Monday, December 17, 2012

Smart Guns

With one massacre happening after another – I will post my Smart Guns post again. In the Connecticut case, if smart guns were used it is possible this massacre could have been prevented since the guns were registered by the mother of the criminal. Yes, he may have gotten the guns another way, but smart guns would make it harder and he could possibly get caught in the process of trying to obtain guns. I know many people who read my blog are adamantly against the smart gun proposal; I understand and respect your opinions. But smart guns is a better solution than the potential gun control that the Left will push following these events.

In the wake of the shooting of Congresswomen Giffords, there is no question something needs to be done to control guns. And there are ways to control guns, while at the same time protecting the second amendment rights of Americans to own guns. The key is to make it more difficult for criminals to use weapons that they do not specifically own. The answer to this riddle is to create smart guns using technology.

Unfortunately, the Right and Left cannot agree on how to control guns. And what’s worse, instead of seeking solutions to the problem that resulted in the shooting of Giffords, the Left is playing the blame game and the Right is trying to defend their position on guns. The Left is trying to link the shooter, Jared Loughner, as a Rightwing nut case that followed the beliefs of Palin, Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh. Although it seems that Loughner was politically all over the map having cited the Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite readings, the Left insists the blame rests solely with the Right (Loughner was also a 9-11 truther and an anti-war advocate). The Left cites a Palin made political map of the U.S. where Giffords’ district is represented by a gun target (The DNC posted a similar map in 2006). Although this merely meant that Giffords district was being targeted by the GOP for takeover in the last election, Democrats insist the target was used to rile up extremists to take out Giffords. This type of behavior of playing the blame game is not only wrong; it is doing nothing to solve our national problems. Instead, it is leading to more needless polarity and division. When this happens; nothing productive ever gets accomplished. Finding political blame in the Giffords shooting is just as irresponsible as the Right blaming Gore or environmentalists for the shooting at the Discovery Channel headquarters by James Lee. What if the right blamed Olbermann’s anti-war rhetoric as what influenced Major Nidal Hasan to open fire at Fort Hood? This too would be irresponsible. We have become a nation of blamers and excuse makers. In other words, we have become a nation of problem creators instead of problem solvers. And the nonsense of excuses, blaming, no accountability, no personal responsibility, and no commonsense has got to stop. People are accountable for their actions regardless of their external influences. For instance, being an abused child is not an excuse to commit crimes later in life. People who commit crimes are solely responsible and placing further blame does nothing to undo what has transpired. It merely pours more gas onto an already burning fire, which solves nothing.

I agree that every person has the right to bear arms and has the right to hunt in legal areas. This is a Constitutional right. I also realize that over 99% of all gun owners are responsible with their firearms. In other words, they are in no way a threat to other Americans. Still, even the safest gun owners cannot stop someone else from stealing their firearms and using them in a crime. Thus, it makes sense to find a way to keep gun owners happy while trying to eliminate useless crimes committed with firearms. A smart gun is the answer. A smart gun would have a mini computer installed within the firearm. Within the computer there needs to be a global positioning system (GPS). The computer and GPS can perform the following operations to make guns safer:

  • The first and most important function of the computer system is make sure that only the designated owner(s) can fire the weapon. Only an owner(s) palm print on the handle will release the safety and allow them to fire the weapon. The action of releasing the safety will turn on the battery charged computer.
  • The GPS will enable authorities to track any guns at any time. Many criminals hide or discard firearms after a crime and the GPS feature will enable law enforcement to track down weapons, including stolen guns. A gun’s GPS will remain active after any shooting.
  • Gun registration numbers can be encrypted and held within the computer. Gun owners will need to scan the registration number into a secure gun registration (global) internet site on a quarterly basis. This site shall be accessed by any law enforcement agencies throughout the country. In effect, this procedure creates a digital computerized paper trail on each gun’s history, which is available for authorities to review.
  • Gun owners must keep the computer power level on their weapons above a certain level. Once the power goes below this threshold the firearm can no longer be used until the power level is restored.
  • If a gun has been tampered with (opened) the gun is permanently shut down. In other words, the gun can no longer be fired – ever again.
  • The gun computer will store the palm prints of any unregistered user that attempts to use the gun. Each gun can store a maximum of three legal users.
  • When a gun is fired, the data pertaining to the shooting is stored within the computer. The computer stores the precise location the firearm was discharged as well as other useful forensic data including the height at which the gun fired, the direction at which the gun was fired, the angle at which the gun was fired, and it can even store the serial number of the bullet fired. This information can be used by both law enforcement to solve a criminal shooting and by the gun owner to track the gun’s history. Each quarter when a gun owner registers their weapon, this firearm history is also recorded.
  • The power on All guns that have been fired remains on and are tracked until the owner registers the weapon. Those that are not registered within 48 hours of being discharged are considered to be part of a crime and authorities should track down that specific firearm.
  • The computer can also contain other useful information that may help a gun owner become a better marksman. One feature could include a virtual simulation and analysis of each shot taken by the shooter. The weapon can also make adjustments due to external factors such as wind speed and direction. These types of features will aid in the sale of computerized guns.

The problem with the above solution is that there are already millions of guns in circulation that cannot be tracked. Thus, there has to be some plan to try to remove old guns from circulation and get new computerized models to replace them. This is not going to be an easy task. Some ideas may include:

  • Making crimes committed using non-computerized guns subject to much harsher penalties.
  • Set a date by which no non-computerized guns can be legally sold.
  • Make it easy for gun owners to turn in old firearms which can be replaced with new computerized models.
  • Law enforcement and government officials should target gun types that are most often used in crimes for obsolescence.
  • Make it illegal to import any non-computerized guns.
  • Convert all gun types to computerized models including rifles and militarized models. Variations of computerized gun weaponry can be expanded to include other weapons such as knives (the computer can track finger and palm prints of people who used the knife).
  • Set protective and restrictive laws for any person owning gun collections.
  • Set up a method to discard and recycle non-computerized guns.

Obviously, gun control is not an easy problem to solve, nor is any potential solution going to be easy to implement. However, the longer we wait, the harder the problem is to solve. And it is important to note, the above solution is not aimed at law abiding gun owners, but potential criminals.

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