In addressing the resurging epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S., Republican Senator John Kennedy said that we need to focus on the bad actors here, not law-abiding citizens, likening the issue to the need to eradicate drunk driving, but not all law-abiding drivers. On Twitter, @mirandayaver commended him for the analogy, adding “Let’s have licensing, registration, and other insurance requirements for firearms like we do for cars.”
In addition to those excellent points, of course, people can have their license to drive denied, revoked or suspended if they fail to demonstrate they can do so safely. And there are special requirements a prospective driver must meet in order to drive an 18-wheeler, a much larger and potentially more lethal vehicle on the highways than a car — and even more requirements to drive trucks containing hazardous materials, which, as the name implies, render the operation of the vehicle even more hazardous.
Yet there are no special requirements for owning (and being allowed to operate) an AR-15, the larger, more deadly weapon of choice for mass murderers. (And yes, it isn’t used in all mass murders, but it is certainly used in far too many.)
The NRA and its puppets in the past have advanced the ridiculous claim that if gun reform advocates don’t know the technical classification of various weapons (is an AR-15 truly an “assault weapon”?) or the inner workings of particular guns, their voices should not be heard in the gun reform debate. See Lauren Boebert’s recent tweet that gun control advocates “think the ‘AR’ in AR-15 stands for ‘assault rifle.’”
This is as ludicrous as claiming that if citizens who don’t know the technical classification of various vehicles or the inner workings of their acceleration and braking systems, their voices don’t deserve to be heard on whether a traffic light should be installed at an intersection where there have been several gruesome vehicle accidents. It’s time to dispense with the technicalities and excuses, and instead move to swiftly enact measures to address the plague of mass shootings afflicting our country.