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With comedy sequel “Dumb and Dumber To” scheduled to open this weekend, a pair of scientists at the University of Delaware appear to be rivaling film characters Lloyd and Harry -- portrayed by anti-gun stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels -- at spouting inanities and acting on stupid ideas.
“Marcos Portnoi and Chien-Chung Shen of the university’s Department of Computer and Information Science propose a combination of wireless security and encrypted broadcast to enforce gun safety,” The Register reported Monday. “‘Wireless-Delimited Secure Zones with Encrypted Attribute-Based Broadcast for Safe Firearms’ draws on the idea that if computers are now reliable enough for cars, medicine and fly-by-wire aircraft, they are probably reliable enough to provide a framework to cut down mass shootings.”
And how would these technologically-enhanced “gun-free zones” work?
There would be private key encoding to allow or disallow guns to fire. Naturally, the “Only Ones” would be accommodated. In other zones, hunting might be allowed. For now. Maybe.
But bad guys? Sorry, but Lloyd and Harry ... I’m sorry, Marcos and Chien have locked you out. You wouldn’t cheat your way around that, would you? Because if we don’t all follow the rules, it just wouldn’t be fair.
Of course, in order to do that, every gun now in existence will need to be retrofitted, and every gun made forever after will need the technology installed. Plus, if hunters are included, the zones will pretty much need to be in force everywhere.
It would seem these genius benefactors of humanity have not only solved the problem of mass shootings, but by assuring their system is tamper-proof, they’ve also provided us with a foolproof way to defeat all hackers. Heck, I’m still thinking too small here – if you carry this to its logical conclusion, they’ve given us the key to world peace!
The only two drawbacks I can see are getting the police unions to go along with this (you’ll recall so-called “smart guns” were initially developed due to cops being disarmed in “takeaway” incidents, but they made sure they were exempted from laws requiring “personalized” firearms), and then deciding who gets to control the On/Off switch.
Again, I find myself missing key points – the idea is just so new, I can’t wrap my mind around all the implications at first crack – either that or it sounds like someone is smoking crack. But yeah, there are a couple more drawbacks, one being that pesky Second Amendment, and the other being, well, this is more of a question, really:
How many men like me are you eggheads willing to try and have killed?
The more I think about this idea, I’m not sure if “Dumb and Dumber” is the most apt comparison. For some reason, the critique of “Simple Jack” in “Tropic Thunder” also comes to mind.
Then again, it’s hard to believe that Portnoi and Chung-Shen aren’t both highly intelligent guys, with mental powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, each capable of understanding concepts that escape the ken of we lesser beings. They just don’t appear all that adept at the mundane and the practical.
I guess in retrospect, they come off more like anti-gun Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” That’s the movie where he played an autistic savant, superhumanly brilliant as a mental calculator, but otherwise incapable of navigating the basics of life for himself. I can just see Marcos and Chien bumbling about the computer science lab, confirming to each other how many minutes until Wapner.
Assuming this isn‘t all just a gag on their part and they‘re not walking around high-fiving each other for creative liberation of grant money.
And by the way, any gun rights advocate thinking of seeing “Dumb and Dumber To,” and essentially giving aid and comfort to outspoken and enemies of your rights who use their elevated media platforms to attack them: Do you think that would be very smart?
David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. David Codrea's Archive page.