Using the Same Logic...

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by Eric Peters

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We’re told there’s no legitimate use for an “assault rife” – that is, a rifle that looks menacing because it has a military-style stock or flash suppressor. Even though it functions exactly like a regular hunting rife: One pull of the trigger, one bullet is fired. Maybe it has a higher capacity magazine (more bullets to fire without reloading) than a regular hunting rifle. That’s the extent of the functional differences.

Ok. Let’s apply the same logic to cars.

Who really needs a car such as the 2012 Jaguar XFR I’m reviewing this week? It looks very menacing – and it has a 510 hp supercharged V-8, the equivalent – if you follow the logic of the folks who don’t like “assault rifles” – of a high-capacity magazine. Arguably, it has at least four cylinders (and 300 hp) too many for any “reasonable” purpose.

All that power, all that performance capability – what legitimate use is there for it?

And yet, Jaguar – and other purveyors of high-performing cars – are not pilloried as merchants of death. You do not hear much tut-tutting talk about the machinations of the car lobby.

It’s an interesting – and revelatory – psychological disconnect. The elites – the Chuck Schumers, the BHOs, the Clintons, et al. – love to talk up what they dishonestly like to call gun control (dishonestly, because they’re really talking about controlling people – and specifically, other people, not them). They’ll demand prior restraint of not just gun owners but would-be gun owners – on the theory that because some one of them might do something harmful with a gun, all of them must be restrained a priori: Restricted by law from owning or possessing a gun, not because of anything they have actually done with the gun – but because of something they might – might! – do with a gun. And not even necessarily them.

It is sufficient that anyone – not you, just anyone – might do something.

Fine. Why not apply the same reasoning to high-powered cars like the $82,000 Jag that’s sitting in my driveway right now. I could hop in and make full use of all 510 supercharged hp, running the car up to its top speed of 170-plus MPH faster than a Prius can get to 70. And even if I don’t do that, someone could do that.

Well, what about the children?

Apparently, it’s ok for them to – possibly, just maybe – get run down by the supercharged Jag as it blasts through a school zone doing four times the limit (because it can, after all). But it’s not ok for me to drive the Jag at the speed limit through the same school zone . . . with my “high-powered” gun along for the ride.

The difference? Gun-controllers tend not to own guns (much less know anything about guns) while they often do own prestigious, high-dollar cars like the Jag – and are very much preoccupied with having more in the way of power/capability than their neighbors.

Or you.

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Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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