Bishop Douglas Miles, after a whirlwind European trip last month, is part of a fresh attack on street violence. In addition to battling for gun control laws, he wants to use 21st century technology to control guns.
Through electronic devices, internet commands and even integrated chips that can be embedded into humans, Miles found in a tour of European gun makers, handguns and rifles can become as harmless as paperweights.
That’s what Bishop Miles, pastor of the Koinonia Baptist Church, said he is going to tell Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Jan. 9, in a private meeting.
Miles said he is convinced that hardware he saw during his recent tour of European gun makers can reduce or eliminate accidental use and misuse of guns by children and teens, as well as reducing accidental discharges or the use of a gun against the owner if it is stolen or taken away.
He is referring to devices such the Magna-Trigger system for K- through N-frame size Smith and Wesson revolvers that prevents the trigger from coming back far enough to fire unless a magnetic ring worn by the user repels the magnetic blocking device installed inside the grip.
Another device, developed by a Mossberg Shotgun subsidiary, requires the shooter to wear a ring that, unless matched by a ring on the shotgun, prevents the weapon from discharging.
Such devices can prevent accidents from happening, he said.
"I am hoping for the mayor and the police commissioner to go with us back to Europe in the spring as part of a large delegation to meet with the gun manufacturers–Glock, Sig Sauer and Beretta– to ask them to start using the safe lock mechanism with any new weapons produced.
“Parents can secure their weapons so that children won’t accidentally shoot themselves and so that some of the stuff that happened in Newtown [Conn.] would not have happened,” he said.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in the five years through 2010, nearly 3,800 Americans died from accidental shootings and more than a third of them—1,300—were under the age of 25.
It’s one thing to buy guns from lawful owners, he said. But it would be more effective to redesign guns so that only the lawful owner can discharge them.
“Those who put money up for the gun buy back would put money up to secure the locking mechanism for the guns,” he said. “This will go a great way towards eliminating a source of illegal guns for the criminals.”