I think of firearms as I might a car. It’s a machine that has its uses and mine stays parked a lot more than I’d like it to.
I bought both at dealers. I settled for some features but generally got what I wanted. I enjoy using both. In a pinch, both can be used as a weapon and you can intentionally or unintentionally kill people with both. An Estimated 38,300 (up 8% from 2014) were killed on U.S. roads in 2015 according to the National Safety council with another 4.4 million injured. According to the CDC, 33,000 people were killed by a firearm in 2014. Only one of these devices requires a license and only one is purpose designed to be a weapon.
My thought is this. If you have to have a drivers license to operate a motor vehicle which is dangerous, why not to operate a firearm? Sure, it’s our constitutional right to bear arms but that doesn’t mean everyone should. It is not your right to own a vehicle, but far more do these days than don’t. An estimated 95% of households in the US own motor vehicles and they’ve “proven” themselves to be competent operators of these machines meeting federal government standards. Wouldn’t it be prudent to make anyone who claims to be responsible enough to operate a firearm prove their competence? All that is required right now is a simple background check and those are not as stringent as they should probably be.
Concealed carry permits require there to be no documented history of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, history of violent behavior, etc. on top of the regular felony free back ground check. I feel the concealed carry class on how to handle a gun along with the background check should be mandatory for owning and operating a fire arm. You could even have learner’s permits issued to kids just like learners permits for cars. Just as with cars, for the student to use a fire arm or have one in his possession, a licensed adult must be present. It’s a no brainer and it doesn’t infringe on an individual’s rights.
I know plenty of people without a car who have a driver’s license, especially in big cities. You can have a license to use one without owning one and in the case of a firearm, I think this would be appropriate as well. The government could tie this in to the state or federal ID process. Imagine the education or social programs that could be funded with a 20 dollar licensing fee every few years or so. If the individual opted for a concealed carry endorsement, there’s another fifty for the state and you know the person is highly and effectively trained.
The second amendment reads as follows: “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.” In plain English this says that the people, aka you and me, can own a firearm if they plan to defend their State and that a State has the right to form and regulate a Militia force. If you’re agreeing to the right to bear arms by baring arms, then you agree to use those arms to defend your “…free State…” Wouldn’t it make sense for someone who is bearing arms to say, out loud or in writing, that they are willing to be deputized in the event they (and by extension they’re firearm) is required in defense of their state? I don’t know a gun owner who wouldn’t defend their home, family, or the USA if terrorists or other nare-do-wells attacked so what would be the issue with saying they would do a thing they are already willing to do?
I hear the arguments. Government regulations…. Blah blah…. Infringing on my rights…. Blah blah…. Putting their fingers in my pie… blah blah. If you can’t tell, I don’t think much about those arguments when I myself own a gun and am readily willing to be regulated. I am not a criminal. I am not going to run wildly though the streets shooting off my gun. I will not be unsafe with my use of my fire arm and I’d love to have a state issued card saying I’m ready to defend, life, limb, family, and liberty where ever I go. If you’re willing to too, you would have no problem with the firearms owner’s license.