The thing about a right is that you have a right to do it regardless of anything else. If you’re required to go through some kind of process first just to be deemed eligible to do it, it’s a privilege.
A case in point is a comparison between voting and driving. Driving requires, in many states, some kind of mandatory training before you can get your license. You may also have to go through a number of other hoops, first.
Voting requires you to register, sure, but it’s not like you’re going to be turned down because you made a D in your high school government class. Any citizen who isn’t a convicted felon is going to get their voter registration card.
Yet the idea of mandatory training is one that keeps cropping up as of late. Cam talked about it earlier this week regarding Delaware.
Now, an op-ed in Time seeks to advance that as a solution to violent crime.
Our politics is also the main impediment to another uniquely American aspect of the challenge: millions of guns, many of them falling into the wrong hands. Although the majority of Americans support reasonable restrictions on the right to bear arms, Congress and many state legislatures have been unable to pass such legislation. This isn’t about bans; it’s about adopting some of the same commonsense requirements we all meet to drive a vehicle—minimal training, a permit indicating we’re in good physical and mental health, and so on. If anything, many states are moving in the wrong direction: last year, six more states (now 21 in total) passed “permitless carry” laws, undoing requirements that citizens secure a permit before carrying a concealed firearm in public.
First, I’m quite sure the authors of this piece and I have very different ideas on what minimal training should entail.
Second, I’m not remotely interested in having my rights turned into privileges that can only be enjoyed after I go through some kind of mandatory training.
Now, understand, I’m a fan of people getting training. I’ve advocated for gun safety education being part of school curriculums for a while now and nothing has changed on that front.
Only mandatory training isn’t the extent of what they want. They want us to have to undergo not just a psychological evaluation, but apparently a physical as well? And why would being in “good physical health” matter, anyway?
I mean, people who are in poor physical health likely are more in need of a gun than a young, healthy person. Why create some weird restriction to keep them disarmed?
The truth is that this is the current push, this idea of mandatory training, probably because they think they can convince the American people this needs to happen.
Additionally, even if it did, do these people really think mandatory training prior to being allowed to exercise a constitutional right is somehow going to survive a Supreme Court challenge?
But hey, keep on with this and see how fast we start pushing for mandatory training prior to being allowed to register to vote.
After all, these are typically the same people who think a picture ID is an insurmountable problem for some and therefore a barrier to people voting, but making people sit through a class before exercising a right isn’t?
Honestly, this push is stupid, but not as stupid as the people who start thinking this is a good idea.