back to article Majority of Axon's AI ethics board resigns over CEO's taser drones

Nine members of non-lethal weapons-maker Axon's AI ethics board resigned Monday after the company's CEO announced plans to build drones equipped with tasers to prevent US school shootings.  When an 18-year-old shot dead nineteen students and two teachers, whilst wounding several others at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    That's all Axon cares about. They know if they developed such a product, the litigiousness of American society will require every school to have at least one drone or be sued into oblivion when any type of trouble happens. And the threshold for tasering kids will drop precipitously to boot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      If you make security, however fake, then someone will pretend its real and build a security empire around it. Zapper Drone training, certification, special operators, registration etc etc etc. All trying to deflect away from gun-control.

      An example of this: Schiphol airport bought the porno scanners, and the swab testers for its security scans. So now security uses them on everything. Absolutely everyone gets their naked body scan, and almost everyone gets their bags swabbed.

      Last time I went through (and it will be my last time), a kid's bag went through x-ray, and placed on the "to be inspected side", of which about 60% of bags were being sent, at least 1 bag per person. A security operative opened the bag, pulled out the suspicious item (several pads of post-it notes), and insisted on swabbing them anyway, new gloves, wipe wand with cleaning swab, change gloves, fit pad end to swab, swab, place in machine, wait,....

      It takes them 2-3 minutes to get each passenger scanned, so even with 10 lines, they cannot fill a jumbo jet in an hour.

      If they didn't have the swabs, they would simply put the post-it notes back in the childs bag, but because they have this tech, they insist on using it.... for security. Build their little empire.

      Likewise the next mans bag, he left a drink in there, one of those clear plastic drink-can things. When he realized, he apologized and reached to put it in the bin, but no, security has a new drinks scanner, and insisted on scanning it.... wait.....

      We arrived at 7:20am, for a flight 11:10 and barely made it through, lots of passengers did not, they closed the gate, unloaded their baggage and we set off half an hour late. Barely making our connection.

      Schiphol was not busy, but it fails to function as an airport for those people now.

      You make "security" measures "for the children" and mal-intents will build their mock security empire around them.

      Schiphol airport sells a fast-pass now, its called Privvium or something similar, you get to jump the security que for around 230 euros/year. So perversely they have an incentive to make the system worse and sell more security fast-passes.

      Just before security is a large holding pen where people are all bottlenecked together, a large target for any terrywrist. You wait for hours in a large packed group. Oh, and no toilet there.

      In asian airports (Bangkok, KL, Singapore), they *sample* suspicious items through the scanners. Reasonableness prevails. Airports still function as airports, but not so Schiphol.

      I guess UK is having the same problem as Schiphol from the news.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        Nah, the problem in the UK is that the airlines and airports fired most of their staff during the pandemic, then were shocked - shocked! - to discover that they couldn't rehire them on worse terms and lower pay six months later.

        They also totally forgot that the pre-employment checks take a few weeks, so the staff they did manage to find couldn't start work anyway.

        Some of this was due to Boris suddenly cancelling covid precautions, but it's mostly a total failure to plan on the part of the transport secretary.

        1. druck Silver badge

          Re: Follow the money

          Precautions were cancelled months ago, and the transport secretary has no control over privately owned airports.

          1. Rufus McDufus

            Re: Follow the money

            Though ironically some of the worst-affected airports (Manchester, Luton) are council-owned and run.

            1. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: Follow the money

              This surprises you?

        2. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Follow the money

          I'm sorry, your logic's lost me.

          The airlines and airports fired staff, tried to rehire them on worse terms and lower pay, didn't plan ahead for the known flow of passengers (because most of those bookings would've been well in advance, and the aircraft slots were allocated years in advance), and this is apparently a failure to plan by.. the person that doesn't run any airlines, doesn't own any airports, isn't involved in hiring or training people?

          I'd rather blame my neighbour, as his job is helping airports optimise their passenger flows. But he's ironically gone on holiday..

        3. genghis_uk

          Re: Follow the money

          I know it is the in thing to blame the government for everything but the airlines and the airports are private companies. During the pandemic, they even took money to retain staff but somehow did not...

          Covid restrictions were lifted a long time ago and it was bloody obvious that a lot of people would travel this year after lockdowns. This is a lack of planning on the part of the travel people not (unusually) a government mess.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Follow the money

            This is a lack of planning on the part of the travel people

            No lack of planning involved.

            "we'll just run them understaffed as long as we can, and trouser some nice bonuses"

        4. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

          You are mostly spot on

          Airlines and Airports seem to be managed by idiots. Your error was to call him Boris - his correct name is Bozo the criminal

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Follow the money

      It's not just schools. Once this exists, every police department will want at least one. And all the Feds who operate semi-police forces from the Border Patrol to the Secret Service to the Military Police.

  2. ShadowSystems

    How many employees will it take?

    You can't deploy an autonomous drone in every single classroom of every single school in every single state across the nation. That would be hundreds of millions if not billions of drones, any one of which could (and eventually will) go on the fritz & begin zapping any/everything that moves.

    Which means you need to monitor every single drone with a live Human capable of determining when, where, & if to deploy said zappy bits. You *might* be able to have one Human monitor a batch of drones, but it can't be many or their attention will never be focused enough to do a proper job.

    So how many millions of employees will you be hiring, training, certifying, insuring, & taking responsibility for, to monitor all those drones, and thus opening yourself up for all the liability inherent in a sue-happy nation such as America?

    Because you would pretty much have to employ one half of the population to monitor the other half, and that's not your job, it's the job of police. The various ThreeLetterAgencies would then have a pissing contest over which of them gets to monitor the monitors, at which point it would spawn yet another round of TLA's duplicating each others' work, sucking even more money from the government teat, and further eroding what used to be a rather nice place to live.

    TL;DR: Security Theater is just that, theater, and you need to stop trying to slap lipstick on that pig. Especially since you're holding it upside down & backwards...

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: How many employees will it take?

      No one knows how this would work in practice because they haven't done the analysis yet. I would guess it would involve two or three drones per school, controlled from a security post, so that in the event of an active shooter incident the drone could be sent in to zap them. It would never be hundreds of millions of drones.

  3. Alistair Silver badge

    Taser equipped drones

    Tasers. Tasers on AI drones. Tasers on AI drones in all schools.

    1) walls, doors, glass panels

    2) Body armour

    3) perspex shields

    4) children bouncing about.

    1, 2, 3 make the tasers pointless. 4 sets up tragedy and legal armageddon.

    Taxon, with such guidance, will shortly be out of business.

    1. Olafthemighty

      Re: Taser equipped drones

      ISTR they were talking about having little hatches in the top of doors for the drones to fly through, conveniently forgetting that this might have subtle implications on fire-worthiness.

  4. jake Silver badge


    If (and I stress the if!) these things could be of any use, by the time they are deployed the incident will be all over ... UNLESS each and every room and corridor has one flying in it at all times, each under human control to avoid accidents (lawsuits). Somehow I don't think the kids being "protected" will put up with the obvious misuse as surveillance devices. (Picture yourself as a 14 year old, having the proverbial quick snog behind the bike sheds. Now imagine NOT having that opportunity because Mz Prim has drone duty and disapproves of teen hormones doing their thing. The kids will kill them. With or without fire.)

    However, it would certainly solve the unemployment problem, and I'll bet they try to sell the system with that as a perk ... but it still won't take loonies off the streets.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Whatever.

      It's utterly impossible for such a system to "patrol".

      Small quadcopter drone flight time is about 20 minutes, so assume you triple the flight time to an hour and can swap cells instantly. Nevermind that this requires magic.

      School is open 9 hours a day, so that's 9-10 charges per day, for ~180 days. 1800 charges per year.

      At 500 charge cycles, that's four new batteries a year, per drone.

      There you go, I've done the maths. It took me five minutes to prove it's not feasible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fully against the idea, but

      This makes more sense as trunk junk for a police car, where they get issued to a qualified officer. Schools with an officer stationed onsite could have one parked in the school, but unless it's in an automated dock, they won't be able to find it when they need it, batteries will be dead, and it will just be another excuse why they didn't move in during an incident. Sorry gov, the battery was recharging!

      Still, armed or otherwise, a camera drone would be a tool to track and pursue someone w/o getting your a$$ shot off. That said they won't fair well against a Mossburg, winter clothing, weather, fog, smoke, and a hundred other daily inconveniences. So just another situational tool.

      Having a remote pilot would also seem like a great idea on paper, but isn't very realistic. Communication reliability and delay issues would be intractable for the size of craft they are discussing, and losing precise control over a heavy lift drone at a school is like turning a flying lawnmower lose in a classroom. So realistically this could only be locally controlled from fairly close range, and would still be prone to dropping out due to obstructions and building issues.

      The biggest reason not to do this is that the people responsible for them won't be able to resist using them. How many times have we seen the same staff casually hosing down students with pepper spray or Tasing them already, including at student protests where they had every right to be there. Worse are the incidents we are not seeing, especially at remote and inner city schools with poor oversight.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Fully against the idea, but

        "How many times have we seen the same staff casually hosing down students with pepper spray..."


  5. chuckufarley Silver badge

    This isn't a solution...

    ...It's just another symptom of the American Problem. Let's not debate this. Let's solve the American Problem. Let's get our priorities straight and create a nation that doesn't reach for guns (or tasers) to solve social and political differences.

    That's my 2 cents.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: This isn't a solution...

      The vast majority of Americans do not reach for guns to solve political and social differences. Only the loonies do. The answer isn't getting rid of guns (which is a fool's errand). The only viable answer is getting rid of loonies.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: This isn't a solution...

        There are loonies everywhere in the world, but most of mass shootings are in the US.

        The biggest difference: US is the only country where loonies can find guns easily, and many of them.

        (Investing in universal health care would be a good idea anyway)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          "US is the only country where loonies can find guns easily"

          Horse shit.

          1. parlei Bronze badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            Name one more functioning state where anyone can walk into a store and walk out with a semi-auto gun and a pack of high capacity magazines, with no background checks, waiting times or other reasonable safeguards. .

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This isn't a solution...

              Given you can't do that in the US either, seems a little irrelevant.

          2. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            Citation needed.

            Otherwise, I call bullshit on your "horse shit".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Get better arguments.

          Take a deep breath. If you are pro gun control or for full on gun bans, you can make much better arguments.

          Gun violence isn't magical or special. It isn't only a US problem. It's world wide. That is why that pointless line is usually followed with a qualifier like western nations, first world countries, whatever. It is also an excuse to cherry pick the statistics by ignoring the facts and data from most of the world. On that point your just wrong.

          If you set aside the blinders, you will find out there is a real problem with armed gunmen, gangs, and militias attacking schools all over the world. High profile cases even make the news, like the big school kidnappings in Africa over the last decade.

          Mass shootings happen all over the world, but in the US the terms have been synthetically defined to try to make it seem like they are happening constantly, while somehow still excluding what happens in most of the countries in the world. This is bad science and bad math, but it's worse becuase it mixes the results up in a way that hides the causes. While school schootings are rare, most are person to person attacks, domestic violence and gang related crimes. Many also fail to kill or injure the arbitrary and magic number to qualify as a "mass" shooting, which is just as bad.

          Why does it matter? Stopping these attacks is only likely or possible when you understand the sources and likelihood of the threats. Stopping a domestic violence problem before it becomes a murder suicide, interventions into local gang disputes and violence, and identifying individuals displaying red flags for a mass murder spree all require different approaches. So do risks of domestic and foreign terrorism, kidnapping, and sexual assault.

          The details matter, both in the statistics and in policy. That is one of the reasons why so many people are angry that this has broken down to another pissing contest between ambulance chasing politicians that didn't even wait for facts to come in before trying to wrap their flag around the incident and start grandstanding. As it turned out those details mattered. The shooter in Uvalde had a string of red flags that would have been the only realistic chance to stop them. Even in a town with two resident tactical squads the police failed to protect them because the onsite responders made critical and tragic mistakes. Those are real issues here.

          Instead we see lines forming for fools that think uncoordinated mob of staff, parents, and neighbors should have been armed and rushed a prepared gunman without a plan or training, in advance of a hornets nest of officers with no way to identify who is who or co-ordinate. Armed mobs aren't an answer, they are the problem that police departments were supposed to fix.

          Or you get different ambulance chasers who are trying to cache in on the tragedy to get people to enact gun bans that wouldn't have meaningfully addressed or prevented the incident, and have no chance of passing nationally, but also ensure no other reforms get passed nationally either. A new ban on some guns, for some people in NY and CA isn't protecting people in Texas or Georgia. Fixing the background checks and making them apply to all the states and territories would help though.

          Instead, the Brady/Giffords cheerleaders seize each of this tragedies as an opportunity to push the wrong agenda. That overreach has two huge consequences. I wish they were more concerned with the more serious of the two, which is that we would have been able to push closing the bump stock, bullet button, private sale and gun show loopholes decades ago. Sadly they are more likely to care about the fact that this also is breathing life into their arch-enemy, the NRA. That organization was on the ropes since after the Borderlands bar and grill and Route 91 shootings, and nearly collapsed from within due to infighting between La Pierre and the trumpists. So the net effect of their efforts has been to push for laws that that will never pass over ones that would pass if people like Dianne Feinstein could keep their mouth shut till after the votes were counted.

          Those laws might have stopped the Uvalde shooter on a background check, a red flag law would have allowed them to seize them back and put a psych hold on the shooter, and police reforms might have saved lives at the last line of defense.

          An AR-15 ban has effectively no chance of passing in Texas, or nationally. Worse, the shooter would probably have walked out of that store with a clip fed semi-automatic shotgun instead. Fixing none of the other problems while failing to pass a law that wouldn't have stopped even if it did? That sound like a plan when you say it out loud?

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Get better arguments.

            I don't necessarily agree with all of that but it's still about the most sensible comment I have read on this issue, ever.

      2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: This isn't a solution...

        You need to define who the loonies are, first. In a survey yesterday 44% of republicans thought that the country should just learn to live with mass shootings as long as they can keep their guns.

        As for tasing a loonie in a room full of kids who's got his finger on the trigger of an automatic assault rifle.......

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          Most of the loonies announced themselves prior to their actions. Nobody paid attention. This is a problem, and one that needs addressing.

          I agree that the current Republican leadership are another part of the problem.

          Said loonie in a room full of kids hasn't (to date) had a fully automatic "assault rifle" (whatever that is!), they have semi-auto rifles. A quibble, you say? Perhaps ... but your incorrect assumption certainly colo(u)rs your perception of reality, and feeds your fears.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            I'd say the second group is really a subset of the first group.

          2. Forestmania

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            A loonie wearing body armour...

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          "...automatic assault rifle..."


      3. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: The answer isn't getting rid of guns

        Really? Where's the data that supports that argument?

        All the data I see shows there's only country that keeps having school massacres. All the other countries that had one took real steps to avoid having another.

        The USA likes school massacres more than it likes the idea of losing access to firearms.

        You sick fucks.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: The answer isn't getting rid of guns

          If we take care of the loonie problem, the problem will evaporate.

          If we get rid of guns, we'll still have loonies out there, probably finding new ways to kill kids. (Tim McVeigh don't need any guns to destroy a nursery school, for one example.)

          You really want to give the loonies a chance to kill kids? I sure as hell don't ... I want them off the streets where they can't hurt anybody. Who's the sick fuck?

          1. GrahamRJ

            Re: The answer isn't getting rid of guns

            > probably finding new ways to kill kids

            There are plenty of ways to kill people. The point is that guns are specifically designed to kill people, quickly and efficiently, and every other method of killing multiple people quickly is significantly harder to acquire/build. And moreover, most of those methods are fairly tightly controlled.

            You can kill people if you smash your car into a crowd, for example. Except that owning and driving a car requires multiple months of training, followed by formal qualifications issued by a government agency, followed by lifelong registration of both you and your vehicle with a government agency. Stealing a car normally needs you to get the key off the owner (theft of cars dropped an order of magnitude instantly when immobilisers appeared). If your doctor thinks you are a danger to the public behind the wheel, they (in most countries) have a legal duty to tell that government agency, who will take away your privilege of driving for the safety of the general public. And if you drive dangerously, both your privilege of driving and your vehicle can be taken away. And even then, killing people is harder than you'd think, because governments have insisted on car companies designing their vehicles to reduce the damage they'd cause when they hit a pedestrian.

            If guns in the US had anything like this level of controls, they would not be the biggest killer of young people in the US.

            You can make your ANFO bomb, too. Except that bulk orders of AN are checked these days, because we all know about what the IRA, Tim McVeigh and other terrorists did with it.

            Knives? Limited success rate even against civilians - the guy on London Bridge was stopped by one guy wielding a fire extinguisher and another guy with a narwhal tusk, and he was down before the police shot him.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. chuckufarley Silver badge

        Re: This isn't a solution...

        Thank you for successfully channeling Joseph Goebbels. Now I suggest you seek immediate long term therapy.

        This is not a joke. You have issues.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          I want to take the loonies off the streets BEFORE they can act, instead of removing one inanimate object out of many that they can use to lash out. This is having issues, in your mind?

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            "...I want to take the loonies off the streets BEFORE they can act, instead of removing one inanimate object out of many that they can use to lash out. This is having issues, in your mind?..."

            And how do you do that? How, exactly, do you identify someone who walks into a gun store and legally buys a firearm(s) and then uses that to shoot children? When that someone has no previous convictions or prior mental health issues that were flagged?

            Here's the one, simple fact that you and others like you cannot and will not accept: gun control works. Even in your own states where there are gun control laws, the vast majority of shootings are done with firearms brought in from a neighbouring state that has no such laws.

            Look around you - no other country in the world has these issues and yet you would prefer to hold on to some out of date notion than protect schoolchildren.

          2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            What you mean is you want to do absolutely anything other than take away your right to own a gun. That right is more important than dead kids. It's more important than the ~60% of gun deaths in the US that are suicides. It's more important than anything for people like you to live out your John Wayne fantasies and who gives a shit if it makes your country more dangerous cos, standing in the mirror waving your pistol around, you're the most dangerous motherfucker in the room.

            The only defence against a dead bloke who's just killed your kid isn't to get a bigger gun than him.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: This isn't a solution...

              I neither said, nor implied any such thing. Please re-read what I have written, this time for content.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This isn't a solution...

        I'm not sure "loonie" is the correct term here, but I'll go with that, anyways.

        What kind of a person do you have to be to go on a killing spree? What makes someone do something like that? Knowing that there is no way back after this - even if you don't get killed during or after your attack, you'll spend your life in prison or in a mental facility?

        In one case in Germany, a pupil shot teachers and other pupils. He just flunked school and saw no future for himself. No possibility to get a job, be an accepted part of society.

        And I think that's the rub: we need to give people a chance, a perspective in life. I don't think gun control, harsher prison sentences or the death penalty will solve this. People without a perspective (subjectively, no matter whether they might have one, it suffices they can't see it) get desperate and sometimes, desperate people snap. In those (rare) cases that people decide to let others suffer, guns just cause more damage. If they could not get guns, they'd use knifes or hammers (which does not mean I don't think it is a good idea to restrict the access to guns).

        If we can prevent people from getting desperate, that would probably do a lot more good than more police, more guns (or more gun control, pick your side) and harsher laws.

        1. chuckufarley Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          Dear AC,

          Sorry for the down vote but you have left out an important part of the equation: Teaching people to value the lives and futures of others as much of they value their own life and future. OK, some one flunked school. Does that mean that one of their children or grandchildren will not be the one the crack sustainable fusion? What about the children and grandchildren of their victims?

          Some people think that without believing in God and Satan that they can't be good or evil. That is and always will be a failure of imagination on their part. It's the kind of failure that kept Humanity in the stone age for thousands of generations. Now that we are approaching a human population of ten billion (10,000,000,000) people it's the kind of failure we must actively avoid to survive.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            I think I see why you want to keep loonies on the streets.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This isn't a solution...

              Misunderstanding, Jake. I don't want to "keep loonies on the street", I want to prevent people from becoming "loonies" by improving society (and yes, to my other responder, this includes teaching people to value life, but I still think you need to give people a perspective in life, hope, if you want to call it that.) If people think that their future will consist of begging for scraps, they probably will only "look out for the number one" and not care much about other people.

              Yes, that is quite a task. No, I don't think there really is an alternative.

              If you want to get "loonies off the street" you have to identify them before they act. How? This implies quite a bit of surveillance so you'd see the warning signs.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          I agree with what you wrote (which is just a small window into the entire issue), but I disagree that banning one weapon of many available is a valid way to put an end to the problem.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            Funny though how it seems to work for most other countries then, isn't it?

            I'm a Canadian. To buy and use firearms, we must have a license. I have my license. I own firearms. Many of my friends have their licenses and own firearms too. In fact, lots of legally Canadians own firearms; over 2.5 million of us. Yet shootings by licensed firearms owners are essentially non-existant (I was unable to Google up a single example). Virtually every one of our shootings (and we have less than a handful of mass shootings in the past 30+ years, unlike the US which seems to have one on almost every day that ends in Y) are with illegally obtained smuggled guns. A small number with guns stolen from licensed owners. A smaller number from those guns obtained from other means (stolen from police, home made, etc.).

            Which leads me to: Can the US please do something about it's practically unfettered, almost unregulated access to guns my wholly unqualified people? Please? Since about 85% of the illegal guns in Canada are smuggled in from the US, that would be a big help to us responsible Canadian firearms owners. Not to mention the victims of these guns, the families of those victims, and everyone else who has to deal with the fallout. And on a personal note it might stop our Prime Minister from using law abiding Canadian firearms owners as political pawns by restricting our access to certain firearms, almost never used in Canadian shootings, to appease his base and because those guns are used in mass shootings across the boarder. Thanks, that would be great.

            1. Rufus McDufus

              Re: This isn't a solution...

              See also Switzerland where gun ownership is very common.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: This isn't a solution...

                ... as is belonging to a well regulated militia

      6. WhereAmI?

        Re: This isn't a solution...

        Eugenics? How?

        The answer isn't getting rid of loonies (which is a fool's errand). The only viable answer is getting rid of guns.


        The NRA's oft-repeated statement that 'guns don't kill people - people kill people' is very disingenuous, to put it mildly. So, let's say they are correct and we go with their logic to its final conclusion:

        - guns don't kill people - people kill people

        - people kill people with guns

        - if you reduce the number of guns, you will reduce the ability of people to kill people with guns

        What did I get wrong? It is far harder to get a firearms licence in any country in Europe than it is in the USA and that, IMHO, is a good thing. The corollary of that is we also have fewer rampant shooters because most of the loonies are weeded out during the licensing process. Yes I know - Hungerford and Dunblane. Two shooters in the UK in four decades, as opposed to how many in the USA so far this year?

        Now, from where I'm sitting in the Emerald Isle, it's my (possibly faulty) understanding that the Second Amendment was considered a necessity because at the time there was no standing army. The USA now has one of the best standing armies in the world, so... tradition and history aside, what is the need for the Second Amendment? It is, after all, an amendment and amendments can be amended. Implementing gun control does not mean stopping Americans from owning guns - it will just make it more difficult and yes, weed out most of the loonies.

      7. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: This isn't a solution...

        Jake why do you refer to getting rid of guns as a fools errand? It can and has been done in other countries.

        Australia had the largest civilian Massacre in the Western world in 1996 (35 people murdered), a title which it held until about 2 years ago. The year afterwards Australia banned all fully and semi automatic weapons. And major restrictions were placed on the purchasing of any gun. People who owned such weapons could hand them in and be paid the value of them in cash, no questions asked. And every couple of years after that there was an amnesty where people could hand in the now illegally held weapons without any problems. But it is now illegal to even possess such weapons.

        Since that point there have not been ANY mass killings in Australia. Mass killings defined as 5 victims or more. Think about that, not a single one in the last 25 years.

        Removing guns wont stop ALL murders, but someone running around with a knife can be more easily stopped, or they can be run away from. You cant outrun a bullet. A small handgun or a bolt action weapon does not give you the rate of firepower or the amount of ammunition needed to quickly kill a large group of people without hesitation.

        Now you might counter that Australia is much smaller than the US, but at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre gun ownership was relatively on par with the US, so the amount of guns per person was also quite high, and with the sheer scale of the US Army and police forces in comparison to ours, you could easily implement the necessary policies to collect and dispose of all of your weapons. You might also counter that Australia being an Island makes it significantly easier to control the flow of weapons into the country, and that is true. But the US is NOT an importer of weapons like Australia is. The vast majority of guns in American hands are manufactured in the US. Mexico has complained for years about the number of weapons flowing south and berating the US for it's lack of enforcement on that side. So if you dry up the supply in the US, I doubt you will see much of a flow back into America, as the Mexican gangs will want to hold on to their current stocks of weapons, since the ready supply from America wont be available anymore.

        Alright the TL:DR summation - Gun control works. The US just doesnt have the bravery to implement it.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: This isn't a solution...

          "Alright the TL:DR summation - Gun control works. The US just doesnt have the bravery to implement it."

          I don't think the issue is bravery. It's lack of political will, but that's not the same thing.

          The USA 2nd amendment is not about hunting, target, or home defence. It's about shooting people in uniform.

          "We need these weapons because we want to be effective against the government if it becomes tyrannical. Thats part of our Second Amendment right."

          Anybody proposing to take away guns _automatically_ belongs to the "tyrannical" group. It's 18th-centry thinking for sure. But pro-gun groups in the USA look at Ukraine and say "couldn't happen here". Saying the ordinary citizen doesn't need "assault-style" weapons is directly counter to the actual reason for the 2nd amendment. For shooting people in uniform, you need a weapon that is effective against heavily armed and professionally trained soldiers and police.

          RE loonies

          As a generality, people value human life. But adolescent males most certainly do NOT value human life, not even their own, to the same extent as grown-ups. You can't lock up all the adolescent males. (Wide-spread availability of guns) * (wide-spread availability of adolescent males) = (wide-spread occurrence of mass shootings).

          Something has to change. It should be clear which factor in the equation is easier to control. The problem is that changing the 2nd amendment will be considered "tyrannical".

          1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            "But pro-gun groups in the USA look at Ukraine..."


            "For shooting people in uniform, you need a weapon that is effective against heavily armed and professionally trained soldiers and police."

            The Ukrainians aren't asking for handguns and rifles. They are asking for artillery, anti-tank and anti-ship weapons, long range missiles, drones and aircraft. If a tyrannical US government attacked its citizens it wouldn't be soldiers taking pot-shots at a militia of armed locals; it would be tanks, planes and ships with shells, rockets and missiles. Does the 2nd amendment give citizens the right to buy anti-aircraft guns for the neighbourhood?

            Jim Jeffries puts it better here.


          2. KBeee

            Re: This isn't a solution...

            You're too young, immature and irresponsible to drink alcohol until you're 21, but Happy 18th Birthday! Here's your AR-15!

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    Just too many guns

    That's the real problem, and more are being made every day. It's not like they are computers, and need to be replaced every 3-5 years due to obsolescence. A gun from 20 years ago still kills...

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Just too many guns

      20 years ago? Conscripts in Ukraine (on the rebel side) are being issued with guns made 100 years ago.

      (to be fair, I'm not sure how old the specific weapons are, but they're a model of rifle that hasn't been produced in Russia - or Ukraine - since 1945)

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Just too many guns

      What does the quantity of any kind of weapon have to do with anything? All a loonie needs is one, and the opportunity. In my mind taking away the loonie's opportunity would be a lot easier than taking away all available weapons.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Just too many guns


        I didn't say take away all available weapons. Just stop producing more, please.

        Spend the three minutes to watch this! When we all have guns!

        It's well worth the laugh! It's still a problem 36 years later. It's just my observation.

  7. Jonathon Green

    I like Americans. They’re funny…

    1. jake Silver badge

      I like Jonathon Green.

      He's so predictable.

  8. Tubz Bronze badge

    You don't need drones, outfit every corridor, classroom, dinner hall, gym, changing room, play area etc etc, with AI controlled point defence lasers and AGM-65 Maverick. When an alert goes out, people stay put drop hands to side or the AI scans them as a potential target and zap. Those with the approved safety dongle, can move about and secure area.

    1. chuckufarley Silver badge

      This post brings a whole new meaning to...


      Because any such system would have to be 100% secure. Which isn't possible. Which means sooner or later someone with evil intentions would gain control over it.

      And, sorry for the down vote.

    2. Amentheist

      You have 15 seconds to comply.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        ED? Is that you! Damn man, how have you been?

    3. Swarthy

      Poe's law

      I know this was meant as satire, but I have to cite Poe's law: "every parody of extreme views can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied"

      Or, "If you keep knocking on the devil’s door, sooner or later someone will answer you"

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    Exploiting a school shooting to pitch that idea is just evil. And now every police department needs to spend tens of thousands on taser drones? Wtf is wrong with America?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Hold on, there, chief.

      Nobody's spending tens of thousands on anything yet. Far from it, in fact pretty much everybody is poo-pooing the idea, if not outright laughing at the idiot for suggesting it.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Wtf is wrong with America?


  10. lglethal Silver badge

    Bill Hicks remains a prophet...

    I continue to find it so sad that all of those old jokes from Bill Hicks from the 80's and early 90's about Americans and their guns remains so relevant. Honestly, it's been 30 years, nearly 40 years for some of his stand up, and you still havent sorted your shit out.

    No wonder the Aliens came and picked him up early... :P

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does the rest of the world disagree?

    Guns were invented for a single purpose, to kill. Most countries in the world recognise that having easy access to guns is a bad thing and have taken steps to restrict access to only those who may have legitimate need to kill i.e. the military and police. While other niche scenarios exist such as rifles for hunting and shotguns for farmers to shoot predators, these are strictly regulated and the punishment for infractions can be severe.

    The people of virtually every country in the world had a legal right to own guns at some point, but over the years those countries have all implemented laws to restrict gun use and ownership. Historically, British citizens had a legal right to carry guns for self-defence, much like the US today. In point of fact, the US Second Amendment is partially based on the English Bill of Rights from 1689 that allowed British citizens to carry arms for self-defence, resistance to oppression and defence of the state.

    The first real restrictions did not happen in Britain until 1920 when local police were given the right to decide who could have a gun license and therefore legally own a gun. Various minor laws were enacted over the years but it was not until 1988 that laws were passed to ban semi-automatic rifles, pump action rifles & shotguns, and all military style weapons. It was not until 1997 that laws were introduced that almost totally banned pistol ownership except for use in certain sporting events.

    The American idea that people in Britain do not understand the gun ownership issue because we don't have guns is totally wrong. We do understand the issue, we also had mass shootings, but we came to the sensible decision that if people did not have guns they could not shoot anyone. Of course they could still kill people by other means, but you cannot have a mass shooting if you have nothing to shoot with. Its basic common sense.

    Britain had all the same arguments about criminals still owning guns, but if the punishment for criminals caught with guns is harsh enough and law abiding citizens do not have guns to shoot at criminals, then criminals will feel less incentive to use guns themselves. And we have not had an epidemic of police officers being shot since owning guns became illegal. Criminals will always break the law, but if the punishment is harsh enough and the availability is removed, then the use of guns will reduce over time. It takes many years but it is possible to remove a majority of guns from society.

    The right to bear arms was not in the original constitution, it is an amendment, a change to the original constitution. There have been 27 amendments and one of those was to remove a previous amendment, so the constitution can be changed if people want it enough. The fact that there is so much opposition to change has nothing to do with people’s rights and everything to do with the money generated by a multi-billion dollar industry and the powerful people who profit from that industry. Very rich and powerful people are pulling the strings and controlling the narrative to ensure they stay rich and powerful, and a lot of American children are dying for them to stay that way.

  12. DerekCurrie
    Big Brother

    Big Drone Is Watching You

    So don't be naughty, or ZAAPPPP!

    As a part-time cynic, I know perfectly well that CONTROL of the citizenry is one of the goals of governments with bad attitude. The result is CRMMs, which in this case stand for Citizen Remote Manipulation Machines.

    Tasers on drones in schools isn't just an unrealistic idea. One gunshot or swing of a baseball bat and the things are out of commission. They're also a toehold into yet another method of controlling the citizenry in ANY scenario. Example: The government's significantly faulty surveillance camera software identified a bad guy walking down the street. Unleash the CRMMs! Zap, zap, zap, your Dad got nailed and is off to jail. Blunder accomplished. Or how about they participate in a Trump-quality mob clearing procedure? Gotta get that Bible to hold up at the church across the street? Zap the hell out of those pesky citizens who are engaged in using their right to free speech and assembly. Clear the herd.

    We humans as a whole find disagreement among ourselves to be disagreeable. Using cowardly and remote tools to end disagreements, temporarily or permanently, is entirely within our behavioral history and capabilities.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    non-lethal? bullshit!

    If I shoot you in the right place, I most certainly can kill you with a taser, and I don't mean cuff your ankles or wrists together and put one dart into each foot or hand allowing your torso (heart) to bridge them together.

  14. stiine Silver badge

    Stupid now instead of only needing a gun and ammunition, they'll have to order an EMP generator from before going on a rampage. If they buy it with a larger battery, they can kill every police car, radio, pa system for blocks...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worthy Upgrade

    I must say it's certainly a worthy upgrade on the unguided flying duster of my youth.

    Might I humbly suggest also introducing cattle prods to replace the now obsolete rattan cane.

    Some of my teachers had a fairly tenuous grip on sanity, (to put it mildly - though the cause was pretty clear), and I wouldn't want to be in any room where they were armed with anything more pointy than a feather duster (including, and especially, the staff room)

  16. earl grey

    it's a long way off

    yeah, i see it coming down the hall now.

  17. Phil Kingston

    "I know drones in schools can sound nuts."

    No shit dude. So does active-shooter drills in primary schools. And bulletproof schoolbags, and metal detectors and 6 foot fences and armed on-site security. But here you are.

    And for anyone not yet fully-aligned with their chosen well-regulated militia I think this offers a fascinating commentary on the American craziness and is well worth 7 minutes of your time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i think bulletproof schoolbags for my nephews in Florida just went on the sewing list. Aliexpress has the fabric.

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