As yet another school shooting leads to predictable political debates, it seems like gun violence is a problem Americans will never solve. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Gun safety is not a threat to the Second Amendment, and there is a road forward we can take that’s tried and true.
We need to look at the successful history of improving transportation safety as a model. Transportation used to be a major killer. More than 50,000 people died annually in the U.S. in the 1970s from motor vehicle accidents, and it seemed like there was no solution. But society stepped up, and the results have been dramatic: Deaths are down 20% since 1980 even though population has grown by 100 million people and Americans are driving twice as many miles, up from 1.5 to 3 trillion vehicle miles annually
The solution was to transcend political entrenchment and tackle road safety with every tool imaginable.
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Michael E. Webber is a professor of mechanical engineering who studies energy and transportation at The University of Texas at Austin.
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