Increase in gun violence in the U.S. calls to mind a work of science fiction

Increase in gun violence in the U.S. calls to mind a work of science fiction

A customer shops for a gun at AO Sword Firearms in El Cajon in March 2020. Sales of firearms risen during the pandemic, a trend columnist Patrice Apodaca writes makes little sense given a Scientific American report that increased gun ownership doesn’t decrease gun violence. When I was a teenager I read a lot of science fiction. One book that made a particular impression was “The Naked Sun,” written in the 1950s by Isaac Asimov. It’s a murder mystery set in the future on a planet where humans have little physical contact, relying instead on robots and other technology to interact with one another. I’ve thought about this book occasionally during the past year-plus, marveling at the real-life parallels as we have experienced physical distancing, more limited in-person contact and an intensifying reliance on technology. I mused about how science fiction writers have sometimes shown themselves to be more prophetic than even they might have imagined. But now my thoughts return to this story for another reason. I must warn readers that a major spoiler lies ahead, in case anyone is considering checking out this 60-plus-year-old book for the first time. The fictional detective who solves the case figures out that the killing occurred as a result of a roboticist manipulating a robot to hand a weapon to the victim’s wife during a heated argument, when the woman was at the height of her emotional distress. I can’t speak to what the author intended us to glean from this […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.