Category Archives: Responsible Gun Ownership

Google Glass in Law Enforcement

When I worked in the prison, I was initially put off by the ever present camera. They are everywhere in a prison, always on, always recording.

At first, I thought about them, found myself looking distractedly in the corner, and fascinated when in the control room looking at the live feeds.

Which is where I was the first time I witnessed and incident. I watched the inmate’s actions, the correctional specialists response and the resulting team effort calming the situation.

I was amazed.

The camera footage actually protected the inmate in that the cadre could not contradict video footage. It protected the correctional specialist in the same way. And, by reviewing the footage, all the Soldiers could benefit by using it as training. It is a mark of a profession that they self-evaluate, self-police, and train to a standard. The cameras were a vital part of that effort.

Turns out, cameras were good for everyone.

I thought about this after reading about Ferguson. If only there was some video footage of the incident. That got me wondering about cameras in regular policing. The dash camera has been in use for years but what about something like Google Glass?

Then I looked it up. Here, NYPD is considering using it; here, it is analyzed for use by police.

Technology never solves problems in of itself but why not use what we have to protect both law enforcement and citizenry?

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Cracks ‘n guns

This morning I was listening to coverage of the tragedy at the DC Naval Yard. So sad.

Then I heard someone being interviewed say this, “We had a fellow who had some emotional issues. He fell between the cracks, but restricting people and what kind of firearm they can own and things like that, you start getting into a very slippery slope.”

Here’s the problem I have with that statement – it assumes that we have actual cracks in the system to fall through.

There are no cracks.

Because in this country, while you have to take a class and test to demonstrate competence to drive an automobile, nothing impedes a person from going into a gun store and buying a shotgun capable of killing as fast as the shooter can reload.

There is nothing between the gun and the deranged shooter. Nothing.

So, stop saying someone just “fell through the cracks” as though there are actual barriers between someone hearing voices in their heads, calling police about paranoia and a Remington 870.

There are no barriers. There are no cracks.

Maybe there should be.

Just sayin…

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Gun Safety and Alchohol

Like most folks, I have my morning reading. I tried getting the paper for about six months but frankly all that accomplished was a great deal of recycling. I’m a product of my generation. Every morning, after my run/PT, I love to sit at the table sipping coffee and checking my morning websites.

I get the GunsAmerica blog notifications every few days and read those regularly. Like most gun websites there is the usual diatribes about the government taking all the guns and libs making life difficult for everybody. (Since I don’t vote necessarily liberal or conservative – depends on the issue – I love taking the middle road, moderate, also like my generation. We hate tags.)

This morning, I was looking through a post on Ruger’s new 1911 and some new idea for storing your handgun next to your bed when this thought occurred to me: the gun lobby needs to get out ahead of their image problem.

Currently, what I read on a regular basis (and this is skewed because I don’t spend much time doing so) seems to focus on the “threat to the second amendment” and “those crazy gun-hating, america-bashing, licentious liberals ruining our country as fast as they can” sort of stuff. Not helpful. Makes gun owners like me want to run away, fast.

I like to think I’m thoughtful. I like to think that I approach issues in a nuanced, reasonable way. I don’t really think it’s all that helpful to have massive rallys where everybody shows up armed to the teeth with their favorite automatic weapons. I mean, really, do you think that you are scaring the government? Really? The guys with Abrams tanks? The guys who can control a hellfire missile from around the globe? Do you think that the “evil government” is afraid of large groups of people with automatic weapons? Been there, done that. Not helpful. Makes you look crazy.

How about responsible gun owners take a page from the responsible drinkers book. Everyone knows that cool, responsible drinker who sips their slick Disaronno on the rocks is not making InBev a ton of money – the real money makers are the folks who unhealthily consume massive volumes of alcohol on a regular basis. The drunken orgies where people legally and illegally down thousands of dollars worth of fermented mash – not pretty places. Not something anyone wants to see in a sexy commercial. Just like the guy who smoked a few cigs a week after important events or to unwind from the day does not make tobacco companies any money – the real money maker is the guy who goes through three packs a day and had intense brand loyalty. That’s gold.

Everyone likes to see the moderate, cool consumer. I like to see the responsible gun owner. The videos I see about firearms usually resemble something like Boondock Saints meets the Matrix (“we need guns, lots of guns…”).

What if every gun company made a concerted effort to put the responsible gun owner out front. Try really hard to put out the message that the “right to gun ownership” comes with a huge responsibility to take public safety seriously. Messages like:

If you have a gun – lock it up. 

If mental health issues run in your family, ensure that who has access to weapons is able to responsibly use that weapon. 

If you are angry and depressed, get help, don’t purchase a weapon. 

Responsible gun owners take classes in firearm safety. 

Responsible parents teach firearm safety. 

Make sure when selling a gun, it’s to someone responsible. 

I’m sure there are more and better messages out there. I think that this approach would be a first step by gun owners to at least try to show they care about public safety rather than doubling down on “it’s our right to own whatever we want, shoot whatever we want, whenever we want.”

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