Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute where he works in the Center for Constitutional Studies, asks the question, what if America treated guns like cars? He writes (abridged):
In general, we regard auto fatalities as an inevitable consequence of allowing private citizens to own and drive cars. As long as cars are going to be in private hands, then there will be car accidents, including large accidents with multiple fatalities. We expect and accept that the number of auto fatalities increases as more people own cars, and we expect and accept that sometimes cars would be misused with tragic consequences.
Many gun-rights advocates would be okay with regulating guns like cars. There would be no federal registration or licensing, state-granted licenses would be given to people over 16, 17, or 18 years old after passing a simple test.
A gun, like a car, is both an effective tool and a deadly instrument. The qualities that make a car or a gun an effective tool are the same qualities that make it a deadly instrument.
If gun-control advocates could better understand the gun/car comparison, then perhaps more productive conversations can happen-or at least less hateful. A more productive conversation about guns-like a more productive conversation about cars-would look to the conditions that help create fatalities rather than just focusing on the object itself. The battle against drunk driving didn’t focus on banning drunk drivers’ cars.
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