Cartoonists Demand Action

I am one of several cartoonists who contributed work to a new video called “Cartoonists Demand Action,” which calls for increased gun control in the wake of the Newtown shootings in Connecticut. Organized by the brilliant Ruben Bolling, the other cartoonists who participated include Tom Tomorrow, Garry Trudeau, Mo Willems, Lalo Alcaraz, Steven Brodner, Peter Kuper, Stephan Pastis, Lincoln Pierce, Mike Luckovich, Mike Peters, Jerry Scott, Dan Piraro, Roz Chast and – get this – Art Spiegelman.

This is definitely the first-ever joint Spiegelman-Rall appearance.

My participation may come as a surprise to readers who know I am a strong advocate of the Second Amendment. History teaches us that revolutionaries and those to seek to resist foreign invasion rely on guns that were in circulation before the conflicts they fought against oppression and tyranny. This is why I believe that it’s important for Americans to have the right to own weapons.

Guns, it hardly need be said, are dangerous. So I believe that they need to be controlled and regulated the same way cars are. Motorists are required to receive training before they are allowed to drive. They must carry insurance to cover people they injure or kill with their car. They must take new tests, such as vision, to ensure they are qualified to drive. And of course cars are regulated. No one would suggest that cars be unregulated.

Like a car, guns can kill and maim. So people who buy guns should be required to pass a safety test, receive proper training, register their firearms and carry insurance in case they shoot someone or something they shouldn’t.

There is an argument that regulation is a first step toward government seizure. If they know who has guns, they can take them away. Which is true.

I don’t trust the government. No one should. But I’m counting on the fact that, if and when the time comes for armed resistance, it will be possible for patriotic Americans to keep their weapons out of the hands of government agents who seek to take them away. The situation will likely be chaotic and anarchic.

Moreover, we have to live in the present. Right now, as things stand, we have hundreds of millions of firearms in the hands of anyone with a couple of hundred dollars. That’s madness.

I believe in cars. But I also believe in regulation of cars.

Guns are no less lethal than cars.

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