Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Registering cars and guns

Gun control is at the top of the news lately, and obviously because of the Orlando murders. Myself, I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment. And while I admit (as a personal belief) that I don't see the reason to have rapid fire weapons either for self defense or hunting, I don't see how the nation can logically ban them without violating the Constitution. The debate ends there, so far as I'm concerned. If you want it different, you have to work for an amendment to that Amendment.

Many of the ideas about banning or regulating guns and gun ownership and/or purchase are bandied about just the same. One such argument goes that, well, we have to register our cars with the government. Why can't the government effect gun controls that way? My response to that is, maybe we need to reconsider whether we ought be made to register our cars.

To keep track of ownership, perhaps? But why should the government care about that? If I don't want to title my car I must believe that I should not have to. The government has no right whatsoever to know what kind of car I drive. For a similar reason this is also why I am increasingly opposed to an income tax of any type at any level. Enforcement means having to tell the government how much money I make, and that, quite frankly, is none of the government's business.

To get tax money? That's the only real reason I see for annual vehicle registration. And we do money for the roads. Yet we can get that without title fees or registrations: through sales taxes at the pump. The more you drive, the more you pay for the highways and bi-ways. That seems reasonable enough to me.

For the purposes of fighting crime? Making people have license plates might make solving certain crimes easier, so the argument would go. But isn't that a form of guilty until proven innocent? It presumes that if I own a car I will use it for violence. I've always thought that violated my rights.

Really, though, my overriding point is that simply because we allow the government to do some things in some areas of civil life doesn't mean the government can act similarly in any and all areas of civil life. It may be merely that we've come to accept so much of what government does without question, that we've hit the point where we try to justify new government acts in new areas solely on the fact that government acts likewise elsewhere.

Given a moment's thought, it is really a rather shallow argument.

No comments: