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Thread: Smart guns, EMP and planning for The Black Swan. Eugene Volokh Conspiracy.com

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    Smart guns, EMP and planning for The Black Swan. Eugene Volokh Conspiracy.com

    1. How should individual citizens consider this cost in deciding about their own personal self-defense (especially if they think they can’t afford both a “smart gun” and a backup purely mechanical gun)?
    2. How should police forces consider this cost in deciding whether to arm their police officers with “smart guns” that might fail in the unlikely but potentially very serious event of an EMP attack — a situation where armed police presence might be especially important?
    3. How should legislators and voters consider it in deciding whether to require smart gun technology (again, once it becomes generally reliable and inexpensive enough — though perhaps EMP resistance should be seen as part of the “reliability” inquiry)?
    4. How should judges consider it in evaluating the constitutionality of smart gun requirements?
    5. Are there technological features that should be considered, for instance a provision that smart guns be designed so that they are properly shielded, if that’s possible, or that, if their electronics are destroyed, the weapons fail into a mechanically operating mode rather than into an inoperative mode?


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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    1. How should individual citizens consider this cost in deciding about their own personal self-defense (especially if they think they can’t afford both a “smart gun” and a backup purely mechanical gun)?
    2. How should police forces consider this cost in deciding whether to arm their police officers with “smart guns” that might fail in the unlikely but potentially very serious event of an EMP attack — a situation where armed police presence might be especially important?
    3. How should legislators and voters consider it in deciding whether to require smart gun technology (again, once it becomes generally reliable and inexpensive enough — though perhaps EMP resistance should be seen as part of the “reliability” inquiry)?
    4. How should judges consider it in evaluating the constitutionality of smart gun requirements?
    5. Are there technological features that should be considered, for instance a provision that smart guns be designed so that they are properly shielded, if that’s possible, or that, if their electronics are destroyed, the weapons fail into a mechanically operating mode rather than into an inoperative mode?
    I believe that "smart guns" becoming the rule of law is just slightly more probable than an EMP attack or natural super solar flare occurrence.

    1. Initially, as it is in all retail technology, "smart guns" would be cost prohibitive for most people. Citizens then do NOT BUY "smart guns", they will buy DEPENDABLE mechanical guns.
    2. The vast majority of law enforcement agencies, get the funding from the appropriate level of government - State federal county or city - who, in-turn, get their money from the taxpayers. Many LEAs now have MRAPs. If they can afford MRAPs, the cost of these magical crime-stoppers is irrelevant.
    3. Requiring handguns to contain "smart gun" technology would be the death toll for all firearms companies who did not have an extremely lucrative government contract, and the fallout from that would be the end of availability of handguns (other than pre-existing, mechanical handguns) to the general public. Legislators and the public should give NO SERIOUS CONSIDERATION to this technology. An EMP protective holster would have to be a tightly-sealed Faraday cage, which would add bulk and weight to the LEOs belt, and impair rapid accessibility to the firearm. The mortality rate for LEOs would skyrocket.
    4. I don't see where any constitutional conflict would come into the picture. "Smart guns" would still be "arms" to bear, but the cost would put them beyond the reach of most people. The constitution does not address prohibitive costs in any fashion. Following that train of thought out, even IF "smart guns" became the rule of law, the terribly shrunken market for that technology would cause the idea to implode without the aforementioned "extremely lucrative government contract". It would be a financial disaster for the arms manufacturers, which may be the actual intent of such a government mandate... UNLESS, they then approached the government, hat-in-hand, begging for a "bail out".
    5. "Properly shielded" takes us back to the Faraday cage, already covered in 3, above. Your suggestion of a mechanical fall-back mode if the electronics fail is an excellent idea, but one that would add even more cost... but, WE pay for it, so what the hell?

    Bottom line? I believe "smart guns" are anything BUT a smart bet for arms manufacturers, consumers, or government(s). They would be rejected by the civilian market for any number of reasons, primarily the realistic potential for electronic failure. It has been proven repeatedly throughout history that every "whistle and bell" we put on a product, the greater the failure rate. Guns "ain't broke", so don't waste any time and money trying to fix 'em. Guns do NOT commit criminal acts of their own volition - they are inanimate objects - the actions are those of the person holding the gun. That's my 2˘ worth. Pax...
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    Guns, EMP, Pareto Distribution and The Black Swan

    Presuming the EMP field (units E/L) intense enough to generate destructive currents in micro-circuit conductors, why would not proportional currents be generated in macroscopic metal objects, like gun barrels?

    I have faith in the Pareto Distribution of geophysical effects.
    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i...o+distribution

    Your "unknown probability dangers" are unknown for being even less than unique and so not subject to frequentist statistics. Polymath autodidact Nassim Nicholas Taleb addresses such as The Black Swan in the book of that title, and the impact on infrastructure in Antifragile:Things That Gain From Disorder. I highly recommend Taleb.

    http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/
    http://nassimtaleb.org/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    I believe that "smart guns" becoming the rule of law is just slightly more probable than an EMP attack or natural super solar flare occurrence. [ ... ]An EMP protective holster would have to be a tightly-sealed Faraday cage, which would add bulk and weight to the LEOs belt, and impair rapid accessibility to the firearm.[ ... ]
    Why would not the first cycle of the EMP field melt your Faraday Cage?

    I have a bit of practical experience with a Faraday Cage. I was directing the addition of positive reactivity to an untested and unfluxed nuclear reactor and monitoring the addition rate with very sensitive instruments. We could see the sweep rate and PRF of the local airport's radars (high frequency/short wavelength) on the instruments located inside an imperfect Faraday Cage made of two-inch thick high-yield HY steel, unfortunately pierced by three access opening hatches, each with many pipes and electrical conductors. I and my superiors directed the radars shut down and the evolution proceeded - for a while. When the radars started up again it was clear that we had to make adjustments to our procedure. We built a cage around the instrument with a peep-hole for the data taker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Why would not the first cycle of the EMP field melt your Faraday Cage?

    I have a bit of practical experience with a Faraday Cage. I was directing the addition of positive reactivity to an untested and unfluxed nuclear reactor and monitoring the addition rate with very sensitive instruments. We could see the sweep rate and PRF of the local airport's radars (high frequency/short wavelength) on the instruments located inside an imperfect Faraday Cage made of two-inch thick high-yield HY steel, unfortunately pierced by three access opening hatches, each with many pipes and electrical conductors. I and my superiors directed the radars shut down and the evolution proceeded - for a while. When the radars started up again it was clear that we had to make adjustments to our procedure. We built a cage around the instrument with a peep-hole for the data taker.
    I don't know - WHY? Faraday cages sounds like our only viable option, other than maybe being several hundred feet below ground. If EMPs will melt f'ing steel, we'll all be dead anyway! If we're dead we really won't G.A.F.F., will we? If you have all the answers, why did you even post the questions?
    Last edited by Gil223; 05-26-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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