Regulate Guns Like Cars! (Or Not)

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Over at newrepublic.com, Keith Guzik and Gary T. Marx reckon they’ve found away around Congress’ inability to create federal gun control laws: regulation! “As sociologists who have studied the relationship between technologies and social control in a variety of settings, we believe the history of the automobile shows how such a strategy can make dangerous objects safer, while also preserving private property, individual liberty and personal responsibility.”

Anyone familiar with the “debate” over civilian disarmament knows we’ve been here before. Apparently, Mssrs. Guzik and Marx missed the memo. You know; the one that says that the right to keep and bear arms is protected by the United States Constitution, whereas our Founding Fathers somehow forgot to protect the right to travel in a private vehicle. Or did they?

Legally speaking, gun rights supporters would point to the Second Amendment and argue that no mention of motorized vehicles is made in the country’s founding document. But the Fourth Amendment does pronounce “the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizure,” a protection arguably violated by ordinary traffic stops. We as a society have still been able to craft a legal framework that balances this individual liberty with the public interest in vehicle safety.

“Arguably” as in traffic stops must be based on probable cause? I suppose the fact that we already have laws about the legal use of firearms — which don’t infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms — escaped their notice.

Perhaps the best endorsement for regulating guns like cars is that it wouldn’t require congressional approval. States have the latitude to craft the requirements for owning and operating vehicles that suit them best. They could do the same with guns. Following the Supreme Court’s recent decision to not hear a challenge to Connecticut’s ban on assault weapons, states should be emboldened to try more innovative approaches on gun control.

So . . . more gun control on the state level! That’s the answer! To the question no one on the gun rights side is asking.

comments

  1. avatar James in AZ says:

    Yeah so i have to seek govt approval before i could go on and get to work

    Great individual liberty

    1. avatar alexander says:

      That’s correct — half of Amerika has to seek government approval to go to work. Since half of the population have now been officially classified as moochers on government handouts, and the government like to keep control of its slaves, yes, they now have to seek permission to work.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Completely not comparable. Firstly, deaths with cars are accidents. Deaths with guns are not, those people were purposely killed with guns. If the killer wanted, he could have purposely killed them with a car. Registration for cars does not prevent accidents or purposely killing people. Auto insurance for cars does not prevent accidents or purposely killing people. No regulation for cars was ever brought about to prevent vehicle murders.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      The reason they’re not comparable is that the premise is a lie.
      You do not need a license to purchase, own, sell, trade, borrow, or operate a vehicle. You do not need to register a vehicle you own. If you wish to operate a vehicle on roadways owned by X, you need to meet the requirements set forth by X. In the case where X is the state, the requirements are a driver’s license and vehicle license.
      If we applied that to guns, it would mean you only need a gun permit or registered gun, if you’re shooting on public lands.

      1. avatar alexander says:

        The reason that they’re not comparable is because owning or operating a car, or, in the days when the Constitution was written, owning or riding a horse, has not had any effect in the history of the world whether a tyrant takes over the country and murders its citizens, or not. Having guns, or not, has had an effect on this issue, and the Founding Fathers tried to prevent future politicians from becoming tyrants specifically with this Amendment. Unfortunately, they were not wholly successful – what they missed in the Constitution was a clause to put on trial for a capital offense anyone who dismembers the Constitution (Fast and Furious? hint, hint…).

    2. avatar alexander says:

      Actually, very few deaths in/with/through a car are accidents. Most are the results of reckless disregard of rules of the road, common sense, maintenance or failure to properly assess one’s abilities. They may not be intentional in the sense that one does not desire a death as an outcome of failing to fix their brakes, but, seriously, few people are so stupid that they really don’t know that bad brakes are dangerous, for example. And if they are so stupid, they should not pass a driving test.

      1. avatar Nigil Quid says:

        One could still say that auto deaths are typically due to reckless or unintentional behavior as opposed to intentional. A vast majority of injuries and deaths caused with firearms are done so with the planning and intent to cause harm, as opposed to being used in a reckless or unintentional way.

  3. avatar Other Tom in Oregon says:

    So I wouldn’t have to register anything that I don’t use on public land? Like how I can own however many cars I want and keep them on my property and tow them to be used on private land? Since a firearms use is to be fired I would only have to register any guns that I would fire on public property? And if I was carrying a firearm that I didn’t have registered and did end up firing it I would only be liable for a simple ticket just like a car? Great analogy gun grabbers, try harder next time.

    1. avatar surlycmd says:

      Don’t forget it can go as fast as you want on private land too.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        And be as big or as small as you want!

      2. avatar Zach N. says:

        And there are no limits on the size. I could go for owning a 155mm Monster Gun.

  4. avatar Joe R. says:

    Anti-semitism is a begged state. This cr_p is more second-hand, third-party Balaam.

  5. avatar mk10108 says:

    Try again boys. The point Keith & Gary miss is millions of people drive their cars in a responsible manor everyday. No intent to attack or destroy anyone with their vehicles. The same as gun owners…millions everyday carrying their guns not harming anyone. The only folks harming others with guns are criminals and folks who want to leave this world via gunshot to the head, which is self inflicted and the pinnacle of individual liberty.

    1. avatar tjlarson2k says:

      Exactly.

      On a related analogy, anti-gun logic is the same as advocating not wearing a seatbelt while driving.

      You are more likely to get injured or die if you are in an accident without a seatbelt, but what are the chances of getting into an accident?

      After all, we have posted speed limits and stop signs and laws everyone obeys right? We even have clear indicators of lanes and rules for all manner of driving. In theory, if everyone is law abiding, there is no need for seatbelts.

      Further, it’s better that no one wears a seatbelt because they simply disagree with wearing one — it’s restrictive, uncomfortable, and just doesn’t suit their lifestyle. They would rather be carefree.

      But people do not obey the law. People speed. People drink and drive. Responsible drivers recognize this reality and take ownership of their own safety and buckle up. Because we know an accident could happen and we know if everyone buckles up, fatalities and injuries are less frequent overall.

      1. avatar tjlarson2k says:

        Law abiding gun ownership is the seatbelt and defensive driving is situational awareness.

        Being an anti-gun advocate is akin to driving without a seatbelt because you think you have an impervious force field called delusion and blind hope everyone will obey the speed limit or not veer in your express lane of ignorance.

      2. avatar Sian says:

        Just put up no-crash zone signs.

        PROBLEM SOLVED

  6. avatar Kyle says:

    Why does the little girl have the hand and arm of a 40 year old construction worker?

  7. avatar PeterW says:

    Good idea. Let’s regulate some good retention holsters within reach of the driver’s seat in all new vehicles.
    And police shouldn’t pull people over for minor moving violations. Too often it ends up bad, when they could just take a picture of the plate and mail you a ticket. Save the confrontation for the court room, where this exchange is unlikely to take place:
    LEO “Stay in your car” “Get out of the car” “show my your hands” “get on the ground” “don’t MOVE!” “hands up!” “I said don’t move!” *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* (simulated mag dump)
    LEO2 “That old lady should not have swung her walker in this direction! I got your back!”
    Old Lady: “…..”

  8. avatar Joe R. says:

    They got the pic right though.

    Blond girl-child holding a revolver in a proper (if not pro) drive-by-style in a MOPAR.

    ‘Murica

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    How far does the left want to take this? No limits on the number of guns, or course (like cars), no limits on power (like cars), no limits on rounds (like gas tanks in cars), one license that’s recognized nationally (like cars), no license required for on premises use (like cars), ammo sales on every corner (like gasoline), no registration for guns kept on premises (like cars), firearms classes in schools (like driving lessons), advertising on all mass media (like cars), and no limit on cylinders (like cars). Oh, and no one to tell me what guns I “need” since I’m not going to tell the limousine liberals that they don’t “need” a Mercedes or BMW.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Indeed. Pretty much what the states regulate is USE of cars. (Admittedly the FedGov does define what is street legal.)

      You know, sort of like we already concede the states can regulate the USE of firearms (put a bullet into the wrong body–go to jail for murder).

    2. avatar choppah says:

      Don’t forget no age limits. At least where I live. No age limit stated for vehicle use on private land. Only public.

  10. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Yes yes, things like the dui checkpoint stops are unconstitutional… That makes other infringements alright? That’s like giving a glass of water to a drowning. Hell It’s like driving all the way across town to get that fancy glads bottled water to give a drowning man when you had a floatation device sitting right next to you. The easiest and most effective way of making our country better is just start following the damn constitution. Easy peasy trigger squeezy.

  11. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Yes yes, things like the dui checkpoint stops are unconstitutional… That makes other infringements alright? That’s like giving a glass of water to a drowning man. Hell It’s like driving all the way across town to get that fancy glass bottled water to give a drowning man when you had a floatation device sitting right next to you. The easiest and most effective way of making our country better is just start following the damn constitution. Easy peasy trigger squeezy.

  12. avatar Kendahl says:

    That’s the last thing the anti-gunners want. Think about it. A driver’s licence is easier to get than a concealed carry permit. You can drive your car on all public roads. There is no list of roads that are prohibited unless you are a police officer or some specially designated person. Where parking lots are restricted, it’s just to provide a place for employees and customers. The equivalent for guns would be, “Only employees and customers are permitted to carry firearms on the premises.” Regulating firearms like cars would mean loosening existing restrictions.

  13. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    Of course this is already happening. The Supreme Court decision not to hear the Connecticut case clearly does in fact give the states a green light to regulate away.

    Like before the Civil War, America is dividing itself into free states and slave states.

    Based on the law of supply and demand, I would advise buying real estate – and cars, for that matter – in free states.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      As I recall the SCOTUS vote on the state AWBs was a 4/4 tie? So they didn’t actually rule on anything except that they were not willing to rule on anything regarding the Second Amendment. Forcefully brings home the importance of the next appointment to the Supreme Court.

      Without a strong Constitutionalist justice appointed all of our protected rights, not just the Second Amendment, are in jeopardy. (See recent Lib assaults on due process.)

      1. avatar Matt says:

        No they declined to hear the CT & NY cases regarding the AWB. The circuit court separated out the magazine issue as a separate challenge. The 4/4 tie was regarding something else; perhaps the CA carry challenge?

        Don’t know why I haven’t seen it mentioned here.

  14. avatar Excedrine says:

    If cars were treated like guns:

    1. FBI criminal background checks for all dealer sales.
    2. Sales outside of dealerships would be considered “loopholes” and should be made illegal — and already would be in several states.
    3. Can’t buy cars outside your state, or trucks from any state that doesn’t border your own, unless transferred first through a Federal Auto Licensee.
    4. Any felony means no car for you ever again. Oh, and good luck getting your rights restored, too.
    5. No one needs more than a 7-gallon fuel tank or a 130 HP 4-cyclinder engine or you’re a racist, misogynist, child-killing, insurrectionist, domestic terrorist.
    6. Can’t have a car within 1,000 feet of a school or government building.
    7. Can’t have a car in the parking lot or on the property of any hospital, church, postal office, or of your employer.
    8. Can’t operate a car within city limits.
    9. Mufflers and automatic transmissions are forbidden without a $200 tax stamp
    10. Finally, you can only drive in the States that support your state highway laws, because screw reciprocity. Each state knows best, right?

    Don’t forget that civilians don’t need high-capacity vehicles. Only taxis and bus drivers can be trusted to hold so many passengers.

    If your vehicle has cosmetic features that make people uneasy (racing stripes, spoiler, window tint, etc.), your vehicle can and will be seized — even if it means raiding your house and shooting you, your family, and even your dog just for good measure.

    If you are accused of driving over the speed limit, the authorities will seize and hold your vehicle — again, even if it means raiding your house and shooting you, your family, and even your dog just for good measure — without due process, and it will most likely never be returned to you even if you somehow by some miracle manage to convince an unsympathetic court to order the police to return it to you. They’ll probably just shred it instead without even parting it out. Oh, and don’t bother suing the seizing agency for fair market value, either. You obviously didn’t need it in the first place because you couldn’t handle it properly, peasant!

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      #3 — actually you’re allowed (in those states) to make the transfer of a used car, but only via a car dealer.

      #9 — You have to beg for permission to pay the tax. And, OBTW, there are a limited number of automatic transmissions available; no making new ones.

    2. avatar gs650g says:

      Nailed it right there

  15. No sound good. EVERYONE can buy a car from age 16 on. So EVERYONE can buy a gun at age 16. No license needed.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      The one I like the best is publicly funded gun classes and training in schools for all 15 year olds.

  16. avatar kaf says:

    How about you have to have to be licensed by the government in order to publish in New Republic? Because you might injure someone with hurtful words so we can’t let just anyone go banging away on a keyboard.

    These fucking people.

  17. avatar Bob316 says:

    Not this crap again. Can the Progressives come up with some new argument to support their attempt to dissolve the Bill-of-Rights? My God, every few days they propose this stupidity, then we counter it with facts and logic, and then a few days later, they propose it all over again like it is some sort of new idea that hasn’t been disproved already. This is so freaking monotonous.

  18. avatar Nanashi says:

    You don’t need a license to own a car or drive. You need a license to drive a car on government roads. Closed course on private land? You don’t need a license.

    Turns out, you already need a license to use a gun for non-emergency purposes on government land most of the time. It’s called a hunting license.

  19. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    You know, that Gary T. Marx fellow’s extensive writings over the past several decades have focused on governmental oppression, overreach and police infringement on people’s rights.

    Yet, here he is encouraging states to be emboldened and innovative in their oppression and infringement of people’s firearms freedoms. Curious, that.

    Scratch a socialist and you’ll find a fascist every time.

  20. avatar JJVP says:

    I have a coup l e ofvissuescwithbthevsrticle. First, the notion that owning a car is not a constitutionally protected rihht. People forget the 9th Amendment “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    The second is the notion that “States have the latitude to craft the requirements for OWNING and operating vehicles that suit them best. ” I know of no law that prevent anyone from owning a vehicle. They might have laws on requirements for operating vehicles on public rosds, but to my knowledge there is no law that prohibits or regulates the purchase and ownership of a vehicle. You don’t even have to register and get plates on a vehicle as long as you don’t use it on public rosds.

  21. avatar Second Amendment says:

    The last paragraph of his fantasy really brings home the stupidity in full force:

    “Representative Hines and President Obama are thinking outside of the political box in addressing gun violence.”

    Um, no. This is neither outside-the-box thinking nor apolitical. It’s the same ol’ nonsense that’s proposed again and again and again. Not a single new thought.

    “… it would be a welcome move in the national effort to prevent the next Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino or Orlando.”

    Uh…pretty sure not a single law either on the books now or comparable to automobile regulation would’ve stopped any of those murderers. I can most certainly take a car with no license plate, no registration, no insurance, no title, etc. and drive it right through a crowded market. Logic: FAIL.

    1. avatar Ozzallos says:

      And that’s actually a very good point. Rolling with the car analogy, this guy had the drivers license. He got pulled over by the cops several times. He never had the ankle monitor put on him for drunk driving. And yet he still got blasted and mowed down a crowd of people with his dangerous multi-ton vehicle.

      Yup. How about those guys in Boston? They were driving mopeds, no license required.
      Ok, enough analogies.

  22. avatar Ozzallos says:

    Literally just had this debate with somebody. Mentioning that it was a constitutionally protected right earned me a roll of the eyes, but somehow freedom of speech is timeless. We both agreed there needs to be more formal firearms education, such as Driver’s Ed in highschool… Though I doubt he realized the full implication of that.

    He didn’t appreciate restricting all car drivers rights because of the stupidity of a few drunk drivers either 🙂

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