Personalized guns: Using technology to save lives

Stephen P. Teret, Adam D. Mernit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Gunfire took the lives of 31,672 Americans in 2010.1 Death by gunfire occurs in homes, workplaces, shopping malls, churches, schools, and on the streets, and to Americans of all ages. Often, when possible solutions to this compelling public health problem are considered, conversations focus on troubled individuals who are at risk for becoming shooters, mental health interventions for these individuals, and securing the safety of vulnerable places such as schools. Little attention is paid to modifying the gun itself, which is the vehicle that causes the human damage, such as changing the design of guns so that they are inoperable by unauthorized users-that is, making all guns personalized. But product-oriented interventions have been highly effective with other public health problems, such as motor vehicle-related deaths.2 In fact, the impressive reductions in highway fatalities are more attributable to changes in the design of cars than to enhancing the driving skill of hundreds of millions of motorists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReducing Gun Violence in America
Subtitle of host publicationInforming Policy with Evidence and Analysis
PublisherThe Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781421411118
ISBN (Print)1421411105, 9781421411101
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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