By Ron Reagan
Let me finish tonight with this: "Guns don't kill people," as the saying goes, "people kill people." True enough, but people with guns end up doing most of that killing.
In the wake of the most recent tragedy in Colorado, the National Rifle Association and its minions are no doubt bracing themselves for an assault on their constitutionally-protected obssession with firearms. That's not going to happen. Never has, likely never will.
But let me advance what I consider a sensible proposition around guns, if for no other reason than to annoy the NRA: let's start treating guns more or less like cars.
I know, I know — there's no consitutional right to drive an automobile, but neither are there any constitutional restrictions. After all, when cars first arrived, they were nothing more than noisy, smelly versions of the horse and buggy. No one was required to obtain a license. Pretty much anyone could drive as they pleased. Chaos predictably ensued, and sensible laws were soon enacted.
Let's do the same with guns and gun ownership.
Here's the deal: guns, particularly semi-automatic handguns, are designed to kill. When you purchase one for self-defense, you are announcing your intention, if threatened, to kill another person. That's serious business. So, let's take it seriously. Let's require gun purchasers to prove they know how to handle a gun properly, just as we test a new driver's ability to manouver an automobile, and let's test their knowledge of when and how they can legally use their weapon in self-defense, just like we test a driver's familiarity with traffic rules.
Pretty simple: no one loses their right to own a gun; they merely have to demonstrate competence.
Americans — many of us anyway — will not soon abandon our fetish for firearms. That doesn't mean we can't be more adult about it.