Rather Safe than Sorry
We had not purchased a car since 2009 when we went car shopping this year. I was amazed by the safety advances. My new car senses cars in my blindspot and beeps if I try to change lanes when it is dangerous. It guides me to stay in my lane and beeps if I wander out of it. When in cruise control it keeps me at a safe distance behind other cars. It has airbags everywhere. I feel safer driving it and I keep other drivers and their passengers safer because of these technological advances.
Yesterday, the country endured another mass shooting at a school; this time at The Covenant School in Nashville. Once again, guns were used for an evil and deadly purpose. Immediately politicians of all stripes used the tragedy--and a tragedy it is--to reinforce their position on gun control. As I was listening to the cacophony of politicians trying to make their case rather than really focusing on the dead, their families and their community, I thought of my new car.
Less people are dying in car crashes because of safety improvements. Why shouldn’t we reduce the number of gun deaths by improving gun safety? I cannot open my ipad without using my fingerprint (or showing it my face). Likewise guns should only be allowed to be fired if the owner’s fingerprints are pulling the trigger. Using GPS, my car knows where I am and warns me if I am off route. Likewise, could we not program guns not to shoot in schools or malls? My car recognizes if another car is heading straight at me. Could we not program guns not to shoot when a person is ahead of it? (For those worrying about protecting their homes from intruders we could program an exception in the house.)
I also wonder about reframing the discussion of gun use from gun “control” to gun “safety.” No-one wants to be controlled; we all want to be safe. And we can make guns safer for all of us--gun users and gun abstainers.
It is time that the slaughter in our schools stopped; it is time that the slaughter on our streets was curtailed. Gun safety would be a step in that direction. I feel safer in my car and my car makes other drivers safer. Let’s do the same with guns.