American society embraces gun ownership and there are something like 300 million guns in the US. Definition: a gun is a mechanical device purpose-built for efficiently translating impulse into mayhem. This transformation may be benign: punching holes in a paper target, or practical: taking down a deer to put meat on a table. But it is always, always quick, and too often the impulse is anger, hatred, depression or dismay, and then of course the very efficiency of the mayhem-machine becomes tragic. Yes, you can kill someone with a knife or rope (or candlestick, playing the old board-game, “Clue”), and we understand suicide can be accomplished with pharmaceuticals or a leap from a high place. But these tactics take time and time forces a measure of reflection and maybe hesitation. Gun deaths are scary because the trigger process allows no space between impulse and catastrophe. Confiscation is impractical; what can we do? Car deaths were a problem; we couldn’t confiscate; society accepted seat belts. Is there a “seat belt” for guns? If the NRA won’t yield an inch on gun ownership, will it talk about gun deaths? Will American culture accept a narrative of meaningful intervention?