High rates of gun violence in the U.S. dwarf those in almost all developed nations. As an example, the yearly U.S. death rate by firearm homicide is between 500 and 3,000 percent more than in England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — despite having similar rates of crime, violence, bullying, depression and even non-firearm homicide. It’s a major public health problem that needs our attention and support.

One reason behind the troubling toll in the U.S. is that we’re the only country — compared to 13 economically similar countries in four continents — with no national gun license system or storage regulations.

A commonsense solution proposed by Stephen Teret, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public’s Health, is by making guns only operable by authorized users. These “smart guns” might decrease teenage suicide rates and accidental shootings by children, according to Teret, while stolen guns would not be functional.

What do you think? If gun purchases are to remain legal in the U.S., should the federal government limit sales to “smart guns” that can only be fired by strictly authorized users.

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