I have been sucked into online discussions about gun control lately. The anti-choice-for-private-gun ownership crowd loves to crow about needless deaths because of gun ownership. My response is always to point out that far more people are killed by vehicle deaths every year– so why aren’t they out there calling for the elimination of the personal vehicle?
I first raised this question about three years ago, when a newspaper ran an editorial opining that the newspaper should be able to publish the names of those with a concealed carry permit. My recollection of the gist of the opinion piece was that neighbors, etc. had a right to know when someone near them had a carry permit, ergo a handgun.
I wrote the editor an e-mail and raised the issue that there are plenty of people who drive dangerously. Therefore, the driving records of everyone with a driver license should be published, so that their neighbors, etc. can ascertain the danger of living near somebody with a bad driving record. I than invited the editor to take up the cause and lead by example, by publishing his driving history. I pestered him enough until I got a response.
Apparently the anti-choice crowd now has a playbook on this point, because the universal response is, “that is a false equivalency.” They then attempt to point out that the purpose for an automobile is for driving, but the purpose for a gun is for killing. They expect you to implicitly accept the underlying premise that the main purpose of the automobile is innocuous and “good” but the main purpose of the gun is for killing and is “bad”. Therefore, according to them these two objects cannot be compared.
The comparison of an automobile and a firearm is not a false equivalency. The proper question to pose is, “Do both of these items have legitimate uses? The answer is yes. Killing is a good thing, when the person that is killed is an intruder, bent on hurting you or your family, for instance. People misuse guns and vehicles, resulting in death or injury.
Why then, are guns in the crosshairs of the gun control crowd, rather than vehicles? I can think of all kinds of inconvenient but effective solutions to unnecessary automobile deaths. Outlaw all personal vehicles. Only allow “professionals” — taxi drivers, bus drivers, police, tractor-trailer drivers, etc. — to drive. Mighty inconvenient for everyone’s freedom, but you would save lives, no matter the cost, if that is the object. If just one child’s life is saved, it will be worth it, right?