At first, James Johnston’s letter (Feb. 9) troubled me. Because cars kill more Americans than guns do, he reasoned, cars should be banned before guns are. Come on.
Cars are intended to be safe, whereas guns maim and kill by design. Still, his syllogism may offer a solution to the gun control debate. Although we’ll never ban cars nor, alas, guns either, we can and do regulate both to be as safe as possible.
That letter was followed by this one:
In 2009, the last year I could find data on this, the numbers in Oregon and Washington were: Oregon deaths from guns: 417, motor vehicles: 394; Washington guns: 623, cars: 580, according to an analysis by the Violence Policy Center.
The cars vs. guns wrangling continues as you can see below, via today’s L.A. Times Calendar section. The Times doesn’t post the Calendar letters online so I cannot provide a link:
The car-gun argument
My heart bleeds as much as Dan Baum’s does, maybe more ["One of the Gun Guys," Feb. 17]. Like Baum, I earnestly seek to engage in rational, calm discussion about gun control. Put aside for a moment that, though well-regulated car ownership and use are not constitutionally protected. What I wish to understand is how, in the first instance, there is any basis on which to compare the societal worth of cars and guns in the context of gun control.
Cars are absolutely necessary to modern commerce and society. As any number of gunless societies have proved, guns are not necessary, much less absolutely necessary, outside of war or law enforcement by law enforcement personnel.
West Hills, CA