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There's got to be a better way - Ed Brock

Last week somebody got a brand new gun and decided it would be a good idea to test it out in an open field. And as a result they nearly killed, oh, several people, including a few kids on a passing school bus.

Still think gun control is a bad idea?

I know, I know, there's something in the Constitution about the right to bear arms. But here's another part of that line that many people seem to forget, “A well regulated militia.”

Now, I'll grant you that it's not necessary to ban handguns all together. But that one part of the Second Amendment is the key to doing what I've always said should be done, require those who buy handguns to get a license.

Putting aside constitutional arguments for the time being, I just can't see how any sane, reasonable person can argue against what I'm saying here.

It would work like this. When somebody decided they needed to buy a gun, they would first be required to take a basic safety course at their own cost. There they would learn important things, like don't take the gun out into a field and start firing off rounds.

The would-be gun fighter would then have to pass a basic test, based on the kind of test law enforcement officers undergo. And they would have to renew that training on a regular basis. They would become members of a nationwide militia.

It wouldn't be like one of those dubious militias that exist today on the fringe of society. It would be an orderly militia.

So there it is. That's the answer, I think. We give guns to people who are trained to use them and not people who are prone to forgetting that bullets don't just stop because you miss a target in an open field.

Just FYI, there are firing ranges nearby where you can rent time to test your new pistola in a controlled environment. Taking pot shots in a field might work if you are truly out in the country, but even Henry County is too dangerous a place to literally give it a shot.

Undoubtedly there are some of you who are even now planning to vent your righteous, God-given anger at me. Rest assured we will pry your gun from your cold, dead hand after you accidentally shoot yourself while “cleaning” your loaded weapon.

Ed Brock, a Henry County resident, covers public safety and municipal governments for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at ebrock@news-daily.com .