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By Scott Freeman

With the national debate of gun control again rearing its head, let’s do a quick comparison. Since vehicles kill or injure roughly three times more people a year than guns, let’s suppose we applied the same standards to vehicle operation that we do to guns. We will use California for example. Let’s start with purchasing a vehicle. You need a full background check, must be a citizen or legal resident and have no prohibiting factors in your history. Now you’re going wait 10 days to pick up your vehicle. If you’re buying used, you and the individual selling the vehicle must both go to the dealer for the transfer. Don’t forget the dealer’s fees; after all he has to make money too . . .

This is easy so far, inconvenient but easy. Your 10 days is up, time to pick up your vehicle and drive off. WRONG! Now you must have your vehicle transported to your home in an enclosed and locked trailer and stored in a locked garage. Your 10 gallon fuel tank must be EMPTY during transport, and you better make sure all your garage entrances are childproofed. Keep in mind you have now legally purchased a vehicle and stored a vehicle, your rights are not infringed at all.

Any time you want to use that vehicle just make sure the fuel tank is empty and it is towed in an enclosed and locked trailer to an approved driving area. Once there you can pay the owner any fee’s he/she may charge, put on your safety gear and fill up to 10 gallons of fuel and drive. Most likely it will be a short oval or circle and will have a speed limit imposed for “insurance” purposes. Keep in mind you are now legally using your vehicle, no rights infringement! Time to go home, follow the same procedures in reverse, un-fuel, enclosed locked trailer, locked garage.

Time for work, you better not think about driving without a license. You may legally own the vehicle, but you don’t have a license to use it wherever you want all willy-nilly! Guess it’s time to get a license to operate that two ton death machine on the road. So here is what you need to do:

First go down to or call your local Issuing Authority (IA) and request an application and an interview. Go ahead and fill out that application and be sure to explain exactly why you think you need to drive a vehicle. What conditions so onerous exist that you can’t possibly be like everyone else and need the “privilege” of driving? Filled out? Good. Your interview isn’t for nine more months.

Interview day. The very professional officer reviews your application, asks again why you need this “privilege” and goes over the rest of your history with a fine-toothed comb and ask for a letter from your employer stating it’s OK for you to have a vehicle on their property and for three letters of character reference. After reviewing your application the officer takes a photograph and sends you to be fingerprinted. Upon completion you are now instructed to make an appointment with an approved psychiatrist to make sure you are mentally fit to operate a vehicle and wait 90-120 days to hear back from the IA. Let’s not forget the $100 application fee, the $97 fingerprint fee and the hourly rate for the psychiatrist.

One hundred days have now passed and you get the call that you are tentatively approved. GREAT! Wait, now you have to schedule training with an IA approved instructor. Twenty-four hours of training (3 x 8 hour days) are required. You find an instructor and schedule your training for two months from now, every Saturday for three weekends. This guy isn’t bad, only $300 for the course — a bargain! Don’t forget to legally transport your car on “driving qualification” day to the appropriate facility. Bring at least 50 gallons of gas because it’s a very stringent course.

You finally complete the necessary training and take all your certificates to the IA and are issued a license that’s good for two years. Keep in mind there are a few restrictions. You obviously can’t drive on school property (you are exempt from the 1000 ft. rule though). You can’t drive anywhere that primarily serves alcohol, regardless of what they call themselves (bar, comedy club, etc.) and it’s your job to know the difference. You can’t drive anywhere that’s posted for no vehicles. Your vehicle must be on the state-approved list, can hold no more than 10 gallons of gas, and can be inspected at will by any peace officer. Any infraction (yes, even 1 mph over) can be cause for your license to be revoked and gods forbid you are ever in an accident. Even if it wasn’t your fault expect at least $10,000 in attorney fees.

One last thing — keep in mind whenever the vehicle isn’t under your direct control (i.e. you are not in it or within arm’s reach) it must be un-fueled, and in a locked storage area. Happy motoring!

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  1. I love this. What an excellent destruction of the “we register cars why not guns” argument.

    • The best reply to we register cars and license drivers, why not guns and owners? argument is that we don’t register cars or license drivers, unless they want to drive on the public roads.
      That is the property owner (the people through their representatives in government) setting the standards for how a person may use his vehicle on public property.

      • But, Jason, you are then tacitly saying that we should or at least could be required to register firearms and get licensed in order to have one on public property.

        I’m cool with pointing out that cars don’t have to be registered and drivers licensed if they stay on private property, but then actually showing what owning a car would look like were it subject to the restrictions gun ownership is currently subject to in many places is great. “Registration” or not, legally getting and using a vehicle is much easier than legally getting and using a firearm.

        • Not in the least.

          I can transport a vehicle across public roads without registration. I can’t operate a vehicle without the registration and license. Similarly, if I want to operate a firearm on public land, it’s within the purview of the governing organization to set standards on use (e.g. target size, backstop requirements, no shooting in central park, etc.).

  2. Don’t forget engine size and wheelbase length. Can’t be too powerful or too short!

    Good analogy. And sad.

    • They are may issue. You have to take an approved driver training course, pass a written test, and then pass a road test with a certified state employee, which you have to pass before they will issue a license. The license can be revoked by a court of law or by the issuing agency if you have to many “points” on your license because of traffic violations, and if you are under 18 (in California), your license is probationary, and expires at curfew (11 p.m.) every night.

        • You also don’t need the sworn, notarized approval (under penalty of perjury) of four other citizens to get a driver’s license.

  3. Don’t even think about modifying the car. Any number of modifications will arbitrarily send you to federal prison.

    • There are many federal and state laws concerning how you can modifly your car. Basically you are not allowed to tamper with the low emission controls and you must keep them in full working order. Any performance parts you install must be approved by the EPA (if you live in CA, then performance parts must be CARB approved). If you swap in a different motor it must be the same year or newer than the vehicle and the donor engine must have all of it’s low emission systems installed too. Different states also impose limits on lowered and raised vehicles, and the degree of window tint. Some areas also ban things like brushguards and headlight guards. There isn’t jail time but the fines can be as much as $2,000 for each violation. Car shops that perform illegal modifcations can lose their business license if caught.

      I remember a case where a sheriff department had illegal dual exhaust installed in their service cars and the EPA forced them to reinstall the factory single low emission exhaust back in.

  4. Cars are a privilege and not a right, yet the right to bear arms is a right and NOT a privilege. So explain what is wrong with this picture.

    • I dont even buy that. Self-Defense is a Right – and generally a firearm is the best tool for the job. Free Travel is also a Right – in most cases, and automobile is the best tool for that job.

  5. Don’t forget reciprocity. Want to cross state lines? Better make sure your license is accepted.

    • When it comes to the slaves states like CA, NY, NJ, etc., whether on firearms, economics issues or other, I always assume it’s worse than I know, and it’s always turned out to be even worse than I thought.

  6. I was waiting for someone to do this. Right on point. Think Feinstein and the Anti’s want to apply their new proposed law to cars too – so anyone can have your license revoked with no due process?

    Oh, ‘but cars weren’t made to kill people’, cries the Anti… Totally irrelevant. They kill more people nonetheless.

    Oh ‘but cars have a good purpose’, cries the Anti. Yeah? So do guns. If you don’t know that now, you sure would if someone tried to break into your house and attack your family tonight.

    It’s a 100% valid analogy.

    • I agree, and how about this argument?

      Everyone that has a kitchen has knives. Weren’t knives created to kill people? Yes or no?

      I would say knives were created for self-defense and for hunting primarily, like any weapon, including guns. Why? Because, as humans, all we have for natural weaponry is our teeth. And technically our brain’s intellectual capability. We don’t have claws, fangs, poison, or any other natural defense mechanism to employ if/when we’re attacked. But we’re good tool makers and good tool users. So it’s only natural we create tools that are often times used as weapons to get the job done.

      The modern firearm is simply the most effective means for defending life and liberty in the year 2014. That’s all it is.

  7. Is the car on the safe car roster? Does it need a button to limit it? Can it be stored in a place where a prohibited person can access it?

  8. Cars are not a privilege the supreme court said commonly used modes of transportation in your right of free travel. cars are fairly common that would outlaw pogo sticks and unicycles.

  9. I hate that illegals in L.A. drive without any qualifications. Hit someone while drunk? Better drive off so I don’t get in trouble. I mean if you’re gonna be living illegally, fine, but please don’t drive. Ride the bus or something. Driving in L.A. during rush hour with a manual transmission is a real task.

      • Don’t get me wrong: I am against illegal immigration. There are even legal immigrants that dislike illegal aliens. But some places in Mexico are really rough and the only thing some people can think of is moving here illegally to leave the danger. That’s just my opinion.

    • If vehicle licensing and insurance didn’t have onerous restrictions attached to them based on citizenship and residency, then many more illegal aliens probably would have insurance. Unintended consequences of regulation once again.

  10. And don’t even think about owning a bus. Nobody needs a bus. Especially a bus with two doors than can empty out 30 passengers in a second.

  11. Oh, and any time anyone plows one of those Assault Semi Trucks into a bunch of people, expect more laws to be passed to further restrict your driving “privileges”.

  12. good post. Funny thing is, auto deaths have declined dramatically in the US, and we did not do it by making drivers licenses or cars harder to get. Nor did we do it my restricting the number of cylinders in cars.

    And, if the media sensationalized car crashes the way they do shootings, you’d be reading about the fiery mass child deaths due to car collisions all the time (its true: a multiple vehicle/multiple death accident happens a couple times a month in the US. There was a collision that killed 10 people, many kids, just a month ago in CA).

  13. You forgot to mention that you can’t have a muffler on your car unless you pay an additional $200 in taxes and complete a more extensive background check. Otherwise you risk crippling fines and/or serious prison time.

    • He did say California. Mufflers are banned entirely. After all, only a criminal would want to hide the fact that he’s driving.

    • Or if you would like to lower the vehicle’s suspension or shorten the frame, you must go through the same process as a muffler. If you would like a turbocharged V-8 that has acceleration far in excess of normal, civilian issue vehicles, you must purchase one that was registered before 1986. Modern V-8s are reserved for military or police use, as such high powered vehicles have no use in civilian hands.

      • There are already limits and restrictions on such modifications. For example, you can’t install a engine that is older than the car or truck, it has to be the same year or newer and must have all of it’s low emission gear installed too. Any performance parts used must be EPA approved and have a EO number.

        • My god California sucks! It’s not just gun laws, I really can’t imagine how or why anyone puts up with it. It’s nearly more of a social experiment to see how much people will put up with than a legitimate attempt at governance.

        • You wish it was just Cali, those are federal laws for all 50 states concerning what you can do with your own car. The emission laws started in CA, and then spread out into all 50 states, hopefully their gun control laws won’t spread like that.

  14. Cars and drivers licenses might be a privilege(“may issue”), but that doesn’t stop the millions of drivers out there that are unlicensed and uninsured and cause accidents which only screws over the legal drivers. Very similar to people who illegally use guns.

  15. But wait there’s more….

    There will be a ban on imported cars, so it will have to have key assemblies made in the US.

    Also, no one NEEDS a car that can exceed the speed limit so we need to restrict the HP of engines.

    And since sports cars were designed to go fast, in addition to restrictions on HP, we need to eliminate key sports car features such as spoilers, performance mufflers, upgraded suspension, and alloy rims.

    • LOL, that’s SO true! Kid’s these days are pansy little b___es who can’t do anything without an “assist” or some computer telling them what to do. Then when they come across a car that has a stick – a car that actually GIVES them control – they whine like little b****es “OMG, I can’t drive this,” because there isn’t anything to take control for them.

      The first car I had: STICK. – I’ve never had trouble driving any car since then…… provided it didn’t have a sever engine problem that kept it from running.

      • I love seeing people clump all young people into the same group. I’m 21 and can drive stick shift just fine. Not all young people whine. It’s only the young people raised by whiney b**** parents.
        It’s more accurate to say that old people are screwed for raising the generation they whine and b**** about. Good job on that.

  16. Do you really have to go through all of that to buy a car in California? Man! That’s rough!

    If having a car is that bad, I can’t imagine how much crap you’d have to put up with to own and carry a gun.

    • Not sure if you are serious….there are more cars than people in California….and buying a gun (generically) is not as hard as people think. But a particular model can be

    • No, those are the restrictions on buying and owning a gun, interpreted and applied to cars to make a point.

  17. Fold away mirrors and collapsible antennas are also prohibited as they make the car more inconspicuous and easier to hide.

    You must also bolt a plate over the refueling receptacle, requiring the use of a tool to remove, as to make refueling more time consuming and difficult.

    All vehicles must have a manual transmission. Automatic transmissions are banned for private use in this state even if built before 1986, and only available to dealers on dealer trade.

  18. I am too much of a pedant to let this stand:

    In CA, CCW holders can carry on school property.
    There is not law saying they cannot carry where alcohol is served. It is virtually universal policy of the issuing authority that you cannot drink and carry, but technically that is not part of the law either.

    Further, CCW holders can store the gun loaded in their car while they run into the post office.

    Rifles/shotguns need not be in a locked container during transport. They can be on the front seat. Federal, not state law requires longguns locked in school zones. CA state law only mentions handguns.

    Most issuing authorities do not do psychiatric evaluations…like 96% of them don’t.

    Oddly CA law prohibits any requirement to have insurance to get a carry license…so in that respect there is a lesser burden.

    Obviously most of the rest varies from close to home, to not reality at all depending on the IA…some are easier than getting a license in Texas.

    Oh and there is no law that a gun must be in my direct control or unloaded/locked. I can legally keep them loaded and accessible. Recent law changes does mean that a loaded gun cannot be left out in the open around children. But you can give them access to it…it is a funny law.

  19. Don’t forget you…

    – Can’t have more than 6 cylinders (aka .50 cal)
    – Can’t have cruise control (aka fully automatic)
    – Can’t have a muffler (aka silencer)
    – Can’t buy more than 1 car in a 30 day period

  20. I’ve flipped this argument around. A friend once used the “We register cars and licence drivers. Why don’t we do the same to guns.” My response, for the sake of argument, was as follows.

    Barring the fact that the right to bear arms is a Constitutionally guaranteed right, not a privilege, lets say we registered guns like cars and issued licences for use, like a drivers licencee.

    First, my auto registration is recognized in all 50 states. I can drive my car any where I want in the lower 48, Even Canada and Mexico recognize my registration and insurance. The laws for operating a motor vehicle are the same in all 50 states. I can be certain that I’m not breaking some obscure traffic law the moment I cross state lines.

    As to my Drivers Licence. Again, recognized in all 50 states, Mexico and Canada. Getting it required a written test I had to study for and a practical test that took all of thirty minutes. More over, I had a learners permit for a year where I could operate a motor vehicle under adult supervision. A single semester Drivers Ed course was offered at my public school, but not required. My Nephew, a newly minted driver, has told me that passing the drivers ed course by passed the written and practical test at the DVM. He only had to present a voucher at the county courthouse to get his licence.

    I told my friend, who seemed almost horrified, that while I don’t believe in registration and licencing, if guns were registered, licensed for use, and regulated EXACTLY like motor vehicles, I could probably live with it.

    I’d also get my CDL so I could legally carry a belt fed machine gun.

    But that’s just me.

    He hasn’t used the “just like cars” aurgument on me since.

    • Is that the new anti-gun argument that it being regurgitated around the nation, that guns should be regulated like cars?

      I guess I don’t wear my I-Support-Gun-Rights Shirt often enough to get any anti-gun criticism, so I don’t really come into contact with it outside the net.

  21. Also…

    I assume the public schools will now provide free gun training to all school kids starting at the age of 15?

    There will be extensive classroom education followed by months of hands-on training and use.

  22. The easiest way to counter an anti who throws out the “cars aren’t designed to kill” argument is to ask them why they think the fact that something that isn’t ‘designed to kill’, yet does so at a far higher rate than guns, is an argument in their favor. That is pretty scary to me.

  23. How are so many people championing this article? This is awful and I was surprised to see few, if any, comments stating so. The difference that automatically kills this stupid analogy is that guns were and are designed to end lives and the majority of gun deaths are intentional. This as opposed to vehicles that were not and are not designed to kill and any vehicle related deaths are largely accidental.

    What a stupid article, sound just as crazy as the anti-gun folk. Same for all the commenters loving this write-up.

    How did TTAG even post this? Stoops.

    • Er…no. It is the anti gun folks who want “guns to be regulated like cars.” The point is that guns are already much more heavily regulated than cars are. Whether or not guns were meant to kill people or not is not relevant as it does not play into the expressed desire by antis to “regulate guns like cars.”

    • No, guns are not designed to end lives. You want to know what they are designed for? Well: They are designed to propel little, and sometimes big, pieces of metal.

      Whether they are used for defense, to kill someone, or for sport – the PURPOSE – is all UP TO YOU. So in that way, it IS no different from a vehicle, because it is your duty to handle it responsibly and according to the law, and it is also up to you if you decide to misuse it.

      Yes, using guns means you are using “Deadly Force,” but it does not mean that the person will die, or needs to die. “Deadly Force” means that something has the POTENTIAL to kill, not that it will. The law doesn’t say anywhere “if you shoot someone, well you better shoot them to death, derrrrrrr” No, it says that under certain conditions you may use deadly force, whether that ends in death or not, as long as there is a threat. If, let’s say, someone attacks me in public with a knife, I shoot them, they drop the knife, surrender, and live – guess what: A gun was used according to it’s purpose – which I defined as “self-defense,” not killing – and no one died.

      And before you try to say anything about that all being BS:
      FL s. “776.06 Deadly force.—
      (1) The term “deadly force” means force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm and includes, but is not limited to:
      (a) The firing of a firearm in the direction of the person to be arrested, even though no intent exists to kill or inflict great bodily harm; and…..”

      So stop pushing your anti-gun propaganda, it’s not wanted here.

      • Remind me what guns were created for? And what they’re still widely used for?
        Oh that’s right, death.

        Fellow gun owners often disappoint.

    • “hurr-durr, guns are designed to kill” no, they are designed to inflict potentially lethal wounds. That’s why they are the single best self defense weapon you can own. Criticizing this article because of that point would be akin to criticizing cars because they carry people somewhere faster than walking….well no shit, Shirlock. Since when is it EVER a bad thing that a device functions as it is supposed to?!

      Here’s a tip. Cars are the cause of death of more people than firearms even when you include intentionally self-inflicted deaths. When you exclude suicides, cars are responsible for over 3 times as many deaths, yet have a fraction of the regulation, nevermind the fact that cars AREN’T designed to kill…

      Imagine that. An object isn’t designed to kill, yet does so over 3 times more frequently. There’s about as many cars as guns in the USA. There’s as many licensed drivers as gun owners in the USA. So all things are equal, which means cars have 3 times the death rate, but a small fraction of the regulation.

  24. Well done – exactly what we need to point out the absurdities of the endless existing gun laws to an otherwise unknowing public, should be presented to a larger audience if possible.

  25. and WHY are you posting this on TTAG????

    …… need to post this on sites like CNN, Huff-a-lot Post, abc/nbc, etc. —- we already know all this.

    btw., good article.

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