Forty-three thousand died last year. That’s forty-three thousand too many.

The current and last administration refuse to take real action now that would mitigate some number of these deaths. Regulations and laws are threatened but seem to never be carried through on. Perhaps the lobbyists representing private interests are too powerful?

Obama signed a bill to the tune of two million dollars in order to create buyback programs to remove the most dangerous ones from the streets, but ultimately even this huge expenditure was not enough to make a dent in the problem. Lobbyists and politicians alike are likely too beholden to the industry to make any real change.

Having a daughter has dramatically changed my thinking on this issue. I wonder about what kind of world she’ll grow up in. During her bus ride to school, will anxieties about becoming the victim of someone’s bad day be swirling through her head?

What about killers that don’t even target an individual? Mass-murder events aren’t regular occurrences but they always make the news and it seems like the killer is always glorified — at least his (almost always his not her) face is usually plastered all over national news. People that disagree with my points here might argue that these events actually don’t claim a lot of casualties in the grand scheme of that forty-three thousand number and to their credit I will cede that they are correct. My fear of such events is more a reflection of my own anxieties than how the world really is.

The thing that really keeps me up at night is that virtually anyone with enough spare cash (although a lot of cash can buy something much more precise and thus much more deadly in the wrong hands) could be the next killer. There are close to no special or prohibitive requirements aside from money. Shouldn’t we at least put some kind of age-related law together? At least until the age of 25 or so when the brain is completely formed.

Probably the root of most of these problems is the technology. People at the beginning of the 1900s in this country couldn’t have come close to imagining the technical proficiency with which manufacturers can stamp these things out now. Machining techniques are now extremely precise, automatable by machine, and easily iterable which results in better, higher velocity designs. Due to these advancements in process, about 10 million new ones enter the street each year!

Picture unrelated, I’m talking about human-driven automobiles.

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