Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 Things That Are More Regulated Than Guns

Apparently many Americans - and not just fringe-y scary ones - have an affinity for or emotional attachment to guns.  But the level of actual regulation on guns is simply topsy turvy, considering the amount of danger they present to people (especially children).

So I wanted to pull together a bunch of ideas I've seen floating around to underscore just how under-regulated guns are in America.

Ten things that are more regulated than guns:

10. Sudafed

9. Taxes.

8. Cigarettes.

And apparently it works...

7. Fishing

Now let me see, is this one of the types you have to throw back?

6. Cheese.

The Europeans do not understand our love for pasteurizing everything.  But then, maybe their noses aren't as strong?

5. Beer.

Strict penalties for not following age limits, distribution limits, and thankfully DUI crack-downs...

4. Barbies/Teddy Bears.

That's a sketchy-looking Teddy Bear,

3. Cars/Driving.

My current favorite of these is the title and tag part.

2. Marriage.

How many degrees of consanguinity does your state allow?

1. Uteruses.  Well, I mean really, what's more dangerous?

Let's just take a step back and take a look at the big picture.

What if you had to study and take a test to get a gun permit, as with a driver's license?  What if guns had to pass the same level of safety standards as Barbies or cars or other consumer products?  Would that be so terrible?

And what if we took the assault-weapon guns that are really only used for target practice and killing people and limited their use to actual target practice?  Or we could always revisit Chris Rock's crazy-expensive ammunition idea.

I like what the Children's Defense Fund has to say:

1. A gun in the home increases the risk of homicide, suicide, and accidental death... A gun in the home makes the likelihood of homicide three times higher,1 suicide three to five times higher and accidental death four times higher. For every time a gun in the home injures or kills in self-defense, there are 11 completed and attempted gun suicides, seven criminal assaults and homicides with a gun, and four unintentional shooting deaths or injuries. 

2. Many children live in homes with loaded and unlocked guns... One third of all households with children younger than eighteen have a gun and more than 40 percent of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked. Twenty-two percent of children with gun-owning parents handled guns in their homes without their parents’ knowledge. More than half of youth who committed suicide with a gun obtained the gun from their home, usually a parent’s gun... 

Common sense gun safety laws help reduce gun violence while protecting the legal use of guns. The following gun safety laws have all been found to be effective in reducing gun violence and factors associated with gun violence. None of these regulations prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns. 

  • Tighter regulation and oversight of gun sellers. A study using crime gun trace data from 54 U.S. cities found that diversion of guns for use in crimes is much less common in states: 
    • That license retail gun sellers; 
    • That require careful record keeping that can be reviewed by law enforcement; 
    • That require potential gun buyers to apply for a license directly with a law enforcement agency; and 
    • Where law enforcement agencies conduct regular compliance inspections.

  • Requiring background checks for purchases through private sellers as well as dealers. California, which regulates private gun sales, has substantially fewer illegal straw sales (where a purchaser buys a gun for a person who isn’t eligible to buy it) than states that do not regulate such sales.  

  • Firearm prohibitions for high-risk groups. A study in California found that denial of handgun purchase to people who have committed violent misdemeanors was associated with a decrease in risk of arrest for new gun and/or violent crimes. 

  • Child access prevention laws. Studies of child access prevention laws, which require gun owners to store their guns so that children and teens cannot access them unsupervised, have found these laws reduce accidental shootings of children by as much as 23 percent and suicides of adolescents by eight percent.  

  • Well-designed assault weapons ban. An Australian law banning semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns and buying back banned weapons was associated with decreased suicide and homicide rates and with the absence of any mass shootings in the decade following the law (compared to 11 mass shootings in the prior decade).

These seem like simple, good government ideas.  We need to look at guns and gun control rationally, not under some trumped up level of hysteria imposed by the NRA and gun manufacturers.


  1. "Uteruses. Well, I mean really, what's more dangerous?"
    Oh Emily, you are too hilarious/spot-on!

    If we went by the volume of national conversation in the last year to rank these things, Uteruses would indeed be Public Enemy No. 1, followed by Taxes (with Honorable Mention).
    Really folks?

    So, let's create some bumper stickers; "Cuns don't kill people; uteruses do!" Who's with me?

    1. Ooops, I meant "Guns don't kill people...", but it's kind of funny in it's eroneous-ness... :) I wish I could edit that so badly!

    2. My brain just read it as "Guns" so I wouldn't worry about it too much :-) Thanks!

  2. This "blog" is THE most ridiculous and horribly put together anti-gun one I have seen in some time. My favorite part is the image of firearms and cheese where it labels the firearms as "automatic weapons" when most if not all of those are SEMI automatic copies, pistols which about 99% of all pistols are SEMI auto and not auto. Even better are the images of 6 shot REVOLVERS and what looks like a black powder pistol or an old shotgun. Neither of which are "automatic weapons." Great job making anti-gun hoplophobes look even more uneducated and scared than they already were before. So since ant-gun people CLEARLY know NOTHING about the items they are trying to ban from the rest of us...I'm going to go tell NASA all about space travel because even though I know NOTHING about it I'm sure they are doing it all wrong.

  3. Your article makes a valid point. All of those other things are OVER-regulated :)

  4. Your "automatic weapons" picture that includes revolvers and double barrel shotguns tells me all I need to know about your "expertise" on this subject. Fail.

    1. Ok look folks you can compare apples to oranges all day long, but there are only two (2) takeaways from this 'blog': A) Our FEDERAL government has got their big, dirty hands into way too many things; and B) Not a single one of the 10 things you've listed were part of our Constitution's Bill of Rights.

      If you don't like guns or think we'd be better off just banning them outright, just say so.. at least people might (at the very least) respect your blunt honesty. Just don't ever try to compare cheese or cars to the 2nd Amendment or any other rights our Constitution guarantees us all, with which you may not happen to agree. Nobody will EVER respect that kind of garbage.

  5. Some folks have apparently gotten to this page and been upset that in the stinky cheeses pic there are non-automatic weapons. I didn't know that, thanks for letting me know, though your tone leaves a great deal to be desired. Didn't make the picture, and I imagine if I had I would have been more careful about which guns were depicted. As it is, the general point stands, since I was talking about guns writ large, not specifically automatic weapons. The comments weren't posted because they were anonymous and we set anonymous comments to be reviewed. Mandi and I haven't had the time to blog lately, so I just found them. I'll post them now.

  6. As for your nonsense stats...
    A gun in the home increases the risk of homicide, suicide and accidental death: false. Those stats have been thoroughly debunked. A gun merely existing doesn't force anyone to do anything. There's anywhere from 500,000 to 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year. That outnumbers all those gun related accidents, murders and suicides by an order of magnitude.

    Your common nonsense laws:
    background checks for every purchase: does nothing.
    Firearms prohibitions for high-risk groups. That's been federal law since 1968. Then why did it take until 2011 for gun crimes to get lower than it was in 1967?
    Child access prevention laws. So you have to legislate common sense? Well, when your side has none...
    Assault weapons ban. It was tried from 1994-2004. it was allowed to sunset because it proved useless. You want to ban firearms because you don't understand them.
    FYI, there's been multiple mass shootings in Australia since their ban, their suicide rate is the same as it was, but now instead of shooting, the preferred method (more than 2:1 over the second highest) is hanging, and Australia is currently in the middle of a crime wave so severe and unusual, they don't actually have a definition for the crime being committed. In the USA it's called a home invasion. After their ban, the number of break-ins by criminals while the homeowner is there has gone up over 1000%, and is leading to more people being killed.

    Yes, we need to look at guns and gun control rationally. First and foremost:
    "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall NOT BE INFRINGED."

    In addition, US v. Miller asserted that an assault weapon ban is unconstitutional, and DC v. Heller upheld the long standing agreed upon notion that it's an individual right, not a government right.

  7. Guns and ammo are regulated age limits and if you want to carry in many states you have to pass a class and shoot a qualifying amount of ammo

  8. There's no requirement for insurance or licensing of cars or drivers when used only on private property. You can buy a car without a license as well. Plus driving is not a guaranteed right. Please review industry standards on drop tests of firearms and what constitutes an automatic weapon and review gun laws past in 1934. Most people aren't going to give a firearm to a child to cuddle with nor are they going to consume a firearm; we wouldn't want our beer brewed with, or our cigarettes to contain, a toxic substance (thus we have brewing and health standards-yes even with cigarettes). Cigarette purchases have age limits just as with alcohol. People have deemed those consumables dangerous and should be kept from children, so any stats on children smoking and drinking are really going against the set rule. There are many things that are (and should be) more regulated, like fishing and attempting to restrict decimating a species.
    One other thing not factored in your illustrations above are all the laws that contain a bit higher sentence when committed with a gun - the restrictions and regulations are where they are supposed to be - on the back end to ensure a deterrent for doing something unconscionable. A bit of research could really bolster your argument. As it stands, it's too thin.

  9. Sudafed:

    ID: Ammo requires a valid ID - Federal Law states the age is 18 years of age. Legal quantity limit: People that buy Sudafed in large quantities use it to manufacture meth. People that buy ammo in large quantities do so to save money when they buy in bulk.
    Database, Limit of Quantity, and Investigations: 99.98% of ammo purchasers never harm anyone. Can you tell me that 99.98% of the people that would purchase Sudafed would NOT make it into meth? Both ammo not hurting anyone, and Sudafed being used for meth manufacture should have the proper assets allocated in enforcement.


    While I haven't been able to obtain a page count, there are allegedly 20,000 gun laws in this country. Remember, that it's not just the federal, state, county, city, or individual properties that have laws. There are additional sets of laws for government employees - including military. There are even more laws when dealing with each state's DNR for hunting regulations. There are laws for being in the business of making, transporting, selling, repairing, and even donating firearms.

    You can get the IRS's Title 26 US Code of Federal Regulations and the US Congress' United States Code, page count (total) of 16,845. This is a far cry from your 'count' of 72,538.


    Please provide a count of tobacco laws. Cigarettes kill 443,000 people per year. Murder by firearms is 12,000 per year.

    Fishing: Are you counting commerical sector fishing regulations in addition to private? Not too many people have been killed by fish. Guns haven't killed to many fish.


    You're going to have to provide facts that cheese has more regulations than firearms. People were 13x more at risk of food borne illness from non-pasteurized milk than from pastuerized milk according to the CDC.


    Alcohol kills 100k people per year, 1/4 of them from car accidents. The rest from health effects. Murder by firearms: 12,000.

  10. Barbies / Teddy Bears:

    The title of your article is "10 Things That Are More Regulated Than Guns". Please provide a count of those toy regulations. Also, both toys and guns are regulated to be age appropriate items: you wouldn't put a gun in the crib any more than you'd put the same weight of the firearm in legos in the crib. Yes, inappropriate toys are dangerous to children. Firearms are also age appropriate items requiring adult supervision. Any bets that a child couldn't choke on one of Barbie's shoes?


    How many things in your house or in your pockets do you have a title or tag for? Private property use of vehicles doesn't require title and registration (race cars, farm truck, collector cars in the back yard rusting away) Just because a vehicle runs doesn't mean it HAS to be registered - or used on the road. You *can* own a car without driver's training, taking a test, or pass health requirements - handicapped people own and can't operate vehicles all the time! Driver's license requirements vary by state, so there may not be a requirement to attend driver's education (such as if you're over the age of 18 and choose to test-out). All 50 states now have requirements and restrictions for permits to carry a firearm. They are more restrictive than driver restrictions - even in states with 'constitutional carry' the federal level of laws must be met.

    Responsible car owners suggest driver's education. Responsible gun owners suggest firearms safety. Imagine that.

    You don't need liability insurance for a vehicle. You just can't drive it on public roads without it. If there was liability insurance on a firearm, would that protect a gun owner from when someone's gun collided into another person's gun? Some of those chrome or nickle plated finishes are expensive. The liability insurance of firearm ownership is this: you damage property, you're responsible for it. You injure someone, you're responsible for it. You kill someone, you're responsible for it.

    Cars are 'brandished' for the entire time they are on the road. A firearm is almost certainly cased, locked, in a safe, secured in a holster, or otherwise in a in-operable state and is handled only hours a day for a couple weeks in cases of hunting (away from the majority of the public), in cases of a permit holder: only a few moments from the safe to the holster - and vice versa.


    This is from Wikipedia:

    In May 1998 the The Jerry Springer Show had an episode titled "I Married a Horse!". The show was ultimately not aired by many stations on the planned date, apparently due to concerns about the acceptability of broadcasting an episode in which a man admitted to a long term emotional and sexual relationship of this kind. The man and his horse later participated in a British documentary on the subject.


    How many regulations - exactly - is there on Uteruses? I don't have one, so therefore: far be it for me to tell anyone with a uterus what to do with it...just like, say...if you don't have a gun...maybe - and just go along with me on this one: maybe you shouldn't tell people what to do with their guns.

  11. Emily, has it ever occurred to you that the reason so many of these things are illegal is they all cause waaaaay more deaths than guns? More children are killed by falling furniture than by guns. Try to look at it this way, you are 1700 times more likely to need a gun for self defense of a violent crime (murder/rape, etc) than be accidentally killed by one. That's with the fact, as you mentioned, many people keep their guns out and readily available. I am all for educating people and teaching gun safety, nothing wrong with that.. however, these universal background checks can only be enforced when ________? Answer: when you have universal gun registration; these two go hand in hand. It's not even the slipper slope argument, you can't have viable universal background checks without universal registration. Once you have universal registration.. you know for the childrens sake, then you have the slipper slope argument. One more mass killing and all those guns are forcibly removed. You mention the buyback program in australia.. you know that was forced, right? You didn't have much of a choice, either you sold them to the gov or they came looking for you http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/15/wayne-lapierre-obamas-obsession-with-our-gun-rights/

  12. This is the stupidest thing I have seen in a long time. Gun control only inhibits law biding citizens from owing one. Illinois, California, D.C. and New Jersey have really strict gun control, how is that working? Well in case you don't know they have some of the highest gun crime in the nation. How about the nation with the least stringent gun control? Well its working great, the country is Switzerland and it has the lowest gun crime in the world. You morons who want to take away the second amendment, how about leaving the country? Its protected here. If you don't like it, go to Mexico. I heard gun control is at its finest over there.

  13. As of not knowing that there are non-automatic weapons on the stinky cheese pic, that clearly shows your lack of knowledge on this issue. So how about I start telling you when to wake up, go to bed, what to eat, what to buy and not buy, and who to date? Because even though I know nothing about you, or who you are or what you do or even your tastes, likes and dislikes (other than apparently guns), I am sure I could run your life better than you can. I mean how stupid does that sound? Well that is what you are doing, trying to regulate something you know NOTHING about. Guns save people, people kill people. Cars don't make you drive drunk, guns don't make you kill anyone. Criminals can always get there hands on one, best way for normal people to save themselves from psychopaths is to have one themselves. I know, I used my gun to save my own life once.
    Btw as of the teachers and Ronald Reagan thing, very dumb. They were not seen, and didn't know they were there. Also notice Ronald Reagan was shot once, and no one else was. Sandy Hook, 26 dead. Ronald Reagan assassination, no deaths. No guns can't save everyone, or stop it from happening at all, but they can darn sure limit the damage.

    Here is a website describing what the regulation would be like on cars, if they were regulated equally.

  15. I think the bigger point you make is that the American public is stupid enough to blindly accept the over regulation of so many things. It doesn't really support your anti gun position as much as it high lights the ridiculousness of government intervention into areas of our lives where it doesn't belong.