Imagine if all guns, like some smartphones and cars, were equipped with biometric fingerprint security, making them usable only by the registered owner.
Former Philadelphia Mayor, Mr. Michael Nutter, who has on numerous occasions spoke fiercely against gun violence while advocating for gun control, said in the last days of his reign as chief executive that illegal firearms – those either stolen or acquired via a straw purchase – in the hands of criminals were responsible for the majority, if not all, of the City’s shooting deaths. If he was able to serve as Mayor of Philadelphia for another four years, Mr. Nutter – who’s now a surrogate for Ms. Hillary Clinton, the perceived front-runner among Democratic Presidential candidates – said he would continue to advocate for gun control and common sense gun laws.
I’ve heard Mr. Nutter’s plan as it relates to gun control, and, for the most part, it’s similar to others who sit on his side of the debate: enforcing comprehensive background checks, instituting a limit on magazines, and calling for a ban on the owning of assault rifles by citizens. And on the other side of the argument are those who say reforming gun laws will solve little-to-nothing, as criminals, by nature, don’t obey the rules. They, those who turn a deaf ear at the mention of gun control, feel that any reform is an effort to take away their firearm(s), an intrusion on their constitutional rights to bear arms.
The polarity of this debate is unfortunate. More so, the conversation in America around firearm ownership and gun violence is extremely convoluted and fails to address the actual root cause of our frustrations: people who shouldn’t own guns acquiring them and causing mayhem. The fact is that a gun, of any size or caliber, without a hand to control it, is powerless; it’s only when a gun ends up in the hands of an irresponsible, criminally-minded or mentally-ill person does it then pose a threat to Americans. A gun has neither a mind nor motive, thus our focus should be ensuring guns are only owned by responsible, mentally stable and relatively honorable individuals who can pass a background check.
Additionally, our goal should be to use technology and (GPS) tracking software to retrieve stolen firearms, and mitigate straw purchases and the gun violence that results from them. Imagine if all guns, like some smartphones and cars, were equipped with biometric fingerprint security, making them usable only by its registered owner. So even if a gun was stolen and, for whatever reason couldn’t be tracked, it would be rendered virtually worthless, as the trigger could only be pulled by the man or woman who owns the firearm.
Does a good man with a gun stop a bad guy with a gun? In some cases – like, for example, what happened last week in South Carolina when two gunmen, likely armed with stolen firearms, attempted to rob patrons and employees of a barbershop but were confronted by two men who were armed with registered weapons – yes, it does. But if we were to seriously integrate biometric technology and advanced security options into the manufacturing of guns, we could ensure that bad and dangerous people never have a chance to end a life with a gun, thus the good man with a gun will be rarely, if ever, faced with the circumstances wherein he needs to use it to defend his person, or that of others.
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