From Pine View Farm

Owner Control–A Modest Proposal 16

Last night I visited this site and made a comment to this post. Which got me to thinking . . .

There is clearly no hope for any controls on guns in the United States. Regardless of whether or not one favors limiting the types and numbers of guns someone can own, it just ain’t gonna happen.

And (full disclosure) I don’t know that I favor limiting gun ownership for law-abiding citizens. I grew up around guns and enjoy plunking targets as well as the next person. As I have mentioned earlier on this site, I’m a pretty damned good shot when I’m in practice, and I’m proud of that.

Nevertheless, we clearly have a problem of guns falling–well, not exactly falling, more like cascading–into the hands of those who are not, and have no intention of being, law-abiding.

Therefore I propose this: controlling gun owners, rather than controlling guns.

And how? By requiring that those purchasing firearms demonstrate competence at time of purchase.

To avoid any (pseudo-)Constitutional issues, this process would be administered by the firearms retailer. To assist retailers in administering the program, the Guv’mint would help them construct the facilities they need to administer the program; to repay the Guv’mint for their assistance, the retailers would complete certification training and tests and be subject to requirous audits–by Democrats or at least not by Republicans trustworthy Federal employees.

The process would be simple:

When someone applies to purchase a firearm, he or she would, in addition to completing any legal background checks already required by his or her state, have to demonstrate competence. The competence test, like a driver’s test, would have two parts:

1. A written test on firearms safety and handling. Good safety stuff can be found here. If the prospective purchaser passes the written test, he or she would then have to pass a competence test, much like an on-the-road driving test.

2. The competence test would have multiple components, depending on the type of firearm desired.

  • For long guns, the purchaser would have to put three shots out of five in a circle the size of a quarter at 100 yards. If the purchaser could not do that, he or she would be deemed obviously incompetent to own and handle a firearm and would be sent to attend firearms training.
  • For handguns, the purchaser would have to put three shots out of five in a circle the size of a quarter at a distance of 15 yards. Once again, if the purchaser could not do that, he or she would be deemed incompetent and sent to improve his or her skills.
  • For assault weapons, purchasers would be required to squeeze out a magazine without the kick of the firearm causing them to perforate the ceiling of the building with lots of tiny little holes as the weapon took control of them.
  • For grenade launchers and the like, the purchaser would be required to blow up his or her personal vehicle, demonstrating both competence and dedication. If the purchaser blows up someone else’s vehicle, he or she would be required to replace the vehicle and attend training before attempting again to purchase a like weapon. There would be no reimbursement for the purchaser’s vehicle–that would be his or her “cost of doing business.”

By instituting such a program, we can insure that competent, law-abiding citizens who cannot reach orgasm without the feel of cold blue steel between their legs in their hands can take full advantage of their (pseudo-)Constitutional right to act like idiots; that street criminals who purchase (as opposed to steal) their weapons can at least hit what they are shooting at, thereby minimizing the terrible toll taken by stray bullets; and that absolute nutcases who want grenade launchers at least know how to use them.



  1. Karen

    April 28, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    You forgot one. Shotguns. I can fire one of those, & have. I don’t know that they would reach 100 yards. But closer than that, the nickel target would be obliterated! Especially if the load was the silver colored hulls that I made Chris use when we were loading our own. (I liked the color of them, but they were too powerful for my shoulder.) Other than that, I would like to watch the granade launchers test. Something about that one I find funny.

  2. Karen

    April 28, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    You catagorized this all wrong. Is comedy, with a strong dose of sarcasm.

  3. Frank

    April 28, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    (Gosh, Karen, you pay more attention to my categories than I do!)

    Shotguns don’t count. You don’t aim them, you point them.

    They are not much good beyond 100 yards of so. But at close range, they’re the bomb.

    Indeed, if you want a weapon for personal protection, a shotgun is the best choice. The bad guys know you aren’t going to miss.

    A load of buckshot probably won’t kill the bad guy (which is just as well–who wants that on their conscience?), but it will make him a lot easier to track and find.

    Now, if you’re loaded with slugs, that’s a whole nother story.

  4. Karen

    April 29, 2007 at 8:30 am

    If they are kept as we kept ours, broken down in 3 pieces, in the case, & under the bed, I don’t see how they would help in an emergency.

    Actually, even the Lakewood police like our “security system”. 2 adult German Shepherds. If a stranger comes to the door, the girls answer it with me. With teeth showing. So far, so good.

    As far as the catagories, check Chris’. Drives someone like me NUTS!

  5. Phillybits

    April 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Well, since my right to bear arms is to protect me from my government, I think the government has an unfair advantage.

    How do you propose responsibility tests for suitcase nukes, IED’s, tanks, and conventional nuclear arms ’cause those are the ones I really want.

    No sense taking chances with 15 small caliber shots when you’ve got a 16 megatons sitting on a launch pad on the patio next to the pool.

  6. Opie

    April 29, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    When nukes are outlawed only outlaws will have nukes.

  7. Frank

    April 29, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Phillybits, you can get those very easily.

    Visit your local Army recruiting office. They have vacancies.

    Hmmm, and you’re just about the right age, too . . .

    Joking aside, I don’t thing anyone has (yet) argued that the Second Amendment applies to ICBMs (Inter -City Beer Missle, if you must know–pioneered by Carling Brewing Company to make sure their beer was always delivered fresh).

    But it’s probably just a matter of time.

  8. Opie

    April 30, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    I think this whole question is best approached from the philosophy of original intent. The second amendment should be recognized as covering the arms that existed at the time. Common citizens clearly have the right to own the muskets and pistols in use in the late 1700s. Weapons invented since then should be restricted to military and law enforcement use.

    And any slimeball who breaks into my house should be prepared for the wrong end of a Revolutionary War-era cannon.

  9. Frank

    April 30, 2007 at 8:22 pm


    Those things are pretty difficult to aim, you know.

  10. Second Son

    May 1, 2007 at 3:47 am

    I’m glad I looked at these comments, if only to see my dad post both, “[…] are the bomb,” and, “ROFL.”

    Unfortunately, I have nothing to contribute to the actual discussion.

  11. Phillybits

    May 1, 2007 at 10:43 am

    “And any slimeball who breaks into my house should be prepared for the wrong end of a Revolutionary War-era cannon.”

    Police are on the scene today of a home invasion where a homeowner killed his attacker.

    According to investigators, Opie, of 12 Anywhere Lane was sleeping in bed when he was awoken by the sound of breaking glass. Investigating the noise, Opie came face to face with an intruder who had broken into his home through the back door. Without hesitation, Opie then wheeled out an iron 6″ light cannon out of the front closet, packed the gunpowder and wadding down the barrel, followed by a 6 pound iron cannon ball, and after packing it tightly and placing the firing mechanism into the breech, fired one shot at the attacker who for some reason, was still hanging out 10 minutes for Opie to load his cannon.

    “I just reacted,” Opie told Channel 11 news. “This is my house and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to protect it. Thank god for the 2nd Amendment, though. If the liberals had their way, I’d be dead right now!”

    Surprisingly, police were first summoned to a report of another break in three-quarters of a mile away by Anthony Johnson.

    “I was sound asleep when all of a sudden. I heard this enormous explosion and then a few seconds later, something smashed through the side of my house. When I went downstairs to see what happened, a piece of my exterior wall was missing and my tv was on fire. I could see right out the hole in the direction of Opie’s house. It was when I saw the giant white cloud of smoke around his home and someone circling the house on horseback that I knew something wasn’t right and that’s when I called police.”

    Although no official cause of death has yet been released, investigators feel confident that the ME report will conclude that the intruder died of massive blood-loss, injuries, and lack of an abdomen.

    Stay with Channel 11 for further updates in this bizarre story.

  12. Opie

    May 1, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Reading the article, I can see where one quote of mine might be misunderstood. When I said, “If the liberals had their way, I’d be dead right now,” it was actually just a general observation on life, not intended to be a reference to what the intruder might have done if I were unarmed.

  13. Phillybits

    May 1, 2007 at 8:16 pm


  14. Karen

    May 2, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Frank, Chris had trouble getting past the security feature, but wanted to say this:

    “Opie had received the cannon as a result of being a good soldier during the Revolutionary War.”

  15. Frank

    May 2, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I should be able to come up with a response to this, but, frankly, I’m speechless.

    I’m trying to picture Opie with a musket and a flintlock pistol.

    And that picture, frankly, does not compute.

  16. Opie

    May 2, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Aw man, Chris got me. Drat. Left myself wide open.

    Oh, and about your IMDB link, Frank, I’m on IMDB too, for my supporting role in the critically acclaimed 12 Stories about Eileen.