Proper gun licensing
The Sunday, Dec. 3, column by Charles E. Richardson made me think a little. As an NRA member, my natural instincts would be to oppose gun laws that violate the Second Amendment, but the analogy used comparing the licensing requirements for an auto driver’s license got me to thinking.
Briefly, “if” (and only if) the procedures for getting a license to own or carry a firearm were as easy and no more costly than getting a driver’s license, I doubt any NRA member would object. After all, improper driving probably kills more people than guns even with existing requirements for getting a license. Unfortunately, also being an NRA member, I am aware of some of the existing laws in liberal, gun-hating states that are far from being comparable to driving licensing requirements.
An old friend of mine who was a former B-52 pilot like me, lives in Massachusetts, and is a licensed firearms instructor, authorized to conduct their mandatory training, which he describes as far too intrusive, far too expensive, and almost unavailable due to long administrative times, waiting lists, etc. He says that many of the provisions are designed to be so intrusive (and ineffective as well to the main purpose) that it is hoped most people will simply give up, which many do.
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The problem with these states is that they are controlled by legislators who hate guns, do not recognize the need for law abiding citizens to use one to defend themselves against criminals who disregard all laws except when confronted by an armed “would-be” victim. Restrictions in these states are like OSHA for criminals because it makes their occupation much safer for them.
Here is my prescription for logical, fair and balanced gun training and licensing: First and foremost, is gun safety. Golden Rule: Never store a loaded firearm anywhere. A loaded firearm must be in complete control by the owner at all times. No hiding under the bed, in a closet, in an auto glove box, anywhere someone could gain access to it without the owner’s permission.
There are other safety rules as well and all can be taught and knowledge verified exactly like driver’s licensing. Second, safe weapons operation. No need to detail that, except to say that it should be handled (almost) exactly like driver’s licensing, i.e. publish a manual like the auto licensing rules of the road, give it out for free, make people take a test exactly like they do to get a driver’s license; make sure they have proper vision, etc. The costs should be equal. Matter of fact, the same people who do it for driver’s licensing, might be able to do it for gun licensing; same equipment, same procedures.
Notice, I didn’t say any detail about actual firearm shooting training at a target range, that is the most abused requirement used by gun-hating states to discourage people. I know a driver’s test, out on the road, is required for a driver’s license, but a simple, cheap, indoor laser firing range would allow someone to judge whether someone can hit what they are aiming at and is comfortable firing a weapon without the expensive and time consuming outdoor range firing with live ammo and an expensive training instructor.
I know some gun owners will disagree with me, but local police department training could be used to satisfy that part. My wife took the Warner Robins Police training at their range and found it was inexpensive and quite valuable.
Also, Georgia Department of Natural Resources has outdoor ranges that can be used easily and inexpensively, without long waiting lists, convoluted requirements, etc. A signed completion certificate from either should satisfy a gun licensing requirement for firearm operation.
I think if the gun hating legislators would work with the NRA, instead of cleverly abusing their legislative power to deter people from trying, Richardson’s goals could be met. I feel this way by reading the editorials of NRA executives about gun licensing. Contrary to liberal media, they are not categorically opposed to truly reasonable requirements, and have said so publicly.
Finally, his examples of “stupid” acts by gun owners (well proven) could be easily over-matched by examples of even more “stupid” acts by auto drivers that result in even more deaths, mainly driving while impaired, even with existing licensing procedures. Doesn’t make owning an auto or a gun inherently different from each other, both are potentially deadly. Both guns and autos are simply machines that have a legal purpose.
Neither is more important nor more necessary than the other, a point all gun haters do not understand. Some people choose not to own an auto. Others choose not to own a gun. No difference. That’s what freedom is all about, and why we have the Second Amendment.
By the way, there is no bill of rights amendment about owning an auto. Duhhh, they didn’t exist when the Constitution was written.
The Second Amendment was written because those wise men recognized something that today’s gun-haters do not, and it is as true now as it was then, maybe even truer.
The last two times the GOP had control of both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch, we had the Great Depression and the Great Recession. With Republicans in control again, we can expect another disaster for our country and the world. The blame will be squarely placed on the soulless Greedy Old Party.
Retired generals opposition
The planned across state line permitting to carry personal weapons is being challenged by some of the leading retired generals. First name on the list is retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a leading liberal in a previous administration, whose primary goal is strict gun control. Keep a focused eye on this group.
Thanks Macon-Bibb Commissioners, just received my $300 garbage bill. Perfect timing! Instead of going after the people who don’t pay their garbage bill, inept commissioners take the easy way out and punish everyone for the misdeeds of a few.
Perhaps The Telegraph can publish the names of the commissioners who, in their infinite wisdom, voted for this. Yes, I am aware that the payment is not due until April 2018, but that still doesn’t excuse them being unwilling to enforce the law.
A.M. “Mac” Yaughn