Mike, which side are you taking there? First, you say that you disagree with those that say it should only be allowed to certain ages, then in your next post you say that they should be at least 18?? Don't quite follow you there.....
My opinions here....
A test? Great idea, but would not work. Unless pet stores can somehow make money at it, then it won't work. As someone said earlier, even so, there is plenty of black-market pet stores that would side-step this process for the cash. Also, that does not include the people out there that (unfortunately) keep breeding and selling burms out of thier home and selling them to make money. I would like to think that they would be responsible, but truth be known, most are not. Bottom line, it is still about the money.
Requiring someone to provide the housing requirements first? Is there going to be someone to personally go out to each new burm owner and inspect thier housing set-up? That would cost money, not make any. At the cost of buying a burm (around $30 to $50), it is not financially cost-effective to do this.
I think it is not about age, but about responsibility. It doesn't matter if you are 15 or 50, its about how good of a herper you are. Bottom line--these burms end up in rescues because of two basic reasons. 1. Got too big for them. 2. Got too costly to feed.
Peoples lives change all the time--buying a burm is a giant committment. Are you ready for it? Are you REALLY ready for it? I have the knowledge and experience to keep a burm, and I would love to have one. Truth is, I don't have the space as of now. I understand this, so no burm for me now. One day? Who knows??
As sad as it is, I don't really think much can be done about this problem we face. Pet stores will always be after money. Inspections of pet stores will always be fairly laxed--as long as the store has proper paperwork in place, and has a some-what clean business and the pets are in decent conditions, thats really all they check. Proper legislation? Thats a joke. They would rather ban these beautiful snakes before helping the public keep them in good conditions. Personal breeders? They too will sell, for the most part, to make a buck. This is soooo far gone, I don't see a "fix" in sight.
And that brings us back to us, and the real reason we are here. To help educate and provide knowledge to those that need it. Pass the word along to anyone you know, your teachers, your friends and family, and even your pet stores. Let them know that burms are what they are, and help them make the right decision. When dealing with pet stores, I have went as far as to tell one store that as long as it continues to sell burms, I will not do business there.
Do your part, thats all we can really do here.
As seen on a bumper sticker--"My snake ATE your honor roll student"