Re: Crime and Safety engineering [was: Ooh a gun fight!!]

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Mar 14 2000 - 22:07:34 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > > I will state however, that IMO, the gun manufacturers are being
> > > irresponsible in this day and age of technology, selling products
> > > that are not engineered so that only the owner can turn them on.
> > > If you can protect a computer from misuse, you should be able to
> > > engineer weapons so that they cannot accidentally (or intentionally
> > > in the wrong hands) harm people. If you accept this premise, the
> > > efforts by the gun manufacturers (or members of Congress) to try
> > > and enact laws that can keep people from suing the gun manufacturers
> > > are highly misguided. [I might be willing to grandfather certain very
> > > old weapons, but modern day products should be engineered to be safe.]
> > >
> >
> > You can engineer computers to be protected from misuse by use of the
> > very circuitry the computer is made up of. To protect a gun from misuse,
> > you will need to install a computer on the gun, that is small enough,
> > power supply and all, to not impede the use of the gun. Current research
> > models are projected to add a minimum of $1000.00 to the cost of each
> > gun if put in production, which also decreases their reliability, as gun
> > recoil is NOT something that electronics are particularly good at
> > dealing with on a frequent basis, and compact power supplies are
> > notoriously short lived. Additionally, such technology limits the gun's
> > use to the OWNER. Other family members or employees would not be able to
> > use them.
> Sorry, Mike, but Robert wins this one. The technology to make a gun with
> a solid-state passive transponder totally immune to recoil and making the
> gun usable by anyone bearing the properly-coded transceiver (worn as a
> wristband, ring, cuff link...) could be manufactured for far less than 1%
> of the cost of the gun. The NRA should be funding devlopment and gun
> manufacturers should be advertising these things.
> I give many thanks that the NRA is protecting my right to use the
> effective technologies of the day to take responsibility for my life;
> but it is inexcusable for them to hold back this technology.

This is where you are totally wrong, Lee. Guns and computers just do not
mix, for several reasons. Computers are the ultimate planned
obsolescence object, they are not expected to function, for the most
part, for more than a decade or so past the manufacture date, while most
guns currently on the market are several decades old at least. One of my
guns is 30 years old, and most of my father's guns average 40-50 years
old, with the oldest being over 90 years old. We don't have any
computers that have even operated for that length of time. The 'shock
proof' technology you speak of is developed for military artillery
ammunition, but is only built to withstand one such shock, not the
thousands of shocks a gun will endure through its life. Additionally,
your back of the email estimates of cost are based on your experience
with computer production that deals with economies of scale in the tens
of millions of units for each company. The entire gun industry
manufactures less than 1.5 million guns a year, and you are not going to
have one size fits all ID technology. The NRA is doing NOTHING to hold
back this technology. However, the frivolous lawsuits that democrat
decimated urban wastelands are bringing against manufacturers are
causing some to adopt unwise smartgun polcies that mandate such
technology for civilians, but exempt police from such technology
requirements. The cities don't want to pay the cost of their own
mandates. Considering that police firearms are most likely to kill
innocent civilians of all guns, one would think they would apply this
requirement to their own police forces.

Mike Lorrey

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