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New Jersey Enacts 'Smart Gun' Law 1748

Posted by timothy
from the no-comment dept.
rmohr02 writes "New Jersey has just enacted legislation that would require all handguns to be able to recognize their owners and only fire when their owners grip them. Gun manufacturers will be required to implement this within three years of the NJ Attorney General's approval of an acceptable, commercially available model. One critic says 'No technology is foolproof--anyone who has a computer knows how many times it crashes.' I'm sure fellow /.ers will have something to say about that. Also on Google News"
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New Jersey Enacts 'Smart Gun' Law

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  • Hmmm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by FunkSoulBrother (140893) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:44AM (#4949872)
    If guns don't kill people, but people kill people, then wouldn't it follow that New Jersey should enact a "Smart People" law???
    • Re:Hmmm. (Score:3, Funny)

      by suss (158993)
      New Jersey should enact a "Smart People" law???

      They already have enough "wise guys" there... and they all own guns.

      So eh, ssssshhh... capiche?
    • New Jersey should enact a "Smart People" law???
      That would require Smart People in the legislature....

      If this is such a good idea, before the state imposes this on everyone else, I'd like to see all police in the state, including those who guard Gov. McGreevey, trade in their dumb guns and use the new technology exclusively for 5 years. Only after they do that should they even consider mandating it for the general population. Now why do you suppose that McGreevey didn't veto the bill, sending it back with a message that he wanted to do just this?

  • Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spiro_killglance (121572) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:47AM (#4949888) Homepage
    If your going to allowed to carry guns, at least
    they should be made so someone else can't use them
    against you. I am sure some gun nuts here, are
    going to be against the idea, but i can't imagine
    a reason why. And yeah it probably won't be secure at first, and they'll be underground gangs rechiping the guns. But it makes it harder for criminals to get guns and that has to be good.
    • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Associate (317603)
      Not to mention, if I were a criminal in NJ, I'd just get a gun from out of state. That's a lot easier than reprogramming a chip or hacking someone's hand off.
      • Trust me, if New Jersey legislators had been able to pass a worldwide law, they would have. But the New Jersey legislature only has jurisdiction over New Jersey, so they're doing the best they can.

        If N guns are manufactured in New Jersey in 2006, there will be N guns on the market that have this kind of safety gizmo built in, which is better than the status quo.

        And finally, this law has nothing at all to do with crime. It has to do with public safety. As a crime bill, this law will probably not do a very good job. As a safety bill, assuming the technology works, I imagine it'll be quite effective.
    • Re:Good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pi_rules (123171) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:00AM (#4949970)
      If your going to allowed to carry guns, at least
      they should be made so someone else can't use them
      against you.


      Agreed... but I would much rather prefer that my wife of one of my children are able to pick up a handgun I own to defend themselves in the event that I'm disabled... perhaps after being shot an an intruder.


      I am sure some gun nuts here, are
      going to be against the idea, but i can't imagine
      a reason why.


      See above for why.

      And yeah it probably won't be secure at first, and they'll be underground gangs rechiping the guns. But it makes it harder for criminals to get guns and that has to be good.


      Yep... all them law abiding criminals that buy guys legally will certainly be up shit creek without a paddle on this one. Thank goodness we're preventing law abiding citizens from buying a gun that will fire at the pull of a trigger. So what if the WinCE device in your pistol fails when you need it.

      Anti-gun advocates: The #1 reason any thinking human purchases a gun for is it's reliability. I do not want to put my life on the line when I need it to something that -may- fail based on my fingerprint. I'll take the risk of my own firearm being used against me. When I go to sleep at night the only unlocked firearm is the one sitting right next to my bed. That's the answer -- not fingerprint technology.
      • It's worth noting that the law seems to apply only to manufacturers/retailers. I'm sure that the day this hits the market there will be a conversion kit to disable it. I wonder how they plan on policing gun shows (assuming NJ has any after this law is enacted).

        How long will it be before the first lawsuit based on the inability of a gun owner to use his gun to defend himself resulting in death or injury?

        I'm also wondering what they do for antique enthusiasts. Just how do you put a fingerprint check on a flint lock?

        Gun sales in the surrounding states will likely soar (no sales tax in Delaware even).
      • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Talennor (612270)
        Yeah, but what happens when these 'smart' guns really get smart and start aiming for you, maybe something of a friendly fire option to keep people your family safe. It's not something that should be forced upon people, but improvement can be made until people actually want it, that is if they can afford it.
      • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dirk (87083)
        Yep... all them law abiding criminals that buy guys legally will certainly be up shit creek without a paddle on this one. Thank goodness we're preventing law abiding citizens from buying a gun that will fire at the pull of a trigger. So what if the WinCE device in your pistol fails when you need it.
        Anti-gun advocates: The #1 reason any thinking human purchases a gun for is it's reliability. I do not want to put my life on the line when I need it to something that -may- fail based on my fingerprint. I'll take the risk of my own firearm being used against me.


        Where exactly do you think all the illegal guns come from? The majority of them are stolen from people who are legally able to buy them, or are bought legally and then sold illegally. That means that you are willing to take the risk of your gun being used against you, but it can also be used against me when they break into your house when your not there and take it. The main idea behind this law is to prevent accidental gun use by children, but a very nice offshoot is that stolen guns may not be able to be used after they are stolen. If we can stop guns from being stolen from people's homes from being useful, we can greatly reduce the amount of new guns in the hands of criminals.
        • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mesocyclone (80188) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:29AM (#4950438) Homepage Journal
          There is very little accidental gun use by young children. Most gun incidents involving "children" are cases where the "children" are near adult age and are gang-bangers. I think we should require smart swimming pools before we require smart guns - swimming pools kill more children per pool than guns do per gun.

          As far as illegal guns ( an odd concept to me - in my state most guns are legal )... criminals get guns on the street. They may have been stolen or sold to the criminals. The stolen "smart" guns will simply be hacked to be unsmart - after all, it will be much harder to secure a gun (which is a pretty simple mechanism) than a DirectTV receiver!

          Furthermore, there are hundreds of millions of dumb guns out there. This law has no effect on them. There are enough to keep the cirminals well armed for centuries.

          This "smart gun law" is just another typical attempt to deny people the ability to protect themselves against criminals who will be well armed in the first place!

          BTW, in Arizona where guns are common, concealed carry without permit is allowed on your own property, and killing a burglar in your house without any warning is perfectly legal, we have few confrontations between homeowners and intruders. I wonder why? Could it be that criminals prefer to prey on unarmed people? Could that be the reason that gun crime is rising rapidly in England, where legal ownership of a handgun is basically impossible?

          I have used a gun in self defense. It was effective, I want to maintain the right to do it again. Stupid laws like the New Jersey smart gun only help the criminals, and criminalize the honest citizens who want to have a reliable self defense weapon.
          • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

            by NexusTw1n (580394) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:09AM (#4950631) Journal
            Could it be that criminals prefer to prey on unarmed people? Could that be the reason that gun crime is rising rapidly in England, where legal ownership of a handgun is basically impossible?

            In England, Gun crime is rising amongst gangs. Shootings are almost exclusively gang on gang, Yardies Vs Locals.

            Burgulars don't carry guns, muggers don't carry guns, they don't need to, their victim will be unarmed.

            I've lived in AZ and in the UK, don't try comparing apples and oranges to prove your arguement. The UK does not have a problem with guns, there is a lot of violent fighting, but the Brits philosophy is real men use their fists and fight like men, they have contempt for anyone who needs to hide behind a gun.

            Now if everyone was armed, they may be a few more gun deaths and a lot less violent fighting, ironically making Britain a safer place, but while it may be difficult to understand, they don't want guns, even the majority of their police are not armed, and don't wish to be armed.

            It's a different country, a different philosophy and way of life. You're completely in the wrong trying to compare the two.
            • In England, Gun crime is rising amongst gangs. Shootings are almost exclusively gang on gang, Yardies Vs Locals. Burgulars don't carry guns, muggers don't carry guns, they don't need to, their victim will be unarmed.

              Can you please post some references to you claims? Here are some that I've found via google.

              Here is a quote from an article [reason.com] on reason.com, which I assume is the online version of the Libertarian Reason magazine:

              Nearly five centuries of growing civility ended in 1954. Violent crime has been climbing ever since. Last December, London?s Evening Standard reported that armed crime, with banned handguns the weapon of choice, was "rocketing." In the two years following the 1997 handgun ban, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent, and the upward trend has continued. From April to November 2001, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in London rose 53 percent.

              It sounds like some burgulars do carry guns in England.

              I suppose its a little plausible that "shootings are almost exclusively gang on gang" as I can believe that most gun use for good or ill is not going to get to the stage of pulling the trigger, but that doesn't mean that outlawing guns hasn't increased crime against innocent civilians.

              From another article [stats.org]:

              The recent International Crime Victimization Survey, which provides a good indication of overall crime levels around the world, shows that, while crime fell dramatically during the 1990s in the United States and most of the rest of the world, it has remained steady in Britain and Australia (which also enacted a gun ban during the late 1990s).

              Also, here is an article [downunderwebsites.com] that claims to be a copy of a Sunday Telegraph article entitled "British Gun Crime Triples (after ban on handguns)."

              Anyhow, if you could post some references, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

              • It is not 53%. For example, an unbiased survey, commissioned and paid for by the pro gun lobby only "found" :
                A pro-gun lobby group has attacked the government over laws that made handgun ownership illegal, after a study it commissioned found that the criminal use of handguns went up by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.

                Guardian [guardian.co.uk]
                If they can only conjure up 40%, I've no idea where your 53 comes from. Let's look at some real figures.

                Let's take London. Street robberies.
                "In the past eight months, guns have been used in 200 of these offences, compared with 170 in the same period last year"
                Guardian [guardian.co.uk]
                A massive rise of 30 incidents for the entire capital in 8 months. There is easily 100 muggings a day in London,
                While London is still safer than New York, the capital did see a total of 40,000 street robberies, more than 100 a day Guardian [guardian.co.uk]

                40,000 muggings, 200 by gun. Best arm the kids and wife tommorrow I guess...

                "New moves were announced yesterday to stem the wave of gangland gun crime in south Manchester which has resulted in 27 violent deaths in less than four years.

                Moss side South Manchester as any Brit will tell you is rife (by UK standards) with gangland guns. Less than 6 killings a year, I should imagine there are blocks in the US that can generate more deaths per annum than an entire British city. Remember, these killings are gang on gang, Joe Public and his wife aren't getting massacred - if you can count 27 deaths in 4 years as a massacre.

                Are innocents being shot with all these millions of guns the criminals have ? Not in Leeds (where I currently live). Guardian [guardian.co.uk]
                Seven shootings in month linked to crime power struggle in Leeds.....Mr Birley said he and his wife were seeing visitors into a taxi. "A man came running out of the night waving a gun at me. He just said 'Get out of my way' and went past at what seemed like 100mph. This man wasn't panicking and looked as though he was in control - he could see we were no threat."
                And there is the rub. Yes the criminals are armed, yes the police are worried, but simply want tougher sentences for possesion - you can currently get probabtion for some gun offences. The public don't want to be armed, the criminals know that only criminals carry guns, and are only shooting each other in power struggles, they don't perceive innocents as being a threat and have no need to use the guns on them.
                As for your US crime has fallen stat. Did everyone in the US suddenly arm themselves to the teeth, even more than they ever have before in the 90's ? No ? So, how do you correlate US falling crime with gun possession ?
                Could it be something else ? NYC zero tolerance ? LA 3 strikes ? Who knows, You are making a weird leap with that last statistic, unless you can show noone in the US was armed in the 1980's hence the high crime rate, and then when everyone and their mother bought an Glock on 1st Jan 1991, the crime rate plummetted.
          • FYI (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Sycraft-fu (314770)
            Open carry is legal in Arizona, permit or no. We are one of the few states that will let people carry guns without jumping through any hoops. You still need to get a permit to carry concealed in public, but open requires no permit.
      • by SHEENmaster (581283) <travis@utk.eNETBSDdu minus bsd> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:41AM (#4950212) Homepage Journal
        In other news a gun prototype murdered it's own when said owner refused refused to upgrade to SP2. By accepting SP1, he gave the gun the right to shoot him with or without provocation for any reason whatsoever.
      • Re:Good idea (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mshomphe (106567) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:56AM (#4950287) Homepage Journal
        Not meaning to be a troll or flamebait, but how many times a year is the aveage citizen in a gunfight, or even in a gunfight situation? Most gun rights advocates always trot out the notion of having a gun in the home to protect their family. How often does a burglar break into someone's home while they are home? How often is that burglar armed?

        I live in an apartment complex; there is no reason for me to own a gun for that reason (or any other reason).

        Why do you feel the need to arm yourself against an intruder? Has it happened before?

        I'm honestly curious about these issues, because I don't see the level of violence around me that would necessitate owning a firearm. I've lived in Baltimore (1 block away from one of the larget crack-dealing blocks in the country), and Los Angeles (both in the Valley and downtown, as well as going to school in Watts). It seems to me that violence happens to those that seek it out, or live by it.

        You seem to justify owning a firearm by perceiving added safety for you and your family. Why don't you feel safe?
        • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

          by xtal (49134)

          How often does a burglar break into someone's home while they are home? How often is that burglar armed?

          The problem with this logic is that it doesn't matter how many times, or how rare an event is when it's in the process of happening to YOU. How would you feel watching your home and family be violated? Your wife raped while you wait for police to arrive? All because "it's a 1:100,000 occurance". The police are under no obligation to protect your life or your property - and by the time they get there, you are going to be dead. People assume that 911 is some magic teleporting number - where I live, you are looking at a 15-25 minute minimum response time. Of course, crime in my neck of the woods is pretty much nonexistant, but it is present.

          Unlike the US though, I live in Canada. People do use rifles and shotguns in crimes, but handguns are rare* and there is no genie to be put back in the bottle. The USA is very heavily armed, and it is unfortunately too late to cap that genie. Guns are amazing durable items.

          Let people have the right to defend themselves. Let cities decide if they want guns in their limits. Don't legislate at the federal level. There are reasons to make it more difficult to get a gun in LA than in Houlton, Maine.. but leave it up to those communities to decide for themselves.

          Now, I'm not the typical Candian. I see nothing wrong with defending my property AND my life with lethal force. It's my stuff, and no, you can't have it. I find it very difficult to be objective on this issue when thieves are effectively not procecuted or even investigated. I wish more people would be victims of crime, and they can see what it feels like to be told by the police they aren't going to do anything.

          All of this comes down to people needing to take more responsibility and action for their own lives and stop letting the state do it for you. Leave gun control as a community issue. I don't argue some communities might want to ban guns. In fact, I'd love to live next to one of those communities if I could arm myself - because I know where the criminals would go. If you are concerned about children, then make the penalties for allowing children access to weapons very stiff and enforce them. IIRC, those penalties are pretty stiff now, but handguns are a non starter here in Canada.

          Heh. I should move to Texas. Alberta ain't bad either.

          * rare, but anyone with a connection to the black market can easily procure one. One of the side-effects of the war on drugs was to give people ready access to organized crime. Want a gun? Ask a drug dealer. If he can't get one, you can bet his supplier, or his supplier's supplier can. No, it won't be registered.

        • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Fig, formerly A.C. (543042) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @12:33PM (#4952461)
          but how many times a year is the aveage citizen in a gunfight, or even in a gunfight situation?

          How many times have you needed the airbags in your car? How about the fire extinguisher in your kitchen? The first aid kit in your closet?

          Just because you don't need something daily of haven't needed it yet is not a good reason to be unprepared.

          Also, don't underestimate the deterrent effect. It's more powerful than you think.

    • Re:Good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:16AM (#4950075) Journal
      I am sure some gun nuts here, are

      going to be against the idea, but i can't imagine
      a reason why.


      Gun owners in NJ are going to be very unhappy when their guns won't fire, but the criminal's illegial gun works perfectly. A gun is not a Computer... it can't afford to fail even once... ever.

      Guns work fine now. If people are getting killed because gun owners aren't keeping their guns safe, then there should be stronger punishments for the gun-owners.

      When you start including a lot of devices that the gun depends on, then the less reliable the legal guns will be. That means the the criminals will have a bigger advantage, and more innocent people will be killed. Until there is a device that works 100% of the time, and can not be caused to fail by any means, this should not be allowed to pass the courts.

      The right to bear arms does not include a passage that says, the government (or anyone else) should be able to throw a switch and disable those guns.

      BTW, I have never even owned a gun, so I am certainly not a "gun nut".
    • Re:Good idea (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zapdos (70654) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:28AM (#4950147)
      Rechiping? you have to be kidding, a gun is a very simple mechanism. they will simply remove the protection. replace that pin or that spring, file off that tab. Will take less than 10 minutes.
    • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DmitriA (199545)
      I'll agree to use it when law-enforcement people say that it is safe enough for them to use it. But guess what - the NJ Association of Chiefs of Police has successfully lobbied for an exemption from requiring the police officers to use 'as-yet-undeveloped technology' but backed the rest of the bill.

      So I guess they think it is safe enough for your average Joe-citizen to rely on that 'smart' handgun to protect his life and the life of his family, but it's not safe enough for the law-enforcement to rely on it in their everyday job? Well, thanks but no thanks then.
  • by _Sambo (153114) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:48AM (#4949892)
    What a great black market is being created here. Soon, on the Sopranos, you'll see the Italian geek boy, with the obligatory nerd goggles. He'll be known as the technical officianado de la cosa nostra. When he gets a support call, it'll be a real life and death situation.

    Cracker markets are as follows: rigging the guns to fire when anyone picks them up.

    Bio-cracking: making the customer's biometrics fit those of the gun's owner.

    Disabling the protection.

    Those are a few off the top of me head.

    Only one question will remain: Does the tech mob guy get to wear a big gold cross?

  • interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hagbard5235 (152810) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:49AM (#4949896)
    I'm curious if when this legislation goes into effect if all new handguns issued to NJ police officers to contain this technology or if handguns for police have been exempted.

    • I'm curious if when this legislation goes into effect if all new handguns issued to NJ police officers to contain this technology or if handguns for police have been exempted.


      I'd imagine they would be exempted -- I can't imagine going on the job and trusting my life to something other than my own self keeping my own gun by my side to protect me. I don't seen any police officer ever actually considering this to be a safety device to themselves.
      • If you can't imagine a police officer trusting this technology on their handguns, which they keep to protect themselves, why should a law abiding citizen trust them?
    • Re:interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stefanlasiewski (63134) <slashdot@stefa n c o .com> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:00AM (#4949967) Homepage Journal
      Actually, I've always throught that US cops should had the gun attached to their belt by a cable, just like they do in many European and Asian countries.

      Drop your gun? Well, at least somebody can't pick it back up and shoot you. According to these guys [ncpa.org], "10 percent of police who are shot are shot with their own guns".
      • by MacAndrew (463832) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:54AM (#4950280) Homepage
        It is such a drag to find stats, and many sites don't provide attribution for them! For all one knows, the numbers are gossip.

        According to the FBI, 46 of 594 officers slain feloniously 1992-2001 were killed by their own weapon. Another 49 were killed by weapons other than firearms.

        FBI Uniform Crime Reports [fbi.gov] -- I pulled the pdf for "# Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted" for 2001, see Table 5.

        Even 46 dead officers is too many. It would be helpful to have "wounded with own gun" or "3rd party shot with officer's gun" or "gun stolen and later used in crime" statistics, plus the cost and reliability of the gun modifications, before making an assessment. Oh yes, we should ask the cops what they think!

        As for cables, sounds like a cheaper way to address this. I wonder about the cons.

        There are also occasional surprise disarmings and discharge [cnn.com]. Read that one! The magnet is very powerful, but I'm a little skeptical of the "molecular structure" reasoning in the article. I used to be an MRI tech -- what a horrible safety failure. These events can end less humorously, as with a boy killed by an oxygen bottle in New York about a year ago.
    • Weapon Retention (Score:5, Interesting)

      by The Tyro (247333) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:13AM (#4950367)
      This is a training problem... one you will have a hard time fixing with technology.

      As a former firearms instructor, I can tell you that retention is tough. If you are fighting for your gun, it's real, no-shit, do-or-die time, and you had better win. I'm not going to discuss specifics in this forum. Even though I have hard time imagining some slashgeek going for a cop's gun, there's probably a few here who are crazy enough, and I'm not going to give anyone any sort of tactical edge.

      The reasons police officers get killed with their own guns are many, and often simply come down to bad tactics. That said, I would NEVER trust one of these smart-gun gadgets for a duty weapon.

      This is the same philosophy behind the "New York Trigger" that many police officers are required to have on their handguns. Instead of better "trigger control" during training, you get one of these heavy triggers. The trigger pull weight on a New York Trigger is about 12+ pounds, and was put in place to prevent accidental shootings, ostensibly because such a hard trigger pull is difficult to accomplish "by accident." Unfortunately, it causes accuracy to suffer (perhaps increasing bystanders getting hit by stray rounds?), and makes the guns unusable for some smaller-framed officers. Again, a misguided technology fix for a training problem.

      I think this is just grandstanding by some NJ politicians. It's almost funny to see them mandate something that doesn't even exist. Unfortunately, this will impact regular gun owners disproportionately, and have little effect on crime guns.
  • My God. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rjch (544288)
    It never ceases to amaze me just how many dumb and stupid laws that politicians put in place. We've all had a laugh at the laws which prohibit beheading your wife in public on Fridays and other such nonsense, but what we don't realise is that that these laws are still being passed.

    Look at Australia's internet censorship laws [efa.org.au]. Less than two years later, it was pointed out that they had come in to effect, but were totally unworkable and had never seriously been applied. This sounds to me like very much the same kind of law.

    If people believe I'm wrong that these proposed laws, I'd like to know why you think it and how you think it could be implemented and enforced.
  • HERF guns vs. guns (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evenprime (324363) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:51AM (#4949906) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if these things will be hardened against EMP attacks. If not, it would not matter if they used a transponder ring or fingerprint recognition; either way a powerful radio signal is all a criminal would need to disable all the guns in a home before breaking in.

    I'm especially interested in the transponder ring systems. I'm sure that hardware types will try cobbling together a universal ring...
    • Er... most theives don't carry around nuclear weapons to generate EMP pulses - and if they did, we'd have more to worry about than disabled trigger locks.

      There are enough legitimate criticisms of this technology - don't go inventing absurd ones.

  • clicking fire instead of cancel by mistake kills people.

  • by PaK_Phoenix (445224) <darin3NO@SPAMcox.net> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:52AM (#4949919)
    Most of these type devices, that I have seen, involve a magnetic ring of some type. My only concern is what happens, when you take it off.

    Nightmare scenario, you fall asleep without your ring on, and awaken to the sound of a burgler, but forget your magic ring.

    Also the reliability of the device would have to be paramount, due to the device they will be installed upon. What happens when this breaks?

    Education is the key. I grew up around guns, as did others in my neighborhood. Even as children we knew how to operate, and maintain them.

    Responsible parents need to accept the liabilities associated with gun ownership, and lock up their firearms as appropriate, when there are children in the environment.

    p.s. on a related, but barely, topic if parents would start parenting, instead of letting the tv, and computer raise their children, this issue would be practically moot.
    • First of all, if the protection is delivered in the form of a ring, it's no big deal, because you can trade your gun with anyone who has at least 1 finger about the same size as you...

      Second: Why do people think it is necessary to have a gun in their home for defensive purposes? Do you intend to actually fire that gun at a potential burglar? You'll probably be sued for it, especially in the USA.

      Education definitley is important. If you're involved with guns in any way, it's important to be very well aware of every implication. But how does that stop your average frustraded office-clerk or teased-over-the-edge schoolkid from grabbing one in a fit of rage/anger/frustration? What good is education when you've allready lost your wits?
      • > Second: Why do people think it is necessary to have a gun in their home for defensive purposes? Do you intend to actually fire that gun at a potential burglar?

        Uh, why don't you come try to break into my home and find out?

      • by pi_rules (123171) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:15AM (#4950057)

        Second: Why do people think it is necessary to have a gun in their home for defensive purposes? Do you intend to actually fire that gun at a potential burglar? You'll probably be sued for it, especially in the USA.


        1) Yes.

        2) I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
        • by lennart78 (515598) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:27AM (#4950141)
          Excuse my naivity, but where I live people don't go about shooting everyone in sight. If some burglar decides to break into my house, I will try to get him out, but if he draws a gun on me, he can take everything he likes, and I'll let my insurance company sort it out.

          You can mod me down for making a hippie-like statement, but a stereo, a TV and a PC can be replaced, even something like a guitar which has emotional value to me. My life, and that of my GF who lives with me is indefenitly more valuable.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            and you have no idea how ruthless people can be...

            i personally would at least have a last stand defense.

            you are absolutely right about the television...sure i'd give away ALL of my possessions before taking a life.

            my things don't mean shit.

            but you are pretty damn naive, not to mention self centered.

            you are obviously not female otherwise you would be aware that possesions are not the only thing that interests criminals. (otherwise you'd be aware of the absolutely amazing statics of violence against woman)

            i for one, want a choice.

            if that means sitting in the tub with the bathroom door locked and yelling out "take anything you want, and just leave", with a loaded 45 in my hand...then i prefer that.

            somebody who breaks into your house is coming in EXPECTING you to be armed or provide problems...they WILL come prepared.

            if they catch you totally defenseless, just a little passive thing...you are toast.

            they can fuck you up, take your shit, then kill you. i know...i've been a victim.

            you should be modded into the ground.

            you obviously have never been robbed at gun/knife point..or a women that has been threatened with physical violence.

            this world is about violence...and will continue to be. look at any place on the planet and any time period.

            oh but never mind...you stay in your little bubble.

            fuck off
            • you are absolutely right about the television...sure i'd give away ALL of my possessions before taking a life.

              You are much more forgiving than I am. If you break into my house, you have forfeited your life to me. I will have my gun on you as soon as I can. If you do exactly what I say you will live until the cops get here. If you spook me or make a move or don't listen, you are dead.

              If somebody breaks into my house, I'm not going to sit around and wait to see if they want to just steal some stuff, rape my wife, kill both of us, or just cook himself some macaroni and cheese.

              I will not shoot right away, unless the intruder has a weapon visible.

        • True.

          On the whole, the USA is a much more violent than any other industrialized country. The statistics are very clear.

          And therefore, people have developed real fears. Hense the desire and willingness to own and wield guns.

          If a (single) burglar enters my home, I have two resonable choices: run or shoot.

          Being not that stupid, I'd first try to run away... I'm not looking for trouble. But if I'm threatened with bodily harm, and I have no other reasonable choice, than I'll shoot.
    • Sauron had this problem too. He kept losing his magic ring to short people with furry feet. But he made up for it by having an army of orcs and black riders to retrieve it for him. Maybe you could do try that eh?
  • Every Shadowrunner knows that smart gun technology is something else all together (integration of the gun's sighting system into a cybernetic type of retinal display.)

    I'm sorry, but the mainstream media is just going to have to find some other term.

  • It's just fluff, some politician making some press for himself. "This is commonsense legislation. There are safety regulations on cars, on toys. It's clearly time we have safety regulations on handguns," McGreevey said at the signing ceremony. Really, as everyone knows, toys, cars, and guns don't kill people; bacteriam viruii, people, dogs, and rarely sharks and bears kill people.

    It's nonsense legislation. Zip guns, black powder guns, archery, shit-tipped sharpened sticks (or the modern equivalent, the syringe), machetes (Australia post "gun control"), etc. etc. What about someone who can kill with their anatomical weapons?

    • Well, while I don't agree with you, because I think it's obvious that guns make it all-too-easy for Columbine to happen, and there's nothing wrong with safeties being installed in guns, I do think it's interesting that McGreevey passed this legislation before the technology even exists. It looks like an easy way to look good in the public eye right now, without actually getting anything done any time soon.
  • by pvera (250260) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:55AM (#4949944) Homepage Journal
    The handgun manufacturers will probably pull it off, but at a price premium. This of course punishes the law-abiding citizen that buys the weapon fair and square and does not break any law. The criminal will continue unchecked, since even after these weapons come to the market they will still have their normal venues for finding these weapons.
    • I think the lesson in all of this is to STOCK UP NOW. The govt has learned that they simply can't outlaw guns outright (pesky CONSTITUTION), but they can gradually pass incremental laws which ban specific useful classes of weapons. First "concealed" weapons, then "assault" weapons, then "reliable, point and shoot" weapons, and so on until the populous is effectively disarmed.

      There's usually a grandfather clause which allows responsible gun owners to hang on to their defenses. Sadly however, future generations will be at an ever-increasing disadvantage to criminals.

      Personally, I've never used my firearms except for practice and recreational shooting. But it's nice to know I have them in case the need arises. In this "post 911" bullshit, you never know what the fed is going to pull on us. Also I've made sure that the majority of my guns are not purchased in a way that the govt can track them (yes, there are still a few legal ways to do this in most states, eg from family members, building your own, etc).

      Call me an NRA nut if you want, but I'll call you a nut for not seizing every opportunity to protect yourself.
  • If they have a hand held ECM gun, you could render the gun useless. Does this mean, you could ECM the police too? The police already want ECM weapons for police cars and helicopters. They could stop cars, now they could stop your gun too.

    But then, I feel secure. I have homeland security protecting me from Rapists and Murders. (I laughed while I typed that.)
  • Guns won't "crash" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saskboy (600063) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:58AM (#4949954) Homepage Journal
    "One critic says 'No technology is foolproof--anyone who has a computer knows how many times it crashes.' "

    That is utter foolishness. A gun will not have an OS, it will be hard coded. My microwave doesn't 'crash' and I don't think my gun would either.

    The more serious concern is how easy it would be to fool the gun. I can fool my microwave pretty easily, so I'd expect the same from a gun.
    • by pi_rules (123171)
      That is utter foolishness. A gun will not have an OS, it will be hard coded. My microwave doesn't 'crash' and I don't think my gun would either.

      a) I bet you don't own a gun -- so this whole thing seems foolish to you.

      b) Ever tried sticking your hand in a palm scanner? Took me 5 minutes my first time to get it right... and that security guard sure got annoyed having to let me out of that locked bubble chamber while I figured it out.
  • One critic says 'No technology is foolproof--anyone who has a computer knows how many times it crashes.'

    That's one of the most absurd statements I've heard against this kind of technology. A gun is not at all comparable in complexity to a PC. How many times does the computer running your car crash? What about the computer in your watch? The one running your kitchen appliances? They don't - because they're simple, one purpose devices, just like a handgun's trigger lock would be.
    • There is no real computer in your watch or kitchen appliances.

      A "smart" gun needs to make comparisions of various parts of your hand touching different sensors in different orientations in order to identify you. This is not a simple process to accomplish manually. It needs to have the power to control a mechanical saftey mechanism yet sit on a shelf for months or years.

      Prototypes one year ago had frequent identification problems and unlocking when required.

      If you had any clue about weapons, you'd know that in a real life situation the only thing more dangerous than a firearm is an unloaded firearm, and a disabled firearm with a dead battery is even worse.

      I can't wait to see what the police unions say when some moron tries to arm cops with these things!
  • Being a NJ resident I am happy to finally see SOMETHING/ANYTHING being done to control gun violence. I'm just surprised the NRA couldn't lobby its way out of this, although I'm sure they tried like hell.

    Anyway, being that many deaths by firearm occur in the home I think this will help on two fronts. First if someone steals your gun(it happens) it will be temporarly worthless to them, ie they can't kill you if they get to the gun first. They also can't use it to kill anyone once they're out of your house. Second it can hopefully prevent little Johnny from A) blowing his friends head off by mistake and B) prevent him from bringing it to school and harming anyone.

    Yea big deal, you can still buy guns out of state and existing firearms don't have the technology. No shit. If all goes well NJ in the future will probably have significantly fewer accidental gun deaths then other states. That sure as hell would make me happy.

    Don't forget, gun violence in the home is a serious problem as that's actually more likely then some stanger shooting you if your a gun owner.

    I just hope the technology works and this isn't somehow overturned by gun nuts.
  • Smart gun technology is available today, and is completely practical. If you don't believe me, here's a simulator [keepandbeararms.com] for the technology...
  • by tgrotvedt (542393) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:09AM (#4950020) Journal
    Looks like their trying to piss off ESR two-fold!

    Watch out, he might start writing essays again!!

    :)

  • by nanop (155318)
    I'm know gun ownership is different than ownership of other items, but I assume a gun can be owned by more than one person.

    The article talks a lot about "the owner" and "the authorized user" of the weapon; I hope they're taking into account the possibility of multiple owners or else they may be giving the gun rights folks ammo (heh heh) for their inevitable fight to have the law repealed.

  • Trigger locks, smart guns. It's getting to the point where more people will just say f*** it. Smith your own. Any Open Source guns out there? What do you need? A Lathe, a milling machine, some metal stock. Decent tools are affordable for most of the middle class. Smith your own gun. And of course, the government will know even less about homemade weapons.

    Think I'm full of it? Why did the Israelis drop a load into some Palestinian metal shop a few months ago? Yep. They were allegedly making weapons. I imagine any competent machinist (look in your local Yellow Pages under "Machine shops") could take the plans and make a decent piece. Actually, since they would be finely crafted pieces receiving more attention than usual, I bet they would be excellent guns. Unfortunately, a lot of not-so-expert machinists would try too, and fail.

    Remember back-alley abortionists? Same idea.

    So what will they do next? Lathe control? Then only criminals will have lathes. :)

  • Good idea, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asteinberg (521580) <ari.steinberg@st ... u ['d.e' in gap]> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:16AM (#4950070) Homepage
    ...there are definitely a few things we should be concerned about.
    1. Will it be possible to "unencode" the gun? Specifically, if a person decided to resell their gun, obviously it would not make sense to let them resell it privately (since that would defeat the purpose of this capability), but they should be able to resell it to a licensed gun dealer, who could then in turn either send it back to the manufacturer or use a special tool to unencode it.
    2. Will bullets fired from these guns be traceable to the owner of the gun, and if so, will evidence along those lines be useable in court? It seems kind of like a lie detector-type situation (or, if you prefer, a "Gattacca"- or "Minority Resport"-type situation). If somehow someone figured out how to fire someone else's gun, and the bullet were traced back to the gun, then, because of this technology, a jury might be inclined to assume that there is only one possible person who could have fired it, when in fact there could theoretically have been someone else. They should be very explicit in describing how this can and cannot be used in court.
    In general, though, this seems like a pretty solid idea that would be useful even if not 100% effective. If something malfunctioned and the rightful owner was not able to fire the gun, then they could take it back to the store and replace it, while alternatively if it malfunctioned and someone else was able to fire the gun, well then even in this worst-case scenario it would be no worse than it is now. I think, as long as they're careful about the two aforementioned issues, I can be proud of my home state (not that I shouldn't already be proud of it), and hopefully not have to hear too many New Jersey jokes as a result of this.
    • by pi_rules (123171)
      In general, though, this seems like a pretty solid idea that would be useful even if not 100% effective. If something malfunctioned and the rightful owner was not able to fire the gun, then they could take it back to the store and replace it,

      Yeah.. unless they were dead. That sorta puts a crimp your argument though I suppose.
  • by codepunk (167897) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:20AM (#4950101)
    I am from the midwest and we hunt deer with handguns. Thank god we don't have stupid legislators in our state. Some days I hunt with gloves on, especially when it is cold as a witches titty. There are othe days when the temps are nice and I don't wear the gloves. Are the sensors going to adjust to those factors? Something tells me the technology does not exist to implement this in a reasonable way.
  • vs 'Privacy' (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:33AM (#4950174) Homepage
    "The gun is set to only fire from the hand of Mr. Thompson, the bullistics match this gun, the gun was registered under the name of Mr. Thompson, A partial of Mr. Thomspon's fingerprint was found on the gun, The is NO other logical conclusion that could possibly be made!"

    The real reason for this law, of course, is to slip in yet another provision for the purpose of making guns useless. Once they're completely useless for any practical purpose, there will be much less resistance to any law banning guns altogether- "Well, I do think I should have the right to protect myself, but then it's not like I'd be able to fire a gun in time anyway. I won't bother contacting my representative." Already any killing can be ruled premeditated murder based only on the gun used being kept loaded and in a place where you could get at it if you need it. There have been laws proposed and passed requiring "gun locks" to be placed over triggers so that you need a key to use the gun. I'm sorry, but the self defence rule of reaching for your keys when you're being attacked should only apply when you aren't carying a gun.
    There will always be people who are pro-gun and people who are anti-gun. I dont think there's a need to go for the cliche "If guns are outlawed..", just remember that if your potential attacker doesnt think you can get your gun to fire before he can get your arms behind you, he is a lot more likely to act. The other guy doesnt need to have a gun if yours doesnt work.
    Guns are made not to protect, but to kill. I hated walking through school and seeing guns every day. It isnt thinking that someone else could grab that gun and use it, I hate it no matter who is holding the gun.
    So yeah, I'm a moron, I guess. I want citizens to be able to protect themselves [read: kill the other guy] with a gun, but I dont want police walking the streets with them. Stupid dream, aint it?
    Many people may consider this a step in the right direction: It's not gun restricting it's gun control, literally! This is what we've really been asking for the whole time, right?
    The dream is to have complete control over the gun- exactly when and how it can be used. Know that the law's idea of when and how a gun should be used is NOT your own belief. If you are against guns, you want more restrictions, if you are for them, you want less. If you're the one holding the gun, you don't give half a shit either way, 'cause all that shit you're saving up for yourself. Some situation has placed a gun in your hands, and all you can care about is using it in the way that situation demands. If it means you're about to shoot someone the law would deem innocent, you do not respect the law. Dont begin to lie saying that you wouldnt want the option. You have the gun, he's in front of you, and the last thing on your mind should be "God, I hope this thing actually fires", even less "Shit! What was my keycode?!" [note to whoever is going to reply 'you say last and then even less, that is impossible': I know that, sometimes words are written to be impossible in order to express an eggageration.]
    Whenever you are going to shoot a person, your desired action is not within the limits of the law. Remember this when considering how much control the law should have over your guns.

    As I said last time I posted like this, my facts are probably not, and in general what I said could probably be viewed as entirely innaccurate. The point of this message is not to promote accuracy, but thought and discussion. Whether the thoughts or discussions it promotes are intelligent or not is entirely up to the reader. That said, it should be obvious that simply calling me an idiot or pointing out innacuracies is rather pointless, as anyone who has gotten to your post has probably made their way through mine, and so would know such things already.
  • by browser_war_pow (100778) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:51AM (#4950262) Homepage
    #1-Police. What happens if a cop's partner is disabled and he has the only remaining ammo between them. Is the other cop supposed to say, "hey mr. nice criminal, let me pop this clip into my gun so I can kill you?"

    #2-Families where the kids can handle a firearm. I could handle (admittedly not perfectly by any stretch of the imagination) a 9mm at an early age, around 9-10 or so. I'm sick of the anti-gun nuts who say such rubbish as kids can't use guns effectively and responsibly. And so what if they can't in such a situation? It's better that the kid die trying than die a totally defenseless victim. Oh and, in close range... you don't have to be that good of a shot.

    #3-What happens if the gun gets damaged and can't recognize its owner? Oh sheot, that's right. The gun ain't worth a damn now.

    Here's the deal, we don't need gun control and here's why. If the crime is heinous, lock the perp up and punish them properly. Once they get out, they've paid their debt to society and give them their rights back. Anyone who disagrees is a fascistic prick whose "pro-freedom" views on any other issue are meaningless.

    Your 2nd amendment right, not your right to vote, is what ultimately keeps the government in line. I'm amazed at how many people know jack shit about guns and then spout off anti-gun ownership rhetoric. A 30.06 is a much more powerful weapon than a M16 or AK-47. A M1 Carbine is even better. Both are now weapons civilians can own IIRC without any special permits. A M1 Carbine is an order of magnitude deadlier in the hands of a skilled fighter than a M16 because its shots are more powerful and accurate than a M16. You damn well better believe that a crowd carrying shotguns, 30.06s and the like would be taken VERY seriously by the government.

    So let me ask this, are you people who believe in gun control stupid or just lack any desire to have a free country? How many totalitarian regimes that rose to power by disarming their populations does it take? Do we need to draw you guys diagrams showing these things point-by-point? I'm being serious here. You have no right to tell me that I can't own a 9mm because it makes you uncomfortable. Nor do you have a right to tell the local Klan or BPP thug to shut up because what he's saying is making you feel uncomfortable.

    Maybe you people need to take remedial English because the last time I read the 2nd amendment it said, "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." You people seem hung up over a GD prepositional phrase. A well-regulated militia means a well-organized militia, not one whose ability to stay armed is being lynched with bureacratic red tape. It is the same thing as "Congress shall pass no law INSERT_ISSUE." What part of that is so hard to understand? And if you have any concerns about state gun control, may I suggest you read the 14th amendment which was partly ratified so blacks in the post-Civil War south could legally own firearms. At that time most southern states prohibited blacks from owning guns. Jim Crow, the first major gun control advocate in this country.
  • by BadlandZ (1725) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:52AM (#4950269) Journal
    This law makes me want to cry. This is as bad as the "drug dealers licence" that California passed in the 80's to make selling drugs to kids MORE illegal. Selling drugs was illegal already, and they passed a "feel good" law to require drug dealers to have a licence to sell drugs hoping to tack more years to their jail sentence.

    If you ask me, we need LESS laws, not MORE. We need to clear the courts from the stupid lawsuit and patent law CRAP, and free up court and prison space for the real criminals.

    If you kill someone, you KILLED THEM, and you should get life in prison, or death. Not X years for killing them, X more for doing it with a gun, X more because your motive was racial. Look, I don't care if you killed a black or white or yellow or red person, you killed them, go to jail I don't care if he was Christian, Jew, Hindu, or what, you killed them. Your telling me an EXTRA law that makes it a race crime, a religious crime, makes the system better? By making MORE laws like that, you just dilute the system. Crime is crime, simple is simple. Kill, go to jail. Black man kills black man, less jail time because it wasn't a hate crime? Should we really say "white guy killed white guy, not racial, not religious, less of a sentence?" He was killed with a gun, not a knife, the criminal should do 105 years instead of 150 years?

    All I can say is, it's just another step in the long and relentless process for the United States of America to drift into the New World order. I am going to rant, long and hard, prepare. This is a step to a socialist society, where we see "Democracy" become something that is nothing more than "Mob Rule" with a slight bit of organization.

    Look, it's a feel good law, we all know that. The science and the technology are not presently available to comply with this law. This law requires all guns to "recognize they are in the hands of their owner" before they are able to fire, WHEN that technology becomes a reality. Let's be realistic, some lame as money grubbing company will come up with some half ass way to almost make this happen, because they want to monopolize the gun market in NJ. But, they will fail because no one buys guns in NJ anyway, because of the existing legislation. And it's just an exercise in "can we do it."

    Now, don't get me wrong, if I wanted to own a firearm, and I knew I could get a high-tech one that wouldn't allow anyone to fire it except me, that would be cool. I would get one like that, if I wanted one at all, to be sure that I could defend myself and the invader of my home couldn't disarm me and shoot me with my own gun.

    But, that's not what this law is about. This law is yet another measure of the Sarah Brady group to make guns harder to own. And, being a Libertarian, I have respect for other people's beliefs. However, I love my country, and I love my country because it is the country that is founded on individual freedoms.

    If you were to tell me that there was a country in the world that would allow you to do anything you wanted, provided you did not bring harm to anyone else, I would respect that country as well. However, the USA is as close as we have now. Capitalist (work hard and earn a lot). Intelligence, perseverance, planning, and hard work should pay off. And people should be allowed to do what ever, worship whatever they want, think whatever they want, self destructive or not, risky or not, SOMEWHERE in the world. That is why the USA was founded.

    The USA is becoming Socialist under pressure of the rest of the world. If you don't like it, you have a lot of other countries in the world to go to that believe what you do, we don't stop you from leaving. Yet every day people are willing to die (look at the boat people, the central Americans, the middle eastern people that are not the "popular" religion" in their country). People come here because of the freedom.

    We are soo willing to give away our freedom to make "Soccer Moms" who are the minority, feel better.

    I'll tell you what, give me the hard working, open minded, freedom loving, socialist, people from around the world who are NOT Christian like me ANYDAY over the bible thumping Southern Baptist Soccer Moms who want "smart guns" any day!

  • Smart guns? (Score:4, Funny)

    by kitzilla (266382) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:03AM (#4950322) Homepage Journal
    Ah...smart guns. Now if they can only do the same for their owners.

  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:16AM (#4950378) Homepage Journal

    I see that this story has unleashed the obligatory pissing match between those who believe that the /. idea of freedom - freedom of information - goes hand in hand with the freedom to be armed, and those who believe that the idea of personal armament is an outdated and dangerous concept in modern society.

    On Friday night, a good friend, colleague, and fellow slashdotter defended his household and family from intruders with a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun. He stopped the robbery and scared the suspects off. The police caught them a short while later. No one was hurt. In reflecting upon this event, he and I look at the issue of gun control, and indeed the entire issue of gun culture, with a degree of clarity previously unachieved.

    He, like many in our generation, is a reluctant gun owner. We've been bombarded with social engineering that seeks to cast gun ownership in a bizarre, almost psychotic light, which has created, in my opinion, a sort of cultural "gun guilt". Despite this, he recognized about a year ago that he needed a weapon for personal protection, and asked for my advice in selecting it.

    I was raised around guns. I was taught to shoot at a very early age, and participated in official tournaments when I was 13. I own several weapons, including a shotgun and what some like to consider an "assault rifle". I've never been in doubt with regard to the necessity for weapons ownership in a free society, but even I have been affected by the discomfort weapons owners are subjected to in our culture these days. Before this recent event, I might even be known not to have a "ready weapon" for use in a home defense situation.

    I was therefore his "gun nut friend", and took him to the range to learn to shoot safely and effectively. While fully capable of using it, and with a confident, demonstrated, and consistent application of gun safety practices, he never felt comfortable as a gun owner for precisely the same reason so many around here chime in gleefully when something as ridiculous as smart guns gets proposed. (Are you prepared to stake your life on the speed and accuracy of modern biometric identification?) He, and indeed I as well, are victims of the great lie of the modern American anti-gun culture, and it could have cost him his life.

    So before you chime in on this one, and run with the crowd of those who believe guns are vehicles of evil and that those who own and use them are psychotic redneck madmen seeking only to kill schoolchildren, take a second to question your views, what cultural influences formed those views, and the possible agenda of those who exterted those influences. Your life may one day depend on it.

  • Bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thelexx (237096) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:58AM (#4950588)
    This will do nothing but create a black market in cracking/disabling the protection on guns and get innocent women and children killed. And it raises many questions about implementation. Will only _one_ person be able to fire a given gun? How does one change ownership? Add/remove 'users'? Guess I can forget firing my buddies gun at the range, let alone a friendly strangers.

    From the article:
    "There are safety regulations on cars, on toys. It's clearly time we have safety regulations on handguns," McGreevey said at the signing ceremony.

    I'm pretty sure that I could kill someone with any car and most kids toys available on the market. I seem to recall a guy named David taking out a giant with nothing but a slingshot, the ancient precursor of the gun. What no regulation can control is intent. If someone intends to do me harm I want to be able to protect myself, or at least have a chance to, like David did. Not being Ahnold, a gun gives me that. Why do people consider it nuts to desire to use the most effective means of self-defense available (next to common sense)? I consider it nuts not to.

  • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:13AM (#4950816) Homepage
    A gun is such a simple contraption that it's unimaginable that someone won't make or modify an existing one that won't be protected. It might help in officers being hurt when their gun refuses to fire in an emergency, but it certainly won't stop the criminals from using guns.

    Not to mention that there are so many guns out there right now.

    A better strategy would be to somehow chemically taint the gun powder to make it identifiable. Whenever you buy bullets (or plain gun powder), that gun powder is forever linked to you. If it ever shows up anywhere, you're busted. Also make it 100 times more expensive than it is now. Crime problem solved. Nobody can afford the bullets (at say $100 a piece), and when they do use them, they're 100% traceable to the buyer. If all bullets sold implement this feature, then in 10-20 years, nobody will have "old" untraceable bullets.

    Now, I seriously doubt anyone is nuts enough to make their own gun powder from scratch...
    • What about folks who have bullet forms in their basement :(

      I target shoot as a hobby [something my dad, a retired police officer started me doing at 14]
      and I press my own ammo, more due to cost than anything.

      you can't put the genie back into the bottle :(
  • The Point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZeLonewolf (197271) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @08:00AM (#4951165) Homepage

    I think "the point" of this law is not so criminals can't get their hands on guns...because I'm sure it would be trivial to take your gun to a shop (or someone's basement) and have it "re-fitted" to you. I believe that "the point" here is to prevent children from getting their hands on guns, which I would consider a noble cause.

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