Should We Abandon Speed Limits, Too?


To hear gun control opponents talk, the only people we punish with gun regulation are the responsible owners of firearms. Criminals are going to get their hands on guns regardless of what the law says — after all, they’re planning on breaking some other law with the gun, so getting the gun by illegal means isn’t that big a deal to them.

For that reason, we should just nix all attempts to regulate guns.

I don’t know of anyone in the NRA who seriously believes we should eliminate all speed limits and let drivers everywhere go as fast as they want, putting innocent little old ladies and their accompanying Boy Scouts in danger of being mowed down without warning.

But it’s the same principle at work.

Speed limits ought to be banned because those with lead feet will drive fast, anyway, and speed limits only really punish those of us who know how to maneuver our cars in such a way as to avoid accidents rather than cause them. The good drivers, by being governed about their speed, are the ones being punished while the bad drivers are just going to ignore speed limits.


In case you think that I’m making a serious argument that we should do away with all speed limits, let me assure you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Speed limits, while annoying, are a good thing.

It’s true that bad drivers aren’t going to necessarily pay that much attention to a posted speed limit sign. It’s true that criminals are almost guaranteed to break one or more traffic violations during the commission of a crime. And it’s true that those of us who don’t cause accidents (and have gotten pretty good at dodging other drivers who think they’re the only ones on the road) are the primary ones who “suffer” by having to go 35 when we really feel like 60 would be better.

But you don’t throw your hands up in disgust and allow our roads to become raceways by abandoning efforts to slow people down just because some bad drivers will drive fast, anyway.

What you do, along with posting limits on how fast people can drive, is establish prescribed punishments for those who violate the law. Knowing I’ll have to pay $249 for going more than 10 miles over the speed limit, not to mention getting points on my license which could make my insurance bill go up as well, is a great incentive for me to pay more attention to my speed.

Do I drive too fast once in a while? Sure. We all do.

But I’m more likely to pay attention, more likely to obey the law knowing that there are consequences for breaking it.

We achieve that fear of consequence not by letting everyone else drive too fast, or equipping certain cars with turbo systems to let them catch up to the speeders and run them off the road. We achieve it by punishing those who break the laws we establish.

And I hope gun control opponents at least recognize the fact that despite having speed limits, we still have cars. And trucks. And SUVs.

No one took your vehicle away when they told you how fast you could drive it. You still drive. You still go where you want to go. You don’t have to file some sort of automotive “flight plan” before you turn your key. And as long as you don’t hurt anyone or violate the law with your car, then you keep your car.

Back in the 1980s, around the time of Back to the Future, DeLoreans were a cool looking car, although now as then, I still wouldn’t recommend trying to hit 88 miles per hour in town square. They no longer make DeLoreans. A few — I don’t know how many off the top of my head and you can look it up if you really care — are still around. The fact that it’s hard to get one because they’re no longer made doesn’t mean you can’t have one, it just makes it harder to find one.

If we stopped making assault weapons, or restricted them to military and police use to the point that no one else could get them, there’d still be some of them on the street. But there’d be less new ones on&nbsp the street. It’s harder — even for criminals — to acquire something that’s no longer being made.

It doesn’t eliminate the problem. But it helps take away longterm growth of the problem.

And that’s unquestionably better than doing nothing about the problem.

You will never keep criminals intent on being criminals from doing something that’s criminal. You can make it harder to get certain tools that make criminal acts easier to commit.

If we aren’t even willing to do that, then there’s something seriously wrong with us.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • Patrick your argument is pretty solid except for one fairly major difference. There is no constitutional amendment guaranteeing my right to go as fast as I want.

    • MarkStumpJeffcoat The problem here, Mark, is that this is NOT an “all or nothing” argument that I’ve presented. At no point have I EVER argued that ALL guns should be banned or that people who currently HAVE guns should have to give them up. 
      The Constitutional amendment that gives you the right to “bear arms” does NOT say that you can have whatever kind of arms you want without restriction. So if certain guns, say the AR-15, were to be banned, that would not prevent you from bearing arms with a .357 Magnum.
      It’s not about taking away a Constitutional right but rather limiting the extent of to protect others by making it harder to get certain classes of weapons. 
      What I find ironic is that politically, the majority of people who oppose gun control also favor Voter ID laws: the Constitution and its amendment extend the right to vote, however, we place laws that restrict that right if certain qualifications are not met. 
      Likewise, there’s a Constitutional amendment that guarantees you Freedom of Religion, however there are laws that step in when you exercise that right at the impingement of others.
      The point here is that it’s not about removing ALL guns, just the ones that are considered, pardon the expression, “overkill.”

      • patricksplace MarkStumpJeffcoat Then we get into the question of “who” defines what is overkill? 2nd amendment is not there so I can go hunting, it is there to ensure that I can protect myself and my community from a tyrannical government. Exactly what those early founding fathers were attempting to get away from. Know if you look at the Constitution as a document of negative liberties then you can see the wiggle room that people read into the 2nd amendment and how it should allow limitations to be placed on “what” one can bear. If you see it as a document of limited powers then you know that the federal government has very few, some say 17 others 18, responsibilities and everything else is up the state or the people. So, having said that there is no reason the federal government should be defining what I am allowed to bear, rather if anything the state should be the one setting any limitations or restrictions. However I have always been and will always be one who believed the amendment, as written, puts no limit on me as to what I can and cannot bear. I’m from Texas, what did you expect:)

        • MarkStumpJeffcoat Unfortunately, Mark, we are always — with every regulation that passes — forced to ask the question of “who” decides what’s acceptable.

          That’s true whether the regulation is federal or state in origin.
          The point of my post is that we don’t (or shouldn’t) ignore a problem because there’s no way to keep a handful of particularly bad people from circumventing any law put in place to keep the MASSES from acting in a bad way. It’s unquestionably true that there will always be people who “find a way.”
          I don’t know anyone personally who believes the answer to criminals with guns is to ban ALL guns from everyone and remove guns from people like you who are responsible with them. I’m sure they’re out there, but I don’t know anyone who’s ever said they truly believe that.
          Another commenter made the point that “sensible” gun regulation is the answer. What’s sensible? It’s sensible to me that the average citizen should not need access to rapid-fire assault-style weapons or high-capacity magazines that enable the kind of killing spree we saw in Newtown that much easier.
          Most responsible gun owners who have had proper training and understand how a gun works shouldn’t need to fire 3-5 rounds per second to take down a threat. That’s sensible to ME., but maybe that’s JUST me.
          That said, do you honestly think that we should do away with all speed limits everywhere because there will always be someone somewhere with a lead foot?

        • patricksplace MarkStumpJeffcoat As I said in the initial response, there is no constitutional guarantee that I can drive as fast as I want so no.

    • TedtheThird Ha! Thanks, Ted…I hadn’t seen that…what are the odds?
      Oh, well, until they start rolling off the assembly line, at least, my point’s still good. 🙂

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