IF WE TALKED About Cars the Way We Talk About Guns …

Written by Rob Morse on June 16, 2017

We’ve lived with guns for several centuries. Despite those years of cultural and personal familiarity, some people talk about guns as if they had been invented yesterday. I’m going to try and shift the discussion about guns so we can hear this stale bigotry with fresh ears. More people die each year in car accidents than in gun accidents. How do these anti-gun arguments sound to you when we substitute word for word?
• Cars are not the answer. Good people leave the driving to the government.
• We’re not against car ownership. We simply want you to get proper training before you’re allowed to drive. And we don’t want any driving schools in your state.
• Only criminals and the police drive fast cars. Why do you need to go that fast? Are you some sort of escaped criminal?
• You know you’re more likely to have an accident if you have a car at home.
• Only the police and bus drivers have enough training to drive. That’s why you should leave the driving to them. Or walk.
• Given how dangerous cars are, we think it is inappropriate for teachers to have personal cars at school.
• Just say no to car and motorcycle violence.
• Why do you need a car? Can’t you wait and take public transportation like everyone else?
• We need to start training children early, so ban toy cars and toy motorcycles.
• We’ve evolved past the need for personal transportation.
• We don’t think you should have a car, but if you do, why would your family need more than one. No one needs a fleet of dangerous cars! (Does that argument sound familiar?)
• Are you crazy? You know that cars don’t belong on a university campus. Campus is a place for education, not for car racing.
• Cars don’t belong at church. Cars disturb our spiritual tranquility.
• You’re so insensitive. You should know that cars don’t belong at a hospital. Some of the people in the hospital are there because of car crashes.
• You only have a car for an emergency. You haven’t used it, so that is proof no one really needs a car.
• Only the army or police need a car or truck that holds more than five gallons of fuel. High capacity cars should be outlawed. It is worth it if it saves one life.
• It is disrespectful of you to have your own car. Don’t you trust the bus company to get you where you need to go?
• Of course the President of the United States has a motorcade. That is no reason for you to have a car. Just who do you think you are?
• Car owners are insecure and trying to make up for some personal inadequacy.
• We’re not against cars. We’re only a car-safety organization and we want a few commonsense car-safety regulations.
• Other states shouldn’t have to honor your driver’s license. Each state should be able to decide who may and may not drive there.

These sentiments are both shocking and shockingly familiar. This sounds like the sort of things we might have heard a hundred years ago when cars replaced horses. Today, it is the everyday bigotry directed against gun owners.

I don’t believe in voodoo and magical objects. Guns are lumps of metal and plastic. They are neither good nor bad. They don’t have magic powers. We were supposed to get past that mystical view of the world when we were about 16 years old. Most of us have. Clearly, some of us haven’t.

P.S. If you think I want to regulate cars, then your sense of humor is broken.

I wrote about cars and guns before.“Bigotry Against Gun Owners, and why guns are not like cars”
“Please Regulate Guns Like Cars!”
“If Cars Were Regulated Like Guns”
photo credit: Paul B. (Halifax) Double Down via photopin (license)

Share if you agree there is an odd double-standard in the way we speak about guns versus cars.