Cars vs. Guns

GunsVsCars

If there is one thing rancid about the political divide in this country, its when someone smarts off  with the comment, “You’ve forgotten,” or “You’re ignoring” or the most insulting, “If you were smart enough,” as though they were addressing a three-year-old child.

I’m going to refrain from name-calling at this point, but suffice to say being a liberal and socialist does not make me an idiot. Right-Wingers might consider me just that, but I don’t approve of their views either so I’ll press forward with my comparison and ask questions later.

I’ve made reference to the correlation of laws, or lack thereof, between cars and guns more than once, and in typical Right-Wing fashion the first response I hear is about registration and taxes, and how both have no bearing.

I’ll answer that point with the same. I agree, simple registration and taxes have little bearing here, but the fact remains I pay them on all my cars and gun owners pay nothing of the sort. More to the point, why are they afraid to do so? Because of the fear of “losing their guns?” In my opinion, the longer firearms keep getting into the hands of lunatics due to legitimate gun owners lack of action, that problem will get worse.

When I say compare guns to cars, I mean a blunt, blood orange-to-blood orange, level playing field, and then we can discuss meaningless taxes.

First, you don’t have to have a license to own or use a gun. In most states a background check is required in order to purchase a new firearm, but the used market is wide open and completely free of record-keeping of any kind. Yet the avid NRA supporter still says it’s up to individual responsibility, and people kill people, not guns.

Okay, to make things even, let’s abolish all requirements for driver training, and as long as you can pass a background check, you can buy any new car or truck your budget can afford. Training and skill are left up to the individual to complete.

Further, let’s abolish all state safety inspections and required registration of all used cars. No background checks required here since the government has no business knowing how many cars we own or sell. It’s our freedom to do so and our own responsibility.

The NRA and Right-Wingers advocate that an armed citizenry would be the best deterrent for crime and violence in our society, yet they want no laws or regulations to dictate the rules or usage thereof.

Back to our new equal car laws. Without training or regulation, and for that matter the absence of more communistic hogwash such as speed limits or rules of the highway (remember, its your responsibility) we could make sure every car on the road is equipped with rigid push bars or plow blades to deal with unruly or dangerous drivers. If you car isn’t big enough to inflict such damage, maybe you should consider a bigger one. But remember, amidst all this asphalt and gravel carnage, people kill people, not cars.

With firearms, unless you are already a convicted felon, you are free to purchase whatever weapon you see on the shelf, your questionable motives, actions or lack of knowledge notwithstanding. In the absence of any kind of vetting process or training, you can’t be prevented from committing an act that might indeed kill another person until you actually do so. Again, there is no need for laws or regulations here, just personal responsibility.

So no matter what blood-spattered mayhem we might see on the new roads, let’s not bother with driver training, safety, or regulations until you actually kill someone. The fact that an innocent young driver just starting out might be the victim is simply unfortunate.

Does all this sound ridiculous? As a matter fact, YES! The ugly truth is that it’s all wild story-telling for cars, but for guns it’s brutal reality.

Now, before some Right-Winger screams, “You’ve forgotten, driving is a privilege, but gun ownership is a RIGHT!” I promise you, I absolutely HAVE NOT forgotten. But I also remember the Second Amendment clearly states, “A well regulated militia,” which we have in the form of law enforcement, the military, and the National Guard. All of which have strict rules and regulations with regard to training, handling, and use of firearms. I have seen little to no evidence of well-regulated citizen militia across the nation, and if they do exist, they are doing a poor job exercising their Constitutional rights for the safety of the public. Isn’t that the job of a militia, or is that only for the purpose of overthrowing the government?

While cars did not exist at the time of writing the Bill of Rights (as I am so often reminded) but guns in fact did exist. If the Second Amendment is so vital in this argument why does it say “arms” as opposed to “rifles, muskets, pistols, or cannons?”

“Arms” could easily be interpreted as “swords, knives, slings, bow & arrow, or pitchforks.” So the language does not specify, nor does it say, “unlimited arms.”

It was also pointed out to me that more people die in auto accidents than do by guns each year. While that figure is true, consider that more people are on our road system EACH DAY than all gun owners combined. There are 300 million citizens in the country, 212 million are licensed drivers, and while gun owners number 80 million only about 24% of those belong to the NRA.

The number of car owners outweighs gun owners by a wide margin, so based on an even sample number the car figure is lower and gun figure is insanely high on deaths.

Let’s also consider how many highway deaths are avoided and prevented by the apprehension of speeders, reckless drivers, and drunk drivers before they are involved in an accident. How much higher would road deaths be without those measures? In that circumstance no law abiding citizen loses their right to drive or own a car. How many more road deaths would take place if there were NO laws to prosecute those same offenders?

It is our laws that make us a civilized society, not the absence of law. If nothing else, the completely unregulated, unchecked exchange of second-hand firearms across this country gives criminals and radicals greater access to legal guns than any other means, and yet gun owners and the NRA do NOTHING to prevent it from happening. They give law enforcement little means to stop the flow, all the while claiming we would be safer if everyone was armed, like some kind of wild west gunfighter mentality.

By the way, the private sale of firearms makes up 40% of all gun sales in the country, and if you don’t think that gives criminals ready access to legal guns, then ask yourself would you board a commercial airliner if 40% of the passengers were allowed to bypass security checks?

In my view, all of this smacks of the usual Right-Wing stance of “personal responsibility” or more accurately, “every man for himself.”

Personally, I find the Right-Wing’s complete lack of help for changing this ugly situation to be insulting to the humanity of this nation, and utterly callous to the families of those lost in such senseless violence.

I’m sorry, but your “thoughts and prayers” don’t fix one single thing, it only absolves you from taking any meaningful action. In addition, when the Right clamors over such things as “One Nation, Under God,” their prevailing actions make such points of contention laughable. Actually, its morbidly sad, and I have enormous faith that God Himself would not approve of your intentions to fight fire with fire.

I have to prove my capability to drive, and I must abide by the law to legally own and keep a motor vehicle. Why are gun owners so resistant and incapable of doing the same? The NRA and its supporters are the only ones crying out that our government is seeking to strip them of all their firearm possessions. I can only imagine the revolt that would take place if Washington DC tried to pass a law removing all personal motor vehicles from individual ownership.

If you’re rolling your eyes at how ludicrous that notion sounds, then my expression is the same over your fear of losing all legal gun ownership. Cars are made safer as are roads, and laws are made tougher to punish offenders, all in the effort to make roads safer for everyone. I personally believe more and better driver training would increase safety and reduce accidents, but those who bemoan taxes always make sure public efforts are hamstrung and operate on a thread.

So in the end, taxes do become relevant, and its one more way Right-Wingers refuse to make their communities or their country a better place…unless it benefits them directly.

I believe my right to “the pursuit of happiness” entitles me to just as much right to own and drive a car as your Second Amendment means to you. Mine is just as much law as yours, and as a law-abiding citizen, I have no problem keeping within those legal boundaries.

If gun owners have nothing to hide, I see no reason why they shouldn’t have to support their possession just as I have to. The Second Amendment makes you no more American than the rest of us.

 

 

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A Few Questions…

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To all the Republican members of the Senate and House of Representatives,

How do any of you claim to have Christian values or serve the best interest of this country?

You vote against Social Security, yet you offer no alternative to help our elderly. You suggest privatizing so that Wall Street can have one more part of our lives to play with for their profit, and you condemn anyone who was a stay-home spouse to no support. You condemn the elderly of our society, who have worked all their lives to poverty for the sake of investment profit.

Is this the kind, charitable, and Christ-like way?

You vote against Medicare, so that the elderly and the disabled can afford even poorer health care than they already receive. You pay no regard to the insane price of prescription drugs, placing more upon the back of the sick and afflicted, all the while trying to cut the only other sources of support they depend upon.

Is this how we clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and care for the sick and afflicted? When did Christ preach to the masses or his followers, “In the Kingdom of God, it is every man for himself?”

You bellow that we should support our troops, and you rant against world injustice, yet you seem to care little for justice or humanity here at home. You cry out to send our troops across the globe to quell almost any uprising, yet when they come home broken and disabled, you vote against every measure to improve their care. Are they only worthy of our support when they can stand and hold a weapon? Are they suddenly of no worth when they have paid the price in flesh and bone? You go through great ceremony for those who come home in flag-draped coffins, but your vote speaks volumes about how you regard the ones who survived.

Is this how Christ commanded us to love our neighbors and our enemies? Is this one more example of your “thoughts and prayers” which cost you nothing? All the while you enjoy complete health care for you and your family.

Here is my thought; Faith without works is dead, which is exactly the slow death  you condemn these valiant souls to without remorse.

You vote against national health care, or any legislation that might force insurance companies to make coverage affordable. You condemn Medicare, and you allow the insurance companies to dictate to doctors what kind of care can be provided, as though they are more qualified than medical professionals, all in the name of profit rather than the well being of our nation. You slander the leaders of other nations for the service they provide to their citizens, as though it is impossible to be done here. Yet we stand alone as the only industrialized, modern country on the globe that requires its people to pay more and receive less than anywhere else. Is this how you perceive that you are serving the best interest of the people?…of the majority?…of the welfare of the nation?

Is this the kind of compassion and caring The Savior would have imparted?

Also, if you have such disdain for government-funded health care, why are you not setting an example of your conviction by having private care for yourselves and your families?

You vote against any measure that would attempt to give our law enforcement more avenues to track and prosecute criminals and radicals who can freely buy firearms. You cling to a vague amendment that cites “A well regulated militia,” while our streets, schools and neighborhoods are anything but. You would call for mass drug testing and all other manner of saying how the poor and impoverished should be worthy enough to receive aid, yet what manner of worthiness do you display for your actions against them?

Did Christ qualify each person he was charitable to? Did he question those he healed or fed? Yet I seem to recall Him chastising those who would cast stones.

You vote to abolish abortion in the name of saving lives and saying people should better plan their life choices. Yet even those who wish to have children are oppressed with insane medical bills, or mothers risk their lives in natural, in-home childbirth to avoid the expense. Is this the viable alternative you think is best, or do you think only the wealthy should be allowed to procreate? You even oppose services than assist the young and needy to better plan their lives, all the while making it harder and more expensive to raise a family. You vote against raising the minimum wage, and you vote for tax breaks to corporations who cut and export jobs rather than creating them here at home.

Is this the manner in which Christ commanded we treat one another?

Your claims to serve this country are hollow and your actions speak far louder than any speech you will ever give voice to at a podium. I find it astoundingly hypocritical how you claim the moral high ground and denounce any social program as the foothold to communism. Yet all the while you vote to give power to a tiny minority who would hold the rest of us as slaves if they had the chance, and you are giving to them by degrees each day. Your view of America is more and more like rule under the 1% dictatorship as your votes prove the masters you serve; the majority of wealthy contributors who mean far more than any other group of constituents.

I find it both sad and insulting that the elephant is the moniker of your party, an animal with a loyalty to the family unit and the caring for each other. A creature that is peaceful by nature as opposed to predatory.

To me, there is another animal far better suited to represent those who openly behave as your voting record denotes. An animal that wallows in the mire and consumes all it can with no regard for anything else. One that waxes fat from such consumption and can readily be bought by the pound.

In short, I believe the GOP mascot should be changed to a pig.