Despite the left-leaning vibes I often give off with the sentiments I share, I'm a long-standing proponent of the every-day American's right to bear arms. The right to bear arms in America is inalienable, it should never be infringed upon by any authoritative figure outside of criminal charges and punishment, but I can see the need for tighter control and regulation as it concerns what sort of individuals should be able to own a weapon. Let's delve into this dangerous war-zone of a topic, and explore the options I feel would be best for America.
Correct Lack of Training
There is nothing I can stand less than the sight of a weapon in untrained hands, being waved around and played with as if it were a child's toy. The same individuals who flaunt their weaponry, play with it out in the open and with little to no safety precautions, consider shooting cans a training exercise, are the same type to not be able to use their weapon effectively and in accordance with the law. It's these same people that are used to argue against the right to bear arms, and honestly, they're nearly a good reason to remove weapons from the hands of decent gun owners.
Subsidize Safety and Stress Training Courses
In order to own a weapon, I feel you should have to undergo both safety and stress training with a myriad of different weapon types. This isn't feasible for most Americans due to "time and financial constraints" in most cases, but making it mandatory and free for all Americans, before the purchase of a weapon, would ensure that we see a drop in avoidable incidents involving weapons. Not only would we see a drop in weapon related incidents, we would see a much more disciplined society that would be ready to address situations that involve the use of firearms in an appropriate manner.
From the time I was able to walk I've been trained in both weapon safety and stress training so that I could properly handle a firearm in any situation that demanded it. When I was in the Marines I learned just how much money is spent on what we considered "fun exercises", and the amount came out to about $800 per person, per exercise. That is a low-ball amount as well, and most of the time when we hit the range it was to "train" and blow off some steam for hours on-end.
Now, civilian weaponry and ammunition costs nowhere near that much as far as training goes, and the government could afford to train every American, probably, three times over again. I know that handling, training with, and experiencing firearms taught me just how important it is to both own weapons, and to respect them in the hands of trained and untrained Americans. It also taught me how serious it is to even think about picking up a weapon, let alone actually utilizing it for any purpose.
Why we don't teach the basics to everyone, both safety and stress testing, baffles me and is a waste of resources and time. It would certainly take a huge burden off of the justice system.
For Enemies Foreign and Domestic
One of the most important facets of owning weaponry would have to be the "type" of weapons people should be allowed to own, and whether or not the government should be allowed to limit what weapons you can have for civilian usage. Let me shock and stun you here, maybe, and say if you want to have an M1 Abrams sitting in your backyard, and a shed full of 7.62 and 105 mm then you may go ahead and do so. Of course, I want the government to test you on both your knowledge of the equipment and your ability to maintain and repair it, as well as make annual (or more frequent) check-ins to see why you even have the thing and how you are using it.
Subsidize Standing Militias
It would be ridiculous to let you own a tank without some serious regulation, not even the government itself gets away with owning heavy weaponry without seriously regulating itself. So, if you want to own that M1 Abrams and all that comes with it then you also have to enlist with and be accepted into a subsidized, standing militia. There are already private militias all over the United States, but none of them really see any legitimate federal support; mostly because many of the militias do not adhere to strict military codes of ethics and can't be trusted to perform in combat.
Yet they could be established, refined, and utilized as a second line of defense in case of foreign invasion, and a storage area for weaponry not allowed to your standard civilian. Not only would federal subsidization ensure regulation of people's ridiculous weapon desires, but it would also offer new jobs and opportunities for education; all the while it would give structure and meaning to owning military-grade weaponry in the first place.
If they can use us as meat shields, storing nuclear weapons and tech right in our backyards, we can have militias with tanks.
Mental Health Crises
The single most important question, and the most precarious, to consider in the gun control debate is, "Who is of fit mental health and who should be denied weapon access because of their mental health?"
There is no doubt that there are some individuals out there who, under no circumstance, should be allowed contact with a firearm, nor any other weapon. I, however, don't feel this is a very fair argument despite being so important. There are way more "sane" people out there committing gun violence-related crimes than there are "insane" individuals. Not to mention, the tests to determine sanity are based on shaky sciences at best and can be manipulated very easily to show both an "insane/unfit" or "sane/fit" outcome by both the doctor and person being analyzed.
Still, there is a solution to this very topic and it requires going right back to the basics.
Stress Testing Weeds Out the 'Unfit'
From the second you walk into the recruiters' office to join the military, you are being stress-tested physically and mentally. If you are weak, unfit for duty, or otherwise not stable enough to handle the military life you will more than likely be pushed out as a failure, unfit, or any other term/phrase you wish to use. I already suggested that if you want to own a weapon you should undergo stress testing, and that is exactly what I suggest for addressing this facet of the argument.
When someone is screaming in your ear, rifles are firing all around you, bullets are snapping past your head, and all the while you have to hit your targets and move with a sense of urgency combined with situational and spatial awareness, you quickly learn whether or not you have what it takes to own a military-grade weapon. Most individuals break down and fail in this aspect because they are unfit to hold a rifle or any other weapon in any serious situation that demands it. In that same vein, you have no real need for a firearm if you can't handle combat simulation.
We won't let armed security guards, police, security forces, militias, military personnel, and government officials wield weapons without undergoing stress testing of all different levels. So why the f&*% would you ever allow an untrained civilian to do so?
If you can't undergo a government subsidized safety and stress testing course, spanning a few days of high-energy training with all sorts of weaponry, you should not be allowed to own a weapon. Sorry, it is your right to own weapons but it isn't your right to be an ineffective and terrible example for the rest of us. This wouldn't apply to anyone who has undergone stress testing in the past, even the PTSD-ridden veterans of law enforcement and the military can be trusted to use their weapons effectively in most scenarios. However, the young and inexperienced equally, need both training and to prove that they can use the weapons in a situation that the weapons were designed for.
The government has enough funding to have these programs popping up all over the United States, and there are plenty of retired veterans who'd love to have a job where they get to teach and stress test people again. Shoot, I'm getting excited at the thought of running a bunch of civilians into the dirt and this is just me speculating with myself.
Come on America, get your s&*^ together!
Kyler J Falk (author) from California on July 01, 2020:
That's a very concerning facet of the conversation deserving of its own article, being able to obtain a weapon at any given moment without any sort of regulation. In fact, if someone wanted to go out and buy a weapon that is both illegal and military-grade here in SoCal, all they'd need do is drive down to the border and meet up with our pals to the south where civilians aren't allowed to own weapons. Mexico has a wonderful selection of black market weaponry on the cheap, but of course I don't recommend taking the illegal route, just proving the points that you can get weapons illegally quite easily and from places where civilians can't own weapons nonetheless.
Readmikenow on July 01, 2020:
I've regularly gone to a firing range for many years and have had a variety of weapons for decades. I agree with training. I've seen too many people come to the range who were absolute idiots. Not obeying the range officer, not handling their weapon properly, not knowing how to clear it, where the safety is, and more. I could go on. Yet, they have a legal right to own a firearm. I've seen it many times.
On the flip side, you have people who can go on the street in some big cities and purchase a weapon in minutes. No license, no background check, no training...yet they can easily get a weapon.
I agree with training.
I believe you should know your particular weapon inside and out. You should be able to take it apart and put it back together. You should know how to clean it, how to sight it and more. Know where the safety is, how to properly load and shoot it. Guns need respect. When someone takes the time to learn how to properly handle a weapon as well as shoot it, they benefit.
Kyler J Falk (author) from California on June 30, 2020:
Not just firearms training, but stress testing with those firearms to prove they can handle the situations in which firearms are deemed a viable option for defusing a situation. Too many people think they can be Rambo, but when the time comes they have no situational and spatial awareness, often acting in a panic and getting lucky, or in most cases not so lucky.
Having attended a few training sessions in which I was able to demonstrate how easy it is to disarm someone and turn their own weapon against them, simulating ending their lives without them knowing I was even near them despite looking for me, and even disarming and fighting off groups larger than three in combat simulations; it worries me how people are so confident in their own untrained abilities.
Want to be armed? A few days of combat simulation, stress testing, will determine whether you can handle it or not,
Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on May 25, 2020:
I agree with you, Kyler, though I may tick-off a few people; people purchasing firearms should undergo firearm training to help decrease tragic deaths and haphazard shooting. Rational choices cant' be underestimated.
Kyler J Falk (author) from California on March 27, 2020:
Absolutely, Mitara, many men carry weapons more for the feeling of elevated status. Even more are untrained with their weapons outside of range practice, and need to undergo stress testing to see if they can even utilize the weapon for what it was designed for. Though I do agree with you, we shouldn't disparage men nor women for their... inequities... lest they go out and buy more weapons to cover them up or even use them on those that disparaged them as we've seen in the past!
Thanks for reading!
Mitara N from South Africa on March 27, 2020:
One should never have a weapon if they are careless, as we hear a lot of unfortunate stories.
Being trigger happy, not my cup of tea. I've seen many carrying, maybe to prove intimidation or status, but I think its sometimes compensation to what's lacking.