The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is undoubtedly a place where students know about innovative, new technologies that could be readily available to Americans in the near future.

One of its graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, David Warsinger, asserts that emerging technologies could save lives and transform the debate over gun control.

Set phasers to stun — technology like Star Trek’s phasers lies under the radar and behind red tape, but it has the potential to solve a problem that has afflicted America for decades: gun violence. Unfortunately, solutions to gun violence discussed in mainstream politics have only brought limited effectiveness and intense partisan gridlock. Fortunately, other solutions have tremendous potential, and they are politically feasible.

While the focus thus far has largely been on limiting guns themselves with more screening and red tape, banning certain makes, etc., a critical element has been ignored — the bullets themselves. A pro-market approach to enabling bullets that are less lethal but that have more stopping power can reduce gun violence while pleasing gun owners, safety advocates, and even the NRA to boot.

… Low-lethality bullets can immediately gain exemptions from bullet taxes, waiting times, and other restrictions. Laws must be revised to make exceptions for and legalize high stopping power technologies such as safe salts for low-lethality bullets. Subsidies and funding can be considered for producing, creating awareness for, and marketing safe technologies. Scientific metrics for rating bullet lethality must be developed, possibly by the defense department. Research funding for low lethality bullets must be pursued. At this point NRA members should be drooling dollar signs, and that’s perfectly fine if it saves lives.

….The potential impact is huge. Only 4 percent of murders are premeditated, so modifying the tools affects almost all cases. Fear of painful failed suicides can discourage using guns or encourage abstaining, potentially reducing two thirds or more of lost vulnerable and usually young minds. And unlike the controversial debates happening right now, both parties can sign on.

However, conflict in politics is inevitable. Some may push for heavy use of restrictions on bullets rather than pro-market approaches. Some may fight certain high stopping power technologies since they’re painful. Some may fight any change whatsoever, even if it means fewer choices for self-defense. But ultimately, there is plenty of middle ground.

Americans demand a comprehensive solution to the problem of gun violence. We want to retain our second amendment rights and the ability to defend ourselves without suffering the lethal consequences of firearms. New bullet technologies offer a way to achieve this goal, but the silence regarding their use has been deafening. It’s time to be loud.