Once again, we’re hearing from a lot of people who think gun licensing is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to preventing mass shootings.
They often use the argument that we do so with cars all the time. After all, we register them and require people to get licenses to use one, so why don’t we license guns?
Well, first, there’s the simple fact that cars aren’t protected under the Constitution. Then there’s the fact that we only require licenses to drive on public roads. If you’ve got enough land, you can hand your keys to literally anyone–keys to a car without any registration–and have broken pretty much no laws.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s say none of that was true. Would these folks have a point? Would licensing be something worth at least considering?
After all, licensing doesn’t seem to have done nearly as much for cars as some people like to believe.
You see, when it comes to cars, about three percent of all drivers are unlicensed. Meanwhile, roughly 36,000 people died in auto crashes in 2019–I chose that year since it’s the last year we didn’t have lockdowns potentially skewing the results. That’s nearly four times more than homicides using a firearm in that year.
Historically, that’s how it works. Cars kill more people than guns.
Now, let’s acknowledge that unlicensed drivers accounted for 18 percent of all traffic accidents. We don’t know how many of those accidents led to fatalities, but I need to mention it just so no one thinks I’m willfully trying to mislead anyone.
Still, if those who favor gun licensing were right about how it works, then how can even three percent of drivers be unlicensed?
Anyway, back to the numbers.
Now, let’s also recognize that we’ve had licensing and car registration for decades. There are just over 276 million cars on the roads of America, the vast majority of which are, in fact, registered.
There are an estimated 400 million guns in the United States, few of which are currently registered in any way, shape, or form.
So, I beg anyone to explain to me how we’re going to suddenly register 400 million guns–including guns in the hands of people who can’t get a license for various reasons–nor can they tell me how licensing will somehow make everyone safer when it doesn’t seem to do a whole lot to keep cars from killing tens of thousands every year.
And that’s with driver’s licenses requiring at least some degree of training.
Look, I get that people are tripping over themselves looking for answers. I don’t have a problem with that, either. However, don’t try to compare cars and guns unless you’ve really, really done your homework, which most haven’t. If they did, then they’d probably have dropped the comparison really quickly.
Then again, if they did their research, they wouldn’t be nearly as convinced that gun control and gun licensing would be this panacea of solutions to this nation’s problems. Instead, they’d probably realize it would likely lead to more issues.