Another path to reducing gun accidents

Talking Points Memo yesterday passed along another Responsible Gun Owner Fail:

An Orlando, Fla. man accidentally discharged a gun on Friday, first striking a 12-year-old girl in a moving car then himself immediately after, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Ventura Santos Mateo, 60, was in his garage teaching a friend how to clean his gun….

Investigators said he was holding a Sig Sauer pistol above his waist when the weapon discharged …

A police report said he won’t be charged

When I learned how to shoot, I was taught the following three things:

  • Only point a weapon at something or someone that you intend to kill
  • Always assume a weapon is loaded, and the safety is off. 
  • You are always responsible for your weapon until the weapon is in the armory’s gun safe.

Can we incorporate these basic assumptions into civil law where the assumption is that any discharge (intentional or accidental) is the responsibility of the owner of the weapon and therefore the owner is liable for whatever damage a bullet fired from his weapon causes.  Liability would follow even stolen weapons if reasonable efforts to secure the weapon were not made.  Storing a rifle in an unlocked garage would be defined as negligent behavior.  Storing a rifle in a locked gun safe which was then blowtorched open to steal the contents of the gun safe would be considered reasonable precautions and wipe away liability. 

There have been attempts to regulate firearms as a consumer protection issue, but the NRA is too strong.  This proposal moves responsibility down the chain to the individual owner instead of the manufacturer. 

The rational response of creating the assumption that the weapon owner is liable absent extraordinary cirucmstances instead of the current assumption that shit happens is for responsible owners to buy insurance to cover their liability.  Speaking as an insurance company bureaucrat, I would assume insurance companies would offer good rates to individuals who own longarms instead of handguns, who have a gun safe, who have trigger locks, who have gone to safety classes and who have otherwise demonstrated that they actually are reasonably likely to be safe. 

Individuals who think “tactical” mastabatory fantasies are reality and believe that everyone should have a loaded pistol in their unlocked night stand even if they have two pre-kindergarteners in the house would probably be rated as high risk for negligent discharge.  Individuals who have more weapons than fingers would probably be rated as risky.  Individuals who have a history of accidental discharge would be rated as risky. 

I’m not a fan of using liberterianish policy making as a first best choice, but my political judgement is that this type of regulation is the only viable away forward right now.  And going back to my health policy wonkery, reducing gun woundings means lower trauma costs, and lower recovery costs to cover.

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143 replies
  1. 1
    hitchhiker says:

    Does anyone know if the family of the girl has cause for action against the man’s estate? Under our current laws, does that exist?

  2. 2
    russell says:

    require gun owners to carry liability insurance, and let the market price out the knuckleheads.

    this will have the added advantage of providing some remedy, however inadequate, to the folks that get shot by these numbskulls.

  3. 3
    tbunny says:

    Amen. I would be interested to learn more about how liability applies to guns. I’ve heard that they are exempt from product safety laws that apply to all other objects. To whatever extent guns are exempt from such liabilities, there is a de facto subsidy for gun manufacturers.

  4. 4
    wenchacha says:

    You have outlined a good start. I hope lawmakers will follow your plan.

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    Individuals who have more weapons than fingers thumbs would probably be rated as risky.

    FTFY.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    “Never, never let you gun
    Pointed be at anyone.
    That it should unloaded be
    Matters not the least to me.”

    Doesn’t everyone learn that?

  7. 7
    Mudge says:

    What would have happened if he had been in a car and mistook the accelerator for the break pedal? Probably charged, but he would have car insurance (and I still do not know why medical is charged on car insurance when there is now Obamacare). Gun owners insurance (discounts on multiple guns!) and allow gun manufacturers to be sued. But of course, gun insurance is defacto registration and gun manufacturers have powerful lobbies.

  8. 8
    danimal says:

    I like the idea of firearm insurance for the same reasons you mention. It is the most feasible, though still unlikely, option to combat gun violence. It also has the advantage of making libertarian heads explode as they try to find gunowner exceptions to their individual responsibility charade.

    The NRA will be opposed, of course, since they are, at heart, a trade group promoting gun sales and not a political movement based on libertarian, 2nd amendment-lovin’ principles.

  9. 9
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    Lock your doors and hide the family, Richard. Wayne LaPierre is probably sending out his winged monkeys to spirit you away as we type.

    Seriously, I can’t see the NRA letting this (great) idea draw a single breath of life. Not to say that actuaries never get their say, though:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....as-schools

  10. 10
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Uh, no. In my family, more like “Don’t point that weapon at anything you don’t want to kill, especially not person. Guns are always loaded and the safety is always even if they’re not loaded and the safety is on and they’re disassembled. You will be instantly punished every time I see you breaking this rule, because it’s better that I punish you now than you kill a family member and have to live with that.”

  11. 11
    Reader K says:

    I’ve always wondered who is paying for all these ‘accidents’ – ER, EE…some combination of two? Hospital write-offs? I would think most ER sponsored plans would not be too happy about spending resources on these medical interventions…

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    Richard you are forgetting these three steps from the NRA:

    1. Mail in NRA Lifetime membership payment.

    2. Wave guns around in public.

    3. Unlimited corporate cash!

  13. 13
    SatanicPanic says:

    A police report said he won’t be charged

    I don’t know why this is still shocking to me but it is.

  14. 14
    beth says:

    I’m of the same mind as Richard – you want a gun, you should carry liability insurance and if you harm someone or accidentally discharge it in public you lose your guns for 6 months for the first offense and have to take a gun safety class to get them back. Why is that so difficult? Wouldn’t that kind of regulation be easier to pass and get through a court challenge than actually banning guns or ammunition?

  15. 15
    clawback says:

    How about you’re just fully liable for whatever happens with your gun? If it’s stolen that’s sufficient evidence you haven’t secured it.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Holden Pattern: Less poetic, but, yes, all guns, even the unloaded ones, are loaded. All safeties, even the ones that are on, are off. And so on. Seems paranoid, but no one in my family has ever accidentally shot anyone, so I’ll just call it sensible precautions.

  17. 17
    indycat32 says:

    The Indiana legislature will soon pass the “its OK to bring your gun to school as long as it’s locked in your car and the school can’t make a rule to contrary” law because it wouldn’t be fair to charge a person with a felony just because he forgot his gun was in the car when he went to pick up his kid. I say if you don’t remember you have a gun in your car, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun at all.

  18. 18
    cmorenc says:

    @hitchhiker:

    Does anyone know if the family of the girl has cause for action against the man’s estate? Under our current laws, does that exist?

    Short answer: yes (at least in principle), as a case of simple negligence law that’s part of the common-law of every state – the caveat being that this common-law has now become embedded and modified in the statutory scheme of most states, which may contain limitations or exemptions stuck in there by various interest-groups (such as the NRA). I frankly don’t know whether Florida law contains any special exceptions for individuals (as opposed to gun manufacturers) to negligence liability involving firearms.

    Of course, to say that the girl has a cause of action for negligence against the man (or his estate) simply means that in principle, she has enough material to get the case to a civil jury – it’s still up to the jury to decide if the man “cleaning” the gun failed to excercise due care in its handling, according to the “reasonable man” standard. With respect to firearms, that might cut two ways – people supportive and comfortable with firearms might actually be possibly more rather than less likely to regard the man’s cleaning a firearm without checking to make sure it was unloaded as inexcusably negligent. OTOH you might get some genuinely gun-nutty people on the jury who are able to hide their inclinations sufficiently to avoid getting bounced during jury selection.

    A quirk in negligence law that is also worth considering is that some materials are considered “dangerous instrumentalities” e.g. dynamite, in which the “reasonable man” standard is stringent enough to be just short of strict liability for any failure to take preventative measures. I really don’t know the state of Florida law with respect to firearms and “dangerous instrumentalities”, aside from the ordinary framework of “reasonable man” negligence law.

    Yes, there’s also the issue that the negligence also has to be the “proximate cause” of the injury – but I seriously doubt that element would be in problematic question if the jury found the man’s handling of the gun to be negligent in the first place.

  19. 19
    C.V. Danes says:

    Of course, if he had run over the 12 year old with his car, he would be facing charges for vehicular homicide or reckless endangerment, but hey, what’s an accidental shooting between friends, right?

  20. 20
    RuhRow_Gyro says:

    An IQ test would be more effective, and more efficient to administrate.

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    Speaking with Cincinnati radio host Bill Cunningham on Sunday, Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt delightedly told a second-hand story about of a member of his group lobbying a congresswoman, who reportedly told the GOA member, “You want to shoot me, don’t you.”

    Pratt said he didn’t think this man actually wanted to shoot the congresswoman, but added, “that’s probably a healthy fear for them to have.”

    “You know, I’m kind of glad that’s in the back of their minds,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll behave.”

    Via Right Wing Watch.

  22. 22
    Tommy says:

    Only point a weapon at something or someone that you intend to kill.

    Glad I am not alone in my folks teaching me this. Said over and over.

  23. 23

    I don’t think requiring insurance would pass any state legislature but the most progressive ones simply for the fact that you’d probably have the NRA and gun owners screaming about the database of gun owners the insurance companies would then possess.

    We are a nation that doesn’t mind sacrificing our children to Moloch if it lets a few assholes feel like real men.

  24. 24
    beth says:

    @gbear: Holy shit, that guy’s nuts. But isn’t that the group that raised money for Zimmerman to buy more guns?

  25. 25
    srv says:

    Richard should be required to carry liability insurance to protect his First Ammendment Rights.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RuhRow_Gyro: I can think of large number of ostensibly high IQ people who I would not trust to handle a gun safely.

  27. 27
    Botsplainer says:

    The first thing I do when cleaning a firearm is to remove the cable lock from the open breech, as it loops down through the empty magazine slot (I don’t store loaded weapons). I then visually inspect from the breech down the barrel, to ensure that no round is present.

    Even on confirmation that it is empty, it remains pointed downward if my finger is anywhere near the trigger. I then disassemble it for cleaning and lubrication.

    Good habits are safe habits. Do these things every single time, and you’ll never have an accidental discharge while cleaning.

  28. 28
    C.V. Danes says:

    @indycat32:

    The Indiana legislature will soon pass the “its OK to bring your gun to school as long as it’s locked in your car and the school can’t make a rule to contrary” law…

    I seem to remember back in my high school days in KY that people would regularly have rifles and shotguns in the gun racks of their trucks because many of them would go hunting after school. Didn’t seem to be much of a problem back then, but, of course, we live in what seems to be a much more violent world now.

  29. 29
    SatanicPanic says:

    @gbear: Woah, they’re straight up admitting to being terrorists

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @srv: Yeah, let me know when yelling causes bodily injury (only if you’re a Fremen).

  31. 31

    @SatanicPanic: That’s usually what they mean by an armed society is a polite one: one where everyone is afraid to disagree with or challenge the gun owners.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    It’s a sensible idea, which is why it doesn’t stand a snowflake’s chance in hell of gaining any traction, even if 90% of Americans support it. To paraphrase Steve M (again), it is Wayne LaPierre’s world; we’re just sheltering in place in it.

  33. 33
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @SatanicPanic: This is absolutely mind boggling to me too. This whole attitude of “accidents will happen” is why they continue to happen to usually the same idiots.

    At work we treat every incident as preventable and find a root cause. More often than not, it is a human failure that has led to the incident. The point of assigning the blame is to get that person some assistance to ensure that incident does not occur with them again, not necessarily to punish him.
    In these gun cases, charging them and then sentencing them to attend a real gun safety class or some other community service is entirely appropriate.
    I honestly wonder how many of these “accidental” firings [you know, the ones where the gun just went off] are actually due to manufacturing issues or faulty repair or maintenance? Do the police actually do a thorough inspection of the weapon to ensure it is working properly?

  34. 34
    Tommy says:

    @gbear: Wow. My dad owns a lot of guns. Most folks I know own a lot of guns. I own none. They all wouldn’t let me handle their guns, cause I know nothing about them. How they work. How to use them in a safe manner. I don’t know a single gun owner that does not care about safety. Not a single one.

  35. 35
    Belafon says:

    @C.V. Danes: Actually, I think the issue is that a significant number of the ones with guns are either stupid or crazy. Just like I don’t care for 9/11 truthers being used to represent me, you would think gun owners wouldn’t like having idiots representing them.

  36. 36
    Eric U. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: there is some popular long rifle where the safety is off even when it’s on. Because of the liability exemption, the manufacturer refuses to fix it, or at least they haven’t recalled the defective ones. Of course, the fix is trivial and people have died because of this.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    “They’ve suffered enough.”

    /gun-waving cops and DAs

  38. 38
    aimai says:

    @Tommy: You know plenty, they just haven’t accidentally shot their own toddlers yet.

    Look, the insurance liability issue is great and should of course be pressed but why you think there is any workaround around the NRA is beyond me. The truth is that ordinary people in this country, the crazy and the not crazy, rather assume that there are laws out there protecting people from irresponsible gun owners or that its a risk we all have to take in order for Freedumb. Of course there should be a single law for the entire country that lisences guns to particular owners, that demands insurance coverage, and that is renewed with “points” taken off for any incident involving the gun–negligent discharge, accidental injury, failure to account for the bullets fired, property damage, etc…etc..etc… Of course there should be a law that makes it impossible for a person who has proven negligent in the past, or lost their marbles in the present, to own or store guns useable guns in their own homes.

    But how is such a law to be advanced through our torturous and entirely corrupt legislature? They have literally prevented doctors from asking patients about guns in the home. They have prevented the collection and maintenance of any kind of database relating to guns. They can ticket your damned car and keep a record of the infraction for years but these negligent discharges and injuries just get vanished down the memory hole and have absolutely no effect on the right of the given owner to own and use the gun. Look at the case of the blind man in florida who just shot his own friend to death? He’d already been charged, lightly, with firing 12 times at his own cousin and only not killing him because, being blind, he missed. 12 times. And he still retained his right to own guns.

  39. 39
    Botsplainer says:

    Tulip bulb futures look more promising than BTC. Another exchange (Poloniex) is robbed, this time, 12%. I guess the thieves gained the Cloak of Invincibility and The Sword of Acquisition from their sojourn at Mt Gox.

    http://www.techweekeurope.co.u.....fts-140735

  40. 40
    Samuel Lockhart says:

    I like this idea very much and I would add to it a compulsory registry of UNSAFE GUN OWNERS (those who have had an accident for which they have been found to be at fault) as a database you could see on a map of the neighborhood, and require UNSAFE OWNERS moving in to advise their neighbors, like sex offenders.

    I’d like to see the NRA defend the privacy rights of witless a-holes.

  41. 41
    Chris says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Funnily enough, a similar threat directed as a corporate prick would be considered union thuggery, terrorism, and Stalinism. It’s okay to terrorize elected officials because they might institute fascism one day, but doing the same to any other kind of elites is going way over the line.

  42. 42
    gbear says:

    @cmorenc:

    it’s still up to the jury to decide if the man “cleaning” the gun failed to excercise due care in its handling, according to the “reasonable man” standard.

    I cannot grasp the concept that delivering bullets into the body of a passing 12 year old girl might be regarded as exercising due care when handling the gun. The guy should be in jail.

    I’ve never owned a weapon and I’m not wired to want one. I’ve struggled with depression enough to know what the most likely outcome of having a gun in the house would be.

  43. 43
    Tommy says:

    @aimai: I have a gun permit. I don’t own a gun. Yes my state requires that. Just for when my father dies and well, I inherit his guns I do so legally. He made me get said permit. Just the way my state rolls.

  44. 44
    🎂 Martin says:

    A police report said he won’t be charged

    Of course not, he didn’t miss.

    @Tommy: .

    I don’t know a single gun owner that does not care about safety.

    But that means nothing. I have a garage full of power tools. I care about safety, but do I care about safety enough. I own a table saw. Everyone I know who owns one cares about safety because it is the most likely (by far) tool to injure you, and it doesn’t injure lightly. It removes fingers and eyes incredibly efficiently. But I haven’t been willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a blade brake that would make the tool vastly safer, nor have 95% of the table saw owners out there.

    Caring about safety is a sliding scale that everyone can claim to be on. What matters is whether you care about safety enough, relative to the consequences of what can happen. And that’s the thing with guns. They are specifically designed to kill. They are also specifically designed to be readily used in that task (unlike a table saw). Their ergonomics optimize to that task. The ease of taking off the safety, pulling the trigger, and so on are all designed toward that one task. The consequences of these things are tremendously high and require not just caring about safety, but caring about safety to the same extent that guns are designed to kill things. I don’t know ANY gun owner that cares about safety to that extent – keeping it in a safe, cleaning it only when necessary (as opposed to whenever they feel like playing with it), etc. I have friends that clean their gun every week, without firing it during that period. There’s no point to that. It only opens up the opportunity for an incident. In fact, the familiarity of doing it breeds a contempt for the danger – it becomes so routine that they no longer think while doing it, so when their buddy comes over the routine is broken and thats when ‘accidents’ happen.

    But none of these things should be classified as accidents because the gun has only one purpose. The act of buying it declares your intention toward that goal, even if it is a noble goal such as self defense. From that moment forward, all responsibility lands on the gun owner. All of it. Every ‘accident’ should be prosecuted because every accident is evidence that the owner did not take safety as seriously as they needed to. Every ‘accident’ is negligence. Every one.

  45. 45
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Tommy: That’s because you know a different class of gun owners – the responsible ones. Those are the kind of gun owners I grew up around, and the kind I know now.

    Except I know a woman who keeps a loaded handgun on her nightstand when her husband is out of town on business. She’s an idiot, but I digress. She may have a sense that it’s not the norm, however. When the local gendarmes arrived a 6AM to serve a search warrant, she told her brother that “they didn’t say a word about her gun.” I wanted to point out to her that they were much more concerned with the images on her (22 yo) son’s computer, which they seized. I refrained, because there is no point.

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Botsplainer:
    From the story at your link, it appears the Bitcoin crash may have taken a life. It reports that the CEO of a Bitcoin exchange in Singapore has apparently committed suicide at the age of 28.

  47. 47
    Botsplainer says:

    A history of Bitcoin theft, from back in the fall.

    Bitcoin.org, the semi-official voice of the Bitcoin community, says “the whole system is protected by heavily peer-reviewed cryptographic algorithms like those used for online banking. No organization or individual can control Bitcoin, and the network remains secure even if not all of its users can be trusted.”

    But Bitcoin is not secure.

    There have been dozens of robberies of Bitcoin banks and exchanges, and millions of dollars have been lost.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com.....z2v6j2xQC7

  48. 48
    gbear says:

    Could insurance companies approach the gun insurance thing from the other side and issue discounts to households that will sign a statement declaring that their home is gun-free? The gun owners wouldn’t have to declare what they owned, but they wouldn’t get the discount on their homeowners insurance. There could be substantial penalties for lying about it if an ‘accident’ happened with a homeowner-owned gun.

  49. 49
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Chris: Also OK to terrorize- your wife, your kids, black teenagers, etc.

    They act all shocked that we’ve caught on it has nothing to do with defending against tyranny (whatever that words means these days)

  50. 50
    kindness says:

    I was taught that as soon as you pick up a firearm unload it. Even if you saw someone unload it already. Try to pull the magazine, clear the chamber. Boy Scout stuff.

    Today’s gun humpers lurvs them some guns so much they can’t think about getting to first base with the gun. They immediately act like they’ve hit a triple and are about to get lucky. And don’t tell me that sex isn’t involved. It is, in their heads at least. With gun they are macho he beings. Without gun they are pimply freshmen.

  51. 51
    Botsplainer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    From the story at your link, it appears the Bitcoin crash may have taken a life. It reports that the CEO of a Bitcoin exchange in Singapore has apparently committed suicide at the age of 28.

    It may be reflective of fear of what some aggrieved Bitcoin depositors may be capable of. Easier and less painful to commit suicide.

  52. 52
    Citizen_X says:

    @gbear: So, if Larry Pratt visits Florida and an elected official shoots him on sight, wouldn’t that person have a legitimate stand-your-ground defense?

  53. 53
    Botsplainer says:

    @kindness:

    Today’s gun humpers lurvs them some guns so much they can’t think about getting to first base with the gun.

    To be fair, most of them can’t.

    That 90 foot distance between home plate and first base will cause a lot of wheezing.

  54. 54
    David in NY says:

    @cmorenc: The problem is not so much tort law (which you summarize pretty clearly) but that the people who are dumb enough to do this stuff also tend to be too dumb to have accumulated any money and are judgment proof. That’s why insurance is probably the real key here.

  55. 55
    Aimai says:

    @Samuel Lockhart: but they already fought back even the barest attempt to publish the addresses of gun owners. Right After Newtowne.

  56. 56
    Citizen_X says:

    @Samuel Lockhart:

    I would add to it a compulsory registry of UNSAFE GUN OWNERS (those who have had an accident for which they have been found to be at fault) as a database you could see on a map of the neighborhood, and require UNSAFE OWNERS moving in to advise their neighbors, like sex offenders.

    I like this idea! I don’t think it would pass, but, yes, it would be helpful to see the NRA, GOA, etc defending the dangerous irresponsible people.

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I’m not a fan of using liberterianish policy making as a first best choice, but my political judgement is that this type of regulation is the only viable away forward right now.

    Nope. It makes a tremendous amount of sense, and shouldn’t be controversial, but it won’t make it out of the gate because it would reduce manufacturers’ profits.

  58. 58
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Belafon:

    Actually, I think the issue is that a significant number of the ones with guns are either stupid or crazy.

    No argument from me there. No doubt, also, due to the fact that there are many, many more guns out there now, which means that the probability that some will fall into the hands of the stupid/crazy is much higher than it used to be.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    NonyNony says:

    Honestly, I’ve been pushing the “gun owners should have to have liability insurance” message for decades now. The responsible gun owners I know (you know – the ones who use them only for hunting or target shooting) agree with me. They didn’t always agree with me – they thought it was unneeded because there weren’t that many irresponsible gun owners out there.

    What has turned them around? Obama’s election. All of the crazy people coming out of the woodwork afraid that Obama is going to take their guns has a) finally convinced them that I was right about all the nuts who are interested in guns and b) have started scaring the shit out of some of them at the target ranges with how lax they are with loaded weapons. Hell two of them have stopped target shooting entirely now, because it’s no fun to be at the range surrounded by paranoid nuts who think they’re training to take down a home invader, instead of just, you know, target shooting.

    But it’s an excellent idea and it should be pushed. The libertarian nuts will scream, but someone needs to be paying the medical bills from these gun injuries, and there’s no reason that responsibility should fall solely on the health insurance companies of the victims.

  61. 61
    Gex says:

    It strikes me as bad policy, and far too easy, to get out of charges for shooting someone by saying, “Oops!”

    Yet here we are. This is far from the first time and it won’t be the last time I’ll read an article about a gun owner accidentally shooting someone or letting their child accidentally shoot someone in which I read that authorities likely won’t charge the gun owner.

  62. 62
    TRNC says:

    @russell: Yup, I’ve thought about liability insurance requirements, too. Considering that 1) it’s required for vehicles, and 2) gun related deaths and injuries are expected to exceed automobile deaths and injuries soon, there is no credible reason to require for one and not the other.

  63. 63
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I don’t think requiring insurance would pass any state legislature but the most progressive ones simply for the fact that you’d probably have the NRA and gun owners screaming about the database of gun owners the insurance companies would then possess.

    Somebody really, really needs to hack the NRA and steal their membership database and put it on the internet.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @russell: The NRA will fight this tooth and nail, because the knuckleheads are the target consumers for the merchants of death. To me, this is a good, sane, market driven approach, but there’s that political viability problem. These clowns love “the market” except when it steps on them, and this would most assuredly do so.

    As to Richard’s original:

    I’m not a fan of using liberterianish policy making as a first best choice, but my political judgement is that this type of regulation is the only viable away forward right now.

    I’m a fan of whatever works. If it has a libertarianish tinge, so be it. There’s the problem of “responsible gun owners” who use the Spock-With-A-Beard universe definition of “responsible”, and then there’s the problem of unhinged assholes ala George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn dispensing out justice on all those Nat Turner wanabees out there, threatening their very lives with skittles and thug music.

  65. 65
    muddy says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I know a woman who keeps a loaded gun with the safety off in her nightstand. She has to leave the safety off because she can’t work the action. She also has a mentally ill adult son who lives with her. Actually it’s one of his guns. I’m not sure honestly which of them makes me more nervous.

    I won’t go to their home. Ever.

  66. 66
    TRNC says:

    @RuhRow_Gyro: There are plenty of evil people with average or above average IQs. I suspect Wayne LaPierre is one of them.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer:

    They’re also clad in Boots of Swift Departure.

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    There is only one way to fix this problem: More guns. Seriously, no bullshit. If we want gun control, then we’re gonna have to start signing up every eligible person of color in this country for a concealed carry license. When we register people to vote, we sign up for a concealed carry. Take up plate collections to pay the fees, hire the NRA dipshits Instructors to come in and teach the safety course after church, make big, loud, public outings of taking their worst motherfuckin’ nightmare to the range and teaching young, black “thugs” how to use an M4 carbine. We’ll have strict gun control within a year.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gbear:

    Yup, textbook terrorists.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy:

    Worked in California in the 60’s. Ronald Reagan, the most sainted shitty grade Z movie star, was eager to sign the most restrictive gun control laws of the era. All it took was Black Panthers brandishing long guns in Sacramento to do it.

  71. 71
    Sherparick says:

    I think the police in Florida need a refresher course in the law. The governing statute in Florida is:

    2013 Florida Statutes, l784.05 Culpable negligence.—
    (1) Whoever, through culpable negligence, exposes another person to personal injury commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    (2) Whoever, through culpable negligence, inflicts actual personal injury on another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    The statute goes on directly to discuss firearms and accidental shootings within families (granting a great deal of discretion to prosecutors and police in such cases, but that does not apply here. I mean I can google it in 10 seconds, you would think the Florida cops could as well. I think they have been so propagandized by the NRA down there that except when it is Black woman shooting a warning shot, it is you can’t commit a crime with your own gun unless you had some other criminal intent.

    I do love the exemptions for shooting “…injuries resulting from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents;” Gee, I guess no reason worry whether that is a person or a deer when out hunting, since if it is a deer all is good, if a person, while it was their tough luck. I guess this is the Dick Cheney exception.

  72. 72
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Ir’s time for the Second Amendment to be taken 100% literally: You want a firearm? Join your National Guard.

    Period.

    Full Stop.

  73. 73
    Don says:

    I like the idea of firearm insurance for the same reasons you mention. It is the most feasible, though still unlikely, option to combat gun violence. It also has the advantage of making libertarian heads explode as they try to find gunowner exceptions to their individual responsibility charade.

    Ha ha, as if. That crowd suddenly turns into the most concerned-about-the-poor bunch you might ever see the moment you want to do anything that might cost a potential gun purchaser/owner money. Mandatory training classes? Bring the fainting couch! Never mind that you’re talking about a several-hundred-dollar purchase and notably more in many cases. Never mind that they’ve driven the cost of ammo sky-high with their lunacy and hoarding.

    Somebody really, really needs to hack the NRA and steal their membership database and put it on the internet.

    They have a level of paranoia about association with the organization that is kind of amazing; I bet their membership database security is high-test. I got certified for their range out in Fairfax many years ago and they gave me an access card with just a number on it. They stated they don’t put your name on the thing in case it were to get lost and thereby connect you with the organization. I’m sure some of this is the bizarre “nobody should know I has a gun!” attitude that runs through a sizable percentage of the culture. Never mind that you can’t get most of them to STFU about guns and anyone they’ve spoken to for more than 9 seconds knows they own one/several.

  74. 74
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Exactly. It’s time to take this shit nationwide. OTOH, being white, I don’t face the valid threat of being shot and killed for being a black man/ woman exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. I’m not sure how to resolve that.

  75. 75
    Mandalay says:

    @muddy:

    I know a woman who keeps a loaded gun with the safety off in her nightstand. She has to leave the safety off because she can’t work the action. She also has a mentally ill adult son who lives with her.

    There is promising development in gun technology that may be able to address issues like this:

    One of California’s largest firearm stores recently added a peculiar new gun to its shelves. It requires an accessory: a black waterproof watch.

    The watch’s primary purpose is not to provide accurate time, though it does. The watch makes the gun think. Electronic chips inside the gun and watch communicate with each other. If the watch is within close reach of the gun, a light on the grip turns green. Fire away. No watch means no green light. The gun becomes a paperweight.

    This is not a winning solution yet – the technology is new, and the guns are expensive. But it is promising for gun owners who want to be responsible. Stolen guns won’t work. Teens won’t be able to use a parent’s gun to commit suicide. And even gun nuts may really like the idea of owning a gun that cannot be fired by anyone else.

  76. 76
    Gremcat says:

    In Florida they are already introducing bills that would cut any insurance requirements off at the pass, by claiming that insurance companies are discriminating against gun owners.

  77. 77
    russell says:

    The NRA will fight this tooth and nail

    Then the rest of us need to acquire teeth and nails as well.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gremcat: Auto insurance discriminates against bad drivers. Oh well.

  79. 79
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: Not gonna happen. Ever. And no, gun nuts will not support anything that makes it slightly more difficult for them to ejaculate fire a gun.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gremcat:

    Well of course they would be, because a lot of gun owners are irresponsible, negligent assholes who would never be able to get insured. Which causes the cash registers of the merchants of death to stop jingling. Which means the NRA is on its ass in protecting the interests of its true masters.

  81. 81
    Jay C says:

    Ventura Santos Mateo, 60, was in his garage teaching a friend how to clean his gun….

    Not doing a very good job, though: shouldn’t the first lesson be: “Make sure the gun isn’t loaded”???

  82. 82
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Shot happens

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    I agree with you, but the problem is that the felonious justice, willing agent of the parasite overclass, and coup plotter, Scalia, has effectively wiped out the first and second clauses of the 2nd Amendment. The need for a “well regulated militia” no longer seems to be on the radar of the USSC.

    The original intent of the Founders has been trashed in favor of the needs of gun fetishists to be overcompensated for their tiny dicks.

  84. 84
    Howard Beale IV says:

    There’s nothing like YouTube examples…..

  85. 85
    Punchy says:

    Wait a sec….a gun owner can shoot someone, “claim” it was an accident, and suddenly no charges can be filed? So “claiming accident” is a get-out-of-jail-free card? Can I claim that a BAL-related DUI was an accident, too? Can I claim that I accidently hit my neighbor with a tire iron?

    Holy shit, I had no idea that “accident” could be so legally powerful.

  86. 86
    Mandalay says:

    @Cassidy:

    Not gonna happen. Ever.

    You mean like cell phones never happened? Like computer tablets never happened? Like keyless cars never happened? Don’t bet against technology.

    Once the technology is proven and prices come down, guns that require some authentication mechanism to fire will be mainstream. That authentication could be biodata (e.g. a thumb print), or some separate electronic device.

    Once technology allows you to control who can fire your gun it will be a huge deal.

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah. So you could have just said you know nothing about guns or gun culture. Would have been a lot simpler.

  88. 88
    Trollhattan says:

    Silly pretend rules; there is only one Rule of Gun Ownership: “The minute you pick up a gun you become awesome.”

    Is that so hard, libtards?

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    The problem of all those pre-ID firearms still being in circulation will remain…and no matter how rock-solid the technology is, how fool-proof, there will still be those who refuse to adopt it because Cleek’s Law.

  90. 90
    Glocksman says:

    A few observations:

    Insurance coverage is a good idea.
    The problem is that even if coverage is made mandatory, there are some who just won’t get it.
    Some won’t because of cost, but I suspect most of the refuseniks will cite ideological reasons.

    It’d probably never pass, but I would support a $1 tax per 50 rounds along with similar taxes on powder and primers that would go to a universal gun accident victims insurance fund.
    After all, owners only buy a gun at retail once, but purchase ammo more often.

    As far as the Florida (again?) accidental negligent discharge goes, wouldn’t this guy’s homeowner’s insurance be on the hook?
    It happened in his garage as a direct result of his negligence.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan:

    This.

  92. 92
    Trollhattan says:

    @Jay C:

    I’m thinking it was more along the lines of, “There’s a giant lump clogging the chamber. There, we got it out!”

  93. 93
    Mandalay says:

    @Cassidy:

    So you could have just said you know nothing about guns or gun culture.

    Going with your usual ad hominems and ducking the issue as usual.

    If new technology changes how guns can be used (and disabled) it will find a market. Blathering about “gun culture” as though all gun owners are a homogenous group who all think the same way is nonsense.

  94. 94
    Glocksman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    My problem with current ‘safe gun’ tech is that police departments refuse to adopt it, claiming that it affects firearm reliability.
    If it does, I wouldn’t want it on a self defense weapon either.

    Retention holsters are already in use by almost every department in the country, so you’d think that cops would love the idea of a gun that becomes a useless lump of metal if someone grabs it away from them.

    Make a foolproof ‘safe gun’ and I’ll be one of the first in line to buy it as getting shot with my own weapon isn’t very appealing.

  95. 95
    aimai says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This old saw again? Look: A) black people on this blog have told you over and over again that this kind of using them as props is insulting and highly problematic. B) It wouldn’t work. It did work under Reagan but it won’t work under Obama or a Democratic president. The tide has shifted in favor of guns in more hands, not fewer-because that suits the gun manufacturers and their lobby, the NRA. No matter how many show black people sign up for guns they won’t care because it just means more potential customers–not only an AA potential customer but a white potential customer who is freaking out at the apocalypse coming on faster. In fact, as far as the NRA and their pocket legislator: this is baked into the cake. For them its a virtuous circle: Black people are said to be violent ==> White racists buy more guns ==>>Black people actually buy guns and try to protect themselves ==>>confirms original hypothesis that we are at war with Black people, so white people buy more guns and more strongly resist any form of regulation of guns.

    Scared white people no longer want the government to step in and fix things because they think the government is the problem/owned by black people. So instead of asking for more regulation they will simply ask for less and continue privatizing their self protection. If you read any gun nut web site you’d see they already believe that black people and the police are both armed to the teeth and out to get white people. This is the actual reason they give for being so protective of an unregulated 2nd amendment.

  96. 96
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: Like I said, you should probably just admit you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

  97. 97
    Gex says:

    @Punchy: Yep. Just remember this phrase, “Ooooops!”

  98. 98
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    The NRA (and the Scalia faction of the Supreme Court) asserts that gun ownership is an inviolable right because able-bodied citizens are all considered part of “the militia” described in the Second Amendment.

    Fine.

    Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to prescribe the training required of that militia. I think four weeks a year–unpaid, of course–would be a good place to start. Don’t want to do that? Then sign here and opt out of the militia. And hand in your gun. As a non-member of the militia, you won’t need it, right?

  99. 99
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @SatanicPanic: It seems weird to me too – this seems like the definition of attempted involuntary manslaughter – but maybe there’s no attempted manslaughter charge? Maybe it’s only invoked if someone does actually die? I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know. Maybe the kid’s parents are gun enthusiasts, or very forgiving, and decided not to press charges.

  100. 100

    Three accidental shootings in this week’s Tennessee Gun Report. But the best one comes not from Tennessee, nor even the one in Florida you mention, but out of Oklahoma City! Here, a concealed-carry permit holder from Texas, in town for a Jason Aldean concert, stopped by a Bass Pro Shop look for a new holster for his Glock. He happened to have his five-year-old in tow. And while trying on his new holster in a dressing room (why a dressing room?) his little boy was playing with his gun, unknown to dad I guess, and well, you know where this is heading!

    Yes DO tell me how responsible concealed-carry folks are, I’m dying to hear. Also: no charges were filed because THAT WOULD BE WRONG. Pffft.

    Gun culture is teh suck.

  101. 101
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    there is some popular long rifle where the safety is off even when it’s on. Because of the liability exemption, the manufacturer refuses to fix it, or at least they haven’t recalled the defective ones. Of course, the fix is trivial and people have died because of this.

    @Eric U.: This, among many other reasons, is why if you’re gonna buy guns you need to get GOOD ones. Cheap guns will blow up in your face and fuck you up. Kel-Tec has an assault rifle, still being sold as of this minute, where the bolt slams back into the stock and eventually knocks the end of the stock off – right where you put your face to sight the target. Sure would make you pretty to get that bolt assembly lodged in your right sinus. Don’t buy plastic guns, folks.

    To my main point: Most guns, the “safety” is more of a hope/wish kind of feature than one that actually works – and none of them work 100% of the time. Same goes for decockers. So don’t use them. Only true safety is an empty chamber. IIRC, I think Shin Bet and the FBI both carry this way (C3). How long does it take the typical shooter to rack a round, about a half-second, Rambo? You’ll still have plenty of time to gun down that hoodie-wearing Negro youth and maybe you won’t blow your balls off beforehand, an important consideration when trying to maintain intimate relations with one’s cousin.

    Fuck I hate most gun owners. Hard to be one when 9 out of 10 of them seem hellbent on winding up as a late-night PSA.

  102. 102
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Mandalay: Sure it may find a market. But I bet that market will be very small, and that’s about it. As far as having any social and legal impact, I’d say it’ll have little to no impact in those areas. Meanwhile, idiots will be idiots, the NRA will still be the NRA and at the end of the day, nothing will have really changed.

  103. 103

    @Joey Maloney:

    Somebody really, really needs to hack the NRA and steal their membership database and put it on the internet.

    For no other reason than to debunk their claim of representing “millions,” y’know? Their membership claims are wildly inflated.

  104. 104
    Violet says:

    I’ve been saying this for a long time. The gun owner is responsible no matter what happens unless, as you said, extraordinary measures were taken to steal the gun. Free market at work. Isn’t that what they all want? Let them have it.

  105. 105
    carolus says:

    Firearm liability insurance may have another possible benefit: enforcing stricter standards on gun safety instructors.

    As it stands now, most gun safety instructors are NRA-certified instructors. To become an NRA-certified anything requires money (required), time (negotiable), and a pulse(optional). Short of shooting the instructor, nobody ever fails an NRA course. Plus, after becoming an NRA-certified instructor–you’re one for life. There are no refreshers or periodic proficiency testing.

  106. 106
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    License, registration, insurance. Just like a car. Been saying it for thirty years and I’ll be saying it for another thirty, but this is how you get America’s gun problem under control. And every little bit of progress will have to be litigated five times over. But we gotta fix this.

  107. 107
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The problem of all those pre-ID firearms still being in circulation will remain…

    Sure, but that isn’t the fault of smart guns, and that doesn’t mean that smart guns won’t happen. There are certain markets where they may be very popular. For example, parents won’t have to worry about their toddlers causing havoc if they get hold of the gun. Parents won’t have to worry about their teenagers committing suicide with their gun. Cops won’t have to worry about getting shot if someone wrestles their gun away. And stolen smart guns won’t fire. Anyone who likes the idea that nobody else can fire their gun will want one.

    This technology will change things. It won’t change everything, but the perfect doesn’t have to be the enemy of the good. It is a worthwhile advance. And the NRA and their sponsors and lobbyists will have to eat shit if they don’t like it. Because big as they are, there is someone bigger than them – the American consumer.

  108. 108
    carolus says:

    @Southern Beale: True. Member turnover is extremely high in the NRA. Most initial memberships are free or discounted or part of a promotional package.

  109. 109

    @Violet:

    I’ve been writing my (sadly, Republican) state legislators about this every week, including links to accidental gun discharge stories. Because Republicans in Tennessee are in a flurry of “guns everywhere” law-making: they’ve legalized guns in restaurants, guns in cars, and now they’re fighting over guns in parks. If you’re going to make it legal for people to carry their guns everywhere, at least make them be responsible for the damage they cause when they accidentally fire those guns and cause property damage and injury. It’s a no-brainer, unless you’re a Tennessee Republican, in which case you have no brains in the first place.

  110. 110
    Mandalay says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Sure it may find a market. But I bet that market will be very small, and that’s about it.

    Parents and cops are two obvious markets, and they are not very small markets.

    More generally, anyone who wants to own a gun that nobody else can fire will be interested. How big or small that market is remains to be seen.

  111. 111
    Mandalay says:

    @Cassidy:

    There is only one way to fix this problem: More guns. Seriously, no bullshit. If we want gun control, then we’re gonna have to start signing up every eligible person of color in this country for a concealed carry license. When we register people to vote, we sign up for a concealed carry. Take up plate collections to pay the fees, hire the NRA dipshits Instructors to come in and teach the safety course after church, make big, loud, public outings of taking their worst motherfuckin’ nightmare to the range and teaching young, black “thugs” how to use an M4 carbine. We’ll have strict gun control within a year.

    You are living in a weird fantasy land if you see that as the only solution.

  112. 112
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: Well let’s see. My solution is based on a historical precedent and your’s is asking if there is an app for that gun. Yeah, sure, fantasy land. Do you get out of the suburbs much?

  113. 113
    Mandalay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    And while trying on his new holster in a dressing room (why a dressing room?) his little boy was playing with his gun, unknown to dad I guess, and well, you know where this is heading!

    If that dumb owner had bought a smart gun then nothing would have happened – the gun would not have fired.

  114. 114
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Mandalay:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bba5_bSPXA

    The crypto technology that these guns will need to use will require them to undergo formal proofs before they can considered deployable, lest the manufacturers want to stare down a huge wave of liability lawsuits. They will also have to survive a man-in-the-middle attack between the watch/token and the weapon.

    This isn’t going to be a walk in the park like a Taser will be, and the cost to do it right may make it prohibitive.

  115. 115
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: If I actually liked you and thought you weren’t a waste of good oxygen, I’d be happy to politely explain to you why you’re boner for “smartguns” is beyond dumb. Instead, I’m just gonna keep enjoying you fuck the app store chicken about something you clearly are clueless about. Please continue.

  116. 116
    Mandalay says:

    @Cassidy:

    My solution is based on a historical precedent

    Your solution is based on the condescending assumption that blacks are going to subserviently do what you tell them, rather that telling you to GFY.

    You are a deranged nutcase publishing your absurd wacko fantasy that will never happen on a blog. That’s all.

  117. 117
    Mandalay says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    This isn’t going to be a walk in the park like a Taser will be, and the cost to do it right may make it prohibitive.

    Costs are high now, but will come down, and one gun is already on the market. But I’m sure everyone who doesn’t own a cell phone and still uses a typewriter agrees with you.

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: So you’re saying that’s never happened before? That there is no historical precedent for minorities to start arming themselves followed by strict gun control? Are you really the dipshit I think you are or will you prove even more so?

  119. 119
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay:

    But I’m sure everyone who doesn’t own a cell phone and still uses a typewriter agrees with you.

    You were homeschooled weren’t you?

    ETA: Okay, i feel a little sorry for you. You’re clearly out of your depth and dumber than shit, so i’ll explain why you’re wrong. People who use guns for a living don’t like tech shit on their guns, especially if it means that a failure of the tech becomes a failure to fire. The tech will never be foolproof and will never be utilized beyond niche collectors. People who carry for defense will have the same reasoning. Gun fetishists buy their guns to emulate the first group (the professionals) and will therefore not buy anything that isn’t name brand and “tacticool”. Gun owners who aren’t gun fetishists have a fairly small list of reliable guns they buy for particular reasons and unproven technology with a catastrophic potential for failure won’t make that list.

    Fucking moron.

  120. 120
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    The rules I learned were:
    Every gun is loaded.

    (You may consider a gun unloaded if you’ve just checked the load status, and it has not left your hand, not even for an instant. But you still *treat* it as loaded. e.g., if you are doing a dry fire drill, you point the barrel at a backstop capable of handling a live round. Guns load themselves around stupid people, and if you don’t treat a gun as loaded, you *are* stupid people.)

    Never point the barrel of a gun at anything you’re not willing to kill/put a big hole in/destroy.

    Finger stays entirely outside of the trigger guard until you have a shot sighted in.

    (Some people use these three rules to say that the Glock trigger safety is okay. And I couldn’t explain why I felt that wasn’t good enough, until I heard of the security guard who had a child accidentally fire his Glock. I’m not dissing Glock – I’m saying I like a *non*-trigger safety.)

    These rules, faithfully followed, would eliminate a huge number of gun accidents.

  121. 121
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Mandalay: Oh, wow. ONE WHOLE MANUFACTURER! Lets see if they’re still in business and if this technology stciks in 5-10 years time. Remember, 90% of all businesses fail in their early years, so right out of the gate this company is already facing long odds.

  122. 122
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Cassidy Whatever Mandaly’s smoking, I’d like to know what it is-so I can avoid it.

  123. 123
    Mandalay says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Oh, wow. ONE WHOLE MANUFACTURER!

    Your post, and your “concerns”, strongly suggested to me that you were unaware that you can already buy a smart gun.

    Some folks here seem strangely desperate for smart guns to fail.

  124. 124
    Glocksman says:

    @Mandalay:

    This specific company may fail*, but if their technology is promising others will come and develop it further and succeed where the pioneers failed.

    The tech geek in me loves the idea of smart guns.
    That said, I’ll only get one when they’re 100% reliable.
    Not only that they fire when they are supposed to, but that they don’t fire when they aren’t.

    Otherwise it’s only a mechanical safety with an electronic failpoint.

    *I can’t see paying $1400+ for any .22 pistol that doesn’t have ‘Hammerli’ rollmarked on the side.

  125. 125
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay:

    Some folks here seem strangely desperate for smart guns to fail.

    Really? That’s your takeaway from this? Well, I tell you what, you go ahead and pin your little, ignorant hopes on a gimmick that is the antithesis of what gun people want and shop for in their guns and I’ll sit here and continue to laugh at you.

  126. 126
    Mandalay says:

    @Glocksman:

    This specific company may fail*, but if their technology is promising others will come and develop it further and succeed where the pioneers failed.

    Exactly. Either there is a market for smart guns or there isn’t. The specific vendors are irrelevant in the long term.

    That said, I’ll only get one when they’re 100% reliable.

    But are existing guns 100% reliable? A more reasonable standard would be that they are no less reliable than existing guns.

    Not only that they fire when they are supposed to, but that they don’t fire when they aren’t.

    Right. Articles focus heavily on the former point, but not the latter point. Presumably smart guns can still retain all the physical safety features already used. That would address the latter point.

  127. 127
    Glocksman says:

    @Mandalay:

    But are existing guns 100% reliable? A more reasonable standard would be that they are no less reliable than existing guns.

    True.
    If someone made a Glock that had smart tech and it was proven to be just as reliable as a regular Glock, I’d buy it.

  128. 128
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Mandalay:Yes, I did know about this manufacturer. And my previous analysis of it (and any smart gun tech) still stands. If its software can’t survive a formal proof, it’s DOA. And if it falls to any kind of MITM attack, its also DOA. And both of those pretty fucking high hurdles to jump.

  129. 129
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Always assume a weapon is loaded, and the safety is off.

    Corollary: always assume a gun owner is stupid, reckless and potentially deadly.

    Simple as that. As the DKos thread notes, the “gun cleaning” excuse doesn’t hold water.

  130. 130
    Bill says:

    Has anyone ever pointed out that it’s basically impossible to discharge a weapon while cleaning it? Because the weapon is (at least partially) disassembled when cleaning?

    A bolt gun needs the bolt removed to clean the bore. Same with an AR or an AK. Shotguns are generally broken down for cleaning. Auto pistols too. Revolvers would have the cylinder swung out.

    Anyone who says the weapon discharged while being cleaned is either irredeemably stupid or full of shit.

    “It went off while I was cleaning it” means “It went off while I was fcking with it”.

  131. 131
    Bill says:

    Has anyone ever pointed out that it’s basically impossible to discharge a weapon while cleaning it? Because the weapon is (at least partially) disassembled when cleaning?

    A bolt gun needs the bolt removed to clean the bore. Same with an AR or an AK. Shotguns are generally broken down for cleaning. Auto pistols too. Revolvers would have the cylinder swung out.

    Anyone who says the weapon discharged while being cleaned is either irredeemably stupid or full of ish.

    “It went off while I was cleaning it” means “It went off while I was fcking with it”.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Some folks here seem strangely desperate for smart guns to fail.

    No, not at all. It’s just that some see the both the potential real problems with this technology, but also the psychological problems with it.

    Ideally, what I’d like is for everyone to have their own personal protective bubble around them that deflects bullets. That would be sweet, it would basically nullify firearms as we know them. But such a technology isn’t available.

  133. 133
    bk says:

    @indycat32:

    if you don’t remember you have a gun in your car, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun at all.

    Or children.

  134. 134
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well you know, people didn’t have cell phones either, so you never know, the technology of magical force field bubbles might be coming. Everyone would want one.

  135. 135
    Mel Volio says:

    There’s something to be said for storing guns unloaded and locked up. There’s also something to be said for having them loaded and within reach:

    http://www.wxyz.com/news/regio.....-this-week

  136. 136
    Honus says:

    Just watched the Wake Forest game. We probably won’t hear from Burns for a while.

  137. 137
    mclaren says:

    Time to lower the boom on Richard Mayhew’s lies once again.

    Mayhew’s latest lie involves the provably false claim that high American health care costs are due to the large number of injuries American suffer, presumably from guns.

    But the real reason for high U.S. health care costs has nothing to do with gun mayhem, and everything to do with corruption among doctors and hospitals and imaging clinics and medical devicemakers, ripoffs and scams by health care providers, and a total lack of cost controls on the medical services provided by greedy out-of-control doctors and hospitals who view themselves and inndependent businessmen out to gouge the patients for every dime they can possibly get for their insanely overpriced medical services:

    Massachusetts isn’t stingy—it spends more on health care per person than any other state. Yet, as a remarkable NPR documentary reported last year, patients calling Massachusetts General Hospital—ranked the fifth best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report—were informed that Harvard’s massive academic hospital was no longer accepting new patients needing primary care. And that problem isn’t limited to Massachusetts General—it’s occurring throughout the state. Despite near-universal insurance, oodles of doctors, reams of cash, and no dearth of bright minds, the average person in Massachusetts can’t find a new primary care doctor.

    The nation soon may face the same fate. To have any hope of meaningful national health reform, therefore, we must address the perverse financial incentives that created and continue to inflame this problem.

    The root of the shortage can be traced to 1985, when a Harvard economist named William Hsiao developed a scale to measure the relative value of every single one of the thousands of services provided by doctors, a job later compared to measuring “the exact amount of anger in the world.” For example, Hsiao’s team deemed that a hysterectomy required 3.8 times more mental effort and 4.47 times more technical skill than a psychotherapy session. In 1992, Medicare formally adopted Hsiao’s concept; private insurers followed suit. Today, this relative value-based system sets the prices—and therefore drives the priorities of American medicine.

    Source: “The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices,” Slate magazine online, 2 September 2009.

    Now that it’s obvious Richard Mayhew is lying, we’d like to know why he’s lying. So tell us, Richard — how much do you make as CEO of Richard Mayhew Insurance?

    Of course he won’t tell us — and that means Richard Mayhew takes home more than $400,000 per year, putting his square in the top 1%.

    Now we know why Richard Mayhew feels compelled to tell us these stupid lies about how wonderful the ACA is, how America’s disastrously broken health care system is humming along beautifully, how well everything is working out, and how terribly complex it is to be a super-rich CEO sitting atop a gusher of money in an industry where the buyer must either pay whatever the greed-crazed hospitals and doctors and imaging clinics and medical devicemakers demand, or die.

    Keep tell us your lies, Richard Mayhew. That means it’s going to go worse for you when the truth comes out.

  138. 138
    Cassidy says:

    @mclaren: So….missed a dose today, huh?

  139. 139
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Time to lower the boom on Richard Mayhew’s lies once again.

    Time for you to fuck off once again, you tedious, tedious thing.

  140. 140
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Bill: This is exactly true. Reading a lot of the Gun Fail posts on Daily Kos, the initial story is either;
    1. “the gun just went off when I handled/dropped it” or 2. “the gun went off as I was cleaning it”.
    Later on the gun owner/shooter admits to; practicing his quick draw, posing with the gun, or some other stupid behaviour.

    And just to add my two cents in on the smart gun debate, I see the same issues with owners that will prevent the widespread acceptance of that device.
    A. Confident responsible/safe/experienced owners will believe that they do not need the extra layer of safety that the smart gun provides, thus not worth the significant cost.
    B. Overconfident, ignorant, aggressive,and irresponsible gun owners will not care, especially if the cost remains significant.They will see the safeguard as getting in the way of using the gun in an emergency.
    C. Nervous, safety conscious gun owners [who really never wanted a gun in the first place] might be the one market who are interested.

    But really, who is going to want to wear a specific watch all the time, and if you are not wearing it where do you lock it up? Same security issues as you will have with the gun.

  141. 141
    Don says:

    People who use guns for a living don’t like tech shit on their guns, especially if it means that a failure of the tech becomes a failure to fire. The tech will never be foolproof and will never be utilized beyond niche collectors. People who carry for defense will have the same reasoning.

    @Cassidy: When I took armed security guard training the instructors didn’t even like automatics. They were all about revolvers and viewed anything else as a bad choice.

  142. 142
    Gvg says:

    Mandalay, tech guns are really not a solution. Personality conflicts are interfering with explaining clearly why and maybe we can’t. It’s clear you aren’t living here immersed among gun nuts. Tech solutions are just too small and the psychology just does’t work. I don’t think you understand how many guns are already out there or how many people own lots. a lot of them are into historical collecting too and sentimental inheritance. Plus there really are a lot of criminal owned firearms and they aren’t going to get insurance either. I get discouraged but faddish guns aren’t going to get to the gun cult type, nor the collectors nor the criminal. The only ones who might like it are people like me who haven’t bought a gun yet because of safety concerns. That just means a few more get guns. Millions of Americans already own guns. How to put the genie back in the bottle is the problem.

  143. 143

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