Do you believe that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants unlimited rights to ordinary citizens to own and carry around loaded guns with no consequences? Do you support those highly questionable legal rulings that insist on the right of a citizen to place himself or herself in a dicey position that may well be resolved by gun-fire and a pool of blood? Do you place the right of a citizens to engaging in target practice over the rights of young children to live without fear of being blown away by a revolver left out on the kitchen table one night?
… Ultimately, guns are dangerous tools created for one purpose and one purpose alone: killing. And all too often, a mistake with a firearm causes serious injury or death.
The number of unintentional gun deaths every year hovers around several hundred. According to Gun Policy.Org, there were 554 accidental gun deaths in 2009, 606 in 2010, and 851 in 2011.
Tragically, children are often the victims. Mother Jones estimates that of the 194 kids killed in the year after the Newtown massacre, almost half – 84 – were killed by accident. …
As long as guns are accessible and available, unintentional gun deaths will happen. This is just reality. Guns are dangerous weapons.
That’s why it’s time we started treating them like cars.
Like guns, cars can kill. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans are killed in car accidents. Cars are two-ton hunks of speeding metal, and if not used carefully, they often kill people.
But owning a car is actually more difficult than owning a gun. Before you can legally drive on your own, you have to pass a test and get a driver’s license. And if you own a car and want to drive it around, you have to register it with your local department of motor vehicles. You also have to insure yourself and your car.
We require car owners to do these things because we think it’s important to put some accountability into the use of potentially deadly machines.
However, thanks to tireless efforts by the gun industry and its front group, the NRA, no such system exists for gun owners. In fact, just the mention of “gun registration” gets the far-right worked up into a frenzied panic.
In reality, though, there shouldn’t be any difference between owning a gun and owning a car. Guns and cars are both powerful and potentially deadly. Yet we only require car owners to register their vehicles and insure themselves against accidents and death. …
Like cars, guns should be registered from the time they’re manufactured to the time they’re destroyed, so there’s a continuous chain of ownership.
Anyone who owns a gun should be required to have liability insurance, so if they injure or kill somebody, the victim or the victim’s family will receive monetary damages.
Every state in the country should require gun owners to pass a competence test – just like drivers do – and get a shooter’s license before they can carry or use a gun.
This is just common sense.
It goes without saying that we need robust gun control measures, like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. But we also need to stop treating guns like sacred cows and start treating them like what they are – dangerous weapons that require regulation and insurance.
And who knows, we might just save some lives in the process.