Thursday, January 17, 2013

Heck yeah to universal background checks

Let’s face it.  We have, always had, and probably will always have a reactionary government.  Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy like the event in Newton, CT to get our government in gear and solve the problem.

In an effort to prevent gun violence, President Obama came up with a plan for universal background checks to decide which Americans can enjoy their Second Amendment rights and which ones can’t.  But why did he stop there?

A lot of talk in the past month has also laid blame on violent entertainment such as movies, TV, and games.  If our politicians thought things out a little further, they also could find fault for the increase in gun violence in our song lyrics, news and political pundits, books, social media on the Internet, the Internet itself, and even the evening news, which loves to air the violent tragedies.  All of these outlets form one comprehensive training manual for the unbalanced American to seek retribution for the wrongs society has dealt him.

The Second Amendment makes it clear that the right to own and bear arms shall not be infringed.  Today, we learned that parading kids on stage to appeal to the emotional logic of the average person trumps the constitutional clause “shall not be infringed”.  So, for a change, let’s tackle gun violence head on, and that means applying preventive measures to the First Amendment, too.  Our rights come with a level of responsibility and not everyone is responsible enough to use their rights that maintain a safe and harmonious community and society.

By Executive Order, we should establish the Department of Public Entitlements to Rights (DoPER) that will be charged with conducting universal background checks and maintaining a database of persons who have a propensity to be consumers of violent material, including gun enthusiasts, action movie fans, gamers, and members of interactive social media (Internet, talk show fans) that encourages divisiveness, rebellion, defiance, or hate.  Along with criminal and psychological background checks, persons in the Database of Persons Encouraging Strife (DoPES) will be assigned a numerical score, based on their propensity toward indulging in violent material, and that score will be factored in a background check to determine one’s likelihood of becoming violent.

Anyone failing a background check will be denied access to PG-13 or higher rated movies, cable TV subscriptions, and Internet accounts.  They also will be denied the ability to purchase magazines, books, music, DVDs (or similar media for use with a TV), and games rated PG-13 or higher by a standardized rating system developed by DoPER.  The standardized rating system will be used on all printed, digital, or performed arts and entertainment.  Anyone failing a background check, who is not already listed in DoPES, will be automatically entered into the database with the highest numerical score assigned to them.

DoPES, regardless of their numerical score, and anyone failing a background check, will be denied a public platform to disseminate their thoughts, creative works, or performances.

Teachers, other educational authorities, and medical professionals are required to report possible violent tendencies in a student or patient to local authorities.  Everyone else is encouraged to report possible violent tendencies in an individual to DoPER.

Programming on free, public airwaves will be required to follow guidelines set by DoPER.  At minimum, guidelines for programming on free, public airwaves will include a list banned words, phrases, themes, visual scenes or overall tone that encourage divisiveness, rebellion, defiance, or hate.  These guidelines will apply to all programming including, but not limited to, general entertainment shows, talk shows, news, and documentaries.

There, now that we narrowed who can enjoy their free speech rights for the sake of the safety of our children, don’t you feel a whole lot safer knowing that the persons with possible violent tendencies won’t have access to words and images that might set them off?  Don’t you feel even safer knowing they won’t have a public platform to encourage others to join them in a rampage?  If these measures save even one life, we have the obligation to enact them to provide a safer environment for our children and us.

Posted by The Coffee Party

No comments:

Post a Comment