Tough on Cars

A popular tactic for gun-control advocates is to call for laws regulating firearms "like cars", since we all know that cars are licensed by the government, have mandated safety inspections, a detailed registration system, and are as popular as guns, if not even more. This comparison as an argument for gun control is fatally flawed when the details are examined.

First, cars are not "licenced". Drivers are "licensed" to operate their vehicles on public roads, but are free to operate without a license on private property. You can buy a car without presenting a driver's license (just be sure to bring a truck or trailer to tow it off). The proper analogy for a driver's license is a state-level concealed-carry permit, which is the corresponding "public operation" of a firearm. Under this system, a concealed carry license could be had with no training needed by passing a simple test -- a test so simple, in fact, that practically anyone can pass, whether they can drive or not. Driver's licenses from any 1 state are honored in all 50 states, without worries about reciprocity agreements. So if you license guns like cars, you are actually advocating fewer restrictions on guns.

Second, cars are subject to stringent safety standards mandated by the government. Surprise, so are firearms! The government maintains a licensing system for manufacturers of firearms -- and dealers as well, which you don't see for cars. However, compared to cars (which produce over 30,000 annual accidental fatalities), firearms are much less dangerous; accidental deaths from firearms are very low, and the numbers have consistently dropped every year for quite some time. Firearms are not magically exempted from product liability, and if there were serious safety problems, lawsuits (non-frivolous ones, that is) would be rampant.

Third, despite speed limits nationally being around 65 mph, car manufacturers continually build cars capable of exceeding this limit -- often by a factor of two or even three! Yes, you can buy a car today that is capable of achieving 3 times the national speed limit (195mph). Or even higher. What's the appropriate analogy? Just try to buy a gun that exceeds the "bullet speed limit" -- fully-automatic firearms are heavily regulated. Or do you want to be fingerprinted the next time you go to buy a Corvette? Better remember to get permission from your local police officers, too. And they might just ask if you are planning on speeding...

In fact, it's more constructive to examine the ways that guns differ from cars in regulatory terms.

(Note: Another older repost for the archives).

This entry was published Tue Jul 04 23:31:15 CDT 2006 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2006-07-04 23:31:15.0. [Tweet]

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