Vice President Joe Biden revealed that President Barack Obama might use an executive order to deal with [the problem]... "There are executives orders, there's executive action that can be taken...As the president said, if you're [sic] actions result in only saving one life, they're worth taking."Last year, 32,367 Americans died in automobile accidents, almost three times the number of homicide deaths in the US involving firearms and more than twice the number of such suicides. In fact, since there are more guns in the US (~270m) than automobiles (~240m), Owning a car is demonstrably more dangerous than owning a gun. But you don't need to own a car to be killed by one - just ask 89-year-old Hannelore Zimmerman, tragically cut down just yesterday while getting her mail.
We all know cars don't kill of their own accord, what kills is speed.* So here's what the president needs to do to end the slaughter: enact a national speed limit of 5 MPH and direct auto makers to design appropriate compliance features into all new cars.** Merely limiting all vehicles to 5MPH, a speed limit at which virtually no one could be killed in an auto accident, will save hundreds of thousands of lives over a 10-year period.*** It will save gas, reduce pollution, fight terrorism, and make all K-12 students score above the national average in science and math. And it will, in one fell swoop, eliminate the need for other, more piecemeal legislative solutions to the car problem, like warming-up periods or outright bans on military-style rims, windows, and bumper stickers.
And should someone be so heartless as to complain that the president is infringing on their car ownership while saving our children's lives, they can be easily proven incorrect: you can still own a car. You can still own any car you need for any legitimate purpose. The government already has a perfect right to set speed limits based on whatever criteria it chooses. If they can set the limit at 30mph, they can set it at 5mph. Plus, the government owns the roads. Gomer T. Drivealot doesn't even have a troublesome constitutional amendment he can lean on in the case of cars.
But all that complaining misses an important point. It's not about your rights. It's not about your convenience. It's not about your time or your business or your desire to get to grandma's house in Des Moines in under a week. It's about your safety. If government actions result in saving just one life, they are worth taking, other consequences be damned. Just ask the president.
* or more usually, a sudden reduction thereof.
** and not for cars and trucks, either. It needs to include emergency vehicles that today think they can just speed willy-nilly all over the place. And commercial jets. Have you seen how fast those things go?
*** in fact, the CBO estimates that it will save 4 billion lives a year by 2050.