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"Votes of confidence" gun licensing

So the quiet ones don't do us.
  (+18, -6)(+18, -6)
(+18, -6)
  [vote for,

Shooting spree murder-suicides are a great tragedy. Interviews with Psychologists reveal two common threads: 1: The shooters tend to be loaners. 2: The shooters tend to have a fascination with violence. Well... That pretty much describes every socially awkward individual between the ages of 12 and 30. Interviews with friends and family tend to include one of two statements: "Didn't have many friends" or "I knew it would happen one of these days."

It's my belief that those shooting spree murder-suicide psychos are, more or less, regular people like me. It's my belief that most of them could have gone on to die at a ripe old age, having never pumped round after round through their former schoolmates and co-workers... if only they'd had a few friends to hang out with. So, can the state mandate friends? Well, no...

When obtaining a license to drive a vehicle, or operate a forklift, when applying for a job, and when seeking admission into a university, you generally must have one or more individuals endorse you as someone capable of meeting the challenge. Not so with obtaining a firearm. I suspect this is a defect in our gun licensing policies.

With votes of confidence gun licensing, someone interested in obtaining a firearm would need to provide proof that one or more legally armed individuals, and one or more unarmed individuals believed that the applicant was up to the responsibility of operating a firearm in a responsible manner.

Should the applicant go on a shooting spree, those individuals who endorsed them could be investigated, and possibly have their licenses revoked.

Due to the legal issues, endoresees would be able to revoke their endorsement at any time, either because they no longer trusted the individual, or because they were no longer in a position to gauge their level of responsibility.

In every day situations, it should not be too difficult for someone to get replacements, or have extra endorsements, but an unexpected loss of endorsement would arouse obvious police interest.

Loners who have no friends would then either need to earn the trust of a few good citizens, or seek out criminal networks in an attempt to obtain a gun. I suspect that for most such loaners, it will be easier to convince a few good citizens that they are trustworthy, rather than convincing blackmarket gun dealers that they will not narc.

Thus, the really dangerous find obtaining weapons that much harder, the police get better tips on dangerous suspects, and gun nuts (especially the really risky ones!) get a network of some involved, and educated individuals with which to share their enthusiasm.

Admittedly, it'll be a little bit tougher for everyone to get guns, but with the right number of endorsees, we should be able to see all the benefits without making it too tough for prospective owners.

ye_river_xiv, Apr 20 2007

my inspiration _22Vote_20of_20No_2..._20gun_20control_2e
credit where credit is due; the second highest form of flattery and all. [ye_river_xiv, Apr 20 2007]

The second amendment http://en.wikipedia...States_Constitution
Not so simple as it may first appear. [jhomrighaus, Apr 22 2007]


       This might bring up a new course in high school, 'Firearms Ed.', but it's a good idea.
croissantz, Apr 20 2007

       So, given that the right to bear arms is predicated on individuals being part of a well-organised militia, guns shouldn't be sold to people who aren't part of a well-organised militia?
hippo, Apr 20 2007

       +,<withholding rant>.
zeno, Apr 20 2007

       //who will vow to the person's mental capacity to use guns responsibly//

So only psychiatrists/psychologists will be allowed to endorse a gun license then?
DrBob, Apr 20 2007

       Where we agree : if you want to stop gun tragedies, remove guns from the hands of those likely to perpetrate such horrible crimes.   

       Where we strongly disagree : how do you identify those likely to use guns criminally? A psychologist is not the answer. In short, I can see the only solution is an outright ban on guns, except for those with a job need. Even those who feel that shooting is an acceptable hobby, must store them in licensed, safe venues.   

       I'm sick of the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbies spouting forth the second amendment. As [ye_river] points out, the 2ndA states that it's your right to have a firearm as part of a well organised militia. That would outlaw individuals, yet why does the US still insist it's a sensible law?   

       Madness, utter madness. You need gun amnesties, strict laws against gun ownership and tough sentences for those that do. Until such time, America's youth will continue to die needlessly.
jonthegeologist, Apr 20 2007

       BrauBeaton: Your right, of course killers can kill without guns. But the fact is that less people die of bullet wounds in the UK than US per 1000, and that isn't just luck.
Germanicus, Apr 20 2007

       //But the fact is that less people die of bullet wounds in the UK than US per 1000, and that isn't just luck.//   

       I bet (based on absolutely nothing [stat anyone?]) more people die from knife wounds or violent blunt trauma in the UK. Crazy people are everywhere, and they use what they got.
bleh, Apr 20 2007

       So we should make it easier for them?
hidden truths, Apr 20 2007

       what about other projectile weapons? Crossbows, bows and arrows, spears. If I really wanted to go on a spree, and didnt have guns, or want to go the explosive route, I'd just get a crossbow and a boatload of bolts. Guns arent the problem, people are.
bleh, Apr 20 2007

       When was the last time you saw a self-loading crossbow that'll fit down your trousers?
Gordon Comstock, Apr 20 2007

       As long as the system doesn't include excessive fees and such, I think this is the most reasonable system I've heard of.   

       One thing I'm a little confused about is what type of license you are referring to, though. Concealed carry permit, or gun ownership permit? As far as I know (and this may be a state-by-state thing) you don't need a permit to buy a gun, only a background check with the FBI. A concealed carry permit is much more involved, and has a mandatory training class, and requires you to pass the background check in addition to submitting your fingerprints to the authorities, both to check them in the system for possible cold crimes and keep them on file for any trouble later.   

       I don't believe that the concealed carry permit requires much alteration, since very few crimes are committed by CCL holders, but for new gun owners, this system seems fairly reasonable.   

       Just don't make us go through all of this crap every time we buy a gun. Once for the first one, and once a decade or so after that (for any new guns purchased) would be sufficient.
Hunter79764, Apr 20 2007

       I just don't understand why Americans need all these guns. Is it because other Americans have guns and they're inclined to use them? What a strange society.
jonthegeologist, Apr 20 2007

       I should also say that I like this idea, I had a very similar one when I read the vote of no confidence gun control. [+]. I'm just saying that outlawing all guns is futile and silly.
bleh, Apr 20 2007

       thanks for the stat [bigsleep]. interesting stuff.
bleh, Apr 20 2007

       I can't speak for all other gun owners, but all of the ones I know have them for either hunting (and yes, we eat what we hunt. You won't find many avid hunters who approve of anyone hunting merely for sport) or for recreational shooting. Only one person that I know has a gun only for self defense, and he has his concealed carry permit and a clean record.   

       In a recent news story I read, it said that gun crimes have been decreasing for the last 5 years in all states, regardless of how strict their gun laws were. Also, one of, if not the, highest crime rates is in Washington D.C. where there has been a ban on handguns for 30 years.
Hunter79764, Apr 20 2007

       // I'm just saying that outlawing all guns is futile and silly //   

       Is it futile or silly to suggest that no guns equals no gun crime? Is it silly to suggest that criminalising guns means that those that have them clearly have them for non-peaceful reasons and are therefore dangerous.   

       However, Americans need to look into their psyche here. I agree with Charlton Heston and the rest of the mad gun lobby on one point only. "Guns don't kill, people do". The highest per capita gun ownership is in Switzerland, a country with one of the lowest gun crime rates.   

       So, that suggests to me that there's just something in the way that Americans think, use, own and secure guns that make it a dangerous place.   

       It'll take a huge number of psychologists to examine the entire nation. Worth a go though huh? Nah, madness. Fish.
jonthegeologist, Apr 20 2007

       [jtg] I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, but although I have no figures to hand, I'm not sure Switzerland is a good example. Only last week, some bloke walked into a cafe with his service rifle and opened fire on some diners and killed an old boy at the bar. There have been several high profile family killings in recent years and let's not forget the nutter who killed 14 in Zug's parliament building in 2001.   

       From talking to Swiss men of national service age, they get to take their gun home but don't get a strong box to keep it in. Looking after it is their responsibility. Bloody silly idea if you ask me - especially when the beer's so cheap.
Gordon Comstock, Apr 20 2007

       permits for guns only keep them out of the hands of the lawabiding
senatorjam, Apr 20 2007

       "Firearm's Ed" I would definitely have signed up for that elective...   

       As for what kind of license I am talking about... Well, I'm no gun owner, but here in CA I believe you are supposed to have a gun license before you own any weapon. If not... then maybe that would be a good idea. I could strain the car analogy a little, and point out that even to buy a car, you must have both a license and insurance in every state I've been to.   

       Hmm... shooter's insurance... Nah.   

       Senatorjam is right of course. Illegal gun owners and users will not be deterred by such a law. I believe I mentioned that, and that when it comes to the solution of gun issues, laws are far from perfect. This idea is aimed at reducing (not completely solving) the issue of lone shooters. Since many of them buy their guns legally, and then kill themselves before we can question them, other solutions will be harder to implement.
ye_river_xiv, Apr 20 2007

       If politicians start making louder and louder calls for more gun legislation, I seriously hope that you will consider sending this in to your congressman and ask him to consider it. This really is the most sensible piece of legislation I've heard of (other than actually enforcing the laws that already exist), and this is coming from a staunch gun rights supporter.
Hunter79764, Apr 20 2007

       // permits for guns only keep them out of the hands of the lawabiding   

       This is like saying "alcohol only makes your mouth and stomach drunk." Allow for osmosis and the picture changes.   

       If criminals mainly get their guns from law-abiding people (by theft, or by comitting their first crime, e.g. assault on a spouse in anger), and if criminals destroy guns (after commission of a crime to avoid identification), then reducing the number of guns held by law-abiding people eventually reduces the number of guns available to criminals.   

       Situations where this doesn't work, and the quote is true, are when there's no transfer or when there's a plentiful source outside the system. But I don't think these are the case.
jutta, Apr 20 2007

       I like the idea of endorsements. Like filling out a job application, you need references to vouch for your (hopefully) good name. It is a good way to ensure that guns are being kept in not only good hands, but responsible hands.   

       I also support the idea of manditory training before being able to purchase a gun. We need to be taught how to properly drive so we don't run people over or run into other cars, and it should be like this for firearms. People should not only be taught about proper use and care of guns, but hiding them properly from thieves and children, and other responsible measures of which will save lives.   

       I admit though, guns are thrilling! my first gun experience was with a muzzle- loaded musket, then the AR 15, then a 12-guage. Although my BEST GUN THRILL was shooting a 6-guage shotgun when I weighed less than 100 pounds.
twitch, Apr 22 2007

       I bet that left a bruise... I shot a 20 gauge as one of my first guns bigger than a .22 and it just about knocked me over. In my defense, I'm a lot bigger now, and that gun still kicks worse than most 12 gauges.
Hunter79764, Apr 22 2007

       see the links for a very thorough discussion of the second amendment which is no where near as simple as many would like to imply.
jhomrighaus, Apr 22 2007

       //If politicians start making louder and louder calls for more gun legislation, I seriously hope that you will consider sending this in to your congressman and ask him to consider it. This really is the most sensible piece of legislation I've heard of (other than actually enforcing the laws that already exist), and this is coming from a staunch gun rights supporter.//   

       I'll keep that in mind. Rumor is they won't do much legislating anyway, and I'd rather not get my name on any kind of gun restriction. I also I live in CA, along with certain gun toting halfbakers. I don't want to send any gun restriction up the chain till my local experts chime in.
ye_river_xiv, Apr 23 2007

       maybe myspace could do a plugin to facilitate this?
neilp, Apr 24 2007

       Could you win a free cell phone ringtone?
Hunter79764, Apr 24 2007

       Why not? Myspace did a plugin to facilitate terminally crashing my computer. It didn't come with any ringtones though.   

       ...Invisioning a world where "Firearms Ed" is taught in high schools, and gun ownership is dependant upon the voters of Myspace....   

       EUGH! Talk about a dystopian nightmare...
ye_river_xiv, Apr 29 2007

       This is advocacy. This should be [marked-for-deletion] Advocacy.
Gamma48, Apr 30 2007

       they did a background check on the guy before he got the guns and he turned up clean. you cannot blame this on the government they did their job.
nickmancomp, Apr 30 2007

       //This should be [marked-for-deletion] Advocacy.//   

       No, it shouldn't. Read the help page.   

       //they did their job//   

       No, they didn't. They failed to teach you to use capitalization.
nomocrow, Apr 30 2007

       Ouch. A slap in the face from nomocrow. That was a good one. This isn't advocacy, it's a good idea that I am sure has been implemented in other places.
twitch, Apr 30 2007

       [I agree that this isn't advocacy, and am ignoring the marked-for-deletion tag. --Jutta]
jutta, Jun 08 2007

       This would make for an interesting study of local or regional nuttiness, congealing places like Flint Michigan or Texas where everyone has a gun.
RayfordSteele, Dec 20 2007

       I like the idea of spreading the responsibility by making the permit of a person dependent on his endorsement of others. On the other hand, i am strongly in favour of banning all privately owned guns that can hold more than one shot or are otherwise overspecced for hunting. Hunters can carry a rifle and a sidearm, One shot with the rifle - if the animal is shot but escapes, the hunter can track it and finish it off with the (one shot) sidearm.   

       also: sp: //loaners//
loonquawl, Apr 20 2009

       This is a terrible idea. Degree of introversion correlates with certain political philosophies. You would be arming only the extroverts and giving the introverts more reason to feel oppressed. And gun control laws don't actually keep people from arming themselves, they just make it a little more difficult. So no only would you fail to disarm the next shooter, you would give him extra motivation.   

       //reducing the number of guns held by law-abiding people eventually reduces the number of guns available to criminals.//   

       I couldn't agree less. It's becomingly increasingly trivial for a person to manufacture a gun. The only reason legal gun owners are the primary source for criminals is that it's the easiest path. With fewer legal owners criminals would simply turn to the next-easiest method: purchase from illegal manufacturers.
Voice, Oct 04 2017

       //gun control laws don't actually keep people from arming themselves, they just make it a little more difficult.//
This is absolutely the weakest argument against gun control possible. "Laws aren't 100% effective therefore we should have no laws." "Medicine isn't 100% effective, therefore we should have no medicine." "Social mores are not 100% effective, therefore let's get naked and fuck fistfuls of our own shit!"
calum, Oct 05 2017

       I am willing to countenance arguments such as the one about the difficulty of moving from an armed society to an unarmed society as that's a practical consideration that can't be overlooked but the "laws don't work" stuff is just specious nonsense.
calum, Oct 05 2017

       //Laws aren't 100% effective therefore we should have no laws//   

       Nice straw man. The actual argument is "THIS proposed set of laws would be particularly ineffective, therefore we should not enact it."
Voice, Oct 05 2017

       Ech, death of the author strikes again. Two questions: if a person speaks in general terms of, say, "gun control laws" is it
(a) reasonable to expect a reader to be able to divine that the intention of the drafting is "gun control laws such as the ones proposed in this idea"; and, subsidiarily
(b) is it therefore supportable to suggest that the argument is a straw man for dealing with the plain meaning of the words, rather than the intent of the author in writing those words?

       Relatedly, I would characterise what I wrote as a reductio ad absurdum argument (based on the plain meaning of the words, not the now clarified intended meaning), rather than a straw man, and I deliberately wrote it with an absurd conclusion to try to emphasise that element of it. However (death of the author), I guess I could have been more explicit.
calum, Oct 05 2017

       ... but if there's a semiotician we could shoot ...
pertinax, Oct 06 2017


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