Historian and former Guns & Ammo columnist Dick Metcalf during the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival
At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, historian and former Guns & Ammo columnist Dick Metcalf sat down for a fiery discussion on guns with National Journal Editorial Director Ron Brownstein. Metcalf made headlines late last year when his long-time career at Guns & Ammo came to an end after a piece he wrote about the line between firearm regulation and the 2nd Amendment.
Today's wide-ranging discussion included points about the power of the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a lobbying group in Washington, whether the Supreme Court will move any further on the 2nd Amendment, and the extreme divide between those for and against the use and ownership of guns. But throughout the conversation, one of Metcalf's main points was the need for gun training to be required for those who own guns. Using the analogy of drivers being allowed to own and operate a car only after receiving the required training and proof of it, Metcalf stressed the importance of doing the same for guns.
"We've had numerable conversations. I cannot tell you how many senior executives and firearms companies, who -- over a beer -- when no one's watching, would say, 'You realize, of course, that at least a third of our customers shouldn't be let within five miles of a gun.'"
He closed the conversation with this: "Hell, let's do that in the schools. We have driver's training in the schools, let's have firearms familiarization in the public schools."
Listen to the full 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival conversation on guns.