I believe that you are operating a deadly weapon that is created to hurt, kill or destroy and that you should be determined to be responsible enough to handle it. I think a license along with safety training would help greatly and would make it easier to tell who owned what weapon.
Should gun ownership be licensed like drivers? This is a novel idea and I think a very good one.
It goes beyond owner's permits and invites a whole industry of trainers, testers, and police. It would not take care of the illegal gun problem right away but but might impact it eventually with the public more attuned to everything concerned with guns. It could make sure that legal gun owners met minimum standards of properly choosing, taking care of, storing, and shooting a gun. Educated gun owners would make society safer. Hopefully they would be less likely to shoot themselves in the foot or to have guns taken from the by home invaders and then used against them. They would be trained to lock up their guns, unloaded, so that their kids could not get at them and have accidents. All of these things could be covered in gun license training, which should last a month or two and have a probationary phase. Such a system certainly would make it harder to buy a gun relatively quickly on a murderous inspiration to do harm. The gun lobby's natural stance against such a proposal might be mitigated by the fact that it would provide a lot of jobs for those knowledgeable about guns.