Wednesday evening on my way home from work with my vanpool buddies, an argument broke up between the driver and one of the passengers on the topic of guns and violence. The driver is a white woman in her early fifties and the other gal a Catholic female, white and a little older who just celebrated her 60th birthday not too long ago.

Driver: We are stupid by making it so easy for criminals and the mentally ill to purchase guns. Guns kill people.
Passenger: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
Driver: But without guns, all the massive shootings wouldn’t have happened.
Passenger: Cars kill people, and yet everyone owns a car and drives it everyday.
Driver: Would you feel the same way about guns if any of your family were a victim of gun violence?
Passenger: A teenage driver killed my husband’s cousin and wiped out her whole family. I can be bitter about it, but I choose not to.
Driver: Would you feel the same way if your granddaughter were among the children killed at Newtown?
Passenger: I’d still blame the shooter instead of the gun.
Driver: Okay. You are entitled to your opinion.
Passenger: Without guns, the Federal government will turn communist. Yeah, it’d happen. Look it up.

The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 to enable the American people to organize a militia system and deter the Federal Government in case it turns undemocratic. It is astounding that people still think dictatorship in America is a possibility in the 21st century. The Australia government announced nation wide gun law reform within 12 days after the April 1996 Port Arthur massacre that killed 20 innocent people. In addition to passing the new legislation, the Australia government also funded gun buybacks, plus large-scale voluntary surrenders. Australia hasn’t turned communist. Most European countries embrace much tighter gun control laws and they are still democratic.

Americans collectively own 300 million firearms. We aren’t even talking about taking guns away from anyone. Whether you hate or love guns is not the issue at heart. What we are trying to agree on is the necessity of tighter gun control laws to curb future gun-related violence.

Let’s pretend for a minute that cars and guns are the same (even though one is designed for transportation and other for killing.). By law car owners are required to register their vehicles, to drive responsibly, and to renew their licenses periodically, otherwise the driving privilege will be revoked. Can we do the same thing with gun ownership?

President Obama has announced his proposals for new gun control legislation, including 23 executive orders designed to tackle the issue. Now the ball in is Congress’ court.

Somehow I think if we can settle the argument between my driver and the fellow passenger and turn the focus back on gun control reform, we may be able to settle the differences at the national level.