A “Safe Space” for a Gun Conversation Over Thanksgiving

Thom Hartmann
6 min readNov 24, 2022

There’s a “Free Market” solution every Republican should love, even “Crazy Uncle Ralph” who insists on discussing politics during the holidays…

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay


It’s Thanksgiving, and many of us are gathering with friends and family. Given the horrific news of our having passed 600 mass shootings in America this week, the dinner topic in many homes will inevitably turn to the political debate around guns.

That discussion about guns in America generally falls into two polar opposite positions: don’t regulate guns at all, or ban large parts of the spectrum of guns and heavily regulate ownership of the rest.

But there’s a third position, entirely outside of that spectrum, which every actual “free market“ conservative in America could embrace, and liberals could be down with as well.

It might provide a “safe space” for conversation over Thanksgiving, if Uncle Ralph insists on talking politics.

That’s to treat guns the same way we treat cars.

Back around the turn of the 20th century, cars were replacing horses in a really big way and three problems became evident.

The first was that there were a lot of people driving them who really didn’t know how to drive, and they were hurting and killing themselves and other people.

Second was that people were stealing them and it was difficult to track them back to their owners, even when they were found.

And the third problem was that completely innocent breadwinners who were driving just fine would get hit by other drivers, typically accidentally, but regardless of the intention of the other driver they would end up dead or injured for life, wiping out the ability to support their families.

Over the course of a few decades, we figured out a simple solution to all three of these problems.

Register cars so there’s a provable chain of ownership; require a license to drive that can only be obtained by proving proficiency as a driver and an understanding of the rules of the road; and liability insurance so if someone was injured or killed…



Thom Hartmann

America’s #1 progressive talk show host & NY Times bestselling author. Thom’s writings also appear at HartmannReport.com.