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Gun Control Starts at Home

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

President Donald Trump said a bunch of crazy things this week.

Nothing new there.

I'm not referring to the global trade war he may have started on Thursday with his announcement that steep protective tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum could be coming as early as next week.

I'm referring to the tougher gun control laws the president publicly floated on Wednesday during an unscripted discussion with bipartisan lawmakers in the White House.

Sounding more like Nancy Pelosi than a lifelong friend of the National Rifle Association, the president suggested three steps he thinks would help to prevent future mass school shootings like the one in Parkland, Fla.

He proposed raising the age limit to buy assault-type weapons like the AR-15 to 21, making background checks tougher on all gun buyers and taking guns away from people with mental problems.

In the real world, where there are more than 300 million guns floating around the United States, Trump's first two actions will do nothing but burden law-abiding gun owners.

The president's third idea - taking someone's guns away for mental-health reasons and making them go to court to get them back - is especially outrageous.

Forget the serious constitutional concerns about taking law-abiding citizens' guns and doing the due process later.

Does Mr. Trump have any clue how impossible it would be to determine who was truly crazy and dangerous and needed to have his or her guns seized?

Does he realize the dangerous road his idea would send us down?

"Hello 911? The guy next store is cutting his lawn sideways. He's really crazy. You better come and take his guns away."

And my Congresswoman Maxine Waters thinks the president is mentally ill.

Do you say, "I'm sorry, Mr. Trump, someone says you're crazy. You have to give us your guns."

Trump's gun control ideas are not worth the breath he spent on them.

The most obvious reason the Parkland school tragedy happened was because the FBI and the local police screwed up - despite multiple warnings.

A less obvious reason the shooter was not stopped before he could take 17 innocent lives was the "parental" failure of his mother and the family he lived with after she died last year.

Those adults knew he was mentally ill, angry and dangerous, yet they did little to get him the help he needed.

Few parents agree to have their kids treated for being mentally ill because it reflects poorly on them. Fewer still will turn their own kids in to the police.

But talk about bad parenting skills.

The couple the teenage killer was living with at the time of the shooting knew he had a bunch of guns and did nothing to get them out of their house.

They locked his weapons in a safe, but the shooter easily made a spare key for himself. Apparently, the couple never met a teenager before.

Parkdale was a tragedy that could have been averted with the common sense that all parents should employ.

A good friend of mine, a hunter who owns several guns, was having trouble with one of his kids and had to put him on Ritalin.

After the boy had an out-of-control moment, the father took every one of his guns out of the house and gave them to a friend to keep for him.

If you have a kid you think is mentally ill, and you have guns in your house, you shouldn't look to the government to solve the problem.

You should solve it yourself. Remove the guns from the house. Don't put them in a safe. Get them out.

If we are not going to take responsibility for being good parents when it comes to guns, don't be surprised when Donald Trump or the government takes that responsibility away from us.


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