“Barney’s bullet” gun safety

a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.  



John Woodrow Cox observes (WAMU’s 1A):

“The truth is that school shootings are rare. What’s not rare, especially in kids’ minds, is the imminent threat of a school shooting.” 

Cox, in a short audio clip from an NPR story (The Trauma of Gun Violence):



“Barney’s bullet”?

Yep, Barney’s bullet (gun safety) strategy [BBS] is intended to unify Americans’ efforts to reduce/end the mass carnage of our gun violence epidemic in America — what I’m calling ‘neutron bomb’ gun safety policy! Please let me explain.

“Barney” is a rather dated reference, let’s briefly review. Barney Fife was a 1960s television character, i.e., the klutzy deputy sheriff in the fictional North Carolina town of Mayberry. Barney was played by Don Knotts.

Barney invariably had difficulty with his sidearm every time he tried to demonstrate a fast-draw with it from its holster. Let’s see:



Do you sense it was a different time in our society (1960-68)?

Anyway, after many such tragedies narrowly averted, in the interest of gun safety, Sheriff Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) established a policy that allowed Barney to have only one bullet in his possession. Further, he had to keep the bullet in his shirt pocket. Andy didn’t want to violate his deputy’s dignity by disarming him; he just wanted to protect everyone’s safety, including Barney’s. Ingenious! Gun safety through bullet control!



Limiting lethality

The idea is to regulate the sale and possession of all bullets very strictly. Further, this is to include the components needed to make bullets. I’m suggesting a national law/policy convention to end the extreme carnage of mass gun violence through gun safety via bullet limitations and high-tech-accountability. Self-defense requires only a couple of bullets; only massacres require high bullet counts.



It’s about limiting the carnage that we’re willing to allow any would-be-mass-murderer to inflict. Guns are a technology problem, because they multiply the scope/scale of the carnage. An excellent illustration of this argument: “a knife-wielding attacker goes on a rampage at a Chinese primary school, wounding eight schoolchildren with one seriously hurt, state media report (security cam video).” A knife is horrible enough, but it simply cannot create a gun massacre. If we can’t limit guns, then: limited number of bullets, limited massacre.



The “neutron bomb of gun safety”?

Last week in a couple of social media groups, I quickly discovered an interesting benefit of the BBS approach. It seems that the NRA‘s arguments/talking-points are primarily grounded on the idea that all gun safety initiatives (legislation/policy) are ultimately meant to “disarm” Americans. However, BBS-inspired gun safety has no design or intent to disarm anyone.

The NRA defends against the nuclear option (e.g., disarming Americans), not the neutron option (e.g., regulating bullets).

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

“Arms” = musket-loader. Does the 2nd Amendment provide a “right” to bullets?

Gun rights activists argue that Americans have the right to own guns to defend their personal property/liberty against any and all tyranny, i.e., SCOTUS basically interprets this as a constitutional right to own guns for self defense.

So, BBS has no problem with everyone owning a dozen guns, or a hundred guns, if they wish. Similarly, ammunition magazines that allow loading a gun with a bazillion rounds are fine, too. However, the number of bullets one may legally possess is where we’ll intersect/engage the “well regulated” feature of the amendment.

So, the BBS leaves an armed militia in place (no disarmament) and takes up the “well regulated” responsibility through bullet boundaries/high-tech-accountability:  



Excess bullet possession 

Given our need to end the unacceptable dystopian reality that we currently inhabit, we’ll need collectively to take this very seriously. Any/all bullet infractions earn violators an immediate trip to a California-sized man-made island off the coast of California. Except for being self-containing (and far more crowded?), the island is designed/built to operate exactly like our present actual dystopian reality, i.e., economic inequality reigns in a context of insufficient resources; where biases and bigotries structure the inequalities; everyone is armed to the teeth; and bullets are unregulated. Those who survive there for twelve months earn another chance to live on the mainland, if they wish, where guns are still broadly held, and, outside of the home, bullets are severely limited. 


Preventing mass violence is very difficult/impossible with our present understandings. We’re limited to minimizing such occasions to the least amount of violence/carnage possible, without disarming Americans. The BBS “neutron option” unites Americans in limiting the carnage while leaving an armed, “well regulated Militia” in place.
BBS gun safety affords Americans armed self-defense while imposing the conditions to reduce gun violence and prevent mass gun violence. 



Next week: BBS and praxis. [this post ~825 words (3 minute read)]  

Your thoughts? 




5 thoughts on ““Barney’s bullet” gun safety

  1. hey now, All,

    Continuing … anticipating what is likely an early concern:

    So, the, obvious, first objection is: “Oh, yeah, let’s do that… then only the criminals will have more than a couple of bullets and law-abiding citizens will be lambs for the slaughter!”

    First, our school children are already “lambs for the slaughter.”

    Second, significantly, BBS will be positioned — as we’ve never been similarly positioned before — to provide a super-efficient sweep-up of armed criminals and armed would-be-criminals. I’ll explain.

    OK, so, you recall, I mentioned that because our present dystopian reality is so dark regarding guns: “we’ll need collectively to take this very seriously?”

    A significant side benefit of BBS is that it serves as a way to effortlessly surface armed criminals and all those who will not play by the rules regarding something that is this socially significant. Further, it exposes, with extreme precision, the criminals and potential-criminal rule-breakers in an easily verifiable and documented possession of too many bullets.

    Easy enough to write a couple lines of code for an AI system made to surf the internet of things. The AI can monitor any grouping of bullets and their movements and alert authorities with geolocation and data for immediate intervention before bullets are ever fired.

    Also, easy enough for ordinary police patrol to include scanning for bullet violations. With the technology, it will be straightforward for law enforcement to detect bullet violations and immediately intervene, again, before any bullets are fired. For instance, if a patrol person scans a person’s space and detects a violation, a button on the officer’s key fob triggers the internet of things to execute what we can call a ‘snapshot’ of their immediate area as they are proximate to the suspect. A snapshot of all the data contained in the nano-chips and their proximate grouping via geolocation is recorded to the Cloud. There is no reasonable doubt that a bullet violation has occurred, and it has been documented as an NFT in the Cloud. Further, every time a nano-chip bullet is fired, an NFT that records all the data is created in the Cloud.

    “Go directly to ‘The Island.’ Do not pass ‘Go’ and do not collect $200.”

    So, there’s that.

    Since Americans aren’t really anywhere near 100% in agreement on the 3-point presumption I claimed in the graphic at the top of the piece — perhaps more like 50% — this BBS proposal is most likely still seen as a partisan “thought experiment” by the ‘gun rights’ half of Americans.

    Even as tongue-in-cheek as this piece is meant, as I contemplate the general notion of bullets being on the internet of things and all that could go with that, I’m still having difficulty seeing why the NRA’s iconic “typical law abiding citizen” would have any problem with this concept.

    imagine whirled peas,


  2. The reason guns are out of control, is because the militia is not properly regulated. Two years military service requirement for all 18 year to twenty four year old people would provide excellent firearm safety training. Regulation usually has two elements to be effective. The first element is the reasonable law, rule, policy or procedure for best practices. The second element is discipline within the individual to apply and follow laws, rules, policies and procedures for best practices. When a person can not control one’s self, others step up to force control.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s