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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 22 2013: how the truth is used to lie to you:

    "switzerland and israel have high gun ownership but low gun deaths" - yes that's true, but switzerland restricts ammunition so the citizens can't fire their guns, and israel lets you own guns but not at home, you have to keep them at the local army base.

    "the UK has a gun ban and they have much higher violent crime" - yes that's true, but violent crime didn't rise after the gun ban, and of the victims far fewer are killed. there are fewer violent crimes in the USA but more people get killed rather than just injured.

    "the 2nd amendment protects our right to bear arms" - yes that's true, it protects your right to bear arms without saying what form those arms are to be, it doesn't protect your right to own guns. it's currently illegal in the USA to own nuclear arms, but nobody is complaining about being denied that particular 'right'.

    "if we don't have guns we can't protect ourselves against criminals with guns" - yes that's true, but if nobody has guns criminals won't have anyone to steal them from. also, if having a gun becomes illegal, a criminal can then be arrested for having a gun, long before he gets the chance to actually kill someone with it.
    • Jan 29 2013: Ben : you don't seem to be acquainted with the Swiss militia idea. They do not have a" standing army", but a militia similar to that mentioned in our 2nd Amendment.. Every able bodied Swiss man has a machinie gun at home, with plenty of ammunition alongside it, like the "Minutemen". You are probably hearing that , at the compulsory periodic shooting practice, the government provides the ammunition. Yes, iindeed, but , as a stay at home soldier, they need to have a stash at home too, it was not the intent of the governement to deny anyone ammuniition. I wish we could reinstate the Militia here. The reason we alllowed it to decline was that it is not conducive to a war of aggression, which the Civil War was. Miliitamen don't want to leave home. However, given our present achievement of "Diversity", I suppose we could no longer trust the "average citizen with a machine gun" . In fact, it might scare them. Regrettable..
      • Jan 31 2013: nope, whoever told you that was ill-informed or just plain lying to you. every member of the militia used to be assigned only 50 rounds to keep at home, and it was regularly inspected to make sure no unauthorised use had occurred - citizens cannot use their arms whenever they please but only when ordered to to do by the government in order to protect the country.

        since 2007 even this allowance was repealed, and now no ammunition can be kept at home. the idea is if the country is invaded, men bring their guns to the local armoury and are given ammunition there. there is one exception though. you can buy ammunition at a shooting range, howvere you must return any unspent rounds, you cannot return home with them. also you cannot buy any other guns, the only guns in the country are 2 assigned to every male who enters the militia - a rifle and a handgun - so all guns can be accounted for. if a person chooses to leave the militia they can keep their weapons, however their automatic capability is removed, and when you can't possibly get any ammunition to use in it it just becomes a stick anyway.
        • Jan 31 2013: Ben : thanks for updating me about the Swiss: I had a Swiss coworker, years ago , who told me about it. But your conclusions are not exactly logical. If a competent person has a rifle or pistol, even if a "mere" semi-auto, he would probably be able to get ammunition if he wanted it. Do they also account for empty cartridge cases? It is no trick at all to reload them. And there is no smuggling in Switzerland?! Not that they seem to be inclined to shoot people, but that is my main point. It is not that guns are "controlled" in Switzerland, but that the people control THEMSELVES. But that is of course, exactly what the NRA would say, isn't it?
      • Feb 1 2013: i get your point that ammunition seems easy to come by, but outside america that just isn't the case. no one's going to give you any ammo because they don't have any to give you, it isn't sold anywhere at all so there aren't even any shops to steal it from, and yeah at shooting ranges they do count empty cases. you buy 40 rounds you can't leave until you've spent them. no ranger owner is going to risk going to prison and losing hi business to let you have a few rounds, and since it's controlled by the government he absolutely would get discovered. try to obtain some uranium in the states, that's about how much trouble you'd have to get your hands on guns or ammunition in most other countries. anyway even if someone could get a hold of guns and ammo, there's no point, because the chances he'll get caught with it and goto prison are high, while the chance he'll actually need to use the gun even once in his life are low. i've heard that a new minimum wage law is being passed through swiss parliament at the moment, $50,000 a year minimum wage can you believe? no wonder there's low crime.
    • Jan 29 2013: Ben: The chance of your plan of eliminating guns actually succeeding is , predictably, zero. Didn't we learn anything from the complete and utter failure of the "War on Drugs"?! Prohibiting objects, I mean. And drugs are not even "protected" by the Consititution, and are unpopular with many people to boot. Can you imagine the scale of gun smuggling that would result if guns were seriously banned? Not that there would really be any need to, since they could be illicitly manufactured here anyway. As if there weren't enough already stashed away. By the way, would the Police , or private guards be allowed to have them.? What about Congressmen and other important people, and their bodyguards.? And I hope you understand that your plan would require a Police State to enforce it , much more efficient and ruthless than the Soviet secret police.
      • Jan 31 2013: it's worked with every country in the world that's tried it. how do you support your claim that the possibility of success is zero? you're not seriously equating a plant with a precision manufacturer to make a case are you? also as i said, guns are not protected by the constitution. the constitution protects the right to bear arms, it does not say what kind of arms. nuclear bombs are a form of arms, do you think all citizens are constitutionally given the right to possess a couple of those too?

        as i said in a previous post (which i think is the one you meant to reply to) i think licensing is the way to go. so bodyguards etc would have a license for say a single handgun. people could make their own guns sure but why would they? in every country that has banned guns no illicit manufacture of guns has come up. here in japan actually criminals deliberately steer clear of guns because it's like a sign saying "hey come arrest me!"
        • Jan 31 2013: Ben: about G.C. success rate = 0: How do YOU define success? I don't think it will be easy to do so. And how do you explain the opposite effects we see, such as the outcome of 30 years of creeping "Right to Carry " Laws in the US , which seems to flatly contradict your conclusions? Ref: "More Guns, Less Crime", a scholarly study of the subject , by Prof. John Lott.
      • Feb 1 2013: i define success by decreased gun-related deaths. as i previously stated gun control does not reduce crime (and i don't claim that it does) but it does make crime less deadly. there are more violent crimes in the UK than in the US, but fewer people die as a result of those crimes - they're injured, not killed.
        what opposite effects are you talking about? more guns less crime talks about using guns to counter other guns, which is unrelated to gun control which aims to ensure there are no guns that need to be countered with other guns in the first place. it's the reason japanese and UK police don't even carry guns (they're unnecessary), and the reason why australian police almost never have to use their guns even though they still carry them.
        • Feb 1 2013: Ben: about "opposite" effects, I was really referring to unforeseen side effects, more damaging than the goals that were supposed to be achieved. Gun Control , for example. As an Engineer, it was my job to actually plan and carry out somebody's "good idea", so I am accustomed to think concretely about how to go about carrying out a plan. To start with, I note that the US public is divided into seriously antagonistic camps, to the point of governmental deadlock, and the disagreements are not trivial. One of the camps, if not both, take seriously the idea that the other(s) might actually seek to capture the government. Let's remember that Hitler did not come to power through a coup, but rather a gradual infringement process, justified by "emergencies". Well, one obvious and necessary step would be to disarm the public, especially in the US , with so many guns. You say you want to "save lives", but plenty of ordinary people, especially those who know how to shoot, would resist this program strongly. So how would you deal with that? Obviously you would be forced to use the Police power, the usual drill as with "Drug Enforcement". First you would request that we all follow the new "Law" and turn in all guns voluntarily. I guarantee you that such a program would have the success rate of the "Gun Buyback" programs of the past: a total flop. The next step would be to use force and intimidation, such as the laudable efforts of the government to disallow "Racial" prejudice 50 years ago. Except in this case, the resistors would believe that they are following Jefferson and defending the Constitution. There are already rumblings about how it might be better if States were allowed to secede. As well as Policemen(in Texas naturally,) saying the won't follow the "Law". What I'm saying is that this program would accomplish very little, and would certainly make internal stresses even worse than they are. The result would very likely be MORE shooting, not less.
      • Feb 2 2013: i share your pain having to carry out the "brilliant ideas" of others!
        as i've said a few times now, my plan is not to ban guns but to improve licensing of the access to guns. i don't promote disarming people as i don't promote taking people's cars away, but just as if you have a car accident you give up your license and your car is impounded. in the same way as you can't sell a car to a kid, and someone without a truck license cannot drive a truck, why not use similar rules to control the movement of weapons to ensure the public has access to their guns unless they use them or transfer them illegally, which would stem the flow of guns to the criminal element?

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