TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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.



Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 15 2013: This topic involves far more than technology.

    I dont believe there is a viable technological solution to human nature. All personal opinions aside, it has been stated repeatedly that the use of an object is entirely dependent upon the user.We have many technological means of rendering firearms innoperable by the owner. Trigger locks, cable locks and/or gun safes are mandated throughout much of the country.The idea of biometric locks is interesting but it wouldn't stop a legal firearm purchaser from using the weapon. Sony spent millions of dollars in an attempt to prevent copying of its music cd's onto computers and it was defeated with .79 cent a magic marker. There is no technological security system that can't be overcome. According to the CIA and the president the government needs access to all corporate computer systems in order to identify and counter attempted cyber crimes. How reliable would a "kill switch" system be?

    How do you go about creating a system of technologial governance of human behavior and where does the use of that technology end? How long before your car is prohibited from starting because an environmental arm of government decides your carbon foot print is too large. Legislation is already being drafted in California that will tax drivers based on the miles they drive.

    Laws are being implemented in the name of the public good that deny individuals the freedom of choice and the ability to say NO. Every year we are more regulated, legislated, taxed and penalized. How much government intrusion and regulation will you tolerate in the name of the greater good? National healthcare, the patriot act, neither of those were put to a public vote. What's next, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"? Please bear in mind, the lion doesn't loose sleep over the opinions of the lamb. What use is a vote without the means to enforce it.

    Rob, perhaps the exclusive answer you seek can be found in an enigeneering forum.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.