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In the NY Times today, Nicholas Kristof has written an excellent and informative columnon the analogy between sensible gun control and car regulation, with much of the factual and historical content from a new book by Michael Waldman, The Second Amendment: A Biography Some excerpts:

A court struck down an early attempt to require driver’s licenses, and initial attempts to set speed limits or register vehicles were met with resistance and ridicule. When authorities in New York City sought in 1899 to ban horseless carriages in the parks, the idea was lambasted in The New York Times as “devoid of merit” and “impossible to maintain.”
Yet as we’ve learned to treat cars intelligently, we’ve gone in the opposite direction with guns. In his terrific new book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” Michael Waldman, the president of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, notes that “gun control laws were ubiquitous” in the 19th century. Visitors to Wichita, Kan., for example, were required to check their revolvers at police headquarters. And Dodge City, symbol of the Wild West? A photo shows a sign on the main street in 1879 warning: “The Carrying of Fire Arms Strictly Prohibited.”
“We didn’t ban cars, or send black helicopters to confiscate them,” notes Waldman. “We made cars safer: air bags, seatbelts, increasing the drinking age, lowering the speed limit. There are similar technological and behavioral fixes that can ease the toll of gun violence, from expanded background checks to trigger locks to smart guns that recognize a thumbprint, just like my iPhone does.”
It is short, sensible and worth the read.  The Waldman book appears to be a must-read also.

There's nothing below the orange-frosted pastry.

Originally posted to triplepoint on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 06:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

    by triplepoint on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 06:46:46 AM PDT

  •  The same douches that worship and love guns (7+ / 0-)

    are the same douches that drive loud monster trucks that are always speeding and intimidating other drivers. In other words, the evolutionary dead ends. And the douches have a huge lobby based on a faulty interpretation of an 18th century construct that happens to be in the Constitution.

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:00:52 AM PDT

  •  Yep As I've Often Commented, the Republican Earp (7+ / 0-)

    brothers when lawmen were among many western town authorities that banned bearing of arms within city limits. That's in part what the OK Corral shootout was over: the Democratic Clantons had not checked their weapons and the Earps & Doc Holiday came to disarm them.

    Incidentally the absence of semi automatic weapons meant that the 1881 shootout in Tombstone AZ had fewer than half the casualties from several shooters than the 2011 Tuscon AZ Gabby Giffords event shooting by one shooter.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:06:03 AM PDT

    •  Police and Interpol support armed citizens (0+ / 0-)

      Things change but stay the same.  I agree that some places like "OK Corral" bad things happened because of silly gun laws, just as they are happening today.  Arresting a legally authorized gun carrying mother for accidentally tripping an extreme NJ gun law is stupid and should never have happen.

      If you want to reduce criminal violence and deaths as the result of criminal violence, there is only one proven and know way to do that.  Increase the number of "good guys" with guns and have them be semi-automatic guns (there is a reason that police no longer carry revolvers or black power guns).  
      So, it boils down to one decision, do you care about the safety of the good citizens or of the criminals.  If you think protecting criminals is more important than protecting good citizens, then continue to support gun control.

  •  Yes, but mobility -- people going from place to (5+ / 0-)

    place -- is a natural right derived from our inherent mobility. There is no right to kill, much less kill at a distance. So, the comparison is not appropriate. Guns and cars are not comparable, except in the sense that both tools are liable to being abused by humans who get some sort of psychic pleasure out of violating the laws of nature.

    Killing at a distance is unnatural.

    •  The comparison has been made because the gun nuts (3+ / 0-)

      will say things like people use cars to kill people , are you going to outlaw cars? By doing this they ignore the fact that the cars only purpose is transport , the guns main purpose is to kill. Killing someone with a car is misusing it or accidental.

    •  Killing is Natural (0+ / 0-)

      "Killing at a distance is unnatural." - wrong.  killing is necessary in many cases.  For example, if I am attacked and there is no other alternative, I will kill the criminal that presents an immediate serious threat.  Anyone, that would disagree is stupid.

      This article and the post above, does not make the distinction between "justifiable homicide" and "murder".  They are opposites.  Murder is not good and should be punished severely.  Justifiable homicide is a good thing that such actions should be rewarded (in most cases).

  •  I read that column early today. I follow Christof (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes

    and saw it on his twitter feed.

    I too was struck that the one time there was a possibility to pass a strong universal background check it was botched by anti gun folks adding on "assault weapon" stuff.

    Every time I read a comment with dick size, dehumanizing, hate, anti rural, bs, I think to myself, "great job at making sensible gun regulation that much harder to achieve".

    When I read "fetishists, amosexuals, gun nuts, etc" I say to myself there goes a person who really doesn't want any sort of reasonable legislation.

    I'm off to work, god knows what I'll come back to on this thread, I'd bet a week's pay there will be many comments making the shizm ever greater.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:21:51 AM PDT

    •  Dehumanizing is not good (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that bring name calling, race, sexual organ size, and the other forms of hate into a gun conversation is not good for any resolution to the conversation.
      As a gun owner and someone that carries, I support removing many of the existing laws rather than making new ones.
      Now, if you make the discussion on what can be done to reduce criminal violence and accidental deaths, I would be more than happy to explore any rational plans/ideas.  I think there are several easy things that could be done to make big gains.

  •  Yes, have "smart" guns (5+ / 0-)

    That can only be fired by the owner and others the owner designates, for instance.

    We can't buy them, because of the death threats from the gun nuts (You know who you are, I'm only talking about the nuts, not the decent gun owners that would never threaten others and that would welcome the "smart" guns so children and criminals can't fire them).

    Women create the entire labor force.
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:08:57 AM PDT

    •  Make them reliable and affordable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kasoru, textopcat

      and I'll be first in line.

      Until that time, I oppose all efforts to mandate such tech.

    •  Smart Guns??? (0+ / 0-)

      Having guns that only fire by the owner sounds really fine and good.  However, your reason as to why they are not sole is wrong.
      Colt and S&W made such guns  back in the 1060's,  They were sold to police and used for some time.  The bottom line was that even though the approach never failed (iP1 gun maker admits they fail 10% and testing shows more like 20%) the bottom line result was more police officers were killed/injured as a result of such guns.,  So, they were replaced with ordinary guns of the time.  We know that the idea does not save lives and in fact will cost lives, so why does anyone want such abortions?
      The thing that gun control people like about iP1 and similar designs is government (or any hacker) can turn off all the guns in any given area (all of the US?) with the flip of a switch.

  •  We'll get to sensible gun control in America (4+ / 0-)

    We've just about exhausted every other avenue available and it's left us with an enormous toll.  Liberal America is already on the right side of this issue as we were with marriage equality and environmental issues.  The rest of America (albeit not without much whining from some corners) will follow.

    “The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow.” – Buckminster Fuller

    by TheFern on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:10:49 AM PDT

  •  Kristof makes a very good point. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    triplepoint, a2nite

    Thank you for highlighting his column, triplepoint.  I likely would have missed it except for your post.

  •  Has anyone considered... (0+ / 0-)

    an alcohol vs. gun control comparison? I mean, we tried prohibition on alcohol and kinda gave up. We didn't give up completely as we turned it to local control (including prohibition remaining in effect in places.)

    Alcohol is responsible for somewhere around 80,000 deaths per year in the USA, even while it can be beneficial to health too. I doubt many "gun grabbers" are inclined to support reinstating prohibition to save lives.

    To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

    by notrouble on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 06:31:52 PM PDT

    •  Guns are under local control & we are far from (0+ / 0-)

      banning. In fact, there are more guns in public than ever due to the extreme influence of the evil NRA & evil gun manufacturers on state governments (hate that states rights is winning).

      More guns are sold with every mass shooting.

      Ban guns; I'm all for it. They're a menace to us public.

      Evil in America is winning.

      Thanks for the NRAsplaining.

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 05:35:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With over 2 times the deaths annually ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it would be easy to argue that alcohol is the bigger menace.

        Over 1/3 of all roadway deaths lead back to alcohol. Over 1/3 of all domestic violence homicides are committed by a person who is drunk. Can you really justify the continued sale of such a menace to society? Perhaps alcohol is justifiable to you because you are comfortable with it.

        To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

        by notrouble on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:49:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who is responsible for your safety? (0+ / 0-)

        I get it you think that guns are evil you want everyone else to not have them.
        Lets look at where we stand in the US
        1) Police/Government has no duty or responsibility to provide protection to any individual (SCOTUS Castle Rock and numerous other court decisions)
        2) Police can not be close enough to arrive in the few seconds that it takes for a violent crime to be committed (Old saying: Police are minutes away when seconds count)
        3)Citizens have the responsibility to protect themselves and their families, no one else can
        4)Not very many of us are physically strong enough to fend off multiple armed attackers (seen much more often than I would like) with out tools.
        5) Each individual is the only one that can get the training and tools that THEY need of protection.  What is best for me may not be best for you.
        6) For a very large number of people a gun is part of the tools necessary for their protection.  And fortunately, the Bill of Rights protects us from laws that want to limit the right to own and bear arms.
        7) We liberals (and everyone else) have much work to do to eliminate these laws that infringe on our civil rights. We need to join hands with NRA for our common good.

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