"Safer" handguns could prevent "accidents"


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tyme
January 2, 2003, 09:47 PM
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-01/acoe-dsh010203.php

Designing safer handguns could prevent many unintentional shooting (sic)
Release: American College of Emergency Physicians, 2003-01-02
Contact: Colleen Horn (chorn@acep.org) (800)320-0610 x3010

Washington, DC--Two studies in the January 2003 Annals of Emergency Medicine explore the causes of unintentional shootings in the United States and the preventive measures that may help end the deaths and disabilities they cause each year, particularly among children.

A study of 216 cases of unintentional firearm injury found that 74 percent resulted from mishandling, 32 percent resulted from potential deficiencies in firearm design, and 14 percent from child access. Most victims were between the ages of 15 and 34 years, and one-fourth (54) of the shootings involved victims younger than 18 years. (Unintended Shootings in a Large Metropolitan Area: An Incident-Based Analysis, p. 10)

Researchers from the Center of Injury Control at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta found that many of these unintentional shootings may have been prevented by promoting safe storage of guns in the home, promoting safe handling of firearms, and requiring that new handguns incorporate basic safety features. "Some of these mechanical safety features have been around for more than a century," notes Dr. Arthur Kellermann, a study coauthor. "This isn't a matter of gun control--it's a matter of applying good old American know-how."

Another article in the January 2003 Annals reported that the United States has a higher safety standard for guns imported into the country than for guns manufactured domestically. In an effort to deter the importation of inexpensive, easily concealed handguns that are more likely to be used in crimes, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in the late 1960s, developed a set of "factoring criteria," which imported handguns must meet. This has created an incentive for foreign pistol manufacturers to more frequently incorporate additional safety features into their models, as compared to domestic manufacturers. (Effect of Current Regulations on Handgun Safety Features, p.1)

Federal legislation has been proposed that would extend the ATF's factoring criteria to all handguns sold in the U.S., whether manufactured domestically or internationally. The study indicates that universal application of the factoring criteria might lead to an increased prevalence of handgun safety devices, but the effect would be modest.

Researchers looked at imported and domestic handgun models produced in 1996 to determine the prevalence of four passively acting safety devices in pistols and one passive safety device in revolvers. They found that although the ATF's factoring criteria has been applied to imported handguns for more than 30 years, most imported pistols still do not contain more than one passive safety device, such as a loaded chamber indicator, grip safety, magazine safety, or drop safety.

"Handgun safety devices, particularly built-in, passively acting devices such as the ones we studied, have the potential to reduce unintended firearm injuries," said John S. Milne, MD, of Michigan State University in Kalamazoo, and lead author of the study. "However, the factoring criteria have not resulted in the universal inclusion of these types of safety devices on imported pistols and as such the effect of extending the factoring criteria to domestic models would likely be modest.

"Automobiles and virtually every consumer product other than firearms are required to meet minimum federal and state standards for safety," said Dr. Milne. "But little attention has been given to designing safer handguns, even though firearm injuries are a major cause of premature death and disability in the United States."

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Nathaniel Firethorn
January 2, 2003, 10:55 PM
...many of these unintentional shootings may have been prevented by promoting safe storage of guns in the home, promoting safe handling of firearms, and requiring that new handguns incorporate basic safety features. "Some of these mechanical safety features have been around for more than a century," notes Dr. Arthur Kellermann, a study coauthor. "This isn't a matter of gun control--it's a matter of applying good old American know-how." Nah. Let's throw some magic technology at the problem and treat everyone like they were children.

It worked soooooo well in the '70s with seat belt interlocks. :rolleyes:

- pdmoderator

Ledbetter
January 2, 2003, 10:58 PM
do these people who know nothing about handguns or their use think they're qualified to design a "safer" one?

cuchulainn
January 2, 2003, 10:59 PM
Myth

virtually every consumer product other than firearms are required to meet minimum federal and state standards for safety," said Dr. Milne.

Truth

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over most(*) products, but by law it must defer to private standards (such as UL, ASTM or ANSI) unless it demonstrates that the private standards are inadequate or a particular law mandates that it sets standards (there are a handful such as the Flammable Fabrics Act). Just like for most products, there are private safety standards for firearms -- ANSI standards developed by SAAMI.

True, firearms are exempt from federal standards -- but that doesn't mean other products potentially subject to federal "standards for safety" actually have them. CPSC has jurisdiction over about 15,000 types of consumer products, but only those in this link ( ~250 ) are subject to federal "standards for safety" http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/reg1.html


(*) Other agencies like FDA, NHTSA, USDA, etc. have jurisdiction over other products (drugs, cars, foods, etc.), but most are under CPSC.

kidcoltoutlaw
January 5, 2003, 01:15 AM
accidents have you ever asked yoursef just how many of the accidents are in fact accidents.

55645
January 5, 2003, 12:36 PM
accidents have you ever asked yoursef just how many of the accidents are in fact accidents.


__________________
keith





A good point. Of course there is no way to know for sure but one has to wonder if some of the fatal child gun accidents started out as child abuse and were then covered up with a gunshot. How many gun accidents are actually murders? I've heard that some police suicides are treated as accidents ("while cleaning his gun") because a finding of suicide can negatively affect survivor's benefits.
I would also like to point out that all guns have (and have always had) a built-in safety device. It is called a trigger. Do not pull it and you are safe.

bpisler
January 5, 2003, 01:23 PM
A firearm is only as safe as its operator,safer gun handling is one way to reduce the number of accidents

TheeBadOne
January 5, 2003, 03:42 PM
I don't buy this line one bit. I'll beleive it when I see an alcohol breath test ignition device on a car. All the alcohol related injuries and deaths caused by motor vehicles and nobody has yet put a breath test device in a car's ignition. If they were really so worried about saftey & numbers this would have been addressed long ago, the tech to do it is here now & has been around a long time. Funny thing is I heard someone saying "There's ways around it". Well, duh, there's ways around any of the firearm safe crap they've touted too...

El Tejon
January 5, 2003, 04:42 PM
If they were truly interested in reducing firearms accident, which, of course, they are not, they would be calling for mandatory firearms courses beginning in elementary school. The doctors tell us education is the key to preventing drug use, sexual diseases, bad dental hygenie, improper nutrition. Why not firearms?

For the children.

T.Stahl
January 5, 2003, 04:54 PM
"blabla," notes Dr. Arthur Kellermann, a study coauthor.

The "it's-43-times-more-likely" Kellerman?

Drjones
January 5, 2003, 09:32 PM
A study of 216 cases of unintentional firearm injury found that 74 percent resulted from mishandling, You mean like the mental giant who, while teaching his son about firearms safety put an "unloaded" :rolleyes: gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

Surprise, surprise; the gun was not unloaded. :rolleyes:


32 percent resulted from potential deficiencies in firearm design

I really do wish they would stop makin' em so's that bullets cum out of that hole in the end! So durn confusin!!!:banghead:

pax
January 5, 2003, 10:34 PM
I think our men and women in uniform really deserve the absolute best this country has to offer. They put their butts on the line, every day, for the common citizen. The least we can do is provide them with the best tools technology has to offer.

Our LEOs and our armed services really deserve to be well ahead of the civilian population in any improvement in the state of the art of safe firearms design.

Let's pass a law which requires any step forward along this line to be first given to the police and military.

pax

I don't mind occasionally having to reinvent a wheel; I don't even mind using someone's reinvented wheel occasionally. But it helps a lot if it is symmetric, contains no fewer than ten sides, and has the axle centered. I do tire of trapezoidal wheels with offset axles. -- Joseph Newcomer

Scott13
January 6, 2003, 12:16 AM
I dont believe in any of this technology gun stuff . A person can shoot themself just as easy with one of these then a non tech gun. And computer chips on guns are just 1 more thing to possibly go wrong , with a gun . I have even heard some scientist say that these so called "Safe" guns could be possibly deactivated
by smart criminals . The problem imo is society on the whole , doesnt want to take any responsibility . they always want technology to fix every problem . In terms of safety it starts with
the person , not the computer chip.

TheeBadOne
January 6, 2003, 06:19 AM
The real safety chip is between the ears... :rolleyes:

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