There is much hand-wringing, and rightfully so, this week about guns and how 30,000 people a year are killed by guns and how we need to revisit gun control (though not enough angst, me thinks, about how the Virginia Tech shooter wouldn't have had access to the weapons he used if Dubya had signed the renewal of the assault weapons ban, but that's another post).
And yet 41,000 Americans are killed each year in automobile crashes. That's about three-and-a-half Virginia Techs a day. And millions, of course, die each year of diseases caused by obesity and inactivity, which can be largely attributed to the sedentary lifestyle our car culture has enabled. Yet no hand-wringing there. No calls for more public transit or fewer roads. No outcry for expanded bike lanes or walkable cities. I guess it's easier to call for stricter gun laws when only 38 percent of American households own firearms, while 60 percent of American households have at least two cars. For most Americans, you'll have to pry the steering wheel out of their cold, dead hands.