Monthly Archives: December 2012

Gun Control

There is a photo circulating around Facebook that shows a major vehicle collision. Above the picture are the words, “WE DON’T BLAME CARS FOR DRUNK DRIVERS.” It is stated below the picture, “WHY BLAME GUNS FOR VIOLENT PEOPLE.”

Besides the obviously missing question mark at the end of the second sentence, here is the problem with this argument:

Yes, it is true that we do not blame cars for drunk drivers. We also DO NOT blame guns for violent people.
HOWEVER….
This analogy is full of Swiss cheese holes.
Cars can become weapons when used poorly, but we use cars for a variety of reasons such as transportation to Grandma’s house, getting to work, taking the kids to Disney World. They provide a function that encompasses social, economical, and recreational capacities. We also have a series of regulations in place to limit dangerous use of vehicles. Those who have shown that they cannot use them responsibly have the legal right to use them taken away. We register people who use them and we register the vehicles. We regulate the speed at which they can be driven. We regulate safety devices to make them safer. We know that the series of regulations will not prevent the wrong person from using them unsafely, but we accept the regulations and driving laws because we accept that having some common sense in our regulation of them has a limiting effect on what can go wrong with them.
Guns are ENTIRELY for purposes of killing. Yes, they can be used effectively to put some meat on the table, as a deterrent to the man breaking into your house in the middle of the night, or as a protection for those who are charged with leading or serving society. Their purpose is ONLY as an instrument of injury or death though. Yes, no amount of regulation will deter the wrong person from using them unsafely, but we should accept that having some common sense in our regulation of them can have a limiting effect on what can go wrong with them.
Why is it that we can all accept that speed limits can be a good thing but that limits on how much ammunition you can shoot is controversial? Why is it that we are not all allowed to have a military tank in our driveways or a working, loaded cannon in our yards?
So, keep using your silly analogies for a variety of other machines we use in our lives that can also harm people. They all serve and are designed for other purposes. They kill when used the wrong way. Guns kill when used the way they are designed to be used.
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