From 2 years ago, February 2015. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

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?



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 and 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.


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?

auto inspection sticker texas


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.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. We may be able to regulate new purchases to an extent, but not the ones already in the private possession of individuals. There are literally millions of them and many were not obtained from legitimate dealers. I just saw a sign yesterday announcing a gun show on Feb 24th and 25th,” Buy, Sell, Trade” was the slogan. That can mean private individuals will do business with you and no one will be the wiser. Believe me, Marilyn, it’s more complicated than you can imagine. Out here in the Wild West measures have been taken to restrict sales at these shows but somehow people get around them. I don’t understand it all, I just know it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not arguing that it’s easy, but it also isn’t impossible. Other countries have done it and so can we. What, we are the ONLY country that will have to work to bring guns under control? That’s absurd. If we want to do, we can do it. We’ve done more complicated things than that.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ben, the naive, easterner here doesn’t get the gun shows continuing in the wake of the latest school shooting, especially the one just a short distance from the school. No sensitivity among the gun folks, really? Just business as usual, I guess.

      I’m on the bandwagon, applauding the kids who are staging rallies everywhere. Those Pols in Tallahassee showed their true colors, voting against gun control debate with the kids right outside.
      I hope the rich kids with parents who have clout can shame their folks into doing the right thing at the midterms. Hell, I hope ALL kids can prod their elders into voting out the do nothing Pols.

      I noticed the NRA trotted out a beauty queen to represent them at a town hall meeting last night covered by CNN. The NRA cynicism is blatant.

      I have a few friends who have carry permits and pack. They did so during my working days.

      We had a city councillor who carried a 45 with him. He’d whip it out sometimes when things got dull. I was covering a council meeting which was dragging its heels on an important issue. I was staring down a deadline. I needed something BIG, quickly. I whispered to my councillor pal. He winked. I told my cameraman to be ready to roll. A few minutes later, the councillor winked at me. Camera rolled as the councillor whipped out his 45 and shouted the council into action.

      Great stuff in the wild east. I had the EXCLUSIVE video.


  2. Every able bodied Swiss does military service 3 weeks a year, sometimes more if they are an officer. My no. 2 son didk it and they all have their army rifle at home with ammunition that must remain sealed, for use in emergencies such as combat. We rarely have problems because of this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Israel is the same. Many men have their arms at home, locked up and take it out only when they need to do their annual service. There’s almost no violent crime in Israel. We lose more people in this country from random gun violence that they do from terrorism and crime.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Israel and Switzerland are both small countries with relatively small armies, and populations, so everybody is in the military. In the case of the Swiss, these regulations have probably been in effect for a long, long time. As for Israel, no violent crime.., unless it’s towards the Palestinians or the reverse. I guess that’s the “almost” part? Neither of these examples is anything like what we face here in the US.

        I’m not against gun control, I just see the problems with putting an effective system in place. I watched a Frontline piece on gang violence on Long Island.., you know, where we grew up, where my parents moved us to avoid gang problems in Brooklyn. This new menace called MS-13 is a gang of mostly Immigrant youths from South America killing off other youths that won’t join the gang. WTF.., this, happening in milk toast suburbia? In many of our communities, the people are afraid of the police, the police, afraid of the people. Where’s officer Krupke when we need him.., lurking somewhere to shoot unarmed black men? Our problems are deep, our solutions deeper

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m not looking for a reason NOT to do anything, and we really don’t know what the RIGHT thing IS. What we need is an EFFECTIVE thing to do. So I ask what DO we do, and will it really start the process towards effective gun control? Florida legislators, according to accounts today, have decided they won’t even listen to the students who survived this horrible massacre and saw, first hand, their fellow classmates mowed down? Now there’s a thought.., maybe we need to get rid of this “chicken shit” administration as a first step? Then elect persons of responsibility willing to ignore the pressure of groups like the NRA and Corporate America and start protecting the citizens of this country


            1. Yes. Actually, that is exactly what you are doing and you don’t even LIKE guns, so i don’t get it. Of course we can do it. We have done it in states like mine where they have implemented gun laws and made them stick. Wherever they have instituted laws, they work.

              You can argue, but the statistics SCREAM one thing: YOU. ARE. WRONG.

              The laws work any place in the U.S. we’ve put them and they will work anywhere else we implement them. You need to BAN military weapons from civilians. You need laws that make everyone responsible for what happens if they or someone else uses their guns. There need to be insurance, tests, and ACCOUNTABILITY — like there is for every other thing in the world. Good god — there’s more accountability for cable equipment than for an AR 15. You don’t think there’s something wrong with that?

              Saying “we can’t do it” is ridiculous. We geared up for WW2 in a matter of weeks. You think we can’t change the way we deal with guns? Seriously?


              1. I am NOT WRONG and, again, you misread what I am saying. I never said “we can’t do it” I only ask where we start to make ’em STICK. Flimsy laws always have workarounds and those that want the things for evil will find a way. The law has to stick and be loophole-free. You can’t kill people with cable connection gear either, unless you run down the street wielding your dish antenna and knocking folks over with it. I can’t believe how simplistic you think this thing is? I looked up the Mass Gun Laws on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Massachusetts and there appears to be a bunch of ways to circumvent if you really want to do it. There are many “NOs” in the long gun column and unfortunately the AR15 is considered a “long gun” The big rub is with registration… NOT SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED BY LAW.

                Anyway don’t get mad at me I’m just looking over the whole situation.


                    1. Here, in Massachusetts, we HAVE already started. Lowest rate of gun violence nationally with NY a close second. Gee, I wonder how we did it. Oh, right. Banning assault weapons. Requiring all guns be registered. Gun training for anyone who wants a gun. Records kept and organized.

                      And you know what? Bet you’ll never guess. Yup. Gun violence dropped like a rock.

                      We can’t do it nationally because, y’know, the NRA has all that money, so I guess it has to be statewide.


  3. Is there any requirement in any US state to keep ammunition seperate from guns when they are stored? I find it quite bizarre that people would leave guns and bullets lying around the house where anyone can pick them up including children.


    1. Not only are there insufficient laws, there is insufficient commonsense. Of COURSE they shouldn’t leave loaded guns around for toddlers to play with. How brain dead does a parent have to be not to “get” that? I think that’s one of the things we need a test for: Is this person intelligent enough to figure out that a gun is a weapon? No? Give him a toy gun and let him play all day …!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I quickly read through some of the laws about buying, owning and storing guns in Australia and the NRA would throw up their hands in horror and shout about “The right to bear arms” but in fact nobody is saying Australians can’t have guns. Just that they have to prove themselves responsible adults first. At least forcing people to lock away their guns and ammo separately would prevent tragic accidents that nobody wants and make it harder for guns to be stolen without someone noticing. I guess the main thing is that Australians have a different mind set about the use of guns. Not all of them of course. In this rural area more people shoot and some people think they should be allowed to shoot for self defence but it is rarer thank goodness.


        1. I don’t think you could “ban” guns here, but you certainly could do a lot better than the nothing we are doing NOW. insurance would be a really good first step. People hate having to pay people for the damage they do.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, there are requirements to keep amo separate from guns when in storage in some states. Enforcement is where it breaks down as it would require a resident law officer or periodic inspection and we are not a police state…, yet! It’s up to the owners to do it at their discretion.


  4. Totally agree. When working in Corporate America, I’d sit around a conference table, a large problem would be broken into small pieces, we’d all go about solving our piece, and meet again to close it out. Yes, this is a huge problem, and, yes, it has many aspects to it. But, no one is trying to do anything. I’d be ecstatic if someone would do something. Yes, banning bump stocks would be a thrill. But, please don’t stop there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want insurance requirements. I figure when people start getting whacked by insurance payments higher than their mortgages, this will knock some sense into them. Insurance people are wicked people with lawyers. What a lot of money this could earn for them.

      Besides. If ever people should be required to pay, it’s when they let their guns get into the hands of killer kids. They should have to really suck it up for that. If there’s accountability, I suspect the problem gets a lot simpler.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So let me get this straight, anyone, in the USA can go into a store and buy a gun without any licensing or over sight? If that’s true it’s just plain crazy. If you want a gun in Canada you have to be licensed, pass tests etc. Even here, the odd gun gets in the wrong hands. However, there are some controls.


    1. It’s a state-by-state thing. Massachusetts has the strongest gun laws and also — surprise! — the lowest rate of gun violence. Funny about that. But some states, like Texas and some other western states — Florida, Nevada, Montana, and more — they have nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why we need national regulations that are uniform throughout the country. State legislators are very reluctant to have federal control exerted over them. I understand that but we’re a country, a huge country and we need uniformity. It’s like same-sex marriage not being recognized in all states. This is also sorely lacking in voting practice, especially national elections. Let’s face it we are a broken society.


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