A speed limit for guns

Like all Americans, I was horrified by the killing of so many innocents in the recent Newtown Connecticut shootings. I’m very Libertarian in my views about most things. However, this tragedy has pushed me past the limit. Something must be done about the unfettered access to weapons.

Predictably, there has been an almost immediate and fervent push-back by gun enthusiasts. Or worse, such as those that are convinced that somehow all the guns will be rounded up and taken away. I’m certainly not in favor of that nor do I believe are most reasonable people that support some fair restrictions. So what we’re left with is marketing. How would a successful campaign to limit gun violence be won?

One thought would be to approach this like another public safety issue: speed limits for cars. I think that we can all agree that speed limits for cars are a reasonable idea. If we were all able to drive as fast as we wanted, not only would be we killing ourselves in greater numbers but many other innocents would be taken out in the process. Nobody has had their car taken away because it could go too fast. Nor has the government legislated a horsepower cap. If you have the money, you can buy the fastest car possible. You’re just required to operate it safely on the public roads.

So why can’t we frame this discussion in this way? The point is that limiting firepower is a public safety issue, not one of personal liberty. If you must own an assault rifle, be prepared to be licensed to operate it and have the size of your magazines limited to a reasonable “speed.” If we can think of this issue in this way, it might be easier to come to a compromise.


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