Why do we require deadly weapons to be registered? It’s the same reason that we require motor vehicles to be registered: they impose costs on society.
While most people most of the time drive safely and lawfully, motor vehicles are dangerous. They kill thousands every year. Every year, law enforcement must solve countless crimes that involve motor vehicles. We require drivers:
- to be at least a certain age,
- to pass an exam about the rules of the road,
- to demonstrate skill in driving,
- to present a drivers license and proof of liability insurance, and
- to pay taxes to pay for the maintenance of the streets and highways on which we drive.
While most people most of the time use deadly weapons safely and lawfully, weapons injure and kill thousands accidentally or on purpose. They are involved in countless crimes that police must try to solve. Because of these costs and devastating losses, it’s completely appropriate that the authorities:
- require registration of weapons,
- charge fees that are commensurate with the costs imposed on society by weapons, and
- require that the owners demonstrate knowledge of their safe use and storage.
Doing so is in everyone’s interest, and failing to do so would be irresponsible.
The only one I know of that wouldn’t see it in their interest are criminals and those few extremists that want to own weapons without any accountability to their neighbors. That’s shirking responsibility, and it’s wrong.
Therefore, I propose reframing what is now framed as gun control as registration of deadly weapons and its opponents as the irresponsible few that want to own deadly weapons without accountability.
What do you think they should be called? Does anyone know if owners of deadly weapons are required to carry liability insurance and register annually like owners of cars and trucks? If they aren’t, they should be because the danger the weapons pose persists from year to year.