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Gun licensing

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Anna G., May 10, 2004.

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  1. Anna G.

    Anna G. Member

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    Hello. :)

    I just recently was introduced to the interesting issue about the gun licensing so I didnt have a real view on the subject. Awhile ago I had to form one for a post on another forum which is not specificly about firearms, so excuse me if it sounds ridiculously simple to you. I wanted to see the point of view of people who think about it more often and who are better informed. The person who I accept as authority on guns got tired of explaining (debating?) and sent me here...

    Here it is:

     
  2. Reno

    Reno Member

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    Absolutely not.

    Licensing is a nice way of saying registration. If you look back in history, it's been shown time and time again that registration almost inevitably leads to confiscation.

    I don't like having people with no idea what they're doing with firearms, but it's a small price to pay for our liberties.

    Furthermore, I (and I'm sure many, many people here) actively work to teach and demonstrate proper firearm safety to those who need to learn it.
     
  3. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Anna, there are a few problems with this perspective.

    1. If you license GUNS as such, that means a license for each individual firearm. This approach has been followed by some countries (e.g. South Africa), but adds enormously to the bureaucratic workload involved. Much better to deal with gun OWNERS rather than with individual guns.

    2. If one seeks to license gun owners, what criteria should be applied? Is this going to be an arbitrary bureaucratic decision, or one based on general principles? The latter is already the case in the US: if one is not a convicted felon, and has not been committed to a mental institution, and is a legal citizen or permanent resident, one automatically has the right to buy a firearm. I don't think that "licensing" individual gun-owners makes any sense at this point - what are you licensing? The fact that they're legal citizens/residents without a criminal or psychiatric/psychological record?

    3. The licensing requirement also assumes that all gun sales must be conducted through dealers. In the US, it's perfectly legal to sell a firearm privately, person-to-person, subject to certain restrictions. Is this to be halted in the name of "licensing"? Why should it be halted? Studies show that relatively few firearms used by criminals (something less than 5%, IIRC) are obtained by this method.

    4. I think the essence of the licensing argument is that "citizens can't be trusted". Its proponents want to make sure that a person is "trustworthy" before they are allowed to buy a gun. In the US, the argument is the other way around: you should be proven to be "untrustworthy" (through a criminal conviction or psychiatric/psychological disability) before you can be prevented from buying a gun. I think I prefer the US approach, myself... it means that I don't have to trust some faceless bureaucrat to make an arbitrary decision about me (which is none of his/her business, anyway!).
     
  4. MuzzleBlast

    MuzzleBlast Member

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    Welcome, Anna.

    In America, our constitution protects the right of people to own firearms. Many of our politicians do not understand or respect that right, and many citizens are not aware of the right, or have been told the lie that they do not have that right. Anyone who is not a criminal, too young to be an adult, or mentally ill has this right. There are nearly as many guns in citizens' hands in America as there are citizens.

    My opinion on licensing: This is a form of registration. Registration ALWAYS leads to confiscation. History has proven this time after time.
     
  5. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Licensing is completely unacceptable. Just ask anyone that lives in a communist cesspool like New York City or Massachusetts. It seems like getting a license to own a handgun or even rifle is at the very least frustrating, time consuming if not outright impossible for ordinary citizens. I tried to sell a shotgun to a THR board member in MA and it was a total pain. Procedures that worked in 80% of the other states of the Union didn't work there.

    Then you got the goofball 'common sense' California approved gun list that openly discriminates against left-handed people. This is no joke. Several gun variants that are completely identical to approved versions except having the control switches installed on the opposite side for lefties are banned. Look at the H&K USP, only variants 1 & 9 (both right handed) are on the CA approved list.

    Gun laws are inherently uncommon-sense and unnecessary. Everything bad you can do with a gun is ALREADY illegal. Murder, assault, rape, robbery, carjacking, etc... Do you think a criminal will give up his life of crime because he isn't licensed to carry that gun, bat, club, broken bottle, or fists?
     
  6. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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    You've already accepted that guns will exist. That's a good place to start.

    Can you also accept that with the number of unregistered/unlicensed guns in existence, that there's no way the supply of them will be significantly diminished in the forseeable future?

    OK... there are sever directions to take this arguement. Lets see what I can pull of the top of my head.

    -- If the people want something, they will get it. Two local examples are Prohibition and the "War" on drugs. Prohibition was a national ban on alcohol. (the drinking type) The "War" on drugs... fairly self explanatory. The end result of each was not what was intended. (past tense used for both for simplicity) It drove both underground and both fueled major amounts of criminal activity. As a people, we seem to get particularly cranky when told we cannot have/do something we like.

    -- If you view gun licensing as a restriction to protect society from the un-worthy, then you have to consider other things that might help society. Licensed procreation? If you aren't worthy potential parents (their judgment, not yours), don't dare let her get pregnant. Not a good enough driver? You can only own/drive certain cars that have speed limiters built in. The list goes on.

    -- Licensing always involves some sort of fees. A "reasonable" fee of $100 might cover a training class and a background check. To the well off, the $100 is nothing. To the middle classes, $100 is annoying, and maybe a bit of a stretch. For the less well off, $100 per parent might mean that someone doesn't eat for a while. It can be argued that this is discrimination agains the less well off. The poor would be more likely to have illegal weapons because they cannot afford the costs of compliance. Because they cannot afford to comply, they are set up for more problems if caught, causing their problems to snowball to huge proportions.

    -- Licensing is just another way of saying that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. How can a licensing board say that one person is any more or less deserving of the ability to protect themselves?
     
  7. cordex

    cordex Member

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    First, Anna, I think you are to be commended for having an open mind with regards to the issue of gun ownership.

    Now,
    Should you be able to walk into a store and just buy a knife? Should anyone be able to swipe a credit card and pump gasoline?

    Why do you class guns differently from other objects that could be misused?

    Licensing is also an interesting concept. Somehow, we are made safer by the government knowing who has guns? Training is a good thing, but what level of training would you mandate of people?

    Here's my rediculously simple postulation:
    How's that for rediculously simple?
     
  8. Anna G.

    Anna G. Member

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    I wish I could say I havent been warned for that...

    Thank you for the replies.

    Reno, thats exactly what we study history for, not to repeat it. I cant recall any moment of the history pertaining to this exact issue but if you say so, its probably true. But USA is supposed to be a free country and I dont see why would they want to confiscate anything they have decided you have the training to own. Sorry if I am missing something.

    I'd like to see everyone who owns a gun to learn it. The problem with the stupid people is that the think they know everything and if you dont force them to learn, they'll think what they know from the movies is enough.

    Preacherman, 1) I meant working with the owners too. I dont see a point into licensing each firearm you own (even if only because for some this will be lots of paper in their home...). 2) The criteria is that this person knows how to handle a firearm and the purpose of it. 3) I havent thought of this, honestly. 4) No, people cant be trusted, you are right this is the base of my opinion and I think it is true.

    MuzzleBlast, you probably noticed I am not against that right to own and carry a gun at all. Again, I dont understand the connection between registration and confiscating.

    Boofus, it isnt fault of the gun licensing that some laws are idiotic and that the procedure is a pain. If you have the training you get a piece of paper which acknowledges it and you can get a gun. Everything else is a bureaucratic nonsense.

    Amish_Bill, 1) yes, I accept that there are lots of unregistered guns. Thats fine as long as they are in good hands. 2) I think drugs are another subject. If you want to ruin your life with them, go ahead. A newborn rapist with a gun could ruin MY life. Besides I wasnt talking about a war against guns. 3) I really like that point. For now I am not too happy with the human kind and I am tempted to say that I agree with your suggestions, but this can turn the topic into a joke so I wont. The difference between the examples you gave and the firearms is that firearms tend to make some more weak-minded people think they are gods. 4) The gun itself costs lots of money anyway. You should pay for it the same way you pay for your driving license. 5) Actually, I said I think everyone has the right of protection. Unfortunately there are people who need some training and explanations before getting the weapon for it.

    Cordex:

    And this leads us to the essence of my opinion: Because in the mass culture guns are accepted as "cool". Give a gun in the hands of a person who hasnt been taught to respect the human life (in other words: an idiot) and they'll decide they can shoot the first person they dont like. I know many people in whose hands I dont want to see a firearm, not before they know the responsability they take.

    Actually, this is the only reason I think there should be some kind of control, to make sure that people know guns arent toys, but a tool to defend yourself.

    Please... no need to be sarcastic. I actually meant my first paragraph.

    I am sorry if I irritate you, but I cant get out of my head the image of some people I've seen with a gun added to it...
     
  9. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

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    Gun licensing is a NON-STARTER, for all the reasons give above by others.

    If anything, I would like to see a 50%-off coupon included in every sale of a gun, to a local gun safety and marksmanship class. That ought to satisfy the desire for "learning of the skills and the ethics of the use of firearms".
     
  10. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Throughout history, registration has led to confiscation. Prime current examples are England and Australia. England started by requiring all firearms to be registered. They then progressed through each type of firearm, banning them and requiring all firearm owners to hand them over. All firearms are now illegal in England and the firearm crime rate is skyrocketing. Australia is blindly following England down this same path.

    The registration/confiscation issue is a big deal in America because one of the primary reasons we were able to defeat England in the Revolutionary War was because of the privately owned firearms of the American citizens. When the founding fathers sat down to hash out the new form of government for the nation, they thought it necessary to include the Second Amendment to our Constitution, which ensures the civilians will always have arms in the event this government becomes overbearing and it is necessary to remove them.

    There are millions upon millions of firearms in the US, yet very few accidents involving them. With the small number of accidental shootings, a mandatory "proof" of training isn't really needed. Stupid people are still going to do stupid things. Far more children drown in swimming pools than are accidently killed with firearms. A better use of resources would be to require the registration of pool owners and require mandatory swimming lessons for everyone in the home.

    In America, requiring proof before allowing the purchase of a firearm brings many bad examples from our past of the government using "proof" as a way to control segments of our population. Back when blacks first gained the legal right to vote, various voting districts implemented written "tests" before the individual could vote. The sole purpose was to discourage and prevent blacks from voting. Many gun owners consider requiring "proof" of training a similar method of preventing Americans from owning guns. Once proof is required by law, it is a simple matter of making it impossible to get the required level of training.
     
  11. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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    Anna - there's one basic assumption you seem to be making... that we believe the government's first priority is doing what's best for the people.

    You'll find that a fair number of us believe that our government's first priority is ensuring it's own survival. Many politicians have found that they can have a perpetual life of royal proportions if they can convince enough people to elect / re-elect them.

    It takes great willpower and integrity to tell the people who put you in a position of power that they are wrong and that they don't deserve the things they ask for. When you can either make an unpopular decision because it's the right thing to do or make the wrong decision because it will buy enough votes to get / keep you in a position of power, it's hard to keep the good politicians in office. They keep getting voted out in favor of politicians who offer better gifts to the groups that vote for him.

    ---- added ----
    Oh, yeah... and there are enough city folk who are completely ignorant of the legal and proper uses of firearms that feelgood legislation to protect them from "the bad people with the nasty guns" easly buys their vote.
    ----/added ----

    I forget who said it, but a rough paraphrase if an all too true idea... those that should rule, have no desire to, and those that desire to rule should never be allowed to.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2004
  12. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

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    Stupid people. Just as you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink... you can lead stupid people to classes, but you can't make them learn.

    Learning requires the mindset to want to learn.

    Registration/licensing ends up adding a layer of bureaucracy that is not free. Most likely, it is expensive, as shown by the Canadian licensing of guns where its over the $1 billion mark. Plus, you end up spending police/govt resources on registration/licensing that could be better used in fighting crime, or maybe even giving free classes in gun safety and marksmanship.
     
  13. Country Boy

    Country Boy Member

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    If guns or owners are registered, then there is a list that is available to national leaders as to who has guns.
    If national leaders know who has guns, they know where to find the guns.
    If they know where to find the guns, they can easily confisciate the guns.
    If the guns are confiscated, then the leaders have little fear of the people.
    If the leaders have little fear of the people, they can commit atrocities with little fear of internal retribution.

    Leaders in recent history who benefitted from the people being unarmed.
    Soviet Union's Stalin
    Germany's Hitler
    Cambodia's Pol Pot

    The first website I listed has a chart of government genocide campaigns and the gun control laws that allowed it to happen.

    http://www.downunderwebsites.com/gunregistration.htm
    http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/registration_article/registration.html
     
  14. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    Firearms are simple enough to be handled responsibly by an 8 year old. It doesn't take years of study to reach the Zen of Safety with firearms or anything. The ability to walk into a store, conduct a financial transaction, and do so without bursting into a fit of violence is about all it really requires in my mind to prove you're fit to own a firearm.

    If you aren't, you shouldn't be out on the streets to begin with.

    Now, if you're thinking that firearms laws in the USA are so lax that it's easier to obtain/use a firearm than it is a vehicle you're dead wrong. At 15 I legally purchased a truck, illegally drove it home, and never got caught. If I had done that with a shotgun I wouldn't have made it very far and the penalty would have probably been worse.

    Good luck trying to use the firearm at 15 on public lands unless licensed. Vehicles are easy to get away with though.
     
  15. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...registration..." Reno, you have registration now. That's what all those ATF forms do. It's how they knew where to look for .223 rifles when those criminals were shooting up the DC area. Your politicians have allowed a non-elected government agency to make law by regulation.
    Anna, the people who are demanding licences don't seem to understand that criminals don't get licences, take courses for CCW or bother with any other firearm laws. Licencing only harasses the law abiding.
    This is exactly what's happening up here in Canada. The registry/licencing scheme has, so far, cost nearly a billion dollars and has done absolutely nothing to deter crime or inconvenience criminals in any way. The criminals are still getting firearms and think nothing about using them.
    To get all the permits, up here, costs about $500 Cdn. And it doesn't matter what you're back ground is or what experience you have.
    The sole purpose of licening is to harass shooters. Especially new shooters. It's designed to make getting into the shooting sports so expensive in time and money that a lot of new shooters won't bother.
     
  16. T.Stahl

    T.Stahl Member

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    Licensing? Great! My brother's waiting for his license for nine months now. :(
    Does buying a car require a license? Not here. There's no law that would keep my driver's-license-less grandma from buying a car. Or me from giving her one as a gift. Even though there are about 9 traffic deaths per 100,000 in Germany (in the US, about 15/100,000).
    Do I need to register my car? No, not unless I want to drive it on public roads. If you want to drive it only on private land you don't need to register it, insure it or pay taxes for it.

    Then why should I need a license for buying a gun or shooting it on private property?
    It's because so many people own cars, but don't own guns. They don't understand the perspective of those who own both or only guns.
     
  17. jdege

    jdege Member

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    20 years ago, most states had laws that either forbid private citizens from carrying handguns, or had laws that required permits but left it up to the discretion of the issuing police chief or county sheriff as to whether an individual had sufficient need to obtain a permit.

    The record in these discretionary states was most disturbing.

    Sheriffs and police chiefs would deny permits to those who had demonstrated need, but would issue to their friends and political supporters.

    A divorced woman whose ex-husband had pledged to hunt her down and kill her as soon as he got out of jail would go to the police for a permit and be denied. But anyone who could drop $5,000 in the mayor's campaign fund would get one without question.

    Bureaucrats will abuse any discretion given to them. It's simply the way it is.

    If we allow the State to determine who can and who cannot own a firearm, they will make that determination based on what benefits the State, not what benefits society.

    And on the question of whether the State should be allowed to know who owns firearms and who does not can be a question on whether a free society will exist.

    Because once there is a list of who owns guns, the possibility exists that some future government will use those lists to take guns away from those who cannot be trusted to comply with what the government is trying to make them do.

    It's not a question of the current government can be trusted, but whether every possible future government can be trusted.

    When Germany's Weimar government passed strict gun registration laws, they had no intention of disarming the general population, they just wanted to get some control on the violent gangs wandering the streets.

    But after the Weimar government came Hitler, and his government used those lists for purposes that the authors of the law had not expected or intended.
     
  18. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Respect for human life and responsibility cannot be taught like math or gun safety.
    I can respect that belief, even if I don't fully agree with it, but are you consistant? Do you think other dangerous tools should be regulated by the government? Which ones? Household cleaning chemicals? Knives? Chainsaws? Hammers?
    I wasn't being sarcastic.

    I honestly believe that if you shouldn't be free to own a gun, you shouldn't be free. Guns are not the only thing that you can be irresponsible with - nor are they the most dangerous of tools.
    Irritate me? Not at all! I'm glad that you're open to sharing ideas and learning about different perspectives - even if you don't end up agreeing with all of them.

    I'm just trying to figure out how you feel about an image of that person you don't trust with guns if they were carrying a can of gasoline and a box of matches.

    I'm still quite amazed that you are so willing to accept general firearms ownership, considering how unpopular that stance is in most areas. Truth be told, the system you propose would be better than what many areas have. I think you're on the right track. :)
     
  19. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    I think that the point which Anna and some of my non-THR friends are asking about is how to keep mentally ill people from buying guns and misusing them. My impression is that with or without licensing, it would happen, and the cognizance of the problem doesn't mean we should accept licensing as a solution...because it wouldn't work very well, while causing many predictable problems. I am not feeling very articulate at the moment, so I asked Anna to post here.
     
  20. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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    It's a fact. Freedom isn't free. The cost of your Freedom is dealing with others who are excercising that same Freedom.

    No matter what type of control you put on something, some will slip through the cracks. The best you can hope for is to weed out the obvious and hope the others don't exact too high a cost.

    A "reasonable" control.... how about a letter of certification from an accredited practitioner of medicine, religion, and other persons of responsibility. I like this plan for two reasons... The source of approvals is completely decentralized and non-governmental. It also means that those who write the letters have a vested interest in not vouching for those who would cause problems.

    Sure - it's not perfect, but nothing is.
     
  21. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Amish_Bill, I love it! I can hear the conversation now...

    APPLICANT FOR PERMIT: "Sir, I have here a letter of certification from Preacherman of The High Road."

    BUREAUCRAT: "But he's a gun nut!"

    APPLICANT: "Yes, but he's an ordained gun nut!"

    BUREAUCRAT: "AAAAARGH! Call the police! Call the fire department! Call the ACLU!" <sobs>...

    :neener: :p :D :D :D
     
  22. jdege

    jdege Member

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    The Church of John Moses Browning

    Another plug for the Church of John Moses Browning.

    Just as every observant Sikh must always carry a Kirpan (a knife or sword) as a symbol of his willingness to fight injustice, every devotee of the Church of John Moses Browning must always carry a Browning-designed sidearm as a symbol of his willingness to fight injustice.
     
  23. Anna G.

    Anna G. Member

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    I think I am almost convinced and converted.

    Sounds good. I also think that the idea to make the guns pink is good too. Which idiot with some self respect would show off with a girly gun...

    Cordex, thank you for the compliment. Like I said the only reason why I separate guns by other dangerous things is that someone might think it would be cool to show off a bit with one. Its true that with some luck and wish you can kill a person with anything handy.
     
  24. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    So, if I carry a Sig, can I at least hang out at meetings for the free Kool-Aid? Or am I just considered heathen Euro-trash?

    Even if it were hot pink, I'd trust my life to it...
     
  25. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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