Fox host wonders aloud why we’d want to regulate guns if “we’re not regulating the car”

Despite what you may hear on the news, guns and cars are very different things. One is a machine designed to transport human beings from one place to another in a relatively short amount of time; the other is designed to kill living things in a relatively efficient manner.

But despite these rather basic differences, guns and cars seem unable to avoid being compared to one another in the context of whether one or both of them are dangerous, and whether one or both of them should be regulated. This probably has something to do with the fact that both guns and cars are made out of metal (usually), both are operated by human beings and both are involved in the deaths of many people on a regular basis.

Gun rights advocates like this comparison because it would be patently absurd to ban cars, so why should we ban guns? But Fox host Harris Faulkner took that to a new level today when she said that not only are cars not banned, they’re not regulated at all in the first place. From TalkingPointsMemo‘s account of their segment:

Man with gun via Shutterstock

Man with gun via Shutterstock

After some back-and-forth among the “Outnumbered” panelists, Falkner returned to Robertson’s point about cars, saying “more people have cars than have guns.”

“Are we going to take away everything that people use to kill each other?” Faulkner asked. “Because we’re really going to have to start with the basics, like vehicles.”

“Swimming pools!” co-host Andrea Tantaros interjected.

“This woman was drunk,” Roginsky said, presumably referring to the suspect in the Oklahoma crash. “We regulate people getting behind the wheel of a car when they’re drunk.”

“Yeah, but that’s a substance!” Falkner said. “We’re not regulating the car. We’re regulating the substance.”

At which point someone — thankfully — pointed out that cars are, in fact, regulated. They were immediately accused of not being satisfied “until guns are revoked.”

Even for Fox, this is some impressive argling and bargling. As I wrote earlier this month:

…once you move past that argument [that gun control is meaningless because bad guys will do bad things], you inevitably run up against the claim that guns aren’t actually so bad because cars kill more people every year. And when a drunk driver kills someone, we don’t blame the car; we blame the driver.

Which is true! Cars, like guns, are machines that can be super deadly when used improperly. That’s why we’ve found that the state has a compelling interest in making sure that, while almost every adult has the right to buy almost any kind of car they want, there’s an extensive licensing and registration process to make sure that you know what you’re doing.

What’s more, it wouldn’t be all that unreasonable to pass a few more regulations on guns that we already have in place for cars — regulations like mandatory insurance, yearly maintenance inspections and regular licensing renewal.

The irony in all of this is that, by implying that what’s good for cars is good for guns, Faulkner inadvertently made the case for regulating guns. I’ll give you zero guesses as to whether they’ll admit his mistake and concede the point.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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12 Responses to “Fox host wonders aloud why we’d want to regulate guns if “we’re not regulating the car””

  1. lynchie says:

    Well here is Pa. we have annual safety checks where the brakes, lights, turn signals, insurance, registration are all checked for compliance and of a current nature.
    so let’s have insurance on anyone owning a gun in case of wrongful death, accidental shootings, and require the gun owners to have them registered like a car. In addition they must pass a safety test to obtain a gun permit just like passing a driver’s test. If I sell my car I am required by law to send into the state the old license plates. Just having these safeguards would go a long way.

  2. jgcarter56 says:

    So if we’re not regulating the car, but the person driving the car, maybe we can not regulate the gun but regulate the person using the gun.

  3. mhandrh says:

    I did — I will fix it.

  4. UncleBucky says:

    Well… and now for the real best way…

    BEND, BREAK, MELT and RECYCLE.

  5. UncleBucky says:

    Rethugs, expecially Fux Up Noise hosts, are nuts.

  6. John Smith says:

    It is something that bears repeating often.

  7. emjayay says:

    I think you meant “cars” in the first sentence as well as the others.

  8. Don Chandler says:

    Car license plates are also photographed while in use…like over bridges or from police automobiles…. I think a good regulation on guns would be when they are used, like cars, a signal is sent out identifying the user with certain vital signs…heart beat/fingerprints/gun license number/right hand-left hand/ time and date/place purchased/gps/bullet used…. so many useful things to regulate without taking weapons away from users.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    The best way to prevent unnecessary gun deaths is to disarm the cops and arrest and prosecute cops who murder people.

  10. mhandrh says:

    oops – sorry, John, I see you wrote essentially the same thing.
    But it only emphasizes the absurdity and stupidity of Fox people.

  11. mhandrh says:

    Aren’t guns registered, licensed and have the ability to be tracked via the vin number?
    Aren’t cars required to be insured, required to meet federal mandates and standards?
    Don’t people have to pass a test and be licensed before driving a car?
    Can’t licenses to drive be rescinded if the user is reckless. irresponsible and breaks the laws of the road?

  12. John Smith says:

    Beyond title, taxes, registration, insurance and federally mandated safety and emissions features I guess we don’t regulate cars.

    FFS! Do Fux meat puppets spend the first 2 hours of their shifts re-learning how to talk and sit at the same time?

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