I recently read the affidavit from Oscar Pistorius detailing his story of how he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was an inspiration with his appearance in the London Olympics despite having lost his legs below his knees as a child. Now I believe he is serving as a new inspiration: the need for proper training before allowing someone to handle firearms.
Assuming Pistorius is being completely truthful in his account, there is no doubt he was grossly negligent in killing his girlfriend. He admitted in his affidavit that he fired through a closed door in a panic that someone was invading his home. I am completely clueless about South African law, but under American law, Pistorius would at least be guilty of manslaughter.
I am a gun owner myself. I have no issue with people owning firearms and using them for self-defense. However, no rights are absolute, not those guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Second Amendment or any other Amendment or Article of our Constitution.
Nobody should be allowed to own a firearm without proper training. I recently took a class in pursuit of my own license to carry a concealed weapon. The instructors were quite knowledgeable, and the class was very interesting and engaging. Overall, though, I would call the class inadequate. As a combat veteran, I’m confident in my own ability to handle firearms responsibly, but the required minimum training is not sufficient for people lacking experience like mine.
I am a gun owner, and I have no fear that the President or anyone else will be trying to seize my weapons. I do support the President and others who are trying to tighten gun control laws, and I would support requiring more training before allowing people to carry concealed firearms or even to buy them.
Oscar Pistorius should still serve as an inspiration to amputees and others with disabilities that they can achieve more than we typically expect. But he should also inspire all of us to support more education before we arm ourselves. No one with proper training would have fired the shots Pistorius did. We should prevent the same thing happening in our country (again, as it surely has already).