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There were almost 200 deaths by gunshots in San Bernardino last January, a month that, by most political and academic accounts, was getting off to a good start for gun control. So far, there have been six murders and 23 injuries, putting the per-capita number of all gun-related deaths just about on par with the number of victims killed this past July in the Massachusetts brewery massacre that left 29 dead and 23 injured.

Like all rampage killings, the San Bernardino case raises serious questions about the efficacy of tough gun control laws that have featured prominently in a political debate that has largely focused on controversial measures like "assault weapons" and sidelining others, like the mentally ill who might pop up to commit mass shootings. The murder of 14 people at the Washington Navy Yard, however, brought the danger of mass shootings to a technology-savvy market that already resonates with America's gun boom in recent years. And it appears to have pushed the shooting into an entirely new market: the world of on-demand autonomous vehicles.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control advocacy group founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has analyzed AMBER alerts for customers using Tilt, an older but still effective tool for pairing data with social networks. Over the first ten days after the Navy Yard mass shooting, it received alerts that included information about a Hammond, Indiana, crew of four offering a domestic service for customers in neighboring Burlington and South Hadley. "Upon in-depth analysis of the data, we can tell that their drivers offered a domestic service and were sought by company consumers in the Port of Randolph and Mid Tennessee," a Mayors Against Illegal Guns spokesperson told Mother Jones.

Until recently these automated services—mostly of the realm of consultancy, not start-ups—had seen very little use in their first year. That is because they combine some truly risky technologies with a wayward ethos that makes them appear to the average person to