"Just for example, I've seen a plane flown. It doesn't mean I'm going to go rent a plane and just get in the cockpit and just start flying. I think everyone would agree that is just ridiculous for me to think I could do. Even knowing how to drive a car, I know I should not get in a bus or semi and attempt to drive it without proper training."
This is the part that makes my brain hurt. Most people who have no gun experience don't have any idea how complex gun use can be, so treating these examples as parallel is unfair. I agree that people who do know are wise to step in as soon as they see a situation like someone who owns a gun not knowing how to load a magazine, but acting like the guy is being as dumb as someone who would try to fly a plane without practice is condescending. Nobody is born knowing this stuff, and the major danger in firearms is that they're easy to use so the danger isn't readily obvious to the untrained. The first time a friend of mine took me to a shooting range (which was the first time I ever fired a gun) I made some seriously dangerous rookie mistakes (mostly violating rule number three, not paying close attention to where the pistol was pointed and not setting the safety when I should have), and I had no idea I was doing it. I was just lucky enough to be in the presence of someone who knew better and who was willing to help me. I wasn't too dumb to handle a firearm, just unfamiliar with it and unaware of the safety rules. I'd love to see a rule that forbids someone from buying a firearm until they've passed a basic safety course, but in the absence of that rule it's just a matter of a rookie not realizing the danger.
Thank you. I thought there was a strong tone of 'this guy doesn't know what to do therefore he is stupid' in the first post. The clerk accepted his money without any sort of check on his skill level, he asked for help when he needed it and didn't object when an employee was sent with him to assist. Then he was asked to leave, which he did and the poster doesn't mention him getting a refund. It's possible that he was given or inherited the gun. If I was getting this attitude from the gun range, I don't think I'd return. As I said, the only time I have fired a gun, I was on holiday in Hawaii and paid to fire at a range, so it would seem completely normal to me. I don't know what was different about this range, perhaps they had special safety features that enabled a bunch of amateurs to fire together? bulletproof glass between the lanes?
I asked a friend of my husbands about Australia's gun laws and you have to have a reason to get a licence. One reason is that you are a member of a gun club. Gaining membership takes about six months (starting from scratch) and includes the safety courses.