Preventing Gun Violence Through Technology
December 18, 2012
Roughly twenty years ago, after a number of police officers were shot with their own guns, technology was developed for handguns that could not be fired except by their registered owners. Unfortunately, the technology at the time was slow and cumbersome. It never caught on due to fears that it would take too long for an officeraEUR(TM)s gun to unlock in an emergency. TodayaEUR(TM)s technology is much more advanced and could easily be adapted to accomplish the goal of preventing a firearm from being used by anyone other than its registered owner.

After the recent, terrible events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, one could not help but reflect on what would have been different had a modern version of this technology been a standard feature on all guns sold in the United States. For one, the Sandy Hook tragedy could not have happened since it was carried out by a gunman purportedly using weapons registered to his mother. The same is true for other killings when the gun used is either unregistered or aEURoeborrowedaEUR? from someone else.

TodayaEUR(TM)s high speed chips have made fingerprint analysis so fast and reliable that for a decade it has been a common feature on some door locks in high security settings, and even on many computers where security is an issue. I know, because I had such a computer aEUR" and it never failed.

If this technology were employed, it would not stop every gun-violence tragedy from occurring. But it certainly would have stopped some of the worst ones. We need to revisit this technology and consider its widespread application.