Guns and Cars: On The Nature of Tools

Cars aren’t really made to take you to the mall or carry you to work. Sounds stupid, I know, but think about it…if the purpose of owning a car was defined by each trip, we’d have a multitude of potentialities, one for each time you sit down and buckle up. No, the true reason cars exist is that they are vehicles, a group of machines whose purpose is to convert some sort of energy into motive power. That’s the most basic, lowest common denominator we can wrap our brains around. At this fundamental level, you can’t pigeonhole them as transportation devices; a car is a vehicle, and vehicles have other purposes than transportation (think exercise bikes, pleasure cruisers, or the Vomit Comet). You didn’t buy that F-150 to haul your dirtbike into the woods, you bought it so you can fill it with gas, initiate combustion and roll. For whatever purpose. Let’s look at how this application of fundamental purpose can be applied to why we own guns . . .

Guns can kill, yes. You could say that’s their reason for existence. But like cars, guns have other purposes, from putting holes in paper to satisfying your inner child’s need to blow shit up. What then is the fundamental purpose of the gun? Any classification that frames a gun as a weapon is flawed. Knives can also be weapons, yet they’re great for everything from carpentry to cooking to camping. A knife’s fundamental purpose is to cut. Likewise, a gun’s reason for being is to fire a projectile. A gun is a machine; anything else implies intent.

When considering laws restricting gun use, we have to look at the issue from that fundamental position – that guns aren’t just for killing; they serve many masters. This is important; too many groups label the gun a killing machine. Sure, shooting living things may be the most popular use for them, but it’s not the sole reason for their existence any more than an automobile’s sole purpose is to take you to work.

If we are going to honor the freedom of choice that defines America, we are going to have to accept that stupid people do stupid things with machines. Appeasing our emotions by blaming and subsequently limiting the machine makes no sense and serves no purpose.

Every day, vehicles kill more people than guns. In fact, just a few days after the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, fifteen illegal immigrants died and seven were injured when the truck they were riding in crashed. You read that right: twenty-three people, one pickup. Where’s the outcry for limiting the number of people you can stuff in a truck? Aren’t there already laws in place to deter this sort of thing? Is there any logic in blaming the truck for causing the accident?

From this perspective, it should be obvious that the root cause of so many deaths was human error: severely overloading a vehicle for an illegal purpose. If you’re so quick to blame the AR-15 or the 100 round magazine – or even the concept of teaching tactical reloading to civilians – think about those dead immigrants and how blaming the gun is no different than blaming the truck.

Guns didn’t kill those moviegoers in Colorado, human action did. Restricting guns to ten rounds of ammo because of this event is no different than restricting pickup trucks to ten immigrants. Illegals care about the inches-of-immigrant per foot-of-wheelbase laws about as much as psychopaths care for magazine size restrictions.

Our focus should be on writing laws that target the intent of the criminal. Punishing a rifle that looks scary will do nothing to stop the crazies from pulling out the stops and making the front page every year or two. After all, death and destruction are their tools, not guns.


  1. If anyone’s wondering about the raygun in the picture, it’s a Dardick Pistol that shoots triangular rounds called trounds. It’s one of Britain’s contribution to bizarre 1950’s handguns.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      And I thought SiGs had a high bore axis…

    2. avatar Don says:

      release the trounds!

    3. avatar APBTFan says:

      If you like odd weapons this is a fantastic site,

    4. avatar IdahoPete says:

      OK, I am nominating that one for the Weird Obscure Gun of the Month (British subsection).

  2. avatar Aharon says:

    It looks like a Soviet Cosmonaut gun for putting down rebellions on their space ships.

  3. avatar soccerchainsaw says:

    How’s this for a conversation:
    Anti: Well sure a lot of people are killed from car crashes, but the majority of the time the car simply gets people to where they’re going.
    Gunner: So because the majority of the car usages don’t result in a person’s death or serious injury, you’re ok with the average person owning and using an automobile?
    Anti: Right!
    Gunner: Well by that same logic you must be ok with gun ownership and usage.
    Anti: Huh?
    Gunner: The vast majority of gun usages don’t result in a person’s death or serious injury. Millions of rounds are used every year in training, target practice, competitions, hunting, etc. So by your “majority of usages” rule, gun ownership passes with flying colors.
    Anti: What? No! sputter, phfft, I never said that! Ghat, @#$%^&*

    Ain’t logic a bear?

    1. avatar ready,fire,aim says:


    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      The counter that I have been seeing on other sites is this: “You are comparing apples to oranges. Car crashes are accidental deaths, but guns are used for intentional killing.” Why this avoids the question of “what is the risk of injury from this tool?” I have yet to fathom, but they are strident.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    Exactly, guns don’t kill people. Intent of humans do. Therefore in F&F the border guard killed was killed by a person, since people kill others not guns.

  5. avatar mikeb302000 says:

    David, Do you think you’re some kind of philosopher, teaching us about the fundamental use of cars and guns? I honestly did not find it very convincing. Your final paragraph betrayed the superficial silliness of your entire post. “Punishing the rifle,” is that what you say we want to do? What’s that, a step beyond “blaming the gun?”

    I’m sure you’ll find lots of support on this blog, though. But, please if you have aspirations to be a writer or a philosopher, you better keep your day job.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      “But, please if you have aspirations to be a writer or a philosopher, you better keep your day job.”
      Your irony NOURISHES ME!

    2. It’s a blog, Mike, and I’m sharing my opinion. Thank you for sharing yours.

      “Punishing the rifle” is exactly what I perceive to be your message. Look at round limitations: first, you can’t have more than ten rounds. Well, that’s too much, let’s limit magazines to five rounds. What’s that? You can watch a YouTube video and learn to change magazines in less than two seconds? Damn, let’s create a device that requires a tool to remove the magazine. Oh, someone got around that with a magnet? I guess we need to require fixed magazines that can’t be removed. How can they reload? One shot at a time.

      Mike, if you can put forth a cogent argument as to why it’s better to restrict the gun than the human action behind it, I’m all ears. Your derogatory comment toward my writing skills (instead of addressing anything about the content) leaves me no other conclusion than the fact that you completely missed my point.

      Oh, and as a new contributor on this blog, Yay! My first negative comment. I shall print this out and frame it.

      1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

        Getting your first negative comment from me was highly likely. There aren’t too many around here who don’t contribute to the echo chamber.

        “Our focus should be on writing laws that target the intent of the criminal. ”

        Is that not what gun control laws do, really. You guys like to twist it around to a thing where we blame the gun, but that’s just not true. Licensing and registration, eliminating private transfers, better mental health screening all focus directly on the person.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          There aren’t too many around here who don’t contribute to the echo chamber.

          Unlike mikey’s blahg, which is more like a vacuum chamber.

        2. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          Nope. That’s a gun being registered.

          “eliminating private transfers”
          Of private property. Again the gun.

          2 out of 4 ain’t bad, though.

        3. avatar RuffRidr says:

          There aren’t too many around here who don’t contribute to the echo chamber.

          People with an anti-gun agenda usually stick to blogs that are moderated. It helps them control the message.

        4. Gun control laws control guns, not people.

          Licensing & registration is normally done when you want to use/operate something, like a car or a jet-ski, not when you want to manufacture or purchase items. If you apply that to guns, it looks very much like the state-level permitting process already in place in most of the country.

          Private transfers – I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but anyone privately selling a gun in the US can face federal charges if the buyer raises suspicion that they are not legally qualified to purchase the weapon. Eliminating private transfers (at least you didn’t say gun show loophole) only penalizes those who are law abiding.

          Better mental health screening – are you saying that all firearms owners/buyers should be subjected to a mental health evaluation?

          You really did miss the point, Mike. I wasn’t talking about anything that you referenced above (though I was compelled to respond). It’s the silly legislation, like bullet buttons, magazine limits, and the restriction of convenience features like adjustable stocks and pistol grips that are the focus of my article.

          Maybe Bruce Krafft could help you with some target practice for your talking points?

        5. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          No. pleeeeze don’t sic Bruce on me. My attention span could never handle that guy even without jet lag.

        6. avatar Greg Camp says:

          No, Mikeb, gun control laws focus on forcing people to prove that they’re good enough citizens to deserve to exercise their rights. Your side just can’t believe in the democracy that you claim to value.

        7. avatar RuffRidr says:

          Except mine, right, Ruff?

          We shall see. Today unmoderated, tomorrow who knows? Your track record of flopping back and forth isn’t great.

          And I think even your blog makes my point. Baldr, Democommie, and Dog Gone sure seem to disappear quickly when moderation is turned off. Why is that? Oh ya, they no longer control the message.

        8. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

          Ralph, cant understand why anyone really feels one should be civil with anyone who demonstrates their insatiable belief and need to promote the pathological lie that gun control reduces violence.

          Based on reality, all anyone hears on Mikeb’s blog site are the whines, rants and wails of the ….

          Sadomasochists..falling to their primal needs to control and dominate others
          Projectionists..demanding to force their fears upon others
          Hoplophobists..scared of an inanimate object
          Fetishists..believes said inanimate object has supernatual powers to load, aim and fir itself
          Sexual Fetishists…. guns do cause anti’s psychosocial distress
          Mythomaniacs…gun control works is a pathological lie
          Schizophrenics..they hear voices and must obey
          Drug Addicits (drinking that progressive elixir of prozac/lsd koolaide)..only way someone sane can have the fantasy gun control ever works

          ..and the just flat out perpetually insane.

          Cant help but call a spade a spade this morning.

        9. avatar Evan says:

          You assume that the tool will be used in a criminal manner. It is easy to assume that anything will be used in a criminal manner. When I buy a car there is no assumption that I am going to speed down the highway at 80 mph as so many people do. When I buy alcohol there is no assumption that I will give it to minors. (Okay i don’t buy alcohol as I am a minor but you get the point.) Then why is there an assumption that I will buy a gun and perform illegal activities with it?

        10. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          First of all we’re not talking about cars. Secondly, I’m not assuming anything. Guns are used in crime. And the guns used in crime were almost all, almost every single one, owned legally by people just like you. Therefore, gun control laws are mainly aimed at law-abiding gun owners.

      2. avatar Silver says:

        Don’t get too excited, Dave, a negative comment from our resident troll is inevitable. It’s like getting flicked off by that crazy hobo in the alley who flicks everyone off because they refuse to buy his alien-scrambling tin foil hats.

    3. avatar bontai Joe says:

      Mike, not a single soul here that I am aware of has insisted that you buy a gun, learn to shoot defensively, or otherwise aquire the skills to defend yourself, and yet you seem to insist that we be denied these things because you believe it is for our own good. Why is it that gun haters ALWAYS want to impose their will on others? I would no sooner ask you to become armed, than I would ask you to change religions, or alter what you eat. It is absolutely your right to go around unarmed, eat lettuce, sip wine, and enjoy life. I would not impose upon you to change anything. It is also my right to arm myself, eat rare bloody meat, and supersize my milk shake if I choose, except in New York City and a few otherplaces.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    When I saw the title “On the Nature of Tools,” I thought it was an article about mikey.

    1. avatar Wade says:

      You win the Internet today!

    2. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

      That was the “Nature of Fools”.

  7. avatar Greg Camp says:

    Yup, I spotted that Dardick and was reminded of my desire for one. So many guns. . .

  8. avatar Jonathan in France says:

    Nobody buys a drill because they want a drill. They buy a drill because they want holes.

    This is the similarity between drills and guns.

    Just saying…

    1. But a drill can also stir paint, drive screws, turn a jack, even sand a surface. Its fundamental purpose lies in its ability to rotate.

    2. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      If a carpenter mis-drills a hole, do you blame him or legislate away your own right to own a drill?

      1. avatar Evan says:

        We need common sense drill control!

    3. My 15 Amp Porter Cable circular saw has a laser sight on it, just sayin’.

  9. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    after reading mikeb302000 responses i am 100% positive that in some way he is related to mayor Bloomburg

    1. avatar Silver says:

      Every fascist tyrant needs willing sheep to work the gas chambers. There are plenty more where mikey came from.

  10. avatar Mark says:

    If the goal is to reduce murders, expanding the potential victim pool and giving greater confidence to the violent criminal through civilian disarmament is counter-productive.

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