Guest Column: Class, certification should be required for gun ownership
By David Soll
While I personally don’t think gun ownership is all that important to be free in America, I do not want to take away a person’s right to own and bear guns.
I also don’t think our government, or rather we, the people, would go our own way to oppress ourselves even if we decided to repeal the Second Amendment.
I do, however, believe that the corporate ideology of “greed is good” and everything is about “me” instead of “we” are doing more to oppress us as a people than a lack of gun ownership ever could.
A strong economy, lowering the negative effects of income inequality not seen since the 1930s, social equality for everyone, decriminalizing most victimless crimes, a strong social safety net so that no one falls on hard times for too long of a period, and a national health care plan where everyone is covered from birth to death for all catastrophic, basic, mental, dental and vision health-related issues would do more for us as a society than everyone having a gun ever could.
But, hey, if owning a gun is your thing and it makes you feels safe and secure, then God bless ya, and as I said, I wouldn’t think to take that away from you. I would, however, ask that you be willing to continue to register all your guns and wait five days.
On that note, I have an idea that I hope even the most ardent gun-lover might like: perhaps we should treat gun ownership like we do the CDL licensing. Here’s what I propose: you must go through a class (say four hours worth) on cleaning, firing and all-around treatment of each style of gun you care to own, to be rechecked every two years, or upon verification of using the shooting range for a specified amount of time.
If you have grown up with a particular gun or guns, this should make for an easy time. Otherwise, you would go through this training for each style of gun. Once you show to be proficient on one, it would then be added to your gun registration file and printed as part of your FOID card.
This can — and should, when possible — be done at any well-regulated gun shop anywhere in Illinois. We fully expect our teachers, doctors and police to have at least a college degree to even begin a career in those fields. We also expect them to go through yearly training and recertification. So, why not for the ownership of guns? Obviously, this is just a suggestion, subject to the will of we, the people.
David Soll was previously a Democratic candidate for Winnebago County Board in District 20.
From the Jan. 9-15, 2013, issue