Writes Adam Gopnik, who learned to drive late in life. This empathy with gun owners — in The New Yorker — only goes so far. Guns are "almost entirely symbolic." The only "useful social functions" of guns is "in hunting or in killing varmints."
No lives are saved, and no intruders are repelled; the dense and hysterical mythology of gun love has been refuted again and again...That sounds hysterical. Not dense. But hysterical.
Gopnik ends with a plea to regulate guns at least as much as cars:
If we only achieved, in the next few years, a regulation of guns equal to that of cars, we would be moving toward the real purpose of autonomy, which is to secure the freedom from fear as much as the freedom to act. Symbols matter. Lives matter more.And analogies are very, very tricky.