We license car drivers, why not gun owners?
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The recent shooting spree in Tucson shocked everyone. But it was only one in a long series - Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Virginia sniper, dozens more in the last few years. All senseless killing of innocent people by mad men who should never have been allowed a gun in the first place.

Unbelievable - during the week after the killing of 6 and wounding of 13 in Tucson, sales of automatic guns increased by 60% in Arizona.

    Although the Constitution has nothing to say on the subject, nobody denies the right of any citizen to own a car. However, universally there is no objection by anybody to the requirement that the vehicle must be licensed to be driven on public highways. Even more important, no one objects to the requirement that the driver of the vehicle must have passed a proficiency test and carry a license before driving the vehicle on a public highway. Everybody understands that it would be a danger to other highway users to allow untrained persons, or mentally ill, or blind persons to drive on the highway.

    Therefore it is totally illogical to permit anyone to carry a gun in public, regardlesss of whether that person has ever been trained in the use of dangerous weapon, or is mentally or physically capable of avoiding causing harm to other innocxent bystanders. Both guns and cars are capable of causing serious injury or death to bystanders, as well as to the owner.
    If it is accepted that one must be licensed to drive a car in public, why should it be impossible to require to require gun-owner to be trained and licensed before he/she can carry it in public? Arguably a gun is more dangerous than a car because it can easily be carried anywhere - into a stranger's home, a classroom, a library, a bar. Those of the automatic variety are capable of killing many people in a matter of seconds, as has so well been demonstrated in Tucson, Virginia Tech, Columbine, and elsewhere.

    The question of licensing the person who carries the gun has nothing to do with the question of whether a person should be allowed to own one. It is claimed that the right to own a gun is guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United Staes, which reads (as ratified by the States:
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    The question of the actual meaning of the Amendment has been argued in courts hundreds of times. I refer you to other literature to study that question. One good such study (with many links) is to be found at

    The gun lobby argues that if everyone carries a gun, crime will be reduced, because gun-owners can defend themselves.
    That this is a specious argument, is best proven by the Tucson tragedy. Rep. Gifford is herself a supporter of the gun owning argument. Arizona allows anyone to carry a gun, even hidden. Did anyone among the hundred at the rally bring out a gun to defend against the attack? Not a single person.
    This week four policeman, all armed, were surprised and killed in Lakewood,WA, while peacefully sitting in a cafe. This same week four policemen were shot in a precinct in Detroit by a man who just walked in. In Lakewood, NJ, a policeman was shot in the face sitting in his car talking to a bystander, also this week. So even trained, armed, policemen were unable to defend themselves against a sudden surprise attack.

    I would appreciate hearing from you. Please enter comments in the Guestbook, or send me an email.

A full legal discussion of the issues of the Second Amendment

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Last updated: January 23, 2011 .