Ed Parnell's Cunning Plan

I been here and there with receding hair…

Skyfall: Someone should make James Bond’s biometric Walther PPK/S gun. – Slate Magazine

with one comment

This article also appears on As We Now Think, a site edited by the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University. ASU is a partner in Future Tense with Slate and the New America Foundation.

Bond is back. But you can forget about stale debates over Connery vs. Moore, Cold War vs. post-Soviet plots, or which Bond babe you’d like to be “attempting re-entry” with. You can even forget about Aston Martins and the veritable museum of Q’s gadgets. There is something far more exciting to discuss: Skyfall features a technology that we should be vigorously pursuing, that is technically plausible, and that could save thousands of lives a year.

via Skyfall: Someone should make James Bond’s biometric Walther PPK/S gun. – Slate Magazine.


Written by edparnell

November 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Cool, Interesting, Movies

One Response

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  1. First, the idea isn’t exactly new, not even in the Bond universe. A special sniper rifle whose parts are disguised as a camera used a biometric device in “Licence to Kill.”

    Second, the idea isn’t exactly practical because it adds complication to a firearm, which means additional avenues of functional failure. The most important thing a firearm can be is to be reliable, first and foremost. The addition of biometric devices to a firearm will add complication that can lead to potential failures that may prevent it from functioning at all in various circumstances.

    On top of all of that, the biometrics may not necessarily prevent all criminal uses.

    No doubt that people may be thinking of a biometric device that’s electronic. Well, what if the electronics fail, which can happen merely because the batteries ran out. Could there be the potential that the biometric device may not properly identify an authorized user and, thus, lock him out of his own gun because, say, the person had his own blood in his hands after being hurt by an attacker?

    Ways can be found to bypass the biometric device to make the gun function anyways, which is what may happen with a stolen biometric gun. Considering that a gun is actually a fairly simple mechanical device, it may be easy to find ways to remove the biometric lockout and modify the action to work without it. Who cares if doing so would be illegal if the ones that do this are doing so for the purpose of using it to commit violent crime? If it can be done, it will be, regardless of the legal consequences.

    Then what do you do about existing firearms that do not have biometrics? Would you propose to ban then and then spark anger from millions of legal gun owners? Guns aren’t cheap, so to ban guns that don’t have biometrics mean that you are committing defacto theft of the expensive property of people by banning what they own and enforcing confiscation under the color and penalty of law.

    All this technology does is make idiots feel good that they’re doing something about gun violence without thinking through at how it may inconvenience and possibly even jeopardize the law abiding while doing practically nothing to abate felonious use of these weapons.


    November 22, 2012 at 6:19 am

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