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 16 2013: G'day Rob,
    Firstly, the reduction of guns in the community doesn't have to be painless for everyone.
    Here in Australia, after the Port Arthur mass murder of 35 innocent people, the Australian Prime Minister took the bull by the horns and ordered all guns that aren't necesarry for various reasons, ie, a verified need for vermin control and or eradication on farms, licenced sport shooting, licenced security, licenced hunting, policing and military and so on, be surrendered to the authorities for destruction.
    It wasn't a popular pill, however the result is that people haven't got an unnecessary gun at hand when they lose their cool.
    He knew that it would be politically unpopular, as it was with me, but I didn't really have a need for the guns I owned, so I decided to hand them in.
    I don't miss them even though I really enjoyed a bit of target shooting now and then.
    I also don't think it was a breach of my rights since, if I have a desire to hunt, I can get the appropriate licence if I show I have the correct safety and hunting knowledge through completion of a course and by pasing a knowledge test conducted by the police.
    I can also join a sports shooting club through which I can do the appropriate safety sourse and once again, pass a knowledge test, again conducted by the police.
    I also must pass a police check that can disqualify me if I have a past history of violence, not necessarily by guns.
    I think where the USA is doomed to failure is exactly what you say is the major hurdle.
    The politicians will feel the need to keep everyone happy.
    The politicians are afraid of losing their power and income.
    The corruption of politics is too entrenched in the USA so it won't work.
    Sad really, because more innocent childen will surely die and nothing will be done then either.
    I wish I could be more optimistic but it doesn't seem possible to go down that path in the somewhat excessively pursued freedom of choice society in which you live.
    Good luck though.
    • thumb
      Feb 16 2013: Terry ,
      What is not made clear on the WWW, is that there are 50 states, commonwealths, a district who by US law can legislate the use, control, licensing of firearms. Some states have rules similar to what you have, some more restrictive, some less. All these legal actions must comply with our basic law of the US constitution. The people in each of these states can determine the extent of their laws. It is recognized that the needs of one state may not be the needs of another. The real question here is a matter of states rights. The current "problem" is that Federal Law would apply to all states equally. People in my state do not want to live by laws that are desired in "California". This goes back to the original Federation of States as created by our constitution. Some of our "founding fathers" desired a strong central governance. Another group was dubious of such governance as history tells of the degradation of strong central governments into tyrannical regimes. So, the "bill of rights" were added to the original constitution to guarantee these individual and states rights. The key to this bill of rights was the retention of militias, armed citizens of the state.
      Over the years, the states have relinquished more and more of their and their citizens rights. The concern is now, that with the crippling by federal law of the 2nd amendment and a push to elect the president by direct election, the states would be entirely out of the governance of the country and a strong central government would be complete. The concern for degradation into a tyrannical government is most probable in historical perspective. As previously noted, If it happened to Rome, can the USA be far behind?
      I hope I have clarified the situation as many Americans see it. Now are there problems in our society with
      social, economic, environmental, more issues than I would list. But, there is focus on the issue that would most directly support a stronger central government.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.