Hi, I'm a member of the lunatic fringe determined to wreak tyranny upon you. (Hmph—at least Ed Randazzo makes himself clear.) And I'm going to talk about the "tyranny" we would do by regulating guns to the same extent that we regulate automobiles.

I hear Ed Randazzo walks around with a gun. I'm pretty sure Ed Randazzo also drives a car. Not counting inflated infantile ego, I am certain that Ed Randazzo derives more daily utility from his car than from his gun.

To drive his car in South Dakota, Ed Randazzo must submit to a state examination of his skills. Once he has passed that examination, he receives a license to drive. To keep that license, every five years, he must provide the state with a handful of identifying documents. If he uses his vehicle improperly, he can lose his license. He must pay fuel taxes to maintain roads. He must have in his vehicle proof of financial responsibility (i.e., auto insurance) to show that he can pay for any damages that may take place as a result of his negligent use of his car.

In return for this intrusion of the state on his liberty, Randazzo receives enormous utility. He receives individual mobility, without which most Americans (and an even higher proportion of South Dakotans) cannot participate effectively in the economy.

Automobiles secure more practical rights and liberty to American citizens than guns. Yet we make it legally harder for Americans to obtain automobiles than to obtain guns.

I thus propose that we regulate guns to the level that we regulate cars. Every person seeking a gun must submit to a firearms training program (schools can offer that every summer side-by-side with drivers education, if you wish.) Every prospective gun owner must pass a written test and a practical test on the shooting range to demonstrate proficiency in operation of a firearm. Every gun owner must apply for a license and renew that license every five years with proof of identity. Every gun owner must maintain firearm insurance on each weapon purchased to guarantee they can pay for any damages caused by negligent use of his or her weapons. And every gun owner must pay ammunition taxes to pay for the externalities caused by firearms.

These restrictions placed on firearms would not infringe on Second Amendment rights any more than drivers license and insurance requirements infringe on the even more fundamental and practical freedoms to travel and participate in the economy. Car control is not tyranny; neither is gun control.