As I drove home last night, a New York State Trooper cruiser passed me. While most police departments these days are employing the venerable Crown Victoria or the (reportedly undersized) Chevy Impala, this was one of the troopers’ fleet of pursuit Camaros. I’m not sure exactly what path my brain took, but seeing this sleek, fast patrol car made me realize yet another contradiction of liberalism.
As faster and faster cars hit the market, and thus the streets, we outfit our cops with faster patrol cars. Why? Because while 99.9% of sportscar drivers are law-abiding citizens who don’t commit crimes with their cars, there’s still that miniscule number of criminals who either break the law in their own sportscar, or do so after stealing someone else’s. The same goes for SUVs. You or I can go to our local car dealer and pick up a kick-ass off-road vehicle any time we want. So, naturally, our cops get Jeeps and ATVs too.
This makes sense, because it’s grounded in logic. What if someone suggested that we ban all sportscars? Or perhaps require extensive background checks and fingerprinting before allowing their purchase? They can be used recklessly, and every year countless people are killed (including cops) because people don’t drive their sportscars responsibly. Same goes for SUVs – just watch any episode of “World’s Scariest Police Chases”!
But outlaw a Lexus, or a Corvette, or an Acura just because it can be misused? Or require governors to prevent excessive speed? NO! Even the most liberal college professor or administrator who drives such a car (assuming she doesn’t rely exclusively on Birkenstocks and a bicycle for transit) would scream bloody murder if you tried to restrict their “right to speed”.
Why? Because it would strip away the rights of millions of law-abiding drivers due to the actions of a few who break the rules and kill people. Oddly enough, you never hear liberals calling for sportscar or SUV restrictions, begging the motoring public to accept them, “if it saves the life of just one pedestrian!”
In case you hadn’t already figured it out, the contradiction I’m referring to is that of one of liberalism’s pillars: gun control.
Criminals kill people with fast cars just like they kill people with guns. In 2004, 57 law enforcement officers were shot to death, and 51 died in automobile accidents (source). How many of these officers might still be alive today if fast cars were banned, and high-speed chases were impossible? Hopefully, by this point, you’re starting to see the absence of logic here.
I’m sure I could ask any liberal how they feel about equipping the New York State Troopers with pursuit Camaros, and they’d tell me they’re all for it. Of course the police should have response vehicles that can keep up with the fast cars in which many criminals will be fleeing! The same seems to apply – a least for most liberals – when it comes to guns. Of course the police should have the best handguns, tactical rifles and shotuns our tax dollars can buy!
What, then, if we look at criminals? Liberals and those with working brains alike will tell you that guns don’t belong in the hands of criminals. If you’re a convicted felon, you don’t get to buy guns. Cool with me if it’s cool with you.
So we’ve got cops and criminals (not always mutually-exclusive groups, mind you) covered. That leaves us with regular law-abiding citizens like you and me. We haven’t hurt anyone, killed anyone, acted irresponsibly or demonstrated that we’re incapable of handling a car, or a gun for that matter. We play by the rules. We keep our driver’s license current, we keep our car inspected, and we pull over when red-and-white lights flash in our rearviews.
Why, then, are liberals so opposed to firearms in responsible citizens’ hands? They seem fine with sportscars (“instruments of death, claiming thousands of victims every year”) or SUVs (“tools of war, which should be restricted to military use”) in the hands of Joe-law-abiding-citizen, despite the ever-increasing annual death toll at the hands of a miniscule minority of drivers.
Automobile crashes claim fifty three times more lives each year in the US than accidental firearm discharges (source). According to the CDC, violent firearm crimes claimed about 29,000 lives in 2002. Automobile deaths amounted to over 45,000 in the same year (source). It’s reasonable to assert that placing firearms restrictions on law-abiding citizens would have done little to prevent most of the violent firearm deaths – common sense dictates that criminals by nature do not follow gun-control laws. Meanwhile, vehicular restrictions would likely have prevented a sizable chunk of those 45,000+ automobile deaths.
All of this simply goes to illustrate that the contradiction that is gun control doesn’t work. If “car control” would do any good to eliminate the need for pursuit Camaros, I’m sure liberals would be 100% behind it. Meanwhile, our cops still need AR-15 rifles and tactical shotguns in their cars, despite the myriad hoops that law-abiding guys like me still need to jump through.