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I wonder what life would be like if the Constitution had a Bill of Rights which said among other things "A well-regulated transportation system being necessary to a free state, the people's right to keep and drive automobiles shall not be infringed." Nobody would have a problem, would they? It would be very obvious that the intention of the framers was that individuals could own cars and trucks, but it would also be obvious that regulation by the government would be necessary and proper. We would not want to live in a place where anyone no matter what their mental state could drive an SUV anywhere, anytime, in any direction, as fast as they wanted and run into anything they chose.

Our problem is not gun ownership any more than the problem is with car ownership. The problem is we have all these guns running around with no regulation, erratic regulation, and lax enforcement of the regulations we do have. Firearms should be regulated at least as carefully and uniformly as automobiles are.

In no state can you drive on public streets without a license. In no state should you be able to take a firearm anywhere off your property without a license. Every firearm taken off the owner's property should be licensed, and every "operator" of a firearm should have an operator's license, which he or she obtained after passing a rigid course covering safety, rules and regulations, and appropriate use. It's in the public interest to require these things.

Different firearms would have different licensing qualifications, the same way commercial and passenger vehicles have different licensing requirements. Licenses would have to be renewed periodically. No one should be able to purchase or possess a firearm outside the home without having obtained the proper license. Penalties for unlicensed possession should be great enough to serve as a deterrent. Fees for licensing should be modest. Training courses should be free or at minimal cost to the applicant. Providing them would also give organizations like the NRA something profitable to do besides sending their spokesmen out to rant and rave in public.

Hunters and sportsmen would have no problem complying with such regulations. In general, they comply with the law now. For most, it would be a couple of hours of their time to help bring about a greater sense of law and order for everyone. They might even pick up a bit of useful knowledge about responding to threatening situations.

Congress should direct minimal requirements which states have to comply with, just as all states have similar traffic regulations. (Many of us remember when right turn on red was legal or illegal depending on where you were.)

You shouldn't be allowed to possess assault weapons, just as you are not allowed to possess nukes or anti-aircraft artillery. There is no justification for anything beyond handguns, rifles, or shotguns in private hands.

For those who contend that such weaponry is to guard against an oppressive government, please remember that we already have a government that can lay a drone on you anytime you become too disagreeable. You're hopelessly outgunned, and your "oppressive" might be other citizens' "just peachy". Our democracy is either advanced enough for you to accept it or your cause is lost anyway. Grow up.

We wouldn't want to live in a place where cars could go down the wrong lane of a superhighway at 120 mph because some people are paranoid about government regulation. If you did that and didn't kill someone or yourself, the government would be entirely justified in taking your car away.

People understand the need for automobile regulation even if the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is not their favorite place to spend forty-five minutes. They could handle a similar procedure for guns.

Firearms should be regulated much the way automobiles are regulated.

Originally posted to ebrann on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:36 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Community Spotlight.

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