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The drunk driving/gun connection

Over at the New Yorker Adam Gopnik draws an interesting paralell between drunk driving and guns:

If one needs more hope, one can find it in the history of the parallel fight against drunk driving. When that began, using alcohol and then driving was regarded as a trivial or a forgivable offense. Thanks to the efforts of MADD and the other groups, drunk driving became socially verboten, and then highly regulated, with some states now having strong “ignition interlock” laws that keep drunks from even turning the key. Drunk driving has diminished, we’re told, by as much as ten per cent per year in some recent years. Along with the necessary, and liberty-limiting, changes in seat-belt enforcement and the like, car culture altered. The result? The number of roadway fatalities in 2011 was the lowest since 1949. If we can do with maniacs and guns what we have already done with drunks and cars, we’d be doing fine. These are hard fights, but they can be won.

January 21, 2013 // This post is about: , , , ,

Comments

  • Neil Hopkins says:

    Fascinating parallel.

    However, I’m not entirely sure that I agree – the behaviours are quite possibly completely different.

    Do most people buy guns to kill people? Probably not. Is gun ownership intrinsically bad? Probably not (and I speak as a Brit with radically different gun control laws).

    Do you get invited out after work for a ‘quick one’ and end up shooting someone? Probably not.

    However, alcohol behaviours work completely differently.

    But, on the other side of the coin, yes – deep cultural change is required to start curbing the gun violence that we’ve seen in past years.

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