Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guns Don't Kill Gun-Control, People Kill Gun-Control

Gun-control is right on target!
When a person buys a gun, they usually have a purpose in mind.  I'm not a gun owner myself, but it would seem that most most people buy a gun either for self-defense or as a hobby (data about guns in the US).  In today's culture, these motivations are judged as reasonable. On the other hand, buying a gun in order to kill a whole bunch of children is judged as unreasonable. I think that there are ways to help ensure that guns are used for those reasonable purposes, and nothing else.

Aloha Style - A Licensing System

No guns? No problem!
No matter if one wants to buy the gun for protection or for recreation, one needs to know how to handle it safely.  Furthermore, the gun itself needs to be kept in good working condition to avoid unexpected hazards. This can be easily achieved using a licensing system, as Hawaii has demonstrated.  Such a system can ensure that all gun owners are educated about and trained to use the types of guns that they want to use (very similar to a driver's license). Furthermore, guns themselves need to be registered, and regularly checked for quality issues.

Fingerprint Safeties

The one and only you.
Ideally, only people who are registered to use a gun should be able to work the trigger.  Although current technology doesn't seem to be able to provide a good solution, fingerprint safes exist, and should be mandated by law.  Anyone who buys a gun should demonstrate that he or she has a registered fingerprint safe at home.   When the technology for fingerprint safeties on guns becomes realistic, it should be mandated instead.

The Future: GPS Restrictions?

Out of this world protection!
It may sound a bit sci-fi, but I don't think that it's too unreasonable to expect GPS technology to continue to improve.  One can imagine that guns acquired for defense purposes can not only be restricted for particular people, but also for particular locations.  A gun bought for home defense should only be able to be used in the home, not in a nearby school.  GPS-restricted guns may be able to provide this in the not-too-distant future.  Of course, this GPS limitation may need to be "released" in target ranges, but I'm sure that if you give a few geeks a little bit of time, a dependable solution would be found.

Towards a Perfect Solution?

No.  I don't think a perfect solution can exist in the foreseeable future.  Even if guns didn't exist at all, people would still be able to kill each other.  But guns makes death all too easy to achieve. If there are ways for society to make it a little harder on murderers, and a little less likely for accidental death to occur, then it would be negligent not to implement them.

A wise person once said: don't let the perfect get in the way of the good.  Incremental changes that bring us to a better society are worth making.

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