We Regulate Cars. Why Not Guns?

Nicholas Kristof: “Whenever I write about the need for sensible regulation of guns, some readers jeer: Cars kill people, too, so why not ban cars? Why are you so hypocritical as to try to take away guns from law-abiding people when you don’t seize cars?”

“That question is a reflection of our national blind spot about guns. The truth is that we regulate cars quite intelligently, instituting evidence-based measures to reduce fatalities. Yet the gun lobby is too strong, or our politicians too craven, to do the same for guns.”

“One constraint, the argument goes, is the Second Amendment. Yet the paradox is that a bit more than a century ago, there was no universally recognized individual right to bear arms in the United States, but there was widely believed to be a ‘right to travel’ that allowed people to drive cars without regulation.”

“The National Rifle Association supported reasonable gun control for most of its history and didn’t even oppose the landmark Gun Control Act of 1968. But, since then, most attempts at safety regulation have stalled or gone backward …”

Gun controls “won’t eliminate gun deaths any more than seatbelts eliminate auto deaths. But if a combination of measures could reduce the toll by one-third, that would be 10,000 lives saved every year.”

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  • There is nothing sensible or evidence-based about our national, state, and local policies that massively subsidize car ownership and usage.

  • gcblues

    if you want gun control move to the UK.

    • Mark_in_VA

      Or, work to change laws here. You seem to have overlooked that possibility.

      • gcblues

        the USA is already totalitarian enough. we need fewer laws, and changed laws. you overlook the obvious road to more liberty? no likee? go to a nanny state.

        • Mark_in_VA

          Fortunately for you, your preferred solution is available for you as well, so you can put your money where your mouth is. No likey? Go to Somalia.

          • gcblues

            silly dumb progressives. Somalia is not a democrat republic dedicated to protecting the rights of individual liberty. you want an animal farm where you can be one of the pigs, try the UK.

          • Mark_in_VA

            Typical regressive hypocrisy. Who’d have guessed that?

            Somalia awaits for you to revel in your lack of governmental tyranny. Go engage in some real Laissez-faire and quit your whining.

          • gcblues

            Somalia deranged. yeah, individual liberty is so passe, oink oink oink. enjoy your Mcjob.

  • Ben Wallace

    We regulate cars, why not guns?
    Just something called the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.
    That’s why!!!!!

  • TSB8C

    The US Constitution and the SCOTUS have guaranteed the individual right to keep and bear arms. No such Constitutional protection exists for an individual right to have or use a car. In addition, gun ownership is regulated way more than car ownership. The firearms industry is one of the most regulated in the US. I can buy a car all day with no license, no training, no registration, etc. I can even drive that car on private property with none of that. Now if I want to drive that car on a public road, I have to pass a driving test and get a license and pay for registration. To buy a gun, I must pass a background check (not required for a car). To carry that gun in public, I must pass a written test, a range proficiency test, and pay for a license. If I mis-use that gun, the penalties are way tougher than causing an accident with a car. And the 10,000 lives saved figure presented in the article – bogus. Most gun deaths in the US are caused by either suicides, getting shot by the cops, or criminals shooting each other (gang bangers, drug dealers, etc). Innocent people getting shot by accident or as crime victims have been declining for a decade as firearm ownership has increased and the number of licensed persons carrying weapons in public has reached record levels.

  • Jeremiah Neral

    When will these morons realize that it doesn’t matter how much you regulate firearms. The bad guys are going to find a way to acquire them. If they cannot, you will have a Bath, Michigan on your hands, or a Oklahoma city, or likewise disaster. Hey I’m for background checks, mental health check. BUT if you pass that said screening you should be allowed to conceal carry without having to jump through the hoops of getting a permit.

  • sbrentbill

    Guns are already regulated. If you want more move to Australia or England!

  • Proud_to_be_American

    Well let us just take a look-see here. At the time our Nation’s inception, there were no automobiles. But there was this terribly outdated model of government where a country was overseen, no, Ruled by a hereditary line of kings often times inbred. Who turned a deaf it’s underlings (not much different from today’s government) and imposed tax after tax after tax, i.e The Wig Tax, The Hearth Tax, even The Window Tax! The people of the Colonies, decided they had had enough of taxes to an inbred king, who was born in Germany by the way. And numerous time throughout England’s history, weapons were banned by the crown. And once again the king of England banned citizen in the colonies from bearing arms. Which begot The Revolution. And one of the things that the citizen of this young country decided was that in order for a people to remain free, there is a natural right of self defense and that arms were the best and only means of preservation.

    So in closing, you don’t need a vehicle to preserve your life, but you do need a weapon to do so.

  • Jennifer Marshall

    the numbers prove it is much more dangerous for you and anyone around to have a gun in your home, or on you, than the threat, of anything……..r

  • Cougar Tamer

    Straw man argument. We in fact DO regulate firearms. Or can I buy a full-auto rifle today?

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