Approach gun ownership, usage like adults

I’ve spent my life living between Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. I’ve had the chance to shoot a lot of guns — handguns, shotguns, rifles, you name it. I’ve gone hunting, shot skeet and even had the chance to play with a Barrett 0.50-caliber sniper rifle.

I’ve been trained by responsible gun owners who treat these tools with the care and respect they deserve. On top of all that, my day job involves research for the US Department of Defense in our hypersonic wind tunnel at the University of Texas at San Antonio — research supported in part to help the US develop hypersonic missile systems. I design hypersonic weapons for a living.

As someone who spends most days thinking about advanced weapons systems, it’s clear we need sensible gun control and we need it now.

We need to seriously rethink the ease with which ordinary civilians can access military-grade firepower. Many seem to gloss over that “well organized Militia” part of the Second Amendment, and things are getting out of hand. How is it, that with all our technology, resources and guns (the US by far leads the world in gun ownership at more than 1 gun per citizen, on average), we cannot keep our most precious asset, our children, safe?

No, the solution is not more guns, just like the solution is not arming teachers. We need to overhaul the way guns are bought and sold in this country, and certify all legal gun owners are properly trained in the responsible handling and use of a firearm. Service members generally are not permitted to carry firearms on a military base, and guns typically must be registered and stored in a secure location. Guns are checked in and out on base, and a misplaced firearm will result in a full lockdown until it is recovered. If you want to know how to take weapons seriously, look no further than our armed forces.

The AR-style rifle used by the Uvalde shooter retails for as little as $400. The shooter had the gun in one day, purchasing more than 300 rounds of ammunition a day later. No training required. No accountability and no consideration for the mental state of the purchaser was made.

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