As an independent, I’m disgusted by both parties’ presumptive presidential nominees, who I think will do little to break the gridlock in Washington or unite the warring factions in our country.

I am a semi-retired public administrator, a veteran and owner of two .22-caliber rifles. The battle between President Obama/Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over whether the Orlando attack is a gun control issue or an Islamic terrorism issue isn’t moving the dial.

President Obama seemed to get angrier at Trump than at the so-called Islamic State, and I hope he realizes the recent surge in gun ownership is likely a reaction to his own policies. The violence in Orlando is both terrorism and a hate crime, so let’s move on.

How about creating nonpartisan “Firearms Review Boards” in every county or large municipality in the country? It would follow the pattern of draft boards common after World War II: Respected citizens met without pay to review the draft status of young men in their jurisdiction.

For Firearms Review Boards, politicians, gun lobbyists or gun control types need not apply – just good citizens with common sense who could keep potential killers and dangerous weapons separated.

New laws would be needed to designate who should not own a gun without some type of review, including: mental patients, convicted felons, domestic abusers, anyone on a terror watch list, immigrants from a country at war with the U.S. and anyone wanting to buy AR-15s or supersize magazines.

Anyone on these lists would have to apply to their Firearms Review Board. Ordinary citizens not in those categories would be able to buy guns to protect their families, hunt or shoot tin cans in the backyard.

The system would cost nothing but paperwork, and each jurisdiction could decide how to fund it. Let’s use some new ideas to curb this terrorism and gun violence.

Bert Kendall


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