Gun Control/Ownership Dilemma Has a Solution

I have been thinking about the issue of gun control/ownership in the US and how would one go about finding a resolution to maintain the rights of people to defend themselves while reduce the mass killings and random shootings that happen “presumably” because of widespread accessibility to guns.

There are two arguments for and against gun ownership.
For: It is a constitutional right to defend oneself and have a gun. Plus guns don’t kill people, people kill people (which I don’t agree with but that’s what I hear a lot from proponents of gun ownership).
Against: If you have a gun and can easily obtain one if you don’t, you’re more likely to use violence with gun and commit homicide using a gun.

The two arguments are sound on the surface but contradictory in effect. How can we find a compromise to cut the cons while keeping the pros in gun ownership? Give people guns to defend themselves without giving them mechanism to kill other people?

The answer is in BULLETS!

Modify the bullets in such a way that can make a target unconscious but don’t kill its target. Is it possible? Maybe and possibly YES.

First of all, we already have rubber bullets and they inflict a lot of pain on a human target once hit. They don’t kill but they cause a lot of pain. That’s often enough to deter an attack and potentially disable an intruder. Why is that not enough for people? I don’t know the answer to that and still have to be convinced on why you still need to have lead bullets to defend yourself?!

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the gun shot has to make its target unconscious and act similarly to a gun with real, lead bullets (without the lethal effect of course). Then, can we design a bullet technology that (similarly to taser guns) can paralyze its target upon impact? Is it possible to have taser bullets rather than taser guns?

I admit that this might be over engineering and too expensive to build; on other hand regardless of what technology or technique proposed, it may never be enough to convince pro guns and NRA in the US to change their minds about guns. But we may be able to change their minds about bullets.


10 Rules of Simplicity

John Maeda offers ten laws for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design:

  1. Reduce: the simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction
  2. Organize: organization makes a system of many appear fewer
  3. Time: savings in time feel like simplicity
  4. Learn: knowledge makes everything simpler; therefore train the user
  5. Differences: simplicity and complexity need each other
  6. Context: what lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral (let the user comfortably lost)
  7. Emotion: more emotions are better than less
  8. Trust: in simplicity we trust (before getting more elaborate)
  9. Failure: some things can never be made simple (Google maps launch in the browser)
  10. The One: simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful


There are four ways to support a price on something of value:

  1. replacement cost: “How much would it cost to replace?”
  2. market comparison: “How much are other things like this selling for?”
  3. discounted cash flow/net present value: “How much is it worth if it can bring in money over time?”
  4. value comparison: “Who is this particularly valuable to?”

Value Comparison is typically the optimal way to price your offer, since the value of an offer to a specific group can be quite high, resulting in a much better price.



Meetings That Don’t Suck!

Here are some useful tips on how to organize good, productive meetings:

  • Kill the status meeting: check-in meetings are not efficient or relevant to everyone
  • Hold one-on-one meetings sacred: more important than group meetings
  • Every meeting must have a single owner
  • Your calendar doesn’t make you important: you don’t have to sit at every meeting
  • Calendars shouldn’t postpone decisions: you should be available for decision making meetings
  • Keep meetings small: under 5 people
  • Consider the opportunity cost of every meeting
  • Treat other people’s calendars as a scarce resource
  • Escalate, don’t undermine: just move to the decision makers
  • If the meeting is over, end the meeting: if you finish early, end the meeting
  • Declare calendar bankruptcy: if need be, start over with your bookings