Jon Stokes, of TechCrunch, explains why every American should oppose “smart guns” and Obama’s latest push for them. It’s not just the National Rifle Association (NRA), but all Americans who should oppose legislators from designing gun technology when they know nothing about technology in the first place.
What are “smart guns”?
Smart guns (theoretically) use biometric readers that are built into the grip and allow only the gun owner to fire it. The gun is activated and paired with a watch and/or bracelet worn in close proximity, similar to a smart phone and wireless speaker or printer. However, biometric readers have proven unreliable if the owner’s hands are bloody, or if the radio signal is jammed between the gun and watch/bracelet, causing it to not work. Worse still, if the owner is killed and a family member tries to use the gun in self defense, they can’t because their palm prints aren’t on the gun.
The Left’s attempt to push for the use of guns that have been proven not to work includes Obama’s recent announcement that a federal rule will enable smart gun purchasing for law enforcement agencies, and an upcoming gun control summit for state and local officials to implement his 3-part gun-control plan. Obama published on his Facebook page:
We’ve jumpstarted the development of smart gun technology. Today, many gun injuries and deaths are the result of legal guns that were stolen, misused, or discharged accidentally. As long as we’ve got the technology to prevent a criminal from stealing and using your smartphone, then we should be able to prevent the wrong person from pulling a trigger on a gun. So, my Administration released a plan today to expedite the development of smart gun technology, including by identifying the requirements that smart guns would have to meet in order for law enforcement to purchase and use them effectively and keep themselves and the public safer in the process.
Obama’s announcement, follows New York Sen. Charles Schumer ‘s demand last year that the U.S. Army not buy $600 million worth of reliable, effectively working firearms needed for its soldiers. He placed this moratorium on the Army in order to impose regulations that don’t exist on gun manufacturers, while also violating the Second Amendment.
Obviously, Second Amendment supporters, including the NRA, oppose these initiatives, seeing them for what they are. But technology writer, Jon Stokes identifies key reasons why it’s not just the NRA who should oppose them. He writes,
“Here’s the thing, though: the NRA is actually right, in this case. If smart guns get any traction, then non-smart-guns will come under legislative assault.”
Stokes points out that most people don’t understand technology, let alone gun technology, which is why the issue of smart guns is often confusing. Worse still, the
“lawmakers and activists who know less than nothing about guns often find themselves in a position to confidently enshrine their technological ignorance into law.”
Regulating smart guns like seat belts or air bags leads to regulation of all guns, which doesn’t make sense because they aren’t the same technology and don’t have the same constitutional protections. Stokes identifies one of the major problems with legislating and regulating gun technology is that lawmakers who know little to nothing about gun technology, are not solely legislating– they are now involved in designing gun technology, something for which they are wholly unqualified.
He points to the Clinton-era Assault Weapon Ban as the genesis of this movement. He writes:
“Whatever you think of the merits of the AWB, you have to admit that this ban put legislators in the business of gun design. And I don’t mean this metaphorically — legislators were literally doing gun design.
“Before they could ban ‘assault weapons’ as a category, lawmakers (or lobbyists and interns, more likely) had to compile a list of cosmetic, ergonomic, and functional features that, when they appear on a firearm either singly or in certain combinations, turn that gun from an ordinary rifle into a deadly assault weapon.
“This process of looking at features and combinations of features and deciding what stays and what goes is pretty much what you’d do if you worked in product design at a Remington or a Smith & Wesson. But the people who put together the AWB’s feature lists not only were not professional gun designers, but they didn’t even appear to know anything at all about the guns they were designing for the public’s use.”
For a more detailed explanation and diagrams associated with smart gun technology, Stokes’ article is worth reading in full. Understand this: smart guns aren’t smart, but they are a clever way to implement gun regulation on a massive scale.