USA –-(Ammoland.com)- Many rationalizations for legislative controls on firearms begins with “Well, you have to have a license to drive a car, you should have a license to own or buy a gun.”
This does have some valid reasoning, but the justifications are flawed and, for the most part, unrealistic.
Driving a car involves a great deal of knowledge of traffic laws as well as “common sense” laws, known routinely as Rules of the Road. Wait! There’s that favorite term routinely thrown around when discussing firearms – common sense, as in common sense legislation. Rules of the Road have a counterbalance in the firearms industry – Four Rules of Firearms Safety. No legislation required in either instance, just common knowledge and training that can be obtained anywhere.
Traffic laws are complex and lengthy. Driver’s education is something we’d like all our teenagers to take, something many never get when they live in a congested city serviced by mass transit. Yet many bypass the classroom education, obtaining a driver’s license by studying the book and taking the test, somehow managing to find behind-the-wheel experience through friends or family. In contrast, many children raised in rural communities learn to drive as soon as they can sit on the edge of the seat and reach the pedals. These same children are taught how to drive safely, helping with farming and ranching duties, as well as how to handle a firearm safely, using it to hunt game and defend the home.
There is no licensing requirement for children to operate a vehicle on private property, nor to use a firearm on said property.
Public outrage at the number of tickets and accidents caused by untrained drivers is seldom seen or heard, yet traffic accidents kill far more individuals annually than firearms accidents. Driver education is supported on multiple levels while firearms training is discouraged, almost forbidden. We are routinely subjected to public address announcements for safety issues involving cars, lawnmowers, digging a hole, cutting a tree limb, etc., but nothing for firearm safety.
Then there are the negligent homicides caused by driving under the influence, especially for repeat offenders. While many may lose their license, oftentimes losing their vehicles as well, they still seem to find a car to drive to get that next drink or fix. Legislation or license revocation does not stop those who have a need or a desire to obtain alcohol or medication to relieve a physical or psychological need.
Questionnaire completion is not required at the time a vehicle is sold, further ensuring the person who will be driving has no history of driving under the influence. A license may be required to purchase alcohol or controlled substances, but only to verify age. However, there is no need for the retailer to ask if the purchaser has plans to drive a vehicle after consuming alcohol or medication. An individual with a desire to obtain a vehicle while driving under the influence will find a way to obtain said instrument, legally or illegally. Even if it means driving the riding lawnmower down the road to the liquor store or bar, the alcoholic will find a way to get that next drink. Likewise, an individual intent on threatening others or committing a crime will find a way to obtain a firearm.
But riding lawnmowers are not licensed. Neither are golf carts, dirt bikes, ATV’s, backhoes, farm tractors, or large dirt moving trucks used in mines and gravel pits. Yet all can be driven down the road, legally or illegally, with or without licensing by the driver. All serve a unique purpose, yet guidelines or legislation regarding each vehicle cannot be applied to all vehicles in their entirety. Handguns, shotguns, and rifles are all firearms, yet each has its own purpose. Legislation that restricts the purchase or owning of all firearms without regard to use or purpose is ill-conceived and detrimental to citizens at the individual level and the firearms industry as a whole.
Which leads to the [misguided] theory of requiring each firearm to be registered, or for individuals to be licensed to sell, purchase or own a firearm. Relating this to vehicles, the argument reverts back to the riding lawnmower analogy. Each of the items has a serial number, something that is most notably used when selling an item to a pawn shop or when reporting the loss or theft of an item to the police. There is no national database for reporting ownership of these items, nor is there a requirement for licensing to be able to sell these items to another individual. No requirement to obtain insurance for operating it on your own property, or when helping a neighbor to handle their high grass. No requirement for business owners to obtain licensing or insurance to operate a lawn maintenance company. Recommended, but not required.
Lawnmower Straw Purchase
Businesses routinely purchase vehicles for use by the owner or family member. No questions are asked if this vehicle will be operated by someone whose license has been revoked. No revocation of a business’ license based on negligent or intoxicated driving by the owner or a family member. While the insurance company may determine the owner’s actions are deserving of policy cancellation, there is no legislation or public protest decrying this. Nor are there limits placed or questions asked in regards to selling a vehicle to an individual with a history of driving under the influence.
Equating the need for licensing firearms or firearms owners to the legislative requirements of use and licensing of vehicles is used too often. Yet this justification is without merit, the reasoning for licensing a lopsided argument.
(Editors note: Driving is a Privilege, Owning a gun is a Right.)
About Mary “Dynk” McDonald
Mary “Dynk” McDonald is the author of “Concealed” and the “Heartstrings Legacy” series of books. At this time, Concealed is the only novel about women’s con-cealed carry. A Girls, God, and Guns story, it is the embodiment of the strength of the Second Amendment. Concealed is available in paperback as well as in ebook formats for Kindle and Kobo readers. Heartstrings Legacy — Choices Made is available on Kindle. The next book in the series is in edit.