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Thanks to Bob Costas for giving voice to what we should all know already; that the unrestricted availability of firearms to the general public is a proven recipe for disaster.
Opposition to reasonable gun control is over-hyped by a small, elite group (read NRA, etc.) who exercise an overly muscular political position against all rational gun control. Americans can enjoy the privilege of owning and using guns the same way the public enjoys the privilege of owning and operating a car, but to operate a car one must apply for, be tested for and prove fitness to operate a car. Not so for guns.
Cars are not weapons, yet there are stringent requirements placed on driver’s license applicants to prove their competence to properly operate a car. Those requirements place limitations only on those who fail to prove that competence. If one proves competence to drive a car, there are no undue restrictions on the operator. However, if one’s competence cannot be demonstrated, a license is denied to the applicant. Why not for guns, too?
In the case of guns, restrictions might include applicants with a felony criminal record, convictions for the use, sale or manufacturing of illegal drugs and those with a record of mental illness which could lead to aggressive anti-social behavior.
The gun owners’ license will not solve all the problems of firearm misuse any more than a driver’s license guarantees a driver is a safe or conscientious motor vehicle operator, but it is a first step toward limiting the possession of firearms by those who are not suited for that responsibility in the same way a driver’s license denies the use of motor vehicles by those who are clearly unsuited to drive a car. The net result will be to cut down on the number of deaths and injuries due to guns in the hands of people who should not have access to firearms at all.
Let’s take that first step.