JOY SYLVESTER-JOHNSON: If Only We Treated Guns Like Cars

Joy Sylvester Johnson

Cars don’t kill people. People kill people.

This is true. And because it is true there are a number of safeguards in place to determine who can operate a vehicle. There is a whole book of rules to be learned. There is a vision test, a written test and an actual driving test. The driver of a car must prove the car is insured. The driver must be of a certain age. The driver is given a license and assigned an identification number and has a current picture taken for identification purposes.

 A car is just a tool and when properly used it is no danger to anyone.

Most of us know cars can be very dangerous. They are dangerous  when driven too fast. They are dangerous when the driver is under the influence, or the driver is distracted and not paying attention. Sometimes cars cross paths with a dog or a deer. Cars, even when well maintained, are known to have mechanical failures. Driving in bad weather, or forgetting about  blind spots, or making a mistake while maneuvering to change lanes or back up or enter moving traffic can also make a car dangerous.

To own and use a car is my right.

Driving a car may or may not be a right, but it is certainly a great responsibility.

No one can take away my car rights.

Actually, they can. To drive a vehicle is a privilege that can be revoked based on the drivers ability (or lack thereof) to follow the rules and act responsibly.

Who I sell my car to and buy my car from is no one else’s business but mine.

The sale of cars has necessary government oversight. A car must be titled, registered, licensed and then inspected annually for as long as the driver owns it.

Here’s an idea:  Let’s treat guns like we treat cars.

Responsible gun owners are not afraid of reasonable restrictions on who can own a gun and what kinds of guns are available for purchase. Responsible gun owners want all people who have guns to be educated about how to maintain them, use them and store them. Responsible gun owners welcome policies that keep us all safe such as the maintenance of a national gun registry, restrictions on who can sell and buy guns, background checks and mandatory gun safety classes.

This November, we in Virginia, will have the opportunity to have our individual opinions about guns heard. We will not need to shout. We just need to show up and vote. Look for candidates who share your convictions about guns. Vote—it’s the American way.

Joy Sylvester-Johnson