Should the Democrats’ gun control efforts fail, Frum suggests steps the Obama administration can take unilaterally:
Congress in the mid-1990s forbade the federal government to fund its own research into the health risks presented by guns. By now, however, enough research has been done by privately funded scholars that the surgeon general could write a report based on existing material. Such a report would surely reach the conclusion that a gun in the home greatly elevates risks of suicide, lethal accident and fatal domestic violence. The first step to changing gun policy is to change public attitudes about guns, as Americans previously changed their attitudes about tobacco and drunken driving. The surgeon general can lead that attitude change with more authority than any other public official.
Why this kind of scrutiny is necessary:
So many gun accidents occur because guns almost never indicate whether a bullet is present in the chamber. A gun owner might remove the gun’s magazine and believe the gun unloaded, when in fact it still contains one potentially deadly shot. Why not require guns to be equipped with indicator lights? Why not require that guns be designed so that they will not fire if dropped? We have safety standards for every consumer product, from children’s cribs to lawnmowers, except for the most dangerous consumer product of them all. Not only that, Congress has actually immunized makers of that product against harms inflicted by unsafe design.