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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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  • Feb 2 2013: Why should it be painless for everyone? Gun wounds and killings are painful. I think that is not a requirement for helping to solve the problem. Having one's cake and eating it too is not necessarily going to be possible. I think perhaps practical woulld be a more realistic goal. Or maybe people should just hand them in and manufacturers should stop making those assault weapons - whether they like it or not. For the good of innocent victims and society as a whole, and we are all a part of that society, it should just be done.
    After Dunblane (in Scotland)killings of children in school, there was a call for people to just turn in their weapons, no questions asked, no punishment for having one, to police stations, which I think many did. In Australia, I heard, the government attempted to buy back guns after a big shooting, which was an expensive proposition.
    I wonder why people think they need to have guns. Some say to protect themselves from others who have guns. It becomes a slippery slope. Some like them because of the sense of power it gives them. Some (and these are reasonable) to hunt. I live near Chicago, and we hear of shootings and deaths from shootings in the projects all the time. There is a gun mentality/ gun culture there and it is a vicious circle. Too many innocent people just trying to get by in life and be good themselves get caught in the crossfire.

    I can see (tho I don't have one) having a small hand gun. But no one NEEDS to have an assault weapon here. We are not supposed to be living in a war zone, but when people have those types of weapons it is they who make it a war zone. If they only want them for 'show,' then don't have bullets or disable the guns.
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      Feb 2 2013: Hi Laura,
      You points are well taken and I can understand your views. You noted that you live near Chicago.
      Chicago has one of the highest gun violence rates in the country.and some of the highest rates of all kinds of violence. But Chicago violence is a whole other issue, you addressed the actions in Scotland and in Australia.
      And those people made choices to turn in their weapons. No reasonable, rational person could object to their actions. There have been gun turn in programs here in the USA. Again voluntary actions by citizens, not a problem. The problem becomes when one group of people looks to another group of people and say
      Those people have guns, they don't need guns, guns are dangerous, they should turn those guns in, they shouldn't make any more guns, etc. You've heard all the discussions. The group pf people who own the guns respond that gun ownership is a legal right. A constitutional right. Further, they say to the other group, 'we don't have to justify, apologize or suffer those outrageous comments'. And so the battle is enjoined.
      The anti gun group believe they have a noble cause and have enlisted politicians to effect their cause. So, there have been laws and suits and appeals and and and.
      Now you have commented on the gun mentality/ gun culture but didn't mention the anti gun mentality or anti gun culture, I would say they both have validity, but that is another conversation.
      One more thing on a technical note:
      a small hand gun is just a deadly as a big canon. And to be correct, none of the weapons used in the infamous mass murders over the last few years were military assault rifles .
      • Feb 2 2013: mike,

        all well said.

        pretty sure both Australia and Britain imposed some pretty draconian measures which by the way seem to have worked.

        maybe it's me but there are a bunch of other Anglo societies that do not have the second amendment and seem to have an easier time of addressing this. not saying we should go the same way but I think we can do away with the whole fearmongering of what would happen without unfettered rights. societally we derive almost all aspects of our democracy from the Anglo tradition so I just do not see how gun rights are an essential component of the behavior and validity of western democratic societies.
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          Feb 2 2013: Rob,
          I just read an article where an Australian was given what could be here a felony sentence, suspended, when his son found his hidden gun locker key and removed an old and unregistered gun he inherited, took the gun to school and fired it. No injuries, a good thing.
          He told the judge he was saving for the fee for registration... OK. The judge said, 'you didn't hid the key good enough' .... OK Not smart gun ownership here.

          You have to look at history to understand the 2nd and the rest of the bill of rights. Free of speech, religion, a free press, etc. all these individual rights were really important and lost under Geo. III.. The arms thing came in when the British army began weapon confiscation..
          So, these issues were real, current events in 1787. Now, as time moves on, monarchies come and go, dictatorial powers come and go and all have similar characteristics.
          They have restricted, speech, assembly, religion, the press, etc., etc. and all have disarmed the people.
          So, when these people look around, they have a lot of historical reinforcements for their beliefs. I personally don't believe a takeover of the Federal Government is plausible. but I have to respect their beliefs. Further, I am not happy with the illegal use of guns.. knives, or any other tool used to harm others. I believe a lot of civil punishments are to lenient.
          My idea of cruel or unusual punishment is to be drawn and quarter and I am not sure that it is that cruel. I am also very wary of the innocent receiving any punishment, but that is another conversation.
        • Feb 2 2013: How did we derive our republic from anglo monarchies?
      • Feb 2 2013: Yes, you are right about all this. My input is not meant to be "the answer", it is just a part of the conversation. I know it is all a vicious circle, concerning pro-gun and anti-gun reasons. It is a difficult situation, esp. with hundreds of thousands of people having their own opinions/reasons/decisions/actions. There are certainly no easy answers.
        There are other things to consider such as the glorification of violence that our youth has been spoon fed thru film and video games- where if you get someone who has mental issues and perceives they have a problem - what else would they choose as the expression of how they should take care of their problems but by "blowing them all away, etc"? Many of the younger generations think it is awesome when they see all the gun violence, bombs, etc. portrayed on film. Both the bad guya AND the good guys use this method to "solve" the problem or get their way. This is what kids have been taught / absorbed from what they see. (We all learn from things we see on TV.) So, of course, what did we expect?
        After the shooting in the movie theater, I saw a brief mention of some film director, or writer or someone in the movie industry, who said that the movie industry needs to examine how they may be contibuting to this violence. BUT, I have not heard any more about this.
        I am not saying that there shoujld never be movies of this type allowed, I am just saying that common sense should be used and maybe to encourage other types of movies and video games being made. Kids who grow up in war torn places, or places where there is ongoing fighting (Northeren Ireland, Africa, etc.) - that's what they expereince. That's what they think Llife is. That's what they learn. That's what they "do", when they get old enough. How can it be otherwise?
        • Feb 3 2013: it was your silly question. Actually our form of democracy varies quite a bit from the Roman system vs the framers idealization of the Roman system. the people that framed the constitution were English. Their entire reason for objecting to their treatment "no taxation without representation" was English. The tradition of representative government they were fighting for is an English system.

          we do not get "a little" from England.

          I did not stoop to anything. Your question and a lot of your comments indicate that you have a skewed understanding of history and the US uniqueness or non-uniqueness in it. I apologize if this is not the case but all I have to go on are your comments and when you ask
          "How did we derive our republic from anglo monarchies?" That would normally indicate someone that does not know much about colonial and western european history.

          there are many instance of the monarchy reasserting itself but that does not have anything to do with the steady march of increasing inclusiveness and representation after the magna carta. Looked at 500 year from now the revolution will just look like a splinter of the anglo dominance of the 20th century and likely the 21st.
      • Feb 2 2013: Timothy

        the Magna Carta and the 800 years after which provided the legal and social foundation for the declaration of independence and our entire society. Most of the rights in the bill of rights derive from the English bill of rights. the entire conceptual foundation of our legal system was British. the concept of checks and balances is British with a little French political theory thrown in.

        oh and by the way the "despotic" monarchy was a parliamentary monarchy or as we know it a representative government since the Cromwell period...you know the first national Western Democracy.

        you need to read more history, and less wingnut websites.
        • Feb 3 2013: Yes, we all know what happened after the magne carta, John declared all barons that opposed him outlaw and he went on a killing spree, a lot different from your interpretation of Robin Hood. Our constitution did borrow some from Britain, and France, but more from Roman history. Amazing that you stoop to thinking I don't know history or that you think I frequent "wingnut sites. Anglophiles always think we derived all that is good from Britain, and if that is the case, why did we break away?
    • Feb 2 2013: that would be rational. unfortunately have not seen a lot of rational in the last month.

      painless is just biz speak for something that aligns stakeholders. it not mean as painless literally. as long as revenue streams are attached to something the businesses involved will fight tooth and nail to protect them. some of that is natural. most of that is short sightedness reinforced by market rewards for same.

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