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Cars and guns


Gazette staff January 28th, 2013

Q: When is a car not a gun?
A: When it’s a car.

tom+coburnTom Coburn - Credit: Mark Hancock

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, told a Tulsa radio station that he is working with some Senate Democrats on legislation that would require background checks for people buying a gun — the idea being to keep weapons out of the hands of convicted criminals and the mentally ill.

That news, of course, has excited the easily excitable.

But one of Coburn’s statements really stuck in the craw of some gun owners: the comparison of guns to cars.

“I think there’s lots of good things that can happen in terms of mental health screening and checks,” Coburn told Tulsa’s KRMG radio. “If you transfer your car, you have to have a license to transfer; it has to go through that. That’s a responsibility of freedom. I have no problems with us making sure that we don’t allow guns to get in the hands of either felons, or people who are a danger to themselves or other people.”

Of course, car-and-gun analogies are familiar to many Second Amendment advocates. Surely, you’ve heard the comparisons. They can range from arguments about which is more dangerous, to suggestions that the liberty to purchase certain types of cars is akin to being able to buy certain types of guns.

So, keeping with the car analogy to justify background checks probably would hit home with the arms-bearing crowd, right?

Think again.

“What state requires you to get government permission before you buy any car?” mused a poster on the website AR15.com. Another posited that “licensing for cars has nothing to do with firearms.”

So while the debate on guns rages on, perhaps the country is making some headway in terms of what constitutes faulty logic.

 
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