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Rob Freda

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Solving gun violence in the US in today's insane political climate requires a solution that makes it painless for everyone.

First that this idea even needs to be broached in the first place is ridiculous especially given the lack of clarity in the second amendment (eg it does not specify types of arms so that should be handled by laws not as a "do what you will free for all").

That said it seems there are some major elements that would be necessary to reduce gun deaths in the US and there are some obfuscating interests embodied in the NRA that must be sidestepped or accommodated in the solution.

Four main areas of focus jump out to reduce gun deaths:

1) "mass killings" (included in this would be the 2 or 3 person shootings as well as as Newtown or Aurora types)
2) Accidental shootings
3) Non-owner shootings (eg the shooter is not the owner of the gun)
4) "black market" trading

Added to these I would say the parameter that makes gun control legislation difficult is gun manufacturer revenue stream protection using the second amendment as a shill.

So what are the necessary parameters to make something happen vs. the absurdity of what is going to happen over the next few months in Washington:

1) Figure out a way that shifting policy creates more revenue for gun manufacturers so they get the NRA on board
2) Make sure that guns cannot be used in public places or by someone other than their owner

The Idea - Mandatory gun locks and universal kill switches.

On locks, all responsible gun owners have gun safes. Why not move the lock to the gun's trigger mechanism either with a combination code or biometric locks. That would prevent unauthorized use of the gun by anyone but the owner.

On kill switches, in the same locking mechanism put a chip and actuator that freezes the locking mechanism mentioned above when it receives a certain modulated radio signal.

If mandatory then all existing guns will have to be refitted with the new bolt mechanism creating revenue streams for the gun manufacturers and on all new guns they can charge more creating more revenue.

Thoughts?

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    Jan 23 2013: First, I have to acknowledge that I am a combat survivor, that I have used firearms to inflict great harm on my enemies.
    Further, I am a strict constitutionalists. I also agreed that there is an extraordinary amount of violence imposed on Americans by their fellow Americans. Such violence that deprives Americans of their life,their properties,their sense of well being, etc. is a heinous crime and violates the basic premise of our constitution. I am speaking of intentional acts of violence and the tool matters not. But, this discussion centers on gun violence.
    Some thoughts.
    1. A gun is a mechanical device, produced to to meet specific standards and to market requirements. It's production and distribution are legitimate and the purchasers are legally allowed to engage in these transactions. There are a number of safety devices designed into the gun. Trigger locks, separate magazines, to name a few. I will be honest and say there have been occasions that people have overcome all safety features and caused harm to them selves and others. It has been said that there is no cure for stupid. The addition of new safety devices would add an additional cost to the product, but would it cure stupid? So, if the buyers want to spend extra for these features, the manufacturers will happily sell them with the appropriate markup. I'm sure.
    But we are discussing illegal activities, the use of a gun in the commission of an act of violence or the acquisition of a gun for the intention of committing an act of violence. So, would the addition of an owner only device be a deterrence?
    Did the club stop them from stealing my car? Experience shows that little stops a determined thief.
    But lets talk about the constitution which seems to be of concerned.
    The first governance of the colonies after the revolution was drafted in the Articles of Confederation. A political coalition wanted a stronger central government and set out to write a new constitution to that end.
    • Jan 23 2013: as you point out no cure for stupid. interested in your take on constitution.

      idea is not only locks, but kills switches. kill switch is easy with a biometric lock. you do not solve the problem but you do reduce the rate of incidence which at the end of the day is a good first phase result. As I said in some comment below you don't solve big problem in one step or on one dimension.

      Longer term if you wanted to push the technology if you really threw some R&D at this there could be a far more interesting ways to determine to shut off the gun using voice recognition, image analysis, etc. that is a bit out in the future but if you look at cutting edge in a number of areas a "smart" gun that only allows certain behaviours in its use is possible..

      as far as I can see the only group that should have a problem with that is those who believe in second amendment remedies which if our national debate is that far off the rails then why even bother.
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        Jan 23 2013: Hi Rob,
        A couple of points. If manufacturers put the highest tech, using latest R&D and people buy it, I have no problem with this. My point was the most sophisticated gadgets can be overcome. Further, it is focus on the tool, not the perpetrator.
        I know it sounds trite, but
        We have a maniacal individual that takes weapons and causes mass casualties. There seems to be a commonality in these attacks. They occur at schools. Could it be that these individuals feel they are being left behind in some way? Can they be understood and treated before they commit these crimes? Don't know.
        The most violence occurs in big cities, in areas that are poverty stricken, crowded, educationally deprived, single parent families, etc.,etc. You know the problems. Consider this. Over time these problems have been recognized and addressed, by many governmental agencies, private charities, etc. Billions have been spent, extraordinary efforts made, and nothing changes. When we look at history, great cities have always had these problems. When we look at little towns, not so many problems. ???
        Perpetrators.
        No innocent person should ever be deprived of life, liberty or property..
        But, the guilty? We send them to jails that provide, food, shelter, medical care, education and social services that are far better then the neighbor hoods they come from. Then with plea deals and good time, you can almost get away with murder. "But, our jails are so crowded." Half of our jail space is filled with victimless criminals. Bottom line is that violent criminals need violent jail time.
        Constitution.
        There are prescribed ways to amend the constitution. In my view, the nation has made some questionable changes, for another conversation. What I am opposed to is the constitutional dilemma of the day. " It's out of date, the words don't really mean what they say, it was a different time and a different culture, they had muskets, we have atom bombs. That's all B.S. It's the constitution.
        • Jan 23 2013: I agree wholeheartedly Mike, The problem I have is that they keep bringing up "Militia" when they don't want to hear from the actual founders what they meant by that term. The whole of the pepole, make up the militia as long as they are law abiding. With that in mind I have no problem keeping a felon from getting their hands on a gun, just don't restrict an honest citizen. One other thing, these large cities with the horrendus gun crime are often very restricted so that the honest citizen has no rights, and are therefore defenseless.
        • Jan 23 2013: On first point, I guess where I am confused is why we would not just do both? and throw another five or six approaches in there? Butterfly approach is most effective way to solution. other advantage is butterfly approach to singular problems generally tends to produce solutions that have multiple applications and result in economic benefits.

          everything can be overcome. that is not really question. the question is what is the level of difficulty and what effect does that have on reducing certain behaviors. If it were easy to hack systems there would be a lot more hacking. To hack a system the bar is pretty high which in turn reduces the rate of incidence.

          the whole point over time is to reduce the rate of incidence so anything that has a salutary effect therein should be in the hopper.

          I have done a fair bit of strategy work in my life and am decent at it. What I have noted over the years is the inflexibility of single path strategies tend to lead to piss poor results. Attacking on a single front puts all eggs in one basket. which is generally less than optimal. that is basically the French approach between 1914-1940 at which point there was no French approach.

          On constitution still not a satisfying answer. I simply do not see the need for an amendment to create further safety regulations per your first sentence. As I noted in another thread the interpretation that gun types should be unfettered is not completely unreasonable. conversely that said that weapons should have substantial safety regulation, like any other dangerous product, is equally reasonable. I simply do not see anything in the complete second amendment that makes regulation and guns mutually exclusive. the amendment specifically calls out regulation and the purpose of the right which is not to defend yourself or your house or some whatever, but in the defense of a free state. I think the amendment is very clear and does not logically lead to the conclusions most draw from it.
        • Jan 23 2013: I am not sure how you can be so sure of the true meaning of the second, when you are concentrating on the word regulated. there are several historians that have written books on this subject, and most either come to the conclusion that the people's right to bear arms is pre-eminent to the militia, or in Saul Cornells's version that it is actually an obligation to own and bear arms. Either way, the way it is worded is clear in one respect and that is that the people have the right to own and bear arms. The whole Idea of a militia would be tossed out otherwise. It is the people that reulate the militia that they are a part of, it is we the people that are in charge, I believe these all go togather.
        • Jan 29 2013: Mike : one good reason for shootings at a school. They are widely known as "Gun Free Zones'" meaning the shooter doesn't need to worry about counterfire.

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