If I say “gun regulation should be discussed”, more than likely an NRA person will vehemently say to me, “you’re not American, you’re against freedom” and “you’re stupid!”
So to avoid being yelled at by my family and friends I, like millions of other people, just keep quiet. And consequently our country has not had a real, healthy democratic discussion about guns and the 2nd Amendment.
Healthy discussions usually produce good answers; the NRA culture should not be afraid of the discussion if they believe that their approach is the right approach.
healthy discussions lead to good things
But if I could have a reasonable discussion with an NRA person, this is what I would want to discuss with them:
- the various uses for guns … in a categorical way;
- a comparison between the 18th century point of view vs. our modern era;
- most importantly: comprehensive training for each type of gun ownership.
There are 5 potential reasons for guns:
#1 – the Foreign Invaders argument – guns for militia members for protecting the homeland.
#2 – the Tyrannical Government argument – guns for the people to thwart tyranny.
#3 – the Self-Defense argument – guns for individuals protecting themselves against each other.
#4 – the I Need Meat argument – guns for hunters.
#5 – the It’s Nice and Shiny argument – guns for sportsmen and collectors.
(Maybe there are more, but this is a start.)
We should discuss all 5, independently, from both a constitution-era point of view and from a modern-era point of view.
From a CONSTITUTION-era point of view:
#1 – is what is ‘written’ in the 2nd Amendment.
#1 & #2 – were both contextually relevant in 18th c., and both were discussed.
#3 – was neither relevant nor discussed in 18th c.
#4 – was relevant but not discussed in 18th c.
#5 – was neither relevant nor discussed in 18th c.
From a MODERN-era point of view:
#1 – we do not need anymore (our military is solid).
#2 – we have other mechanisms to prevent tyrannical governments.
#3 – fair enough, but only if we thoroughly analyze our entire society to understand why we have so many criminals in the first place, because possibly they are a byproduct of some sickness in our society, and maybe they are fixable … maybe.
#4 – fair enough, but only with the right comprehensive training.
#5 – fair enough, but only with the right comprehensive training.
Gun Ownership Only With Qualified Training
Any reasonable person should be ok being required to be trained to own a weapon.
Basic gun ownership would require Level 1 training.
Level 1 training would be geared toward the most fundamental of gun claims: protecting the home.
Included in Level 1 firearms training should be psych evaluations and proper training about storing the gun in the home.
Level 1 might require 3 months of weekly sessions. Trainers would be certified by the NRA, but liable to civil and criminal courts for failure to uphold high standards (now you have a check & balance between the NRA’s desire to spread guns, and the public’s desire to have safe, qualified gun owners).
Level 1 would probably only cover low-shot hand guns, which are appropriate for home protection.
A Concealed Weapons Permit would require Level 2 training, specifically some type of Action-based Training (something that probably only military, police, and the most hardcore gun sportsmen ever get). Ab-T would last probably 20 hours, I don’t know, maybe 100.
Why should CWP owners be required to satisfy Level 2 requirements … because a CWP holder is implicitly saying, “I am taking my gun into the public, where all the action is, and if there is trouble I’m going to pull my weapon out into the public space with the intent to pull the trigger.” Therefore that person should have to prove that he/she can handle that action: people running, screaming, shots already being fired from some undetermined direction.
Level 2 would probably also only cover low-shot hand guns.
For hunters they would need a Level 3 certificate. For sportsmen, a Level 4 certificate. Etc.
What do you think about the idea of appropriate training for weapons permits?