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Taking Reality From Science Fiction?

May 16, 2013

Just waking up this AM, a little slowly for me.  I’m not thinking a run in the rain is all that exciting.  But when Hot Air points off to a fantasy like this, I get a little more awake:

The idea is to produce guns that can only be used by the gun’s owners. Rep.  John Tierney (D-Mass.) cited the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, as  inspiration for the bill.

Under his bill, guns made in the United States would have to be built with this  technology two years after the bill becomes law. Older guns being sold by a  business or individual would have to be retrofitted with this technology after  three years.

The bill says the cost of retrofitting these older guns  would be paid out of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund, where  confiscated assets from criminal investigations are placed.

So, my first thought would be: pick a better movie if you’re going to pull some science fiction idea out of the air.  My second thought is probably along the lines of how bad Hollywood would feel if the brave heroine who’s never shot a gun couldn’t save her leading actor because her DNA is wrong for the trigger.

I’m not even thinking about how silly and unworkable this scheme is.  And I have to also think that Rep. Tierney probably does, too.  But if one can make a very “reasonable” proposal that could capture the imagination of a crowd of people that thinks Hollywood is reality… well, then one could be a real-life hero to his constituency.

I’ve heard these ideas on and off for years.  Let’s mark each bullet with a unique ID (and hope it doesn’t deform beyond recognition when it hits something).  Let’s put a microchip in the handle to track location and firing data (and hope that people don’t just disconnect the batter you’d need to run it).  Let’s tattoo the gun serial number on your forehead!  Whatever.

How about: Let’s train people who want to own a gun on how to safely handle it?  If you want to spend some form of government money, encourage people to learn how to shoot and handle weapons.  Oh, but most anti-gun advocates know that a program like that would probably end up selling more guns.  I guess real safety measures don’t work in some fantasy world.

Updated: Charles Cooke breaks down the “number of lives” that might be saved at all this expense.

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