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Well Regulated


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In the mid-1960s, I underwent my state of residence’s mandatory training, and its written and practical tests to obtain a license to own and use a deadly weapon. Since then, having lived in different states and been in residence long enough to require re-certification, I have undergone repeated tests to continue my legal ownership and use of these deadly weapons. This includes written and practical tests to add ratings / certifications for increasingly complex weaponry. I enjoy trade shows dedicated to my deadly weapons. But, weirdly, at none of them can I buy product without having to show appropriate identification, license, and liability insurance coverage before purchasing. Despite these government controls, I have never experienced a government (federal, state, county, or local) campaign or effort to “take away” my deadly weapons.

Okay. So the “deadly weapons” I refer to are cars, motor homes, watercraft, and aircraft. Although not designed for killing Bambi or a platoon of “enemy combatants,” my deadly weapons have the potential to inflict death and injury on both an individual and mass scale commensurate with any firearm currently produced.

So, why are weapons up to and including military assault rifles not subject to the same training, testing, licensing, registration, and insurance requirements? It is because the NRA wants to service its funders, gun manufacturers, with lobbying efforts which allow them to maximize profits through the “gun show loophole,” by selling any kind of gun to anyone who shows up with the cash.

If you parse the statistics, only a small percentage of arms used in criminal activities are properly registered to, and in the hands of, the original, trained, licensed, background-checked purchaser who bought the weapon through a legitimate, brick-and-mortar, local gun dealer. Rather, the overwhelming majority of gun violence incidents involve weapons obtained at gun shows (and “secondary market” or “private transfers”).

I am not “against the Second Amendment” as written. If you are a true originalist, you would believe that every state’s National Guard contingent satisfies the Second Amendment. The radically liberal NRA interpretation (that’s right – liberal) is that there is no connection between a “well regulated Militia” and firearm ownership.

The NRA’s (i.e. Wayne LaPierre’s – not the NRA rank-and-file membership’s) irrational insistence on a national database of mentally ill persons, but not of firearms and firearm owners, is hypocritical and just plain dumb. Screwball /” postal” personalities would still be able to obtain any weapon and any amount of ammo as long as they had the cash for conscience-challenged gun-show sellers who face no threat of prosecution for firearms-trafficking violations.