What's lost if we give up guns for safety? Our liberty.

As the media rages against the Second Amendment and Democratic presidential hopefuls jockey for the perfect campaign sound bite, I couldn't help but wonder who or what is the real cause of gun violence. There are many potential contributing factors.

Mental health? Repeating the phrase "mental health issue" solves nothing. When it comes to psychiatric care, as a nation we have failed. Under President Ronald Reagan, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ended the federal government’s role in providing services to the mentally ill. Federal mental health spending decreased by 30 percent and a significant amount of the mentally unstable were reintroduced back into society. Underpasses and alleyways became homes as people had nowhere to go and nobody to help them. I'm curious as to exactly what would be the mechanism to re-introduce a new mental health initiative.

Video games? Gaming in 2019 affords individuals hours of uninterrupted mayhem in an astoundingly realistic world without ever leaving their basements. Remorse- and regret-free players hunt, shoot and kill. It seems implausible these kids wouldn't be dehumanized and desensitized.

Violent movies? In the popular three-film John Wick franchise starring Keanu Reeves, a total of 378 people die, most by getting their brains blown out. The Hollywood elite fancy themselves ultra- progressive on issues like gun control, until they walk into that Sunset Boulevard bank and cash a royalty check.

Social media? Your kids discovered it and you can't live without it. Since the invention of social media platforms, there’s been an explosion of cyberbullying, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), unhealthy sleep patterns, and a general rise in addiction. None of those are healthy for adults, let alone children. Since the invention of the internet there's an entire generation of socially inept young males completely void of life skills.

Mainstream media? The 24/7 nonstop news cycle bombards our senses making it impossible to escape it. Blood and guts every hour on the hour. And, if you missed the carnage at 10 o clock, you can watch it at 11, or midnight, or 3 a.m. for that matter. It never stops, until the next catastrophe comes along. Shoot up a large number of people and it is your turn to get all the attention.

Parents and childhood? Most mass shooters experienced early childhood trauma and/or exposure to violence at a young age. The nature of their exposure included parental suicide, physical or sexual abuse, neglect or domestic violence.

Trump? It’s easy to point the finger at the president, but mass shootings occurred under presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush.

Guns? Allow me to provide some suggestions to our politicians and our president to curb gun violence without violating Second Amendment rights.

• Enforce the gun laws already on the books.

• Red Flag laws, a proposal gaining bipartisan support. Have our brightest computer geeks build an algorithm to ferret out anyone who may be an issue. Give law enforcement the tools to grab individuals before they strike.

• End gun-free zones. The idea of a killer turning around and going home when he reads the sign "Gun Free Zone" is absurd. Gun-free zones create target-rich environments for murder.

• Reciprocity. Law-abiding citizens should not be penalized when they move state to state. Give them an option to protect themselves wherever they are.

• Restore the draft. Two years of service to their country might be exactly what the younger generation needs.

• Give the Democrats universal background checks on ALL purchases.

• Death penalty for mass shooters and fast-track those cases.

• A minimum 20-year prison sentence if caught with a gun while committing a crime.

• Any firearm deemed in the AR-15 class would require the owner to be at least 25, unless they are serving in the military or police.

Don't kid yourself, reasonable gun-control steps won’t appease the left. It wants the guns taken away, all of them. Conservative estimates put the number of civilian-owned firearms in the United States at more than 393 million. The U.S. has 327 million people.

A government-run militarized confiscation program – with authorized personnel going door to door to commandeer firearms from law-abiding American citizens — would ignite a firestorm. Cities would burn.

Fierce defenders of the Second Amendment rarely, if ever, yield any ground. Their rigid attitude is rooted in the amendment itself: “A 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.”

The Second Amendment protects and ensures against any attempts to take away our individual liberties.

So, as we all contemplate what to do about these mass killings, the question to ask yourself is: Do you prefer dangerous freedom or peaceful slavery?

Lee Elci is the morning host for 94.9 News Now radio, a station that provides "Stimulating Talk" with a conservative bent.




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