Treat Guns Like Cars You Say?

guns and carsCourtesy of Americans Against the Republican Party.  Over 19,000 likes and 35,000 shares!  Numerous similar memes are also circulating advocating that guns should be regulated like cars (another example is given below).  On the surface, this might appear to be a witty jab at the “cars kill more than guns” phrase used by some gun advocates, but when the argument is examined logically, it’s actually a pretty awful argument.  At least for those supporting gun control. So let’s go compare guns and cars.

guns and cars2Registration

There is no requirement to register a car with the Federal government. There is no requirement to register guns either, except for certain weapons like machine guns or silencers.  Generally, states require registering cars, although only as a requisite to operate on public roads.  Registration isn’t necessary if one were to only operate it on private property.  Many vehicles on farms aren’t registered, nor are race cars.  Some states and locales do require registration of weapons, regardless if used on private or public property, although most don’t.  Assuming we treated guns like cars, it wouldn’t be necessary to register guns for use on private property, like home protection, where most plan on using them.


As with registration, a driver’s license is only required when operating on public roads, not as a requisite to buy a vehicle.  One could make a reasonable argument that a license should be mandatory to operate a firearm in public, like with conceal and carry, but this would likely not be a deterrent to any criminals, especially ones intent on mass murder.

While it’s true that certain crimes, like DUIs, can lead to suspension of driver’s licenses, generally it’s only for a short while, and in almost all cases it can be re-obtained quite easily.  Felons can also be issued driver’s licenses, and there’s no background check to buy a car.  It’s unclear how the threat of suspending a potential gun license would deter a murderer, who would already be facing life in prison if caught.

Training and Tests

This is the most bizarre wish in these memes.  In order to obtain a driver’s license, it’s true that one needs to pass a test and demonstrate some level of proficiency in driving.  So why shouldn’t this be the case for firearms?  Well, let’s think of the purpose behind a driver’s license.  It’s ostensibly because we want all drivers to have some level of competency operating on public roads.  With firearms, assuming one is advocating licensing as a way of reducing gun violence, the purpose of licensing doesn’t make much sense, to say the least.  The problem in a mass shooting isn’t typically that the perpetrator forgot to set the safety, or doesn’t know how to use their weapon properly, and if that was the case, it would be a silver lining!  Would we rather ensure that every would-be shooter was an expert marksman and knew how to quickly reload magazines with lightning speed?  Of all things that might lessen gun deaths, having more competent shooters is probably not one of them!

Manufacturing/Inspection/Maintenance Regulations

The problem with gun violence isn’t that the guns are jamming, the safeties are malfunctioning, or the guns are blowing up in the shooters’ faces.  As with the licensing and training argument, it’s almost laughable that gun control proponents would want laws ensuring guns functioned even better.


Treating guns like cars would make it even easier for one to obtain them.  Walk into your neighborhood car dealer, proclaim that you refuse to wait, demand that you walk out of there with a car immediately, and watch the salesman’s eyes light up!  You’ll be walking out of that dealership with a new car no matter what your background is.  While there are licenses and registrations to deal with, there’s nothing governing private property vehicles, and one could easily ignore any licensing requirements anyway if their goal was to leave and run over a bunch of pedestrians.  Walk into your local gun shop and you’ll find it much more difficult.  Background checks, waiting periods, etc.  If anything, it should be the gun rights supporters pushing this meme!  Whatever one’s opinion on gun control, they should recognize that the argument these memes are pushing are nonsensical, and people should be embarrassed to bring it up in the national gun debate.


3 Comments on "Treat Guns Like Cars You Say?"

  1. Randolph Phillips | July 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm |

    I would not classify concealed carry as operating on public property. You can transport your car on public roads without registration or licensing, as long as you are not operating it. I can haul it around with a tow truck or even concealed in a container truck. If you want to make them equal, then I only need a licenses and registration if I actually draw my gun and use it. (I guess an argument could be made that pointing it at someone is “using it”.) If I do so without a license and registration, then AND ONLY THEN, I would be subject to a misdemeanor charge and possible punishment.

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