The anti-gun folks continue to froth at the mouth over the fact that so many Americans choose to exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They’re demanding stricter gun control, more thorough background checks, more restrictions on gun shows and dealers, bans on assault weapons (even though most of them couldn’t define “assault weapon” if their lives depended on it), and some are even advocating repealing the Second Amendment. Yet no one is demanding stricter controls on the sale and use of motor vehicles, which kill a lot more people than guns do.
Michael Z. Williamson has posted an interesting essay on what would happen if we treated cars the way we treat firearms. Excerpts:
To buy or operate a standard car, one will have to be 18 years old. Under that age, adult supervision will be mandatory. This means the adult must be in the vehicle with the underage driver.
For every purchase, you will have to fill out a questionnaire confirming you’re a US citizen, do not use drugs or abuse alcohol, have never had a conviction for alcohol-related incidents or reckless driving. Lying on this form will be punishable by 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
New cars will only be purchased from Federal Automobile Licensees who must provide fingerprints, proof of character, secure storage for all vehicles, and who must call the Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles to verify your information before purchase. They may approve or decline or delay the sale. If they decline, you may appeal the decision in writing to a review board. If they delay, it becomes an approval automatically after 10 days. However, the dealer may decline to complete such a sale in case of later problems.
The purchase of more than two cars in a given year will require signing an understanding that buying cars in order to resell them without a license is a crime. There is an 11% federal excise tax on all new vehicles, plus any state or local tax.
Federal Automobile Licensees must agree to submit to unannounced, unscheduled searches of their entire homes, businesses and any related properties and personal effects to be named later.
Then you will be eligible to take your drivers’ license test to determine your eligibility to operate on the street. Rules will vary by state, with some states requiring proof of need to own a vehicle for business purposes, and up to 40 hours of professional education. Also, not all states will accept all licenses. You will need to keep track of this information. Additionally, speed limits will not be posted. It is your responsibility to research the driving laws in each area you wish to travel through. Some communities may not allow out of state vehicles, sports cars, or even any vehicles at all. Violation of these laws will result in confiscation and destruction of your vehicle by crushing.
Converting a standard car to a sports car will require payment of a $2000 tax, even if no HP features are added. However, if an FAL/SOT does the conversion on a new frame before the vehicle leaves their premises, it will only be a $50 tax. You will need to carry this documentation in the glove box at all times, the mere failure of which alone can result in an arrest and possible conviction.
There is discussion of closing the Car Dealer Loophole, through which private individuals sell cars to friends without going through an FAL. It is important we have these background checks. Surveys show criminals prefer to buy unlicensed to get around their legal liabilities so they can commit crimes in stolen vehicles, which evidence has proven for many years to be true.
There is also discussion of prohibiting brightly colored vehicles. Vehicles are transportation, not toys, and should not be marketed in a way that suggests they are intended for casual use. It is important that everyone be aware of the dangerous nature of cars.
These laws and regulations are due to drunk drivers, reckless drivers and other criminals. The automobile community should be glad it is allowed to exist at all, given all the deaths and environmental damage caused by these vehicles.
The president said today that he strongly supports your right to own and drive basic, standard vehicles for farm use and carpooling. But he and many other people have made it clear that eventually – maybe this month – we need to cease all manufacturing of such high powered automobiles for the civilian market.
Eventually, we need to move away from the notion that owning and operating a vehicle is a right and entitlement, and limit it to people with a proven, bona fide professional need. There are plenty of trains and buses for normal people. This is how most civilized nations are moving and is not a violation of your right to travel.
Read the full article here.
For further enlightenment:
Five Facts about Guns, Schools, and Violence, by Ed Morrissey
Why Does Anyone Need an Assault Rifle? by Colion Noir