I never drove before in my life. Since I have been taking lessons with an instructor and some of my friends who are experienced drivers, I really appreciate knowing the signs, the rules and nuances in driving. Otherwise, the consequence could be very expensive financially and potentially fatal.
Imagine a society where anyone above 18 could drive outside without taking any class or license. Everyone could just drive outside with a state ID to prove that they are 18 or older. Even those whose track record is blemished with DUI or multiple accidents due to reckless accidents are allowed to drive. Would you want to drive or even live in that society? Would you feel safe? Would you want your kids to live in that world? Luckily, we live in a world where everyone needs a license to operate a vehicle. The bigger and more powerful vehicle, the higher license is required. We don’t take away vehicles. We just require everyone to prove that they are capable of operating the vehicles safely.
Well, replace cars in the example above with guns and you pretty much get something very similar to the US nowadays. This weekend saw another mass shooting in Texas that killed 8 people. The shooter used a military grade weapon and didn’t pass the background check. How does it make any sense that this kind of horrifying tragedies keeps happening and worse, at an alarmingly fast rate? If we require everyone to prove they can operate a car safely and take away that privilege if they have a DUI or a terrible record, why aren’t we doing the same for guns?
Gun lovers argue that background checks or measures to ensure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands will take away their guns and freedom. As mentioned above, a driving license doesn’t take away any car. Why would it be different in the case of guns? Because cars are a necessity in our life and still require driving licenses, why would it be easier to own an unnecessary material such as guns?
New York Times has an excellent article explaining steps taken to own a gun in different countries. Here is how it looks between the US and Japan. Take a look and see if you can spot a difference.
1-Pass an instant background check that considers criminal convictions, domestic violence and immigration status.
2-Buy a gun.
1-Take a firearm class and pass a written exam, which is held up to three times a year.
2-Get a doctor’s note saying you are mentally fit and do not have a history of drug abuse.
3-Apply for a permit to take firing training, which may take up to a month.
4-Describe in a police interview why you need a gun.
5-Pass a review of your criminal history, gun possession record, employment, involvement with organized crime groups, personal debt and relationships with friends, family and neighbors.
6-Apply for a gunpowder permit.
7-Take a one-day training class and pass a firing test.
8-Obtain a certificate from a gun dealer describing the gun you want.
9-If you want a gun for hunting, apply for a hunting license.
10-Buy a gun safe and an ammunition locker that meet safety regulations.
11-Allow the police to inspect your gun storage.
12-Pass an additional background review.
13-Buy a gun.
It is absolutely mind-blowing that we still let this happen and that nothing has been done