Another Very Useful Forum

“What’s your best idea to cut gun deaths?” The New York Times’s Freakonomics blog asks today. The responses are well meaning, and predictable.

Jens Ludwig, a law and public policy professor from the University of Chicago, supports handing out money for tips on gun possession:

A bunch of logistical issues would need to be worked out, including how large the rewards would be (I think $1,000 or more wouldn’t be crazy) and how police should respond to tips and confiscate guns while respecting civil liberties.

Former gang member Jesus Castro Jr., who currently runs a gang-awareness mentoring program in California, says:

The greatest way to make this happen is to make it law and set up organizations that serve youth and families, helping them to better educate parents on how to stop gun violence and clearly teaching them the consequences that result from gun violence.

Here’s Eric Proshansky, the deputy chief of the Division of Affirmative Litigation in the New York City Law Department: “Elect public officials who are, in fact, committed to reducing gun deaths in the U.S.”

And from David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health, who favors the creation of the National Firearm Safety Administration, we get:

…each specific rule regulating the manufacture and sale of firearms should go through a more scientific administrative process rather than the more political legislative process. It’s time to take some of the politics out of firearm safety.

How productive is this feast of informed opinion? Wait, that’s not the right attitude. So, here’s the checklist, America: cash incentives, community organizations, the Right Folks in Office, and a new national agency. Now, let’s get moving.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.