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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 7 2013: Mr & mrs Smith had several children. One year, one of the children, lets call him Jared, bought himself a sling shot. Lucky for Jared, mum & dad didn't mind. For the first few weeks the children had lots of fun with the sling shot. They practised their aim on empty cans & drawn up targets. Jared was even able to get the neighbourhood bully to leave them alone just by showing he had it.

    Inspired by this, tim, Jareds younger brother also bought a sling shot with his pocket money. The two of them had lots of fun & they felt pretty tough too.

    One day tim wouldn't get off the swing when it was Jareds turn. Angry that mum wouldn't make him get off, Jared decided to show tim! He got out his sling shot, found a handful of nice hard stones & took aim at his brother. Shots were fired. Tim happened to have his own sling shot on him and retaliated. It wasn't long before someone got hurt. One of times stones found Jareds left eye.

    Hearing loud screaming, mum, dad & the other siblings were horrified to find Jared seriously injured, writhing in agony on the ground. Jared had to go to hospital, where they were unable to save his eye. Back at home a few days later, mum & dad sat the children down for a family meeting... They had to make a decision about the sling shots.

    Now what would you do if you we're the parents? You weigh it all up. The guns were used responsibly most of the time for fun. They were great to keep the neighbourhood bully in line. They payed for them with their own money & after all, WE were the ones who said yes to the sling shots from the start.

    Are these good enough reasons to let the children continue playing with them? Knowing that at some point, at least one would get injured again? Knowing its your job to fight bullies, not theirs? Of course not. Any decent parents would take the weapons away. It is the parents responsibility to make the hard decisions despite the coming temper tantrum Jared & tim will no doubt make.
    • Feb 7 2013: So, you think the government should play parent to the people? I thought the role of government was something else in a free society.
    • Feb 7 2013: There's a huge difference between a couple of kids getting carried away and legal adult gun owners who assume full responsibility for their weapons. In order to own a gun, you have to be sane, not convicted of a felony, and you assume liability for incidents involving the weapon. The kids in your example are not held to the same standard of responsibility.

      Second, gun rights don't exist for "fun". They're not to protect the hunters and sport shooters. They're there to allow citizens to own weapons for protection. Making this assumption is done to trivialize the gun rights argument by ignoring the real justification for it.

      Lastly, you assert it's the parents (government's) job to fight the bullies (criminals), and yet in your own example, the parents weren't there to stop the kids from hurting each other in a fight. The parents can't be everywhere at once and neither can the police. The government can't guarantee you'll never run into a criminal, but they can guarantee that we can choose to protect ourselves and with lethal force if necessary.

      If you want to solve the gun violence problem, take the violence out of the equation, not the gun.
      • Feb 7 2013: See above reply to tim. This fictitious story was only meant as a loose analogy, from which to draw parallels. You can only be so detailed in 2000 or less characters.

        I do like your last line. I whole heartedly agree. But to take violence out of the equation would take steps far more drastic than banning assault weapons or guns in general. If you want to stop the violent nature of man, you have to go back to basics. We would have to take steps in our societies to prevent bad parenting, drug abuse, violence in the media... & dare I say it, prevent some people from breeding. It is estimated that personality of each individual is 40% genetic and in certain cases, no amount of good parenting will affect certain unwanted traits. With this in mind, I just think its an easier first step to take away what is easily the most dangerous tool for those who are violent. And I think that the majority, who use them responsibly should take it(give up their guns) for the team. The US has the biggest military budget by far... & the most hardened police force. That should be enough, shouldn't it? God if I was one of your police officers, I would feel more and more comfortable with every gun taken away & no longer in the hands of general public.
        • Feb 8 2013: The police that I have dealt with while I, a Citizen, was carrying my firearm openly actually liked that I was out there deterring crime also (Granted the only reason I carry is for me and my family, but guns tend to make Bad Guys think twice). However, most police I have heard about that want to take guns from the average Joe are also the ones that want that hooker to blow them to not get a fine. Or a piece of the action to not bust that dealer on the corner.

          Our military budget is the highest yet our school ranking in 10th? Wonder if that has something to do with uninformed and disgruntled youths?

          Your fears and prejudices are not enough to disarm me. Feel free to argue but my family is worth more to me than your piece of mind.
        • Feb 8 2013: You seem to resort to potshots when your statements are questioned, or analyzed. I realize what you are saying, I just don't agree with it. I do not believe that the anti-gun movement is trying to find ways of limiting the violence as much as they are trying to disarm the U.S. population. When you compared by "analogy" gun ownership with slingshot ownership, and by extension parent verses government, you were barking up the wrong tree. I agree with Jon's response to your "analogy"

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