Archive for weapons

Fingerprint Recognition For Guns Saves Lives

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gun safety

gun safety personalization system overview

For a while, about ten years ago, there was a rash of car break-ins where the only thing stolen was the car radio. It was a very easy item for the crooks to fence. The huge numbers of incidents of these thefts rose so high that the car manufacturers and the car radio makers got together to address this problem. And you know what? They did and so successfully that the number of radio thefts dropped precipitously.

Now almost all cars are equipped with radios that have an anti-theft mechanism. If you steal a radio, you need a special code to activate it. Even if your power goes out in your car -- the battery dies -- you need the code to activate it. So a stolen radio won't work and hence you won't be buying too many "hot" music making devices.

Necessity is the mother of all invention, or so the saying goes. And Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has a new proposal to cut down on accidental and even intentional gun violence.  He plans on introducing new federal gun legislation that would require all firearms manufactured in the U.S. to be equipped with “personalization technology,” so that if a weapon lands in the wrong hands, it can’t be fired.

For the uninitiated, that means all guns must come with fingerprint recognition -- similar to ID codes for radios -- so that they can not be fired except by the licensed, registered owner. It doesn't stop gun sales. It only stops unauthorized use of these weapons.

If the same outcome is true for firearms as for car radios why not do it? Illegally sold firearms won't do a buyer any good if they can't be fired. Hence, less unreported or fenced gun sales.

Markey gave an interview to Boston Magazine:

The Handgun Trigger Safety Act will help ensure that only authorized users can operate handguns. This is the type of gun safety legislation that everyone—regardless of political party or affiliation—should be able to support,” he said.

Now this technology is already available. It's just plain common sense. It's not taking any rights away from legal gun registrants, those with a license -- it actually could prevent them from having their weapons stolen. Safety-safety, win-win.

The technology could include fingerprint recognition, or safety systems like the Armatix iP1, referenced in Markey’s proposal, which relies on a radio-controlled watch that is responsible for gun access and use.

If passed, the law would also require anyone selling a handgun to retrofit their weapon with personalization technology three years after the date of enactment of the bill. 

The technology already exists:

A company called Safe Gun Technology, or SGTi, has been working on a product that could do just that. Relying on biometric technology, people would be unable to fire a weapon unless they were the owner.

If someone is against such a personalization then I suggest they have something to hide. There's not a sane reason that this can't be done. And cost isn't the issue. People always seem to find the money to buy a gun. If this technology is added to that cost, they'll find a way to come up with that extra few bucks just like they do with security locked radios in their cars. It's just part of the cost. If you really need a gun, you'll find the money. Just like when gasoline spikes to nearly $5/gal. We grumble and grouse, maybe cut back on our driving habits, but we don't give up our cars. Well gun owners can do the same. And they'll get over it just like we gas users do.

We make automobile smog testing and attaining a certificate mandatory every two years here in California. It's a cost burden (around $75 including certificate) and inconvenience, but it's for public safety and clean air. How about asking gun owners to be responsible for public safety with their own weapons by not letting unauthorized people pick up their gun and shoot it? Think of all those young kids who discover their parents' weapons and end up shooting a sibling or neighbor kid while they're playing with it? If equipped with fingerprint recognition, those accidents won't become fatalities. They just won't happen at all.

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Finally, A Good & Novel Use For Guns

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HandgunPartsw394h244

The President is going to be delivering his State of the Union Address tonight and most likely he'll avoid any serious mention of the rampant injuries and wanton loss of life that guns and rifles have wreaked daily on this country over the recent past.

From Columbine to Sandy Hook, to the thousands wounded on the streets of Chicago on weekends alone, to mall and campus shootings to domestic disputes....those memories are swept under the carpet by the cowards collectively known as our Congress. They bow before a false God, a deity known as the NRA. Their flock is made up of gun toting zealots shouting over everyone else's rights for a peaceful, safe existance. Their mantra is "Second Amendment Rights." It echos as loudly as "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember the Maine!"

Sadly most of those doing the yelling have never read the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. But they stand behind what they don't understand and truthfully their vote counts just like every other legal citizen's. At least those legal citizens whom the Republican's haven't knocked off the voter registration logs yet.

We've all seen, heard or read about the the brutal and devastating loss of life that guns can bring. There's really not a lot of good press for these killing instruments. As their sales numbers rise, their basic purpose becomes much more for harm rather than for good-- heightened fear and reckless killing more than putting food on the table or true, personal safety. More people get shot senselessly than wild game gets bagged for actual consumption. Shooting for sport is fine, when the prize isn't other people. 

As reported by Bill Moyers & Company:

Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 33,173

Those are just deaths. The number of gun related injuries are tenfold.

Now I step off my anti-gun soapbox to share with you a rather novel use for guns. One which I don't think you've seen before. I know I haven't. Weapons of destruction are used to provide the "cover" rendition of the iconic John Lennon peace song, "Imagine." Yes, music, not death, is the bi-product of these deadly devices. Gun barrels, triggers, butts, muzzles, safeties, sights, action, stocks, trigger guards, magazines and any other part of a shooting mechanism you can think of are put to novel use.

Fellow Political Carnivalites, I proudly share with you some musical peace made entirely from some deadly weapons of destruction:

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"Well Shut My Mouth," Scott Brown Is Told In New Hampshire

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Ethan Allen

Well, well, well. Looks like former Senator Scott Brown, defeated by Senator Elizabeth Warren in the last Senate elections in Massachusetts has been stirring up quite a controversy in neighboring state, New Hampshire.

Scott Brown, a Massachusetts resident is about to go carpet bagger. He's planning on running for the US Senate but from the Granite State just north of his legal residence.

People move all the time. Some even do it for political reasons, say, Liz Cheney. There's an election for the senate in Wyoming so she decided to carpet bag herself there to run against Mike Enzi. She doesn't stand a chance, but she needed some place to run and her family does have some tangential connection to the state. Her father was a congressman there before he became Vice President and creator of an illegal war. So perhaps an argument can me made for her choice.

But then you get to Scott Brown. He was once the darling of the Senate, a GOP newbie who had star written all over him, until he opened his mouth and Elizabeth Warren slammed it shut. But you can't keep a determined ex-centerfold nude model down for too long. So he's openly stated his interest in running as the GOP candidate against first-term Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). He's going to do it, take my word for it. And if you want to know my record at predictions like this, I called both Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren's runs six months before they each announced. I'm a New England boy, I know these things in my backyard.

You may be wondering how well the Republican golden boy's future announcement is going over? Not well. Not well at all. But the outspoken opponents are not the Democrats who think he's border jumping just to upset the apple cart. Brown's opposition is coming from his own party. And they're mad.

How mad? If I were Scott Brown I'd start wearing a bullet proof, Kevlar vest.

Huffpo reports:

During an interview with conservative podcast Granite Grok's GrokTalk on Saturday, New Hampshire state Rep. J.R. Hoell (R-Merrimack)suggested that it may some day be necessary to use "firearms and ammo" against the government if its policies continue to be shaped by elected officials like former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

Yikes, that's pretty scary. There's already too much gun violence, so to start putting out hints that guns and ammo might be necessary is outrageous.

Hoell was discussing plans to protest outside a state GOP fundraiser that is scheduled to feature Brown, who is rumored to be considering a run for one of New Hampshire's U.S. Senate seats. Hoell has characterized Brown as too liberal for the state, and accused him of supporting laws that encroach on the Second Amendment. Hoell then invoked the armed uprisings of the Revolutionary War.

Progressive thinking in New Hampshire does go back to the Revolutionary War and Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys. And sadly, that's the last time they had any sort of solid footing alongside contemporary thought or forward thinking. It's been a march backward in time since then.

When asked whether protesters should bring weapons to the rally, Hoell responds: I'm never going to tell a person not to carry a firearm ... I will recommend people carry firearms concealed. Tactically it's a better solution; it doesn't make you out to be a target.

The message needs to get out that Scott Brown does not represent New Hampshire. If things continue the way they are, there may be a day or a time where firearms and ammo are necessary. It happened in the Revolutionary War. I'd like to think we're not there yet, but as things continue to unravel, that may be the next step.

Protestors. Guns. Ammo. Concealed weapons. Targets. Revolutionary War. Firearms. Tactics. New Hampshire. Next step. Does this sound like peaceful discourse to you or a trip back down Memory Lane to 1776?

You can follow me on twitter: @Linzack

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Cartoons of the Day- Amazon's Delivery Drones

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deldrone3

Randy Bish

deldrone

Steve Sack

deldrone1

Nate Beeler

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Obama Pulls The Trigger On Mental Health Parity

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Obama signs exec order

Sadly, in the aftermath of some horrible mass murders, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Washington Navy Yard, and the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, we learned that the assailants were or had been receiving some sort of mental health treatments-- medications or counseling. Sadly, they were not enough to stop these tragedies from happening. In some of these cases, the access to care had been limited or even denied because of insurance policy limitations.

In the aftermath there were public cries for gun control. But 2nd amendment rights advocates and more powerfully the NRA successfully placed the blame on these assailants mental disorders. They claim the problem isn't gun control. It's that there's a deficiency in providing mental illness care.

Well, in a movement to address that situation, the Obama administration, as part of their overall health care initiatives and the Sandy Hook massacre have now produced President Obama's 23rd executive order.  It's now official: Health insurance companies must cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases.

TPM:

The administration had pledged to issue a final mental health parity rule as part of an effort to reduce gun violence. Officials said they have now completed or made significant progress on 23 executive actions that were part of a plan announced in response to the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December.

"For way too long, the health care system has openly discriminated against Americans with behavioral health problems," Sebelius said in a telephone conference call with reporters. "We are finally closing these gaps in coverage."

What's the significance of this executive order? Quite simply, in the past, medical health policies (which included limited emotional,psychiatric, drug and sex counseling) had different payment schedules when it came to non-mental health issues. There were tremendous policy limitations to the number of visits per year as well as significantly increased deductibles -- the patient's co-payment for each allowed visit. Oftentimes that priced a visit beyond the means of a patient.

Basically you could see a doctor as many times as you needed for say, kidney stones, liver disease, heart and high blood pressure issues. But if you had anxiety, phobias, psychotic episodes, those were on a different and far more limited schedule. That's now all in the past. Now if you are sick, physically or mentally, you can get the care you need without the fear of using up your visits.

Will this cut down on tragedies like those listed above? Possibly. Until we get guns out of unqualified people's hands we're never going to be without reckless, wanton shootings. But it's about time that drug users and the mentally/emotionally challenged get the same treatment as someone with cancer or pneumonia.

The bottom line, is the Presidents order AND  the Affordable Care Act extend the parity protections for those participating in individual and small group health insurance plans.

The Republicans and gun zealots were blaming the lack of care for the mentally unstable. Hopefully now they'll applaud Obama's actions to provide these people care. If not, when the next gun massacre happens, the public may just revisit sane gun control measures and weapon's registration.

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Sheriff Let's Drunk Driving, Pistol Packing Man Go -- Florida Justice Again

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Nick finch arrested

So, driving while intoxicated (DUI) in Florida isn't a crime. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in Florida isn't a crime. And destroying evidence of a crime in Florida, isn't a crime. At least it's not if you're Liberty County, Florida Sheriff Nick Finch — who is accused of illegally acting on behalf of Floyd Parrish, an intoxicated driver, arrested on a concealed weapons charge.

Here's some background from the Raw Story:

Finch was arrested after it came to light that he helped Floyd Parrish, who had been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and was found to be carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. According to the arrest warrant, Sheriff Finch took the arrest file from Sgt. Lisa Smith, freed Parrish, and told Sgt. Smith not to file any charges.

What seems to be lost in whether or not this is a 2nd amendment issue at all is that Floyd Parrish was stopped for being intoxicated, crime one. Second: illegal gun possession. So as it turns out he was loaded in more ways than one.

The third crime here was the cover-up -- the destruction of police booking documents and evidence of the crime. And that's perhaps the most shocking. That's on Sheriff Finch.

And now he's going to be tried. I'm quite confident that in Florida, with their history of jurisprudence and justice lately, the sheriff will be acquitted, back in his office shortly after the jury's sworn in. Innocent and free to endanger his community again.

So why the people of  Liberty County backing the Sheriff in this situation is outrageous. They live in the area where the man was driving while impaired. He could have killed somebody. As it turns out, this man was in possession of two deadly weapons-- a car and a pistol and he was intoxicated. But does the public care about that? Evidently not.

Is there any concern that their sheriff destroyed evidence of other crimes? "That's nothing. We've got a gun charge here and we're gonna  make sure it don't stick. Nobody takes our guns and gets away with it."

Floyd Parrish could have used either one of his two deadly weapons to kill somebody that night, while intoxicated. Evidently that means nothing to these ignoramuses, including the sheriff. This isn't a second amendment issue. It's a personal and community safety issue. Drunk and driving don't mix. And neither does drunk and pistol packing. Why's that concept so hard to understand?

Oh, yeah, that's right. This is Florida.

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UPDATE: Cop Kills Innocent Kid -- And He's The Training Officer

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Andy lopez 2

Last weekend I posted a story about a tragic shooting of a 13 year old boy who was carrying a toy rifle that looked like a real weapon. It was called Was This Stop And Frisk Or Stop And Shoot.

My problem was in the official timing of the event. After hanging up with dispatch telling them they were going to investigate a possible armed male, a mere ten seconds later the cops called back in. In that short time two cops got out of their vehicle, called out for the 13 year old who had his back to them to drop the weapon, the boy supposedly didn't respond immediately and they called out to him again, then he turned, one of them shot the boy 8 times and they checked on the fallen lad and then got back to dispatch -- ALL IN TEN SECONDS.

Well, this story takes on a bit more curiosity. According to Reuters 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old California boy carrying what turned out to be a plastic replica assault rifle is a firearms expert who has trained officers for nearly two decades, authorities said on Monday.

Deputy Erick Gelhaus, 48, fired eight shots at Andy Lopez Cruz on Tuesday, as the popular eighth-grader was walking near his home in the wine-country suburb of Santa Rosa carrying an imitation AK-47 he planned to return to a friend, relatives and officials said.

Moment of perspective here: of the two cops involved in the shooting, one was a rookie, the other a seasoned vet who not only had years of experience, but he's the one responsible for teaching other cops, like the rookie, how to use reasonable force. One cop, the training officer fired 8 times, hitting the child 7. The other officer didn't fire a single shot. Did someone here have an itchy trigger finger? If I lived in Santa Rosa California, I wouldn't want that kind of shoot first, ask questions later rogue out on the streets, let alone teaching other officers how to handle a situation.

And how could all of this happen within 10 seconds? Did they fake this shooting? Had they already killed the child and then tried to cover it up. Just think about how short a time this is to do everything that supposedly went down. Does this raise your eyebrows too?

Both cops are on administrative leave, but maybe psychological medical discharge for the senior officer might be more appropriate. You shouldn't get second chances on the street armed with deadly weapons when you kill innocent kids.

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