Texas: It's about the Benjamins
I've been through the initial license and the renewal in Texas. The classroom for the initial license was all day--a long day--but frankly I've learned more from just reading on my own the State of Texas material. At the end of the day was the range test. In my class there were a few people with very little experience and a couple who had not previously shot a handgun. Yet everyone passed the shooting test. Every single person.
When I went for my renewal, the half day class was plenty. A couple of us had questions--about 3006 and other no-carry places. At noon the range test, at least two guys there had not fired a gun since their last CHL range test. One really old guy (no offense, I'm 66 myself) had a Glock with a 30-rd mag sticking out the bottom. The way he was swinging that thing around scared the heck out of me (and the instructor). At the first shooting station (maybe 3 yards?), he (the old guy) remarked about my shooting "Hey! Somebody's been practicing!" The test is so easy that halfway through, the instructor told me quietly "You already have enough points. You're just shooting for fun now." I am not an expert shot.
My point? There's a fat fee to the State of Texas, a charge for the CHL class, and a fingerprint company collecting some cash. Is the license about safety, handgun competence, or what? It's about money, of course? Lots of money to lots of people. I used to be a CPA (now retired status). It required a $210 annual license and 40 hours of continuing education. It's about money.
If gun owners would agree to an annual gun safety awareness tax (I won't) to the federal government of $50 per handgun or bolt action rifle and $100 per semi-auto rifle, all the gun banning talk would end. Prohibition went away (even though it took another constitutional amendment) and became a major revenue source for all kinds of taxing authorities, even though alcohol and drunks kill more people than M-16's did in Vietnam--and those rifles had full auto switches.
At least that's what I think.