The amazing thought leadership coming from Washington has swept me up. “Extreme vetting” – I’m in!

When a person has the possibility of causing untold damage to the lives of scores of Americans, their applications must be rigorously vetted. The level of scrutiny must be proportional to the risk. After all, train, truck and coach drivers have much higher qualification standards than car drivers do, because of their outsized risk and responsibility to the populace. Commercial airline pilots face much higher experience and mental and physical standards plus regular currency review versus private pilots because of the enormous effects of their possible actions.

I think extreme vetting is long overdue for folks who find themselves in need of assault-style weapons. These guns have killed and continue to kill hundreds of times more Americans than, say, illegal immigrants have.

At age 14, I received a federal firearms identification card to carry long guns by answering 10 questions and providing a signature. A different time, but low risk, low bar. In college, I received a concealed carry permit. I was fingerprinted and underwent a background check. Higher risk, higher bar.

Oddly enough, my first job in finance, decades ago, came with a tighter security review than carrying a concealed gun! To provide someone the ability to easily shoot someone on the street, you just sign here – but allow them access to your money, and whoa, we really need to check this person out!

Should I ever find myself needing an AR-15, I would have no problem with an extreme review and serious conditions placed on my use of, storage of and access to that weapon. It is well past the time to put our vulnerable unarmed population, especially our children, on equal terms with the National Rifle Association straw men, and our elected officials who prostrate themselves to lobbyists instead of protecting their constituents.

Mike Del Tergo


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