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Old January 9, 2013, 04:24 PM   #1
Kimio
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A suggestion from a friend on firearms education

I was discussing this with another member of a message board I visit a lot.

I am an advocate of firearms safety and education. Lets face it though, there are many firearms owners out there that simply are not educated enough if at all on proper firearms safety and maintenance.

It was suggested that perhaps a licensing program of some sort would be a decent solution to this dillemma. The idea was that in order to purchase a firearm, you must be certafied as being trained in the basics of gun safety, and know how to properly maintain and handle a specific type of firearm.

This license would not register you as owning a firearm, it simply states that you are trained and officially recognized as being eligible for purchasing that given type of firearm.


I can hear the arguments against this already, one, that this could be abused of course, there are many different schools of thought when it comes to the handleing of a firearm, and determining a blanket course may not be ideal for everyone. Not to mention, this could be a means of registration but of a different sort, that can identify those who would be the greatest threat given (however unlikely) our government decides that they would want to opress us.

Another argument I would imagine would come up is how would this be funded, the start up costs would be astronomical, and I simply left this argument as just a possible suggestion.

He agreed that legislation will not stop crime, but with something as potent as a firearm, he feels that proper training should be mandatory if you want to own one.

There are probably other points that I'm missing, but honestly I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to want everyone to be properly trained in the safe use of a firearm (The law abiding at least). It's part of what differentiates a responsible firearms owner from one that isn't.

What do you think, obviously there is a very fine line that must be walked here if it were ever to be taken seriously, as too little power and enforcement would cause this whole thing to flounder, while too much power being granted and it can easily be abused by the powers that be, that being the government and even more so at the state level (Such as in Chicago, New York, California etc.)
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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No, thank you.

1) Criminals will never sign up, so the only ones bearing the cost will be those who want to legally own guns.

2) Having the equivalent of an entrance exam to exercise a fundamental, individual right is a monumentally bad idea. Why not just have a civics exam before one can vote, and a grammar test before one is allowed to write letters to their Congressfolks?

3) Costs = astronomical.

4) Potential for abuse = gigantic.

5) Amount of anticipated federal meddling = gargantuan.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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Pretty much what you said Spats, I agree people need to be educated on firearms, but I believe it still needs to remain an option. When we start letting the government regulate what we may or may not need to be educated on, liberty and freedom is lost IMO.

As I stated, there is a very real chance that such a thing would be abused, effectively making it near or impossible for the law abiding to obtain their firearm. Who sets the standard of what enough training would entail to be qualified with a given firearm? There are just so many variables that can go wrong IMO.

I don't see there being a reasonable way to ensure law abiding firearms owners are learning what I think is a necessity, that being firearms safety, without stepping on some or many toes, especially those who wrote the USBoR.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:53 PM   #4
sigcurious
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Quote:
and know how to properly maintain and handle a specific type of firearm.
You'd either need a really comprehensive course, or multiple certifications.

Beyond that, you can look at a place like California for the answer to the question "Does mandatory "safety" training have a measurable impact?". For handguns both a handgun safety certificate is required along with a safe handling demonstration at time of purchase in California. The answer is no.

Coincidetally and anecdotally, this happened in California, and I'm pretty sure police receive safety training.

ETA: This unfortunately happened in my town. Multiple of the 4 rules being broken, leading to an negligent discharge that could have hurt/killed the suspect, or a fellow officer.

It is good to see that you're engaging in multiple discussion about these topics based on your posts as of late. I know very few fence sitters, my friends are all either on board with 2A issues, or have closed their minds to any discussion of such.

Last edited by sigcurious; January 9, 2013 at 05:05 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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There are a few fence sitters I tend to talk to, most are conflicted, I think two or three lean towards the left.

I try to look at these kinds of legislation from their side as well, it can be difficult but I think it heals broaden the scope and helps you find flaws in their arguments.

It's as you said, you can know all the rules in the book, but a lapse in judgement or case where you just go through the motions to get certified doesn't necessarily guarantee that people will be safe.

People do stupid things, some more than others, and there really isn't a thing you can do about it. Each and every one of us has to make a decision, it's just that there are those the choose poorly on what they decide to do.

Legislating what you need or do not need to know is just as futile as trying to legislate morality. You simply can't, due to something that is commonly known as free will. I understand where they're coming from though, they want to do something, you want to try and make things safer, but the sad truth is, more often than not, there is nothing you can do.

Also I feel it is my responsibility as a law abiding gun owner to educate those who are willing to listen, and present our arguments as calmly and intellectually as possible.

Our image isn't exactly stellar, with characters like Alex Jones "representing" us in the media, we need every responsible firearms owner out there pulling their weight, educating others as well as themselves and presenting to the public what we really are all about without the rantings and ravings of a hyper passionate conspiracy theorist that just happens to be a Pro 2A advocate as well (I know several people like Mr. Jones as well, and they drive me nuts)
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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Another issue that this would have would be firearms that were passed down from family. When my dad died when I was a teenager I knew nothing about guns but I still ended up with all of his guns. I wanted to keep them because they were my dad's but I wasn't going to go out and get trained on them. In fact, it was almost a decade later before I even shot one of them. I know you said the training would be for becoming eligible to purchase a firearm but if you're going to force purchases to require the training you would have to force everyone or the system would be abused. All the person would have to do is buy a gun in a private sell and if they were caught with it they would say their dead uncle left it to them or something.
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:20 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimio
It was suggested that perhaps a licensing program of some sort would be a decent solution to this dillemma. The idea was that in order to purchase a firearm, you must be certafied as being trained in the basics of gun safety, and know how to properly maintain and handle a specific type of firearm.
And this will accomplish ... what, exactly?

Remember: This current furor was sparked by a school massacre in Connecticut. Connecticut already has in place just about all the types of regulations being discussed (other than a magazine capacity limit, and they are working on that in Hartford right now). The school shooter was very well trained and he obviously knew how to handle the firearm. He even remembered to wear ear protection while shooting. 9Yes, this was confirmed by the Connecticut State Police.)

But he didn't purchase any of the firearms he used -- he murdered his own mother and stole the guns from her. How would your mandatory training in any way have affected the outcome of the Sandy Hook incident?

Unfortunately, you have already fallen into the gun grabbers' trap. You have allowed them to define the discussion as being about "gun violence," which then automatically leads to solutions involving regulations on "guns." The problem is NOT "gun violence. THE ISSUE IS SCHOOL SECURITY! While everyone has been dithering about more and "better" gun laws, just two or three days ago a 17-year old kid was arrested for plotting an attack on his school ... using a bomb.

What good would a law requiring firearms safety training have done to prevent a bomb attack?1

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; January 9, 2013 at 07:56 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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He did mention some form of grandfathering, which would IMO defeat the purpose of the license in the first place. Also, as you said, what of personal sales through local gun owners or gun shows? How do you regulate something like that? It soon becomes a logistical nightmare between resources, finances and of course politically, even something as simple as this would be an absolute mess and certainly, given the past and current political agendas be used and abused to asinine levels.

Who would fund this? Where would the "Qualified" trainers come from? We are in the middle of one of the greatest financial crisis' this country has had since the great depression, so I doubt any kind of federal aid will help get this off the ground let alone sustain it, there are just much bigger fish to fry.

I would love to see every law abiding gun owner go and seek education on proper handling of fire arms, but it's simply unrealistic to believe that everyone would have the time, cash or desire to even do such a thing.

@Aguila Blanca: The guy I was talking to wasn't talking about how it would affect crime, he just was saying he thinks that training should be mandatory, but as in real life scenarios, how many of us follow an exact regimen when it comes to our firearms? Some of us grow complacent simply due to going through the motions so many times, or others simply don't care. I think what he's hoping is that this will help impact cases where it's not the fault of a criminal but through accidents and the like.

I'd argue that while training certainly makes it more difficult to claim ignorance, the fact is, this is just another speed bump for the law abiding to purchase that Ruger .22 they've been wanting. It does nothing to actually affect the chances of said tragedies of tiny Tim taking daddy' cool shiny 1911 and accidentally blow his or some other poor sods head off.

It's the burden of the individual, and I think the OPTION to become educated needs to be just that, an option.

As soon as we start legislating what is needed or not needed to be known, liberty dies IMO.

Last edited by Kimio; January 9, 2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:22 PM   #9
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Eddie Eagle in grade school, Home Firearm Safety in Junior High School, both mandatory, and Basic Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun/Muzzleloaders as electives in High School.
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:40 PM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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Every state in America (to my knowledge) has required Hunter's Safety courses. Almost all require blaze orange during firearms seasons. There are still fatalities, probably in every state, certainly in most, every single year.
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Old January 9, 2013, 08:09 PM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimio
He did mention some form of grandfathering, which would IMO defeat the purpose of the license in the first place. Also, as you said, what of personal sales through local gun owners or gun shows? How do you regulate something like that? It soon becomes a logistical nightmare between resources, finances and of course politically, even something as simple as this would be an absolute mess and certainly, given the past and current political agendas be used and abused to asinine levels.
Look, Mate ...

You're in Utah. Keep in mind that the Sandy Hook shooting was in Connecticut. Just about ALL the anti-gun laws being discussed are already IN FORCE in Connecticut. Connecticut has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the country. Not quite on a par with California, New York and New Jersey, but close:
  • Assault weapons ban - check. CT has one
  • Mandatory locked storage if children in house - check. Required in CT
  • Mandatory reporting of stolen firearms within 72 hours - check. CT adopted this four or five years ago. (Tough to comply when you're dead, however.)
  • Mandatory background checks at gun shows - check. Required in CT
  • Face-to-face private sales - half check. Long guns may be sold face-to-face, but even private sales of handguns must have a transaction approval from the State Police, and the buyer must have a CT carry permit.

And let's not lose sight of the fundamental fact that ALL these proposals are aimed at circumstances that were NOT factors in Sandy Hook. The shooter did NOT buy the Bushmaster at a gun show, he stole it. The Bushmaster was NOT an assault weapon - it was purchased legally in a state with an AWB so by legal definition it was not an assault weapon. The kid carried 30-round magazines (reportedly a LOT of 30-round magazines), but he was dumping magazines when they were half-full, so magazine capacity wasn't a factor.

To repeat myself yet again: You have drunk the Kool-Aid. The problem is not "gun violence," therefore solutions focusing on guns are useless. Allowing the anti-gun zealots to direct the discussion solely to guns is surrendering the high ground.

THE ISSUE IS SCHOOL SECURITY!
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:27 PM   #12
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Aguila Blanca, I'm not sure if you're reading my posts in their entirety.

I'm NOT disagreeing with you, not to sound rude, but if you've seen a few of my other threads it's extremely clear that I am AGAINST any form of new legislation that will limit our rights even further.

I am providing questions and trying to ask this guy from another forum how he thinks we would even begin to regulate the things you had put in bold from my previous post.

I'm not trying to be disrespectful here, but please read some of my posts here, I think it's pretty obvious that I support the 2A, I came here to get your opinions and so that I may hear some of your arguments so that I may perhaps strengthen my own while being able to find new ways to support my views on the matter.

Still not convinced? Simply look at this thread I made a while ago of me talking about how I was debating a guy who was clearly, while not entirely, leaning towards the anti gun camp

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=510842

@D.W That's what I'd like to see as well, instead of hiding our children away from the "evils" or firearms, I say provide them with more education about them, rather than "Guns kill people, you should never use a gun". Allow clubs and such to be established that encourage proper and safe handling of firearms again. We had them before if I recall and we didn't have mass shootings in schools everywhere.

We hurt our children more by being overprotective of them than letting them experience and learn from things. They will fall, bump their heads and scrape their knees, it's up to us to pick them up, dust them off, and teach them how to deal with it and learn. That's what proper parenting is IMO.

Last edited by Kimio; January 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:09 AM   #13
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Mandatory classes means that someone is going to start making money, and citizens who merely wish to exercise their right must pay to exercise it. The only way I would be for legislation that would require classes would be if citizens had to take mandatory classes in politics, economics and American history in order to vote. We'd never see that, as it would be considered a poll tax.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:14 AM   #14
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Kimio -

My point, which you seem determined to miss, is that by engaging in ANY discussion of what new gun laws might or might not help curb "gun violence" you tacitly acknowledgement that "gun violence" is the problem. If "gun violence" is the problem, then "gun" solutions might be appropriate.

But ... the problem is NOT 'gun violence," so IMHO you are missing the opportunity to redirect the debate toward where it needs to go by engaging in discussions about "gun violence" rather than simply pointing out to your friend that "guns are not the problem here. The issue is how to secure the schools, and guns are only a small part of the problem. Let's discuss what really matters."
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:29 AM   #15
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I've made that case to him already, I just didn't mention it here since it didn't seem pertinent to my original question. That being the discussion of how laws and regulations do not solve the problem. It's a social issue, furthermore, he has read my debates with the other individual in the thread I had presented.

He was trying to find ways that might help, I was trying to find more ammunition to defend our rights and show him that this would likely not work, ultimately steering him away from the topic of gun violence all together.

However my OP wasn't addressing this, it was addressing my discussion with him about the possibility of making training more mandatory for firearms owner, and how effective or ineffective it would be.
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Old January 10, 2013, 06:12 AM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimio
However my OP wasn't addressing this, it was addressing my discussion with him about the possibility of making training more mandatory for firearms owner, and how effective or ineffective it would be.
So we're back to discussing solutions that can't have any effect to correct a "problem" that isn't even the issue.

I still maintain that even legitimizing discussion of "guns" when the issue is not "guns" is giving up the high ground by allowing the antis to control the terminology.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:12 PM   #17
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If the firearm manufacturers, the firearm dealers, and the NRA all got together and came up with a voluntary industry standard for training requirements, I think I could get behind that.

For example, let's say the NRA came up with a couple of different classes, one for handguns, one for hunting long guns, one for self defense long guns. When you complete a course you get an NRA card.

A retailer who is participating in the program will require you to show the card before they will sell you a firearm. And of course, participation in the program is volutary, but it would come with benefits. I could imagine that some gun companies might require that all their dealers participate.

I could see how a industry-led program could have some real benefits. It could reduce the number of firearm accidents. It could generate good-will among the non-firearm-owning public. A lot of industries govern themselves with industry-led standards organizations, requirements, training programs, etc. SAAMI is one such example.

I would be opposed to any government mandates or requirements. Bad idea, and not in keeping with the 2nd ammendment.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
For example, let's say the NRA came up with a couple of different classes, one for handguns, one for hunting long guns, one for self defense long guns. When you complete a course you get an NRA card.
Because the NRA doesn't already have those and more?

Quote:
but it would come with benefits
Explicitly stated, what exactly are these benefits?

Quote:
It could reduce the number of firearm accidents.
Any proof to back up this idea, that cursory training reduces accidents?



The major difference in what you've proposed and current reality, is that you're proposal makes the "voluntary" part a lot less voluntary, if

Quote:
A retailer who is participating in the program will require you to show the card before they will sell you a firearm. And of course, participation in the program is volutary, but it would come with benefits. I could imagine that some gun companies might require that all their dealers participate.
Not everyone will have a choice whether or not to "voluntarily" participate if the only shop in town requires it.
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:15 PM   #19
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Every state in America (to my knowledge) has required Hunter's Safety courses. Almost all require blaze orange during firearms seasons. There are still fatalities, probably in every state, certainly in most, every single year.

....and while in these states, proof of that HS course must be shown to buy a hunting license, many poachers don't bother to buy a license. No real need as long as your breaking the law anyways. Responsible gun owners take gun safety courses and learn how their firearms operate safely. Making them mandatory in order to purchase a firearm would only makes those criminals that steal firearms or buy them on the black market guilty of another crime.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:05 PM   #20
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History Proves

Any form of registration and means of identification that is forced on a person that is not warranted, only serves to have that person singled out.

I for one, have done my best to comply with the rules and the laws of the land, and think they are stringent enough. If someone wants to buy a gun, leave it in a box in their night table, never even buy ammo; then I think that is their right to do so.

Let's register drinkers. I think since you can go everywhere to get alcohol, and even are encouraged by happy hour, drinkers, before buying their first, should take a safety course and be registered. And if you do assault alcohol, you know, hard liquor and not just wine, beer or ale, you need a FAL tag. This would also be good because if drinkers became enthusiastic about it, and involved in how to better their experience, they could get the proper scopes and sights and might see better and use their cars better when intoxicated. This would save countless lives every year.

Let me get back to my Jack and sip while I muse my next ridiculous meandering.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:11 PM   #21
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It was suggested that perhaps a licensing program of some sort would be a decent solution to this dillemma.
It is not.

Washington DC proved beyond any reasonable doubt that anti-gun governments will take every opportunity to make the process as demeaning and difficult as possible, if not impossible.

Check out this saga to see what I mean:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/...-gets-her-gun/
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:50 PM   #22
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Hi sigcurious,

I am not saying I am in favor of industry standards for training, but if the NRA and the Gun makers decided to do this, I would not object. Our side needs to have enough votes in the Senate and the House to kill any new gun legislation. If we have the votes, GREAT. But we may need to buy some of those votes. If the price for those votes is an industry-led training program for new-gun purchases, I can live with that. It sure as Hell beats a ban on magazines larger than 10 rounds. If the NRA needs to offer up this kind of proposal, I will not hold it against them.

No I don't have any evidence that safety training courses would reduce accidents. Maybe it would help, maybe it would not. It would not hurt for a person to have to hear "The Four Rules" before buying a gun, and it would not hurt to have an expert tell them how to keep their gun from being stolen, or how to keep a gun safely stored in a house with children. But in the end, responsible people tend to be responsible, and idiots tend to be idiots, regardless of training.

Industry Standards Organizations have been really effective in many areas of US Business. Rather than some heavy-handed Government regulations (which usually carry criminal penalties), the Standards organizations issue guidelines and standards which reflect the real-world knowledge and experience of the industry.

I don't like Government regulation, there is too much of it running over all aspects of our businesses and our lives. There is less regulation of industries which have an effective standards organization. This is good. This is the free market at work. Free market solutions such as standards organizations are usually better than a top-down government regulation approach.

An effective standards organization depends on voluntary compliance, in other words, the standards do not carry the force of law. But often times it is very hard to violate the standards. For example, it is not illegal for me to build a toaster without the UL listing and sell it to my neighbor. But you can't go into any store and buy a toaster that does not have the UL stamp of approval. They don't exist, no one will build one, and no store will sell one.

So in the end, voluntary standards can become virtually mandatory. But remember that a standards organization is funded by, and responds to, its own industry.
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:42 PM   #23
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I agree about the Government not regulating what we can and cannot learn, but they sort of already do that with mandatory education for children. So, in theory, liberty is lost.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:05 PM   #24
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An effective standards organization depends on voluntary compliance, in other words, the standards do not carry the force of law. But often times it is very hard to violate the standards. For example, it is not illegal for me to build a toaster without the UL listing and sell it to my neighbor. But you can't go into any store and buy a toaster that does not have the UL stamp of approval. They don't exist, no one will build one, and no store will sell one.

So in the end, voluntary standards can become virtually mandatory.
Contradiction much? voluntary, but virtually mandatory? Your example of the toaster is flawed, that's the item being standardized and regulated...not the person. People don't have to get certified to own a toaster, which is not guaranteed by the BoR. Why should they have to get certified to own a firearm, which is guaranteed by the BoR?

Furthermore, you suggest that companies/organizations effectively conspire to subvert a constitutional right, by forcing people to participate in their programs.

What about a person who has an immediate need for a firearm, are they denied the right to defend themselves because, it's Monday but the next mandatory training class to purchase a firearm isn't until Saturday? Or maybe the class is that day, but they don't have the extra money for a class and a firearm all at once? Are these mandatory classes going to be free? If so who's going to pay for it? Not everyone can set aside 4-8 hours all at once to take a mandatory class. How would you insure that the classes are offered with a frequency and method that allows it to fit all peoples schedules? Where are you going to get all these extra certified instructors to make sure classes can be offered with such frequency and methods? How about space for the classes?

Did you even consider anything besides, well it works for toasters, why shouldn't it work for a right?
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:40 PM   #25
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whatever. I am not going to argue.

Like I said. If the NRA can muster the votes to fend off a gun ban, I will be so happy. But if they can't, and if they have to negotiate with a few fence-sitting congressmen and senators, my preference would be that they offer up this kind of industry sponsored training requirement.

Assuming they can't get the votes to cleanly defeat a gun ban, what would you suggest? We just go down in righteous flames? "Wow this new gun ban sure does suck, but at least we didn't compromise our principles!!!"
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