Guns, Cars, and Trolls

We posted something a week or so ago about how national gun deaths rates and car death rates are now about equal. One of our trolls showed up to ask “why aren’t you calling for car bans?” Well, we figured it might be handy to have a quick response ready for next time that happens.

First there is this: who is really calling for all out gun bans? What groups and elected officials? We can’t think of anyone at all. We surely haven’t called for bans. So the whole premise of our troll’s question, that someone is calling for gun bans, is foolish and wrong. It is exactly what the gun lobby would love our troll to believe, but it isn’t factual.

But here is a real response. We’ve enacted broad, national safety requirements for cars. We’ve expanded driver training and testing. And we’ve researched the impacts of road safety laws, like speed limits, signage, and traffic control, and adjusted those laws to make them as effective as we can. All of those have caused car deaths to decrease astronomically, with thousands of lives saved. We have nothing like that for guns, which is what the vast majority of gun violence prevention advocates are calling for.

Of course, we could also wonder why the troll is calling for us, or for gun violence prevention advocates in general, to call for anything to do with cars. It simply isn’t the gun violence prevention movement’s thing. They don’t expect the NRA to have anything to do with cars; could you imagine the NRA pushing for nationalize emissions laws like the do with concealed carry laws, or for AAA to push for gun law changes? What about the American Cancer Society pushing for research funding for gun violence? We’d guess not. It would be pretty ridiculous, and absolutely not the goal of any of those groups.

So that’s that. It isn’t rational to expect gun violence prevention advocates to push for vehicle laws. And, even if it was, we’ve already used laws and research to decrease vehicle deaths. Done with that. Now we wait for them to come up with something else to compare to guns that don’t really fit, and definitely don’t actually make sense. Lead paint, maybe?

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