To the editor:

Cars are so dangerous they can kill.  That's we require a license.  Not to own one, but to use one.  Parents', relatives' and friends' training isn't enough: we require state-certified instructors whose jobs are on the line if they fail, as are those of the elected representatives in charge of drivers' ed.  You must be age 16, get training, pass a written test, pass a road test, and get re-tested every so often for life.  And if you want to drive anything bigger (trucks, buses, bulldozers, etc.), that requires a higher license, again from a state-certified system.  Everyone knows all this, and no one has a problem with it.

So why doesn't all this apply to guns?  Cars kill by accident, but guns kill by design!  That's why cops have to have very serious background checks, practice, testing and re-testing, all by a state-certified system, before using even the smallest gun.  And they can't use bigger ones without further training and higher licenses.

ALL gun-users should have to get a cop's training and then a license first.  It's called logic!  There should be small- and huge-gun licenses and everything in between.  Ammunition should be limited and appropriate to the purpose at hand; for shooting deer, if you think you need a 100-round magazine, you really need more practice!

Furthermore, like alcohol and tobacco, all firearms (and explosives) should be heavily taxed, but all gun-safety devices should be tax-free.  And most important of all, no mentally deranged person -- of any color! -- should either drive or shoot.

J. Andrew Smith
Bloomfield, NJ