back to article Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

President Obama is looking to increase funding for research and development of new technologies that could help to cut gun violence. The President said as part of his executive order on gun crime and accidents that the development of technologies to help track lost or stolen firearms and the development of locks to prevent …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Huh?

    "the development of locks to prevent accidental firing would be a key part" - Most modern guns come with a mechanical device called a safety that prevents the firing of the gun. Mechanical safeties have been used since at least the 1890's on various rifles and pistols. The ferals reinventing the wheel so some crony can suck at the teet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      These new locks would use biometrics to detect a registered owner, and if it decides you are not its RO at the critical moment, well, you can try hitting your assailant with the gun.

      An additional effect is to help condition the public to the idea of being disarmed.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        "These new locks would use biometrics"

        In that case, they seem to have badly misspelled "unauthorized"...

      2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Huh?

        >...well, you can try hitting your assailant with the gun.

        How often do people have this problem in America where an assailant is attacking them in such a way that lethal force is necessary?

        Is it really so frequent an event?

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Huh?

          How often do people have this problem in America where an assailant is attacking them in such a way that lethal force is necessary?

          Is it really so frequent an event?

          Dunno, I don't live there. But a friend's mother lives there and the small town she lives in apparently mandated carrying a gun. Crime in the township declined dramatically, albeit at the expense of an increase in nearby townships. Criminals, by and large, dislike being shot at. Many law-abiding citizens in the USA, UKLand and Oz apparently approve the disarming of law-abiding citizens under the assumption that they are unlikely to be shot at by the police, or criminals.

          A new investigation into the police shooting of Joe Gilewicz in 1991 has been ordered by the state government, after new evidence and further allegations of a police cover-up were presented in the manuscript of a forthcoming book. The book, by former journalist Paul Tapp, is based on extensive examination of the evidence and on allegations by former police ballistics expert Stan Hanuszewicz.

          https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/18829

          Declaration: a mutual friend was refused permission by police to talk to Joe who, as a Vietnam war veteran, had regular psychotic episodes of the nature he was experiencing when the police decided to execute him.

        2. Diodelogic

          Re: Huh?

          I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I've already had to use a firearm to protect my family and myself in my home. Of course, in other countries (do I have to name names?), such an action would be considered not just illegal, but rude and anti-social.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Huh?

            The funny thing is people dont generally seem against making gun sales safer but instead fear the nutter president who is so untrustworthy as to have to keep repeating he doesnt want to take the guns away. This president is such an anti-gun nut I am not shocked when a military exercise is watched by the armed locals.

            Yesterday I read someones amusing comment on facebook about how the NRA doesnt want a reduction of guns because then people will see it is safer. So far the safer states are the ones with more liberal gun laws yet there are still anti-gun nutters.

        3. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Huh?

          How often do people have this problem in America where an assailant is attacking them in such a way that lethal force is necessary?

          I don't know about what happens outside the house, but certainly the stats show a greater risk of being murdered by a firearm if you have a gun in the house than if you don't. The leading causes are the escalation of a domestic argument and the gun-owner struggling with or being disarmed by a burglar. Fortunately, death by toddler is still comparatively rare...

          1. BillG Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Huh?

            How often do people have this problem in America where an assailant is attacking them in such a way that lethal force is necessary?

            This is called a defensive gun use (DGU). Depending on whose numbers you look at, according to the Harvard School of Public Health a DGU occurrs between 55,000-80,000 times a year - however, that survey was commissioned by an anti-gun lobby. Another survey sponsored by The Police Foundation found that 4.7 million DGUs occur in the USA each year. There seems to be a consensus that 1 million DGUs per year is a good number.

            Growing up in New York, one night a burgler jumped a fence into my friend's yard with a bag of loot, big guy, built like a linebacker. Whole family in the yard. Burgler saw my friend's father and ran straight at him with a knife. Father took out his pistol and quickly put two in the guys chest from ten feet away, killing him. While guns were illegal in NY at the time, my friend's father was an off-duty policeman, wearing his civies but still packing his service revolver, as required.

        4. HereIAmJH

          Re: Huh?

          >How often do people have this problem in America where an assailant

          >is attacking them in such a way that lethal force is necessary?

          If lethal force isn't needed, then they shouldn't be pulling a gun. Don't point a gun unless you plan to shoot. Don't shoot unless you plan to kill. But if a gun IS necessary, it needs to work every time. How often do you need your fire extinguisher? Would it be useful if it had electronic locks to determine if it was going to work? People just need to take some personal responsibility and properly store and handle a dangerous tool.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Huh?

            > "If lethal force isn't needed, then they shouldn't be pulling a gun."

            Bullshiza. A small woman being menaced by a big man is not going to make him stop by claiming she is armed. She will need to brandish the gun to get results. No need to actually start shooting right away.

            Or do you not believe in the deterrent effect? It's something the gun grabbers pretend doesn't exist, either against criminals or the government, because it undercuts their arguments about the reasons not to own guns.

          2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

            Re: Huh?

            >How often do you need your fire extinguisher?

            I don't have a fire extinguisher.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Huh?

              I don't have a fire extinguisher.

              I'd hate to be your next door neighbour then. It's amazing how many houses burn down because the house next door caught fire.

              1. Graham Marsden

                @Pompous Git - Re: Huh?

                > It's amazing how many houses burn down because the house next door caught fire.

                If the fire is anything more than very minor, a fire extinguisher is going to do you damn all good if you use it to try to put the fire out.

                The point of a home extinguisher is actually to ensure you can create a safe escape path and get out of the house and then let the Fire Brigade do their job.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: @Pompous Git - Huh?

                  If the fire is anything more than very minor, a fire extinguisher is going to do you damn all good if you use it to try to put the fire out.

                  Minor kitchen fires can quickly get out of hand unless nipped in the bud. My kitchen has a 1 kg powder type extinguisher within easy reach of the stove.

                  When the volunteer fire brigade I was president of was amalgamated with the paid fire brigade, we had an unbroken record of never having lost a house. The paid firies had an unbroken record of never having succeeded in saving a house. One fire in particular I remember they turned up with a tanker, but it was empty because they had forgotten to refill it after one of their "exercises".

        5. JLV Silver badge

          >Is it really so frequent an event?

          A long, long time ago, Time Magazine ran an article covering 1 day's worth of guns deaths.

          http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/16/a-history-of-violence-gun-control-in-the-pages-of-time/slide/july-1989-death-by-gun/

          IIRC, it went something like this:

          72 deaths - total. Due to accidents, suicides, criminals killing someone, suicide, murder of acquaintances, etc... And self-defense.

          4 (out of 72) - number of deaths where criminals were killed by citizens defending themselves. Even assuming those self-defense kills were all justified, the numbers did not really point to guns improving things much.

          I really can't see Time ever doing this again. Too hot a topic.

          Obama is doing what he can, which is to say, not much. Biometrics are not a bad idea, if they can be made to work, but most of the recent mass shootings have been carried out by the rightful owners of the firearms AFAIK.

    2. Palpy

      Re: Huh?

      Yes, that safety worked a treat when the 2-year-old shot his mother dead in a Walmart.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/toddler-accidentally-shoots-woman-in-idaho-walmart-9950847.html

      And when another 2-year-old killed his father at home.

      https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/i-hurt-my-dad-the-tragic-moment-a-2-year-old-127173047597.html

      And when the teacher shot herself in the leg while having a leak.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/11/teacher-accidental-shooting/15452271/

      Safeties could be made safer.

      I anticipate that many gun enthusiasts would say that accidents "just happen" and "stupidity is the problem." But the point is to minimize accidents. The point is, safeties could be made safer.

      1. W4YBO

        Re: Huh?

        Safeties can be idiot resistant, but not idiot proof. Merely keeping your booger hook off the bang switch prevents most accidental discharges.

        1. Bluto Nash

          Re: Huh?

          Have an upvote for "booger hook."

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Huh? (Safeties could be made safer)

        Safeties on guns are a lot like condoms.. they only prevent accidents if you use 'em.

      3. ThePhantom

        Re: Huh?

        "The point is, safeties could be made safer."

        Actually, the point is that "safeties are mechanical devices which can fail," and this is the correct answer on the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting course. There is no such thing as a safety that is 100% reliable. And even if there was one, criminals would disable it anyway.

      4. fishbone

        Re: Huh?

        You should probably just stay in your bed and never come out. Bad stuff happens everywhere, stupid people make it happen more often. Sometimes people come to do bad things and real adults have to do things they otherwise wouldn't, like protect family and friends. Most likely that requires a weapon capable of meeting or exceeding the threat involved. Pardon my condescending tone but I wanted to be sure of your understanding the point.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      Most come with a trigger lock that requires a key to remove it. Great thing if you have kids or a burglary where the gun is taken. Not a good thing if you need it in a hurry.

    4. WalterAlter
      Facepalm

      It's kinda moot if you look at the data

      100,000 million gun owners in the US. Every time Obama opens his mouth on the issue, you can add another million. This not a particularly effective approach to gun control. More effective might be bringing down the crime rate or put people back to work and lessen the sense of desperation within the culture.

  2. Jim84

    LawBringer

    This gun is coded to my DNA...

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: LawBringer

      Uhhh, this is terribly embarrassing but I seem to have left some residual DNA on that gun - would you be a chum and wipe the sensor with some acetone before trying to use it against me...?

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: LawBringer

      That would be a Lawgiver.

  3. RedneckMother

    In the spirit of Tommy Flanagan (Jon Lovitz, SNL)

    Uhh, TECHNOLOGY! That's how we'll fix it! Yeah, that's the ticket!

    If guns are such a problem, how about we get the Secret (Cigarette?) Service to disarm?

    It's easy for a US politician, surrounded by more firepower than any US citizen can ever HOPE to have, to tell everyone else to disarm.

    What a bunch of "maroons".

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: In the spirit of Tommy Flanagan (Jon Lovitz, SNL)

      Hollywood feedback loop.

      To develop a solution and roll it out, replacing everyone's gun trigger with new biometric-o-matic triggers which will also presumably need to be charged up will take years, maybe two generations. It will also get the nutters stockpiling old hardware and create a black market.

      By which time education and toughening gun laws would have already done the job.

    2. Mr.Mischief

      Re: In the spirit of Tommy Flanagan (Jon Lovitz, SNL)

      Yes but the secret service are trained to use guns, know about gun safety and are pretty much registered.

      Not so for the people leaving their guns on the coffee table for the kids to shoot someone with.

      When was the last time a secret service agent shot himself accidentally or shot someone by accident?

      Better regulation doesn't meant that "they're coming to take the guns away", it means making sure the person owning a gun is able to in a responsible manner.

  4. x 7

    other than banning guns, the only technical fix is to lobotomise all members ans supporters of the NRA

    1. herman Silver badge

      You may find that it is much easier for members of the NRA to castrate people like you, than the other way around...

      1. jonnycando

        Exactly, and as has been oft said....they may have my guns when they pry them from my cold dead hands....and I am dead serious.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          "they may have my guns when they pry them from my cold dead hands"

          Presumably that's when you've been shot.

          Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            @ Dan 55

            "Presumably that's when you've been shot."

            By the anti-gun president and his enforcers? Hmm

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: "lobotomise all members ans supporters of the NRA"

      AGAIN..?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Too much thinkin' goin' on...

      > "other than banning guns, the only technical fix is to lobotomise all members ans supporters of the NRA..."

      Ah, to 'level the political playing field,' so to speak.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Too much thinkin' goin' on...

        Presumably we are talking about removing ear lobes here, because I don't think there are any others available from these people.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The American disease

    I fear containment may be the only way forward.

    The horse went thattaway ------>

    1. The First Dave

      Re: The American disease

      The American disease appears to be far wider than just firearms - the way that they celebrate killing deer (and the occasional Lion) with modern compound bows is excruciating.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Batteries not included

    I'm guessing I would have to charge this "smart" gun every night along with my phone? And I'm guessing the Gooberment would want some sort of backdoor access to turn the gun off at their whim, say if I did not pay some sort of new tax they dream up or if the citizens need to set the government back on track?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Batteries not included

      You are correct. The long term plan seems to be that duly appointed authority figures would have the means to turn off your guns when they need to "have a word" with you. Their motives are assumed now and forever to be good, so no need to consider worst cases.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ammunition

    The 2nd amendment gives people the right to bear arms. It doesn't say anything about ammunition for those arms, so just ban the sale of ammunition. Problem solved.

    As the great philosopher Sledge Hammer once said "guns don't kill people, bullets do".

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Ammunition

      It's people do... maybe we need to ban people. We tried legislating idiocy but that backfired. Look at what we have in Congress.

      Idiots you say? Yeah, I once saw a friend use a loaded gun as a hammer. I left his presence very quickly. He's now in the State legislature.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Ammunition

      "great philosopher Sledge Hammer"

      also said - "trust me, I know what I'm doing"

      but remember his colleagues used to ask "are you talking to your gun?"

    3. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: Ammunition

      >The 2nd amendment gives people the right to bear arms.

      But they don't have the right to bear any arms they might like, they can't own a nuclear missile for instance.

      1. AbelSoul

        Re: they can't own a nuclear missile for instance.

        Serious question; where is the line drawn and which amendment or law covers this?

        1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: they can't own a nuclear missile for instance.

          > Serious question; where is the line drawn and which amendment or law covers this?

          It's a supreme court decision that emphasises that the limit is that of the reasonable needs of a militia.

          I think it's further limited by acts that make it hard to own certain types of weapons through sheer quantity of paperwork.

          Sorry don't have time to hunt references.

        2. Diodelogic

          Re: they can't own a nuclear missile for instance.

          The limitations are generally left to the states and to local administrations within the states. What is legal in one area may not be legal in another. For example, in California a "modern" .50 caliber rifle (such as the Barrett) is illegal. In other states, it is legal. In some states, a muzzle-loading black powder firearm is treated the same as a modern, fixed-cartridge firearm. In other states, it is not.

          Certain firearms, such as machineguns, short-barrelled rifles, short-barrelled shotguns, suppressors, and several others, are regulated by the BATF, which is a Federal agency. Further regulation of these "NFA" weapons resides at the state and local level.

      2. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: Ammunition

        "they can't own a nuclear missile for instance."

        No, we can't. And if you even so much as ASK to own a nuclear missile, they look at you like you're totally bat-shit crazy. It's not like I'd ever USE it, I just want to have one parked in the back yard for the "coolness" factor. I mean, unless the neighbor's dog shits in my yard one more fucking time, then I might think about pushing the big red button. Well, no, not really, I imagine it would make a hell of a mess. (the nuke, not the dog-shit).

        Perhaps the trick is in the wording. If you say "I want to own a nuclear bomb", then folks think you're nuts, and possibly dangerous. But if you say "I want to own a physics package", well, fine, that's just a bunch of nerd-stuff, innit? No harm there.

        Ah well. Back to my regular firearms, I guess.

        1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: Ammunition

          >No, we can't. And if you even so much as ASK to own a nuclear missile, they look at you like you're totally bat-shit crazy.

          Even smaller stuff like surface to air missiles or artillery pieces seems to get frowned upon too.

          But what serious militia could act without air defence and artillery support these days? Look at the mess the Syrian rebels got themselves into.

          1. Pirate Dave
            Pirate

            Re: Ammunition

            "But what serious militia could act without air defence and artillery support these days?"

            Yep. As much of a gun-nut as I am, I realize there's a big white elephant in the whole 2nd Amendment argument regarding "protecting ourselfs from the Government". They've got tanks, bombers, drones, artillery, etc.etc. All we civilians are allowed to have are pea-shooters compared to that. True, a .50-cal BMG will put a big hole in a piece of armor plate, but a 105mm Howitzer will put a crater where the armor plate was sitting. So any "armed uprising" we could muster would likely not last long before it had to devolve into guerrilla warfare.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ammunition

              No one is suggesting that citizens with handguns might stand off the US Military except you.

              An armed citizenry cannot be easily bullied by government where it counts, within the culture at the local level. That is where tyranny actually takes place you know.

              Besides, the normal military makes a lousy suppression force. You want cops for that, which is what makes the heavy arms flowing to the cops so worrying.

              1. Pirate Dave
                Pirate

                Re: Ammunition

                "No one is suggesting that citizens with handguns might stand off the US Military except you."

                Eh, have you heard about the non-event going on in Oregon? It's not involving the military, true, but it is the Feds they are waiting to "stand up" against, not the local yokels.

            2. JLV Silver badge

              Re: Ammunition

              With all respect for the various viewpoints that go into gun politics and also with respect to the founding fathers and the Constitution, but I find it disturbing that such a high proportion of NRA advocates use "resistance to the lawfully elected government" as a justification for gun ownership. That's a whole different ballpark than "shoot a burglar endangering my family", IMHO.

              I mean, many people in Western countries seem dissatisfied with our governments and our politicians. That doesn't mean many people, in countries other than the US, distrust them to the point where we think it necessary to hold weapons for potential armed resistance. That's what elections are for, and the US Constitution has ample, perhaps even excessive, checks and balances built into it to prevent excessive power concentration by any of the 3 branches.

              Do some of you distrust your government that much? Your own soldiers? You know, the guys that did the dying on your behalf in the last decade or so. But yet the Republican right generally tends to view catchall anti-terrorist and surveillance laws in a benign fashion and excoriated Snowden?

              'sides, as you point out, the balance of power is way on the Federal side anyway. Not to mention that, in any contest between a group of individuals and a competent military, the military's training and unit-level tactics should easily overcome individual skill, even at weapon parity level.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. The Dude
          Mushroom

          Re: Ammunition

          It is unlawful to own a nuclear weapon for much the same reason it is unlawful to randomly point a weapon at your neighbors. Owning a weapon and putting people at risk with a weapon are two very different things, and are quite rightly treated differently in the law. Small bombs that don't present a risk to anyone should be okay, but regrettably even those (ie firecrackers) are now mostly banned in Canada.

          icon 'cuz it fits.

  8. RegGuy1

    Thank fuck I don't live in the US

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35229220

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thank fuck I don't live in the US

      So, gun shows horrify you, do they? I suppose the sound of a gunshot has never been heard within the safe spaces you inhabit? Can you even conjugate the verb 'hunt'?

      Oh, BTW, the US is thankful you don't live there too. ;-)

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      I've Lived in the US

      It's a big place and even though there is a lot of gun violence happening all the time, the only place I saw it was in the media.

      Now living back in the UK, I do fear violence especially when out at night time, there is a permanent threat there. My nearest pub was closed down because of persistent violence and the next nearest has one of those police riot van stationed on Friday and Saturday nights. It also has its own armoured camera. It was never like that for me in the US.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: I've Lived in the US

        Where the hell do you live? You need to move - thats not normal in the UK.

        However, do you ever feel like you are likely to be shot at a moments notice by any random nutter while living in the UK? Do you fear for you life anytime you have an interaction with the UK Police?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: I've Lived in the US

          @ BoldMan

          "Where the hell do you live? You need to move - thats not normal in the UK"

          I would say you were lucky, werdsmith is on the ball. Back in my home town prostitutes are often in the paper as murdered or missing and when I moved to the city I was very near a pub the police wouldnt visit. A couple of stabbings on the road and lots of problems but still a no go for the cops until the coalition talked about police cuts (not sure if its just a coincidence but its a big one). And the gun ban doesnt seem to have stopped the manchester shooting between gangs either, some of those areas I used to have to travel through.

          The fear is not being shot, dead is dead.

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Thank fuck I don't live in the US

      @ RegGuy1

      I am sure the americans are thinking exactly the same.

  9. Fraggle850

    Stats for comparison

    The UK population is around one fifth of that of the USA. In 2015 there were 30 times as many gun deaths in the US as there were in the UK. You can't easily get guns here in blighty. Given recent events in Paris (guns being more readily available in mainland Europe) it is reasonable to assume that our strict gun laws perform a useful function.

    I personally have enjoyed using guns in my younger days and would likely have one if they were more readily available here but they aren't and our society is likely less violent for it. I guess it boils down to whether you are happy to accept a higher chance of being shot in exchange for the freedom to own a gun but the facts do seem to speak for themselves: increased gun availability increases the chance of being shot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stats for comparison

      Yes, yes.. someone trots out those stats every time there's a gun control discussion. They're not the stats that we care about. It's not important how many people get killed by guns, the important number is how many people die violently.

      Sure, you Brits have less gun deaths, but you have a lot more knife crime instead. The real problem doesn't go away just because you took the guns away. You still have violent crime, but it's been shifted onto other weapons.

      There are two things that guns help with: rage killings and accidental killings. Guns simply make it easier to kill someone in the heat of the moment. They also make it easier for a two-year old to kill his parents without even knowing what the gun is. But no amount of banning weapons is going to stop someone that really wants to kill other people and is willing to put in the time or effort to do it.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Stats for comparison

        '"a lot more knife crime instead"

        Sounds a lot like someone is in denial about their countries real problems. Had you suggested a binge drinking comparison, clearly 'we Brits' are as bad (and more probably worse) but the knife thing isn't on the same scale as it's mostly teens and gangs, fear and false bravado.

        At the very least, it's unlikely a toddler will manage to kill a parent or more than injure itself should it get its hands on a knife (outside of movies like 'chuckie' anyway).

        1. graeme leggett

          Re: Stats for comparison

          Knife crime stats

          http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Knife+Crime

          http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_352297.pdf - says knife crime fallen 15%, and hospital admissions down 14%

          In England 11,372 "actual/grievous bodily harm offences" with knives in 2012/2013, (similar number for robbery).

          So incidence rate for those assault offences with a knife then was 21 per 100,000 population

          For US in 2012, from FBI tables ( https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/15tabledatadecpdf)

          "Aggravated assault", "Knife or cutting instrument", Total "all agencies" 123,344 offences which (with population of 274,808,793) gives a rate of 44 per 100,000 population.

          1. Preston Munchensonton
            Megaphone

            Re: Stats for comparison

            In the end, any comparison of US and UK gun deaths is a completely useless comparison, not because the US and UK have very different gun laws, but because the US figures are skewed by two significant factors:

            1. Suicides by gun

            2. War on Drugs

            The former represents the largest category of gun deaths in the US, not homicides or mass killings. The latter has introduced this insane militarization of police and a propensity to criminalize behavior for little benefit.

            1. graeme leggett

              Re: Stats for comparison

              http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf CDC

              Data on mortality 2013 Tables 10 and 11

              Suicide/intentional discharge firearm - 21,175 (non firearm 19,974)

              Assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms - 11,208

              (Accidental discharge of firearms - 505)

              giving rates of 6.7 and 3.5 per 100,000 for suicide and homicide respectively

      2. AIBailey

        ...knife crime

        Indeed, with a general lack of available guns in the UK, we possibly have more knife attacks than somewhere like the US. However, a knife can (and generally will) do less damage than a bullet. Google someone like Lisa Potts (a UK primary school teacher that shielded her pupils when a man with mental issues went on the attack in the school with a machete) and count the number of injuries and deaths that occurred (I'll make it easy actually, 7 and 0).

        Now consider the same scenario in the US, but instead of a machete (a short ranged weapon, I'd guess a range of arm length + 18 to 24 inches) substitute a gun or guns. I'd wager that both the injury and death toll would be significantly higher.

        Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the US, and guns have been a part of the way of life for so long that it's almost impossible to change the way of thinking over there. It's a part of the constitution, and the constitution is an important part of what makes America what it is. But despite the continuous claims from the NRA that guns don't kill people, it's the person pulling the trigger, there's no getting away from the fact that having guns readily available makes it significantly easier to kill people than not.

        1. Fraggle850

          Re: ...knife crime

          Exactly that. How would those two IS wannabes who macheted Lee Rigby to death have fared if they had an AR15?

          The 'if I have a gun I can shoot the aggressor' argument doesn't seem to stack up either, wasn't there an active shooter incident at a US army base a while back? IIRC the shooter killed people without being killed, choosing to kill himself after taking out three others and injuring a number more.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: ...knife crime

            @ Fraggle850

            "Exactly that. How would those two IS wannabes who macheted Lee Rigby to death have fared if they had an AR15?"

            They did have a gun. As I recall it was a pistol. And the police shot one of them too if I remember. They didnt kill more people because they didnt want to regardless of the tools they had and the disarmed population waiting some time for the armed response unit

            "The 'if I have a gun I can shoot the aggressor' argument doesn't seem to stack up either, wasn't there an active shooter incident at a US army base a while back?"

            If I remember right the rules ensured nobody was armed. So he had free run.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @codejunky - Re: ...knife crime

              You crazy Americans, you will never cease to amaze me!

              You mean any person can and will walk in the street carrying a gun while people on an US Army base are unarmed, not even carrying a stick ?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @codejunky - ...knife crime

                @AC

                "You crazy Americans, you will never cease to amaze me!"

                FYI not an american but as I understand it there are many places you are not allowed to carry a firearm in public and on an army base. The public places are often the victims of the mass shootings because there is less resistance. I am in the UK where the mere mention of a gun causes lots of worried faces unless talking to immigrants (they want to come to the gun club). The overreactions are amazing in the UK.

      3. Fraggle850

        @AC Re: Stats for comparison - Knife Deaths in the UK

        It's true, people do use knives for violence over here even though posession is severely restricted, however, looking at the overall murder rate gives around 530/yr in recent times. Multiply that by 5 to account for population size and you get 2650. This still falls well short of the total number of people killed in the US by shooting alone, which I gather was 13,344 in 2015. Obviously not all of those are murder, some are accidents, but even so the variation is quite stark.

        Another noteworthy point is that the overall trend is downward in the UK, whereas it is upward in the US. Perhaps reducing peoples' exposure to weapons reduces their willingness to resort to violence over time?

        I honestly have no strong opinion on gun control in the US: it's not my country and I don't really care if people I don't know get killed, even here in the UK. I'm just interested in comparing two ostensibly similar western societies that have different approaches to gun ownership in the interests of informed debate.

        I really can't see how you can remove guns from US culture given the constitution and the fact that the country appears to have been founded and settled thanks to the use of firearms. Perhaps you could limit the ammendment to only allow the bearing of arms that were available at the time the constitution was written? Single shot muzzle-loaders on black powder don't lend themselves to mass killings...

        1. kiwimuso
          WTF?

          Re: @AC Stats for comparison - Knife Deaths in the UK

          @ Fraggle850

          "....posession is severely restricted..."

          What? How is it restricted? Seriously. Every home has has several, they aren't locked up or secured in any way, so apart from a ridiculous law making it illegal to carry a knife on the streets, they are hardly restricted. Tell me, how does that work for chefs, for example, carrying their knife roll to work, hmmm?

          Or, I;ve just bought a knife but I can't carry it back to my car or house?

          Another stupid unenforceable law. But it shows that the politicians are "doing" something, eh!

      4. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Stats for comparison

        The UK and the US measure violent crime differently, and the UK has a lower murder rate - http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2013/01/12/fact-checking-ben-swann-is-the-uk-really-5-times-more-violent-than-the-us/

      5. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Stats for comparison

        > ...the important number is how many people die violently.

        This is where comparisons with Britain fall down, Americans are generally nice people, Brits are often brutal sociopaths who will kill people with their bare hands should an argument about a garden hedge go pear-shaped.

        Putting an equivalent number of guns in the hands of Brits would be a truly terrifying prospect.

        However banning guns has led to Britain having a much lower rate of actual deaths.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Stats for comparison

      increased gun availability increases the chance of being shot.

      Gun ownership in Honduras 6.2 per 100 population; Homicide rate 67.18 per 100,000

      Gun ownership in USA 112.6 per 100,000 population; Homicide rate 10.64 per 100,000

      1. AIBailey

        Re: Stats for comparison

        What are those stats even meant to be showing? 112.6 what per 100000?

        1. KroSha

          Re: Stats for comparison

          It means that there are more guns than people.

      2. Bill Sticker

        Re: Stats for comparison

        'Small' correction; 2014 US Homicide rate was 4.5 per 100,000. Way less than even 1960. The 10.64 figure you quote is an exaggeration of the peak figure of 10.2 - 9 per 100,000 from 1980 - 1994 since when it has been in steep decline.

        Stats here: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

    3. JC_

      Re: Stats for comparison

      I guess it boils down to whether you are happy to accept a higher chance of being shot in exchange for the freedom to own a gun

      When gun-nuts talk about their rights, I always wonder why they ignore the right to not get shot.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Stats for comparison

        When gun-nuts talk about their rights, I always wonder why they ignore the right to not get shot.

        Like vermin you mean? Wallabies, rabbits, possums, feral cats, crows, uncontrolled dogs... Speaking of the latter, do you enjoy the idea that sheep should die slowly from the wounds inflicted by a pack of domestic "pets"? Funny how dog owners always say: "My dog's not a sheep-killer!"

        1. JC_

          Re: Stats for comparison

          No, people I mean.

          That's a really weak counter-point you've made. Guns have a place as a tool on farms, but show me a farmer who would shoot a sheep rather than cut its throat and I'll show you a gun-nut.

          Hunting and pest-control are legitimate uses for guns; neither requires a Glock, nor an AR-15, nor a pump-action shotgun. All of those are for killing people.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Stats for comparison

            Guns have a place as a tool on farms, but show me a farmer who would shoot a sheep rather than cut its throat and I'll show you a gun-nut.

            Gun control laws apply to farmers as well as townies. I used to be able to borrow a rifle from a neighbour when the rabbits and wallabies got out of hand. Not any more... And the rabbits, wallabies, possums etc are out of hand so I'm glad I'm moving into town later this year.

            And no, it wasn't a " a Glock, nor an AR-15, nor a pump-action shotgun"; it was a .22. The vermin are quite active near the house where it is illegal for me to shoot them at point blank range (5-10 metres). To comply with the gun laws I need to be at least 100 metres from the house which means I would need to be shooting directly towards the house and a far more accurate shot required for a kill.

            1. JC_

              Re: Stats for comparison

              And the rabbits, wallabies, possums etc are out of hand so I'm glad I'm moving into town later this year.

              The wallabies really are getting out of hand if they're ravaging sheep...

              If Australian gun laws prohibit gun-owners from lending out firearms to unlicensed people, then it's hard to see a problem with that. If you want a gun, get a gun license.

              Laws prohibiting shooting around dwellings are also quite sensible. Most people would prefer that there are no bullets flying anywhere near their house and family. Possums and rabbits are easy to trap and as for wallabies, they're native and cute, so let them be.

              In any case you're setting up a straw man arguing about farmers when farmers would be completely unaffected by a prohibition on Glocks, AR-15s and pump-action shotguns.

              Australia implemented gun control after Port Arthur and there hasn't been another massacre since; who would want to go back to the slaughter that the US experiences. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine High - none could have happened in Australia, thankfully, and hopefully one day they won't repeat in the US.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Stats for comparison

                I suspect that you are being deliberately obtuse. I never wrote that the wallabies were ravaging sheep. I included dogs in the list of vermin, specifically people's pets. These aren't farmers' dogs, they belong to townies who have moved into the countryside and brought their towny "ideals" with them.

                The law doesn't prevent bullets from flying around near houses, it encourages them. There is no way I can shoot wallabies and rabbits near the house from a hundred metres away. First, there's far too much vegetation around the house to actually be able to see the target. Second, the gun I used to use was nowhere near powerful enough, nor for that matter am I a good enough shot beyond about 20 metres. The ideal location for shooting these rabbits and wallabies is from the front deck of the house since it's elevated 2 metres above ground and surrounding shrubbery. It also ensured that all the shots I fired were away from the house and its occupants.

                During the 34 years I have lived here I have only very rarely needed a gun. The local farmers' sons and daughters used to shoot recreationally. The farmers used to carry a gun on the tractor or in the truck so that when the opportunity arose, they could shoot vermin as they came across them. As the farmers and farmworkers have been displaced by townies, the vermin have increased in numbers markedly.

                Yes, I could join a gun club (mandatory), purchase a gun safe (mandatory) and a gun. But this would cost several thousand dollars and no doubt annoy the newcomers who think it's cruel to shoot "poor, innocent animals", but not cruel to allow their dogs to run around mauliing farm animals. Go figure...

                While possums (and feral cats) are easy to trap, the question arises what to do with the captured possum. Set it free too near where it's caught and it will return from a remarkable distance. Set it free far enough away and it will attempt to displace the local possum(s), they are territorial animals. It will either succeed or starve to death. How humane is that?

                Rabbits can only be easily trapped with rabbit traps (illegal), or snares (illegal).

                I didn't set up a straw man argument regarding "Glocks, AR-15s and pump-action shotguns"; I was quoting from the post I was responding to. Australia's gun laws apply to the .22 calibre rifle I used to have access to and no longer do so. Prior to the Port Arthur massacre I couldn't justify owning a gun. Now I need one there's so much excessive regulation it's easier to move to town and leave the wildlife problem for someone else to deal with.

                Wallabies are only cute when they are not eating your crops.

                It is true that there have been no mass shootings in Tasmania since Port Arthur, but Barry Unsworth only called for one such in order for the parliament to pass the gun laws it wanted. Why would they need any more once the legislation passed?

    4. kiwimuso
      Unhappy

      Re: Stats for comparison

      @ Fraggle850

      "....increased gun availability increases the chance of being shot......"

      I think you will find that Canada and Switzerland (off the top of mu head) would belie your statistics.

      I don't have a citation, but I have read somewhere that Canada has a greater number of guns per head of population that the U.S. but has nowhere near the same amount of gun crime or deaths.

      I don't know if it still true, but in Switzerland, every male of military age has a military weapon at home with ammunition. Switzerland is hardly a hot-bed of mass shootings. I think I heard of 1 happening a year or two back.

  10. Nigel Brown

    Clearly a film buff

    Did the Prez get his technological idea from watching Skyfall?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

    The end.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      You do realise that might well kick off a second American civil war?

      Some insensitive sod will write 'gets popcorn' at this point.

      But it won't be me...

      1. TommyKTheDJ
        WTF?

        Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

        I don't like popcorn, but if the only red-neck response is to go to war because of the introduction of background checks and investment in new technology then go ahead - I doubt the outcome will be as desired for anyone in the US but the rest of the world will just look on in bemusement..

        I don't even see how the changes restrict anyone's access to firearms or right to bear arms, so what's the problem as it relates to the second amendment? (Which also raise the question, what will the benefit be?)

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      If you ban all the legal guns in the US then what is left? Answer = illegal guns and a lot of them. All in the hands of people who don't care much for the law.

      So that should give them a safe feeling.

      It's not a good situation where gun ownership is allowed for self-defence leading to a kind of shaky peace because of a Mexican stand off between goodies and baddies, but that's the way it is there and there sure ain't "a simple fix".

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

          It doesn't matter how old and flawed it is, any solution is more flawed. How do you control guns in a nation where there are a hundred million small arms in circulation?

          I didn't suggest it's a good thing, it's an abominable situation they've got themselves into. But there's not a simple way out.

          The NRA claim that if a crazy shooter appears, then goodies with guns can take them down. This rarely or never happens, of course, either they shoot themselves or the cops do it. When these nutters start out on their killing spree they have already made the decision to die, so if a goodie with a gun takes them down it's already too late.

          The real problem is a large amount of the population want the weapon as a kind of comfort blanket as they don't feel powerless against an assailant or intruder - who may well be armed. It's a tough call to ask all of these people to give the balance of armed power over to the criminal - because they won't feel safe.

          1. John G Imrie Silver badge

            Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

            How do you control guns in a nation where there are a hundred million small arms in circulation?

            Easy, enforce the first part of the second amendment and recall the state militias, on Supper Bowl Sunday.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

              "How do you control guns in a nation where there are a hundred million small arms in circulation?"

              Make it very difficult to buy bullets?

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

                Make it very difficult to buy bullets?

                Nice try! Truly! Problem is they are rather easy to manufacture in the average kitchen.

                1. Pseu Donyme

                  Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

                  >... they are rather easy to manufacture in the average kitchen.

                  With factory made components (propellant, primers, cases and bullets) and tools, as you say, rather easy; without them, however, rather hard if not practically impossible. Of these the hardest are probably the primers (for a want of a consistently stable yet sensitive enough compound to be reliably set off by the firing pin) and a propellant (powder) to produce a safe and consistent pressure curve (not that the mechanical precision of factory made bullets, cases and tools would be trivial). That is, while shooting supplies for a blunderbuss might be made in an average kitchen by a (rather) knowledgeable person, those for modern firearms are quite another matter.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

                    With factory made components (propellant, primers, cases and bullets) and tools, as you say, rather easy; without them, however, rather hard if not practically impossible.

                    True, but I was thinking of something rather more quick and dirty. Ammonium tri-iodide for primer: ingredients iodine and household ammonia. Nitram (fertiliser) for propellant. Cases would need to be purchased or recycled cases. Moulds for casting bullets from lead still seem to be available in garage sales around these parts. Bloke up the road used to manufacture his own ammunition until a tree fell on him a few years ago. I suspect he was rather more sophisticated about it than my thoughts indicate. And I know he did it in the kitchen because his wife used to moan about it.

              2. W4YBO

                Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

                We tried that back in the seventies. Every round of ammunition was registered at the point of sale with a state issued ID. Everything from .22 Rimfire through shotgun & large-bore rifle. It created an enormous pile of paperwork for everybody from the sales clerk to the ATF clerks entering the registration info. Zero (or maybe just immeasurable) effect on crime & violence.

    3. Andy 97

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      The big problem with America is that whatever you do right now, there's a sizeable legacy of serviceable weapons stashed all over the US.

      Can you imagine some mullet-wielding chap will surrender his prize 'plantation civilizer' (to a man from The Government) because someone in Washington says he has to?

    4. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      There has been a pronounced change in the type of weapons used in homicide since monitoring began. Firearm use has declined by more than half since 1989-90 as a proportion of homicide methods, and there has been an upward trend in the use of knives and sharp instruments, which in 2006-07 accounted for nearly half of all homicide victims.

      http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/weapon.html

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

        Austrialian data on use of weapon - that's on a homicide rate of 1.2 incidents per 100,000 of the population, isn't the equivalent US rate is about four times that?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

        Shows Australian knife homicide has gone up from about 35% in 1990 to about 45% in 2007.

        Apart from a blip in mid 90s, the knife seems to have always been the Australian killer's weapon of choice.

    5. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      A 2013 study from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) found 94 fatal police shootings for the period between 1992 and 2011.

      When the mass shooting at Port Arthur occurred there was an immediate call for changes to gun ownership laws. When the police execute unarmed people for being mentally ill, nobody really gives a fuck. If you're not mentally ill, what's there to worry about?

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

        > A 2013 study from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) found 94 fatal police shootings

        I'd quote statistics for police shootings in the US, but they've apparently been lost behind the couch. Neither the FBI nor anybody else officially keeps them, so any such statistics quoted are guesswork.

        So we can't even really tell how many people US cops shoot. There's something wrong with that.

        And you wonder why people here want guns to protect themselves?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      Explained here

    7. Diodelogic

      Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

      If guns are banned in Australia (is this really true?) then how do people in Australia keep getting shot?

      And let's not avoid: http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/baby-stabbed-to-death-in-attack-at-parkinson-in-brisbane/news-story/9a749b8f2d7a7e4bdd691fdf7d3786d9

      Or: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-35240438

      Don't get too holier-than-thou, okay? The US isn't perfect, but... neither are any of you.

  12. werdsmith Silver badge

    Under Armour

    Barack's jacket, - Under Armour logo. Is that a subliminal message or just product placement?

  13. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger

    A coded gun would prevent this. Unfortunately the paranoid NRA supporters will no doubt get their way.

    I too have no intention to ever visit the USA, too many nutters with guns!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/people-being-shot-by-toddlers-on-a-weekly-basis-in-the-us-a6694386.html

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Mushroom

      Re: 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger

      I celebrate that 43 really stupid people permitted a toddler to remove them from the gene pool. If we could only convince more liberal idiots to do the same.

  14. Joseph Eoff

    Fix the underlying problem:

    Too many desperate people who turn to criminality in order to get by. That reduces the number of people keeping guns out of fear of criminals.

    The guns aren't the problem. The things that cause people to own guns out of fear are the problem.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      But mass shootings seem to be a mental health problem, not one of economic desperation.

      1. Joseph Eoff

        Agreed. That goes along with fixing root causes, though. Those folks with mental health problems ought to be helped, then they wouldn't be out shooting people - and the other people wouldn't be buying guns in fear of the crazies.

        1. Preston Munchensonton
          Mushroom

          Those folks with mental health problems ought to be helped, then they wouldn't be out shooting people

          Good luck fixing people with mental illness. What a shallow, ignorant statement.

          Rule #1: People must start being responsible for their own shit, including their firearms and cooky relatives.

          Rule #2: Enforce laws already on the book.

  15. Rberns

    What about 3D printers?

    One can create a gun using a 3D printer, so these would need to be controlled too.

    1. Joseph Eoff

      Re: What about 3D printers?

      Uh, no.

      You can create a piece of crap with a 3D printer that looks like a gun but is as dangerous to the user as to the target. It still needs metal pieces to work at all.

      A Zip gun is safer and easier to make and doesn't need an expensive toy to produce.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: What about 3D printers?

        > You can create a piece of crap with a 3D printer

        That's simply because personal printers only print in plastic so far. Industrial printers print in metals and ceramics (see where NASA & SpaceX have printed working rocket engine parts that have no problem firing) - do you think these won't eventually trickle down to consumers, just like laser printers and other "that'll always be too expensive" technology?

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    FAIL

    I don't get it

    The Center for Disease Control is NOT allowed to study gun violence! It has reached epidemic proportions, but only hot air seems to be thrown at this issue by people who can do something.

    Being a native of the Chicago area, I know full well the scope of gun violence, I hope the powers that be come to their senses and quick.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: I don't get it

      Perhaps Obama thinks research under the guise of technology will deliver some of the data on gun violence which CDC would have been able to provide if it hadn't been blocked at Congress level.

  17. PapaD

    Violent crime: US vs UK

    Just to counter the 'more violent crimes in the UK' per capita fallacy.

    This is only true because the US has a much narrower definition of 'violent crime' than the UK.

    In the US, they only include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as violent crimes

    In the UK the definition includes all crimes against the person, including simple assaults, all robberies, and all sexual offenses.

    It's worth noting though, that the UK has a substantially lower murder rate than the US, regardless of the method of murder. The US averages 4.8 murders per 100k people, the UK only 1.2 murders per 100k people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Violent crime: US vs UK

      Agreed. However the problem with arguing with stupid people is they will bring you down to their level then beat you with experience

  18. Vinyl-Junkie
    Mushroom

    The only way to get Americans to give up their guns...

    ..take off and nuke the States from orbit; it's the only way to be sure!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody amazing. A country tightens gun laws, disarms the citizens who meekly turn in their guns in the honest expectation that all members of the underworld, crime syndicates and general riffraff will follow suit. Dream on.

    All you get is a populace unable to defend itself against a well armed collection of bad people.

    The US states with the tightest gun laws have the highest gun related crimes. Check the per capita crime rate for Texas (open carry arms) vs say, New York.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but you're comparing US states to US states and ignoring the comparisons of the entire US to other 'first world' nations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Check the per capita crime rate for Texas (open carry arms) vs say, New York."

      I will.

      FBI data 2012 "Table 20"

      State total murders total firearms (cause of death)

      Texas 1,141 745

      New York 682 407

      populations of states Texas 26 million, NY 20 million (2014 data)

      Adjusting NY to Texas population - gives 886 murders with 573 firearms.

      Still looks like Texas worse with these [rough] numbers

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A thumb down - Is it wrong? Did I miss something in my calculation (wrong data, bad arithmetic)?

        Or give an outcome that disagreed with someone's worldview.

        Because I can fix the former, not the latter.

  20. Xamol

    No Quick Fix

    It seems there's concensus that there's no quick fix. Ban guns = bad, Status Quo = bad (unless you're at either end of the spectrum).

    Is some of what Obama proposes so bad (maybe with some tweaks)?

    - Legislate that new guns must have a device to prevent unauthorised use. If I were a gun owner, I would want this - it can't be fired by my kids and it can't be used against me by someone else. The features of the safety device would need to be agreed e.g. no override. I wouldn't want an override, (concerns about government abuse aside, what's to stop the bad guys from getting an override 'device') but I would want the additional safety.

    - Legislate to prevent those with certain mental illnesses, violent criminals etc from owning guns legally. This can't be a bad idea, can it?

    - Wait (a few years) for these "safer" guns to be accepted and widely adopted, then legislate that all legally held guns must have the safety device.

    - Now you can start taking the illegal guns from the 'bad' guys.

    No quick fix but better than doing nothing...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Quick Fix

      I don't want the so-called "safety" device, thank you. I and my kids are perfectly capable of being trained in the safe handling of firearms.

      Legislation to ban guns to violent criminals (felons) already exists. You can tell how many of them follow the law (they're felons).

      Mandates and confiscation WILL cause a civil war.

      Obama flapped his jaw about all that "feel good" stuff, but never once mentioned about further action against criminal use of a gun (never mind the criminals themselves). Weld the gaol door closed.

      1. Mr.Mischief

        Re: No Quick Fix

        I seriously doubt that the pro-gun lobby really read what is being proposed and instead cranked up the rage-o-meter to 11.

        So they close the loophole allowing people to buy guns at gun shows with no background checks. How does that equate to "government coming to take my guns"?

        And they close the loophole of people on terrorist watch lists being able to buy guns, or people with mental issues. How does that equate to "government coming to take my guns"? Are all gun owners on the terrorist watch list or mental?

        So they advocate for more safety and regulations. How does that equate to "government coming to take my guns". AFAIK the second amendment does call for a "well regulated militia".

        But if poor Mr. Ahmed Mohammed bin Laden wants a gun with no background checks, watch the "rage-o-meter" get turned way down.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: No Quick Fix

          @ Mr.Mischief

          "I seriously doubt that the pro-gun lobby really read what is being proposed and instead cranked up the rage-o-meter to 11."

          I expect it has a lot more to do with intentions. For example the surveys tend to show people wanting greater safety in gun sales. However we also have active evidence of the lack of trust in the anti-gun nut Obama who is currently looking to bypass the law to enforce a substantial change in the law in an attempt to open the powers to actually do what he wants to do (and keeps shouting about) removing guns. He cant get past it. He achieved little and put the US in a worse position than Bush (hell of an achievement) but yet the one thing which really bugs him is he cant take away everyones guns? He is a nutter!

          I wonder what would happen if sensible proposals were suggested by someone who actually cared about the people instead of the pet project. The gun nuts would rally against but the majority I expect would support meaningful change as long as it wasnt some untrustworthy nutter.

          Give em an inch

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No Quick Fix

            " yet the one thing which really bugs him is he cant take away everyones guns? He is a nutter!

            I'm not 100% sure where you're from, I'm assuming the US as you have (as you're entitled to do) a strong opinion about the president.

            My opinion from the UK is that he's fed up of time and time again having to address the nation after yet another massacre caused in part by the easy availably of firearms, and having to say time and time again "What a tragedy, we must do something about preventing scenarios like this happening", but being powerless because the NRA and the opposition parties just dig their heels in.

            As I read it, he's not trying to take everyone's gun away, just wanting to implement some fairly basic background checks before letting someone purchase one. Sounds like a sensible idea to me, and I respect the fact that he's pushed it through even without support. From where I'm sitting, the nutters are the paranoids with their fingers on the trigger and 2000 rounds of ammo stashed in the kitchen cupboard.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: No Quick Fix

              @AC

              "I'm not 100% sure where you're from, I'm assuming the US as you have (as you're entitled to do) a strong opinion about the president."

              In the UK but I understand the confusion.

              "As I read it, he's not trying to take everyone's gun away, just wanting to implement some fairly basic background checks before letting someone purchase one"

              It sounds that way every time you look at his comments in isolation at certain events but his hatred of guns has been one of his main 'issues' since the beginning. And not the issue of making anything safer, he consistently rails against guns just because its a gun and then tries to claim to be moderate. Nothing moderate about his stance, no interest in facts, he would prefer to push on with 'agenda' and is currently setting up to bypass the checks and balances of law to implement his latest attempt.

              "Sounds like a sensible idea to me, and I respect the fact that he's pushed it through even without support"

              This is the funny part. There is huge support for further checks on gun sales, but nobody trusts POTUS. He is completely untrusted to the point that armed citizens watched a military exercise because they honestly believed he was trying to bypass the law and take their guns. And then he does this. There are some gun nutters who wont accept any change but that doesnt seem to be most. But most do fear the anti-gun nutters who make no secret of their desires but then claim to be moderate.

              "From where I'm sitting, the nutters are the paranoids with their fingers on the trigger and 2000 rounds of ammo stashed in the kitchen cupboard."

              To me there are nutters on both sides. Both pushing for outcomes which are dangerous. Some of the safest US states have the most liberal gun laws. US violent crime statistics often suffer from anti-gun states. Finding the right balance is the key and not giving to either extremist because they are both nutters.

              Again on my point of not trusting Obama-

              http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/republicans-seem-to-have-forgotten-their-icon-ronald-reagan-was-actually-far-tougher-on-guns-than-obama--by8DhSwxhl

        2. Vic

          Re: No Quick Fix

          And they close the loophole of people on terrorist watch lists being able to buy guns

          That one should raise red flags.

          Just because you're on a watch list, that doesn't mean you're going to do anything wrong. Governments do make mistakes, and will in the future - and that asusmes that the government is actually acting in the interests of the population, and not just abusing its powers because it can.

          We're all supposed to be innocent unless proven guilty, not innocent unless some jobsworth decides to take an interest in you...

          Vic.

  21. The March Hare

    Training

    As a Brit (ex military) I can see the uses for a firearm (hint: to kill) and can also see that the USA has a long history of permitting it's citizens to own and use firearms - it is extremely unlikely that this will change.

    It is also very unlikely that some magic technology will come along to stop The Wrong Person (TM) from firing the weapon, but why not do the thing that is possible to do now and force mandatory repeated training for all licensed owners?

    OK the criminal element will just laugh and they are uncontrollable anyway but regular refresher training and a once yearly loony check by your local doctor would surely go a long way to making gun ownership a bit safer?

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Training

      I like competitive shooting. I don't kill much other than recycled paper. But you are correct that firearms are a tool whose ultimate purpose is to put a lot of force into a small area very quickly. If a living organism is in the way...

      Forced training? Do you also advocate yearly driving tests?

      And you have just completely undermined your whole argument in one half of one sentence. Criminals are just that and I don't see why lawful citizens' rights should be infringed to not stop criminal activity. And I don't trust a "loony" check by a doctor who is getting forced by the Feds to meet quotas.

      I do believe in firearms proficiency. I believe it is every gun owner's responsibility to be properly trained in the use and care of any firearm they own. But it is their responsibility, not the government's. The owner should pay the price for not being proficient and safe also.

      I'm getting a little sick and tired of the massive restrictions placed on the public because of the actions of a relative few. My new truck has stability control that can't be disabled because some people can't be arsed to DRIVE, not just ride behind the wheel of their multi-ton death machine. I can't own a decent sized drone (not that I personally want one but that is beside the point) without registering it with the Feds because of a few dipshits. My new ladder cost multiples more because of multiple lawsuits finding manufacturers of ladders liable for the users standing on the top rung and dancing a jig. Surprise! If you fall from 6' above the ground because you didn't use any common sense it just might hurt. Ect, ect.

      Sorry about the rant but it is time to take the warning labels off and let nature take its course.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Training

        "Do you also advocate yearly driving tests?"

        Yes. For senior citizens over 70. Because someone more senior than citizen, so to speak, hurling two tons of metal around can be very dangerous.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Training

          "Do you also advocate yearly driving tests?"

          Yes. For senior citizens over 70. Because someone more senior than citizen, so to speak, hurling two tons of metal around can be very dangerous.

          Youngsters not so much...

          RACT Insurance has released statistics showing one in eight young drivers regularly checks emails or text messages while driving, compared with only one per cent of drivers over the age of 60.

          The research also shows 20 per cent of young drivers on Tasmanian roads admit regularly exceeding the speed limit.

          That figure is almost double the rate of the overall population.

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-28/reseach-highlights-bad-habits-in-younger-drivers/4717390

      2. Vic

        Re: Training

        Do you also advocate yearly driving tests?

        I certainly advocate re-testing every 5 to 10 years.

        I was 17 when I passed my test. No further assessment of my ability to drive is mandagted until I turn 70 - and even then, it's little more than self-assessment. And that, IMO, is why people get into bad habits; their skills go off slowly enough for them not to notice, but the cumulative effect of that degradation is enormous.

        I don't see why lawful citizens' rights should be infringed to not stop criminal activity

        Are you advocating the repeal of the need for a driving licence? The exact same argument applies...

        Vic.

  22. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    Question

    They don't seem to have this problem in Muslim countries. There the Mullah blesses the firearm and exhorts them to go out and shoot something. Twice

  23. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Alert

    The smart tech solution

    Kevlar® vests for all!

  24. AdamAdam

    I see how the next mass shooting at a school will be prevented by locks on guns.

    Sorry, Mr President of the US - this is just something to calm the waves but won't stop the hate and despair. It might save some parents from being shot by their two-year-olds.

    At the same time it will cause the right and far right to start foaming at their mouth and babbling about the constitution.

    Create a fair country where people don't feel they need to rob and kill and the rich pay their share and you might be onto something - and you might also keep all those shiny guns... but yeah... maybe trying to put a band-aid on the cancer might feel you a little better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alert

      Can't take it anymore

      > "Create a fair country where people don't feel they need to rob and kill..."

      Waaah! This country is so unfair! I feel the need to rob and kill!

  25. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Biometric guns, eh??

    I vote no. It's a nice thought, but what if your palm is sweaty when you need to fire in self-defense? What if your wife or GF needs to use the gun to chase away a burglar or something while you are not around, and she is not coded to use the pistol? What if you cut or burn your hand or have some kind of rash or skin problem for some reason? What if you just want to resell the gun to another law-abiding person, because you need the money or feel that you no longer need it?

    Biometrics are useful, but would I potentially bet my life on them working correctly? No, I wouldn't.

  26. John 104

    Tracking Stolen Weapons

    it is possible to do so in a way that makes the public safer and is consistent with the Second Amendment," the administration said.

    Never mind that pesky 4th amendment...

    As trustworthy as our wonderful US government is, I'm sure they would never keep track of innocent citizens with this technology. Yeah right...

    Looks like a big pay out to me.

    I caught about 5 seconds of the state of the union last night. Right at the point where the POTUS declared that "we need to stand up to lobbyists like the NRA and their lies." Then I turned it off.

    Never before in my adult life have I been more embarrassed by a president. The blatant partisan nonsense that comes from his mouth is disgusting. And people suck it up and believe it.

    It is like global warming, er, I mean Climate Change. Settled Science is it? Hardly. It is a working theory. But hey, if we say it enough times from the bully pulpit, people will believe it. Never mind the scientific method.

    Of course, our choices for the next election are so much better. A loudmouth and a criminal. Awesome.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cash for Cronies

    This fantasy tech push by Obama is nothing more than a cash give-away to his friends before he is booted from office. Tracking guns does not prevent a crim from getting a gun. Gun locks won't prevent a crim from using a gun or building an IED or using a knife or chemicals or cars, planes and trains to impose harm on people. This pandering to the mindless public on gun control illustrates that Obama has no real interest in reducing the crime problem.

    The white collar crime by Obama since he's been in office is staggering and deplorable. Obama's frequent violation the U.S. Constitutional separation of governmental power to allow up to 20 million criminal aliens to reside in the U.S. without prosecution completely circumventing U.S. immigration laws is incomprehensible and illegal. If you want to reduce violent crime and terrorism, train civilians how to properly use a firearm and license those capable of proper use. Taking a knife to a gun fight is a good way to end up dead. Outlawing guns means only the outlaws will have guns and the citizenry is completely defenseless to an attack. When authorities are called to a violent crime in progress or an act of terrorism, do they show up without guns? It would be irresponsible to do so and that is why an armed, licensed and properly trained populace can deter a lot of crime.

    BTW, for those who are naïve enough to believe strong gun control laws reduce crime, you are wrong. The stats show exactly who in the U.S. commit 85% of all violent crime and that one group fills prisons throughout the U.S. because they have been the source of major violence and crime in the U.S. for over 50 years. The U.S. Dept. of Justice is the source of these statistics and it paints a very clear picture of who the perps are. Each generation of perps multiplies exponentially making it impossible for authorities to combat the growth of crims. The numbers don't lie but it's not politically correct to use the DOJ statistics to properly address the violent crime issues in the U.S. because the problem centers on one primary race which exist in a very small quantity of just 3% in Blighty compared to almost 18% in the U.S. and growing annually. When you look at the big picture it's not difficult to understand or fix the problem - it's just not politically correct to do so.

    Thus the violent crime / gun problem serves as an excellent means to disperse hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars to agencies and businesses that have supported the criminal behavior of the Obama administration over the past seven years. Anyone who doubts the above only has to check the DOJ statistics for yourself - but few will. The majority will just believe the rhetoric spewed by the media - as if it were actually true.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cash for Cronies

      You are not allowed to say that blacks commit more crime without blaming white racism for causing it.

      Wait, strike that. You are not allowed, PERIOD.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a late post granted but I'm sorry, technology won't help because guns don't kill people. Hell, bullets don't even kill people. Guns + Bullets + People kill people. All the technology in the world is not going to change those basic maths.

    If they want to curb gun violence, I think Chris Rock said it best:

    "All bullets should cost $5,000. If a bullet cost $5,000 each, there would be no more innocent bystanders."

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