Back in the 1980s, I wanted to get into the financial business. I was going to get a license to sell mutual funds. Note that I was going to “get a license.” I couldn’t just go out and start selling mutual funds, even if some company hired me. No. I had to take a 12-week course, have a 10-year background check, be fingerprinted, then pass four government-sponsored exams.
All to make sure I understood how financial markets worked — and that I would not steal people’s money from them.
Even before that, back around 1971 when I was 17 years old, I wanted to get a driver’s license. I had to take a Driver’s Education course to teach me how to operate a motor vehicle safely. Then I had to pass a driver’s test to determine that I knew what I was doing as I drove a car. All before they would even think of giving me a driver’s license.
Because, you know, driving a car irresponsibly could kill somebody.
Somewhere back a while, I don’t remember exactly when, Vicky wanted to become a massage therapist. She had to take an extensive training course — I don’t remember how long, six months, nine months, something like that — then pass a state-sponsored exam in order to frigging rub peoples’ bodies. She also needed the background check and all that. Make sure there is no criminal history. Make sure she is an upstanding person. All to frigging rub people’s bodies.
You want to become a barber or a beautician? Not so fast, kimo sabe. You need to take some training courses. You need to undergo a criminal background check. You need to take a test to prove you’re not going to…. what? Cut somebody’s hair funny? Rip them off by giving them a cut they don’t like?
All this stuff, you need training, you need background checks, you need tests to make sure you’re competent with the skills involved.
But some idiot 18-year-old kid can walk into a store and buy two assault rifles with no questions asked — whether or not he even knows how to use the things, not to mention if he’s a complete lunatic and is going to shoot up a grade school — this kid can walk in and buy these weapons, no questions asked, and walk out into public with them. To do whatever the hell he wants.
Like shoot up a fucking grade school and kill 21 innocent people.
And the fucking kid doesn’t have to demonstrate a goddamned thing. Like, oh, maybe he might know how to use these weapons. Like maybe he’s taken a course or two in the safe handling of weapons. Or, like, maybe he’s even relatively sane.
No background check. No fingerprints. No training course. No nothing.
But to rub somebody’s body, or to cut somebody’s hair, or to fucking put nail polish on somebody’s nails, you need training, you need testing, you need background checks, you need a license from the state.
I don’t give a shit what you motherfuckers say. And I’m as much of a Constitutional “strict constructionist” as the rest of you. But if there are restrictions on the First Amendment (and there are), then there can also be restrictions on the Second Amendment.
If there are restrictions on being a barber or being a cosmetologist, then there damned well should be restrictions on owning a fucking gun that can kill a hundred people at a pop.
Like… Maybe you have to take some kind of training course and pass an exam before you can purchase a firearm. Is it too much to ask that you actually know what you are doing before you buy a gun? And that you demonstrate that knowledge to the satisfaction of the state?
That maybe you have a little bit of an idea of what that weapon can do, and (gasp!) what your responsibilities might be as you wield it? And that you get, maybe, a license to own and use that weapon, just like you get a license to drive your frigging car? A license that says you’ve at least passed some rudimentary competence checks, and, like, maybe you might actually know what you are doing?
Do you really think a kid who has turned 18 yesterday should be able to buy an assault rifle under the guise of “the right to bear arms” without any training, testing, or other oversight?
I need say no more. You know what is in your heart, even if your idiot partisanship doesn’t allow you to say it in public. And you who say, yes, the 18-year-old kid should be able to buy an assault rifle with no training, no background checks, and no testing of any sort of competence with the weapon… well, you don’t know your fucking ass from a hole in the ground.
Or, more likely, you are just lying to yourself…. and in your heart, you know it.
And YOU are responsible for the lives of every one of those kids who is being laid to rest by their parents in the next few days. Along with all the other hundreds of victims of gun violence perpetrated by maniacs who should not be allowed to own a gun.
And you know that, too.
Their blood is on your hands. And in your heart, you know it.
It does not infringe your rights to have gun purchasers required to have a training course. Or a background check. Or pass a test. Or all of those things together.
If you’re so fucking smart, you can take the training course, pass the qualification test, and pass the background check. No problem.
If I had to pass four tests to sell mutual funds, then you can pass at least one test to own and carry and use a firearm.
This doesn’t infringe your rights one iota. You allow those things in every other area of your life. Driving a car. Working in a bank or brokerage firm. Working as a massage therapist. Working as a barber or beautician. Shouting frigging “fire” in a crowded theater. None of those “restrictions” on people’s rights seems to bother you.
But if it comes to owning a gun… Geez, your precious frigging rights are being infringed.
Well you know what… Those kids’ blood is on your hands. Period. And the blood of everyone else involved in one of these mass shootings for the past… who knows how many years? That blood is all on your hands.
And you know it is, whether you admit it publicly or not.