mistake: From it’s ammunition to magazine design, barrel length to balance, size to weight and firing rate; the brilliantly designed AR is and always has been a purpose built tool. Perfected and refined for a single task: Killing lots of people in short periods of time, with minimal training and maximal efficiency.

Yet, on paper…it’s just another hunting rifle.

So, how do we separate the two?

Rather than try to split hairs with gun nuts, who are about as anal about specification as Kevin Smith is on Batman continuity…I propose we just drop the spec approach altogether, and focus on results. What can these weapons actually do? How do they perform?

My suggestion would be to use some sort of Lethality Index. An objective, mathematical calculation of a weapon’s lethality based on how many people it can kill, from how far and in how short a period of time. The exact weighting and configuration of the formula is of course up for debate at this point. But, I’d imagine it would look something like this:

This formula, or something like it, would cover all of the critic aspects of weapons’ lethality: Range, accuracy, rate of fire and single-round lethality.

Using this sort of performance-based approach, we could easily distinguish between an AR-15 and a .22 squirrel shooter. We could distinguish between a SPAS-12 and a Mossberg, a .45 snub-nose and a Tommy gun, or even the exact same weapon firing different types of rounds from different types of magazines. This gives us the ability to objectively, mathematically class weapons according to how dangerous they are, and to how many people.

Again, exact numbers and weighting are still up for discussion. This is just a framework.

Personally, I’d configure it so the scale ranks from 1 to 1000; with pellet guns on the bottom, and the A-10 Warthog 30-mil Vulcan autocannon up top. Everything else falls between those two. We’ll have to do this as a meta-analysis, using further formulas to calculate individual factors, and put limits on the upper and lower ends.

Especially since it’s not impossible for certain guns to rank “infinite” on some of them. The .50-cal Barrett sniper rifle comes to mind. It’s 50-cal BMG round is essentially 100-percent kill, 100 percent of the time within effective range, and a good shot could reliably put rounds through the same hole at half of that.

We’ll also have to address the fact that weapons might move up a class depending on what magazines and ammunition they use. For example, a standard .223-chambered AR under our system starts out at a Class 3. But Chamber it for exploding ballistic tip .762s, and load them into a barrel clip…you might move up to Class 4.

So, there are a few details to iron out. But, to me, this perfomance-based system is the perfect solution; objective, mathematical and inarguable from any position. It’s fair, reliable…and, let’s be real, awesome. How many gun manufacturers AREN’T going to compete for highest score on something called the “Lethality Index?”


Section 7 — Licensing Requirements; Full Auto, Baby

For the purposes of discussion, let’s assume we got all the details ironed out, and the Lethality Index ranges from 1-1000. Some weapons like BB guns would score under 100, while others like the Warthog would run a nearly perfect 1000. So would mines, many explosive devices ect.

For practical purposes, we’re going to put the bottom of our regulation scale at 100, and the top at 900. So, your kid can still buy a BB gun, and you still can’t mount a Vulcan autocannon in the back of your F-250. Sorry. Just deal with traffic like the rest of us. But everything between is fair game.

My Here are our five licensing classes. These are general guidelines as to what we can expect, so hold your fire if not everything lines up numerically yet. Details.

All requirements include those from the previous class, unless otherwise noted.

Class 1 — Lethality Index 100-250 (generally Single-Shot, Bolt Action, Pump Action and Single Action Revolvers)

  • 18 years old, or 2 years since most recent primary school graduation (not including college)
  • Standard criminal background checks apply
  • Lock-Up requirement when not in use or carry*

(Note: Over 80 percent of school shootings are committed by either current or recent former graduates. Usually, from that school. Sometimes not. Putting this requirement in will probably prove the single most effective law ever passed in preventing school shootings.)

Class 2 — Lethality Index 251-500 (generally Semi-Automatic/Dual Action, Internal Magazine or Cylinder less than 8 round capacity)

  • 21 years old
  • Meet current Concealed Carry guidelines
  • Lock-Up requirement when not in use or carry*

(Note: Includes most semi-auto shotguns, revolvers not covered under Class 1, and some spring-clip style rifles with internal magazines. Those are few and far between these days, but not unheard of. Internal magazines of 9 rounds or higher go into Class 3.)

Class 3: Lethality Index 501-750 (generally Removable Magazine Semi-Auto or Full-Auto Capable)

  • 23 years old, or 2 years since graduating college or secondary school
  • Class 2 background checks, plus two-year mental health certification and three personal character references
  • “Locked Room” policy for in-home defense use.*
  • Secured lock box or gun safe mandatory.
  • Comes with automatic concealed carry permit (in states where applicable)

(Note: This includes most common weapons in use today, notably the AR. Which both has a removable magazine, and is full-auto capable. Speaking of which, Barbie-15 owners…stop it. You’re not fooling anyone with the “sear pin” argument. Everyone knows how easy it is to convert these things with a drop-in auto-sear. So, cut the shit and count your blessings. We all know better. Just find three friends and a doctor to say you’re not a psycho, then you can take your fancy .22 out to shoot all the squirrels in the world.)

Class 4 — Lethality Index 751-900 (Ba-tda-bada-bada-bada-BOOOOOM!!!)

This one’s a bit of a giveaway to my fellow gun nuts. And, if we’re honest, maybe some incentive to support the plan. Class 4 licensing allows you to own full-auto and belt-fed weapons of any caliber, up to and including WWII vintage .50-cal Ma Deuces. Why? Because I want one. I also want a minigun, which currently requires an FFL and 60 million dollars in fines and registration to own. Not under this licensing system.

You’ll still have to meet all the current requirements for an FFL Class 3 (in addition to those from the new Class 3 license), but won’t have to pay the fines and can’t sell the weapon without ATF authorization. You’ll also need mental health and reference clearances annually, instead of every 2 years.

Obviously, there are going to be massive background checks, serious storage requirements, and I’m considering requiring notice of transport through the gCard Licensing App. Details to be ironed out later.

Minor explosive devices and substances like Tannerite would likely also be covered under Class 4. Also, possibly certain kinds of flamethrowers and grenade launchers. Within limitations. Again, details.

But anything for Ma…am I right?

Class 5 — Everything Else

Essentially, the current FFL with all applicable checks, restrictions, fees and permissions.

(** Locked Room Policy — The Lock-Up Policy means guns must be kept in lockboxes when not in use or carried on your person. The Locked-Room policy for Class 3 and higher means that if those weapons are out of the lock-box for any reason (such as, if you keep one on your nightstand for home defense), the door to that room must be locked while the weapon is out. Does not apply to single unit occupants. Those living alone can just lock the front door.)


Issuance of Licenses

Ideally, we wouldn’t have to go to any government office to do anything but get the initial license. Everything up to and including the mental health screenings could be done with a smart phone (see below). Cards and relevant devices could be sent and received by mail. Check the next article on our gCard system, how the tech works and what would be required.

I’m undecided right now as to whether this would be best run through individual states, or through the ATF; but my gut tells me it’s probably best to double up, and have checks done by the Fed with issuance through the state.


Section 8 — Private Mental Health and Reference Checks (Classes 3 and Higher)

Nobody wants the government setting arbitrary rules for who is and isn’t mentally fit to own a firearm. At that point, you effectively don’t have any rights at all. And it wouldn’t be unprecedented for government to do just this sort of backdoor ban. Our first non-alcohol Drug Prohibition (The Marihuana Stamp Act of 1937) effectively banned pot by requiring Marijuana Stamps for legal purchase. Except that the stamps were impossible to get, making this law a de facto ban.

The same thing could happen if we allow government to set the guidelines for mental health and stability. At some point in the future, Congress could decide anyone who ever posted a controversial meme or retweeted certain people posed a danger to society, and thus shouldn’t be able to own firearms. And since we don’t know what those memes are, who those people are or who might be in control 10 years from now…best to play it safe and lock this back door from Day One.

For this reason, I propose we keep mental health and reference check certifications strictly private, in accordance with objective international standards for mental health diagnosis. Here’s how I envision the process:

Certification — Think of this as a DOT physical for your brain. Truck drivers like myself have to go in every 2 years for our DOT exams, which consist mostly of a long list of questions, a medications list, weigh-in and blood pressure. Same thing, but without the physical checks, and return to the 2015-earlier standards for mental health.

References — Once you’re cleared by the doctor, email that form to three people you’ve known more than 3 years, who’ll attest that to the best of their knowledge, you are of sound mind, and haven’t recently made any actionable death threats toward relatives, spouses, public figures or groups.

Once you’ve got those four signatures (one doctor, three references), you’re cleared to Class 3 for the next 2 years, or Classes 4 and 5 for one year.

To get the Certification, you have three options:

  • Personal Doctor — Pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve got a personal therapist or psychiatrist already, they can sign you off.
  • Walk-In Clinic — Just like getting a DOT physical for truck drivers. Pick your clinic, pay your bucks and walk out with a Go Card.
  • Virtual Clinic — As long as you’re not currently undergoing treatment for mental issues by a therapist, there’s not really much need to walk into a brick-and mortar clinic. Hospitals do virtual check ups all the time by video phone. No reason not to do the same here. You could do your one- or two-year checkup from the comfort of your own sweatpants, and simply email the check forms to your references. All from the comfort of home.

Section 9 — The Family and Friends Loan Policy (FLiP)

There are times when you just need a gun. Either for sports and hunting, or for self-defense. There are times when someone you love needs the means to protect themselves; daughter has a psycho stalker ex boyfriend, brother’s going on a long trip through Detroit. There are all kinds of situations in which rigid enforcement of licensing guidelines could cost a loved one their lives. Or at least, a good day at the range.

Without getting too much into the process of how a FLiP loan works through our gCard system, what it allows us to do is this:

  • Temporarily transfer ownership of a registered firearm of Class 3 or lower to an adult aged immediate family member, or person who you’ve known more than three years. The relationship must be verified by two third parties known to both, and attested to by signed affidavit through the gCard app.
  • “Range Day” exemptions for minors as young as 13, given certain restrictions and time limitations.
  • Loan periods vary depending on the reason given for loan. For example, a Range Day loan might be for 24 hours. Hunting or sports shooting, up to a month. Personal protection, 3 months. These loan periods may be extended a certain number of times, or the loan renewed multiple times for personal protection.
  • Up to three adult family members within the same household may register permanent ownership of the same weapon to their gCard licenses.

Sounds pretty reasonable, yes? It’s up for discussion. But one thing is not. The one, massive, glaring “but” in this policy. Because you can loan your gun to friends and family members if you like.

BUT…

If they commit a crime with that weapon…your ass is on the hook for it as an accessory.

So, make sure to think twice before loaning that AR to Cousin Jim. He have a falling out with his wife, lately? Been a little low on cash, and eyeing the liquor store? Post a few unsavory comments online about shooting congresswomen in the head? Think all this over before trusting him with your freedom.

Otherwise, our Family and Friends Loan Policy should prove a quick, convenient way to ensure your loved ones can carry legally during whatever times of need they have.


Conclusion — Technology Prevails

I think we’ve made the case pretty well here both that we need to pass effective gun control legislation now…and that it can be done without taking away the rights or security of legal gun owners. The point, after all, is to make sure we can keep our boomsticks without leaving a trail of carnage behind. We have the right to die for our guns all day long; but we don’t have the right to insist other people do.

Remember always: The argument between cold, dead hands and cold, dead kids will not work out in gun owners’ favor. No matter who wins the presidency in this cycle, Millennials own America from there on forward. Lock, stock and barrel.

Plan accordingly.

I think this is all a pretty good plan to save our rights past the coming generational power shift. But none of this is going to work if we don’t look to that same future for answers. Because, as usual, technology prevails where legislation fails.

Read onto our next article on the gCard Electronic Licensing and Registration System to see how that all works out.

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