Let’s assume that there is a technology solution that would eventually solve mass shootings. What might that look like?
First, we know that it doesn’t involve gun owners registering guns, gun buybacks, waiting periods, making lists of gun owners, taxing gun owners, ‘Red Flag’ laws or any of the normal ways involving government regulation of normal human beings or human beings who are enough normal that you can’t tell between them.
In today’s environment, if you want a weapon, you can get a weapon and trying to remove weapons from everyone in the hope of keeping a 100 or so people from getting and using a weapon is silly on the face of it.
Since we all agree that people committing mass murder is both illegal and really bad, let’s consider some out of the box options.
For instance, what if a gun capable of firing X number of rounds in Y number of seconds was incapable of firing within any geographic area as designated by the vote of citizens in that area?
Technically, how could you do that? Well, it’s actually pretty easy and would simply require a GPS chip along with a database that was automatically updated as new restrictions were passed or removed. You try to take the weapon into one of those areas and it won’t work. Not only that, the weapon could even alert authorities.
How about if the weapon detected that it was being fired in a random way? In other words, the barrel was moving too quickly for it to be used for shooting at a single target. That would be easy to implement.
How about target identification? Could the gun detect that it was pointing toward a human being? Of course it could! It could also differentiate between a four legged creation and a two legged one. A simpler version would be able to detect heat signatures of living creatures.
It would also be possible to shut the weapon down remotely by the pull of an emergency switch. What if an AR-15 had WiFi and if it showed up somewhere it didn’t belong, the system automatically disabled the weapon and called the police? That would be simple!
“Yeah but I really want to pop someone in the ass who’s breaking into my house with an AR-15.”
If we wanted to tackle that problem from a technical perspective, we could certainly do that. What is the best weapon that could be used at close range that would have the highest opportunity for totally incapacitating an intruder that was also going to be used by someone with a low skill level?
The answer here is probably something like a shotgun in the sense that it has a wide dispersion patter. [Note 1] Personally, I’d like something that could shoot stinging darts in multiple volleys. Something below lethal but above something that’s going to hurt like hell. I’d even allow the gun to automatically escalate to lethal once it’s tried everything else. Of course, it needs a video camera and it needs to record audio as well.
The bottom line is that if we want a weapon for home defense, let’s design a really bad-assed one! Not only that, let’s network it to the refrigerator to throw down ice cubes and to the washing machine to dump a load of water. Network it to a Tesla and stand the HELL BACK!
Now let’s go back to 2A and the “I need an AR-15 or similar weapon as a deterrent to my own government getting out of hand” argument. I honestly don’t know where to go with this since while I understand it, I think it’s a losing argument which is why we don’t use it in public very often.
There are intended and unintended consequences here. One of the unintended consequences is that people will ultimately figure out how to hack the computer/GPS controlled weapon. This is just an annoyance to the government assuming young brain-damaged males who are committing mass murder aren’t smart enough or don’t have the money to be able to do it. An intended consequence is that the timing to requiring computer/GPS control will be so long that there will be a huge number of AR-15s in people’s hands for a long time. Another unintended (perhaps intended) consequence is that if you really think you need a weapon like this, you’re going to find a way to either make one or import one. If you just want one for target shooting or hunting, you can still have it. However, it’s no longer a viable solution for home protection.
The point being that we can solve the problem of young brain-damaged males getting easy access to weapons that are designed for killing multiple targets simply as part of a fantasy or “fascination” with guns.
As I write this, I can can come up with all sorts of reasons why my ideas stink. Perhaps there’s a good idea out there that will solve the problem and keep our 2A rights intact.
[Dammit but I hate it when Joe Biden is right!]