Monbiot on speed cameras

Yes, again. Interesting read, though.

And as ever the comments are full of people saying – to paraphrase – ‘speed doesn’t kill, bad driving kills.’ No, you muppets, what kills is hitting people with a car.

The situation strikes me as the British equivalent of the American ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ debate, which is a bizarre justification for a gun lobby. Sure, the NRA’s right in a linguistic sense, but mass ownership of firearms certainly makes it more likely that I’ll get shot in the head.

I used to buy car magazines; I was wildly excited about my Mini Cooper. Two things have more-or-less seen off my interest in cars: my desire not to be aligned with the nonsense spouted by the road lobby, and Mercedes, who naffed up the Smart Roadster so badly I doubt I’ll ever forgive them.

Damn, that could have been a great car.

1 Comment

  1. “but mass ownership of firearms certainly makes it more likely that I’ll get shot in the head”
    Well, maybe. The jury still seems to out on that. I can’t be arsed finding the references right now, but the experience in the UK and in . . . New Jersey? D.C.? implies that the more draconian the gun laws the more gun crime you get.
    Now, of course, if you make guns illegal then only outlaws have guns, so naturally ‘gun crime’ increases, but beyond the trivial it seems that actual instances of discharging firearms in an inappropriate manner (i.e. shooting someone) increase. Which is counter-intuitive, but then so is risk compensation.
    And see recent news about the shooting in Finland. Finns have, I think, more guns per capita than anywhere else but that someone actually killed someone with a gun was big news. Their real gun crime is low, which is precisely why this was so big. Your counter-argument would be Switzerland, which has a high suicide rate and a high gun-ownership rate. But if you look more closely, I seem to remember that the suicides are non-firearm related.
    Now, I’m no gun nut; I don’t believe civilians have any need of automatic rifles. But the place for pistols is a club or competition, not in the hands of criminals, and bolt-action rifles and shotguns have perfectly legitimate uses in the UK and Australia (I do have a vested interest; although it’s too much hassle to keep a rifle here, my father-in-law in NZ is keeping a WW2 vintage .303 for me).
    Can we talk about my V6 Magna now?

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