Friday, October 1, 2010

To License, or Not to License?

So, I know I've been absent. I did a brief foray into the world of security work again, and it sucked. So, there I was, catching up on my blogs, when I saw Lawdog's series of gun control posts. I looked over the suggestions in his Background Checks post. As I did so, I thought to myself...this sounds a lot like a basic licensing program. It functions to separate those who can and can't own a firearm. Of course, it shouldn't tell you what kind you should have, but that's a different subject. So, back to the licensing idea, the people the state declares unfit fall into roughly two categories:

1. Criminals who have committed crimes sufficient for them to be barred the basic human right of self defense.

2. Those deemed mentally deficient by the state.

Some people wonder why those in category one are still alive or out of prison. What happens if they were simply deemed 'negligent with a firearm' or something similar? I mean, not like 'popping off rounds in suburbia for teh lulz', but how about something like 'I accidentally carried into a post office'. That might be grounds for other sanctions, but is it the sort of thing that should remove a person's right to firearms forever? I endorse it in cases of 'terminal stupidity', such as the case of people shooting friends while they wear bulletproof vests. That kind of idiocy should merit the penalty for both parties, should they survive.

Now, the second part is where things get tricky. People will scream bloody murder about suicide rates among gun owners, as if they couldn't be trusted. I read somewhere that almost everyone goes through a 'severe depressive episode' at least once in life. Really, it's understandable. Heartbreak, loss of a parent...but if you seek help for it, does this mean you should have your guns taken away? I don't think so. I mean, I had a real rough time in August once I got dumped. Spending ten days with Sigboy and getting my recoil therapy on was something that helped me a lot. But, back to the question, does being depressed at some point mean that you no longer have the right to self-defense? I definitely think people on the Mental Health Express (schizophrenics, etc who do the six months out of the hospital, six months in) shouldn't have access to firearms. But where do you draw the line? Does someone with a long term, chronic depression problem not have the right to self-defense?

In Canada, the recent dealbreaker on the death of the long gun registry was the fact that the brother of one of the MP's voting killed himself with a rifle two days before the vote. How do people expect to use a licensing system or the registry to prevent that? Sometimes, it just happens. Even if you roundly violate someone's right to medical privacy, sometimes you just can't prevent it. Case in point- a couple of years ago, a buddy of mine from the army got a medical discharge from the army. He's living free, fat stack from the government. Two weeks later, word comes back that one day, he walked into the back yard, and blew his brains out with his shotgun. No warning. No history of substance abuse or depression. Just walked outside and offed himself. No note, nothing. I'm not sure how common that is, but still. How in the name of God would this have been prevented by even the most invasive legislature?

Since I've mostly come up with a fistful of questions, I'm going to propose something of a solution that will, no doubt, be attacked as unconstitutional. Do a basic license, a lot like a driver's license. Hell, attach it to the driver's license, as a little 'G for gun-safe!' symbol on the back. You renew it whenever you renew your driver's license. Basic check: Violent criminal or deemed mentally unfit? No? Alright, go buy some guns! Declared unfit? Turn over your driver's license, because if I don't want you to have something that makes little pieces of metal go fast, I certainly don't want you to have something that makes a tonne of metal go fast. As far as faking a driver's license goes, have potential purchasers show two pieces of ID.

How's that for a slice of fried gold?



  1. Hmm interesting first a side note about suicide;
    it is said the one thing the modern day state cannot do is stop you from killing yourself, even in prison people manage this. Of course they try and stop you in prison, something I find abhorrent. I own my own mind, even in jail I still have ownership of my mind, if I wish to terminate it then I should be allowed to. We are not property of the state. It is one reason I find anti-gun legislation on the grounds of suicide very disturbing.

    Anyway that being said.
    I can't agree with you on this. First I think licensing is wrong at heart from a root level of freedom, this is a more complicated and controversial belief so if we can set that to one side for now, I may write a longer post on this on my own blog.

    Mentally unfit? We know very little about how the mind works still, just the other day I was reading that people now think Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder, ADHD is genetic. To me it is still a case of a kid with too much energy having a label attached to him by pyschonuts who want to make money. Then a lazy teacher in a stressed school system can give him drugs making him a docile clone instead of being given the resources and time to deal with the child in a way that helps without resorting to drugs. Dope em up.
    Seriously any drug that pacifies and keeps us happy producing little bunnies is legalised and prescribed to people.
    There is a major problem in the western world where we are sad? take a pill. angry at something? take a pill. feel inadequate about your job? take a pill.
    There is a very good three part documentary called The Trap by Adam Curtis, whilst I don't agree with everything he says he makes salient points and it is very engaging. Especially regarding people being told to treat themselves as abnormal for NORMAL mood fluctuations.
    My long winded point to all this is WHO is going to decide mentally unfit?
    Doctors? I really hope not. Doctors are generally the most anti-freedom people out there. They think they know best and use government to legislate against us. Don't smoke, don't drink, don't have firearms, don't swim, don't go out in the sun. I'm not really exaggerating a cursory glance at news reveals those opinions being held by many Doctors. Yes there are exceptions but they get less and less.
    Maybe the state decides you are unfit? In fact certainly the state will because they will only accept accreditation from doctors who conform to their standards. So maybe they decide in their rational clever ways to protect us all and govern us that someone with ADHD or ADD shouldn't have a gun. Ridiculous.
    You rightly ask where we draw the line, but forget WE don't get to decide. The politicians do, the doctors do, it is an undemocratic process. We don't have direct democracy we have surrendered control of our lives to elites this only gives them MORE power.

    A background criminal check is all that is required. I also would like to take a moment to point out another factor. Money. The state wants your money, have to pay for a license, who wins. The state! They get lots more money to give to crooked politicians and wasteful bureaucrats! They can also price people out who they don't want to have it. Oh he is poor he can't have guns. etc.

    sorry for the lengthy reply it is an issue I feel quite strongly about.

  2. On most points, I agree. It sucks to have to license something as important as firearms, but as surely as there has to be reasonable limits on freedom of speech and expression, there has to be SOME limits as to who can own a firearm. The mental health issue has a lot of 'if' around it, because there are surprising amount of issues that can have you involuntarily committed. However, if you have a long-term mental health issue that results in psychosis, I don't think you should be permitted to own a firearm, just like they aren't permitted to drive. No one wants to deal with a dude running around naked except for his AK, screaming 'I GOT THE FEAR ON ME'.