A simple (and complex) solution to Gun Control

A simple (and complex) solution to Gun Control

Let's all take a deep breath before reading this. I'm not going to liberally lambaste you, or right wing-ding you with statistics of gun control in Australia or evidence of genocide correlating with gun control in Nazi Germany.

I'm going to do what we all should do, what we have collectively done to get to this point in our history as a civilization.

Remember, we've put a person on the Moon, we have figured out how to fly across the country in 5 hours, how to look at the smallest particles, cure diseases that were certain death sentences, and develop new technology that has forever changed how we communicate.

We did all that with very little pushback as a society. Nobody would argue that all of these government and private enterprise endeavors were somehow stripping away our rights, but rather that these were all progressive new ways forward. No one argued that, despite Facebook, Google, your cable company, to name a few, all collecting private information about you and then selling it, making millions off advertisers.

If this were about the constitution, you'd think more constitutionalists would have a fundamental problem with just about every new technology.

Not the case.

So why is the issue of gun control always a retroactive one? This is about 1776. This is about the Constitution. This is about protecting against a radical government, the red coats, genocide, blah blah blah.

I agree that we should have certain rights that shouldn't change through the course of time, but I don't agree with one that doesn't take into account the progression of technology around us. One that doesn't take into account that New York City is no longer a couple thousand people but rather more than 10 million strong. Or a document that was created before Los Angeles was even a city.

So, here is my simple solution: Technology.

I think that the NRA and gun manufacturers could help pursue a new venture into how guns are manufactured. A major advance in gun manufacture could create a huge boon for the economy, as well as help prevent crime.

Think about this.

We use the internet to monitor just about anything. Currently, the United States, and many other nations, both at government and private level, are investing in upgrading the energy grid to be so sophisticated that it will be able to measure the exact amount of energy its customers are using and if there is an energy shortage, turn up or down your thermostat or dryer temperature to prevent a brownout. This two-way approach to the energy grid will replace our current energy grid which was constructed more than 65 years ago.

Your internet is your life now. That network is how we work and play, and everything in between. The amount of information that has been collected about you since the early 2000's is simply staggering.

So, let's use these technologies to create a wireless, or 3G gun. It's really quite simple. If you have a semi-automatic, the government along with gun manufacturers will retrofit the gun, or offer to buy back older guns, to comply with a new law. You'll still be able to use the gun any way you wish. However, all future manufacture of guns will need to be network-enabled. The amount of data that could be collected could easily be sophisticated enough for law enforcement to disable a gun wirelessly. This would also be a great opportunity for people to show proper documentation of gun ownership.

This is just a rant, and I'd leave all the complex algorithms to gun manufacturers. But, think of the possibilities beyond the current stagnant argument over guns. A gun that is automatically disabled in the presence of registered law enforcement weapons would give police a leg up in fighting crime. A gun that is automatically disabled in certain zones, such as school zones, universities, or government buildings could help prevent the mass shootings we've seen recently. It could be smart enough to disable outside network guns in your own home, so if someone tries to break in, gun disarmed.

Sure, it could take years to get illegal guns off the streets, but they would taper off as new gun manufacturing shifted towards the wirelessly-networked guns. And these networks, as long as they comply with certain standards, could be privately-owned, so you'd be assured that the government isn't using your information. Finally, stolen or black-marketed guns would require a computer hacker/programmer just to get them to be enabled, which would be enough to greatly reduce what hardened criminals would be capable of with a gun.

This may seem like a crazy thought, but its not so crazy when you start thinking about the data that is collected about you in everything you do. President Ronald Reagan made all GPS data public information, so do you drive anywhere with a smartphone? Someone can track you. Talk on a phone? Someone can listen. Watch TV? Someone knows what you are watching. Travel? Eat? Shop? Compute? Power, heat, or cool your home? You're just one big trail of data for everyone to see.

So why can't we take the same approach to guns? I disagree that guns should be banned, but I also disagree that we can't do anything to prevent the recent rash of gun crimes.





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