Here’s a fun way to make people bunch up in knots.
If you think the world would better off without guns and we should abolish and criminalize their use and ownership, then will you also criminalize the use of a car? Because if you think guns kills people, or if guns don’t kill people and that people kill people, either way the automobile is deadly and should be banished.
Headlines that report that gun deaths now equal auto deaths aren’t quite accurate. Not to sound overly supportive of the gun lobby, but the CDC’s numbers can be interpreted in two ways.
In 2014, 33,599 people were killed be a firearm. 33,736 were killed by a car.
About 72% of those gun deaths were suicides. If you remove those, there were 12,265 non-suicide gun deaths in the US in 2014.
So there’s an uncomfortable argument to be made here for everyone, isn’t there? Cars are far more deadly. Cars are just as deadly. Or guns are just as deadly. I guess the one that’s hard to make is that guns are more deadly than cars. At least not with the available data we have so far.
The unfortunate thing is the people who will be quick to abolishing guns won’t be so quick to give up their cars. At all. To be really honest with themselves that person would have to support gun control and get rid of their car. A small group of people will do that, but it’s a small group. It’s a lot like the anti-GMO/pro-science crowd. It’s a bit of a contradiction.
Cars have done a lot for the economy. Just as gun owners can say guns have done a lot to shape the frontier of America, wars, and culture. But they come with some hefty loss of life.
This is why the only remaining rational argument has to be somewhere in the middle.
Car owners have to recognize they’re driving metal tombs, that marketing and culture have made them believe it’s super safe, and that it’s costly in all sorts of ways through life, finance, and the environment.
Gun owners have to recognize they’re holding metal death machines, that marketing and culture have made them believe it’s always super safe, and it’s costly in all sorts of ways through life, finance, and the environment.
I’d go a step further though and say gun owners should, and I believe do, recognize that just as we don’t just trust any person behind a car, we have some limits. We put age restrictions, ensure some modest level of understanding through driver tests and exams, have an education period for new drivers, and will take away this privilege if you consistently violate the laws surrounding its safe use.
Ironically, the gun owners do have a right. Whereas car owners do not, despite what many may think.
And before someone asks or wonders: I generally don’t care about or think about guns. I don’t get freaked out when I see one in a grocery store just as we’ve asked people not to get freaked out when they see a gay person.
I also don’t care about cars. I don’t care about them from a possessions standpoint, cultural standpoint, or care if other people choose to own one.