I’ve been listening to arguments against gun control since I was a kid. As a child, I didn’t understand why anyone would object to sensible gun regulations.
I mean, Wyatt Earp did it in Tombstone. Should we be doing less in Boston or Austin?
YOU NEED A LICENSE FOR THAT
Virtually every aspect of our lives are regulated.
Without a license, you can’t cut hair or sell insurance. Drive a car. Most places, you need a license to build an extension on your house, change the wiring, remodel your kitchen, or replace your roof. You need a license for your dog. A permit to hold a parade. Or sell booze.
So what’s the big deal? Why are guns different? We control and limit more or less everything, so why are guns off-limit? The answer is obvious. They aren’t, not really. What makes guns off limit isn’t the Constitution. It’s a powerful lobby group that has caused generations of politicians to fear for their congressional seats.
To me, it’s simple obvious. If you can’t hold a scissors in a barber shop without a license, you should not be allowed to carry a loaded rifle in Walmart without requiring at least as much accountability.
The arguments against sensible gun control are specious. Stupid. If can’t drive drunk, how come you can walk around drunk — with a gun? I would never limit anyone’s right to own a car without good reason. Like bad eyesight. Driving under the influence. Lack of insurance. A flunked driving test. Surely we should require at least this much oversight for guns.
A COMMONSENSE GUN CONTROL PLAN
If you want to own guns, you have to pass a licensing test which makes sure you know how to shoot and care for weapons. You are obligated to keep it out of the wrong hands. Your eyesight should be good enough to hit a target. You need to pass a background check to show you aren’t a felon. Or nuts.
You have to register your guns. All of them. You are obligated to keep track of your guns, to know where each of them is. You may not lend them to anyone who is unlicensed any more than you can loan your car to an unlicensed and/or uninsured driver.
If your gun is lost or stolen, you absolutely must report it to the cops. None of that “Gee, I guess it must have been stolen” crap. You will carry liability insurance on every weapon. Should a weapon registered to you be used in an illegal act — with or without your consent — you are responsible for damages. If you don’t go to jail, you will still pay. As you should.
The nation, as well as individual states and counties can tax your weapons and refuse to license weapons deemed inappropriate for private owners. If you want a weapon deemed unsuitable, you will have to get a different license, not to mention explain why you need it.
Simple, isn’t it?
LICENSE AND REGISTRATION, PLEASE
We license cars because cars are potentially dangerous. Which doesn’t mean we don’t own cars. Obviously we own millions of them. We try to control who drives while maintaining reasonably accurate records of who owns what. We can’t keep every drunk off the road, stop cars from being stolen, or prevent accidents.
We do the best we can. For the most part, the system works. It would work for guns, too. Equally well, equally badly. Imperfect, but a lot better than the nothing we have in place now.
I have yet to hear a coherent argument against such a plan — probably because there isn’t any. Any reasonable person can understand we need to regulate guns. Like everything else.