I’m a car guy. My interests lean heavily toward horsepower over firepower. But we live in a world with enthusiasts in both camps. So I decided to interpret the gun world from a car guy’s perspective . . .

Guns and cars share one major similarity: they both require specific training to ensure a responsible level of public safety. That’s where cars and guns hit a fork in the road. Every state requires a competency test when it comes to a driver’s license. I would correctly guess that gun ownership rules vary wildly from state to state and municipality to municipality.

It would be fair to assume that there is little movement afoot to allow every person in America the right to point a car down any road on the continental map. The notion of a driver’s license is considered a privilege rather than a constitutional right. This puts cars on a different philosophical freeway.

We weed out bad drivers by enforcing the rules of the road. A heavy foot or a large blood alcohol reading will eventually separate car from driver. Enough reckless behavior behind the wheel may separate driver from freedom.

The gist of gun debates seems to drift around weapon choices and the manner in which American citizens can carry weapons.

As a Canadian car guy, I don’t believe Americans have an automatic right to own a weapon. That right should be earned through training and testing, and revoked for recklessness, criminality, stupidity and any other evidence of incompetence. These conditions trump that basic Second Amendment right.

Secondly, I don’t believe that Americans should have the right to own any weapon of their choice. Does anybody really need a .50 caliber monster to defend their home and family? If so, they live in a neighborhood that I don’t want to call home. To me, this is similar to using John Force’s ¼ mile track car to go to Safeways.

Assault rifles might be appropriate if you started dating Tony (Scarface) Montana’s sister, but they also seem like overkill to me. They may eradicate a chronic gopher problem with a few extra fireworks, but a .22 still covers most varmint shoots just as well.

The assault rifle is that super-fast Ferrari that is begging you to let it reach its full potential in a playground zone. A more conventional Ford Focus- type weapon won’t play that game with you, yet it will get you there just as easily in a world with basic safety rules.

Automobiles are regulated and controlled. Guns should be as well.

4 Responses to A Car Guy Looks at Guns and the Owners that Shoot Them

  1. I have a Ford truck for my daily driver, which is also convenient for its utilitarian abilities. However, I also have a ’72 Ford Mustang that I have built up with far more horsepower than needed to run to Safeway. I refrain from flexing the Mustang’s muscles in playground zones. The Mustang is a hobby and recreational toy.

    Although I don’t have a .50 caliber monster for home defense, it appeals to me as a fun item. Guns have a sport and recreation purpose as well. Hey, shooting is an Olympic event.

    I respect your opinion, but I have higher respect for the US Constitution – which does give me the right to bear arms. I have those rights until I do something really stupid.

    I don’t have any suggestions for a fix; it is ironic that you need a license to drive, but not to own a firearm. Just as disturbing, there isn’t a test to pass before people can have kids. Or vote.

    Gun control doesn’t solve the problem; it simply penalizes responsible people and helps the bad guys relax.

  2. Well written and I can agree with some of your points. However, a car can only help you flee from a tyrannical government. A firearm can help you defend yourself against a tyrannical governement.

  3. The old cars vs guns argument.

    If guns were treated just like cars, most gun owners would consider that a major victory. There would be almost no restrictions on gun ownership as long as you did not operate them on public roads. I am not sure what the analogy to trailering an unlicensed car would be–that could be an unloaded gun, or a cased gun. Carry licenses would be nearly universal, start at age 16, (that sounds a bit extreme even to me) and many schools would provide training. Licenses would be valid in all 50 states.

    Cars are considered a privilege, but have fewer restrictions than an enumerated right.

    I assume that safety is the ultimate purpose for mandatory training–what level of safety is sufficient? Legitimate gun users have an accident rate far lower than legitimate drivers. It should take most people about 15 minutes to learn Cooper’s 4 rules–follow the 4 rules, wear glasses and ear protection, 99.9% of significant firearms accidents are eliminated.

    I don’t need most of my guns–I live in a low-crime small town and I don’t hunt. Does anyone really need a hotrod or a sports car? Why does anyone need a 0-60 time of under 10 seconds? Who decides what is necessary?

    What is the practical difference between a Remington Woodsmaster hunting rifle and an “Assault Weapon”?

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