The Graduated License: Smarter Gun Rights?
A better way to award gun licenses is a “graduated form” where one begins with limited rights and gradually earns more rights through testing, education and experience. The current system awards a gun license with total rights: the newly licensed with zero experience has just as much access as the seasoned veteran. Is this the best way to award licenses?
A better way to award licenses is to begin with a basic level license. Initial rights will limit the individual to a small number of bullets and available weapons. Want more? Earn it via classes and testing. Gradually the individual can earn more rights by proving the capability to responsibly handle the additions.
Such a format would work to stop individuals whose mental states prove too unstable for high capacity weapons. And while nothing can stop illegal weapons and the desires of those who wish to harm on a massive scale, this new form would create a system of prevention that might catch unstable individuals and re-route them to the help they need.
This alternative form should appeal to both gun control advocates and detractors. In this system there is no control imposed on individuals who prove capable. Merit earns rights and the NRA should not only celebrate this format but recognize it as an incredible opportunity. The enjoyment of weapons that comes from expert use will only increase with greater education.
Advanced testing in this form could be completed with NRA guidance and perhaps experienced shooters could proctor these exams for discounts on their own classes. This allows for a community of gun owners to blossom, a group whose entire existence centers around the enjoyment of weapons and the development of skills relating to their use.
What matters less in gun control is the actual control of the guns. We need to recognize the real problem: irresponsible use by those who either don’t know or don’t acknowledge the power of their weapons. Safety stems not from taking away or limiting access. The best system is one that works for more experience and uses merit as the means of greater access. You can have your guns. Celebrate them and use them as much as you want, but show us that you’re capable of respecting what you use and fully understanding just what power you hold for both you and your community.