Where’s The DMV For Guns?

Ambinder asks:

I take self-defense seriously. But getting a gun should be at least as hard as getting a driver's license. A citizen who wants a gun and a concealed carry permit should go through exactly the same training and recertification as a cop would… it's easier to get a gun as a citizen than as a cop.

Patrick Radden Keefe also wants better gun laws:

One obvious change would be to mandate a criminal background check for all gun purchases.

Under the Brady Act, federally licensed gun retailers are required to do a background check before selling a customer a firearm. But an estimated forty per cent of gun sales today are "private" sales not involving a licensed dealer: these transactions take place at gun shows, in parking lots, and increasingly, on the Internet. (One site, gunbroker.com, reported two billion dollars in sales this year.) Private sales do not require a background check, and because there is no mechanism for the A.T.F. to collect or maintain records on these sales, they are virtually untraceable. There are bills pending on Capitol Hill that would force checks for all sales, and there is considerable bipartisan support for this kind of measure. According to some recent polling conducted by Frank Luntz, seventy-four per cent of N.R.A. members and eighty-seven per cent of non-N.R.A. gun owners support requiring criminal background checks for anyone purchasing a gun.