Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Designing safe guns...with pleasure

Guns need to be safe too ...

"Even if firearms are tools, they're not ordinary ones. And the lack of standardization in their design often leads to unintended injury and even the death of their users. A special issue of Ergonomics in Design, "Human factors issues in firearms design and training," looked at how "the human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) community can contribute to the production of safe and effective future firearms." One of the papers introduces us to the new world of Hedonomics, which states that "once individual user's safety and functionality needs are satisfied, pleasure should be considered in the design of products, systems, tools and environments."

Before entering the world of Hedonomics, here are some of the problems identified by this special report about firearm safety.

- Knowledge of how to use one type of firearm doesn't mean a person is going to be competent using other types.
- Even if there is a manual safety — and sometimes there isn't — a red spot may indicate that the safety is engaged, but sometimes it means exactly the opposite.
- Safety training does not address the matter of firearms use under high stress, when the operator may be affected physically, perceptually, and emotionally."   continued ...   (Via ZDNet.com)

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