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Editorial: Owning a car should be regulated like gun ownership
By Michael Z. Williamson
I keep hearing people say they want to regulate guns the way we regulate cars. They don’t really mean that, of course. What they mean is they want to make it acceptable to find more ways to intrude on the right to keep and bear arms. I propose, instead, we regulate cars the way we regulate guns.
Let’s start: To buy or operate a standard car, one has to be 18 years old. Under that age, adult supervision will be mandatory, meaning the adult must be in the vehicle with the underage driver. To buy a sports car, you have to be 21. A “sports car” will be defined as any combination of two doors instead of four, spoke rims not requiring hubcaps, aerodynamic effects such as spoilers or air dams, a wheelbase under 100 inches, a manual transmission, a curb weight under 3,000 pounds, fiberglass or other non-metal construction, or painted logos.
For every purchase, you must answer a questionnaire confirming you’re a U.S. citizen, do not use drugs or abuse alcohol, and have never had a conviction for alcohol-related incidents or reckless driving. Lying on this form will be punishable by 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. New cars must be purchased from Federal Automobile Licensees who will provide fingerprints, proof of character, secure storage for all vehicles, and who must call the Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles to verify your information before purchase. They may approve or decline or delay the sale.
If they decline, you may appeal to a review board. If they delay, it is automatically approved after 10 days. However, the dealer may decline to complete such a sale in case of later problems. The purchase of more than two cars in a given year requires signing an understanding that buying cars in order to resell them without a license is a crime.
There is an 11 percent federal excise tax on all new vehicles, plus state and local taxes. Federal Automobile Licensees must agree to submit to 24/7/365, unannounced, unscheduled searches of their entire homes, businesses, and related properties and personal effects to be named later. Then you will be eligible to take your driver license test to determine your eligibility to operate on the street.
Rules will vary by state, with some requiring proof of need to own a vehicle for business purposes, and up to 40 hours of professional education. Not all states will accept all licenses. You must keep track of this information. Speed limits will not be posted; it is your responsibility to research local driving laws as you travel. Some communities may not allow out-of-state vehicles, sports cars, or even any vehicles at all. Violation of these laws will result in confiscation and destruction of your vehicle. To have a turbocharger, supercharger (external engine compression devices), or a muffler will require an application to the Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles. A $2,000 tax stamp will be required for these high-performance vehicles. Your request must be signed by the local chief law-enforcement officer, and you must provide fingerprints. If approved in 10-16 weeks, you will be responsible for keeping your high-performance vehicle in secure storage, and request permission in writing to take it out of state. You will need to carry this documentation with you.
There are 13 states that do not allow possession of High Performance Vehicles. Be sure you are aware of those laws before planning your trips. (But really, what do you need such a vehicle for anyway? Who really needs to drive that fast? You must willingly accept and adhere to the socially accepted idea that you are inherently evil for merely possessing such a fast, high-powered automobile.)
Additionally, superchargers and turbochargers must be manufactured before June 1, 1986.
You get the picture.
To read the entire column detailing all the gun regulations as they relate to car ownership, visit www.michaelzwilliamson.com. Reprinted with permission.
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