Guest Post by Kelly Insana
Yesterday, a horrible human rented a vehicle and senselessly murdered (as of this writing) eight innocent people and injured eleven more. These were people out enjoying a gorgeous fall day in New York who didn't and shouldn't have had to worry about the possibility of an evil man plowing into them and taking them from their loved ones. As in all of these situations, first our thoughts should be with the victims and those left behind.
Even though right now we're all trying to fathom how someone can do something like this and praying for those grieving, the political back-and-forth is coming, and I'm taking this opportunity to get ahead of the rhetoric. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, there will be comments and memes on social media, pundits on Fox News, and various talk radio hosts sarcastically and smugly asking why if a vehicle can be used as a weapon to murder multiple people, why don’t we ban all vehicles? You see, rented Home Depot trucks don't kill people, people kill people.
Unfortunately, it's not a good analogy.
Whether you have guns because they are fun to collect, to hunt for sport, food, or protection, for home defense, or any other legal reason, their reason for existing is to kill. That is their primary purpose; they are built to maim and kill. Vehicles, on the other hand, have a different primary purpose - to transport people. Even though both are dangerous, there is a difference.
Also, the vast majority of those in favor of changes to gun control are not advocating for confiscating all guns from current gun owners and banning the purchase of all guns. We just want some common sense limitations on the types of weapons civilians can have and some additional screening and accountability processes.
But wait! More guns make us safer since more good guys will also have guns and no matter what you do the bad guys will get guns anyway. If you believe that then read this: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/gun-control-australia-updated/
Back to the vehicle analogy; what must you do to legally drive and own a vehicle? I had to pass a written test, eye exam, and a road test. To own a vehicle, I have to register it and update that registration every year. Again, this is for something that can definitely be dangerous but has the primary purpose of providing transportation. Also, there are only certain types of vehicles that I am allowed to drive. I cannot drive a bus or semi truck because I have not received the proper training and passed the proper test to do so.
I get it; there is no perfect solution. And yes, no matter what regulations and restrictions you put in place, there will still be evil people who will do evil things with whatever they can obtain. However, doesn't it make at least some sense to put more limitations in place for an object that's meant to kill, and in the case of assault style rifles kill many at once, than a car that’s purpose is to get you from point A to point B?
Editor’s note: Kelly Insana is a freelance writer based in Nashville.
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