Can We Stop Consumers from Purchasing Pressure Cookers?

NEW YORK (MainStreet) —As is by now common knowledge, on April 15 multiple bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring as many as 144 others. Two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, have been accused of the attack, but even that hasn't stopped a nationwide search for answers, some of which might come from an unlikely place: the local shopping mall.

According to authorities the bombs used by the Tsarnaev brothers were a surprisingly sophisticated design that fused explosive nitrates likely taken from fireworks with household pressure cookers and triggered with the remote controllers for toy cars. By adding nails and bearings to act as shrapnel, these appliances became weapons deadly enough that the surviving brother has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

In the aftermath of these attacks we have to ask ourselves, what happens next? When terrorists hijacked airplanes we could respond by increasing airport security. We could respond to dedicated explosives with an intelligence network to help sweep them off our streets. We even responded to the slaughter of children at Newtown Elementary, with our leaders rushing to confront the NRA. So how do we prevent a Tsarnaev copycat from getting hold of what he needs to build another bomb when it's all right there on the shelf?

The short and tragic answer is, we can't.

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Williams Sonoma stores in the Boston area reportedly yanked pressure cookers from their shelves out of respect, but this is not a widespread phenomenon.

As of printing, no state or federal government is discussing regulation on household goods in the wake of the Boston bombing. The idea has even become a punchline for some, with at least one politician mockingly comparing it to gun control legislation.