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Old December 17, 2012, 04:26 PM   #1
MachIVshooter
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Stop it with the car/driver license analogies!

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.
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Old December 17, 2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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Great post. You made some very good points and this is an argument I hear often.
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Old December 17, 2012, 05:02 PM   #3
Westfair
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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.
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Old December 17, 2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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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.
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Old December 17, 2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Laws define crime, and punishments deter it, but no amount of legislation can prevent criminal acts.
Truth that!
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Old December 17, 2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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You don't have a constitutional right to automobiles.
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Old December 17, 2012, 05:17 PM   #7
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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.
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Old December 18, 2012, 01:24 AM   #8
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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?
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.
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Old December 18, 2012, 01:48 AM   #9
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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.
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Old December 18, 2012, 04:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachIVshooter View Post
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?
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).
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Old December 18, 2012, 11:48 AM   #11
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In Kansas, you have to register your vehicle and tag it every year, even if you don't drive it.
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).

Quote:
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).
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)
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Old December 18, 2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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Hmmm...I'm going to nominate this as a Sticky thread.

EDIT: DONE!
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Old December 18, 2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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You are exactly right MachIVShooter. I agree about firearms being a right grated at birth. Merry Christmas all.
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Old December 18, 2012, 12:03 PM   #14
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It is my right to own a gun I do not believe in conceding anything
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Old December 18, 2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
1) Priviledge versus right: Driving is a priviledge, owning a firearm is a constitionally protected (not granted, protected!) right.
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.
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Old December 18, 2012, 01:35 PM   #16
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Excellent OP!
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Old December 18, 2012, 08:48 PM   #17
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What MachIV said! Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:53 PM   #18
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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.
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:11 PM   #19
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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.
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:35 PM   #20
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drawing parallels between the two in the legal and political context serves absolutely no useful purpose.
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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Old December 20, 2012, 03:21 AM   #21
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I am brand new to the forum and all I can say is I'm actually surprised to hear that *some* members of this forum are actually okay with more gun control.

Great post.
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:33 PM   #22
Romeo 33 Delta
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@Kalel33 .... does this apply even if said vehicle is transported to my 50 acre ranch and never hits a public roadway? I somehow doubt that. Or, you drive your old pick up to my ranch, I pay you $2500 cash, you give me your title and I stick it in my desk drawer and NEVER leave the ranch with it.

A guy from California told me it was like that there too ... didn't argue, but I don't see how the State cares as long as I don't use their roadways. Why is it any of the affair?

Just askin'.
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Old January 8, 2013, 02:49 PM   #23
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@Kalel33 .... does this apply even if said vehicle is transported to my 50 acre ranch and never hits a public roadway? I somehow doubt that. Or, you drive your old pick up to my ranch, I pay you $2500 cash, you give me your title and I stick it in my desk drawer and NEVER leave the ranch with it.
It goes with the out of of sight, out of mind mentality of the government. If your car is sitting in your driveway with a tarp on it then the government won't inspect it, unless they get a call from a "concerned" citizen about having cars on your property that aren't tagged. If someone turns you in, then yes you do. My parents used to own 5 different Mustangs from the '60's and they had to have them tagged, after someone turned them in for not being tagged, even through they were under car covers.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:00 PM   #24
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Any restrictions on firearm ownership is a violation of the 2nd Amendment. Driving should be a right but we have allowed the state to classify it as a privledge giving them more control over our lives.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:33 PM   #25
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by swathdiver
Any restrictions on firearm ownership is a violation of the 2nd Amendment....
In the real world not until a court has so ruled.
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