That is the reality of where we are. I have come to apprecaite that there are parts of the country where this is not an issue. However, I have not been so lucky. Many others have not either.
I think what you are missing CD - is that it we all run into those that can hop into a Searay and go powering around. Doesn't mean they do not know what they are doing. I am willing to bet there is an equal amount of sailors that do spend 40K on a sailboat and didn't know what they were doing. Are you saying speed is the issue here?
Because from what I can tell - I have a license and everyone else on the road does to. People constantly cut me off, zig zag within inches to go flying by me, or stop all traffic in a four lane stretch of road because a school bus is in the opposite lane dropping off children (the law is only those behind the bus not the other opposing lanes).
That is the problem with society today is all this "we have to legislate a mandated license for you to do this that or the other". Why do we do this? Because we like others to take care of the problem for us. When was the last time that you volunteered at your marina to give a lecture on just what ails you in terms of what must be rampant in your neck of the woods. Wouldn't that be more effective and save taxpayers and your fellow boaters the grief, money and aggravation?
If it is really that important to you - then why not YOU take the initiative to setup free or low cost seminars on boating safety and etiquette at your marina instead of trying to force the government (society) to manage your idealism of how things could change. You want change and you can be that Change and do the first step and it won't take an initiative or ballot - educate a few around you and like Obama support - will grow and grow into a more knowledgeable environment. Then this discussion wouldn't be hypothetical and think of the reports from you on how the program works and other sailnetters do it etc...
Boating is recreational - and just because we as sailors do not have 200 HP engines doesn't give us the right to mandate training, licensing, and the likes because a few yahoos.
Don't we already have enough regulation to worry about in our daily lives - why add another for the sake of thinking that mandated licensing will make other boaters be unlike what they probably do when they drive anyways....