There is clearly no hope for any controls on guns in the United States. Regardless of whether or not one favors limiting the types and numbers of guns someone can own, it just ain’t gonna happen.
And (full disclosure) I don’t know that I favor limiting gun ownership for law-abiding citizens. I grew up around guns and enjoy plunking targets as well as the next person. As I have mentioned earlier on this site, I’m a pretty damned good shot when I’m in practice, and I’m proud of that.
Nevertheless, we clearly have a problem of guns falling–well, not exactly falling, more like cascading–into the hands of those who are not, and have no intention of being, law-abiding.
Therefore I propose this: controlling gun owners, rather than controlling guns.
And how? By requiring that those purchasing firearms demonstrate competence at time of purchase.
To avoid any (pseudo-)Constitutional issues, this process would be administered by the firearms retailer. To assist retailers in administering the program, the Guv’mint would help them construct the facilities they need to administer the program; to repay the Guv’mint for their assistance, the retailers would complete certification training and tests and be subject to requirous audits–by
Democrats or at least not by Republicans trustworthy Federal employees.
The process would be simple:
When someone applies to purchase a firearm, he or she would, in addition to completing any legal background checks already required by his or her state, have to demonstrate competence. The competence test, like a driver’s test, would have two parts:
1. A written test on firearms safety and handling. Good safety stuff can be found here. If the prospective purchaser passes the written test, he or she would then have to pass a competence test, much like an on-the-road driving test.
2. The competence test would have multiple components, depending on the type of firearm desired.
- For long guns, the purchaser would have to put three shots out of five in a circle the size of a quarter at 100 yards. If the purchaser could not do that, he or she would be deemed obviously incompetent to own and handle a firearm and would be sent to attend firearms training.
- For handguns, the purchaser would have to put three shots out of five in a circle the size of a quarter at a distance of 15 yards. Once again, if the purchaser could not do that, he or she would be deemed incompetent and sent to improve his or her skills.
- For assault weapons, purchasers would be required to squeeze out a magazine without the kick of the firearm causing them to perforate the ceiling of the building with lots of tiny little holes as the weapon took control of them.
- For grenade launchers and the like, the purchaser would be required to blow up his or her personal vehicle, demonstrating both competence and dedication. If the purchaser blows up someone else’s vehicle, he or she would be required to replace the vehicle and attend training before attempting again to purchase a like weapon. There would be no reimbursement for the purchaser’s vehicle–that would be his or her “cost of doing business.”
By instituting such a program, we can insure that competent, law-abiding citizens who cannot reach orgasm without the feel of cold blue steel
between their legs in their hands can take full advantage of their (pseudo-)Constitutional right to act like idiots; that street criminals who purchase (as opposed to steal) their weapons can at least hit what they are shooting at, thereby minimizing the terrible toll taken by stray bullets; and that absolute nutcases who want grenade launchers at least know how to use them.