I admit it, I’m anti-car.
I think it’s a good idea that you must have a license to drive which you cannot get until you can prove you can handle a vehicle safely. I prefer not allowing children to drive. People who have a record of unsafe driving should be prohibited from getting behind a wheel.
I like having all vehicles registered, and checked periodically to make sure there are no defects. I think it’s great that we are required to have insurance so that if anyone is hurt as a result of negligent use of the car, there is coverage for medical expenses and damage.
I even think it’s a good idea that certain large vehicles which are even more dangerous be highly regulated, with special licenses and requirements above and beyond the minor vehicles.
Clearly, all of these regulations prove that I am, at the root, anti-car. No doubt I will next want them all confiscated by the government.
OK, the metaphor has gone on long enough, because you all know that I’m really talking about guns. Whenever I mention these kinds of reasonable, rational regulations, I get friends telling me I am anti-gun. Ironically, these friends would have no problem getting a gun with these regulations.
“But it’s different with cars,” they say. “Cars aren’t a guaranteed right under the Constitution. You can’t have regulations limiting guns!” After all, it’s not like the 2nd Amendment uses the words “well regulated” or anything. Oh, wait. Yes it does. My bad. (All rights have exceptions.)
“But then only criminals will have guns!” Of course. No law will prohibit criminals from getting guns any more than automobile laws have kept unlicensed drivers from getting behind a wheel. There are still unregistered, uninsured, and uninspected cars out there.
But imagine how many more there would be if there weren’t any laws. How safe would you feel knowing that any car you see could be uninsured, with bad brakes, and driven by someone with ten DUI convictions? Aren’t you glad there are laws to prohibit that? Laws that will punish those who do not obey them?
It just baffles me that well-meaning people who can be quite reasonable in other areas go crazy when anyone mentions even the most minor regulations of their guns. It’s a kind of fetish I just never understood. There are people who really love their cars too but don’t think that having to pay to have a license plate means that the government has become a fascist dictatorship determined to take their vehicles away from them — yet otherwise intelligent people will use that exact same argument when talking about guns.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.