Quote of the Day: Protecting Us From Ourselves Edition

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“We could have said, ‘Cars don’t kill people. People kill people,’ and there would have been an element of truth to that. Many accidents are a result of alcohol consumption, speeding, road rage or driver distraction. Or we could have said, ‘It’s pointless because even if you regulate cars, then people will just run each other down with bicycles,’ and that, too, would have been partly true. Yet, instead, we built a system that protects us from ourselves. This saves hundreds of thousands of lives a year and is a model of what we should do with guns in America.” – Nicholas Kristof in ‘Our Blinds Spot About Guns’ [at nytimes.com]

comments

  1. avatar Kevin L says:

    WHEN will these people learn that cars must be registered, licensed etc. only for public use (CCW equivalent) and for private use you don’t need that. EDIT: unless he’s complaining about “smart gun” tech, in which case: why trust something so unreliable with your life?

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      We shouldn’t reject the analogy out of hand:

      – Licenses issued at 16
      – Licenses that are valid in all 50 states
      – Gunners’ Ed taught in schools

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        No! A privilege in place of the right to keep and bear arms is unacceptable.

        1. avatar Paco says:

          agreed, but we are already there, in most states anyway.

      2. I am not that quick to reject the analogy…first I have to regain my balance from the spin.

    2. avatar Don says:

      He’s sort of right. We don’t put alcohol interlock devices on everyone’s cars because some people drive drunk. We punish the offenders.

      1. In that case…you are sort of wrong.

      2. avatar JasonM says:

        We also don’t ban high performance vehicles, high capacity vehicles, etc., etc.

        1. avatar Calvin says:

          OTOH, you do need to go through extra steps to be allowed to operate certain vehicles in public. That “in public” part is a key distinction, though. You can drive an over-weight, over-length, over-width 68 wheeler anywhere on your property you want, or just keep it under a (very large) tarp. The Law wouldn’t care until you got out on public roads. Your own ma deuce? That’s a little different.

    3. avatar gene says:

      so are guns so our point is mute and there are more laws that guns have that cars don’t

  2. avatar Jeremy says:

    “This saves hundreds of thousands of lives a year and is a model of what we should do with guns in America.”

    Oh, are hundreds of thousands of lives lost to guns with non-collapsing steering columns each year? Car safety standards are more akin to drop safe guns than more gun control legislation.

    1. avatar Daniel says:

      When was the last time a homeowner used an automobile to protect himself from an intruder? When was the last time a tyrant was afraid of private automobile ownership? And just how many people could be able to stockpile sufficient fuel to protect himself from an over reaching government, say 1000 gallons?
      Comparing private auto ownership is not only absurd but asinine. Yeah I would rather have my auto confiscated than my firearms.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        To continue….

        When did automobile ownership and driving on public roads (vs. on private property) a protected unalienable right in the Constitution (Federal, minimally)? Licenses are issued as a privilege.

    2. avatar johnb says:

      + 1 : “Car safety standards are more akin to drop safe guns than more gun control legislation.”

      1. Automobile deaths are a result of negligence as are firearm unintended deaths. The issue with cars is…there are so many more traffic fatalities than negligent gunshot deaths. The analogy of cars to guns is ludicrous.

  3. avatar ST says:

    Mr Kristof has forgotten that vehicle regulations are routinely violated and ignored on a daily basis in America, a fact a chat with his local patrol officer would certainly verify.
    People drive cars whether their license is valid or not, whether they’re drunk or not, or whether they have insurance or not, and so forth. I personally know a guy who ate a total loss on his custom Chevy because he was hit by an uninsured driver.

    More to the point, bad guys still find a way to get getaway cars despite the regulations. It’s almost like they don’t value the law.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      Let’s not forget that thousands upon thousands of poor folks often have no choice but to drive w/o a license or insurance. Here in California they will suspend your DL for an entire host of non vehicle related minor offenses. If I’m a guy behind on child support, there is no way I stop driving because driving on a suspended license is better than getting raked over the coals in court for non payment.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        If someone is a dad skipping out on child support I will be more than happy to impound their car. Unlicensed drivers of all stripes are more than twice as likely to be at-fault in a traffic collision in the 1200 traffic collisions that I have documented. I also don’t have sympathy for uninsured drivers at crashes. Driving and crashing without any ability to repair the damage caused puts me into the maximum enforcement mode.

        The LA Metro area has some of the least licensed, most rude, uninsured, negligent, and impatient drivers anywhere in the US. I do my best to hold them accountable. Driving is the most dangerous thing that the average person does in a given day, and yet most devote minimal discipline towards that activity. That’s sad.

        /end rant

        1. avatar Jeff says:

          A friend of mine’s wife cheated on him with his best friend, filed for divorce, won custody of both kids, and rarely let him see them for most of their childhood. On top of that, she took nearly half of every paycheck during a time when he was also caring for his dying mother. He had to continually battle her in court as she asked for more and more, even though she was being supported by her husband’s former best friend.

          Know the story before you condemn dads “behind” on their child support.

        2. avatar Scott says:

          How does taking away someone’s ability to earn money (let’s not kid ourselves, you almost NEED a car to work in CA) make them more likely to be able to pay their obligations? I have NEVER understood this. Typical bureaucratic logic. It’s akin to telling someone they must paint that house before they can have the paint, brushes, and ladders. Super dumb.

        3. avatar Accur81 says:

          If you “must” drive, drive responsibly. That’s it. When you have taken personally investigated 1200 crashes, and personally see how jacked up unlicensed drivers are, and see how much destruction they cause, and take the steps to become a police officer charged in part with the efficient movement of traffic, then be as lenient as you want to be. By the way, you’ll also own additional liability for letting an unlicensed driver go if they are involved in a subsequent crash. Have fun with that. I don’t take every car, but if it is at-fault in a crash with a driver who doesn’t have a license and insurance, than that car goes to the impound lot. Tough shit. Don’t destroy other people’s property and don’t drive in a negligent manner. If you’re license is a mess, than blowing a red light is a bad idea. Many in LA are too stupid to make the distinction.

          A single lane of freeway can handle approximately 10,000 cars per hour at maximum capacity. A crash that closes two lanes of traffic on a three-lane highway can literally make more than 50,000 people late for work. Guess what, I’m more concerned with the rights of the responsible drivers than the negligent ones.

          Some guys are screwed over by child support. It’s happened to some of the guys at my job. I get it – well, sort of. I’ve also seen plenty of deadbeat dads who are thoroughly irresponsible with their handling of money. They’d rather get nice rims or sweet speakers than pay for girlfriend’s baby. The suspension code on a license shows up differently for that than those who have skipped out on court appearances or for those who’ve never obtained a license in the first place. Also, have some information about your court settlement with you if it is indeed ridiculous. Thousands of drivers have lied to me, and I rarely trust anyone unless they can provide some sort of evidence regarding their stories. I’m aware how sad that is, but I also get lied to virtually every working day. I’ll take evidence over statements any day of the week.

          I look at it this way: suppose you are out and about on the roadway, and need to make an unexpected stop, what kind of driver do you want behind you?

          A. A drunk driver.
          B. A driver in the middle of an “important” text message.
          C. A unlicensed driver with no insurance driving a crappy car with mediocre brakes.
          D. A licensed, insured, attentive driver with a well-maintained vehicle.

          By the way, I’m currently investigating a fatality traffic collision with an unlicensed driver. The partial lane closure lasted almost 4 hours. I wouldn’t want to be the one with a pregnant wife or sick kid in that kind of traffic.

  4. avatar KingSarc48265 says:

    Kevin, that argument only strengthens and justifies the argument for the .gov concealed pistol permission slip. It shouldnt make any difference legally whether my shirt covers my gun or not.

  5. avatar DetroitMan says:

    I would like to see the proof that we are saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year with our car regulating system. Of course there isn’t any, but I would like to see Mr. Kristof struggle to support the claim.

    1. I would not dispute those figures and I don’t think you can prove them anyway. Common sense would tell you that cars are way more safe today then they were in 1960.
      Seat belts
      Airbags
      ABS
      Break-a-way engine blocks
      Crumple zones
      Traction control
      Light weight materials
      Brighter headlights
      Suspension improvements
      Safety glass
      etc…etc…

      If you want an analogy that would treat motorists the way the antis want to infringe on gun rights, it would be like saying your car must be 100% electric and the top speed is 10mph.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        People didn’t used to need all that crumple-zone crap – people used to actually learn how to drive cars safely! Imagine that! When I was in HS, there was a thing called “defensive driving.” there was a class: 30 hours classroom training, and 6 hours behind the wheel. Admittedly, that might have been an insurance thing.

        But everybody wasn’t negligent! That’s what kills people, whether by car, gun or swimming ppool – Negligence!

  6. avatar Omer Baker says:

    Saw Guardians of the Galaxy last night and watched a trailer for The Giver. Based on a book: “utopia world, lots of rules, daily mandatory medication to keep people compliant, ect. We’ve all seen or read something along the same lines. Anyways, there’s a line in there where one of the people in control says something like when people have the freedom to make there own choices they alway choose wrong. And I thought “Wow, these control types are always the bad guys in the movies, but in real life leftists love these guys. Why is there such a disconnect?”

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      IIRC, in the book, the main character decides to escape from the borders of their city, and dies in the wilderness. I could never really figure out if the author was in support of his utopia or not at that point.

      1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

        No he didn’t. The protagonist was still alive at the end of the novel and had apparently reached safety by riding a sled down to a house in Elsewhere filled with Christmas lights and music.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Thanks for refreshing my memory. I believe that you are correct.

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        You might want to read the other three books in the series. I’m not completely sure that Jonas did die in the wilderness. Although, he might have. IIRC, Gabriel shows up in the third book so he probably survived. I’ve read the first three and will be seeking out the fourth to read. They are relatively short books and worth the time, IMHO.

      3. avatar Jeff says:

        you guys are right, it’s been a long time since I read the books in high school.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I believe that the fourth book, Son, came out in 2012. I just found this out recently so it’s on my reading list. We homeschooled our children and required The Giver, among others, so that’s how I got hooked on them. 🙂

  7. avatar Clark says:

    What system protects us from ourselves? Car regulations? Try driving around DC buddy….not one iota safer….Frankly if you took away some of the safety regulation I’m betting people would be a little more cautious in their vehichles. Is he proposing regulations on firerms (like there’s not already enough) or a ban or what? Wish this article was a little more in depth..don’t want to click on the NYT link and give it the page view…
    Everyone should join NRA today…Here’s a link for a discount on membership that I received with my last Ruger http://www.nra.org/ruger

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      There is some hard data on that. The German’s did a study after the introduction of anti-lock breaks to see why accidents rates went up. It turns out that when drivers think they have more margin for error they drive less safely.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        The Germans culture of driving is truly exceptional. It blows the doors of the American culture. The American culture of driving is mediocre. It blows the doors of the Mexican culture of driving.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Having cruised the autobahn on many occasions I can tell you that the German drivers are overrated. What the autobahn shows is that self regulation of speed limits has zero impact on fatalities when driving on a rural modern superhighway. Once you get in town there are posted speed limits enforced with cameras and not officers. They give you about 5 kph over the limit before you trigger the camera. Most Germans will drive too fast for conditions and come way to close to the car in front before they pass. But they do have better discipline than Americans because if you don’t you will die.

  8. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Gasp!
    I have a vehicle in my driveway that is not registered and has no insurance.
    Someone do something because 92 and 2/3 % of people from a people magazine poll said so!

  9. avatar Jake says:

    If guns were regulated like cars:

    No permit or registration required to own or use on private property
    No purchase limit, not even a monthly one
    No restriction on fuel (magazine) capacity
    Only one license required to drive anything from a Pinto (.22) to a Saleen (full auto sub gun)
    License is valid in all 50 states and DC
    Government only requires safety features like “drop safe”
    Mufflers (suppressors) would be included in the purchase

    I actually kind of don’t hate the idea of regulating guns like cars.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      And, the license is good in most developed countries for things like rentals!

      1. avatar Jake says:

        Imagine renting a VP9 while visiting Germany.

      2. Or you can drive your own car across the border. Try bringing your guns across. That is the true fault in the analogy above, guns are already over regulated and cars have more room to go…legally even.

  10. avatar the ruester says:

    He ends the article with “why can’t we ask our politicians to do the same with guns?” Guns are much safer than they used to be. For example, in the time of the wild west a revolver was carried on an empty chamber to prevent ND. The modern SAFETY ENHANCEMENT of the transfer bar eliminates that threat. So, it follows that more guns would be “allowed” in public nowadays. His argument, when applied to cars, would mean that the gov would seek to limit access to private vehicles precisely BECAUSE seatbelts and airbags were invented.

  11. avatar Paco says:

    What is TTAG’s obsession with NYT, WashPost, ect., agitprop? For real, there seems to be at least 1 daily mega dose of this kind of agitprop here on TTAG. What’s your motive TTAG?

    1. avatar brentondadams says:

      Well it draws eyeballs for one thing. I think of it like dispatches from the front. We are engaged in a cold civil war in this country and a hot culture war. The statist/authoritarian/leftist/progressive whatever side controls most of the media, they also get their marching orders from the top, or at least collude with each other. That’s obvious.

      Think of it like keeping your enemies closer.

      1. avatar Paco says:

        Both sides are the same. The differences are a manufactured illusion to give the public the appearance of choice. Our political system is the same as professional wrestling.

    2. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

  12. avatar Rabbi says:

    Unlike guns, safety protocols and laws regarding cars do not prevent law-abiding citizens from driving

    1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      ^^This!

  13. avatar Steve Ludwig says:

    Apparently there are a lot of people that failed civics class, and don’t understand the difference between a right and a privilege.

    A right is given to you by your creator, not by the Government, and Government is created to guarantee them. The right to keep and bear arms is a right which Government is created to guarantee.

    A privilege is a freedom you do not have, and is granted by a government provided that you meet their requirements. Driving is a privilege that a state government gives you, provided you meet their requirements.

    Freedom requires responsibility. I don’t mind saying that, if you choose to exercise your right to own a weapon, you should do so responsibly via education and practice. If there is viable reason (e.g. – mental illness, etc.) that prevents you from doing so, or if you exhibit that you cannot be a responsible gun owner, I have no problem with that freedom being taken from you. If you are a law abiding citizen that shows reasonable responsibility with the freedoms you are guaranteed under the Constitution, there should be no reason the Government should infringe on your rights.

    1. avatar Paco says:

      Real common theme here for people who allegedly support the 2A. Majority here either don’t understand the difference between a right and a privilege, or intentionally obfuscate the issue for some unknown agenda.

    2. avatar lizzrd says:

      If you think everyone agrees with your personal definition of a right, you didn’t take Philosophy 101.

      1. avatar Steve Ludwig says:

        It’s not my “personal” definition of a right… it’s the basis of the Constitution, and the foundation of our legal system.

      2. avatar Gene says:

        The Declaration of Independence says “…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” and the Constitution enumerates them in the Bill of Rights.

        Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

        The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

        (Emphasis mine)

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          “. . . certain unalienable Rights…” and the Constitution enumerates them in the Bill of Rights.”
          – – – You are very mistaken that the “Constitution enumerates” the “certain unalienable Rights” of the Declaration.
          – – – This issue was a huge debate during the ratification period. The Federalists insisted – with considerable wisdom – that the rights were so numerous that to list them in a bill of rights would have the effect of creating the wrong impression: viz, that only those rights that were so enumerated existed. The AntiFederalists, while acknowledging this difficulty, insisted that the proposed Federal government would infringe on all our rights. This risk was too great to bear. It was essential that the few most important rights – those most likely to be infringed upon – be enumerated in a bill of rights.
          – – – The AntiFederalists have been proven correct by history. The Federal government has infringed wherever it suited them. Sometimes, it was bold enough to infringe where it was prohibited from doing so explicitly (e.g., the Alien and Sedition Acts shortly after ratification and the 2A in the 20’th Century).
          – – – Although somewhat off-point here, the Constitution (original) and Amendments enumerate some rights that no one would have thought of as endowed by our creator. E.g., the protection against a treason conviction but by the testimony of 2 witnesses or confession in open court. This is an enumerated right – arbitrary though it might be – which was man-made and protects the citizen against excessive retaliation due to the displeasure of government.

      3. avatar ChrisB. says:

        lzzrd, there are certain rights we have explicit in our written social contract, our constitution. The different things different people argue are implicit is another issue

  14. avatar Puyallup Devil_Doc says:

    Ok… The number of passenger vehicles in America is about 254 million. The number of Firearms is roughly 310 million. In 2010, 32,999 people died in 30,296 crashes. In 2009, there were a bit over 30,000 firearm related deaths, of which 11,078 were not suicide.

    So, even though there are 60 million more guns than cars, more people are killed with cars than guns. If you remove intentional suicide, guns are a hell of a lot safer than cars. Does this reporter not have Google?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

    1. avatar General Zod says:

      I was wondering when this would be pointed out. This moron is chirping on about how many lives are saved every year by all these improvements in cars, and yet cars still kill tens of thousands more than firearms do because of carelessness and misuse.

      So, basically (and truthfully), guns are already safer than cars.

    2. You are correct to trim the numbers by excluding suicide but you would be more correct if you excluded murder. The only comparison to traffic fatalities should be negligent firearm deaths.

      1. avatar BJ_Rex says:

        ^^^ +1

  15. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I don’t recall reading anything about vehicles ( horses, wagons, trains, automobiles) being necessary for the security of a free state. Start regulating guns like automobiles and we will have even less of a free state. But then these guys have a “Blind Spot” about liberty.

  16. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    So much simplistic failure in one short column. It boggles the mind.

  17. avatar Morgan Gatorsee says:

    “we built a system that protects us from ourselves. This saves hundreds of thousands of lives a year”

    Yet even with all our laws and regulations on automobiles more kids die every year after being left in a hot car than children and firearm related deaths.

    As it stands even with all the laws and regulations cars STILL kill a lot more people a year that guns (source CDC)

  18. avatar Dev says:

    Another idiot, and I’m getting tired of not calling these people idiots because that’s what they are, who fails to realize there ALREADY are rules and regulations regarding firearms and they are regulated by the states. Let’s see what his reaction would be if every driver was required to install a HANS device in their automobile at their own expense because it is a safety measure. I bet he would be one of the first to cry that his rights were being trampled.

  19. avatar Terry says:

    Check your history and case law. We the people have the right to free and unimpeded use of the public right of way for noncommercial (private) purposes. From accepting one little ‘safety’ regulation after another, driving is now a ‘privilege’.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Yep.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      There are restrictions on how I can use some public right of ways, so it is impeded. For example, I cannot walk on or ride a horse on some public roads like busy highways.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        In SW Ohio (possibly all of Ohio), that only means controlled access highways/roads. Even then there is always an alternative route available to get to the same location. Otherwise, it would violate the individual right to travel in Ohio.

        (I use alternative forms of travel on a regular basis.)

  20. avatar Anonymous says:

    I see he referenced the Qunnipac poll – again.
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/images/polling/us/us07032014_ulps31.pdf

    92% support gun control.

    The question asked?
    “Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?”

    The question does not ask – do you support “further” legislation requiring background checks for all gun buyers? We already have background checks for all dealers. This is nationwide.

    From the poll:
    “Americans are all in on stricter background checks on gun buyers and on keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill,” Malloy said. “But when it comes to ‘stricter gun control,’ three words which prompt a negative reflex, almost half of those surveyed say ‘hands off.'”

    The question:
    Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?

    50% Support – 47% oppose. That’s a pretty high ratio given the location were the polls were taken.

    My conclusion? Those people on average support background checks (which we already have). Do they want more legislation for further gun control? 47% no.

    Location were the polls were taken:
    “The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public
    opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia,
    Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.”

    I like the words “and the nation.” Why wasn’t Texas, or Arizona, or Montana, or Oklahoma or really any of those middle states on the list?

  21. avatar Layne says:

    NO! Cars are a LOT safer than they used to be, and that’s a good thing. (if you think the ‘tanks’ of the 50’s-70’s were safe because of their copious steel content, I suggest you visit youtube) BUT, driver responsibility has to be at an all time low. There are virtually zero consequences for damaging someone’s property or even permanently injuring or killing them. We’ve created a situation where everyone thinks it’s perfectly ok to drive however they want, and insurance will take care of any consequences. Think about it, can EVERYONE play a violin? Can EVERYONE ride a unicycle? There is no logical way on earth that anyone who asks for one should get a driver’s license. Not everyone is qualified! It should be VERY hard to get a license, and there should be serious consequences for endangering other people or their property. You cannot even make a parallel to guns, how are you going to make a gun that’s safer to shoot people with? The only conclusion is that he means getting rid of guns (why didn’t we get rid of cars?) so that everyone can go on about their lives without a thought in their heads and no way of getting hurt. I don’t have to tell you how stupid that is. Imagine if in the 1970’s when we realized automotive deaths were way out of hand, we had implemented greater driver training and accountability instead of building safer cars. We might have roughly the same reduced amount of deaths today, but cars would be 1000lbs lighter each and vastly more fuel efficient. Draw a graph of average fuel efficiency from the invention of the car to today. We’ve been flatlining for decades and that is not acceptable. Safety equipment is mostly to blame. We’ll probably feel the sting of that wasted energy long after the dead are forgotten.

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    A century ago, we reacted to deaths and injuries from unregulated vehicles by imposing sensible safety measures that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives a year. Why can’t we ask politicians to be just as rational about guns?

    I agree. I can buy a vehicle with no background checks, no insurance, no registration, no NIC’s check, do anything I want with it – modify it anyway I please as long as I keep it on my property and don’t take it on the public roads. Why CAN’T we do with the same thing with guns. I agree!!

  23. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    “Many accidents are a result of alcohol consumption, speeding, road rage or driver distraction. ”

    Let’s take this analogy further shall we? Because laws that we DON’T have on the books include:
    – restrictions to engine size
    – mandatory governors limiting top speed
    – confiscation of your vehicle because of an unproven claim that you MAY have driven while under the influence of alcohol, until you can prove that you are innocent
    – “Suitability clauses” that allow your local government to decide who should and should not be able to buy a car
    – Mandatory “smart cars” that will only drive if a registered user first logs in

    …. etc.

    What we did do, was make ACTIONS illegal. DUI, speeding, reckless driving. Kind of like how murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and brandishing are already crimes.

  24. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    Kristof’s statement is of no consequence unless the Constitution is changed to eliminate the right to bear arms. The only thing that gives any credibility to his argument are discussions like this. And beyond the world of academia gun control is merely a matter of law. Within a society it has nothing to do with civics or philosophy. Within one’s head it might.

    1. avatar Paco says:

      Right on, this is why I question TTAG’s motive behind the never ending pushing of articles like this.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        TTAG is pushing articles like this because unconstitutional laws are being passed and enforced that violate your rights as laid down by the constitution.

        1. avatar Paco says:

          Not sure I follow that logic….pushing article like this give them credibility.

        2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          The people who think articles like this one have credibility are the same ones who think the Constitution means whatever they say it means. The same Constitution that limits the President’s powers hasn’t stopped a series of truly ridiculous executive orders. The same Constitution that requires the President to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and defend the Constitution hasn’t stopped the mess on the southern border. And that Constitution won’t do a blessed thing to protect your rights unless good men and women step forward and defend it. That’s why we need to keep hearing about those who would tear it down.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      True, I suppose, but when you have millions of people out there who have no idea what’s in the Constitution, millions others who may know, but consider it outdated and irrelevant, plus countless statists who believe in a “living, breathing” Constitution, the this kind of thinking matterd because what it actually takes to change the Constitution is shockingly little. That whole quaint amendment process can go right out tge window just as soon as some charismatic tyrant comes along with a phone and a pen.

      We need to realize that for all our formality and reverence for historic documents and proud traditions, ultimately all of those ideals must be preserved, protected and defended by being lived every day. It’s not enough to relax and say “Oh the Constitution protects us”, because it doesn’t really. We must protect it and the ideals it enshrines, and that starts with refuting and discrediting faulty arguments like this fallacious cars/guns equivalence.

      1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

        I agree with Jonathon-Houston. The Constitution is not strong enough to withstand convoluted efforts to take away our rights without our constant vigilance. The gun laws in Chicago and New York that continuously try to make gun ownership impossible while still legal are an example of this. My point is when gun ownership is compared to anything not covered in the Bill of Rights then the comparison is not valid and the response should be that to change the rights of gun ownership the Constitution must be amended.

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      I agree with you. The constitution says what it says. There is nothing mystical about it.

      However:

      The only thing that gives any credibility to his argument are discussions like this.

      His argument has no credibility. However, right now, laws are being passed that are unconstitutional. Those laws are being enforced by police officers. People are being imprisoned based off of those laws. That is why articles such as these are being pushed.

  25. avatar Juliesa says:

    Accidental gun deaths are way down, and so are gun murders. Why is he complaining?

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      because guns are scary and vehicles are not. That’s all.

    2. avatar the ruester says:

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/feb/01/wayne-lapierre/wayne-lapierre-nra-says-fatal-firearms-accidents-a/

      “According to council data, the total number of unintentional deaths from firearms sank to 554 in 2009 — easily the lowest of any year back to 1903.

      In fact, it took from 1903 all the way until 1997 for the number of unintentional gunfire deaths to drop below 1,000. The all-time highs came in 1929 and 1930, when the number of such deaths reached 3,200 for two consecutive years.

      This decline is all the more striking considering the increase in population over this period. In 1904, there were 3.4 unintentional firearm deaths per 100,000 people. By 2009, that rate had fallen to 0.2 deaths per 100,000 in people.”

      If I’m doing this math correctly, this means that “If we had the same auto fatality rate today that we had in 1921, by my calculations we would have 715,000 Americans dying annually in vehicle accidents” could be countered with “if we had the same accidental gun fatality rate as we had in the 20’s, there would be over 9,000(!) accidental gun deaths per year.”

    3. It is all a matter of trust. You trust in God…you trust in yourself…or you trust only in Government. The Liberals fall into the third category.

  26. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Wait, so in comparing guns to vehicles, is he also saying that whereas the government provides public transportation, the government should also provide low cost and widely available public firearms, too? What’s the counterpart to a city bus or light rail, maybe a ma deuce? Gotta tell you, I’m not hating the idea.

  27. avatar former water walker says:

    Clickbait Paco. My only regret is wasting time reading the link. I would think people would understand page views are important in paying the bill$. AND we should know what the enemies of our RIGHTS are up to. I don’t question TTAG at ALL.

    1. avatar Paco says:

      It’s really unwise to unquestionably believe anything.

  28. avatar former water walker says:

    Along the “safety” BS line GUNS are generally much safer too. Drop safe, transfer bars, heavy double-action triggers, grip safeties, “safe action trigger”, thumb safeties, loaded chamber indicator, integral gun locks, passive safeties,etc.,etc…the derp is powerful with the ignorant.

  29. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Are these anti-gun people willfully ignorant, or just the basic garden variety ignorant?

    From a historical perspective, they are so willfully ignorant that they’re dancing on the border of being deliberate liars. Guns were banned in Dodge City, as any drunken cowboy knows, because guns and alcohol have always been deadly companions. But no matter, they have a point to make…so facts, and easily researchable history be damned. What’s more, the fact that the 2nd amendment has been repeatedly violated by know-it-all, Mother Goose-stepping muckety-mucks in Washington D.C., does not make even more violations of the 2nd amendment any more acceptable, or necessary.

    Contrary to any sci-fi aficionado, what this man is spouting is,…artificial intelligence.

  30. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Horse manure. Air bags, as an example, were supposed to be “passive restraint”, eliminating the need for seatbelts. Not only did that never happen, but even today your airbags themselves are likely to kill you if your seatbelt is not fastened, and provide no additional protection if your seatbelt IS fastened. My wife and I were both injured by airbags in a 2010 crash which should not have even triggered them, resulting in 3 surgeries for my wife. But they will NEVER be eliminated because of doofuses like this lying to us. If a firearm does not perform as designed, we need to know. Otherwise the government should try not to infringe!

    1. avatar Paco says:

      Good point Larry, frontal air bags have negligible effect on outcome for occupants, but the side or window/curtain airbags are a different story.

  31. avatar scooter says:

    If I have the money I can buy a racecar with triple the average car’s horsepower. I can only use it in certain appropriate places, however, much like a full auto bullet hose. I did race cars, but I have yet to experience full auto giggles.

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      Race car? There’s a Dodge coming out soon with over 700hp. That’s more than a lot of full blown race cars, and it will be perfectly street legal with no restrictions on idiocy aside from those imposed by the laws of physics.

      1. avatar Daily Beatings says:

        Challenger Hellcat, 707 hp from a supercharged 392. It’s the fastest accelerating production vehicle to date. Does 10.8 in the quarter mile with slicks. Add an overdrive pulley plus a tune and you’re starting to tap on the 9 second door.

        1. avatar S_J says:

          “It’s the fastest accelerating production vehicle to date.”

          Uh… the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, Bugatti Veyron, LaFerrari and I’m sure a few other “lesser” exotics like the 911 Turbo S and GT-R have a bone to pick with that assertion. I still like the Hellcat more than most of those, for what it’s worth.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          I think you mean under-drive pulley.

          But yeah, a few tweaks, that Hellcat will be most fun you can have in the low $50,000 range.

  32. avatar C says:

    Cars are WAY over regulated. Look at the size difference between an original Mini and a modern production Mini. It’s the same with any car which has been in production for decades, but those are probably the starkest example. They’ve gotten absolutely massive because of safety f*gs like this guy demanding that a car let the driver walk away from nosing into a tree at 75.
    Autobraking and lane maintenance and backup cameras because people don’t want to be bothered to watch what they’re doing. The trend against personal responsibility is universal.

  33. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    Look, people. The “guns like cars” comparison is flat out foolish. Stop using it! It’s one of the worse arguments in favor of guns one can possibly make. All it does is help gun grabbers and Progressives. Driving is a privilege for which the States and local government have the right to grant, regulate and control. You do not have a natural law right to drive. The right to keep and bear arms is a natural right with which you are born by virtue of being human. It is a right that every person has and one of the few natural law rights that is explicitly protected by our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. It was done so because of the nature of governments to want to restrict that (and the other) protected right(s).

    If you want a comparison that actually means something compare it to abortion. It may not be explicitly called out, but it has – for good or ill – been explicitly interpreted as a natural law right by our courts.

    Consider this:

    – Every abortion results in a least one innocent death. Gun use may result in a death and even then it is usually not innocent.
    – “Responsible” use of abortion results in the death of a child. It takes irresponsible gun use to kill a child.
    – Abortion is a tool of death. Guns are a tool of life.
    – Would the Progressive support restrictions on abortion based on age? Mental evaluation? Need? History of multiple abortions? Then how can you argue to restrict the right to keep and bear arms without hypocrisy.
    – Why does the left object to restrictions on abortion? If a person’s “right” is any part of that explanation, how can you argue to restrict the right to keep and bear arms without hypocrisy.
    – The right to abortion was interpreted into the Constitution. The right to arms is explicit. How can you justify giving guns rights less protection that abortion?

    Don’t worry about convincing the Progressive. You won’t. It’s the impact you’ll have on the others listening – i.e. the public’s opinion – that you should be concerned about. Keep calm. Sound reasonable. Don’t deviate. Don’t let them squirm out. Never, never rise to their bait. This is a comparison that more likely as not will leave them in a screaming frenzy. That’s a good thing. For any thinking person your questions have been reasonable, but you’re touching a subject about which Progressives cannot be reasonable. Their anger is the result of their own irrationality and you have merely allowed themselves to make both them and their position on guns look foolish to anyone listening.

    Harsh realization time, folks. There isn’t room for – or a point in trying to – compromise with someone who defines compromise as how quickly you submit to their worldview. Progressives have defined this fight as you or them. If we are not willing to destroy them socially and politically we cannot win this. The sooner we realize this the better.

    (Much of this thought is coming from something I wrote over at Conservative Lefty – http://wp.me/p1VLms-1X – but it applies here.)

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Sidenote: Government doesn’t possess rights. It isn’t alive. It only has privileges granted it by the People.

      Now I’ll read the rest of your post. It’s probably pretty good like many you have written.

      Edit: I read the remainder. The right to travel could arguably be considered a natural right. However, I agree that the comparison is not the best to make.

  34. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Yet, instead, we built a system that protects us from ourselves. Which is why we kill and maim ourselves with cars and trucks to a much greater degree than with guns. Trust me, after being through a horrible rear end wreck by a Prius driver concentrating on texting versus driving, the guns are rather tame.

  35. avatar Joe R. says:

    Parrot cage liner quoted again.

  36. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    How about…. Personal Responsibility. I like the sound of that. The government isn’t supposed to be a parent or babysitter. That’s what parents and babysitters are for.

    Drunk drivers shouldn’t be allowed to drive if they are caught, period. Driving is a privilege. Drunk drivers that cause deaths should be held responsible for the damage they cause, end of story.

    Firearms are not a privilege — they are a right, in context of self defense and defense against tyranny. Can’t really compare the two.

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