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Thread: Gun licensing and certification program

  1. #1
    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    For the record, I am vehementlyagainst any of these types of schemes but I'd like to get opinions from some of the people that think some form of "certification" is a good thing...

    http://www.bnd.com/285/story/324116.html

    Christian Science Monitor
    The Supreme Court will issue a major interpretation of the Second Amendment in coming weeks. But even as both sides in the gun debate await the D.C. v. Heller ruling, the gun industry should set its sights on a different target: certification.



    It should develop and adopt a private licensing and certification program fashioned on the highly successful scuba diving industry model to provide safety, legal, and marksmanship training to all gun owners and users. Such a private mandate will ensure a base of safer and more knowledgeable gun users and develop a fresh and lucrative revenue source for the whole industry.

    For decades, the debate on gun control in America has been defined by polar opposite political positions. On the left, gun ownership abolitionists seek the intervention of government to severely restrict or outlaw firearms possession and use. With strong support among coastal urban populations and high-income elites, these gun-control advocates appeal to the inherent evil of gun violence as proof of the desirability of severely restricting access to guns. Their argument is moralistic and practical, if altogether naive given the millions of firearms already present in American homes - and the ease of obtaining guns for criminal purposes.

    On the other side, defiant gun owners and libertarians cite constitutional justification - and anachronistic biblical and patriotic frontier mythological imagery - to bolster their possession of an immutable right to "keep and bear arms." With such a political impasse of instinctive and deep mistrust, there is no wonder that little progress had been made in making our homes, streets, and fields safer from the real dangers of legal and illegal firearms use. The core of this problem derives from the absolutist nature of both camps. It is simple "No restrictions" versus "complete regulation or abolition."

    Enter the scuba model. For decades, the international Scuba diving community has required all divers to obtain certifications from one of two private associations, the National Association of Underwater Instructors and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. No diver may fill their tanks or take part in recreational or professional diving trips without first obtaining a certification card from one of these private organizations. For their part, dive shops and schools generate significant portions of their revenue from the tuition that would-be divers pay to obtain their certifications at basic to advanced levels. Undergoing class-room instruction, pool lessons, and "open water" testing, graduates of these programs are thoroughly trained in all aspects of safety and proper procedure in what would otherwise be an inherently dangerous pastime.

    The gun industry, perhaps led by the National Rifle Association, should develop a curriculum of training and education leading to firearms certification." All retailers of guns and or ammunition would require the provision of such private certification by the consumer before consenting to the sale of any of those items. Background checks should be included in the certification process as well as periodic refresher courses. The federal and state governments would not be involved. Records of gun ownership would be available to government or law-enforcement officials only with the written consent of the certified owner or a warrant provided by proper authority. Nonconsenting retailers would be "blackballed" by industry leaders and cut off from supplies of goods and services.

    The firearms industry has an unprecedented opportunity to show leadership and creativity at this time when the debate is otherwise deadlocked. More safety and additional revenue for gun ranges and stores makes for a healthier industry that will have better success at attracting new sportsmen and customers.
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Here's the thing: keeping and bearing arms is not inherently dangerous. The anti's will always point to the imaginary piles of dead children as proof that people need to be safety-trained to have guns.

    SCUBA diving, just like driving a car, carries inherent risk whenever someone does it, and requires a skill set to continue doing it safely. The same is not true of owning and carrying a gun. That is to say, if you strap on SCUBA gear (I have no clue about anything with SCUBA, TBH) and jump in the water, bad things are gonna happen sooner rather than later if you don't know what to do... running out of air, diving too deep or surfacing too quickly, etc. Just like when you get into a car and drive on the road, if you have no idea what you're doing, it will be due exclusively to the skill of other drivers that you avoid a collision. But if you set a gun on a table, or stick it on your hip, you can keep doing that 'til the cows come home, and no unsafe conditions will occur. Now when you fire the gun, that's a different story entirely... and this is why in incorporated areas, there is generally a prohibition on discharging firearms unless you have a damn good reason.

    The true error in the author's line of thinking is that if there are two extremes, then both must be wrong. This isn't true. The vast, vast majority of gunshot injuries and gun deaths in this country are not due to pure negligence, but rather due to criminal intent or poor judgement. I'm not going to bother calculating it out again, but if a gun is accidentally fired in a random direction, there's very little chance of it hitting a person. The "accidental" shootings generally require a gun's being pointed at someone in the mistaken belief that it can't be discharged. The other shootings occur because a criminal wants to commit a crime. In either scenario, the problem is judgement, not a lack of skills. There's no safe way to jokingly point a gun at someone and pull the trigger. Long story short, neither governmental nor private involuntary training is going to prevent or greatly reduce gun deaths, just as driver training doesn't prevent Soccer Mom from doing 55 through a 25 zone outside of a school at dismissal time while talking on a cell phone.

    Then there's the issue that the analogy is also false because SCUBA diving is a luxury, whereas gun ownership is often a necessity. Most people won't need to SCUBA dive to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones, and won't need to SCUBA dive to overthrow an oppressive government.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Despite "certification", scuba diving may be much more dangerous than carrying firearms. Apparently,between 3 and 6million people scuba dive and there are over 100 deaths per year. We know there are estimates that there are as many as (or more than)300 million people living in the US and over 250 to 280million guns. I don't know how many people actually carry but it seems that despite "training" and "certifications", accidents and deathswill still occurr during any activity. I don't believe in certifying a right.

    Certification is registration. Registration typically leads to confiscation. Confiscation leads to...

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the...uba-diving.htm

    http://www.scuba-diving-smiles.com/h...cuba-dive.html
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Keeping guns around and SCUBA diving both come with risks if you have no training. To try to say one is dangerous and the other is not is a stretch, and a bit disingenuous. It's always been my line to say that gun ownership comes with risk of accident, but that all freedom comes with risk, and requires us to face up to it with courage.

    I don't have a problem in theory with certification programs for diving or shooting so long as it is voluntary and not done under pressure from the government. If dealers feel that not going along with the program means BATFE sanctions or exposure to a-hole lawsuits, than the deal's off as far as I'm concerned. If manufacturers conspire to enact such a system under pressure from lawyers or government I also say no. Also, gun control and banning is a massive political issue with lots of antis pushing to make life more difficult for gun owners and the gun industry by any means possible. They will, without question, attempt to use such a system to further restrict guns. SCUBA diving has no major political foes to worry about.

    Practically, this should be opposed for these reasons.

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    Regular Member ODA 226's Avatar
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    Driving is a privilege. Gun ownership is a right. This is clearly an attempt to cloud the true issue.
    Bitka Sve Rešava!
    B-2-10 SFG(A)/ A-2-11 SFG(A) 1977-1994

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    ODA 226 wrote:
    Driving is a privilege. Gun ownership is a right. This is clearly an attempt to cloud the true issue.
    I agree.

    But try repeating "Driving is a privilege." in a discussion of First Amendment bicycling/travel Rights. "Congress shall make no law ... abridiging ... the right of the people to peaceably assemble..."

    The 'issue', and the cloudiest issue raised in this thread, is 'risk' due to the necessity of dealing with the statistics and numbers very large and very small. Look to the 'Ocean carry' thread for a link to risk comparisons relative to shark attack.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******




  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    SCUBA? SCUBA. That sounds familiar. Might have done something like that at one time...

    I think there are two definite sides to this argument. Imperialism I think is right for one side of the argument. SCUBA is an inherently dangerous activity for someone who does not have the skills, training or knowledge to survive the environment. There is also a huge psychological component. In nearly 100% of SCUBA accidents, drowning is the COD and in over 90% (I think the number was 97 or 98%) of SCUBA deaths the victim has enough air remaining in his/her tank to survive the situation. Number one contributing factor in SCUBA deaths? Panic.

    A resort course can teach you the most basic skills in about 4 hours allowing you to go on a shallow dive, continuously within reach of an instructor or dive master. Basically an extended snorkeling free dive if you will. Getting your basic certification called Open Water Certification, requires reading a training book, 8 hours class work, written tests, 8 hours pool class proving your ability to perform basic skills and then 4 open water dives (lake, ocean, quarry) over a minimum of 2 days where on each dive certain skills must be demonstrated to participate in the next dive. Once you go through all that and pass, you are then certified to scuba down to 35 ft. Want to go deeper? Gotta get your Advanced Open Water. That's another book, 8 hours of class, tests and IIRC 5 training dives where certain skills are practiced and demonstrated on each dive. That is because the risk starts going up the deeper you go and special circumstances exist. That's just to give you pretty good odds of not hurting or killing yourself while you build experience. There are numerous other specialty certifications you can earn afterwards. I have personally rescued certified divers who weren't intentionally doing anything wrong but without intervention, were facing possible death or serious injury. I have watched people seriously injure themselves through panic behavior. I have also been in scuba situations where, if I had panicked, I very well could have died.

    How long to teach basic firearm safety?
    RULE I:ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
    RULE II:
    NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
    RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
    RULE IV:
    BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

    There ya go. The "resort course" of handgun safety. Or we can go further and take an 8 hours firearm safety class. Or in MO, take an 8 hr CCW class that includes the safety info. That will make you basically functional to save to your own life. Those who so desire can continue training. However, if the 4 rules are observed, putting a pistol in your nightstand drawer, or carrying a pistol in a holster is not inherently dangerous but rather potentially dangerous. And the low rate of handgun accidents show most people follow some semblence of the rules most of the time.

    The obvious anti's argument would be that if you screw up with scuba you only hurt yourself, whereas if you screw up with a gun you are likely to hurt innocent bystanders or the children. So let's think about modeling a firearms training on scuba:
    To get a certificate to purchase handgun would require:

    • Reading training book
    • 8 hours classroom w/testing from the book
    • 8 hours firing range time
    • 4 times through a shoot house over 2 days, demonstrating different skills each time with an instructor briefing/debriefing each time.
    That would qualify you to carry say any handgun smaller than a 9mm. You would have to do something different for a .22 rifle. Or maybe that would be for a .22 rifle and obtaining a handgun would be a separate further specialty. Regardless, to carry a larger, more powerful caliber would require:

    • Reading training book
    • 8 hours classroom w/testing
    • 5 times through the shoot house demonstrating different skill each time
    That would qualify you purchase any standard round firearm. Purchasing/obtaining shotguns, AW, AOW, Class III would require further more advanced training.

    So if a woman needs a pistol right away because her ex has threatened to kill her, she will need the money for the purchase of a gun, several hundred dollars for the training class, and then wait around until the class is offered, and then until the shoot house training is offered. So, if there are enough training facilities, within about 30 days she could get certified to own sometihng smaller than a 9mm. It would take about another 30 days or so to get certified to purchase a .38/9mm or larger.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Is there not some sort of 'reload' certification also required? And periodic hydrostatic tests of the air bottles, also by certified operators. If a hydro' is required then for it to be particularly meaningful the instrumentation must be certified calibrated and maintained.

    IIRC my set of 24 Heisse gauges were, fifteen years ago, worth about a million dollars with calibration, certification and maintenance.

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