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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.



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  • Jan 22 2013: If you want to improve the world by reducing violence, might I recommend beginning a discussion on mitigating the social darwinian nature of human interactions. It is the fundamental problem and far more pertinent.

    Consider the data:


    Twice as many people are murdered by some body part as are from rifles. Four to five times as many people are murdered from knives. One and a half times as many people are murdered from blunt objects. Where's the outcry for fist control, knife control, and hammer control? Apparently we should all be brains in a vat, living in a virtual reality. Where oh where is the Matrix when you need it? You aren't going to solve anything by outlawing further sales on "assault" rifles or reducing magazine capacity to say 10 rounds, as is Obama's current proposal. It doesn't take long to reload a Smith & Wesson .45 caliber, 10 round capacity pistol or some similar model. In which case, you aren't going to resolve mass killings. Handguns aren't even the consideration. Ironically, those who seek to reduce gun violence ought to be focusing their efforts on such (perhaps by insisting on revolvers only; still, a few revolvers with a large enough caliber is 15 murder victims), but there isn't a canary's chance in an offgasing coal mine the United States will outlaw handguns. And the reason is simple; as much as they are used in unjustified violence, they also save lives:


    My firearm has deescalated violence more than once. I know of a couple whose home was broken into in the middle of the night, and after a 30 minute fist fight witht the assailant, although they won, they wish they had a firearm (and carry them religiously now).

    Focus on what matters; accountability and justice. Less dog eat dog, more honor & fairness.

    In the meantime, I'm cleaning my gun.
    • Jan 22 2013: good point. would actually say that is the misunderstanding of evolutionary environments as embodied by social darwinism and that misunderstandings influence on attitudes and our culture. it is a bit splitting hairs, but the idea that evolutionary environments produce "optimal" solutions has infected our zeitgeist and is in a word completely wrong. highly efficient species can "optimize" into extinction so the whole underpinning of the modern form of social darwinism per Ann Rand, Paul Ryan, etc. just displays a basic ignorance of how dynamical systems actually work.

      wish we could go back to the classic western ideals you espouse.
      • Jan 22 2013: Indeed. In my observation, not everyone is wired to make decisions leading to peace. We aren't going to persuade lions to live in perfect harmony. Perhaps working toward genetically reengineering humans to pursue healthier relationships, and we might have real peace. In our circumstances, the goal is to find a way to minimize unjustified violence of whatever form. This is a function of many variables, justice and accountability being central.
        • Jan 22 2013: hmmm. think we might need to reengineer more than just the genetics but interesting idea.

          there does seem to be a lack of what I would call "personal philosophy" in our society, eg an ethical code which one adheres to such as stoicism in the ancient world. it seems that you have one. Out of the people I know I would say maybe 20% do. This is a bit counterintuitive since we have educated at least to a minimal level large portions of the population.

          I think that what you are talking about requires that a large portion of the population in a democracy holds themselves to a standard of action and behavior. That means the values and standards have to be shared. It is also requires that the society in general apply pressure to those whose behavior strays to far from acceptable ethical behavior.

          Not sure that is doable right now. Too many people thinking (or not thinking as the case may be) left or right, liberal or conservative. Many of the western ideals have been torn down and associated with the negative effects of colonialism. Political correctness prevents people on both sides from pointing out the obvious. etc. etc.

          I have a friend that notes if you always come down on the same side of every issue, you are not principled, you are not thinking.
    • Jan 22 2013: one other point. guns are the only object you mentioned specifically designed to kill something. can you openly carry a sword or morningstar legally? (honest question as I do not know the answer)
      • Jan 22 2013: From what I gather, you aren't concerned with a firearm being designed with the ability to kill any'ole thing (I don't gather this conversation is on the merits of hunting), you are concerned with a gun being utilized against a human target in the commission of a homicide. Almost never is the motive of the creator/designer/manufacturer to produce a firearm to be employed in such a manner. In which case, although firearms generally are designed to have the ability to kill something (a fact they share in common with many knives, bow and arrows, swords, battle axes, etc.), I'm missing the relevance of this fact to your concern. Isn't your interest in reducing murders?
        • Jan 22 2013: yes on point one. on two homicide or accidental shooting.

          on point three "Almost never is the motive of the creator/designer/manufacturer to produce a firearm to be employed in such a manner." WHAT? A bullet traveling a 3000 ft per sec that kills with hydrostatic shock is not designed to kill a person if you hit them anywhere but the hand or foot? 50 cal rifles were not designed specifically to punch through armored vehicles and bounce around inside? I think the US DoD has been wasting a lot of R&D dollars if a better killing machines is not the primary motive in the design of guns.

          the point is all guns are designed specifically to kill something. whether it is a mammal or whatever. that cannot be said universally of the other items you mentioned previously (they can be used to kill but that is not generally their specific purpose, eg blunt objects). that is why I asked about the sword which is designed for no other purpose. was just pointing out a logical inconsistency in your original grouping.
        • Jan 29 2013: Rob: you are extrapolating unjustifiablly, Guns really are tools, and can be used for many different things . If they are exclusively to "Kill people" as you say, may I ask why Police are allowed to carry them? They are not authorized to "kill people", though they may be forced to occasionallly, but that is not the purpose of the gun.
      • Jan 22 2013: For whatever idiosyncratic reason to TED discussion boards, I cannot reply to your most recent comment directly, so I'm sending my reply to your previous comment to address your most recent thoughts. If you read the sentence prior, I indicated guns are not manufactured for the purpose of murder. Context, friend, context.

        Many knives, bow and arrows, and so on are expressly created with the ability to kill something consistent with firearms. My comments were entirely consistent.
        • Jan 22 2013: It is weird. You have to go into the reply on the comment specifically not just the window that pops up. makes no sense.

          "Twice as many people are murdered by some body part as are from rifles. Four to five times as many people are murdered from knives. One and a half times as many people are murdered from blunt objects. Where's the outcry for fist control, knife control, and hammer control?"

          knives - dual purpose
          blunt objects/hammers - not designed to kill
          Fists/body parts - not designed to kill

          guns, sword, bow and arrow, >>> all weapons - specifically designed to kill

          I was just saying the relative to the quote above guns were the only thing you mentioned that was exclusively designed to kill although there was a brief vogue in the military when they were designed to maim badly to stress the enemies infrastructure.

          you asked why guns should be treated differently. that is why. swords, bows, etc should be treated differently too.

          I generally agree with the gist of your post and would say what you are pointing out is systemically becoming more problematic in our society.

          One point though I did not say ban the assault rifle, I said make it safer. your post does not really address why that is not a potential solution over the short term while we work on the things that humans have failed to fix in any society yet.
    • Jan 23 2013: I have some counter research with opposite results (guns kill the most people). Not that I think anything need discussing, I think the point should be made that research results are variable. And since we now have two conflicting data, we can't say anything intelligent about it yet. To be forward, I am against additional gun control, but really don't care either way because I already own the guns I want to own.

      source = http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004888.html
      • Jan 23 2013: The data you posted does not conflict with the data I referenced from the FBI. Without meaning to sound rude, you didn't read my comments carefully enough. If you look more closely, I think your error will be evident.
        • Jan 24 2013: You're not rude, and I was lazy for not completely reading your post. Cheers (I might clean my gun today as well).
      • Jan 25 2013: ;-) Always appreciate an honest man. Cheers to you! And don't forget the oil!

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