About the Author

Woody is a 10 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cars vs. Guns...

A common argument brought up by gun control (anti-Second Amendment) advocates is the false equivalency between the requirements to own a car and the requirements to own a gun.  I say this is a false equivalency because the Constitution specifically grants me the right to own a gun.  I've read it several times, and I have yet to find where it specifically grants me the right to own a car.  Just for fun though, I'll play along with this argument and present two sides:

If guns were treated like cars:

Well, as the gun control crowd points out, I'd have to take a test, get a license, and have insurance.  But as they seem to fail to notice, that's pretty much the end of the benefits they get out of that argument.  I'd get quite a few benefits though.  For one thing, I could now take my gun anywhere.  No more state by state restrictions on carrying my gun.  Nope, my Virginia permit is now valid in Massachusetts, California, and New York.  For insurance, no problem, I'll get a bare bones policy that just barely meets coverage requirements.  I could take my gun to school, church, federal buildings, pretty much anywhere.  I could legally buy a gun from a dealer at age 16.  I could buy a gun in any state, not just my home state, without having to mess with a dealer.  I wouldn't technically have to ever get a license either, so long as I didn't take the gun off of my private property.

Now, if cars were treated like guns:

Car laws would vary state by state.  Just because I have my Virginia driver's license doesn't mean I can actually take that car into another state, say California, Massachusetts, or New York.  If someone didn't want me to have my car around them, they could ban my car with nothing more than a sign.  Depending on the state, if my car was stolen and used in a crime, I could be charged with failing to properly secure my car, even if I had it locked in my garage.  I could also be charged with failing to report it stolen.  I could only buy a car from a resident of my own state or a licensed dealer, whose business is licensed by the Department of Transportation and whatever local entities may have jurisdiction.  To buy the car from a dealer, I would have to pass at least one, possibly two or more, criminal records checks.  In states with "universal background checks," I would be forced to by my car from a dealer, because only dealers have access to the background check database.  I could only buy certain types of cars at age 18, but would have to wait until age 21 to buy other types of cars.  If I wanted to buy more than one car at a time, I may have to jump through additional licensing requirements, and if I did so in certain Southwest states, my purchases would be required to be reported to the Department of Transportation for their records and possible investigation.  I would also be limited to the type of fuel I could buy.  I would only be able to buy the type of fuel that goes with my legally licensed car.  If I buy "unusual amounts" of fuel in a short time period, the gas station may be required to report me to the police.  Depending on the state, even though I legally own the car, I may not be able to take it off my personal property without acquiring additional permits or licenses.  I could be restricted from stopping at any way station during my planned driving route.  If I met any of the following criteria, I would not be allowed to purchase or even possess a car (and by possess, I mean I wouldn't even be able to sit in the driver's seat):

·                     Under indictment or information in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
·                     convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
·                     who is a fugitive from justice;
·                     who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
·                     who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
·                     who is an illegal alien;
·                     who has been discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions;
·                     who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
·                     who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
·                     who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (enacted by the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, effective September 30, 1996). 18 USC 922(g) and (n).
If I previously owned a car and then fell into one of these categories, the state could come and seize my car.  If my car were seized, I would have to navigate a confusing bureaucracy to attempt to get it back, even if all charges were dropped.  The state would have no obligation to return my car of their own accord.  When I applied for a license, I may be required to prove the reason I need to own a car, depending on whether my state is "shall-issue" or "may-issue."  I would have to justify why my needs for transportation couldn't be met by the many public options available.  I may have to wait up to 10 days from the time I buy the car until I can actually pick the car up, just in case I may have planned to use the car to commit a crime in the heat of the moment.  There would be limits on how fast my car could go - not just posted signs, but an actual governor that physically prevents my car from going over the speed.  Certain car features deemed dangerous would be banned.  I may be restricted to purchasing a car from an approved government list deemed to meet arbitrary criteria.  And the kicker, every time someone committed an egregious crime with a car (say, a drunken driving incident that kills a family of four), I would be crucified in the media as some sort of crazed psychopath for even wanting to own a car, my masculinity would be called into question (I must be compensating for something by owning a car), and more restrictions would be proposed to limit my ability to possess and operate my car.
So, please, explain to me again why you seem to think that my specifically enumerated Constitutional right hasn't been restricted?

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