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Cars and knives aren't designed to kill, maim

Date published: 6/23/2014

Greg Harrod ["Stop picking on guns; knives and cars kill, too," June 17] thinks that Richard Amrhine should have treated cars and knives in a manner equivalent to guns as it pertains to violence in America.

Mr. Harrod cites three deaths by stabbing and four people injured by the deliberate use of an automobile as a weapon in a recent incident that resulted in death by gunshot, as well.

The primary purpose of a firearm is to kill or maim. Granted, guns are also used for "plinking," competitive shooting and so forth, but their main purpose is to kill or maim.

This is not true of motor vehicles, nor even of knives, the vast majority of which never draw blood in anger.

Certainly a baseball bat, a dinner fork, even a bed pillow could be used to cause death. But that is not their purpose.

Cars are already regulated. A police traffic stop will typically begin with the officer asking for license, registration and proof of insurance, all of which are required for the ownership and operation of a motor vehicle, so no need to address that already settled issue.

Should we do any less for a product whose main purpose is to kill or maim?

Regarding the idea that "Thanks to untiring efforts by the NRA, gun owners know who their political friends are"--that's certainly true. But wasn't it conservative Republican Chief Justice Warren Burger who said "one of the greatest pieces of fraud--I repeat the word 'fraud'--on the American people by special interest groups" is the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment?

Finally, the idea that Democrats have an "unrelenting desire to disarm [the American] people in order to enslave them to destructive ideologies" is pure fantasy.

It seems typical, however, of the concrete--and wrongheaded--thinking of the extreme right wing of the political spectrum in the United States today.

Dale Brown