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[Ben]:Utter non-issue of the day Discuss This [1 comment so far] View Comments
Oh no! The space station crew has access to a gun!

The funniest quote in the article is this:
Oberg knows an astronaut bent on orbital manslaughter could simply throw any number of switches to do the job, but he said the crews would be safer if the gun was locked up or left on Earth.

Seriously? Friend, I don't care how smart you're convinced you are, you need to kick-start a few neurons, you're running low.

You acknowledge that someone who wanted to kill everyone on the station could do so with the flick of a switch, yes? So, how exactly would it be worse to have someone shot (something that has never even been close to happening) than die because a nutcase decides to make everyone breath hard vacuum? I'm sorry, but isn't dead ... well ... dead?

And as I recall, the gun in question is a shotgun - single-shot or double barrel. (edit: found it: here - essentially a pistol-gripped drilling with two shotgun barrels and a rifle barrel ... oh yeah, and a machete for a buttstock.) After our nutcase takes his first shots, he's got to arrest the motion imparted to him by recoil and load another round before he can fire again. I'd bet speed-reloads are not something many astronauts practice. So, chances are very good that a hypothetical spaced-out astronaut is not going to be able to kill as many people with a gun as they could by playing whack-a-mole with the life-support controls.

The reason the gun is there is because if you're taking the Soyuz home and you have to ditch in the middle of Siberia, you probably don't want to be totally unarmed. I'm just sayin' ...
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