Common Sense 1.

In 2014, 32,675 people died in traffic accidents.[1]  In 2014, 11,593 people died in homicides, mostly from fire-arms.[2]  Obviously, what we need are common-sense car control laws.

We have abundant mass transportation in many parts of the country.  Take SEPTA’s Regional Rail system as an example.  All this could be expanded to meet the needs of a greatly increased ridership.  The use of trains and buses would greatly reduce traffic jams on roads and highways.  This, in turn, would have many beneficial effects.  It would give Americans much more free time or work time that they would otherwise idle away stuck in some jam-up.  That, in turn, might reduce deaths from hypertension in addition to the many lives that are lost through traffic accidents.  Moreover, the walk home from the local train station would have other beneficial health effects.

It would reduce the amount of carbon burned, to the harm of the climate.  It would ease the congestion in parking places in cities.  Many parking garages could be converted to homeless shelters and many parking lots could become community gardens.  It would end the difficulties with getting snow-plows down city streets in winter.  It would end the quarrels over parking spots that one person had dug out and another had used in spite of the plastic lawn chair having been placed in the spot.  It would allow for much expanded bike-lanes in cities and suburbs (along with expanded sales of brightly-colored Spandex clothing).

Now, let me be clear, this would not mean an end to privately owned automobiles.  Legitimate motorists would still be able to obtain cars from Federally Licensed Car Dealers.  There would, of course, need to be a background check and a waiting period.  All this could be handled by an expanded Transportation Security Administration.  Automobiles are, after all, a form of transportation.

Moreover, very few people actually need an F-150 or a T-top Camaro with a scoop on the hood.  Yes, we live in a time of change that many people find disruptive.  Some people cling to their God and their gear-shifts.  However, both Smart cars and those little Italian thingees painted the color of urinals offer superb solutions to American driving needs.

In closing, I welcome a dialogue on these important issues.

[1] “Noted,” The Week, 15 July 2016, p. 16.

[2] See: http://www.statista.com/statistics/195331/number-of-murders-in-the-us-by-state/

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