Guest Column: Class, certification should be required for gun ownership

January 9, 2013

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

7 Comments

  1. David Soll

    January 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I want to add one last thought to this opinion … IF Illinois is to approve conceal/carry, which I admit to not being a big fan of … my idea is meant to be taken as a possible condition for a citizen to be allowed to carry.

  2. David Soll

    January 9, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Oh, and another thing. This opinion is NOT a reaction to the recent mass shooting in CT. This is merely a suggestion as it pertains to to possibility of Illinois passing conceal/carry.

  3. John

    January 9, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Thanks David, for another solution in search of a problem. Do you realize that having a CDL is NOT in the Bill of Rights?

    Perthaps we should also have a licensing and testing procedure for our First Amendment rights as well?

    Instead of more knee-jerk reactions from Leftists, how about we concentrate on whats really a danger to kids.

    Deaths of children in Illinois due to DUI’s were ten times the number of kid shot at Sandy Hook, in one year alone…..and not a peep from Democrats?????

  4. James C. Davis

    January 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Mr. Soll
    Do you have any idea what you are saying?
    Romans tried this, Hitler tried this Russia tried this, Castro tried, Chevz tried this and look where they are now.
    The first thing they all did was take the guns, except Rome they took away swords.Mr Soll this is The United States of America. What you are looking for is Heaven.

    “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”.

  5. David Soll

    January 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

    John,

    There are lots of things not in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that we enjoy as rights and or priviledges today.

    Were you aware we have a Constitutional right to roads?

    So, what exactly is “knee jerk” about my suggestion?

    This opinion is not a reaction to Sandy Hook or any of the hundreds of shootings that take place every weekend, it is merely a suggestion based on the inevitability that Illinois is likely to have conceal/carry soon.

    James,

    Your skills: ability to read political views opposite of your own and use of history are superb as always.

  6. Bill Weiss

    January 26, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Mr. Davis, what part of Mr. Soll’s comment did “the Romans,” “Hitler” and “the Russians” try?

    Nowhere does the initial commentary sugest anything at all akin to imperial, fascist or dictatorial rule — Nowhere does he sugges taking away “swords” (or guns).

    Is the simple fact that someone with a progressive position on income equality mentions the word “guns” enough to automatically send up a flare in your brain and the message “they’re coming for our guns!” When there was no such message?

    There are LOTS of progressives who have no desire to ban firearms, although it makes perfect sense that firearms be licensed so that there is at least some assurance that those who desire to own them obtained them legally and know how to use and store them properly.

  7. arlys Mills

    January 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    John, Where can I find the statistics showing the number of children killed by drunk drivers in comparison with the number killed by guns?

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