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Stop it with the car/driver license analogies!

Discussion in 'Legal' started by MachIVshooter, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Guns are not automobiles. They are very different machines with a very different purpose, and drawing parallels between the two in the legal and political context serves absolutely no useful purpose.

    I have been utterly shocked at the number of members here who are ready and willing to accept gun control, and a very common theme among these collaborators is the car/gun comparison - especially the licensure aspect.

    Let's just blow this one out of the water:

    1) Priviledge versus right: Driving is a priviledge, owning a firearm is a constitionally protected (not granted, protected!) right.

    2) Licensure: Driver licenses require a proficiency test, but do not require a clean criminal history, or get denied for being adjudicated a mental defect; Would you rather have gun purchasers prove that they know how to handle a weapon, or would you rather know based on their history that they are not criminals and probably not dangerous?

    3) Minimum ages: Despite some ridiculously ill-informed posts, there is no minimum age to purchase a vehicle.

    4) Performance: Though I and many others disagree with the existing restrictions, fact remains that firearms (and other weapons) are already heavily restricted by the NFA based on characteristics of performance, requiring minimum ages, extensive approval processes and a tax to simply possess any of these "high performance" guns. Automobiles, on the other hand, are virtually unrestricted nation-wide; You can have as large or small, as fast or slow, as powerful or anemic of a vehicle as you desire (or can afford). And with few exceptions (most notably being able to physically fit between lanes), there is no limit to what you may operate on a public street, so long as you tag and insure it, and have appropriate lighting. And despite obvious dangers associated with putting a 16 year old new licensee behind the wheel of a 1,200 WHP twin-turbocharged Corvette, there are NO laws against it.

    5) Penalties for misuse: There is not one reckless or careless act one can do with a firearm that doesn't already carry far stiffer penalties than a similarly reckless or careless act done with an automobile.

    6) Registration: Some love to cite how we can track a vehicle owner by the registration, and so should we be able to with guns. While it often seems logical prima facie, let's look at the reasoning behind automobile registration, and why it doesn't have the same application for firearms:

    A) The primary purpose behind vehicle registration is the fees collected, which are used to maintain and construct the public roads & bridges those vehicles will travel on. I don't see the FET paid on firearms being used to fund public ranges.

    B) The purpose of having license plates is to 1) make sure the registration fees were paid and 2) give people a way to ID vehicles (not necessarily the vehicle's owner) that have been involved in an accident or illicit act. Both purposes are easily defeated by the non-law abiding; Do car thieves go and re-register the stolen car? Of course not. So what makes anyone think gun registration would be any different? For this reason, gun registration is useless (and it's a lot easier to spot a stolen 2 ton motor vehicle than a stolen 2 pound handgun). It puts an unfair burden on lawful gun owners, and is totally useless in the solving (let alone prevention) of crimes.

    C) You are not required to register a vehicle that you're not going to operate on public streets. So I submit to the pro gun registration crowd, are you OK with only registering those firearms that will be used on public ranges? If so, how do you go about enforcing this?

    7) Danger to society: Despite registration, despite licensing and despite the fact that there are fewer cars owned by Americans than firearms, motor vehicles are involved in far more injuries and fatalities every year. So I ask again, do we really want guns to be like cars?

    8) Illicit use: Perhaps the most salient point is that taking away one's driver license does not stop them from being able to drive any more than prohibiting a person from owning a firearm stops them from owning and using a gun. Laws define crime, and punishments deter it, but no amount of legislation can prevent criminal acts.

    I could go on, but I do believe the point is made. If anyone feels I missed something, feel free to add.
  2. rybu0305

    rybu0305 Member

    Great post. You made some very good points and this is an argument I hear often.
  3. Westfair

    Westfair Well-Known Member

    Just want to say excellent post, I've been seeing this analogy all over the web - I'm going to point several friends to this thread.
  4. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the same thing earlier today. I am sick of this analogy, and the OP's very first point clearly states why it is not valid.
  5. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    Truth that!
  6. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    You don't have a constitutional right to automobiles.
  7. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Well-Known Member

    I get what you are saying and agree, I just think that sometimes the cars get brought up in this regard:

    Anti says we should do x y and z to curtail gun violence.

    Gun owner says that x would be illegal according to the USSC's interpretation of the 2nd amendment, and y would be practically impossible and way too expensive to be feasible, and z would be feasible, but would have no or negligible impact on gun violence.

    Anti says "Well we have got to do SOMETHING! "

    And then someone says, well, if the government really cares about saving lives, it could lower speed limits, lower BAC limits, and enforce/penalize drunk drivers more heavily, and accomplish a lot more.

    Which is true. It kind of diverts the argument of course, and definitely is not the strongest argument at all (really, the inalienable human right of self defense that is not granted, but PROTECTED by the bill of rights shouldn't need much of an argument, but alas) but it is true. If the government really wanted to help save as many lives as possible, with the least amount of legislation necessary, WITHIN the limits of the Constitution and BOR, there are much more effective ways to do it. But since gun control is about control and not guns, that's not the strategy they are taking. They also say that death by gun is much worse than death by car accident, but really, I think dead is dead.
  8. kalel33

    kalel33 Active Member

    This really depends on the state. In Kansas, you have to register your vehicle and tag it every year, even if you don't drive it.
  9. TreeDoc

    TreeDoc Well-Known Member

    Guy "T-boned" my truck last year, totaled it and sent me to the hospital. Guess what? No insurance, no driver license. Wasn't even supposed to be out on the road. Guy walked away with a ticket and a slap on the wrist.No need to sue, guy wasn't going to pay anyway. People are going to do what they want no matter what, just hope your not in the way.
  10. jbj

    jbj Well-Known Member

    Good post, but as for #7, statistically, that is apples to oranges as cars are used for more regularly and for longer intervals than firearms (one of my math nerds pointed this out to me).
  11. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Kansas probably has one of the highest percentages of unregistered/expired registration vehicles in the USA.

    There are a lot of places where you can be ticketed if you have an unregistered vehicle parked on a public street or visible from a public street, but I can't think of any place where one stored in a barn or garage has to be (or at least not where it's enforced).

    That's my entire premise; Comparing the two is always apples to oranges. The purpose of #7 is just to help demonstrate to those who like using the comparison that motor vehicles present a far greater danger to society. I don't think I know a single person who hasn't been involved in (and injured in) a MVA. I can't think of very many people I know who have been shot (only one who's name I actually know)
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Hmmm...I'm going to nominate this as a Sticky thread.

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  13. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    You are exactly right MachIVShooter. I agree about firearms being a right grated at birth. Merry Christmas all.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  14. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Well-Known Member

    It is my right to own a gun I do not believe in conceding anything:D
  15. Acera

    Acera Well-Known Member

    That is true in states that don't have a FOID.

    In Illinois owning a firearm is a privilege, not a right for the reasons you stated. The courts have upheld that also.

    Don't get yourself thinking that it can't and won't happen other places because it's constitutionally protected.

    We are in a phase of where the ideas of The Shock Doctrine are being implemented. People will overreact to a crisis and allow themselves to give up many more freedoms and liberties than they would with cooler heads.
  16. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Excellent OP!
  17. Ghost Obi Wan

    Ghost Obi Wan New Member

    What MachIV said! Couldn't have said it better myself.
  18. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    There is no waiting period required to purchase an automobile. If you have the cash available, you can buy any vehicle you wish and have it towed home that day, with no background check, no verification of having a driver's license, and no insurance.

    Not sure about other states, but in mine there is no need to register or insure a vehicle that will only be kept on private property, and there is no license needed to operate a vehicle as long as it is only driven on private property.
  19. Eleanor416Rigby

    Eleanor416Rigby Well-Known Member

    A few misguided folks in Illinois might be mistaken and think it is a privelege to own/carry a gun in that state, but they are dead wrong. The 7th circuit court very recently struck down Illinois' ban on concealed carry. One of the judge's comments in the decision (paraphrased, not quoted): A person is more likely to be assaulted walking the streets of Chicago than locked inside his 12th-story Condo.

    Anyway, whether or not local officials agree, it is a right to own and carry in every state of the United States. State laws to the contrary are illegal, unconstitutional violations of citizens' rights.
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    But you yourself draw useful parallels to distinguish and compare the two situations. There are several useful observations that can be made. First of all, having your guns licensed by the ATF as many antis desire is like having your cars licensed by the EPA. So if you want a car--any car--you have to convince some EPA agent that you really, really need one. Otherwise it's a bicycle for you. I'd be fine with that, but something tells me most other Americans would not be ;-)

    DMV's regulate driving on public roads. They do not regulate what happens in people's private property. So in that sense they are closer to state level CCW regulation the anti's violently oppose.

    And of course the DMV's are state-controlled and have a pro-auto mandate of instructing the driving public. They do not have a mandate of eliminating as many drivers and cars as possible (though it may seem that way waiting in line).

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