Since the Obama administrations talk of banning so-called assault weapons has resulted in a huge spike in semi-automatic weapon sales nationwide, the White House has recently begun a covert whisper campaign suggesting the president might also ban U.S.-manufactured cars and trucks with fully-automatic transmissions, now dubbed assault vehicles.
President Obama reportedly hopes such chatter will give a much-needed boost to U.S. auto sales.
These fully-automatics are the weapon-of-choice in the vehicular-manslaughter industry, said one unnamed White House source. The automatic transmission allows the killer to accelerate rapidly without the manual process of clutching and shifting gears. Assault vehicles murder roughly four times as many people each year as do firearms. If you include suicides, cars still kill nearly twice as many people compared with all types of guns.
The administration source also noted that while people with criminal records make up the vast majority of gun-murder victims, assault vehicles kill indiscriminately, murdering 39,800 Americans in 2008 alone.
In most homicide-by-firearm cases, its one crook killing another, said the source. But automatic transmissions turn law-abiding citizens into killers of other law-abiding citizens, including women, children, seniors and innocent pedestrians.
Publicly, the administration maintains that it supports an individuals right to keep and be borne upon wheels, but the sophisticated whisper campaign is designed both to curry favor with the anti-car lobby, and to boost the economy by driving panic demand for fully automatics.