gaseousclay, I would have no problem with a range requiring new shooters (to their facility) to take a safety course in order to use the range. Frankly, that might be a good thing.
Having the government require safety training for ownership is another matter. Too much potential for abuse (fees, course scheduling issues, you name it) and not much evidence to show that training would make a significant difference.
in the case of firearm safety i'm not opposed to either a government program or a private program, so long as a new gun owner is familiar with firearm safety and proper gun etiquette. to me it's inexcusable that there are morons out there who have no business owning a gun, especially if they don't comprehend the basic rules of firearm safety. i'm 41, I took my firearm safety course through the DNR 2 yrs ago even though the law stipulated that I wasn't legally required to do so. I did it because of incidents like the OP mentioned. I didn't want to be that