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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 30 2013: OK, controversy aside, Firearms were not invented to be safe. They were invented to give advantage to those possessing them. A safer gun is almost an oxymoron. The use of those weapons is the core of the debate.
    The ones who commit the crimes as in the latest atrocity are said to be mentally ill and most would agree that a mentally ill person is probably ten times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator. Columbine, the perpetrators were said to be outcasts of the school or social networks. They were tired of their inequality and acted out in a way that most should and would not. My point is this there are dangers in this world mostly human nature that a weapon is good for. /the weapons are not the problem in my view, we are.
    We tend to exclude others to the point of severe pain to those very people. A lot more compassion and understanding of those we would separate ourselves from might go a long way to solving the majority of problems we face as a society.
    So the next time you want to remove or separate someone from participation in our society or clique. Try doing the opposite they might not as bad as we think, which is usually the case,, it will take guts but it just might save a loved one or perhaps you.
    • Jan 30 2013: good point and valuable sentiment.

      that said I would say that the interface between humans and guns is the problem and cannot reasonably be separated. would you argue that something like mustard gas is not a problem, only the people willing to order its use? there is no value to that parsing of responsibility in reality. philosophically use requires both the tool and the intent. either without the other and nothing happens. when a tool's effect upon use outweighs its probative value western legal systems legislate against the tool. hence the geneva conventions.

      while I am a fan of big solutions, in this case there can be no big solution. therefore the solution has to be incremental and therefore any steps that reduce the rate of incidence other than an outright ban is useful. we are never going to eliminate the problem but we can reduce its impact.
      • Jan 31 2013: Rob

        My point is that guns may be the culprit or tool as you put it, they are only objects, however they do exist and that's that. But, if we look at the root causes of mass killings using them we find many of these people that feel disenfranchised outside of the norm and are shun-ed and excommunicated from our society and or community are the trying to be heard. Then they won't seek other more dramatic ways of making you notice them and hear them. In others wor they will be heard whether you like it or not. It is human nature to gravitate towards like minded individuals, that may never change. However we can learn that this model of clique, groups, political views or sides or whatever you wish to call them, tend to exclude all other ideas based on bias rather than inclusive shared interests or goals.

        I'm not pretending to know the answers but I can tell you this. When we listen to our hearts separation of ideas simply don't work, because bias has never been a good idea. Just look at the Religions of the world. Probably the one characteristic of human kind that has killed more people than any other invention of man. Religions are almost all exactly the same. Good will, do as you want done, and so on. Yet Christians believe that if you don't believe in Christ and you are of the age of accountability (which is a vague term) then you go to hell when you die, which is ludicrous. Others don't believe hell exists, still others don't believe there is a God at all. And, as far as I'm concerned all of these ideas are fine in and of themselves, but here's the crux for me. Just because I don't believe the way you do, does not make you wrong or vice verse. The problem is bias and prejudice without listening to the other side. We need to stop excluding and start including all those around us so that we can better understand those around us and ourselves. Not just on a mass level but also on a personal level. Maybe & only maybe then we won't see these types of tragedies un

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