Friday, November 6, 2015

Treat Guns Like Cars?

I am typically distrustful of American citizens who would advocate ignoring the Constitution of the United States. Despite that, I did give thought to this Letter to the Editor published in our local newspaper.
To operate a motor vehicle you must be licensed by the state and pass driving and written exams. You also have to pass an eye exam, because if you can't see you have no business driving.

Every vehicle you own must be registered with the DMV, and your tags, stickers and insurance kept current. Get ticketed and the DMV puts points on your license. Get too many points and the DMV can suspend your license. Drive on a suspended license and you can go to jail.

Why such strict regulation of vehicles and drivers? Because vehicles moving at high speeds can be very dangerous, and if the driver is impaired or the brakes are faulty, innocent people can die. So we comply with these safety regulations, which have saved millions of lives.

But what about the 13,140 people who are shot dead in this country every year? Regardless of criminal history or mental status, anyone can buy any kind of guns they want because background checks are not required on private sales. And that’s perfectly legal with zero accountability. That’s insane.

Gun ownership should be licensed and regulated much like drivers and motor vehicles.
The first requirement for licensing should be medical proof of mental competency, because someone not mentally competent has no more business with a gun than a blind person has driving.

The biggest problem with guns today is gun owners who are nowhere near mentally competent.

I’m a gun owner who welcomes strict gun regulation. Unfortunately too many in this country fiercely oppose any gun regulation at all, and couldn’t care less that innocent people continue being slaughtered because of it.

We must find a way to get control over this license to massacre that the Second Amendment has become. 

The author incorrectly equates a Constitutional right to a State-granted privilege and also equates gun "ownership" with car "operation." However, I was willing to ignore those flaws in the proposal and give it fair consideration. Unfortunately I was unable to fully reply in my own Letter to the Editor, as the paper restricts letters to a mere 300 words.

In the United States, anyone can buy a car with absolutely no background check, whether dealing with a private seller or a licensed car dealer. Under this proposal, gun dealers should no longer be required to perform background checks. Equalizing the regulations would also remove any waiting periods to buy a gun. Since there are no age restrictions on buying cars, this proposal makes gun purchases available to all as well. Like cars, there would be no restrictions on the type or quantity of guns purchased either. By extension, the free giving of guns as gifts, as with cars, would also be allowed.

To operate a car on a public street, one must register the car with the State. Of course, the ultimate purpose of this is actually taxation, not regulation. In addition to registering the vehicle to be taxed, one must also demonstrate a very elementary knowledge of traffic laws, and exhibit a basic ability to operate a motor vehicle. These requirements are easily passed by thousands of fifteen and sixteen year olds every year. That initial requirement accomplished, anyone is free operate just about any type of car or truck, on any street, in every state in the country, for the rest of their lives, without retesting as long as they continue to obey the law, and pay a renewal fee every few years.

The registering of firearms, and paying for a permit to carry that gun concealed for self defense, is a repulsive idea to many gun owners. However, treating gun ownership like a license to drive would finally mean gun owners could carry their guns for self defense in every state. Like cars, we would also be able to possess our guns when going on to school property, and even drive to U.S. Postal Service parking lots, the same privileges granted every licensed driver.

Without ammunition, a gun is pretty useless, just as a car without gasoline is of little use. If we equalize the regulations, it would make ammo purchases also open to all without regulation, age restrictions, or ID requirements. Perhaps gun stores would become as ubiquitous as car dealers and gas stations. I am liking this proposal even better the more I think about it.

The author adds to the proposal by demanding "medical proof of mental competency" in order to own a gun. I am willing to see the same requirement of anyone granted the privilege to drive a car.

After consideration, I find myself willing to compromise and accept the proposal. While the interference of the State in a right is still offensive, treating gun ownership like a license to drive would make life as a gun owner subject to far fewer restrictions. It would also equalize the laws regarding guns across all localities. I want to thank the author, a supposed gun owner, for the thoughtful suggestions to reduce the inconveniences imposed on law abiding citizens when exercising our 2nd Amendment rights.

Obviously, my reply is written tongue in cheek. Intelligent people realize that equating gun ownership with driving a car is nonsense. That is the abysmal level of commonsense and intelligence we must deal with from the gun grabbers and hoplophobes. Personally, I'd prefer to simply ignore such people, or provide a much shorter, two word response.


  1. And you can drive any car you want on private property so, good-bye suppressor, full auto, short barrel, magazine and large bore restrictions.
    Suppressed GAU 8 anyone?


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