So You Want to Carry a Gun

I know I’ve written several posts lately on gun control, but it’s a subject that’s pretty close to home in that my “other half” is not only a gun owner, but also a supporter of the NRA (and thus, has a rather slanted perspective).

I am not totally against guns as I have owned and used them in my younger years. However, things have changed over time and gun ownership is not what it used to be.

If you’re tired of reading about this topic, you can just click away now.

Recently I did a bit of research into the state laws related to gun ownership and I noticed something that seemed to be missing in each of them.

The majority of states do NOT require a course in actual gun training and safety to purchase a gun.

Nearly all states require some sort of “background check” and will then issue a “license or permit to carry.” Some have a “waiting period” before the gun can be released, and a few require the potential owner to take a written “safety exam.” Some ask the potential owner to sign a waiver allowing access to mental health records.

Laws also vary depending on the type of gun (handgun or large gun) being purchased. Some large gun purchases have no restrictions.

There are even MORE variances among the states that I haven’t addressed here. In other words, it’s a conglomeration of “laws” and requirements that only the person who lives in that particular state would know.

What I want to point out in this posting is only the following states require any type of gun safety training:

  • Massachusetts requires safety training of all applicants. This includes instruction on: (1) the safe use, handling and storage of firearms; (2) methods for securing and childproofing firearms; (3) the applicable laws relating to the possession, transportation and storage of firearms; and (4) knowledge of operation, potential dangers and basic competency in the ownership and usage of firearms.
  • In the District of Columbia, an applicant must complete a firearms training and safety class and demonstrate knowledge about firearms laws, safe storage of firearms, and requirements for storage.
  • California requires anyone purchasing a handgun to obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate,  which means the applicant must pass a written safety test and, subject to limited exceptions, be required to perform a safe handling demonstration with the firearm in the presence of a certified instructor.
  • Connecticut requires safety training prior to issuance of any firearm permit.
  • Hawaii requires handgun permit applicants to complete an approved course that focuses on the safe use, handling and storage of firearms and firearms safety in the home.
  • Maryland applicants must complete an approved firearm safety training course that includes instruction on state firearms law, home firearm safety, handgun mechanisms and operation, and an orientation component that demonstrates the person’s safe operation and handling of a firearm.
  • Rhode Island applicants who wish to purchase a handgun and do not have a concealed handgun license and are not a member of law enforcement must complete a basic two-hour handgun safety course.

In my opinion, Massachusetts has the most comprehensive requirements (especially #4).

While the other states I listed require that a potential gun owner knows how to handle a gun and about its safe storage (especially if being purchased for personal safety), knowing something is far different than demonstrating your capability of actually firing the gun and hitting your intended target.

The thousands of people who are now purchasing and carrying guns in the wake of the mass shootings are, for the most part, totally ignorant of how to use a gun.

The NRA argument that the number of deaths at a mass shooting would be less if someone had a gun, carries little to no weight … UNLESS that person knows how to remove the gun from the holster, release the safety, point the gun, and shoot the perpetrator WITHOUT missing (because every stray bullet can kill).

And this can only be accomplished if the person has had actual training on using a firearm … and this knowledge has given him a clear head and accurate aim.

(Sidenote: The ignoramuses who “open carry” their “assault” rifles may know how to crawl through the brush to shoot a buck, but that’s a far cry from shooting a human being in a moment of stress.)

While I would prefer to live in a country without such easy access to guns, it’s simply not possible so I must endure the mentality of those who think guns are the answer to the dangers of society and who, in most cases, are incapable of actually knowing how to use one to protect themselves and those around them.

Liberty University Insanity – Let’s Allow Guns

Insanity indeed!

Life After 40

jerry-falwell-jrAs a Liberty University alumni, I wanted to avoid writing about this. I really did. But damn.

President Jerry Falwell Jr. made the recent announcement that students could carry concealed guns on campus, which will now include the option to have them in the dorms. Wow. It’s pending Liberty board review, but as president, it’s highly unlikely that Falwell would have made the announcement without having already obtained majority consent.

If more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those’ Islamist terrorists. (Jerry Falwell Jr.)

Liberty University has allowed students with concealed-carry permits to have guns on campus since 2011, something that Falwell indicates was in response to the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, located roughly 90 miles away. However, campus residents have been required to store them in their cars. Falwell indicated that this policy was going to change so that students could now store them in…

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LaPierre Says Obama Has All the Gun Laws He Needs

stock-photo-dangerous-man-with-a-gun-225563929Just listened to a video on Facebook made by the darling of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre. He was adamantly claiming the “carnage” in the U.S. would stop if Obama would simply enforce the current U.S. gun laws. (I’m not posting the video itself as I don’t want to give LaPierre any more publicity than necessary.)

President Obama has all the laws he needs to stop the bloodshed now …

Coincidentally, just a few hours before listening to this message, I had typed in Google search: “Gun laws in the U.S.”

Here is what I found on Wikipedia:

Most federal gun laws were enacted through one or more of these acts:[1][2]

Maybe I’m missing something, but does anyone see something in here that confirms LaPierre’s statement that Obama has all the laws he needs?

The laws talk about taxes, interstate trade, interstate commerce, guns that contain less than 3.7 oz. of metal content, gun-free school zones, background checks, and negligence liability related to manufacturers and dealers. The only Federal law that resembles any kind of gun control is the background checks — and we’ve seen the effect they have had.

Please. Someone enlighten me.

I’m aware there have been cases before the Court that addressed the various use of guns (mostly, it seems, related to state laws), but the above are the “Federal Gun Laws.”

It is important to note that state gun laws do vary considerably, and are independent of existing federal firearms laws. They can be broader or more limited in scope than the federal laws.

Also note that the one law that could have made a difference EXPIRED in 2004.