Wow, thank you Wildfire, for such an impassioned response to my comment underneath Josh Moon in Hot Water Over Registering Ammo Sales. I do appreciate the feedback and it’s obvious you’ve put some thought into gun issues. I just wanted to clarify some points because I think perhaps you’ve misinterpreted what I wrote before (maybe taken it in a different direction than I intended?), and perhaps provide a counterpoint to some things you’ve written.
I don’t endorse using educational level or IQ as a measure by which one determines whether someone is able to have a gun. I think all responsible, competent people should be able to have a gun if they want. There are a gajillion dipsticks on the road with really low IQs who are driving cars. But they drive them safely and with common sense. I honk at them every day .
But I don’t have a problem with their having licenses to drive. To use driving as an analogy, aspiring drivers are required to train with an experienced driver, maybe take a driver’s ed class, and to pass a skills proficiency test at the DMV, right?
Why can’t a first-time gun purchaser have to do the same? Maybe take a weekend class, and eventually show an examiner that he/she can pick up a gun from a table, rack a slide, shoot correctly with two hands, clear a jam, clean a barrel, with automatic test failure if the purchaser fails to keep his finger off the trigger when not shooting at something or sweeps the muzzle in an unsafe manner?
Sure, it’s annoying. So was going through the same steps to get my driver’s license. And it would go a lot farther than the joke of a safety “demonstration” I had to give to walk out the door with my first pistol to show that one has common sense pistol safety.
I’ve been to the range a enough times to know that in spite of participants signing a form with the cardinal rules of gun safety, yada yada yada, I have NEVER failed to spot at least one noob sweeping the room or failing to take his finger off the trigger after he thinks he’s finished firing, or pointing the pistol the wrong direction when he sets it down. Obviously, reading the rules of gun safety and actually understanding and implementing them are different things.
The examples you gave about various real life tragedies that could have been or were prevented by an armed bystander: Great. I totally agree with you there. A poorly trained individual with a gun has a better chance of killing and stopping a bad guy than an individual without a pistol.
But . . . I’m more concerned about the times when there isn’t a bad guy. Like, when a pistol owner is cleaning his guns. Or is at the range. Or is entertaining friends and family at a barbecue at his house. Then, lack of common sense, lack of training, poor judgment, and uh oh.
I understand there are constitutional rights. And Thomas Jefferson was a learned individual. I respect his contribution to our history. It doesn’t mean I swallow every impressive sound bite of his without thinking the issues through for myself. A quick wikipedia search on him reveals he opposed borrowing from banks and that he owned slaves as well. I think I’ll go with my own philosophies on those issues, thank you very much.
Should people take personal responsibility for the negative outcomes from gun accidents? Oh yeah. It was a great theme for your writeup. I don’t disagree with you at all. It truly is a scary World of Personal Responsibility.