The following discussion related to Gun Control On The Blockchain is a thought-exercise only inspired by new and emerging technologies for decentralized self-governance and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the author. It is not intended to favor any single political position. it is not presented as a comprehensive solution to all scenarios. This article is intended to invite readers to imagine new approaches and constructs to resolve complex governance issues using blockchain technology on public ledgers.
Problem: According to some sources, 280,000 Americans have died from guns in the last decade. Even opponents of gun control acknowledge that there is a need to assure that a gun owner is qualified to operate each specific type of firearm that they possess. Even proponents of gun control acknowledge that registering a gun with a central authority (government, insurance, gun schools) constitutes a loss of civil liberty. Everyone knows that “blanket legislation” accomplishes little more than punishing a large number of responsible people in order to deter a relatively small number of irresponsible people.
Proposal: A person who seeks to acquire a gun may create an anonymous Curiosumé persona that includes their training, qualifications, mental health record, police record, and personal references from other qualified gun owners, etc. This anonymous information can then be encrypted and time stamped on a blockchain. Any changes in these conditions must be added to the persona by one-way edit. The identity of the persona remains on a private key held by the owner.
Gun dealers would be able to sell the level of armament commensurate with the threshold of competence evident by a quasi-anonymous persona. In the event of a disputed gun discharge, the actual identity of the person and their gun becomes known, therefore, their private key can be revealed without loss of civil liberty. If the gun owner’s persona is accurate, then they will be protected under the 2nd amendment and receive an isolated incident judgment. If the person lied on their persona, they forfeit some protected under the 2nd amendment and receive broad penalty and liabilities.
Alternate: Gun Owner Insurance:
Without revealing identity, the gun owner’s Curiosumé persona may act as a proxy identity for the person. The proxy would then be assigned to a risk sharing cooperative pool based on similar Curiosumé personas of the other people in the pool. The gun owner would pay insurance premiums commensurate with their persona – i.e., corresponding to the correct risk pool of their persona. In the event of a claim, the identity is unencrypted and revealed. If the person cheated on their premiums, they would not be covered. If they were truthful, they would be covered for accidental discharge.
Disciplined and experienced owners will pay a trivial amount for gun insurance while beginners would pay substantially more. This is an incentive to become educated in the rules of firearm ownership. If an individual has demonstrated severe shortcoming of responsibility, judgment, or prior convictions, then they will be pooled with others possessing the similar characteristics. As such, their insurance would be exponentially more expensive, perhaps prohibitive. Therefore, they would need to pay more to own a gun and or complete a rehabilitation program. The market will reach a new equilibrium of relative safety.
This type of arrangement applying a Curiosumé layer to a blockchain effectively preserves the identity of the gun owner while also providing essential data to a public ledger that may be assessed by gun dealers, gun trainers, insurance companies, mental health professionals, personal references, legislators, and the public at large.
Again, in the event of a shooting, the gun owner and their gun are discovered anyway, therefore privacy no longer exists. Only at that time may the public ledger be reviewed. There is a negative incentive for all people in the chain of possession in a community to allow an unstable person to possess a gun.
In the event of a worst case scenario intended by our founding fathers requiring for a protection by a trained citizen militia, then the blockchain can be shut down until such civil order is restored.
The Curiosumé layer on a blockchain satisfies the 2nd amendment on all points while protecting the public by filtering incompetent owners without punishing competent owners through fair market forces.