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Gun Control: Fear of the Unknown

Are you afraid of automobiles?

Are you afraid of automobiles?

We fear most what we do not know.  Approximately 45% of the households in the USA have guns, and a good portion of people without guns may have never even shot a gun, never held a gun.  The images they see of guns are scary, violent.  I understand that, and if that was the only thing I knew about firearms, I would be scared too.

Why don’t we cower when we see a car? Why do we willingly get into them and drive on a road where there are millions of other cars, driven by all kinds of people? Undoubtedly, some drivers are insane, drugged, homicidal, and just plain drunk.  Did you know that cars are the leading cause of death for children aged 5-9?  The reason we are not afraid is: most of us have a car.  Most of us ride in an automobile every single day.  We spend hours in them.  They practically become part of who we are.

Imagine if the media, and half of the politicians, launched a plan to impose increased auto control on the entire country.  Obviously, cars are dangerous; they are killing our children, our babies.  The new laws they are proposing will affect everyone.  Everyone in the country will be affected, even if they have never had one speeding ticket or never even had a parking ticket.  They will pay the price the same as a person who has had a Felony DUI, or been charged with Vehicular Manslaughter.

Let’s write the new Bill that congress will vote on to make this country a MUCH safer place not only for us, but more importantly, for our children…

One of the first things we can do is replace all current speed limit signs to the new speed, 30MPH.  Beginning immediately, all cars sold must have a limiter installed by the manufacturer, only allowing a maximum speed of 30MPH.  No one needs to go that fast.  The reason we have a car is to get from point A to point B.  Everyone can just schedule twice as much travel time in their day, in the name of making the roads safer for our children.  This reduced speed will solve many issues for this country:

  • Motor vehicle accidents will go down, resulting in fewer children killed.
  • Fuel economy will increase, maximizing precious energy resources.
  • It is good for the environment.  Lower consumption of fuel, extended life of tires which will reduce landfill waste, and bicycles could become a more realistic form of transportation.
  • We would be able to use lower octane fuel, which means less refined gas would be required, which would mean lower fuel costs.
  • High-speed police pursuits will be a thing of the past; reducing the havoc they create on our road.

Next we will reduce the maximum weight to 3500 lbs. for all vehicles, this is for our children after all.  This will ban all large SUVs. No one needs an SUV, there are plenty of reasonable mini-vans that carry large numbers of passengers and are much lower in weight. When extremely large SUVs are in an accident, the opposing car (and it’s occupants) are damaged or injured badly.  This is due to their gross weight as compared to other cars on the road, simple physics dictates how that will end.

Now that the law requires a much-reduced speed, no one needs sports cars.  I know that some of you are car enthusiasts, and you want to have a Corvette, a Lamborghini, a Porsche, or a Camaro, but because you can’t be trusted to remain in the 30MPH speed limit, cars with the sole purpose of driving fast will no longer be sold.  I know most of you would only take them to a track to run them at their maximum speed.  Track days with your cars will still happen, just at the reduced speed.  These races will still be fun if tighter turns are added – everyone will be on the same playing field.  Some of you want sports cars as part of a collection and would rarely drive them, but 100% new cars sold will have the speed restriction nonetheless.

We do have the pesky problem with all the other cars already out there, the ones that are able to accelerate to 100MPH and above. Confiscation, at this point, would be unrealistic.  I propose “grandfathering” the old vehicles and leaving them out there until the end of their life, which for some could be 50 to 100 years (depending on care).  If one private party wants to sell a grandfathered car, that transaction would remain legal as long as they submit the required documents with the Federal government to track ownership.  Understand it will become difficult to drive these cars due to requirements for higher Octane fuel, 91 Octane will be heavily taxed, as will high performance tires and parts.

I am getting excited talking about this! Just look at how much safer our country is going to be:  Our environment will be safe, global warming will be reduced, fuel prices would be cheaper, road rage would become a thing of the past, motorcyclists will have less to fear, AND our children would finally be safe from evil cars and their unsafe drivers.  (You know – it is not the car’s fault that nearly 400 children aged 5-9 died in 2010.)

Wait a minute; before we celebrate this new Bill too much, let’s fast forward five years down the road it is now December 2017.  Both the House and Senate approved the new Bill in early 2013.  President Obama signed the Bill into Law that summer, with much fanfare at a ceremony in the Rose Garden, with the CEO of General Motors standing by his side.  Federal funding was given to car companies to help them comply, and tax breaks given to those who met the guidelines ahead of schedule.

Have you ever been the person in the fast lane, going the speed limit, maybe 65MPH, and then suddenly you come upon a car only doing 50MPH in the fast lane?  While others are going 65MPH, you have to try to change lanes, get past the car, and then you can resume the posted speed.  This disparity in traffic flow is a contributor to accidents and traffic jams.  This is the first unintended consequence of our new Speed Limiting Bill, vastly unequal speeds on the roadways.

What if someone snaps in one of the grandfathered cars?  Even if they only go 10MPH over, things are going to get messy.  I have never felt as vulnerable as I do when I rent a compact car on travel to Washington DC, and then get onto the DC Belt-way with the lunatics flying by and I have this tiny car with no power.  It makes me feel like I could not get out of my own way if I tried.

We all know people who have zero regard for the speed limit law, and some of those people will get their hands on an old Dodge Cummings Diesel with a reinforced bumper.  Can you imagine this person randomly driving 70MPH down the road when everyone else can only go 30MPH?  Until those small slow cars could get out of the way, they would be at his mercy.  Think of the accidents caused by this disparity in gross tonnage and speed alone, add to that reckless behavior, and you have a recipe for disaster after disaster.

Are cars evil?  No, they are not – it is the behavior and decisions made driving that make them dangerous.  Yes, sometimes there is a mechanical problem that will contribute to an accident.  Most insurance companies will tell you that using defensive driving techniques and remaining vigilant on the road can prevent nearly any accident.

For those of you lobbying for increased gun control, when you are trying to figure out why we are so against adding one more law (to the thousands of laws that already exist), consider the parallel in this article I just discussed.  We already own a lot of these guns (as you already have your cars), we use them for sport, hunting, protection, and yes – even family fun.  Last I checked, most people use cars for every one of these things, most even need a car to get out to the area where they plan on hunting.  Guns are truly a part of our life, our culture, the thread of our society – just as cars are for the country at large.

Killing is an unintended result of an automobile ride gone awry, while it is the primary mission of a gun in a criminal’s hand — I get that.  A car is one method of transportation, but is not 100% necessary – there are others forms of transportation available.  Just as a firearm is one measure of protection, one of many protection options available. Not everyone lives in a local where owning a car is necessary for transportation just as not everyone lives in a neighborhood where constant self-protection is necessary.  However, if you live in the suburbs or a rural area, there is no way you would survive without your car.  Should a person who lives in New York City dictate that all people should only use public transportation?  If you were a single mother raising a family in Compton, you might consider a gun a necessity for protection of your family.  Should someone who lives in a perfectly manicured neighborhood near the Hamptons be able to dictate how that mother chooses to protect herself?  A rural farmer and a mother in a dangerous neighborhood will consider a car or a gun necessities, respectively.

Everyone has their own reality, and one shoe does not fit all.  Gun control legislation is all about regulating someone to fit into a box that that someone else drew.  It could be guns, cars, homes, knifes, food, clothes or anything that we can’t understand as being necessary or desired to someone other than ourselves.  I think owing a car that goes 150MPH and doesn’t get at least 30MPH is stupid and potentially dangerous, do I have the right to regulate that?

 

Statistics pulled from the Center for Disease Control. 
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