Cars and guns

People have posted a lot about guns and the control of guns over the past several days. I’d say that this happens every time there’s a shooting that makes the news, but that’s almost continuous. There’s a constant competition for attention between the stupidity and evil of Trump and friends on the one side and people killing each other on the other.

As usual, the charge against guns is they are rather effective means of killing people. The defense is cars are also an effective means of killing people. The response to that is that, yes, cars are possible deadly weapons, and they are heavily regulated. Foolish gun-lover, you have fallen right into a trap!

See the source image

The exchange is so common now people just skip to the third step and share this image on social media. However, the chart is misleading. The entire “let’s treat guns like cars” proposal doesn’t give the person against gun rights what they want because:

  1. Gun regulations would look pretty different from car regulations. The purpose of gun regulations is to keep them out of the hands of people who would do bad things with them. Skill is usually secondary. Car regulations are far more skill-oriented. We let felons drive.
  2. The training, tests, etc. are requirements to operate a motor vehicle. Presumably the target of restrictions with regard to guns is on ownership.

If car regulations looked like gun regulations, anyone would be allowed to go out and buy a gun. Actually using the gun would require a license. This entirely thwarts the goal of making guns less available to people who want to do bad things with them. They could still buy them. Their mode of use is already illegal, so nothing there has changed.

Perhaps there is something salvageable. You do need a license to take a car out. Likewise, a license system could be implemented for taking guns out. This would hardly stop anyone who wants to grab a gun and kill a bunch of people, but it might stop someone with anger management problems from ill-advisedly taking a gun out and killing someone in a fit of rage. Or stop someone who can’t aim from trying to be a hero and instead killing more people.

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