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Much has been made of smart guns that use electronics
having a failure point at the batteries.
What if there were a handgun that instead had a
mechanical method of arming?
It's important to decide just how failsafe it needs to be. Is
it sufficient that another person can't use the weapon
dropped? Or must the weapon only ever be useable by one
If the former, then a ring on the wearer a key of some
kind that activates when touched would be sufficient.
Maybe it fits into the trigger mechanism such that the gun
is unusable without it - as though it had no trigger.
Or perhaps it's RFID powered by body heat. Without the
ring, a pin mechanism prevents use, but with the ring
against the weapon, the very small electrical charge plus a
code is enough to release the safety, no batteries needed.
Or, there is a wrist bracelet with a pressure key attached.
Push the key in, activate the gun. Then if dropped, the key
pulls out. However, this idea would mean that it would
take precious seconds for the operator to reinsert the key
in the field.
Or, there is a combination lock built into the weapon that
can be thumb operated. Without the code entered, the gun
is inoperable. Holding the weapon keeps the gun in use
mode through appropriate gripping pressure. However, if
you release the grip, the lock resets and the gun is at
Any of these could also be a backup for battery powered
systems, with the battery systems allowing for limited use
to an individual, while the mechanical systems work as a
failsafe that may not prevent use if the mechanical item is
stolen but the battery system has failed.
||Or maybe just don't have guns?
||No, that wasn't my fishbone btw.
||May as well say " not have fire ? "
||Interesting bit about that. Many people and municipalities have elected not to have fire, or placed severe restrictions on fire types, burning times, and legal fire apparati. It's almost as if people would rather be safe from the hazards of fire.
||Yes, but when you really really want to have fire, it's advantageous to be able to build one.
||/It's almost as if people would rather be safe from the hazards of fire./
||The problem is that the apparatus for making fire is next to free. If the only fire-making apparatus could be monopolized by a company with a profit motive, they could ensure that fires occurred freely and without legislative prohibiton. Fire is our Prometheus-given right, after all.
||[bungston] said that if fire was profitable without
regulation, there would be none. This may imply
that there is regulation _because_ that increases
the profits for companies that build devices that
meet the regulatory requirements. Though I agree
there may be some other reasons for regulating fire.
||// It's almost as if people would rather be safe
from the hazards of fire.//
||Actually there are few regulations to prevent the
unsafe MISUSE of fire. Any minor can buy gas and
matches and misuse them with deadly results.
||Some proper uses of guns may be for recreation
and self defense. A misuse of guns might be using
it for committing a crime. The only fundamental
difference between fire and firearms in terms of
misuse for illegal activity or accidental
injury/death is that guns are extremely effective,
portable, and convenient, both for their proper
use and for their misuse.
||Anyone know the death and injury rate from kids
playing with fire compared with guns? Since fire is
easier to get, but not as effective, I suspect
there's more injury and less death.
||And what I'm saying is not really intended as a good
argument for or against gun control, but rather to
point out that saying one should be regulated or not
because of regulation on the other is a very weak
||Aaaannnd once in a while you stumble over something and go " Did I do that ? "
||Oh, and [+] for the concept of the idea, but I don't
really like any of the proposed implementations.
||What about a custom fitted grip that requires
proper pressure at each fingertip? Make it so that
if any fingertip is possiitoned incorrectly either
too long or too short, the gun will not fire. It
seem like that could be implemented with a fairly
simple and robust mechanical system. The way I
understand it, for best accuracy the user holds the
gun the same way every time, so after a couple
good practice sessions with the gun in unsecured
mode, the grip could be locked in. Now it might
also be nice if a single gun could support a couple
different grips, allowing the user to practice a left-
handed grip for use in a situation where they have
a big bandage on one finger or something that
prevents the correct grip.
||There is still the substantial statistical fact that the gun that you purchase for the defense of your home is more likely to be used to shoot yourself or one of your loved ones than it is to shoot a burglar. So long as it is in the home it represents a lethal threat to you, your family, and other innocents. And unlike your toaster, which will as happily take toast as electrocute you, the gun sits there as a constant persistent menace to yourself and those you care about. The fact about gun ownership is that owning a tool of murder makes us feel powerful in the face of threats we cannot predict or control. The myth of deterrence is completely rebuked by statistics, instead the thing that are trying to deter is the fear of impotence, the fear that we do not have the mineral to die or kill with adequate dignity should the situation arise. I would "pull my gun and shoot the bad guy" are the words of a child, a baby despot. They are not words that I respect, and as a society they do not deserve the sanction of the law.