It seems to me that anyone arguing that background checks are not feasible for sales of guns among individuals is actually furthering the argument for requiring a license to own and operate a gun. A background check could easily be part of the process of obtaining a renewable license to operate a gun (passing a short class covering safe operation and use would be an obvious addition). Then anyone holding a current license should be able to walk into a gun shop or show and buy a gun without the thirty minute wait since the license is proof of having passed the background check.
We already register our cars and get renewable licenses to operate them. We also license many other aspects of our lives. Most professionals, from contractors to engineers to lawyers and doctors, must pass some sort of test and obtain a license or registration to work; all miners take a three to five day safety training (which must be renewed annually) before they can start working and take additional training throughout the year; even recreational scuba divers need to pass a class and get registered in order to rent their oxygen tanks. I don't understand the objection to registering and licensing guns.
Just as we have different tiers for drivers' and pilots' licenses, gun operators could get different kinds of licenses depending on the intended use. For example, instead of a general renewable license, a proficient and frequent operator could seek a hunter's license (for those willing to restrict the kinds of guns they buy and use to a list of guns frequently used for hunting and/or target practice), or a much broader collector's license (with provisions for more frequent buying and trading of guns).
The argument about privacy just doesn't have legs, especially in this day when new phones and new automobiles have GPS units which track information that can be obtained by police. (Hmmm, I wonder what the gun buyers would say to a GPS tracking device in all new guns instead of licensing?)
The handful of passengers who diverted Flight 93 from it's intended target on September 11 were not armed, nor were the onlookers who wrestled Loughner to the ground on January 9. There are countless examples of small acts of heroism successfully carried out by ordinary citizens who did not use guns. While police, soldiers, and other security officers put their lives on the line for pay, I would wager that volunteer acts of heroism are primarily an activity of the unarmed. I doubt that armed civilians can brag of the same number.
And I can't for the life of me think how any good can come of turning schools into scary places by populating them with armed authorities.
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