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New Jersey Enacts 'Smart Gun' Law 1748

Posted by timothy
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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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  • 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.
  • My God. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rjch (544288) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:51AM (#4949901) Homepage
    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.
  • Well (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:52AM (#4949914)
    Old guns will not have this, and I bet all your home boys and drug runners will get somebody to hack it.

    So it may not be full proff, but some lives will be saved.
  • by PaK_Phoenix (445224) <<ten.xoc> <ta> <3nirad>> 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.
  • A: dead kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:54AM (#4949937)
    and the solution to THAT is responsible, diligent parenting

    You mean a solution, not the solution. It seems that this technology would also be a solution, and given the percentage of brain-dead parents there are out there who own guns in reach of children, I think this solution will be much easier to implement than a "no brain-dead parents" law, however you might word that. And given the importance of not having holes in the heads of kids, and the frequency in which these accidents occur (much more than any other gun-related death), I think this is a very prudent decision.
  • 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.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Associate (317603) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:58AM (#4949960) Homepage
    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.
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:08AM (#4950011)
    Most people don't keep a gun in the house to kill a criminal, they keep it to deter criminals from entering in the first place. If the criminal runs away when you brandish your gun, it has done its job. The gun-controllers' statistics plot criminal deaths in the home against accidental deaths in the home instead of plotting incidences of deterrence of a crime against accidental deaths. The latter is overwhelmingly a positive statistic.
  • by nanop (155318) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:11AM (#4950035)
    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.

  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • by pi_rules (123171) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:21AM (#4950103)
    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.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:26AM (#4950136) Homepage
    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.
  • by pi_rules (123171) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:26AM (#4950137)
    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.
  • 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 lennart78 (515598) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:43AM (#4950218)
    Maybe your life will be more in danger when you threaten an armed man?
  • 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!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:57AM (#4950293)
    So, what you are really saying is that shitty parents should have their kids taken away? Or that loaded guns and shitty parents go hand in hand? Or loaded guns and kids who have parents with ruined lives are well-correlated? (read that last one very carefully because, heck, I don't know what exactly it says either)

    What exactly are you saying with this anecdotal "evidence"? How many people do you know that have loaded weapons in their houses inside steel quick-open locked armored safes? Probably zero. Why? Because they don't tell you. It's in a safe. And they keep their mouth shut about having a weapon.

    You know all your neighbors extremely well? I live in a township of 30,000+ people. I know who my neighbors are. I couldn't tell you even 1 out of 10 if they own a weapon, much less how they care for it properly. I also don't know if they have sex doggy-style or missionary either.

    So how did you add those law-abiding folks who owned guns into your analysis? Or did you conveniently choose to forget them?

    Look, NJ passed a feel good law. That's about it.
  • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:57AM (#4950296) Homepage
    Don't just say no don't touch it. Explain to them it could blow their head off if they don't handle it properly. My parents did that with me and somehow I resisted the urge to play with a .357 in their closet. Teach them to respect guns and not fear them. That same logic goes for anything dangerous; animals, power tools, weapons, fireworks, you name it. Respect, not fear.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:03AM (#4950323)
    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
  • by seanadams.com (463190) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:16AM (#4950381) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:vs the USA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:29AM (#4950437) Homepage
    yes, that littl factoid about the 2nd ammendment is something that far too few people realize. The whole system of government was designed not only to not need to be overthrown, but to be over-throwable by the people in case the first part didnt work. I really wish more people understood that. There might be much less voter apathy if people knew what voting was for. The whole communist scare was obviously innitiated by people who realized this. If more people voted, there wouldnt be cause for concern that a communist party existed. Voting and keeping in touch with your representative is really the only thing to prevent the country from being quite legally overthrown every two years.

    It's those damned chinese! ;)
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xtal (49134) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:39AM (#4950485)

    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.

  • by silentbozo (542534) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:51AM (#4950553) Journal
    There aren't that many handgun makers out there, and they tend to stick together.

    There aren't as many shooters anymore, and they tend to stick together as well. Look at what happened to the old Smith and Wesson (now under new management and trying to clear the S&W name) when they tried to cut a preferential deal with the Clinton administration. Everybody boycotted their guns, and they went under.

    The only mainstream manufacturer I know of that is looking into smart gun tech is Colt, and that's because they're more or less abandoning the civilian market in favor of strict military/law enforcement. For those markets, smart gun tech sort of makes sense, especially if they can land a big contract.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Rosie (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NECTROLL (131381) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:17AM (#4950655) Homepage
    This is one of my favorite quotes...

    If guns kill people, then...
    -pencils missspel words.
    -cars make people drive drunk.
    -spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

    To add to my argument...

    Maybe we should make pencils that fix spelling errors, then I won't have to learn to spell.

    Maybe they should make cars that smell alcohol and don't operate, then I won't have to learn responsiblity and self control.

    Maybe we should have fat police, because I sure as hell have seen a lot more 80 year old chain-smokers than 80 year old chunkers. Sorry, I apologize to the poor chunkers who are helpless victims of McDonalds. (they made you eat it)

    Maybe we should ban television and computers, then have mandatory exercise since heart disease kills so many people.

    Maybe we should have a law banning all bones in food, since so many people and thier pets choke to death.

    Maybe we should really stop making such stupid fscking laws, that don't really solve anything.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:49AM (#4950736) Journal
    People have a right to protect themselves from other people that wish to do them harm. Handguns are mainly for killing other humans, but that's precisely what self-defense is all about.

    I'd love to see a police force (or civilians for that matter) walking around, armed with riffles.

    And for all those that say how terrible (hand)guns are, I mention Texas, which instantly stops them in the middle of their sentence.

    There is another reason for that clause to be included... the founding fathers wanted the people to be adequately armed to fight back against their own government in the event that it ever became opressive or otherwise did not serve the people.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DmitriA (199545) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:56AM (#4950758)
    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.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:05AM (#4950789)
    > oh, so since idiots can not watch their kids around
    > pools it is ok then to let kids die from hand gun accidents.

    In the end, yes. Because I wouldn't want to give our children a world that had been made completely 'child proof' when they grow up. I won't force them to pay that high a price tomorrow just so a few liberals can have their self esteem boosted today.

    You see, I'm totally consistent. I oppose COPA/CIPA/etc because they are all based on the idea that to 'protect the children' we must treat all adults like children. I oppose attempts to pass victim disarmament laws that use the 'for the children' pitch as well and for much the same reason.

    The world is NOT a safe place for children. It is the duty of parents to create an environment that is AS SAFE AS PRACTICAL for their children, but 100% is both unattainable and undesirable. It is also up to the parents to decide for themselves how best to raise their children. Personally I'd keep loaded weapons away from any child I didn't know for a fact was trained to either keep away from or properly use a weapon. But if I knew a 5yo had the proper respect for what a gun can do, I'd not think twice about leaving a pistol on the nightstand.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkZero (516460) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:08AM (#4950801)
    I suppose you also drive a car with brakes that never fail, and fly on planes that never crash.

    But see, the difference here is that guns have actually gotten to the point that we want to get to with vehicles: they're perfect. Through centuries of refinement, we've gotten to the point where a handgun might jam once out of every several thousand shots. Might. And now they want to install some new technology that will greatly increase the chances of a gun failing in every single shot, with no regard for how new, old, or used the gun is.

    Could you imagine if someone finally built a car that had brakes that would absolutely never fail and some legislator decided to add in a new technology to circumvent that reliability because a handful of small children died each year because the automatic braking was too hard for them and killed them? Decades, or even centuries, of progress, to the point where the technology works perfectly and hundreds of thousands of people can depend on it to save their lives wiped away by some legislator's self-serving attempt at reelection that MIGHT save a few children, provided that you ignore the deaths created by the technology's glaring new flaw.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:16AM (#4950832)

    What price are you willing to pay for an armed society?


    What price are you willing to pay for an unarmed society? Your life? Your family's life?


  • Re:interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 1029 (571223) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:58AM (#4950930) Homepage Journal
    "10 percent of police who are shot are shot with their own guns".

    Ok but now think about this... if a cop gets shot with his own gun it would lead that most likely he was either:
    a) incapacitated in some other respect and could have been stangled/beaten/knifed/etc...
    b) struggling with somebody and actidentally discharged his firearm into himself...
    c) was suprised and had someone draw the gun from his own holster (what good is that cable now? You don't need to stand 5' away to shoot someone)

    Now sure there are other situations, of course. But think about this: if the officer's gun had this new tech on it would those 10% of shot police officers have gotten away just fine? I seriously doubt it. I think them being shot with their own gun was just the end result of a larger conflict that had ended badly for the officer to begin with.

    I actually think this _could_ be a good idea for law enforcement guns... maybe have the grips keyed to only allow those on the force to fire them. But for your average gun owning American this is just one more step to keep the criminals armed and the masses helpless (or more precisely keep the masses dependent on our dear government).
  • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sql*kitten (1359) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @07:54AM (#4951149)
    This is one of the problems with guns though. People in the house like children using them and getting hurt, or killing someone. Introduce a gun into your home, and you run this risk.

    Introduce bleach to your home and you run the risk that a child will drink it.

    Introduce stairs to your home and you run the risk that a child will fall down them.

    Introduce a kettle to your home and you run the risk that a child will scald themselves with boiling water.

    What's your point again? Could it be that responsible parents would keep their guns away from their kids, just like they do all the other dangerous stuff in their houses?
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @08:13AM (#4951198) Journal
    There are medium range (10-15 foot) taser guns now that can KO an intruder. No trajectory/windspeed issues, and if some kid shoots his brother with it, you don't have any chance in heck of a dead child - give or take maybe .001%, say if you shot someone who has a pacemaker (but I'm sure a bullet is just as harmful to them).

    So why aren't we looking more into these technologies?
  • Re:Good idea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by badzilla (50355) <ultrak3wl@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @08:55AM (#4951264)
    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.

    Bloody hell - I know gun ownership is an emotive issue in your country and I don't mean to poke my nose into your business. But I just thank $DEITY that I don't live there. Imagine not feeling safe to go to sleep without a gun nearby! I can't envisage even what it must be like - brush teeth, remove clothes, have a piss, yawn, check gun is full of bullets...

    How do you even manage to live some kind of normal life if you do feel to that extent to be under permanent threat of violent attack.

  • by Fig, formerly A.C. (543042) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @09:09AM (#4951298)
    That just proves that Darwin was right.

    You might have been too stupid to follow simple "don't touch" directions, but that doesn't mean everyone else is that dumb. I certainly had no trouble with it.

    How did your parents get you to stop playing in the street? Do you still stick metal objects in power outlets?

    Properly parented kids are smarter than you think.

  • Mod parent up! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @09:34AM (#4951371)
    Wild assertions without any shred of fact is in no way "Insightful." Moderators: +5 Insightful shouldn't mean "I agree with you completely" (but it all too often does on /.).
  • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by micromoog (206608) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @09:35AM (#4951372)
    Personally I'd keep loaded weapons away from any child I didn't know for a fact was trained to either keep away from or properly use a weapon. But if I knew a 5yo had the proper respect for what a gun can do, I'd not think twice about leaving a pistol on the nightstand.

    Have you ever had a serious conversation with a 5 year old? He will know it's "bad" to play with the gun, but he cannot understand "accidental death", "shattered families", etc.

    Kids do "bad" things sometimes, on purpose. That 5 year old will not be able to understand the consequences of his actions for a few years yet. My kids won't ever be playing at your house.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @10:41AM (#4951674)
    I always love the way they think that every person who buys a gun for defense is buying a handgun. Now for the following comments keep in mind I don't live in a concealed carry state and if I did I would be buying a handgun for SELF defense. However, for HOME defense, which is what most people in the US have to worry about, do NOT buy a handgun. The most intimidating(sp) sound in the world is that of a 12 gauge shotgun being racked.

    So if you want a little home protection go out and buy a pistol grip 12 gauge with the shortest barrel your state allows an extended tube, should give you at least 6 shots, load it with this pattern 3 #2 shot loads, 2 00 loads, and one heavy grain slow speed hollow point slug. If the noise from loading that first one in the chamber doesn't make em leave, the 3 rounds of BBs should change their mind, if not the 00 will open em up a little, and if all else fails put a baseball size hole in them. Above all practice, practice, practice.
  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @11:01AM (#4951814)
    Maybe there should be a "smart Politician" law.

    This law does not address the millions of current handguns that have been produced WITH OUT this safety feature. Mandatory gun locks with a purchase.. fine, I have the option of use or not but this is down right intrusive and not well thought out.

    One current popular safety feature in this catagory is a ring the user wears to activate the handgun. Not exactly a scarlet letter but a publically visable mark if you are concealed carrying.
  • 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.

  • by standards (461431) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @12:54PM (#4952631)
    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.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:02PM (#4952699)
    "But if I knew a 5yo had the proper respect for what a gun can do, I'd not think twice about leaving a pistol on the nightstand."

    And how will that five-year-old learn that proper respect? Have you seen all the flak the NRA catches when they try to push their "Eddie Eagle" gun education program? People don't want children to be educated about guns because they don't want children to think it's OK to own one. And thus you're left with a Catch-22.

    And what is taught in this program? "Don't touch the gun, go tell an adult." It's not like they're being taken out for target practice.

  • by kaybee (101750) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:36PM (#4952954) Homepage
    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.

  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aapje (237149) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:38PM (#4953745) Journal
    Since the UK 'got rid of' handguns in 1996/7, violent crime rate has gone up by about 40%, and handgun crime has doubled.

    I have looked into this a while back. The gun laws that were in effect before 1997 were quite strict already (even when compared to other European countries). The guns that were regulated have rarely been used in crimes because of this (there was one nasty incident in 1997 though, which caused the ban). Furthermore, the crime rates were already increasing.

    The way I see it, the 1997 ban only hurt hunters and sport shooters, while the number of illegal guns hasn't been reduced because of this ban. It's much easier to import guns from Eastern Europe, both before and after the ban.

    The only conclusion that you can draw from these facts is that banning strictly regulated guns doesn't have a substantial effect on crime rates. While gun nuts like to use this example as proof, the pre-1997 UK gun laws were infinitely more strict than the US gun laws, so they really don't tell us much about the current situation in the US. Unless you are willing to defend strict regulation with allowances for sport shooters and hunters, I suggest that you don't bother to use this example in a debate.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:28PM (#4954353)
    How often does a burglar break into someone's home while they are home? How often is that burglar armed?

    I don't give a damn whether the burglar is armed or not - if he's breaking into my home he's endangering my family, and he will not leave the house alive if I can help it.

  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @09:05PM (#4955231) Journal
    Population of United Kingdom: 59,778,002
    Population of United States: 280,562,489 ( both estimates circa Jul 2002)

    OK. The US (of America) have a population that's approximately 4.7 times that of the UK. Now assuming that the death rate in the US due to handguns was proportional to that of the UK, less than 70 people would have died in the US, rather than the 25000 that actually were killed.

    But, you say, the differences can be attributed to different population densities... The UK has a staggering number of people crammed into a comparatively tiny group of islands. Unless you mean to imply that rural, sparsely populated areas are responsible for the bulk of gun related deaths, the statistic show that American residents kill more people with guns than do UK residents.
  • Re:DOH! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by saskboy (600063) on Saturday December 28, 2002 @02:47AM (#4971109) Homepage Journal
    Why thank you.

    Freud was quite intellectual wasn't he? He had insight into the human condition that revolutionized modern psychology.

    However, I don't think he ever determined what makes someone think that a gun kills someone deader than a cut throat or bashed temple does.

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