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Your Views: Some limits on gun ownership, training are within reason
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Why do some gun owners come so completely unglued when you mention adding or changing gun controls? And why do they keep hiding behind the Second Amendment?

When those words were written, try to imagine what the world was like then. Our forefathers could not possibly have envisioned our world today. To think otherwise is living in “la-la” land.

Our country developed with very little control over guns. When the automobile was invented, we immediately saw it both as a good thing and a dangerous thing, and laws were created to try to maximize the good and minimize the bad. We have not done this with guns. Gun ownership and operation are very similar to automobile ownership and operation. I think most all of us would agree that there is a huge percentage of both owners (cars and guns) that are irresponsible or incompetent.

We license drivers. They must take a test every four years. We give different types of licenses relative to the different kinds of vehicles that are used. We do much to control the sale and use of automobiles. We do very little to keep guns used responsibly.

We should license gun “operators” just as we do car operators. There should be a test taken every four years (including a firing test) for the specific types of weapons the gun “operator” wants to use. This test should include a strong background check. No one under 18 should be able to take such a test, but a “junior license” can be issued so that youngsters can go hunting, as long as accompanied by a licensed adult.

We need a strong national registration of all guns. This registration should follow the guns through all sales (shop or individual), and no one can buy a gun without a license, from anyone. This will also let gun shops off the hook of being responsible for background checks, as that is done when the individual gets his or her gun license. This will drastically help law enforcement, will help the individual in case a gun is stolen or lost, and will help make the current owner more responsible. There should be strict guidelines for gun storage geared to the specific type of gun owned. The owner must follow them or face legal consequences.

Such steps will not prevent anyone from owning a gun. I cannot see how any responsible gun owner could object to these steps. They would help prevent the irresponsible gun owner from having his or her weapon used dangerously. We need to work on mental health, but I suspect that all the individuals who have committed mass shootings recently would have fallen through the cracks.

What I suggest here is not perfect and needs work but is a start.

John Stockard

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