Sanity around weapons

or #0Guns4U

I’m a Navy Veteran who has owned guns and has no fear of guns in the hands of sane Citizens.

In fact: I want sane, trained, accurate, Citizens to have unfettered access to guns.
Here’s why:

The simple Fact is that weapons in the hands of sane, competent, folks increases our herd immunity to all those who understand nothing but superior force… whether they be criminals or despotic governments.

That said, We Have A Problem which is not being handled by any of the tools we’re using today.
It is that we have guns, lots of them, in the hands of mentally, morally, and legally, incompetent folks.

This Fact results in the needless, henious, deaths of my fellow Citizens, and their children, whom I took an Oath to protect when I joined the Navy in 1979. The hard part for me is that my Oath (which I take VERY seriously) also includes the protection of Our Constitution as a primary Duty. This creates a tough balancing act to honor both of those Oaths while protecting our fellow Citizens from idiots and felons.

Here is my simple suggestion which addresses this obvious problem using effective tools we already have available yet still honors the Second Amendment
Our Constitution. I call it “Zero Guns For You.”

Process

1) Mandated State Level pre-licensing for those who wish to own guns… the exact same way we do with prospective drivers.

a) Licensing process to require 40 hours of training on gun use, care and safety before a license to own or buy weapons is issued. The training elemant would include an element of accuracy as well… if you can’t hit an 8″ target you’ve no business with a gun.
(This is the same sort of training we had in the Navy circa 1979)
It would NOT include any sort of tracking of what weapons you own.

b) If you’re any sort of armed police, or security officer, (State, Federal, or Private) your recertification interval is 6 months AND you must be able to recite the US Constitution Bill of Rights from memory. Note that the the requirements for being an armed Officer are MORE stringent than the general public, as is the application of penalties by courts. This is intentional. You took an Oath to protect Citizens & Constitution; so logically your standards for the performance of that Duty are higher than those who didn’t take such an Oath.

2) Annual recertification of training & accuracy to maintain the license.
2a) Lose your license? You turn in, or sell off, your weapons within 30 days… ALL of them.

3) No License = NO SALE. Penalty for selling weapons to unlicensed folks = 3 months jail on the first offense. This also applies to private transactions or “gifts.”

4) Owning or using a gun without being licensed, outside of a training range, is 90 days in jail per weapon, run consecutively. More than 2 counts or cases converts everything to a felony (+1yr in prison).

5) Reasons for denial of license and thus denial of access to guns:

If the applicant has Ever had a felony conviction for violence

Under age 16

Applicant has ever provided (intentionally or through negligence) a gun to anyone unlicensed.

Providing, through loan, gift, or sale, a gun to an unlicensed person (a sole exception for Training Range use of weapons limited to on site use)

Applicant has ever been found guilty of any level of Abuse of Legal Authority or acting under False Color of Law, whether by a Criminal court or a Civil Court.

Any Domestic Violence conviction

Any Felony conviction

Any involuntary entry to a mental health facility. (Whether by Family commitment or Arrest)

If you’ve ever shot yourself or another “Accidentally” (Yes, Im looking directly at YOU, Dick Cheney!)

If you’ve ever discharged a weapon in a public place “Accidentally”
I call this plan #0guns4U

Just so we’re all clear, my intention here as a sane gun owner, who’s NEVER had an “accident” with a gun, or had one stolen, or “lost” a weapon, is to start a discussion about how we as a society can accomplish two goals:

1) Protect the Constitutional Right to own guns
2) Give us all an effective tool to use in keeping guns away from incompetent folks.

What’s interesting to me about this proposal is that it offers all who sell guns a tool we don’t have now, to know that the folks they’re selling to are reasonably competent and have at least some training so that they don’t kill themselves or others. The truth is most gun owners are sane folks who do not want guns in the hands of incompetent folks but have zero tools to control for that in person to person sales.
The mechanism here is simple, elegant and requires zero State intervention outside of setting up the licensing technology (which already exists via our Departments of Motor Vehicles). It works organically via the profit motive in exactly the same way renting a car does. Try to rent or buy a car without a drivers license in hand… Good Luck buddy! As it stands now private Citizens have ZERO easy, effective way to find out if a prospective buyer is a felon, wife beater, or is otherwise incompetent to own a gun. Frankly I, and almost every gun owner I’ve met, do NOT want to sell a gun to someone who’s legally incompetent, or criminal. This set of tools would give us sane folk a mechanisim to eliminate those folks without any need for phone calls and waiting periods. Got your license? You’re good to go. Don’t have your license? See ya bud! Get lost

Like This:
Buyer: I want that one, here’s the money.
Seller: I need to see your license.
(A) Buyer: Haven’t got one yet.
Seller: Come find me when you have it.
(B) Buyer: Here ya go.
Seller: *Matches picture to person, completes sale* Here you go, nice doing business with you.

It also neatly addresses the “heat of the moment” first time gun buyers who are buying for one purpose: To kill or maim someone they’re pissed at now. We KNOW this happens and with this system that can be dramatically reduced as well because there’s a process one must go through to get the license to buy a weapon. That process takes time and requires some “pre-flight” certification listed in bold above.

The other advantage is that this system dies not track who owns what weapons which is a MAJOR Constitutional Rights concern for a great many gun owners. It only tracks who is qualified to own weapons… the nice thing about this on the “crime” side of the fence is that our current laws have a Catch-22 built in where a person who’s not qualified 2 own weapons can often be imprisoned simply for an attempt to buy. This discourages them from applying and causes them to seek out black markets or private sellers who have no effective way to check status.

Now, in earlier writings I cover the Constitutional ABSOLUTE RIGHT to bear arms and the reasons it’s an Absolute Right

https://fixerguy.net/2015/07/03/yes-folks-there-is-a-right-to-bear-arms/

8 thoughts on “Sanity around weapons

  1. PamIam (@ChgoCitizenPam)

    I shared your proposal with a rational gun owning friend who thoughtfully commented that training is expensive and this requirement could adversely impact ownership by the poor. I don’t own a gun so the expense of training is something I have no knowledge about & the thought never crossed my mind. What say you? I’m very interested on your response. Best, Pam

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    1. fixerguy Post author

      Training could be expensive, however we could address that by requiring the training be offered by community colleges or high scools (as we do for drivers’ education. Bottom line though, guns are no longer necessary for survival, and if you can’t hit a target, and ONLY THE TARGET

      This could be a deterrent for poor, however we still require that those folks get insurance & training to drive so they don’t “accidentally” kill or maim Those who can’t, or won’t, shouldn’t own weapons

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    1. fixerguy Post author

      I know it needs tweaking to be Constitutional and enforceable, but it’s a starting place which would actually work vs. the NRA approved, designed to be useless, BS we’ve had for 40 years now.
      Please feel free to share it about as you will.

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  2. Pingback: Open Letter to Representative Greg Walden | fixerguy's Blog

  3. David Stump

    Fixerguy: Thank you for posting this. It is a very good and reasonable proposal. One addition I would make is a requirement that anyone who sells a gun must keep a record of that sale, including seriel number of the gun and ID of the buyer, for a minimum of 7 years. Then if, AND ONLY IF, that gun is used in the commission of a crime the police can apply for a warent to track the gun from manufacturer to seller to current owner.

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  4. amostlyaccurateview

    I really like this approach. I have been in several conversations since the Orlando massacre about gun control, shooter control, what designates an “assault weapon” and the constitutionality of banning one particular subset of firearms, etc. As one who started from the far far left on the issue, I have been supplied with a variety of new information that I had not been able to consider in my view of things. I now am not so far left on this issue as I was as a result.

    Like you said, we have a problem, but it now seems to me that guns aren’t the issue per se, but rather the accessibility to those guns to those who would use them to do harm to others instead of for the protection of self, family, or property (I still am not sold on the “property” part of it – I just don’t think a Plasma TV or F-150 is worth taking a life over).

    One thing I see about your proposal that could be somewhat problematic – denial of the right to buy or own a gun if someone has been convicted of domestic violence. Now, don’t get me wrong, if someone is prone to anger and uses violence as their preferred method of expressing that anger, especially against those who can’t defend themselves (wife beaters and child abusers), they certainly don’t need access to a deadly weapon. However, there are instances where people have been wrongly convicted of domestic violence, and this would deny them their constitutional right due to another person’s dishonesty.

    For example: I personally was dating a girl who was a basket of crazy, a sad fact that I didn’t realize until it was too late. One evening, she comes to our shared apartment completely obliterated, having spent the better part of four hours drinking with coworkers after her shift was over at the restaurant where she waitressed. As people who have had too much to drink will sometimes do, she decided she wanted to argue. As I wasn’t really in the mood to argue, and tried to go back to sleep ,which only made her more angry (she thrived on attention and didn’t like to be ignored). After being punched and slapped several times, I held her by her arms, firmly, and kept her at bay. Strictly self-defense. Long story short, she used the marks on her arms as proof that I was hurting her, and the cops of course saw it her way. Luckily for me, I had a friend in the DA’s office who I called immediately upon my release and explained the situation to him. He told me that I should take pictures of the scratches and marks on my face, neck, and body, as well as the bite mark on my arm (she bit me while I was holding her arms to keep her from hitting me). My DA friend told me to take those pictures to the police and to have her picked up on the exact same charges. By the time we got in front of the judge, it was obvious what had actually happened and all charges were dropped on both sides.

    I got lucky. But it showed me just how easily a person can be charged and wrongfully convicted of domestic violence. I do believe that, by and large, most claims of domestic violence are probably legitimate. However, there are definitely some that aren’t. Seeing how easily I could have been convicted had I not gotten some wise advice, I daresay that there are more wrongful domestic violence convictions than one would think. I had never had a DV charge before, and 15 years later, still have not had one. If she had been successful in getting me convicted, I would not be able to buy or own a gun under your proposal (I do not own a gun, and don’t plan on owning one, so personally I wouldn’t care, but it is a matter of denying a constitutional right to a person for someone else’s dishonesty – i also can’t abide by that).

    Perhaps if there was a clause about length of time since the DV conviction, or if a person is a multiple offender, etc. Again, I am not a victim-blamer, and I do honestly believe that the majority of DV convictions are probably legitimate. But due to my own experience, I know for a fact that not all are.

    Just my own thoughts.

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