400-Word Scenario #2: The Good Old Days of Gun Violence
July 21, 2042 (Fox/MSNBC News): The nation reacted with a mix of horror, outrage, calls for new laws, and debate over the Second Amendment as the scale of the latest mass murder came into focus over the past two days.
A confirmed total of 212 people, most in the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, but some as far away as New York and Seattle, are apparently victims of yet another technologically sophisticated, targeted DNA/GPS/UAV attack.
A spokesman for the FBI could not confirm the motive behind the attack, which appears to be very similar to one last year that seemed to target elderly people who received certain federal government benefits. In that attack, DNA collected via personal interactions with the government office in question was used to target benefit recipients. Flying "swarmbots," programmed to recognize the DNA sequences in question, were released that randomly sampled hundreds of thousands of people's DNA, injecting those who matched the DNA samples from the office encounters with a fatal toxin. Although no further victims have been identified in the past six months, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI cannot discount the possibility that some swarmbots survive, and hundreds of people who spent time at the office in question remain in government "clean facilities."
"We are still in the initial stages of investigation," the FBI spokesperson told reporters. "Speculation as to motives is fruitless. The perpetrator may be simply insane, or angry about some political issue, or had a bad breakup, or maybe it's just someone who doesn't like the Cowboys. Who knows with these maniacs."
The NRA reacted with calls for tighter regulation of micro-UAVs and certain poisons. "The Constitution defends the right to bear arms. Smart dust and micropoisoners are not what we were formed to defend."
The Real NRA, a splinter group, denounced the NRA as "sell-outs." "The Constitution is clear - citizens cannot have their right to bear arms infringed, whether they are guns, nukes, microdots, or directed energy weapons. Amend the Constitution if you want to take our rights away."
The phrase "directed energy weapons" clearly referred to a 2040 attack on the Mexican border by a vigilante group.
Whitney Kennedy, a Dallas resident, added a mournful postscript: "Remember when we worried about some guy shooting up a theater or a college or blowing up Times Square? Now you only see guns and explosives on people dressed up as Steampunks."