The short answer is “no.” Here’s my thinking. My impression is that the folks who comment here, and probably many who read and do not comment, are for the most part extremely responsible and safe people. Although there’s some disagreement on things like home carry, for example, everyone seems to agree on the need for training and adherence to the 4 Rules of Gun Safety. The problem starts when you guys begin to extrapolate from that and apply these characteristics to gun owners at large. This is just not the case . . .
Your average gun owner suffers from the same apathy that most people suffer from. Many of them, unlike the Armed Intelligentsia, allow their vices for drink, drugs, anger, absent-mindedness and other things to interfere with their ability to be truly safe and responsible. And like most people, the average gun owner has the idea that “it’ll never happen to me,” just like any average Joe. This blog does a wonderful job of trying to help guys like that snap out of it. I admire you for it even though I many times don’t agree with the extremity of your position.
So, when I propose restrictions on guns and you guys scream and yell that you don’t want them and don’t need them, you’re making the mistake of thinking all gun owners are like you. Here are my ideas. Please try to keep an open mind.
1. licensing of all gun owners after written and psychological testing
2. registration of all guns to a licensed gun owner followed by renewal after 3 months and yearly thereafter – the renewal would require producing the gun and its paperwork
3. closure of the private sale loophole by requiring background checks on all transfers and transference of the registration from one licensed owner to another
4. safe storage laws and severe punishment if a kid or a thief too easily gets one of your guns
Leaving aside for a moment the obvious question of implementation, whether it would be necessary to register already owned firearms or only newly bought ones, you can see, being open-minded as you are, that straw purchasing would all but disappear (number 2) and theft would go way down (number 4). Combined with depriving criminals of the opportunity of buying guns without a background check (number 3), we would already have taken a big bite out of the gun flow from law-abiding gun owners to criminal gun owners. Point number 1 would help identify some of the Jared Loughners and the Seung-Hui Chos before they act.
The best part is that obedience to these 4 requirements would not disarm anyone who is safe and responsible. And since the tens-of-millions of average gun owners are not criminals, they would go along. They are the guys who inadvertently allow their guns to slip into the black market. They’re the ones who leave their guns lying around for kids or thieves the find. They’re the ones who sell their weapons at gun shows and on the internet without doing the right due diligence. The Armed Intelligentsia doesn’t need anybody’s help to do the right thing, but tens-of-million of your fellow gun owners do.
That’s my presentation, briefly stated. Do you agree that the AI is not representative of gun owners at large? How could you possibly find fault with my proposals?
[Mike runs the Mikeb302000 blog]