Words On Wednesday

2015-10-07 If Guns Were As Regulated As Cars

I’ve seen this infographic going around lately, comparing car regulations to possible new gun regulations. As both a Concealed Weapons Permit holder and gun enthusiast, I’d like to voice my opinion on the regulations. I’ll break it down point by point, and elaborate on where I agree or disagree. As usual, I welcome polite discussion from both those who agree with me and those who disagree.

Source: http://aattp.org/proof-new-study-shows-gun-deaths-outnumber-car-deaths-in-14-states/
Source: http://aattp.org/proof-new-study-shows-gun-deaths-outnumber-car-deaths-in-14-states/

“Title and Tag at Each Point of Sale”

I’m torn on this one, as it addresses probably the biggest issue on guns in America. I don’t mean private sale as the biggest issue, but rather the chain that allows guns to be purchased legally and end up in the hands of criminals, mainly in the form of straw-man sales.

I imagine (though I admittedly have no sources on the claim) that far more weapons reach the black market and criminal organization by being legally purchased with the explicit intent to be used and distributed illegally, than by guns being purchased legally and eventually falling into the hands of a criminal by chance.

I own a few guns personally, only one of which was purchased directly from a dealer by myself. One was a gift from my mother, another was purchased used from a friend, they’ve come from a variety of sources. The idea that used transfer is still allowed within this regulation suggestion is great, I think. However, I do believe it would a large inconvenience to get used to. If this policy were put into place, I would hope that transfer fees would be kept to a minimum, and qualified officials be easy to access. I don’t want to have to take a trip well out of my way any time I want to buy, sell, or trade a weapon.

One HUGE issue I have with this point is the matter of assault style weapons and extended magazines. I neither confirm nor deny possession of an assault weapon and/or extended magazine. However, I make it no secret that a talented marksman can inflict similar destruction in a similar time frame with our without assault weapons and extended mags. This is more an issue of public fear than it is genuine damage capability. What happens if the government imposes another assault weapons ban? Are all assault weapons going to be confiscated by the government? Those regulations should be clearly defined before such a system is put in place, so that people can rest assured that the government will not be taking weapons based on future regulations.

“Driver/Gun Training”

I have a Concealed Weapons Permit. I’ve had training, taken a written test, taken a practical test, I know the ins and outs of firearms and the sort of safety protocols that go along with them. My fingerprints are on file with SLED. I’m fully in favor of everyone getting a CWP. I don’t know, however, about explicitly requiring a CWP to purchase a firearm.

Ideally, a sort of reduced permit or license should be available for those who aren’t necessarily avid firearm collectors. The casual hunter, the homeowner concerned with protecting his family from invasion, these sort of people don’t necessarily need the same as someone who plans to carry at every available opportunity.

In general, I support there being some sort of training to own a firearm, but I don’t think a CWP is necessarily the answer. The process and expense of obtaining one is far more than I think most gun owners should be required to obtain.

“Written Test”

See above point.

“Practical Test”

Again, see above point.

“Health Requirements”

I can respect the notion of health requirements for both vehicle and firearm operation, but in vastly different capacities.

My biggest concern with gun ownership and operation is mental health. Sure, you should be able to see in order to identify your target. You definitely need to be able to physically aim and fire the weapon, as well as maintain a grip through recoil. However, an even bigger concern is that you should be of sound mind before obtaining a firearm. I don’t want a bunch of crazies running around with guns and killing themselves or innocent people.

The issue with mental health evaluations is that they’re both unreliable and don’t stick to a definite standard. What is sanity? How sane should a person be to obtain a gun? Such issues are difficult to pin down, but definitely should limit who can purchase a gun.

“Liability Insurance on Each Vehicle/Gun”

Here’s where I start to disagree. Liability insurance could be a heavy deterrent to gun ownership if the rates are allowed to rise uncontrollably. Such a system could be put in place to prevent all but the absurdly wealthy from obtaining firearms. Is there benefit in having liability insurance on a weapon? Sure, but these waters should be navigated carefully in order to reach the best possible solution.

“Renewals and Inspections at Intervals”

Any responsible gun owner will see this as a non-issue. Firearms should be regularly cleaned and inspected to avoid any unintended behavior. As such, I think this could be implemented with little to no issue for gun owners. Whether it’s required by the government or not, I intended to keep my guns as clean and operational as possible.

Obviously, gun ownership is a huge deal in the United States. People make heated arguments both for and against it frequently, often at inappropriate times. However, I can agree that certain regulations could be put in place to allow gun ownership while reducing gun crime. The important thing is to reach a compromise that is acceptable to all parties.

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Words: 940 | Characters: 5417 | Sentences: 23 | Average Word per Sentence: 18 | Paragraphs: 23 | Reading Level: College Student

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