Really. It's very much like adolescents who go through a stage of testing the limits. True freedom, for many on the right, means no limits. True freedom, for the rest of us -- for grownups -- is understanding that our freedom ends where potential harm to others begins.
Last week, four people in Colorado offered to sell me Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault rifles, the same weapon used by James Holmes in the Aurora theater massacre last year. In each case, the seller neither required nor requested a background check to make sure I wasn’t a criminal or mentally ill.
If that sounds bizarre, it should. 92 percent of Americans support a law requiring anyone who purchases a gun anywhere to first pass a background check. And yet, in Colorado and most states, private gun sales are exempted from such a requirement.
This was on full display last week when we visited ArmsList.com, a Craigslist-style site that deals solely in firearms. ...Scott Keyes, at Think Progress
You can't blame people for never wanting to grow up, for being Peter Pans forever, for giving or getting whatever they want when they want it. Well, yes, you can and should blame them. The irony is that the institution they hate the most is the fed'ral government. But the less they govern themselves the more government is needed to protect the rest of us from them.
There is the possibility that insurance will be required for gun owners as it is for car drivers -- giving gun owners full financial liability for the damage done by their gun.
... The National Rifle Association already offers "excess personal liability and self-defence" coverage to its members, and according to their website it seems $100,000 worth of insurance costs just $165 per year; $250,000 worth is $254. That may seem too low a value to put on someone's life, but it's a lot better than nothing, and as Mr Wasik says, the private insurance market will likely do a very good job of discriminating between gun owners who pose different levels of risk.
This isn't a substitute for other popular gun-control measures, such as limitations on magazine capacity, universal background checks (which even NRA members support) and so forth. But given the limitations on possible gun control measures in a country where the Supreme Court holds individual gun ownership for home self-defence to be a constitutionally protected right, and where there may be 300m firearms already in circulation, it seems like a good place to start. For that matter, there's no reason why we should wait for the federal government to impose these policies. States with strong pro-gun-control politics could start passing mandatory firearm-insurance laws right now. Apparently an effort to do so in Illinois in 2009 ran aground due to opposition from gun organisations and right-wing media, but the politics of the issue would probably be rather different today. ...Economist
The feds did go after the gun shop owner who sold Adam Lanza's mother at least one of her guns. The more our adolescents refuse to grow up and take responsibility, the more federal government we all need to keep them safe from themselves and all of us safe from our forever-adolescents and their eager, corrupt enablers at the NRA.