Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

Government United States Technology

House Bill Would Mandate Smart Gun Tech By U.S. Manufacturers 750

Posted by Soulskill
from the powered-by-the-cloud dept.
Lucas123 writes "U.S. Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass) is pushing a bill that would require all U.S. handgun manufacturers to include 'personalization technology' in their weapons. Tierney said he got the idea for The Personalized Handgun Safety Act of 2013 from the latest James Bond film, Skyfall. In it Bond escapes death when his handgun, which is equipped with technology that recognizes his fingerprints, becomes inoperable when a bad guy picks it up. 'This technology, however, isn't just for the movies — it's a reality,' Tierney said. Tierney pointed to a myriad of cases where the smart gun tech could prevent children from being harmed or killed in firearms accidents. Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, the official state association of the NRA, said he knows of no gun owners who would want smart gun technology on their weapons. Wallace said any technology that may impede the proper function of a weapon is a problem. He pointed to the fact that any integrated processor technology would also require a battery of some kind, which could pose a system failure if it lost power."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

House Bill Would Mandate Smart Gun Tech By U.S. Manufacturers

Comments Filter:
  • Movies are real! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kreigaffe (765218) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:51PM (#43785627)

    Lawmakers have been introducing these bills since at least the mid-90s, with Judge Dredd being the first movie I'm aware of directly tied to it.

    The tech was not then, and is not now, possible. They're MOVIES. That's not REALITY.

    Our elected officials are dumber than you could possibly imagine.

  • But I like guns! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:51PM (#43785633)
    Thousands of dead children and adults are a small price to pay for my freedom from sensible gun control.
  • by MAXOMENOS (9802) <maxomai&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:52PM (#43785647) Homepage
    • 1) The Democrats couldn't pass a less odious measure in a Democratic-controlled Senate. Good luck passing that in a Republican-controlled House.
    • 2) I'll happily put this on my own guns after the police have used it for five years on theirs, and have come to accept it as a reliable technology.
    • 3) All in all, Congressman Tierney did this, in all likelihood, to help solidify his re-election next year. Since he got the press he wanted, I congratulate him now on his impending victory.
  • A Better Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:53PM (#43785689) Homepage Journal

    How about we actually fucking teach kids about guns, how they work, and what they're used for? That would do a hell of a lot more to curtail gun-related deaths, and without the (un)intended side effect of rendering personal protection weapons useless by legislative fiat.

  • by fche (36607) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:54PM (#43785697)

    "I'll happily put this on my own guns after the police have used it for five years on theirs," ... or all persons protecting the good congressman.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:55PM (#43785725)
    Its easy to make a trigger that doesn't fire when the wrong person holds it. Its harder to make one that also does fire all the time when you hold it.
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:03PM (#43785853)
    We already HAVE passed the point of sensible gun control. First point to make, violent crime is falling in this country, including crime where the criminal used a gun. Second point to make, perhaps if the government enforced the gun laws already on the books, we could determine which ones actually work, which ones should be repealed and whether there is any reason to create new ones.
    Since Obama took office, the percentage of violations of current background check laws which were prosecuted has fallen.
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:04PM (#43785867)

    It seems to me that police need it more than private citizens, as they spend more time around criminals who are likely to try and grab the gun.

  • Re:A Better Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Artraze (600366) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:04PM (#43785873)

    > How about we actually fucking teach kids about guns, how they work, and what they're used for?

    We gave up on actually fucking teaching kids anything some time ago now.

  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:08PM (#43785937) Homepage
    How about instead of creating more stupid laws we start enforcing and prosecuting existing ones. It is sad when a child finds a loaded gun that isn't locked up and kills someone or themselves with it, so why not fucking prosecute the dumb shit parents for negligent homicide. I really don't believe in accidental shooting but I sure a hell believe in negligent shooting. Granted there probably is the 1 in 1,000,000 truly accidental discharge of a firearm (the gun went off and you weren't touching the trigger) that ends up shooting someone (off of a ricochet as you should be practicing muzzle control and have it point in a safe direction) but those are so rare that it isn't worth mentioning.
  • by bmk67 (971394) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:09PM (#43785949)

    Trigger locks would do the same as this bill and would be cheap to retrofit, etc.

    This again?

    Are you aware of the significant safety hazards that retrofitted trigger locks present?

    To illustrate - take an ordinary revolver. Unload it, and install a trigger lock (the lock goes though the trigger guard, in front of the trigger). Yay, safety, right?

    Consider that there is NOTHING which prevents someone from loading such a weapon, and cocking the hammer. Oh, and by the way, you can't decock it without being able to access the trigger. You now have a weapon that is in an unsafe condition, that cannot be made safe, safely.

    Hope the guy who has to make it safe has cast-iron balls and stain-resistant underwear.

    Trigger locks are stupid and unsafe - a solution in search of a problem.

  • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:10PM (#43785961)

    Also a gun owner, and I completely agree with your point #2, without sarcasm.

  • by sehlat (180760) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:11PM (#43785977)

    Cops in Minnesota in the dead of a winter snowstorm are just gonna LOVE this tech.

  • Re:A Better Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by firewrought (36952) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:12PM (#43785991)

    How about we actually fucking teach kids about guns, how they work, and what they're used for? That would do a hell of a lot more to curtail gun-related deaths

    While we're at it, can we get Hollywood celebrities to hold guns properly on film? Don't stick your finger into the trigger guard until you're ready to destroy something.

    Seriously. I understand that Hollywood movies aren't gun safety tutorials and that, for instance, Will Smith has to whip out his gun and use it to mock-threaten his daughter's boyfriend in Bad Boys 2, but if these celebrities kept their fingers pointed down the barrel instead of resting on the trigger, it might make a difference when some drunk dumbass decides to imitate them. Drives me nuts whenever I see this on film/TV.

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

    by twistofsin (718250) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:13PM (#43786015)
    My guns are reliable because they are simple mechanical devices. I think this is a horrible idea, no matter how it's implemented.

    Like a previous poster said, if law enforcement adopts the technology and it turns out to be extremely reliable I'll reconsider.
  • by jsepeta (412566) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:13PM (#43786027) Homepage

    No more criminals stealing service revolvers from cops and shooting them with their own weapons.

    Still shady dealers selling weapons without "smart" tech, or with overrideable tech.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:19PM (#43786145)
    Yep, this is what happens when people who hate guns, and so have never touched a gun, probably never seen a gun, think they are gun experts and should be writing the rules and regulations about how they should be manufactured, sold, and used.

    I'm not a doctor or pharmacist, so I don't have any opinion on proper methods manufacture, store, or otherwise handle various classes of prescription drugs.
    I have no idea what regulations make sense. It would be STUPID of me to comment on how a pharmacy must be run since I don't know anything about the subject.

    Why is it that people who have no knowledge at all, people who don't know the difference between a machine gun and a pistol, want to decide on gun regulations?
    This is a fact - anti-gunners, including congress-critters, REGULARLY confuse an automatic (machine gun) with a semi-automatic (pistol). They claim to be
    trying to "ban automatic weapons" (machine guns), but their bill bans pistols and varmint guns, which are semi-automatic.
  • Re:A Better Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:20PM (#43786153)

    Because the right will complain about schools brainwashing our kids into thinking guns are dangerous, and the left will scream apoplectic about schools brainwashing our kids into thinking guns could be safe.

    Bullshit. Gun Safety training would gain instant support among the right, as well as any thinking person.

    The younger the better. There are far too many stories about kids thinking they have a toy and killing a sibling, all caused by the big left wing no-no against teaching kids anything about guns, or even so much as drawing a picture of one in school. Its the whole security by obscurity argument all over again in the physical world.

    The right already knows guns are dangerous, and that every gun is treated like a loaded gun, and have been teaching this to their kids since they were old enough to walk. Its the delusional left who believe if we can just hide the existence of guns the whole problem will go away.

    I took gun safety courses in grade school. We fired .22 short single shot rifles IN the School Basement during gun safety class. (4th or 5th grade as I recall). Of course by this time it was old hat to me since I had been hunting with my parents for many years by that time.

  • Great until... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:20PM (#43786159)
    Assuming the technology was there and that it worked flawless, it still has a key flaw, namely that a bad guy isn't always going to be the other person to pick up the weapon. What if your home gets broken into when you're not at home? Wouldn't you want your spouse or your child to be able to defend themselves? What if you were in some sort of hostage situation where the hostage-takers killed a security guard, wouldn't you want to be able to use that guard's gun?

    Furthermore, it would encourage people to break the law to get fully functioning firearms. The same things that happen with electronic "piracy" would happen to guns, whenever the "system" is working to a degree that it doesn't make the product defective, a good chunk of the people will follow "the system", when an illegitimate product becomes superior is when more and more people start to break the system.
  • A first (Score:4, Insightful)

    by he-sk (103163) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:21PM (#43786179)

    I'm very much against guns but I find myself agreeing with the guy from the NRA on this issue.

    Also, it's pretty obvious that the gun in Skyfall only had this "feature" so it could be exploited in a (way too predictable and pretty lame) plot twist.

  • by Old VMS Junkie (739626) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:26PM (#43786251)
    Define "sensible". This bill is not "sensible" by any definition I can think of. How about forcing states to add their mental health records to the instant background check database? Less than 30 states currently do. God forbid we violate the privacy of fucking crazy people.
  • I see so many opportunities for this going wrong, like if your hands are dirty. A large percentage of gun deaths are suicides and this would do nothing to stop that.

    How about we have the military filed test this first and then see about make it mandatory?

  • by x6060 (672364) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:28PM (#43786297)
    What about self defense? That's a pretty good application as well, though for that application I DO want a gun that is good at killing people.
  • Re:My First Rifle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:31PM (#43786349) Homepage Journal

    My mistake -- you are aware of that case, didn't read the whole comment -- good luck with getting everyone involved thrown in jail, including the executives of the company that makes the gun. The NRA will fight tooth and nail to make sure that every child has the right to blow away his sister.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:47PM (#43786665)

    Just how do you propose you do that. The trouble isn't about false positives or negatives in the mechanism. The trouble is that there is any mechanism at all. As the article mentioned, any "smart" weapon requires a processor, memory, and a battery to power it. Chances are you're also going to be replacing a mechanical trigger with an electronic one, so all your existing ammunition is useless. You're disconnecting the trigger from a spring-loaded hammer, and thus introducing a new failure point in a previously robust, mechanical system.

    Who the fuck said anything about some sort of whizbang electronically-ignited primers? Although that would probably be a pretty cool technology (if the primer required a signature that was tagged to a biometric property of the owner), that is not anything like what is being considered. And what does the trigger have to do with the primer, anyway? For fuck's sake, why must every gun control opponent sound like a total jackoff moron every time an issue like this comes up?

    Make a reasonable argument, like this: "there are already 100 million guns in circulation in the US alone (and poor import controls), any attempt to stop gun violence with technology not related to bulletproof vests, gun-spotting automatic defense turrets, etc. will be pointless for the next 100 years until all of the non-smart guns break." Please read this, remember this, and repeat this to your friends the next time you think you all have a brilliant thought about smart guns.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:52PM (#43786759) Homepage

    Regardless. Any policy driven technology adoption should be first forced upon the police and the military before it's forced on civilians. If a cop wouldn't want this technology then it's not something that anyone else should have forced on them either.

    Mandating that civilians can only own guns that don't work is just a transparent attempt to side step the law.

    Let cops and soldiers adopt this stuff first.

  • by gb (8474) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:53PM (#43786787) Homepage

    It's the non gun owning liberals who propose this legislation. By definition they know nothing about guns. They never owned one and don't know how they work. This is not flame bait but it truth.

    This is trivially not true.

    Not owning a gun now does not imply never having owned a gun and neither statements imply not knowing how they work let alone the even more general statement about knowing nothering about guns.

    I suspect the number of people who know nothing about guns (at least counting those people who would qualify to vote in most democracies if they were citizens) is very small. If you want to make an argument that those proposing such legislation lack sufficient knwledge of the subject to do so competantly then that's just fine but making wild statements that are trivial to disprove doesn't exactly lend credibility.

  • by Firethorn (177587) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:03PM (#43786941) Homepage Journal

    The technology is technically possible. However, I have a few points to make:
    1. Guns are currently purely mechanical. Adding ANYTHING electronic into the firing system is going to lower reliability. Remember, the most common police weapon(Glock) doesn't even have a manual safety switch. The recognition system would have to work 99.999999% of the time in a fraction of a second.
    2. When fired, the firearm itself suffers a large shock. One 9mm handgun weighs 770 grams, fires a 7.45 gram projectile at 390 m/s. Laws of physics means that every time the handgun is fired it suffers a shock sufficient to move it back at 3.8 m/s, or 14 km/hour. That is NASTY to electronics, it's roughly equivalent to being hit with a hammer. It's mean to mechanical parts as well, but at least we've had hundreds of years of engineering to fix the issues.
    3. Perhaps most critical, police officers are much more likely to be killed by their own weapon after it's been taken from them. 26 officers over 10 years [fbi.gov]. (or have others killed with their weapon if taken from them). Despite this, police organizations(departments, unions, professional) will campaign hard and long to exempt themselves from any such gun legislation. I believe that New Jersey already has a smart gun requirement on the books - but no gun manufacturer makes a firearm that meets the standard.
    4. The common figuring is a lot like that of DRM - a 'smart gun' will stop a non-authorized person only on a tactical, immediate basis. Criminals will be able to bypass any protections on a long term scale(IE days) if they successfully steal the weapon, making any 'smart guns' of limited protection.

  • by shaitand (626655) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:04PM (#43786949) Journal
    "I suspect the number of people who know nothing about guns (at least counting those people who would qualify to vote in most democracies if they were citizens) is very small."

    I find the vast majority of the population knows nearly nothing about guns. For example, I encounter very few people who realize that "assault weapon" is not an actual type of gun but rather a 100% political buzzword with no definition. Also on the political front, very few seem to have caught on to the gimmick statistic of "gun crime" and why it is meaningless if gun legislation impacts it. The number who understand gun safety, have significant actual hours logged with a gun, and understand gun physics and basic gun mechanics amount to very small handful over the years and all of them gun owners. The number of people who think a semi-automatic rifle is military grade weaponry is staggering. The number who know what semi-automatic actually means is disheartening.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:09PM (#43787027)

    It's the non gun owning liberals who propose this legislation.

    For the record, I'm a non-gun owning liberal (though I've fired a few handguns, rifles and shotguns and have some minimal training) and I think this kind of legislation is dumb.

    Firearms are tools with a specific function and purpose. They need to work when they're suppose to work and it's the owner's responsibility to ensure they're safe otherwise. If you have children in your house, lock up your guns/ammunition and teach your children firearm safety when they're able to understand. If you can't do these things and/or you cannot operate your own weapon safely, don't own/carry firearms or come to terms that you and or your child may become Darwin Award winners.

  • by Gavrielkay (1819320) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:11PM (#43787057)
    I think you're quite wrong on this. At least generally speaking. Almost no-one knows nothing about guns. They may not know as much as you'd like, but most people know something. Just as you know something about the production of pharmaceuticals. Like, you could probably guess that manufacturing them in a dirty environment or shipping/storing them exposed to the elements would be bad.

    This particular guy is blowing smoke, but at least he's attempting to address a problem. That is already better than the hordes of people who apparently wish the rest of us would forget that every now and then someone goes bonkers and shoots up a bunch of elementary school kids.

    I have owned a gun. I am comfortable around them in circumstances where any reasonable person would be comfortable. I think in the right hands guns are somewhere between a non-issue and a "good thing." However, there are a lot of guns in the wrong hands in this country (and around the world) and pretending that isn't a problem that reasonable minds should tackle is irresponsible.
  • Re:Just wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LF11 (18760) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:12PM (#43787067) Homepage

    Well, that is foolish as fuck. People like you are why so many children die in gun accidents. Congratulations, you are part of the problem.

    Here is why: A majority of US households have guns. While many guns are stored safely, many are not. By failing to educate your children about gun safety, you make them susceptible to accidental death or injury when they play with real guns someone finds in a neighbor's house.

    The NRA puts out gun safety material for children which is quite appropriate. "Stop! Don't touch! Leave the area! Tell an adult!" Even if you can't stand guns, hate guns, and would never touch one or want one or use one, you owe it to your children to teach them this much.


  • by tragedy (27079) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:32PM (#43787341)

    Why is it that people who have no knowledge at all, people who don't know the difference between a machine gun and a pistol, want to decide on gun regulations?
    This is a fact - anti-gunners, including congress-critters, REGULARLY confuse an automatic (machine gun) with a semi-automatic (pistol).

    Why is it that in the past whenever I've confused a machine gun with a gun that's merely an automatic I've always been corrected and told that a machine gun is an automatic, but automatic doesn't mean machine gun? I've long come to the conclusion that guns are one of those subjects where, unless you're part of the club, you're always wrong because the actual facts and definitions dance in some mysterious pattern. It's like using some group's slang if you're not part of the group. Even if you get the meaning just right, you're still wrong.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:32PM (#43787353)

    because even 99% isn't good enough

    The Glock 17 9mm regularly used by police forces is rated at having less than 20 malfunctions in the first 10,000 rounds; that's 1/500... which is 99.8%

    So, you are correct that 99% isn't good enough, but 99.8% is.

    Thus if someone were to release a smart gun tech that kept its false negative rate (preventing legitimate fire rate) low enough that the gun retains its 99.8% effectiveness rating, then it would be good enough.

    Police unions, representing working cops on the streets will be unalterably opposed to it, because even 99% isn't good enough when your life is on the line.

    This old chestnut. "your life is on the line". Its life or death, and we have to do everything we can possibly do to ensure a positive outcome.

    That's why police have an annual proficiency review. Remember their life is on the line. A few hours once a year is good enough to ensure they are in top shape, right?

    And what's more that proficiency test has the very high standard of 70% to get a pass. Remember their life is on the line, or the life of their partner... or perhaps even your life. You want to know the gun he's holding is going to fire when he pulls the trigger right? That's paramount right? That he's proficient with the firearm, well, 70% is "pretty good" right?

    Funny how 99% isn't good enough for the gun, but 70% is good enough for the guy holding it.

  • by losfromla (1294594) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:38PM (#43787431)

    good thing you posted AC.
    None of the items in your "reasonable argument" stop gun violence. One of them mitigates the damage from gun violence (bulletproof vest) and the other substitutes one violence for another (gun-spotting automatic defense turrets). I am not entirely sure how you came to the brilliant idea that gun-spotting automatic defense turrets are "reasonable" though, if you are up to it, please explain how they are reasonable from a technology, cost, and political feasibility perspective. I myself wouldn't be too comfortable walking down a street with these automated snipers looking for gun-like objects on my person, etc. Bulletproof vests are reasonable? Like, we all put ours on in the morning when we wake up and wear them all day? Kids too? The same kids that get tired carrying their lunch box home from school?

    Dude! (I assume dude since we're on slashdot) I think you need to recalibrate your reasonableness meter.

  • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:39PM (#43787443)

    That would defeat the purpose, as most people would just yank the batteries out immediately. Give me a tool that works reliably, that I can have confidence in -- and let *me* worry about keeping it safe. I don't want a tool that will PROBABLY work, hopefully, that I still have to worry about keeping safe anyway because it's a damned gun and if you're not worrying about keeping it safe you don't deserve to have it.

    Plus all this mess actually isn't trying to add anything to guns, it's all just gun prohibition in the disguise of technology that is not available or possible.

  • by nabsltd (1313397) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:44PM (#43787541)

    Who the fuck said anything about some sort of whizbang electronically-ignited primers? Although that would probably be a pretty cool technology (if the primer required a signature that was tagged to a biometric property of the owner), that is not anything like what is being considered.

    That's the problem with the legislation...it doesn't consider the fact that unless you have a full "fire-by-wire" setup, it's essentially impossible to implement a "smart gun" without it being trivial to bypass.

    The integrated trigger safety on the various Glock handguns is a good example of how this would work, except that is purely mechanical, and this would be electronic. So, instead of a physical push of an extra lever to move a pin that blocks the trigger from being completely pulled (or possibly the firing pin from moving), there will be electronics, and they would have to be fairly seriously sophisticated. For example, unless the trigger is greatly enlarged, the sensor would have to be very small (less than 1/8" wide) and would have to deal with different positioning of the finger (since nobody is ever exactly the same on the grip), and should be able to accommodate at least two fingers in memory (for off-hand shooting).

    Regardless of how sophisticated the electronics are, the problem is that this sort of thing is easily disabled simply by removing whatever is doing the blocking, which completely bypasses the electronics. So, although this might keep a gun from being fired quickly after someone who isn't the owner gains possession, it won't stop a real criminal with long-term plans for the gun.

  • by Zordak (123132) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:50PM (#43787639) Homepage Journal

    This particular guy is blowing smoke, but at least he's attempting to address a problem. That is already better than the hordes of people who apparently wish the rest of us would forget that every now and then someone goes bonkers and shoots up a bunch of elementary school kids.

    You have more faith in the DNC than I do. All I've seen them do is use tragedies to push their long-term political goal of ensuring that Americans do not have access to firearms. (They're not subtle about this goal, except when they're pushing gun laws. Then they pretend to have never said it.) None of the measures they have proposed would have done anything to prevent those tragedies, but they would have the effect of advancing the DNC's distinctly statist agenda of making people increasingly reliant on the State for everything from basic necessities to personal safety.

    (And please, no rants about how Republicans are evil and corrupt too. Yes, they are. But on this issue they happen to be coincidentally right.)

  • by tranquilidad (1994300) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:14PM (#43790259)

    To defend our country in the absence of a standing army, we must allow the civilians to arm themselves to serve in the army when it is assembled".

    This is one of the scarier statements I've read, "...we must allow the civilians to arm themselves...". The statement itself shows the low level of understanding of the U.S. Constitution in this country.

    The Bill of Rights gives zero, none, no rights to the people. There are no rights in the Bill of Rights that "allow civilians" to do something. It is just the opposite that is true. Read the preamble to the Bill of Rights and you may get a better understanding that the Bill of Rights is not a grant from the government to the people but, rather, further restrictions on the national government placed there by the people.

    Too many people believe the 1st amendment gives them the right to free speech. It does not. The language of the 1st amendment is prohibitory on the national government, "Congress shall make no law..."

    The 2nd amendment is also a prohibition on the national government, "...shall not be infringed."

    The people gave permission to the government to have guns, not the other way around. The type of argument posited here scares me because it sounds like:

    "Well, the government gave us this right early on because of some specific issues we had related to having a standing army and since we no longer have those issues then the government can just take away the right. Let's just get rid of the 2nd amendment and we can all live in peace."

    To me, it's as if people believe the government was always there and decided to give us stuff: rights, schools, highways, fire departments, health care, police departments, etc., etc. The fact is that we decided to create a government in order to better manage those things we created. As this concept of government-as-benefactor grows people are losing sight of the liberty they have as individuals and turning to the government in a mother-may-I mode hoping upon hope the government grants them what they want.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant