The PJ Tatler

Should Guns Be Regulated Like Cars?


The recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon has reignited the perpetual debate over gun control. The above meme has been percolating, suggesting that guns be regulated in the same manner as motor vehicles. Surprisingly, the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education agrees. In summary, such restrictions would result in:

No need to register or get a license to have a gun at home, and a simple, routine test through which any law-abiding citizen can get a state license to carry a gun in public.

The suggestion emerges from the unspoken premise that motor vehicle regulations set a standard for regulating all manner of behavior. But that’s not an apples to apples comparison. Your life does not depend upon your ability to drive a motor vehicle. It may depend upon your ability to bear arms.

Self-defense is a fundamental human right, which is why the Founders chose to bolster it with the Second Amendment. That amendment doesn’t say the right to bear arms shall be slightly infringed. It says it “shall not be infringed,” in the clearest possible declarative language.