10:30 AM EST, January 4, 2013
When you think about it, there is no optimal solution for gun control. One proposal could be to highly regulate the person who owns the gun. Gun ownership must be married to marksmanship.
If a gun owner wants to use a weapon for self-defense, that person should be required by law to attend rigorous self-defense training in order to have the weapon "at the ready." If the owner just wants to use the gun for recreation, the gun has to be locked in an approved container and not accessible for self-defense.
Since people kill people and not guns, it is the people part of the equation that should be addressed. All gun owners should be made more responsible for the ability to use the gun, store the gun, and how to keep the gun out of wrong or unsuspecting hands.
Historical data and common sense show that the pointing of a weapon at a human to cause death or wounding is extremely difficult emotionally. The high numbers of guns we have, compared to the number of shooters at our target ranges, indicates that many gun owners do not practice and therefore are not skilled shooters. Plus, the common knowledge that many existing guns are locked in strong boxes, far away from "home duty," prosecutes the idea of self-defense as a need for a weapon.
To own a lethal weapon should be a profound responsibility for any person who wishes to have that privilege. The government should be charged with assuring that the owner of these items is fully skilled in their use. That can be done by mandatory training and periodic evaluations.
John Holter, Baltimore
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun