Cautionary Lessons for Gun Owners Learned from Licensing Drivers

One of the favorite rhetorical tropes of gun control advocates is to draw a comparison between how we treat the ownership and operation of cars and guns. The essence of the argument is that we allow people to own and use cars while regulating their use and designs, so gun control regulation will work and doesn’t have to be a disaster for gun rights.

There are a number of flaws with this line of reasoning. While I would say that freedom of movement is a fundamental right, the Constitution doesn’t enumerate it for protection, unlike gun rights. Driving is an activity done on public roads for the most part, whereas gun possession is mostly something carried on in one’s home or on one’s person. And categorically, guns and cars are not the same things. A gun is a tool for one set of tasks, which includes fighting. A car is also a tool, but its function is for another set of purposes, and the two sets have little overlap.

That being said, it is worth taking the argument as it is and seeing if it can stand on its own terms. One of the implied claims is that we gun owners should have to obtain a license not only to carry but also to own firearms, the notion being that a license to drive makes the act of using an automobile safer and by comparison, the same would be true with guns.

The test to get a driver’s license is pro forma and rarely repeated. The lack of a repeated test to keep the “safety” standard up makes me suspect that the purpose of the DRLC document is much more about raising money for the county/state than about safety. What this proposed analogy does is ask us to contemplate the purpose of controls on the behavior of ordinary people.
Source: Ammoland

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