People Who Shouldn’t Own Guns

I tend to agree with much of the sentiment expressed over at the Vuurwapen Blog, in regards to people who are stupidly irresponsible with guns. The problem is, as he points out, that we don’t have a good test for stupid that wouldn’t also discriminate against the rights of others.

I’m not convinced that mandatory training and safety courses will be of much help; even if they’re forced to attend, these people won’t retain much or any of the information that’s passed to them. Someone with the right attitude – of affording firearms the respect they deserve as tools capable of causing harm when misused – will seek out this information without being forced to do so. Novice or expert, it’s the willingness to constantly use firearms in a safe and responsible manner that is important. Yes, perhaps some people just need a little nudge in the right direction. But others will never come around.

I agree. Read the whole thing.

9 thoughts on “People Who Shouldn’t Own Guns”

  1. The potential for restrictive mischief via mandatory training and safety courses is another argument against.

    1. Correct. Who decides on what training is appropriate? On how much the training costs?

      There are too many questions to subject a right to such a scheme.

  2. Be it guns, knives, cars, alcohol, power tools and certain DIY projects – stupid people will do stupid things, and the process could also be considered “natural selection.”

    Unfortunately, stupid people also do stupid things that affect innocent people too, which makes for the question of the fine line to be found between those tools that are used by the stupid.

    The difference though, between power tools, cars, etc and guns is a constitutional right granted, and everyone is entitled to the right to defend themselves.

    1. According to the manual that came with my chainsaw, the 2nd most common cause of accidents was “did not see bystander”. So, yeah, stupidity and carelessness don’t need guns to be lethal.

  3. For an analogy: Even 50+ years ago, I and most of my contemporaries went through “drivers ed” in high school and were shown all the movies of mangled bodies and horrendous car wrecks. Any yet I believe I am correct in saying that my generation (that the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean set to music) used our muscle cars to rack up about the most deadly period in traffic history. Without adding any more words, my bottom like is training means next to nothing as far as safety. Nice if you want it and will pay heed to it, meaningless if it is mandatory and all you do is a walk-through.

  4. Training is always a good thing for the uninitiated. It can come from an organized class, a well-versed friend, or from self-study and honest reflection. Most of us have a comfortable and intimate knowledge of our firearms and act accordingly within the law. We do the same thing with our vehicles, which have a far higher potential for insidious “mischief”. Proficiency with guns or cars, (like any other skill) comes with education and practice.

    You can’t legislate stupid, but you can arrest, convict and imprison careless, dangerous idiots that violate public safety. But prosecutors best be careful lest they be deemed racist.

    As far as the lack of lesson retention, I tend to agree when the classes are attended by virgins. There’s a lot of serious information to take in for a newbie. All these years after school, I still sometimes forget where the comma goes. Luckily, that endangers no one, save grammar Nazis.

    When I got into it, I was lucky to work with a “gun guy” who was a few years older that I. I was fortunate that he was willing, patient, and possessed a great deal of information within his “tobacco-spittin’, beer drinkin’, redneck, uneducated pea-brain”. Our several outings, which always included me shooting HIS guns, were always started with a review of safety protocol.

    By the time I left that job, I had become the “gun guy”. I have trained many first-time shooters and it has always been a great pleasure. Starting with an empty slate and teaching safety and THEN skill, to the willing, is a wonderous thing.

    Except for once; I took my sister out for a hike one fine AZ spring morning. At the time, she was in her mid-fifties, and had never shot a gun before. After a couple of miles, we took a break in a safe, legal spot to rest. I was carrying a .45 SOB, but I also carried a Ruger MKII .22 5.5″ Bull on my hip for just this reason. When asked, she said “hell yeah!”. I went through the safety rules and shot a 10 round mag myself just so she’d see that Hollywood always gets it wrong. That event was an ego buster. First time out, she made my target look like a shotgun patterning board, but hey, I wasn’t wearing my shooting shoes.

  5. Stupid owns guns, drives cars and trucks, operates dangerous machinery, and worst of all – votes.

    We can’t eliminate stupid and we can’t keep stupid from causing death. What we try to do is keep stupid from killing us.

  6. Perhaps the simplest reason we can’t ban stupid, is because everyone starts out “stupid”, and a lot of otherwise intelligent people can become stupid over time, and everyone–even the most intelligent, most competent among us–will do a stupid thing or two at least once in their lifetimes. Every so often, someone dies because of it!

    Thus, attempting to ban stupid is a hopeless enterprise, and can only result in the infringement of our rights and even “privileges”. (And, no, I do not agree that driving, even on public roads, should be considered a privilege. It is as much a right as anything else, and to the extent that the Constitution is supposed to protect rights not enumerated in the Constitution, it should be a Constitutional right. The only reason why I suspect that we tolerate its licensing, is because driving has never been subjected to blatant racism or favoritism, in any way similar to how other rights have been treated in the past. That, and licensing happened gradually…)

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