Saturday, January 26, 2013

Automobiles and Guns, Apples and Oranges

I repeatedly hear people argue that since automobiles are associated with more fatalities than those involving guns (although this may change by 2015 if trends continue), that it makes no sense to limit or regulate gun ownership. But that overlooks some obvious differences between cars and guns.

For starters, some form of transportation is seen by most of us as a necessity, whereas the majority of us would be as well off, if not better off, without a gun.

Secondly, if using a vehicle accomplishes what it is meant to (transport people and cargo safely from one location to another) there is zero harm involved, period. Theoretically, if manufacturers and drivers were fully responsible, and cars and car ownership properly regulated, fatalities would virtually be eliminated.

This could be true of guns as well, but if the use of a gun accomplishes what it is meant to accomplish, it always inflicts some kind of damage on a person, animal or object--even if that object, for example, is only a target on a shooting range. That's simply what guns are designed to do, damage or destroy, which makes them different from cars.

Of course, we could have far fewer human fatalities in this country if every gun owner were strictly moral, safety conscious and law abiding, it's just that the instrument itself is of an entirely different nature, therefore deserving of a different level of regulation.

Meanwhile, unlicensed drivers can't go to a car show, buy a vehicle, and simply drive wherever and however they wish. And even President Reagan, in 1989, said, “I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen (to have guns) for sporting, for hunting, and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47 or a machine gun are not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home."

For a humorous take on the car/gun comparison read "The Right To Bear Cars" and

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