A Bloomberg news article several weeks ago pushed one of the ideas present among the 23 "gun violence reduction executive actions" President Obama issued earlier this year.
The executive action called for "the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies." For several decades, anti-gun activists have hoped to subject the manufacture of firearms to the regulatory authority of the BATFE or Consumer Products Safety Commission, with the intent that those agencies would impose "safety"-related manufacturing requirements that no firearm manufacturer could meet, without the resulting firearm costing more than consumers would be capable of paying.
The Bloomberg article argued that deaths due to motor vehicle accidents had decreased over the years, and that because there are almost as many deaths involving firearms as ones due to vehicle accidents, firearms should possess fingerprint scanners to prevent their use by unauthorized individuals.
Noting that the NRA does not support mandating that such gadgetry be incorporated into firearms, the article added, "Eventually, public demands to protect human life will overcome the gun lobby's interest in maximizing gun sales and promoting right-wing ideology."
We could respond by saying "yawn," because the notion that NRA exists to sell guns, rather than to promote and protect the rights of its members is about as tired and worn-out a canard as can be found in the debate over the Second Amendment. And we assume that the nearly-as-tired bit about "right-wing ideology" was included because left-wingers were the article's target audience.
Two other things about the article are more objectionable, however. First is its pretense that firearms have no individual or societal value. Surely, the author of the article would agree that being able to drive motor vehicles is a good thing for individuals and for the country generally, and that the 30,000-plus deaths due to motor vehicle accidents are a regrettable price that we pay in this country, for the benefits that motor vehicle use provide. But there is no similar recognition of the fact that firearms are used to defend against criminals, and that the widespread ownership of firearms deters criminal enterprise generally.
Second, the article compares motor vehicle accidents to firearm-related accidents, murders and suicides. The problems with that are obvious enough: motor vehicle accident deaths outnumber firearm accident deaths by more than 50 to one, and the vast majority of murders and suicides are deliberate acts that gun "technology" could not possibly prevent.
Coincidentally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this week that in 2012, motor vehicle accident deaths increased to 33,561, a 3.3 percent increase over 2011. That makes the Bloomberg article's headline--"Why Guns Will Soon Top Cars on List of Killers"--even more foolish that it otherwise would have been.