In the various gun debate threads, one theme that recurs is that many people loath the idea of untrained, unsupervised yahoos owning and carrying guns. So what if we had a truly universal system of firearms training, where every gun owner was required as a civic obligation like jury duty to attend training and classes in firearms handling? Where if you wanted to carry a gun in public you had to pass the same shoot/don’t shoot training police officers do? Would such a system of gun ownership be more acceptable?
In the interest of fighting ignorance, I’ll point out that when the Bill of Rights was written “well-regulated” was commonly understood to mean in good working order, capable, effective – it was not understood to mean subject to control and regulation. A well-regulated militia was one that could get the job done.
All my firearms are well regulated.
Indeed; but I was speaking to how the term is usually taken by the folks on the other side of the aisle.
Of course when the Bill of rights was written, lots of words meant something different from now. For example, “arms” meant something that could fire one or two shots before it had to undergo a time-consuming reload.
First of all, I don’t like to be branded “anti-gun.” I’m not anti-gun; I’m anti-people-getting-killed. It seems to me, from what I’ve read, that the vast majority of the casualties inflicted are from illegal guns: ones that are ipso facto illegal and ones that are unregistered, etc. I’m also given to understand that such gun violence rarely is inflicted by guns that are legitimately owned, registered, stored, etc. by responsible people. So imposing an additional layer of regulation on those people wouldn’t do that much to solve the problem.
That said, I would dramatically increase the penalties for the owner of a gun when that firearm accidentally kills someone, such as kids who discover it and are playing with it. Manslaughter, depraved indifference, something like that. Mandatory prison term.
I don’t think the militia argument is even germane any more, since aside from fantasies inspired by watching “Red Dawn” too many times, there are no practical reasons for the citizenry at large to own firearms. (And the I’m-gonna-blow-away-that-guy-who-breaks-into-my-house fantasy basically never happens.)
That’s the stupid way to do it. If you want a truly universal system of firearms training, make it a mandatory part of the school curriculum. Not only does this stop dishonest anti-gunners restricting access to the training as a way to restrict access to firearms, it directly targets one of the ways that a person can kill themselves with a gun - by being an ignorant child who finds someone else’s gun.
I am anti-gun. I’m also anti-other-things-that-serve-no-purpose-except-to-kill. So in a word, no. Even the most stringent arms licensing/regulation system does not sway me from my stance.
More acceptable, yes. Fine with me, no.
The only purpose of a gun is to quickly cause violent injury. While I can see the utility for hunters, I don’t approve of their use on humans. As for their secondary use as a threat / deterrent, well, that means nothing if the gun-wielder is unwilling to use it.
Obviously, my position is extreme, so in the interest of compromise, I think your idea is much better than the status quo.
A very small number of minor regulations would completely appease me.
At this point in time, the gun rights lobbying groups refuse to engage in even the tiniest compromise, so the question is not only moot, but politically dead.
But the answer to the question is, yes. (And, yes, I am pretty strongly anti-gun.)
Considering how thuggish American police are, no. Whatever training they are getting, it clearly isn’t doing much good. Would you want someone to come over if you thought they might shoot your dog?
I’m not anti-gun per say. I am anti-free for all and effectively no penalties for bad behavior.
That said, yes, it would be an improvement if gun owners had to go through mandatory testing.
And I would like to see responsible gun owners actually be liable for their piece. It’s registered to the owner, the owner is liable until ownership is officially transferred to another registered party. (Or liable until it is officially reported stolen.) How you secure your piece at home is your business, but if that piece ends up accidentally hurting or killing someone (common example of a child accident), then the owner is bears significant negligence liability for that. You “loan” it to your cousins “friend” and it is used in a crime, well the owner bears liability as well. Etc etc.
When I grew up, lots of folks including my father had guns, and the #1 lesson was responsibility for your piece. So rather than nit pick the above, please take it in the spirit of how someone can have their gun(s), be responsible, and also bear real liability/penalties if their idea of responsibility didn’t work.
And “The Press” mean literally that: a wooden screw press that could print one sheet at a time. I don’t think that argument will fly.
Well DUH, that’s what pro-gun people have been saying for decades; but somehow the gun control crowd keeps obsessing over what can be legitimately owned by responsible people. I can only presume that they think the gun crime and violence problem is unsolvable except in the context of making guns absolutely unavailable.
I agree, Basic safety classes in grade school should include gun safety, and more advanced gun education should be a high-school elective. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen when children are suspended from school for pointing their finger at someone and going “bang-bang”.
I think universal registration would be perfectly reasonable- IF there weren’t people clamoring for more restrictions and bans with the ultimate goal of all-but eliminating guns from society. At this point registration would be a confiscation list, and that’s not paranoia.
I won’t dispute that police sometimes act thuggish :p; but I would say that’s a slightly different issue. Police affecting a search and/or arrest are obsessed with securing the scene, and are likely to take anything or everything as “resisting arrest” or “interfering with an officer”. That’s an authoritarian control-freak issue, not a self-defense issue.
I kind of like the idea. I assume there’s a statutory exception for conscientious objectors, or the Amish, or whatever?
Simple; all they have to do is not own a gun.
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. For what it’s worth, I am in favor of some form of conscription or “national service” so this goes pretty well with my own [del]plans[/del] ideas.
Careful there. That’s some massive stereotyping and potential well-poisoning. Yeah, some of the more vocal anti-gun people are like that, just as some of the more vocal pro-gun people reject any sort of restrictions on any type of firearm. Stereotyping the vast majority of the population based on the extremists is always a bad move.
I have a CHL, and I’m ok with universal registration and a number of other measures.
The slippery slope argument is unpersuasive. Some gun owners argue that even the slightest measures would lead to confiscation. They’re wrong.
Anybody who thinks for more than 2 seconds about American culture would realize such measures being effective as a tool for confiscation is as likely as anti-drug laws and harsher prison sentences having any effect on reducing recreational drug use.
Well, that’s a bad example because the government is still trying those measures. The difference is that gun owners are a huge plurality (at least 30 per cent) of the population.
Are you opposed to police and security personnel having guns?
Whatever reasons they have to possess firearms, the “citizenry at large” have as well. Self-defense, basically. Police are not your bodyguards. Everyone should be allowed to defend themselves, just like people in law enforcement and security. Just because the threat may be lower doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
To the OP, I’m a gun rights supporter, but I would be highly supportive of more gun education, especially among children. Even if we made that education mandatory before owning a gun, so long as the burden wasn’t so large that it made it difficult for poor, minority or marginalized people to own them. I think the other poster’s suggestion of implementing these classes in the public school system would be ideal, and that most people in this system should be able to own a gun upon becoming an adult.
The Amish own guns, they’re just not supposed to use them to shoot people.