TED Conversations

Rob Freda

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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?

+2
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 3 2013: @ Timothy and others
    I have been involved in this conversation thread for some time and in some respects Tim is correct. There are attempts to have deliberate conversations addressing differing points of view.
    BUT... People have to carefully read and have some understanding of the comments before they respond. I have watch with some amusement at a posting and the reply where the commentators are talking right past each other.
    So, lets get back to the discussion: Painless resolution to gun violence in this political climate (insane?).
    Rob has proposed a solution where modifications to the weapons could be a solution. He believes that there would be opposition to this approach by gun manufacturers and their lobbyist. I am not so sure. Gun manufacturers seem approachable on profit generating attachments to firearms.
    The points of this discussion have seemed to disintegrate into cultural bias, negating legitimate rights, ignoring focal point "gun violence", and my favorite " I am more righteous then you, Why are you criticizing my noble attitude".
    So, Gun violence is an illegal activity. In the USA, gun ownership is legal. That's our law.
    Should we change our law? Ok, there are prescribed processes to do that; ex. when 2/3 of the states ratify
    a change.
    My opinion is that we have a political climate at the Federal, state and local levels that is in need of "repair"
    to address "gun violence" and a host issues at all levels.

    PS. If you give specifics as to "guns", ''statistics", and historical happenings, please be accurate.
    For example. Assault Rifles. The guns addressed as the assault rifles aren't really. What makes a true military assault rifle is a selector on the weapon that allows fully automatic fire. The reason most magazines are limited to thirty rounds is that if fired at fully automatic, at thirty rounds the heat of firing will warp the weapon and cause malfunctions. Soldiers are taught to use a three round burst.
    • Feb 3 2013: Mike,

      Thanks for trying to reset the conversation.

      Couple points. I do not think "there would be opposition to this approach by gun manufacturers and their lobbyist". I am saying that if you do not create the revenue streams through the "modifications to the weapons" then they will oppose taking away the existing revenue streams. with the modification they get to keep existing rev streams and add new ones, so to your point they will be on-board. once the manufacturers are on board I think most of the other stakeholders could actually come to an agreement or at least a majority agreement.

      I agree the political climate is poisonous and irrational. With that in mind there is some value to the off in the weeds discussions. I would argue that for true agreement that achieves something the parties must each have a clear idea of what they are giving in on. To that point I feel that the "pro"-gun side of this argument needs to have a clear idea of exactly what rights they are actually granted under the bill of rights and I think it would be helpful if they also had an understanding of the US's place in the spectrum of societies and governments and the traditions we sprang from.

      For example, the idea of the gun for personal defense can be conceded but if the "pro" side does not understand this is a concession that is not a right granted by the 2nd amendment they will invariably misunderstand the level of compromise in their opposition and where they should end up to meet in the middle.

      I am fine with people having guns for self-defense. I agree with some of those more familiar with guns that training is a key element. All that said realistically that is a big compromise on a solution from the position of pure rationality which would predicate, if you want to get rid of the problem get rid of the cause (eg all the social things that needs to be fixed) but also severely restrict the weapons until you manage to get rid of the cause.
      • Feb 3 2013: Rob, you keep bringing up your opinion that the second does not allow for this or that, but those postions have been clearly delineated by the supreme court. In McDonald v Chicago the court invalidated Chicago's ban, In District of Columbia et al v Heller The court said the second protects an individuals right to possess a firearm unconnected with a militia and to use said firearm for lawfull purposes such as home defense. Please enlighten me as to how this can be construed as a concession? The second has been interpreted by many who think they know, but by law, the final is always the sitting court. As our court has ruled, how can you continue to say different?
        • Feb 4 2013: Point. those are, however, a couple current courts' recent decisions on hand guns. vast majority of precedent is actually in the other direction. shift in the composition of the court and it will go back. Highly unlikely Heller will stand the test of time.

          Listen Tim I am fairly agnostic on this entire subject. For most of the 19th and 20th century the court held that self-defense was not protected. I personally do not see any reason why self-defense should not have been in the second amendment. Put simply though you have to really have the blinders on to read that into the second amendment.

          For most of my life I fell to the middle of most things, siding with Repubs on national security and defense and with the Dems here and there.

          The political conversation in the country though in the last decade has become utterly divorced from reality (which this court reflects quite well), so much so that the Dems seem less like pie-eyed utopians who do not realize that you actually have to build excess wealth to pay for social programs and more like the rational ones. small minorities have rammed agendas down our throats for that last decade. If you want to talk about a non-democratic fifth column you would do better to look right. Creationism, complex derivatives, leverage at 44 times, and in every area no regulation.

          what has this gotten us. a disastrous financial market. an empty technology pipeline. massive wealth gap. and on and on. if you think our system is on track then...

          this gun thing is just one more face of the general mess. there seems to be this idea that if you go far enough off the rails to the right that somehow the rational center shifts. It does not. Logic is logic. Asking someone to ignore 200 years of court decisions and just go with 2 decisions by this court and to say that is not a concession is a perfect example of just how far we are from the rational. besides the point was both sides have to meet in the middle.
      • Feb 4 2013: Rob, as everyone goes back to the original intent of the second amendment, I would insert this into the fray. Also add, most if not all of these are mentally ill individuals.
        Early commentary

        The earliest published commentary on the Second Amendment by a major constitutional theorist was by St. George Tucker. He annotated a five-volume edition of Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, a critical legal reference for early American attorneys published in 1803.[105]

        In footnotes 40 and 41 of the Commentaries, Tucker stated that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment was not subject to the restrictions that were part of English law: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Amendments to C. U. S. Art. 4, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government" and "whoever examines the forest, and game laws in the British code, will readily perceive that the right of keeping arms is effectually taken away from the people of England." Blackstone himself also commented on English game laws, Vol. II, p. 412, "that the prevention of popular insurrections and resistance to government by disarming the bulk of the people, is a reason oftener meant than avowed by the makers of the forest and game laws."[105] Blackstone discussed the right of self-defense in a separate section of his treatise on the common law of crimes. Tucker's annotations for that latter section did not mention the Second Amendment but cited the standard works of English jurists such as Hawkins.[106]

        Further, Tucker criticized the English Bill of Rights for limiting gun ownership to the very wealthy, leaving the populace effectively disarmed, and expressed the hope that Americans "never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty."[105]

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.