You don't need a gun license, but cutting hair is illegal without one...
Airline pilots require a license to fly a plane. To get that license in the United States, a person who wishes to acquire a pilot’s license needs to have about forty hours of flight time, in addition to passing an oral test and a flight test. This is the minimum requirement to become a certified private pilot. There are other tests that are needed to get a commercial pilot licence, etc.
To be allowed to drive in this country, one needs to obtain a driver’s license. This license acquisition demands the passing of a written test as well as a test of actual driving skill. To become a hair stylist in the U.S., you need to get a license from the state where you wish to cut hair. Most states require a high school diploma or GED in order to proceed to the licensing phase.
Though not all plumbers are required to be licensed, I suspect most of us would want to enlist one that was, especially considering the prices a plumber can charge. The same is true for an electrician. Unfortunately, as far as I know, the size of their ass crack is not taken into consideration when given the license.
Lawyers, Doctors, vets, cops (have badges, I know), these days you can’t do much without a licence. In fact there are 36 states that require a make-up artist to be licensed, auctioneers are licensed in 33 states, and in Louisiana, you need a licence to be a florist. The last thing you want to do is buy flowers from someone who doesn’t know how to handle them.
And all of this is not to mention the fact that most states in the U.S. require your dog to be licensed, and not simply licensed, but you are required to provide proof that your dog has a valid rabies certificate.
Yes, there are so many examples of situations throughout our everyday lives where we are expected to be licensed, pass a test, be insured… to simply have a permit to do things.
Many of the occupations and simple tasks mentioned above require insurance, most commonly, malpractice or liability insurance for the doctors and lawyers. Automotive insurance functions in the same manner for those of us driving our car around and not wanting the responsibility of paying out of pocket when we are at fault in an automobile accident.
The point here is that there are those who share the responsibility of driving a vehicle, piloting a plane, or taking someone’s welfare, even their life, in their hands in the operating room or the court room. And even the people we have cut our hair are expected to be, at minimum, licensed before they are allowed to begin lopping our locks.
But what of gun ownership? The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts. These are the only states in the union that require the licensing of long guns and handguns. Two or three additional states require handguns to be licensed. Open carry permits/licensing and concealed carry permits/licensing laws are all over the place in this country.
In the U.S. territories? Well, the laws are quite different there. American Somoa (where handguns are banned from civilian possession), Guam, Northern Mariana Islands (handguns are also banned here), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands both require guns to be licensed.
What is going on? How do we say that a piece of equipment that kills, on average, 30,000 people a year, and has only one true use – to kill something – should have no registration requirement or other method to keep a handle on who owns guns and whose guns are resulting in the deaths?
More severe restrictions were placed on cars, most specifically making seat-belts mandatory in cars that were brought to market, and then making the wearing of the seat-belts required, the number of deaths by auto has gone down from a high of 54,589 in 1972 to averaging in the low 30,000’s since 2009.
Remember: we are not talking apples to apples here. The number of motor vehicles owned by Americans in 2010 was 239.8 million. That is 828 vehicles per 1,000 people. The number of guns per 100 people in the U.S. (as of 2014) is 88.8 per 100 people, but are only found in about 52 million households. That’s based on a less than specific number of guns thought to be in private ownership (certainly a seriously strong argument for registering and licensing them) nearing 300 million. Comparing the number of cars to the number of guns, the numbers may be similar, but we must always remember: vehicles are not designed for killing, just about every death by auto is a true accident.
The same cannot be said for guns, not with the suicide rate, the murder rate and the accidental death rate. How many people should be dead by gun in the United States every year? Zero, because every single death is preventable with better regulation, better training, better mental health care. Every last one. Preventable.