For most U.S. citizens, buying a gun is pretty simple. Go to your local gun store, pick your gun, show photo I.D., fill out the background check form (approval is usually immediate), and then pay for your gun.
It's even easier in the case of private guns sales. If you purchase a firearm from a person who isn't a licensed dealer, the identification and background check requirements disappear -- even if the seller is at a gun show.
So let's take a look at eight common activities that require more time, information or effort than owning a gun:
Want to vote for president? Most states require you to register in advance, as much as 30 days, before Election Day.
Want a gun? In most states you can purchase a gun the day you decide you want one.
Additionally, if you purchase a gun through a private sale, there is no identification requirement. In some states, you must provide identification to vote.
2. Buying antihistamines
Due to ingredients in antihistamines being used to make meth, federal regulations now place a limit on the amount of pseudoephedrine an individual can purchase each month.
Federal law (and most state laws) does not limit the number of firearms that you can buy in one transaction.
3. Bringing a dog into a restaurant
Paris Hilton can't carry her Chihuahua into an Olive Garden in her purse, but a Glock 23 would be welcome.
4. Driving a car
Buying a gun does not require providing a social security number, vision test or a competency test (such as a driver's test) in most states. Federal ATF form 4473 (the government form filled out when a person purchases a firearm) lists the Social Security Number field as "optional."
5. Drinking a beer
6. Getting a cell-phone contract
Wireless carriers will deny you a cell phone contract if you don't provide a social security number. You are not required to give your social security information to purchase a gun.
7. Getting a credit card
Again, most creditors require providing a social security number, not so for gun purchase.
8. Acquire a hunting or fishing license
You don't need to provide your SSN to purchase a gun, but you do to use it to hunt. Federal and state laws adopted to help enforce child-support payments require applicants for hunting and fishing licenses to provide their social security number the first time they purchase a license.