Breaking Point

Those of a certain age can surely remember when cars didn't come standard with safety belts. Yes, there was such a time. Thousands of people died needlessly every year in crashes, and finally America got sick of the carnage and mandated that all vehicles come equipped with what is now a ubiquitous safety feature: the seat belt.

The car manufacturers howled at the intrusion on the free-enterprise system, and lots of freedom-loving Americans chafed at the imposition of laws requiring them to wear their safety belts. Notably, the same sequence of outrage, acceptance and increased safety holds true for motorcycle helmet laws as well. 

In both instances, the death and injury toll took a precipitous decline once the nation decided it had endured enough misery and took action to enforce responsible behavior.

One can only hope today is the day America decides it has endured enough when it comes to guns and the deaths of innocents.