Gun-control laws making a difference
Nobody enjoys waiting in line at the DMV for a driver's license. But few people consider the wait an infringement on their civil rights. That's because most of us understand that the testing system, despite its inconvenience, helps keep unqualified and possibly dangerous drivers off the road.
Why is it, then, that gun activists take such offense to gun-control laws designed to help keep criminals and unbalanced individuals from arming themselves and taking to our streets.
The ideology behind both types of regulations is the same: Holding people to certain standards can protect public safety.
Is it really such a crazy idea to make sure people can drive before giving them a license, or that they haven't committed serious crimes before selling them a gun?
This week, the first anniversary of the second phase of the federal Brady Act that requires a criminal background check for anyone buying a rifle, reignited the fiery debate over the constitutionality of gun control.
The idea behind this year-old law is to make it harder for criminals to buy high-powered weapons and more difficult for people to buy rifles in fits of anger.
Has it stopped criminals from buying guns and using them to kill, rob and maim? Of course not.
Do people drive without driver's licenses? Certainly. Have these laws made our communities safer? Yes.
According to the Associated Press, "More than 160,000 people, nearly three-quarters of them convicted felons, were barred from buying a gun during the first year of computerized instant criminal background checks.
"The overwhelming majority of the 8.7 million gun buyers were approved during the year. Most checks took seconds and nearly all were complete within two hours."
A few seconds? That's less time than it takes to get a driver's license. What a small price to pay to make our streets safer.