Gun advocates and NRA members say “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Fine. I’ll accept this premise if it enables bipartisan cooperation for sensible gun safety legislation. So if the problem is not the guns, but the people, there are two regulatory measures congress should get to work on now. These two measures regulate the people side of the gun safety equation, not the gun side.
1. BACKGROUND CHECKS
No gun sold in America without a background check. — This means closing the loophole that allows guns to be sold on secondary markets without a background check. Forty percent of guns exchanged in America are sold on this secondary private market, which includes gun shows. The push back on requiring a background check for all gun sales is that it would be a logistical burden, but that is a weak excuse for not closing this loophole. Background checks were judged necessary and we passed legislation to require them. There should exist no means to subvert this requirement.
2. GUN SAFETY TRAINING
No gun ownership without proper training, or at least passing a gun safety test. — Just as you are required to pass a test to obtain a driver’s license, you should be required to pass a test to obtain your gun license. And to be clear, at present, a license to own a gun is legislated state-by-state. There is no uniform firearm license requirement in America, and many states have no such requirement. That should change now, and it should require, at a minimum, a gun safety test to obtain this license. Just as we wouldn’t hand the keys to an automobile to someone without at least requiring a basic test, the same should be true of a weapon. We require licenses to operate all kinds of machinery, why would we not require this sensible regulation for firearms?
Neither of these sensible gun safety regulations prohibit mentally stable, law-abiding citizens from owning a gun for personal protection. Therefore, whether you are a liberal anti-gun pacifist, or you are a life-long card-carrying NRA member, these two regulations should be met with universal agreement.