Gun Violence Can Be Reduced With Incremental Changes, As With Car Safety

Gun Violence Can Be Reduced With Incremental Changes, As With Car Safety

antoniodiaz/Shutterstock I remember when everyone knew a family that had been adversely affected by the loss or serious injury of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident. Initially, there was much hand-wringing and little action about automobile safety. After seat-belt laws were enacted, people railed against them as government interference, spreading fearful predictions that people would be trapped inside their cars. Then, something amazing happened: Seat belts worked. Fewer people died, and a disproportionate number of those who did die were not strapped in. Automobile manufacturers were not fans of improved safety measures for cars. They both feared the negative public relations of the dangers of automotive travel and claimed that people would not be willing to pay extra for safety measures. Still, technology advanced and over the course of 60 years, more safety measures were added. With each incremental advance, more lives were saved, and people willingly paid extra for safety measures. Roads were also made safer with better banking and curbing, more visible markings and signage and better lighting. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers was formed, and laws against driving while intoxicated became tougher. Since the late 1960s the number of motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S. has steadily dropped. Flash forward to today. Death by gun violence has surpassed motor vehicle deaths nationwide, and mass shootings are an everyday occurrence. There has been much hand wringing and little action. Promising safety technology like matching fingerprints to guns is available, although not perfected — […]

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