There is a relatively simple way to test the intentions of anyone who calls for mandatory training for gun owners: propose that such training be made a mandatory part of the public high-school curriculum. Mechanics of firearms, safe handling and storage, shooting practice, and the basics of self-defense law. Taking the high-school course to be considered sufficient for a carry license.
If the response is "Hey, that sounds like it would work," or some refinement about the details to be taught or whether students should be able to opt out, the person is serious about ensuring safety.
If the response is "OMG you BEAST how COULD you suggest corrupting the innocent CHILDREN with guns and besides they'll probably all SHOOT each other!!!"... well, then you know their true intentions.Loved that.
I am not a gun owner and I'm not interested. Four out of five of my boys shoot, but not often. Dropping the idea of "reasonable gun control legislation" was one of the last bricks to fall in my liberalism. As well as I recall, up until about 1995 I think I believed that just having a gun around quietly encouraged people to violence as a first, rather than last, resort. I knew gun nuts who had poor judgement in just about everything else in their lives, and from my job I knew some very dangerous people who owned guns and made alarming statements about using them.
What I learned is that while those things should make a difference, when you run the numbers, they don't.
I have some fondness for the Bill of Rights as written, but so much of that has been bumped around that being a purist is not at the top of my political list. The cartoon version of how the government is going to make a list of gun owners so they know who to round up when the New World Order comes always put me off. Liberals accuse all conservatives of believing it, and they can point to a lot of folks who actually do, even if it's not a majority. Ridiculous. Until...
Recently, that disquieting vision has become more plausible, if you get rid of the mental picture of commies knocking on your door. The high-tech version, of impersonal bits of silicon programmed to keep track of who has guns because they are 17.4% more likely to be terrorists (and if you vacationed in the Middle-East you go on an even higher-profile list) is no longer far-fetched. So that wasn't big in my conversion, but it may factor in the maintenance of my gun-freedom sympathies.
The big ticket item for me was always the numbers. The last 57 laws we passed didn't seem to reduce violence, so why would we think the next 57 would? The bad reasoning around the apples-and-oranges comparisons to European countries (which I admit look like our peer group at first), the attribution of bad motives to 2A people*, and the pernicious assumption that all people committing a gun crime must be conservative (because GUNS!), unless they are black or Hispanic, which doesn't count somehow - all these have only served to solidify me in the idea. All three are common themes in other things that make me crazy in modern political discussion.
If you've got an idea for a gun law that demonstrably does reduce violence, I'm glad to listen, as jaed is above.
* Sometimes true, but so what? There are some people with bad motives behind all things, good and bad.