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Crime Technology

Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings 1388

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-just-a-matter-of-code dept.
New submitter Bugs42 writes "CNN.com has an opinion piece on the possibility of cramming guns full of computers and sensors to disable them in certain buildings or around children. The author, in true mainstream media fashion, completely fails to see any possible technical problems with this. Quoting: 'How might this work? Start with locational "self-awareness." Guns should know where they are and if another gun is nearby. Global positioning systems can meet most of the need, refining a gun's location to the building level, even within buildings. Control of the gun would remain in the hand of the person carrying it, but the ability to fire multiple shots in crowded areas or when no other guns are present would be limited by software that understands where the gun is being used. Guns should also be designed to sense where they are being aimed. Artificial vision and optical sensing technology can be adapted from military and medical communities. Sensory data can be used by built-in software to disable firing if the gun is pointed at a child or someone holding a child."
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Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings

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  • by alesplin (1376141) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:08PM (#42535157)
    Quite possibly the dumbest article I've ever seen.
  • Helpful? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fascismforthepeople (2805977) <fascismforthepeople@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:08PM (#42535161) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure all this technology will make a huge difference for the millions of guns already in circulation in the US.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:09PM (#42535183)
    So next time I want to murder a guy who has a gun, I have to kidnap a baby first to disable his weapon? Come on, people, I'm on a schedule. These guys aren't going to whack themselves.
  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:10PM (#42535203)

    ... a black market for guns that don't have these features should it ever come to pass.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:13PM (#42535249) Journal

    How are we supposed to secure a free state if the tyrant can wirelessly disable our arms?

  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:13PM (#42535255) Homepage

    Stop giving them tons of media attention and "high scores".

    Stop giving other crazy people incentives of guaranteed posthumous fame.

  • Two questions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiordhraoi (1097731) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:13PM (#42535261)
    1) Can you develop such a complex system that works in the practical world (ie, it's cost effective and reliable)?

    2) Can you develop a system in such a way that it can't be removed or bypassed?

    The gun is a fairly simple machine. I can't think of a way to prevent the removal of such a complex system. And if the argument is going to be "it'll be legally mandated that all guns have this," you run into the same problem that gun control laws run into right now. Criminals - especially those who are planning on committing multiple murders and probably killing themselves in the process - really don't give a crap about following the law.
  • by Vortran (253538) <aol_is_satan@hotmail.com> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:16PM (#42535321) Homepage

    The government must fear pissing off its citizens. Guns are power. Do you want only the military and the police to have power? Society works best when all types of power are distributed and not concentrated in just a few areas or restricted to just a few people or groups.

    I sure wouldn't want the government or military to be able to turn off our weapons, and I sure don't support laws that say only the military and police can have the most powerful weapons. That puts the balance of power away from the people.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:17PM (#42535341) Homepage Journal

    Maybe painting them pink would help reduce the number of gun fatalities ?

    Pastels do tend to have a calming effect...

    Maybe adorn them with butterflies and stylized dinosaurs, too? What could possibly go wrong?

  • by ScooterComputer (10306) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:18PM (#42535375)

    From CNN, what did you expect?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:20PM (#42535415)

    So my thought is to go non-lethal or less-lethal or whatever the term is. With all the technology we have, why do we still need to kill someone to stop them.

    You assume the purpose of shooting somebody is to kill them. That is not true. The purpose of shooting somebody is to stop them from doing what they are doing. It has been found that multiple bullets to the chest is the most reliable way of doing that. Whether that kills the person is not the point. If you know a way to stop somebody with equal effectiveness in a way that is less likely to kill them, I'm all ears.

    When you point and shoot a gun you ALWAYS assume you will kill whatever your targeting. Never the other way around.

  • Stop the insanity! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bodhammer (559311) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:22PM (#42535459)
    Literally - please!

    Every one of these psychos was mentally ill and on psychotropic drugs.
    Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox – like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and many others, a modern and widely prescribed type of antidepressant drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
    Patrick Purdy went on a schoolyard shooting rampage in Stockton, Calif., in 1989, which became the catalyst for the original legislative frenzy to ban “semiautomatic assault weapons” in California and the nation. The 25-year-old Purdy, who murdered five children and wounded 30, had been on Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, as well as the antipsychotic drug Thorazine.
    Kip Kinkel, 15, murdered his parents in 1998 and the next day went to his school, Thurston High in Springfield, Ore., and opened fire on his classmates, killing two and wounding 22 others. He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.
    more here: http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/the-giant-gaping-hole-in-sandy-hook-reporting/ [wnd.com]

    "The public is growing increasingly confused by how we treat the mentally ill. More and more, the mentally ill are showing up in the streets, badly in need of help. Incidents of illness-driven violence are reported regularly, incidents which common sense tells us could easily have been avoided. And this is just the visible tip of the greater tragedy - of many more sufferers deteriorating in the shadows and, often, committing suicide." http://www.northshoreschizophrenia.org/Uncivil_Liberties.htm [northshore...hrenia.org]

    The bottom line is we need to identify these people before they snap and get them off the streets and into treatment, not take guns away from law abiding citizens.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:22PM (#42535465) Homepage Journal

    How many gun nuts have been stopped in the last years by bystanders?

    Zero, but that's merely by virtue of the fact that the people assholes like you like to marginalize with the label "gun nut" are not the type of people who go on rampages.

    But by all means, don't let facts stop you from being an uptight prick.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:24PM (#42535497) Journal
    There's a reason many countries treat non-lethal weapons the same as firearms, instead of allowing citizens to own them. A robber might hesitate to fire a gun at someone, he's much more likely to threaten. But with a non-lethal weapon, his best course of action is to use it pre-emptively and zap away. Robbers, burglars, rapists and pranksters of the more evil sort are going to love reliable and widely available non-lethal weaponry.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:24PM (#42535499)

    The problem ISN"T the guns, its the idiots who think its a good idea to shoot people with them. Its the lack of reverence that our culture has for human life. Its the lack of empathy that our culture allows.

    Hell, look at all the bullying stories in the last several years. Do you really think that those incidences would have occurred had the bully been taught empathy by his or her parents? Someone that goes into a crowd and starts shooting has a distinct lack of empathy. Is there perhaps something we can identify in that behavior and perhaps take action against?

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:25PM (#42535523) Homepage Journal

    Stop giving them tons of media attention and "high scores".

    This, this, this.

    "There was a mass killing today, but we're not going to talk about the prick who did it. Why? Because he's a prick, and the last thing a responsible news agency would want to do is glorify an asshat like that... at least, outside election season."

    To dream the impossible dream...

  • by ageoffri (723674) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:27PM (#42535581)
    How about you show me where it says "only firearms that the Government chooses to allow the people to own." Also consider that that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written in a manner that made it clear that if the documents didn't specifically limit something, then there were no restrictions.

    I greatly enjoy target shooting with my PS90, AR15's and even my 10/22 and there is absolutely no reason to not have 50, 30 and 10 round magazines for these to appease someone like you is afraid of law abiding citizens and inanimate objects.

  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:29PM (#42535631) Journal

    You're smart person is going to look pretty dumb when he encounters and angry dumb person with a gun and a motive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:30PM (#42535647)

    Nothing related to guns can ever be considered "smart", since guns are for weak and fearful.

    Smart people never own guns, because smart people know guns are more harmful than they are helpful.

    Smart people do not make broad generalizations that are misleading and mostly incorrect.

    Thanks for confirming that you're a complete moron.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:31PM (#42535679)

    Quite possibly the dumbest article I've ever seen.

    Gunman walks into school, opens fire. Citizen nearby with legal carry and conceal permit and gun responds. Raises gun to kill gunman as he's mowing down little children and... *click*. Nothing. Gunman blows away citzen, continues on his rampage. How could this have happened? Easy: The deranged lunatic took out the batteries. Sorry, Would-Be Citizen Hero And Families Of All Those Dead Kids, our bad.

  • by TowerOfPis (1301063) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:31PM (#42535681)
    It would be simpler to develop medical technology to "restore" a shot child to unharmed condition, than to develop the technology proposed to prevent a child from being shot...
  • by GodInHell (258915) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:32PM (#42535701) Homepage
    And then these wack-a-loons would be blowing up whole schools at a time. The right to gun ownership, recognized by the Supreme Court over the last decade, is that of personal /defense/ not protection from tyranny. Even the great right-wing hero Antonin Scalia has oft commented from the bench that when it comes to the rights of the states/individuals as sovereign over the government, we had a war to determine those issues, and the South lost.

    "We the People" the collective "we" the majority of the democratic electorate, rule. Individuals who do not want to be bound by that rule have a choice, they can leave. That's really your only option. What you are describing is not "resistance" it is murdering your neighbors to implement by force the policies they rejected at the ballot box.
  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:32PM (#42535709)
    Mass shootings are committed by crazy people. Only about 150 people on average die in mass shootings every year. I'm not saying these deaths are not tragedies, but in a country of 300 million where 15,000 die of "normal" shootings every year on average (100x the number in mass shootings), we should do what it takes to reduce the 15,000 number which is a much bigger problem than worrying about how to restrict free press in order to reduce mass shootings.
  • by metrometro (1092237) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:33PM (#42535717)

    The first is bullet IDs -- you pack the propellant with very small ID tagged glitter. Bullet fires, glitter covers the ground. Crime scene people carry equipment to find and trace the ID numbers. This has been proof-of-concepted years ago.

    The second is tracking for ammo sales. You buy ammo? It gets logged, every damn bullet.

    The third is liability for your ammo. If you own ammo, you are liable for the results. Regular gun owners get an ammo safe, which is cheap and sensible precaution in any case. If you're a trafficker? You now have a problem.

    Important to note: ammo has a shelf life of a few years. Within a decade, culpability for gun crimes could be much more transparent.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:33PM (#42535731) Journal

    Society works best when all types of power are distributed and not concentrated in just a few areas or restricted to just a few people or groups.

    Society works best when (physical) power is concentrated with the government, as long as they can be trusted with it, and use that power to effectively protect its citizens. But even if the first condition no longer holds, will an armed populace really rise up and do something about it with their guns? You'd have thought it would already have happened a few times in the recent-ish history of the USA.

    By the way, I don't think the second condition is feasible, which is why I am not against citizens owning guns. However that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be some reasonable restrictions in place such as gun registration, denying them to certain individuals like convicted felons, utlawing automatic weapons, and not letting one person own enough of them to outfit an army.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:35PM (#42535775) Homepage Journal

    Let's talk the fundamentals. The deadly part of a gun is not the gun at all, but the small charge in each round of ammunition. The whole rest of the device is just a convenience to direct that energy. You can't put an encrypted lock on gun-powder.

  • by ageoffri (723674) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:37PM (#42535819)
    To paraphrase what you wrote, "If you don't agree with everything I think, then you are not smart."

    Using your definition you have just insulted every single Law Enforcement Officer, member of the military, private armed security who own guns for their jobs. Do you really think there aren't smart people in those fields?

    Guns are tools, nothing more, nothing less. People like you are the ones acting from fear and ignorance and are a threat to the future of the United States.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:38PM (#42535851)

    Right, blaming a physical object for a _mental_ problem is the "problem".

    You're an idiot.

    Humans have been killing one another for thousands of years. The problem isn't the tech -- it is the spiritual retards who exert to violence.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:41PM (#42535923)

    because smart people know guns are more harmful than they are helpful.

    Maybe for stupids with no training. As a former Marine, I can tell you my having a gun is more helpful. I know when to use it, and when not to use it. I have restraint, situational awareness, compassion, and the determination to use it when necessary. I can retain my weapon when someone tries to take it and I have it well secured when not in use. Plenty of smart people own guns, unless you are defining smart people as people who agree with you.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:43PM (#42535947)

    I don't really care about guns. I don't ever want to own one, but it doesn't bother me if other people own one either because I don't assume that people around me are all potential mass murderers.

    What worries me about gun control is the idea that the government wants to control ownership of a piece of metal that anybody can fabricate in a day in their home and to which there are lots of lethal alternatives. I wonder what the principle there is supposed to be. Are we going to outlaw everything that person A can use to kill person B? Where are we going to stop? Are we going to make files and drills illegal because they could be used to manufacture guns? What's going to happen with 3D printers? And if government can throw people in jail for something as silly as merely carrying a piece of metal that's shaped a particular way, what are the arguments against government controlling how we have sex or whether women can have abortions? Control of what we see, record, eat and get high on already seems to be considered normal by everybody.

    Let's try and turn this back. Liberals live up to their name and give in on gun control and taxation, and conservatives realize the small non-intrusive government they keep talking about and give in on abortion and restrictive marriage, and both agree to loosen up drugs and copyrights.

  • Re:Please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:44PM (#42535965)

    Why do you need more than 3 bullets ?
     
    Because it often takes way more than three bullets to disable even an unarmed attacker, never mind an armed one, or several of them. Most of the bullets will miss, especially when fired under stress. Most of those that hit will miss vital organs and fail to stop the attacker. Even some of those that hit vital organs still won't stop them immediately.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:45PM (#42535985)
    No, see, the software in the gun knows it's being pointed at a child not because of the angle, but because we've chipped all our kids already by that point.
  • by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:45PM (#42535997)

    When you point and shoot a gun you ALWAYS assume you will kill whatever your targeting. Never the other way around.

    No, that doesn't mean the same thing. These sorts of considerations come into play before firing the weapon. Once you have made up your mind to fire, it is completely irrelevant whether the shot kills -- only that it stops the threat. By pulling the trigger, you have decided that it is acceptable if the target is killed, but killing the target is not the objective.

  • by metrometro (1092237) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:51PM (#42536097)

    Gun safes might. Pair that with a 10-rounds-a-month rule for off-range ammo purchases, and it would provide a barrier. Meanwhile non-psychotic gun crime just got a lot harder to pull off.

  • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:54PM (#42536167)

    Police will generally not use lethal force unless the suspect is also armed with a gun, or presents an immediate threat to someones life.

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha, you're precious.

  • by atriusofbricia (686672) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:00PM (#42536305) Journal

    Actually, the problem is the guns. Or, rather, it's that guns are so widespread and easy to obtain that any nutcase can get one.

    Because it is impossible to cause large scale death and destruction with absolutely nothing else? Because it is impossible to do it with knives or more likely gas bombs or half a dozen other things any of us could easily think of?

    The problem is not guns. The problem is nutcases. Until guns, or anything else, is capable of independent action the problem will always be nutcases. As long as people insist on blaming objects and ignoring the real problem nothing will be solved.

  • by photon317 (208409) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:00PM (#42536327)

    B) The majority of the US armed forces side with the government. Civvies armed with handguns, shotguns and rifles with little to no training or experience take on professionally trained and armed troops, armoured vehicles, helicopters, jets and ships. Civvies most likely get massacred (good luck taking on that MBT or Apache gunship with your AR15): armed civillians ultimately pointless.

    I'd like to point you at the difficulties out Armed Forces have had dominating unruly indigenous populations in the Middle East lately, when all the locals have are crappy beat decades-old AK-47 and home-made IEDs. With the weapons and training that a large fraction of the population has access to in the US, suppressing a rebellion here would be nearly impossible, even for the US Armed Forces. There's always the "glass parking lot" option, but they wouldn't mass-bomb the US any more than they do overseas, for the same reasons: the government loses all shreds of credibility on a number of fronts if it starts bombing citizens in mass numbers.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:00PM (#42536331)

    No, the US has *not* always been like any other system of government. The fact that we're on Slashdot having this damn discussion proves it. No, we're not perfect in the US -- there are bits of tyranny lurking around, but to say that we're the same as the Chinese or the Cubans or the Soviets or Mugabe's Zimbabwe? Ludicrous; the fact that you think that the US is just as tyrannical as these real tyrannies says something pretty sad.

  • by dywolf (2673597) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:12PM (#42536527)

    The only lack of intelligence is on your part.

    Let's say you're a 75 year old woman, weigh maybe 90 pounds. You live alone. you don't walk or sleep so good anymore. You live down town in a major city in the south. A 300 pound thug breaks into your home. By the way he's a convicted rapist.

    What do you do?
    If you own a gun, you shoot him, just as my grandmother did a year ago.

    Guns are for the weak? Yes, in the sense that they enable a frail old women like my grandmother to stand up to someone 3x her size, and survive. Nothing else would have enabled her to do that.
    Guns are for the fearful? Yes, in the sense that she was afraid of dying and did not desire to do so.
    Smart people never own guns? I guess you believe that there's a real world analogy to the charisma score in D&D talking your way out of harmful situations with someone intent on doing you bodily harm?
    Guns are more harmful than helpful? Only to the criminal that illegally entered her house in the middle of the night. What is she supposed to do, try to reason with him? Hope the cops can get there faster than he can cross the house?

    A gun is the equaliser that allows a tiny old lady to defend herself against someone 3x her size.
    You are an absolute fool for saying what you did.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:14PM (#42536571)

    Yes, it is worse, because anyone who is going on a spree can disable it (trivially so if modern DRM systems are anything to go by) or buy a gun without it (legal or not, he doesn't care), while the people who carry guns for self defense would be locked out by such systems when they need it (especially since the shooter would have a gun that isn't recognized as such by the unhacked gun), even assuming the shooter doesn't go all out and hack the guns of everyone around him, meaning potentially not even the police could stop him (which would be vastly worse than our current situation). Since the majority of killing sprees are pre-meditated, gun locks won't do a single damned thing. It's a system that could almost only have negative results. The times when it would help are the incredible minority (someone steals a gun off a legal carrier, for example).

  • *facepalm* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:19PM (#42536679)

    Everyone, repeat after me: "Technological solutions to social problems are doomed to failure."

    You want to stop school shootings, here's what you do:
    1) Vastly improve the mental health system. The number of deranged gunmen slaughtering kids is directly proportional to the number of deranged psychopaths.
    2) Fix the media's obsession with violent tragedies. Half of them are only doing it because they'll get fame (or at least infamy) for doing so. I'm not advocating a total Herostratus solution, but do we really need to have weeks of constant news coverage for every single one of these?
    3) Fix the school system. A lot of the things that would improve education overall (less focus on rote learning, stop keeping everyone generalists until college, smaller schools with a lower teacher/student ratio, etc) would also reduce student stress immensely.
    4) And yeah, we could probably stand to lower gun proliferation a bit. It wouldn't have affected any of the school shootings I can recall, but it would reduce general gun violence, which isn't a bad thing. I think the laws we have right now are fine, or even too restrictive, but certain cultural biases towards prolific gun ownership could stand a change.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:20PM (#42536699)

    Sure, the hacker may disable the disabler and go on a spree, but then it's no worse than what we have now.

    Wrong. Sadly and ignorantly wrong.

    The guy who disabled the "disabler" would be able to shoot up the place just like he could now, but someone who has a smart gun that would have been able to shoot the bad guy to stop him won't be able to. The "smart gun" will notice that it is in a "congested area", and won't know that the other, disabler-disabled gun is there because the signal it would transmit has been DISABLED. That's worse than what we have now.

    And this fancy new "law" would fail for exactly the same reason that the myriad of gun laws already fail to prevent nuts from going on shooting sprees: nuts who want to go on shooting sprees IGNORE THE LAW.

    If we consider a 10% failure rate in either direction, it's still better than what we have now.

    When your life is in danger and you have a weapon you could use to keep from dying, I think you'd probably not want that 10% failure rate. When you're a soft-fuzzy-warm-feelgood anti-gun nut who wouldn't have a gun anyway, that 10% failure rate for someone else doesn't seem so much of a problem.

  • by tatman (1076111) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:23PM (#42536767) Homepage

    Quite possibly the dumbest article I've ever seen.

    At least someone is thinking outside the box and looking alternatives. I have to give him credit for that.

    I cringe at the thought of all the different failure points of his proposals. But to say our current debate on guns (two sides: 1) ban all or some or 2) make them more available) will find a solution is simply head-in-the-sand refusal to admit our political process for solving social issues is useless.

    So I give the guy credit for keeping an open mind and proposing some new thinking on a very old problem

  • by fruity_pebbles (568822) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:25PM (#42536791)

    Important to note: ammo has a shelf life of a few years. Within a decade, culpability for gun crimes could be much more transparent.

    Good quality ammo has a shelf life of a few decades, or more. I've personally fired commercial 9mm ammo that was 25+ years old; it worked just like brand new ammo.

  • by PhxBlue (562201) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:27PM (#42536821) Homepage Journal

    Right, blaming a physical object for a _mental_ problem is the "problem".

    Yes, yes, guns don't kill people; repeated-to-death NRA talking points, blah, blah, blah. You call me an idiot, yet you can't be bothered to think for yourself.

    Killing someone with a semiautomatic gun, whether it's a rifle or pistol, is ridiculously easy. You aim, then you pull the trigger until they're dead. You don't have to reload and reacquire your target.

    Killing someone with any other ranged weapon, or any close-combat weapon, at least takes effort.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:29PM (#42536875)

    Find them, toss them into institutions and throw the fucking key away.

    The US once did this, but it's expensive (those old Kirkbride-style sanitoriums don't build themselves), so now mental defectives are dumped on the streets (crazies don't take their meds voluntarily) and ignored.

    There is no treatment for mental illness which matters. Lock 'em up, medicate them so it's not cruel, and keep them incarcerated and stoned until they run out the clock and die naturally.

    The only cure for mental illness is euthanasia, that's a tad questionable morally and legally, but quarantining crazies works just fine.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:38PM (#42537065) Journal

    That's cute - you assume that all hacks are digital.

    You completely forgot that someone with a bit of machinist experience and a few decent tools could simply replace the whole damned trigger/firing-pin/whatever-else assembly.

  • by g4b (956118) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:38PM (#42537073) Homepage

    Availability creates possibility.

    He isn't an idiot. You are.

    Making guns available to anybody is a stupid idea, except if fighting a corrupt regime.

    Most of the world has not such big problems with gunshot kills, because guns are not available.

    Of course, the mental ones still kill. But it's not just mental ones, who kill, sometimes it's people who call others idiots and getting angry with a gun, they are not supposed to have.

  • by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:41PM (#42537119)

    I would say that guns do have a peacefull purpose.

    The very fact that a populace is armed means the government remains relatively peaceful torwads that population. It is when the populace is unarmed, that tyranical governments do their worst. That doesn't mean that it will always happen, but there is nothing to stop it if you are unarmed.

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:50PM (#42537271)

    Guns are tools, nothing more, nothing less.

    Very true, so is welding equipment. Do you think everyone should drive around with oxy-acetylene tanks and a blow torch JUST IN CASE?

    The only thing that will stop a bad welder is a good welder.

    (And blasting explosives... etc. etc.)

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:51PM (#42537299)

    Maybe for stupids with no training. As a former Marine, I can tell you my having a gun is more helpful. I know when to use it, and when not to use it. I have restraint, situational awareness, compassion, and the determination to use it when necessary. I can retain my weapon when someone tries to take it and I have it well secured when not in use. Plenty of smart people own guns, unless you are defining smart people as people who agree with you.

    The problem, as ever, is that people who have none of those qualities that you have and who are mentally unbalanced or professional criminals can very easily get a hold of guns. Smart people know that we are never going to reduce gun violence unless we start filtering out the nutters and criminals right at the source, i.e. the gun shop or any other place where you can legally buy guns and start making it mandatory for gun owners to undergo serious training before getting to own a gun. Smart people also know that even if we do this will take a loooooong time for things to change. Stuffing guns full of sensors that deactivate them in the vicinity of schools won't help either since there are way to many legacy weapons with no such sensors and safety devices in circulation already. The USA has already created a situation where there are so many firearms in circulation and they are so easy to obtain in ways the police is powerless to monitor that no amount of legislating, policing, training or educational efforts by gun clubs/owners-associations will ever be really effective at keeping guns out of the hands of nutters and criminals unless, as I stated before, these measures are given a take a long time to take effect (not years, decades). Gun control works in Europe because it has been in place for many, many decades and the bar to owning a gun is so high you have to quite motivated to complete the process of getting a weapons license... especially one for a pistol. The byproduct of the European approach is that the vast majority of gun owners are people like you, well trained, responsible, mentally stable and not likely to treat a gun frivolously.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:13PM (#42537675)

    who are mentally unbalanced or professional criminals can very easily get a hold of guns.

    ...and gasoline, gunpowder, plans for explosives, and many other cheap and legal means to kill people. Solving gun violence doesn't solve violence. I agree in general that more stringent rules for purchasing guns and being issued concealed carry permits would not be a bad thing. I don't think the required changes are likely to be made, but perhaps that is another argument. Looking at myself, not only do I have military training (as do millions of Americans), but I have had 4 concealed carry permits issued in 2 different states which means 4 background checks. I have a security clearance, and have had 3 intense background checks done, every 5 years. I have undergone a psychological test in order to work in a particularly sensitive unit. I have undergone a polygraph, during which they asked me questions to determine if I was a spy, a saboteur, and or a terrorist. I passed. I think I can be trusted to carry a gun at this point, and even carry one into a school. (I also think I can be trusted to carry a knife on a plane since the govt is convinced I am not a terrorist, but that is yet another argument). There are millions of Americans who have military or law enforcement training, security clearances, and clean backgrounds. I have heard some say, here and elsewhere, that only police should be able to buy guns, and I think that there are plenty of people like me that are in effect trustable, and at least these people should be able to have guns. I think that teachers that meet similar criteria (there are plenty of former military teachers) should be able to carry a concealed pistol to school. Allowing trusted citizens to carry pistols into schools, sporting events, etc (as well as allowing them to carry non-firearm weapons on planes) would help curb some of these types of rampage shootings where someone is able to kill multiple unarmed people.

    On a separate note, I think America's very recent history of having a revolution and a dangerous frontier has made the personal firearm a part of our culture. So while much of Europe enjoys lower murder rates and fewer guns, our culture is just different and solutions that worked for Europe may not work for the US.

  • by nbauman (624611) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:17PM (#42537729) Homepage Journal

    That's the kind of story I'd like to see a link to, but let's assume it's true.

    If your grandmother has a gun in her house, she's more likely to use it to kill herself, or another innocent party, as she is to use it to defend herself.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/opinion/at-the-er-bearing-witness-to-gun-violence.html [nytimes.com]
    At the E.R., Bearing Witness to Gun Violence
    By DAVID H. NEWMAN
    Published: January 1, 2013
    I do not know exactly what measures should be taken to reduce gun violence like this. But I know that most homicides and suicides in America are carried out with guns. Research suggests that homes with a gun are two to three times more likely to experience a firearm death than homes without guns, and that members of the household are 18 times more likely to be the victim than intruders.
    Emergency rooms are themselves volatile environments, not immune to violence. Over the last decade, a quarter of gun crimes in American E.R.’s were committed with guns wrested from armed guards.

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/10/929.long [oxfordjournals.org]
    Guns in the Home and Risk of a Violent Death in the Home: Findings from a National Study
    Linda L. Dahlberg, Robin M. Ikeda and Marcie-jo Kresnow
    Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4).
    The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199310073291506 [nejm.org]
    Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home
    Arthur L. Kellermann, Frederick P. Rivara, Norman B. Rushforth, Joyce G. Banton, Donald T. Reay, Jerry T. Francisco, Ana B. Locci, Janice Prodzinski, Bela B. Hackman, and Grant Somes
    N Engl J Med 1993; 329:1084-1091
    October 7, 1993
    DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199310073291506
    Rather than confer protection, guns kept in the home are associated with an increase in the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3713749 [nih.gov]
    N Engl J Med. 1986 Jun 12;314(24):1557-60.
    Protection or peril? An analysis of firearm-related deaths in the home.
    Kellermann AL, Reay DT.
    Only 2 of these 398 deaths (0.5 percent) involved an intruder shot during attempted entry. Seven persons (1.8 percent) were killed in self-defense. For every case of self-protection homicide involving a firearm kept in the home, there were 1.3 accidental deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides involving firearms. Hand-guns were used in 70.5 percent of these deaths.

    http://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(12)01408-4/abstract [annemergmed.com]
    Annals of Emergency Medicine
    Volume 60, Issue 6 , Pages 790-798.e1, December 2012
    Hospital-Based Shootings in the United States: 2000 to 2011
    Gabor D. Kelen, Christina L. Catlett, Joshua G. Kubit, Yu-Hsiang Hsieh
    In 23% of shootings within the ED, the weapon was a security officer's gun taken by the perpetrator.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:22PM (#42537825) Homepage

    If the disabler mechanism can only disable the weapon and have no way to fire it off, then the worse that can happen is the gun wouldn't work or the disabler wouldn't work if hacked.

    No, the worst that can happen is that the shooter gets himself a pre-idiocy gun, tapes a few photos of babies to himself, then goes on a rampage. Nobody else will be able to do a damn thing about it.

  • by drnb (2434720) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:33PM (#42537985)

    What most pro-gun people don't tend to consider is that when everyone has guns, it's more likely that someone will lose their cool and fire one in anger at someone else. Or just be a dick and use one to commit crimes.

    Switzerland proves otherwise. They have universal conscription and have hundreds of thousands of genuine fully automatic assault rifles in private homes. Plus they also have hundreds of thousands of so called "assault weapons", semi-auto and capable of accepting military high capacity magazines, in private homes as well. However given universal conscription the gun owners have had proper training in safe handling, the guns are stored locked and the owners have had a background check.

    I grew up in a part of the U.S. where hunting and firearms ownership was fairly common. A region with town populations generally in the low tens of thousands, a few over a hundred thousand. Our per capita crime rate involving firearms was low, far lower than more urban regions where firearms were banned or severely restricted.

    Its not the guns. Its the lack of training, proper storage and background checks that seem to be the problem.

    Its funny that you use the phrase "pro-gun". It seems that people familiar with firearms tend to support private ownership of firearms, even those that choose not to own one themselves. While those unfamiliar with firearms tends to be against private ownership. Familiar as in having gone shooting to some small extent at some point in their lives. Unfamiliar as in what they "know" they "learned" from the mass media, TV and movies. What does that tell you?

    Again, just to be clear. Private ownership is one thing, however I think both the pro and anti sides generally agree that safety training, safe storage and background checks are all good things.

  • by spacepimp (664856) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:37PM (#42538033) Homepage

    You're smart person is going to look pretty dumb

    Your aliterate person who can't handle homophones looks pretty dumb, too. Look, folks, that kind of aliterate ignorance REALLY affects reading speed and comprehension. And if you actually know better, double shame on you.

    You know what I see when I see "you're dog is loose"? I see a high school dropout who has never read an entire book in his whole life. I see a sad, uneducated individual. I see someone I pity. I see someone who is way out of his league at slashdot.

    (waiting for an aliterate who thinks "aliterate" is a misspelling to comment...)

    You seem awfully proud to know the meaning of the word aliterate...

  • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:09PM (#42538503) Homepage

    They may disarm the citizen, but I doubt even obtaining the weapon makes him more dangerous. All these guys come loaded for bear anyway, it's not like one extra gun is going to make them feel better when they already have three.

    ^^^ This.

    Also, statistically, in the mass shootings where an armed citizen fired back, how many rampaging gunmen have disarmed said citizen? Answer: nil.

    Now, notice that I'm not arguing about having more people with guns walking around. But the suggestion that an armed citizen will surely be disarmed and give the mass murder an additional edge is a perfect example of people reaching so far up their asses to make some pretty dumbest pro-gun-control argument, it's just sad.

  • by PhxBlue (562201) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:15PM (#42538611) Homepage Journal

    And in 2010, another man attacked schoolchildren with a knife, and killed 7.

    Feel free to check my math, but seven is a lot lower than 28 (Sandy Hill). Or 13 (Columbine). Or 32 (Virginia Tech).

    Moreover, it's actually possible to defend oneself against a knife, whereas you can really only defend yourself from a gun if you're already in close quarters. So don't scoff at the idea of fighting off attackers with brooms -- after all, this is coming from the country that invented kung fu.

  • by e3m4n (947977) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:40PM (#42539073)

    the problem you and everyone else seems to be misled on is that the idea that removing guns will somehow stop violence. The anti-gun crowd ONLY want to quote statistics on gun violence and not overall violent crimes. The per-capita statistics on overall violence is still very high when you don't pick out some meaningless statistic as the instrument used to commit the crime. By the same logic I could say that we should ban the import of British cars in the USA because the number of drunk driving incidents involving British cars in England are astronomically high; and here, where there are fewer British cars, there are almost no drunk driving incidents where those cars are involved. Its a useless statistic that does nothing to address the real problem associated with drunk driving.

    The truth is, getting rid of the gun does nothing to stop someone from committing a violent crime no more than banning straws keeps you from drinking your soda. When Hamas blows up a city bus in Tel-Aviv they manage to kill 20 people without so much as firing a single bullet. They make their bombs out of grocery store items including table sugar. There is nothing you can do to stop a determined crazy person hell-bent on mass homicide. They will research how to make bombs or whatever alternative solution they choose to carry out their plan. In China, back in October, a person went into a school and killed 6 or 7 kids with an Axe. Its not like 6yr olds can put up such a fight that making due with some other weapon wouldn't do enough carnage. The same psycho could rush in and hack the teacher to death first, before he/she had any warning, leaving you with a classroom of 20 or so terrified children unable to defend themselves. In theory, a sick individual could lock the door and kill them slowly, one at a time, hacking them to pieces before the cops could arrive and break down the door.

  • by PhxBlue (562201) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:28PM (#42539811) Homepage Journal

    It also involved months of planning. If you want to kill a bunch of people in a school today, all you have to do is head to a gun show and pick up an AR-15.

  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @08:54PM (#42540719) Homepage Journal

    Sorry. What you're looking at is someone contorting statistics to try and prove a point.

    That's like saying "100% of people who've never flown have never died in an airplane crash".

  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:12PM (#42540873)

    FYI Modern militaries don't "charge at each other". And military guns still have bayonets and soldiers still have combat knives. Most death in combat comes from indirect fire, a.k.a.: not from an assault rifle or pistol. Also, if guns are the cause of so much violence, why hasn't the crime rate in the UK dropped since the banning of guns? Why has the crime rate in the US dropped during the same time period without the use of draconian gun laws? In fact it has dropped since the assault weapons ban expired. All of this seems to contradict the idea that guns cause violence.

    You may not like this becuase it doesn't fit your little world view, but millions of people defend themselves each year with guns. This is a recent example of a mom who saved herself and her children [digitaljournal.com] from god knows what - with a gun.

    The truth of the matter is that people cause violence. It's not a coincidence that all of the recent mass shootings in every country have been the result of mentally unstable people. Banning guns does nothing but put the guns in the hands of criminals and removes them from the hands of people who would otherwise protect themselves from the same criminals who are going to have guns no matter what the law says. People, who want to ban guns in good faith, are ignorant and have the blood of innocents on their hands.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @12:10AM (#42542357)

    This is a good point. Pouring lead bullets is pretty trivial and people have been doing that for centuries. But modern cartridges need brass shells which aren't that trivial to manufacture (which is why reloaders are called "reloaders" and not "people who make cartridges from scratch"), and neither are the primers, which use small charges of high explosive.

    Making your own ammunition isn't that hard if you're making ammo for a black powder rifle, but for a modern rifle or handgun it's not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @05:57AM (#42543875)

    According to the FBI, 300,000 people defended themselves with guns - not millions. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/guns.cfm [usdoj.gov]

    Gun related crime in the UK has fallen http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8153392.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    The ratio of gun crime to population in the UK is 0.0001. In the US it is 0.0011.

    So, with easy access to guns and culture of gun ownership means that you are 10 times as likely to be involved with a gun crime in the US, even though you have a gun to defend yourself.

    By all means, defend Gun ownership on the moral grounds of your US constitution, defend it on cultural grounds, or how you wish to own a gun, or how you want to rise up to overthrow your government. Don't defend in any way by claiming it makes the world a safer place, because that, sir, is bollocks.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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