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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: More
    The federalists were concerned among other issues was the survival of 13 little "states" in a world of huge monarchies.
    they wanted a strong "federal government" to bring the states together into a formidable force to face the future.. My words, not Madison's. Of course, there was an opposing point of view. Patrick Henry was concerned that since the colonies went through hell fighting a great central government was very skeptical of the federalist. He was concerned that a powerful central government could turn the people in the colonies like the people in England. He was a spokesman for the Anti-federalists. End of the story was that the constitution would not be ratified unless the 12 amendments guaranteeing individual and states rights where incorporated. Actually, only the first ten were added then and the 11th was passed as the 27th amendment.
    So, the 2nd says exactly what it says, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Washington DC cannot infringe (do anything) on the matter of armed citizenry by the constitution. Further, on the off chance that someone manages to seize control of DC, the now fifty states will form militias to defend themselves.
    Now, some will say how can a bunch of farmers defeat the US Army... I've heard that. But, every soldier takes a solemn oath the defend the constitution and obey lawful orders. Orders violating the constitution are not lawful.
    Now about violence. We need to catch and punish the perpetrators. We spend all this time and effort on talking about tools and not about the perpetrators.
    Perpetrators. In college, we used to experiment with mice. the one thing I remember was when you put too many mice in a small box, there was violence. Another class taught that cities should be limited to 100 K population and have a green belt 30 miles wide around it. Environmental stuff. Chicago, LA, New York, small boxes, a lot of mice. A lot of violence. Greens may have something.
    • Jan 23 2013: So oddly enough here is a trend from the energy conversation. Urban population density is projected to increase to above 90% for the US. 65% globally but they are not subject of this conversation. NY is already 126K per km^2 vs. Chicago as 56K per km^2. NY has the lower murder rate and lower absolute figure in 2012. So the density/violence correlation can be controlled.

      Interestingly if you have a look at the rate of deaths per 100K due to guns and you look at the density of guns state by state. there is a very clear correlation to the rate of ownership and the rate of death.

      Northeast has the lowest rate of ownership and the lowest rate of death. south has the highest of qwnership and the highest rate of death.

      Mike let me ask you something since from the energy thing I think you might actually answer this. How come every time someone who believes in unfettered firearm rights quotes the constitution they leave out the modifier?

      In the second amendment in either version the whole reason the right is guaranteed is very clearly stated and it is not some inherent right as many others in the bill of rights are. It is a dependent right for the defense of a free state. Further it is clearly stated that the right to "keep and bear" be well-regulated within the context of a militia. "keep and bear" is not defined outside of the context of the militia so there is a reasonable argument to be made in the courts that that right is not to universally applied to home use.

      The courts are pretty clear on the ability to regulate guns and the larger set of which guns are a part - weapons. It is constitutional.

      What I find amazing it that despite a pretty good body of supreme and lower court precedence the gun lobby has managed to execute a strategy where they have moved the constitutionality ahead of the regulation thereby contravening the role of the court

      If you leave out the modifier then the second amendment is very clear. if you don't not so clear cut
      • Jan 23 2013: You talk of the militia as if it was a standing army, yet the founding fathers were asked this same question as to what was meant by militia, and who they were, and the answer was every law abiding citizen. How can you construe that to not mean an inherent right of the people? The right of the people to bear arms isn't even American, as it can be found in many European documents abd it is clearly stated at the time to mean two things, that the people have a right to own weapons, and they have the right to form a militia. I don't know where you are getting this interpretation of this verse, but history clearly states that you are mistaken.
        • Jan 29 2013: most framers were against a standing army. I know a militia is not a standing army. that alone should tell you how out of date their thinking is. this whole "founding father's" thing has a dogmatic quality to it that is almost disturbing. What I find interesting is most of the very men you are talking about would find it just as disturbing.

          their thinking was great for its time but it is pretty much useless today, and they knew except for the basic structure that it would be. like I said somewhere else in all this, if you think Plato's ideas still hold the same weight as they did 2000 years ago, you are simply not thinking.
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        Jan 23 2013: Hi Rob,
        Several good points.
        Violence can be controlled, New York vs. Chicago. When Gulianne (sp) is elected mayor of Chicago, I would expect a turn around. Seriously, police intensity is a function of crime rate.
        I checked your numbers with the FBI lists, some differentials, some differing qualifiers, lets leave that aside.
        The Second Amendment. I am really confused by all this talk. Read Henry. Read Madison. Read Franklin. Colonies had no standing Armies. Their governors had militias. Some not even certified in law, just an understanding. If the colony was under attack by outside forces, that all able bodied men would bring their arms, whatever they had, and come together to defend the colony. Militias.
        Henry was adamant about the protection of individual rights. Now, I would be the most surprised of all if anyone could usurp the power of the federal Government in Washington and try to void the constitution for all of America. I am more incline to believe the scenario as described by the Nazis and Japanese in discussing the capture of the US and the Germans concern because of the guns in the hands of the civilians.
        If the citizenry want to amend the constitution to change the 2nd. Fine. We have amended it before.
        What I am annoyed about is all the pussy footing around it.
        The other thing that annoys me is this reliance on case law. Lazy judges who say the case before me is sort of, kinda of like this old case, so I'll use that judge's decisions.... but that is another conversation.
        • Jan 23 2013: Gun presence and use in death comments were predicated on per capita, In absolute numbers i would doubt the northeast would be lower given is far higher population density. general crime rates are probably pretty different. what is the link to the FBI site?

          would agree with everything you said above. only proviso I might throw in is that I would focus first on the framers writings on governance and their thinking on their place in history. they knew and understood that their personal opinions would become outdated. They could not possibly know how outdated but they understood that history does not stand still. for this reason I think they tried to build a framework that was sufficiently flexible to not require constant amendment. they tried to isolate very broad parameters that successful societies shared and codify them as the basis of their new government. I would say Madison understood this and in addition to the mechanism of amendments they were careful in their wording. I actually have a problem bringing in external writing for a number of reasons because it opens the debates on a number of unproductive fronts some of which you pointed out. I think it is often ignored just how vast the knowledge gap between the late 1700's and today is. The framers were geniuses for their time and they may well not be as out of date as say Plato but there are definitely anachronisms in the constitution and the primary amendments. how they would have reacted to the current situation is unknowable so personally I do not think that bringing in their personal external opinions is particularly useful.

          think we are talking at cross purposes. my main point is guns should be classified as a hazardous product and be regulated accordingly with exception of banning ownership of any given type. That basically means the regulation would have to be safety regulation relating to their keeping and bearing. That is not unconstitutional per the very wording of the amendment.
      • Jan 24 2013: Less than 5 minutes ago: "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People."
        — Tench Coxe, 1788.
        This speach was given during meetings that were held regarding rattifacation of the amendments.
        This speach was recieved with a standing ovation.
        "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from
        time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take
        arms...the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood
        of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
        -- Thomas Jefferson
        "Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared
        to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic
        purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice
        for that freedom."
        -- John F. Kennedy

        Or if you would rather, take a look at the actual legal definition of the militia as set forth in the United States Code:
        Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, "Militia: composition and classes" in its entirety:
        "(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
        b) The classes of the militia are —
        (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
        (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
        • Jan 29 2013: and so which one is the well-regulated one?
        • Jan 29 2013: Are you so sure of what happened 2000 years ago? Everyday life was just as cheap as it is today, Not much has changed really, except that violence for profit is now only to the death in accident. Other than that, The advances mean nothing, people of the time would undoubtably be just as outraged as people of this time, and some would be just as likely to want to "do something". That does not mean that the ones I refer to would. In my opinion, they would see tragedy, and loss, and realise it for what it is, and that you cannot change the human responsible.
      • Jan 29 2013: Impressive that you would dismiss an idea just because of it's age. Imagine i wasted my time reading all the great philosphers, including Plato. This tells me just how much you are actually thinking, and also tells me you think you are a psychic if you say that you know what they would of thought.
        • Jan 29 2013: so you would say that Plato's ideal republic formulated on urban populaces that were around 50,000 is as incisive today as 2000 years ago?

          come on.

          I am not being dismissive. I am being realistic. The likelihood that nothing we have learned in 2000 years furthers our understanding of human societal dynamics is roughly 0.

          correlate their (Plato or the framers) level of intelligence to similar people today and you have a rough idea of what they would have thought if they grew up in a similar societal circumstances. that is not psychic. that is extrapolation. if you have an instance of human thought rising above the conditions of the time to some core truth please expound.

          One would not expect a 13th century scientist or even a 19th century physicist to be able to predict any of the scientific advances that have occurred in the last century. why would any other field of human endeavor be different?
    • Jan 29 2013: Mike: a "bunch of farmers" have ALREADY defeated the US Army. i.e in Vietnam, Afghanistan , and Iraq. But that is no disgrace, any more than Britain was disgraced by our Revolutionary War. The only way the "natives" can be defeated is by Genocide.

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