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Old April 26, 2009, 11:11 AM   #1
roy reali
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Gun IQ

This is sort of a continuation of another thread. It has to do with gun knowledge, or lack of it. How gun savvy should a person be before they purchase a firearm? If a minimal gun knowledge standard should be in place, how would it be determined? Should dealers be pickier on who they sell to?

I have mixed feeling about this. If someone goes into a gun shop and buys a Ruger 10/22, then purchases a pack of Crossman, 22 caliber pellets to test his new toy, I would have serious reservatons about being in the same county that he chooses to shoot in. This fellow probably should not have a gun, at least without further guidance and instruction. But, if gun knowledge is legislated you get into that slippery slope deal.

Should a person with no gun knowledge, no understanding of basic gun safety, be allowed to have a gun? A car is also dangerous, therefore a driver must pass tests to determine his ability to operate one. However, I am unaware of any major movements to ban cars. Many states now require hunters to pass a course prior to getting their first license. Statistics seem to indicate that it has cut down on accidents. Concealed carry permits also require instruction in most jurisdictions. There are no such requirements for buying guns. Yes, there is a background check, but that proves nothing as far as gun IQ goes.

I am uncertain of this issue.

What do you all think of this?
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:20 AM   #2
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Always encourage the person to seek competent training. Especially the newbie.

People will always do stupid things and nothing will change that.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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It doesn't prevent anything...

I live in CA where we have the required handgun safety exam to be allowed to purchase a handgun. Oh yeah, its only good for 3 years after you pay the 30 bucks to take it. It is incredibly simple and im fairly certain My wife could pass it (she knows nothing of firearms). I feel it does nothing to prevent imbeciles from aquiring weapons.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:23 AM   #4
overkill556x45
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Most responsible retailers will either not sell or offer to train newbies. My local FFL mom&pop gun store has an acreage out back and will gladly give you safety and marksmanship instruction. You just bring the ammo and a good attitude.

The most dangerous combination is ignorance and refusal to accept training. If you see someone in need of instruction, offer, but do not be condescending about it. Once upon a time, shooting was not my kung fu. But I had mentors who cultivated my interest and taught me well. Everyone should be so lucky.

A "Gun IQ" test is advocated most adamantly by the gun grabbers who would use such an instrument to bar ownership by you and I. It is a dangerous step down a slippery slope. For instance, they could ask you how to disassemble an M2 machinegun and set it up for left-hand feed. If you don't know how to do that, you don't get a license. Maybe they will ask "general knowlede" questions about how to calculate bullet drop according to atmospheric pressure and temperature. What? You don't know how? Well you're obviously too stupid to own a gun.

There are mental midgets out there who own guns, but it should be motivation for you to help them out instead of try to take their guns away.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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Ive always said gun safety starts at age 8, not age 21... Teach your kids to be safe and responsible and they will be.

As for legislative action to force responsibility, haha all I can do is laugh
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:31 AM   #6
COYOTE JLR
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I agree that this is a difficult topic to weigh in on. And my feelings are mixed.

I come from a family that didn't like guns, didn't want guns, and didn't know a darn thing about them. Luckily for me I had friends who helped me to learn and get into the sport. I didn't get my first gun until after I had taken a hunter safety course and I'm thankful for that. My parents were supportive of my decision and actually bought my first rifle for me.

Over the years I've managed to get most of my younger siblings into shooting and it is a joy and makes me proud. I have a sister who constantly begs me to buy a gun for her, but I won't do it. I did however make a deal with her. She goes out and takes hunter safety and I will buy her a gun or give her one of my own. I think this is appropriate and reasonable. I know I won't always be there to keep an eye on her and remind her to do this differently and whatnot so the only way that I would feel safe in letting her have her own weapon is if she has been certified.

Now I guess the question should be, "do I think this is something that should be federally mandated?" And while I would want to say yes, I can't bring myself to do that. If we lived in a more reasonable society where I didn't worry that at some point our right to keep and bear arms could be taken away or that they may be infringed upon I would probably be ok with it, but as things stand now I wouldn't be willing to give antis an opening to latch on to. I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect people to know about guns and gun safety before they own of fire a weapon.

I've been out with people before whom I would never, ever go shooting with again simply because I don't think they could pass hunter safety if they tried. I would like to know that people like that aren't wandering around in the woods like I am, but if we were to mandate testing I think over time the tests would become more difficult and complex as more and more concessions were made until we reached a point where it was very difficult to make it through the system.

I don't think there is any other way to say it. I wish I could feel safe in supporting something like that to increase everyone's safety, but I fear that the chances of abuse of that system are far too high to ever allow it to be passed. Just my .02.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Should a person with no gun knowledge, no understanding of basic gun safety, be allowed to have a gun?
Yep.

Do you have to know how to operate a computer before you buy one? A chainsaw? Lawmower? Should you be allowed to go to Home Depot and buy a ceiling fan without an electrical license? Should you be allowed to vote with an room temperature IQ?

Yep.

It is not YOUR place to make decisions for OTHER people.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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re:CoyoreJLR

Thank you for the great reply. You actually expressed my thoughts better then I did.

I have run into other hunters that made me very nervous. Nothing says gun accident quite like a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels. However, I agree with you in that if this was ever mandated, it wouldn't take long for some lawmakers to make gun ownership require a college degree of passing something similar to the Bar Exam.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
I don't think there is any other way to say it. I wish I could feel safe in supporting something like that to increase everyone's safety, but I fear that the chances of abuse of that system are far too high to ever allow it to be passed. Just my .02.
Your whole post is a sentiment many people feel, but its all based on fear. Why do we have more fear in today's day and age, while statistically speaking we are all much safer?

And I dont even trust the government with my money, much less telling people who can and who cant have weapons. Sound good in theory, but would never ever work...
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Apples and Oranges

Quote:
Do you have to know how to operate a computer before you buy one? A chainsaw? Lawmower? Should you be allowed to go to Home Depot and buy a ceiling fan without an electrical license? Should you be allowed to vote with an room temperature IQ?
You are comparing apples and oranges. If a person tries to install an electric fan without any knowledge, it probably won't affect my health. A dumb lawn mower operator isn't going to accidentaly kill my dog on a nature hike. A dummy with a gun might cause harm to me or others. I am not saying that this is a good reason to mandate gun knowledge, but to show that your comparisons are invalid. Now, comparing gun ownership to to flying an airplane makes some sense. An idiot flying an airplane endangers not only himself, but innocent folks on the ground. Also, anyone that decides to work on electrical devices in a public venue must be licensed because his screw up can put others in danger. By comparison, if a single digit IQ'd individual wants to buy a 12 gauge shotgun, nothing but the common sense of the gun dealer would prevent it.

See, this is an interesting topic!
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:52 AM   #11
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shall not be infringed

Infringed = to encroach or trespass
to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgressan
encroachment or intrusion.
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Old April 26, 2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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Good old apples and oranges.

It still comes down to YOU wanting to impose YOUR wishes on other people so that YOU feel safe.

Fine. To qualify for a CCW, I think you should have to come in the top 3 in any IPSC match. To qualify for a hunting license, you need to place in the top three at a Camp Perry High Powered Rifle match.

That would make me feel safe for you to have firearms.
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:03 PM   #13
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re:HKmp5sd

Please find any reference I made saying that I feel gun knowldege should be mandated. I have started this thread because i find this to be an interesting topic. I do think idiots shouldn't have guns, or cars, or even alcoholic beverages. But I don't want the "man" more involved in our lives then he currently is. I wonder if there is a happy medium ground to this issue.
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:08 PM   #14
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quite right...

Quote:
By comparison, if a single digit IQ'd individual wants to buy a 12 gauge shotgun, nothing but the common sense of the gun dealer would prevent it.
Providing He can sign his name and meets all the legal requirements.

HOWEVER,
If a 150 I.Q. tenured professor decides to go and shoot someone, you can't do anything about that either!

Sure, untrained individuals are a risk, but like a lot of things, the risk must be balanced against the benefits. There should be no restraints on buying and owning the gun. Using it in public, is another matter, and one that requires some education. For generations, hunter safety courses filled this need, teaching basic gun safety, along with hunting rules and guidelines. Or children got taught at home, by parents and family members.

The basic problem with giving the govt. the authority to determine who may exercise their natural rights, particularly when the right is specifically listed in the Constitution as "shall not be infringed", is that the people in govt are never satisfied. Nothing is ever enough. They always keep increasing the complexity of the rules and requirements, either due to a personal agenda against gunownership, or the all too common bureaucratic desire to be seen as "doing something".

You may have one set of rules for many years, and things are working fine, but then, a new administration comes in, a new guy gets into the office, and in order to justify his being there, he makes new rules, so things will work "better". Trouble is, usually, the only place things work "better" is in his own mind.
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:17 PM   #15
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re:44amp

Your point about owning a gun versus using one in public is a good one. But, how would you mandate the person shooting his gun in public has at least rudimentary safety knowledge? At least a hunter should have had a basic course in safety. A CCW'er probably had to complete some sort of course. But there is nothing in most areas to stop a moron from taking his 22 into the woods to "plink".
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
I wonder if there is a happy medium ground to this issue.
No. There is not. A law used to disarm the "dangerous" types will inevitably be used to disarm the rest of us. Government intervention is government intervention.

If you meet a person in need of training, then train them, do not disarm them. How do you know it is "stupid" and not "untrained" that is their problem? You can't fix stupid, but you can sure fix "untrained".
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:39 PM   #17
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Not much on trying to regulate everything, particularily Darwinian selection. Motorcycles, chain saws, ladders, etc. Maybe in a perfect George Jetson world. Till then, they usually come with bright red warnings and safety instructions.
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:49 PM   #18
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No one, I repeat - No One, has a right to feel safe, let alone a right to safety.

It's a cold cruel world out there. It's not safe at all.

It's even less safe when everyone has liberties that can't be abridged. You face scorn, derision, shunning, every time you take a step out of your front door. You might get run over by a drunk; a person talking on their cell while driving; someone just in a hurry.

Every society tries, but stupidity and morality simply can't be legislated.

Most States require some type of Drivers Ed before you can get a drivers license. Hasn't stopped stupid drivers.

Most States require Hunters Ed before you can get a hunting license. Hasn't stopped stupid hunters.

And on and on and on... Anyone could (and they have) compile the stats, and make an argument for either direction.

We have laws that punish people for their actions, after the fact. That's the deterrent. That should be enough.

Why saddle people with new mandates before they purchase a firearm? It won't stop stupidity. Never has, never will.

You won't actually be any safer, no matter how you feel. All you will have accomplished is to burden your fellow citizens with yet another regulation.
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Old April 26, 2009, 01:02 PM   #19
COYOTE JLR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLRANGL
Your whole post is a sentiment many people feel, but its all based on fear. Why do we have more fear in today's day and age, while statistically speaking we are all much safer?

And I dont even trust the government with my money, much less telling people who can and who cant have weapons. Sound good in theory, but would never ever work...
I don't know that I could say that we're any safer today than we were 50 years ago. Crimes still happen, and humans are still as fallible as ever. I would say in the way of firearm safety we might be less safe than we were 50 years ago. I don't think that as many people are properly trained any more. And I'm not talking about formal training as much as I am referring to having our fathers and grandfathers take us out at a young age and teaching us what is right and proper and safe. I think that makes a huge difference.

Now don't get me wrong here. I try not to buy into fear. I'm not out stockpiling ammunition or rushing to buy an "assault rifle" or anything like that. I'm waiting for it to blow over and I'm trying not to add to the panic and scramble. I am very careful when I'm out in the woods and when I hear gunfire I make sure to identify where its coming from and to keep well clear of it. Do I allow it to stop me from going out? Not by any means. I am wary though. And I would be lying to say I'm not a little nervous at times. Just a couple of weeks ago a friend and I were shot "at" while out on the logging roads. The person didn't know we were there and we fired a couple of rounds up in the air when branches started falling down around us and the person stopped and the person stopped, but the guys didn't use a proper back stop or even think to use one. Once we spoke with them for a couple minutes and gave them a better spot to go shoot, things were great. It was still a far closer call than I like though.

I would love to see everyone with a gun pass hunters safety. I think as far as things are concerned that's as much as one could expect. Would I support mandating it? Heavens no, but I would be happy if people did it of their own accord. I think we just need to be careful and try to teach our kids and grandchildren and brothers and sisters safety and respect of firearms along with anyone else that may need some advice.

I wish I could more eloquently impart my thoughts, but (for me at least) its difficult to say anything in an absolute fashion. The one thing I know is that as much as I wish everyone was properly trained I would not and could not support or allow the government to have that control.
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Old April 26, 2009, 02:04 PM   #20
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I think gun safety should be taught in school, which we all know will never happen. Let's face it, there are alot of guns in this country and I wouldn't have it any other way. However, after alot of thought I think making a safety course mandatory before buying a gun may have some merit. I have friends who are otherwise very trustworthy who own guns legally but do not practice good gun manners occasionally. I sometimes have to correct them, which can be a bit awkward, but might save me from getting my head removed! So, yes, I think a prospective gun owner should have to prove proficiency with a firearm for the good of everyone around them. You cannot just assume that simply by someone being able to legally own a firearm they practice gun safety. One friend told me that he was "joking around with one of his buds" by running out of a dark room waving an unloaded shot gun in the friends direction. His friend just about soiled himself but they had a laugh afterward. I told him it's a good thing he didn't do that to me or he'd be missing several teeth.
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Old April 26, 2009, 02:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
If a 150 I.Q. tenured professor decides to go and shoot someone, you can't do anything about that either!
I know a lot of tenured professors and would guess not too many exceed 'bout 130. There are certainly exceptions though.
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Old April 26, 2009, 02:31 PM   #22
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Bearing arms is the right of those who are free. It is not a privilege but a right. We should encourage people to learn gun safety and be knowledgable about firearms but we have no right to create laws that infringe on their constitutional (God given) right to bear arms.
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Old April 26, 2009, 02:44 PM   #23
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I understand and agree it is a right and once a gun safety course has been completed I believe it should be mandatory that a person with no criminal record, no drug or alcohol problems, or history of mental illness should be able to buy a gun, immediately. Seems like common sense to me.
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Old April 26, 2009, 02:56 PM   #24
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Rereading the original post, This probably needs to be in L&CR.

Watch your Ps & Qs over there.

Moving ...
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Old April 26, 2009, 03:09 PM   #25
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I would say that the sales person should just have to have a dialogue with the purchaser that goes something like...

Salesperson: "You know this is a real firearm, right?"
Purchaser: "Yes."

Salesperson: "You know which end the bullets come out of right, right?"
Purchaser: "Yes."

Salesperson: "You know you should never point it at anything you do not want to kill, right??
Purchaser: "Yes."

Salesperson: "You know what caliber of ammo it takes, right??"
Purchaser: "Yes."

Salesperson: "You know enough to buy a firearm."
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