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Yes, yes, another gun diary.  I know they are getting somewhat repetitive, but I still want to put my thoughts on it down somewhere, and this is a place where at least it will be read a few times.

And no, this is neither an anti-gun rant, nor a pro-gun rant.  This is, in my mind at least, something of a middle ground.

Follow me down below the Glorious Orange Croissant, for my take on the whole thing.

Ok, so first, a couple of quick opinions.

1) Should everyone have access to an assault rifle?  No.  Sorry, just no.

2) Should they be banned completely, or should there be an available route to ownership? I believe there should, in fact, be an available route to ownership.

Assault rifles, in and of themselves, aren't evil.  Banning them creates more of a black market for these, and SMGs, etc.

Here's another opinion for you.  It's easy to make policy decisions from an emotional state of mind.  It's not always good policy.  In fact, I'd say it's almost always bad policy.

So, you're asking yourself, what would you do, Doug, to work through this?

Regulation.  That evil, evil word.

I think even the anti-gun crowd can agree that there's one organization that does a pretty stellar job of training people in the use, care and respect of high powered weapons.  That group would be the Military.

I don't find it horribly unreasonable to say that for these sorts of weapons, it should be required that you go through something more than a 10 session firearms course at your local gun club.  

So to me, that path to ownership I discussed?  Yeah, the Military.  You want to own an AR-15, or an Uzi or the like?  Groovy.  Join the service.  Go through, arguably, the best weapons training course in the world.  You do that, I don't have an issue with you owning military grade hardware, as long as you aren't kicked out.

Oh, but one caveat to that, that I also feel is fair.  If you screw up with these weapons?  Judgment would be handled through military courts.  You have the right to own and use them, but with rights come responsibilities.  You've been trained in their safe use.  If you violate that, you have failed in your responsibilities.

Other thoughts.

I do see three levels of ownership.  

1) As stated above, military service.  This would give you access to any legal firearm, with the understanding that these are military hardware, and can/will be dealt with by those who know them best...the military.

2) Police/Sheriff/Game Warden/Etc..  Law Enforcement.  Two points here.
     a) The military should use reservists or guardsmen or the like to run a law enforcement boot camp on advanced weaponry.
     b) Completion of this program gives you work access to military grade weaponry, and private access to a somewhat more limited selection.  (Say, for example, no assault or sniper rifles)

3) Civilian - Yes, I believe civilians have the right to bear arms.  Giving them a pathway to ownership of the more advanced hardware lets us limit this.  Hunting rifle?  Absolutely.  Shotgun?  Yep.  Handguns? Of course.  AR-15? See above.
     a) Much like a) above, put together a civilian firearms training course.  Completion of this (much simpler) course is a requirement.

So that's that.  However, there are certain things that make sense in all three categories.

1) Ammo limits.  Let gun ranges sell practice ammo by the gross if desired, but it must be used on the range, and what isn't used can be refunded.  For purchase?  I won't debate what the number might be here, but a reasonable limit on how much you can get.

2) Recertification.  From 13-21, yearly.  From 21-55, every other year.  From 55 on, back to yearly.  Continue to prove that you not only have the skill to safely use the weapon, but the knowledge to keep it safe.

3) Yes, I feel there should be some insurance requirement.  

Now obviously, this isn't anything remotely like a fleshed out argument, but more basic thoughts.  I'm sure of those who read, there will be disagreements from both ends of the spectrum, but I really do feel like something in this vein is the way to go.

Thanks for reading,

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mohandas Gandhi

    by DouglasH on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 02:02:58 PM PST

  •  Awesome (0+ / 0-)

    Libertarian gun owner here and yes I do own an AR-15...  I honestly think you are on the right track, in fact I agree with you on about 95% of what you have said here.  The one place I will disagree is on military service being required to own an AR-15 or similar firearm.  Having served in the military it is with great sadness that I can say most military personell are beyond pathetic with their weapons.  The military trains to the lowest standard they can to get everyone through it.  Everyone must qualify with their rifle, even the guy who works on computers for the military who picked up that rifle 4 times in the last 4 years and had to fire a magazine at a stationary target.  In fact there are many organizations that give much better training because they arent in a position where they must pass you.  I was a paratrooper, so I would say our weapons training was much better than the average soldier, but I still learned more about my rifle from classes I took through the state (Had to take these classes to carry a rifle at work outside of the military).  The NRA itself actually is very good about teaching weapons safety and function.  I think training is critical though and I think to take the training there should be a psych evaluation.  I don't think it should be over the top like some psych evaluations out there are (Is it better to have a bird in the hand or two in the bush?) Not sure what the hell that question has to do with someones psychological status or even if there is a right answer but it was actually on a psych eval I had to take.  (One in the hand... your nuts why do you want a bird in your hand OR Two in the bush... whats wrong with you, you dont want the bird you must be paranoid).  Anyway, I dont think the answer is to illegalize them, they tried that with cocaine and its still pretty available.  Also, law abiding gun owners pretty much follow the laws, if you go and make them felons for owning an AR-15 the mentaility might change. "Well, if I'm going to be a felon anyway may as well have a fully automatic and add a suppresor to it".  No Doug, I think you are absoluteley on the right track here.  

    •  Where the Military Comes in (0+ / 0-)

      at least for me, is this:

      1) They aren't going anywhere, unlike a lot of the privately run training programs.

      2) I agree with the psych eval.  For my money, having gone through it, Basic is one helluva psych eval.  

      3) Follow-through.  They have the bodies, can easily maintain the infrastructure to keep the records, to do the re-evals, etc.

      In short, standard infantry basic, is a great baseline course in military weapons standards.  If 4 years of active duty doesn't improve that, set up a discharge eval, either rate them fit to carry, or not.

      Not to mention the feel good side of things.  Look at the number of vets that could be employed by this.  Who knows?  Might even increase sign-up rates.

      Others might do the training well, but the Military has built in strengths that no private organization has.

      I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mohandas Gandhi

      by DouglasH on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:09:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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