“We believe it would be wrong to weaken security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat,” said a spokesperson from Smith & Wesson on the recent calls for increased gun control.
The quote was actually from Apple on a proposed British law that would require the company to devise methods to break into iPhone communications.
In the wake of Paris and San Bernardino we've heard calls for controls on both guns and cryptography with eerily similar arguments coming from defenders. If we ban guns/crypto then only bad people will have guns/crypto. Any attempts to limit guns/crypto is a slippery slope that takes away our constitutional rights and our freedoms.
I don't have a gun but I do use encryption, built into the iPhone and the various apps and browsers I use to communicate. Fat lot of good it does me as hackers stole my personal information because I shopped at Home Depot and Target. Because my health insurance runs through Anthem. Because I voted in the State of Georgia.
I am a strong believer in individual rights, a person should be able to use cryptography to protect their communications and a gun, if they wish, to protect their family. But I do see the value in gaining access in communications to stop a terrorist as well as making it harder for them to get the weapons to carry out their acts. Why can't the fingerprint technology that unlocks my iPhone also unlock a gun? The gun/crypto advocates don't trust to government to implement any restrictions reasonably and thus fight any changes.
No laws can completely eliminate or even restrict guns or crypto but they can make it harder to use. The challenges aren't technological, we can create guns or crypto protocols that perform as we want them to perform. The challenges are social, finding the right balance between rights and security and governments we can trust to enforce that balance.