In our travels we came up a very innovative approach to dealing with our mounting concerns over gun violence in the United States. The advanced nature of this concept is quite remarkable, especially considering it was written more than 40 years ago.
Author Paul Baran was inducted into the inaugural 2012 Internet Hall of Fame. Mr. Baran passed away in 2011, at the age of 84.
Here is the excerpt from the Rand Corporation website:
“A scheme for modifying every handgun and rifle in the United States to discourage its misuse. Each gun barrel would be scribed so that it would leave a predetermined, standardized, coded marking on each fired bullet, and the markings would be coded in a binary manner uniquely corresponding to the serial number inscribed on the gun barrel. Thus any spent bullet would be indelibly scribed with the weapon’s serial number.
A central registration file of guns ordered by serial number would indicate the name and address of the present registered owner and any data on theft of the weapon. Maximum use of such information presupposes a gun registration law and periodic inspection reviews, at which time the weapons would be examined to make sure that they are well maintained and safe to use. After preliminary inspection, each gun would be fired into a viscous braking medium such as water, to slow the bullet without damage; the bullet markings would then be examined to ensure that they are clearly visible and that they match the legal registration number.
While there are many problems connected with the implementation of such a coding scheme, it is felt that irresponsible people would be less likely to misuse weapons in an antisocial manner if the weapons could be better controlled and traced through individual coding. 19 pp.”