Thursday, December 20, 2012


Anyone in this country can buy and own an automobile.  They are free to purchase as many as they want without any restrictions, BUT -------If we want to drive an automobile on our streets we must first demonstrate that we are qualified to be afforded  the "privilege" to drive.  Driving on US highways is not a right but a privilege. Our freedom to drive is conditional. To obtain a drivers license we must verify who we are, where we live, our age, have our eyesight tested,(and sometimes even a physical exam)  and pass both a written and driving test to demonstrate we are physically and mentally capable to drive on the streets of America.

Once we pass these requirements we  are issued a license that comes with an agreement to adhere to a long list of rules pertaining to how, when, and where we can drive. Most states also require insurance to protect others and their property in the event we are found responsible for causing an accident. The sanctions for violating the rules range from a fine to incarceration and a few others in between. Violation of the rules can result in our  "privilege" to drive being revoked or suspended.

Even with all these controls and restrictions there are still traffic accidents and related deaths usually a result of DUI's or ROAD RAGE, or nowadays, TEXTING WHILE DRIVING (TWD). There are still people who drive without a license with no regard for the rules.

So, why impose controls on driving? The obvious answer is to protect the population. The same answer applies to shooting guns. There is nothing in the Constitution that protects our right to endanger public safety. The second amendment conveys our right to bear arms, but not the right to kill.

So why do Americans have such a hard time getting their heads around the notion that, in order to protect our citizens we need to control gun use in this country.

This would not impose any restrictions on our 2nd Amendment right to "own" guns. Just as with owning an automobile we would be free to buy all the guns we want. BUT......, as with obtaining the "privilege" to drive  an automobile we would require Americans to meet the requirements to obtain the "privilege" to use guns. As with obtaining a drivers license, this would require providing information about ourselves, and demonstrating our ability to use a gun. As with a drivers license, a shooting licenses would vary to conform with a level of proficiency in the use of different types of guns (e.g. requirements for a license to drive an 18 wheeler tractor trailer truck significantly differs from a license to drive the family car). For example, a license to use as handgun would not qualify someone to use a semi-automatic assault rifle.

So, why do we need a license to drive, but not a license to fire a gun?  Is driving a car more dangerous that shooting a gun?

In making your decision consider the following;

And the murder figures themselves are astounding for Brits used to around 550 murders per year. In 2011 - the latest year for which detailed statistics are available - there were 12,664 murders in the US. Of those,8,583 were caused by firearms.
The FBI crime statistics are based on reports to FBI bureau and local law enforcement. The figures are not complete - there are no stats for Florida or Alabama on firearm murders. But even so it provides a detailed picture of attacks by state.

Knives or cutting instruments
Personal weapons
Blunt objects

These numbers debunk the NRA's  and gun lovers assertion that guns are no worse than other weapons. The reality is there are no other mass killings attributed to all the other weapons on this chart combined. So, let's stop playing with people's lives in the name of personal freedoms and recognize that some freedoms need to be seen as "privileges" that can be awarded or revoked based on rational controls aimed at protecting the citizens of this country.  That's not a violation of anyone's rights. It's just plain common sense.