Originally Posted by muppetry
While the idea is impractical for many reasons, most of the arguments that you made are flawed. Technologies, or any other kind of measure, are not intended to eliminate crimes (or accidents) - they are intended to reduce them. Take banks, for example. Banks still get robbed, but, despite that, we keep our money there because it is still more secure than stacking it under the porch. Seat belts and air bags do not eliminate, they reduce, deaths and injury severity in automobile accidents. You seem to be using the same old argument that if a measure is not 100% effective then it should not be used, and where tonton says above that it would "reduce", you respond that he is wrong because it would not "eliminate". Was that an intentional straw man?
You actually picked on a bad example. Don't believe what you see in the movies. The problem with biometric authentication is not that it is easily defeated - it's really quite secure - the problem is that a consequence of its reliability is that it is not always fast. False negatives are an issue. It's not a solution here for many other reasons too: one, that you pointed out, is cost, and then there is the problem that it is not going to be retrofitted to existing weapons. It would make far more sense just to require owners to secure their weapons in locked safes or cabinets.
It's hard to believe that you are not just being disingenuous with the "more guns" argument - if such technology were ever implemented then it would be trivial to allow a weapon to be authorized by a superuser (permanently or temporarily) for more than one user as needed. Would that be exploitable or bypassable? Probably, just like a bank security system can be defeated with the right knowledge and tools. Does that, alone, make it pointless? Of course not. It probably would nearly eliminate incidents of kids stealing and using their parents guns though - the assertion above that you took issue with.
I'm going to radically disagree. How can they be flawed when we are talking about conjecture about the future and technology? Your counter argument amounts to, "They won't be able to make that though?" You mention the bank robbery as an example. Banks have had to set up fraud prevention services, do spending profiles on their customers and they often automatically call them if something outside of their spending norms occurs. This is now a secondary level of security on top of the primary level of security because of things like card skimmers.
In the past the bank robber had to walk in with guns blazing and demand you fill a sack with money. Now someone can crack one database, grab a million credit card numbers and ping each one for a dollar hoping it is never noticed. The card skimming is the new bank robbing in the modern day. A person like yourself or Tonton might say that the cards have to read, that a pin has to be entered and that the technology to copy this information has to be thin, cheap and somehow sit on top of the real deal. It's here. It exists.
As for not believing what I see in the movies, we are being asked to engage in conjecture along the lines of things that we see in the movies. We are being asked to believe that a solution has been designed that will authenticate you in a biometric manner that is as thin as a trigger, one hundred percent accurate and operates at speed indistinguishable from the old solution with no scanner. Does that exist in the real world in any form or fashion? It doesn't. It is a solution straight out of the movies as well. I'm simply imaging the counter-measure to it.
It is claimed that this will solve a problem. I suggest it will merely shift the problem. Here is another example of that. It was noted it might solve the problem of guns being used for suicides. Kids could not go find a gun in their house and use it to kill themselves. Well the suicide rate in Japan is MUCH higher than in the U.S. and they have very stringent gun control. Yet their suicide rate is double that of the United States even with almost no guns available. Removing guns didn't remove suicide there. It just caused people to jump in front of trains, hang themselves, overdose, etc.
You mention gun security and administration levels, etc. Again if anyone would know how to exploit this or even socially engineer around it, it would be the kids. It is the kids often helping the adults, not the other way around. Ask many adults if they set up their wifi router or if the kids handled it.
Many of these massacres have occurred from people who seem exceptionally bright but troubled. That means they are bright enough to get around these software solutions.
I'll use an analogous example for how the layperson might not be able to understand the technology or defeat it but they just go find someone shady who does for cheap. Most people I encounter barely understand that their cell phone is often sim locked here in the U.S. That doesn't mean that a quick search on Craigslist won't turn up dozens of ads for people who will unlock a phone for $10-20 including iPhones. Do most people know how to flash a phone from one carrier to another like from Sprint to Verizon, etc. Such a "service" is "necessary" when a ESN number has been blocked because the phone has been reported stolen. No problem though, a friendly person will meet with you in Starbucks, bring their laptop and flash your phone for $30.
I'm supposed to believe that when I can find ads for people who will root my cell phone, flash it to another provider, add custom roms or "stores" that download "free" apps, etc that this wouldn't happen to a gun?
Instead I imagine the opposite because that is what I have seen in technology my whole life. You imagine a world where no one can defeat the superuser administration to gain access to a gun. I imagine a world where such services pop up using slang on Craigslist for $20 and for an extra $10 they will install the fully automatic firing "mod" and large clip "mod" as well. You imagine a world where encryption on DVDs meant no one ever stole a movie again. I imagine a world where moms have their teenagers teaching them how to torrent the shows they missed.