Shouldn't guns have at least as many requirements as getting a driver's license in the U.S.?
There are those who say that the government should regulate gun permits (and therefore ownership) in exactly the same way it regulates driver’s licenses. This position ignores the US Constitution and the Second Amendment, however, as this grants as a RIGHT the right to bear arms.Given that this is a defined RIGHT in the US Constitution, I would ask if you would similarly suggest that other rights be similarly regulated, such as the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and protections to personal property. Should these be licensed too as rights? For instance, should a person have to apply to the government for a permit to exercise their free speech rights? Should the press have to register and get a license to practice their freedom of the press rights?I think you would say NO, in capital letters.Several points of discussion follow:Those who disagree with the Second Amendment right to bear arms should fight to repeal the Second Amendment, not seek to dilute or invalidate that right by unconstitutional legislative action. To do so requires an amendment to be introduced, passed, and then ratified by 2/3s of the states in the USA. That’s simple enough • except that those who wish to eliminate or limit the right to bear arms know that it will never get ratified by 2/3s of the states and probably wouldn’t even get ratified by 1/2 of the states. That fact reflects on the democratic expression of America on this issue. Ignoring that they are essentially ignoring the democratic and popular interest, the anti-gun lobbies thus seek other means to get their way.For further discussion purposes and to head off pointless arguments that rehash age-old issues, the Supreme Court’s Heller decision makes clear that to exercise the right to bear arms, the gun-owner need NOT NOT NOT be a member of a militia. This was a point that needed clarification given that the anti-gun lobby was clamoring to make that a requirement to own a gun. On careful review, the Supreme Court ruled on the matter and put the issue to bed.The Heller ruling will likely stand for decades to come as it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will take up many gun cases in the near term (the previous gun rights case was over 70 years earlier if memory serves). I would suggest that people look up and read the Heller decision and the dissenting opinion(s) as it can form a very educational starting point for any discussions on gun rights in America.As to the RIGHT to bear arms, just because it is enshrined in the US Constitution does not mean that reasonable restrictions cannot be legally to be applied, such as denying guns to felons or the insane, etc.. However, licensing as you suggest, which implies mandatory training, initial and recurring testing to ascertain qualifications, is not likely legal, nor will it likely ever be applied on a national basis.On a state by state level, the legislatures may pass laws with varying terms that limit ownership or require certain types of licensing, but where they cross the line and violate the right enshrined in the US Constitution, those laws will likely also be overturned, one by one.The common arguments heard that the number of school shootings, mass shootings, etc., in America more than justifies a repeal of the Second Amendment or draconian restrictions on gun ownership • ala Australia • is spurious. The US Constitution stands. One can claim that the number of deaths warrant sharp restrictions and that the Founding Fathers did not foresee the future deadly nature of automatic weapons, etc., but this is all a matter of educated opinion. If the argument is compelling enough then 2/3s of the states should be persuaded to ratify a repeal of the Second Amendment • clearly, the argument falls flat.A final point, referenced just prior, is the argument that the Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the deadly nature of automatic weapons ignores that if gun ownership is to be limited to flintlock, black powder, single shot Revolutionary War era weapons. To hold that position ignores the precedent it sets that can be applied to other rights as well • should the press, for instance, be disallowed from using radio, television, email, cable, modern printing presses, magazines, modern postal systems, digital distribution through the web, etc., simply because those technologies were not around during the Revolutionary War. Clearly, the Founding Fathers didn’t see that the press might someday be 24/7/365, global, and entirely digital • they never imagined the world we live in, and so the rights should be restricted to the world’s technologies and understanding of the time…. I think any reasoned person would say no.Ultimately, I am not saying that gun violence is acceptable. I am not saying that the number of mass shootings should not bring the nation to look at alternatives. I am, however, saying that I support the US Constitution and the law of the land and I am absolutely confirming that I believe in America’s democratic system of government. I respect that the Second Amendment is a defined right, equal to all other rights granted in the Bill of Rights, and should be in full force and effect until it is amended or repealed by a democratic vote in accordance with the process laid out for amending the US Constitution. Holding this position is a confirmation that I am an American and a patriot.However, holding a position that seeks to repeal or replace the Second Amendment is also your right as an American. The path is laid out in law before you on what must be done to democratically achieve your goals. If the nation agrees and 2/3s of the states ratify, you may achieve those goals. No current amendment to change or repeal the Second Amendment is in draft or under consideration • why not? If you believe that gun ownership should not be a right, then get started on changing it • the right way and not in ways that are unconstitutional (as these are illegal on their face). Denying an American of their rights is a severe offense.Finally, I don’t suppose that you believe that licensing is required for you to exercise the right to call for changes of the US Constitution. Perhaps you might next claim that this too should require a license • you know, one similar to a drivers license, where they test you for political knowledge and organizational skill, etc., before you have a right to oppose and advocate for a repeal of the Second Amendment?