We seem to have lost our clear viewpoint on this business about gun regulations.
When I was a kid, we were required to have completed a gun safety course before we could go shooting or to have a gun of our own. Upon completion, we were given a certificate and a card. It was like a driver’s license. (Remember this for later.)
I remember the course pretty well; we were shown all the negative aspects about guns and weapons in general – and it was from the standpoint of how to use the tool. That’s how guns were treated in our part of the country: as a tool. They weren’t a status symbol, a macho-thing for showing off (except at exhibitions at the County Fair), and above all, they were NEVER, EVER, to be taken lightly. I still remember the guy saying this at the beginning of every session, and making us repeat it: “This is holding death in your hands.”
I want to take a moment and specifically note here that this course was sponsored by the NRA. The organization in those days was much more serious, and far less the clownish manufacturer’s pawn than they seem to be these days. Maybe there is some vestige of this spirit still left within that group; and if so, I call on them to step up and return to those values, rather than the values they are projecting right now. Think about it, fellas. ‘Cause, you ain’t doin’ yourselves any favors…
Let me say this again: Teach people that guns are tools. As such, their usage has to be limited to the proper place and temperments. One of the other things that was hammered into us with speak and repeat: “Never pick up a gun in anger.”
Looking at this another way: Guns are weapons, the same way that cars are weapons. You have to have a license to drive a car, and you have to get that license renewed periodically. When you do so, objective examiners evaluate your ability to act in a responsible manner. It should be the same for guns, especially now with all the people on the Internet who are feeding hatred toward others, and the easy availability of weapons of mass murder.
I used to have guns. But I don’t even handle them anymore, because of my arthritis. I can’t trust my hands to hold a deadly weapon correctly. So I consider the act of divesting myself of them to be a responsible one. Just like I expect others to act responsibly. Would I have been one of the types to be found and sanctioned by a licensing agency? I hope so.
Right now the people I fear most are those who are paranoid because “Obama’s going to take all my guns away.” They worry me because of the irresponsible attitude they exhibit in responding to some percieved threat. These are the people who will run out of the house, brandishing a gun, when they see the neighbor’s dog pooping on their lawn. Wouldn’t you agree that these are exactly the ones we should be looking at on a regular basis to evaluate their level of responsibility?
So let me put this into two simple sentences that would fix the majority of it:
Let’s get a national periodic licensing and renewal process in place, run by responsible people. And let’s tax the ammunition and reload supplies heavily to pay for it.