Monday, December 17, 2012

Cars vs. Guns

A number of times when talking about gun violence and gun control, I get a response that "cars kill people but we don't try to outlaw cars".

So let's think about that for a minute because I'm HAPPY to have that conversation.

1) Cars must be registered AND car drivers must be licensed.  We should extend that to guns and gun owners.  You can't just give someone your car for their use on the road without transferring registration - should be the same with guns.  Today something like 40% of gun sales take place without any background check - that should end.

2) Car owners must carry liability insurance in case their vehicle injures someone else - I think that's a GREAT idea for gun owners.  I'm sure the insurance industry would be happy to look at this as a new form of revenue and then would be lobbying counter to the gun lobby since they'll want to do everything they can to ensure that they don't have to pay anything out.

3)  Vehicular fatalities peaked in the late '70s at around 20 per 100,000 people per year.  Over the last 30 years, that has been reduced by half, despite more miles traveled per person.  This was accomplished via government regulation (despite massive lobbying by the auto industry) and consumer demand for safety.  So yes, let's use that as an example and legislate better safety with it comes to firearms.

4) There are certain vehicles that are deemed too dangerous to operate on US streets - no reason we can't apply that same logic to assault weapons, large magazines and the like.

5) If I get drunk and get behind the wheel of my car and kill someone, I'll be charged with at least manslaughter and likely something harsher in the current climate.  If I get drunk and go hunting and accidentally shoot a fellow hunter, it's much less clear what will happen - there have been some prosecutions but many others are written off as accidents and not prosecuted at all.  How about we be a little more consistent and admit that shooting someone while mistaking them for a deer or a turkey is negligent regardless of any extenuating circumstances and that  they should be prosecuted.

So, no, we don't try to outlaw cars but we do an awful lot to try to make owning and operating them safer and penalize those who use them irresponsibly.  Why wouldn't we do the same for a class of devices whose sole function is to create damage?
 

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4 Comments:

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Lex Alexander said...

Cuz Murka Hail Yeah, that's why.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger justisengard said...

I could not agree more.

 
At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1, 2, 3, and 4 are fine with me. I'm fully agree that, like with cars, these changes wouldn't rid us of gun deaths (something many a liberal would claim), but it would help in the long run.

Number 5 only bothers me in that I see a much closer correlation with what happens in each case. Too many drunk drivers get off in the case of an 'accident'. I'm also not as sure that many shootings are not the fault of the victim who may not be dressed appropriately, though the great majority of the responsibility must lie with the shooter. I think we agree more than not.

You'll want to read a very similar post from another friend of mine at http://johnhartness.com/2012/12/17/gun-control-a-modest-proposal/. I'll link to your post over there as well.

CK

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

CK, fair point on number 5. I think it more likely that a drunk driver is prosecuted but conviction is, as you say, an iffy proposition.

Thanks for the link to Hartness - Jeannette and I read his first three Black Knight novels and thought they were excellent! Didn't know you knew him.

 

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