Skip to comments.Sorry, New York Times, But ‘Smart Guns’ Are A Dumb Idea
Posted on 11/30/2016 4:22:05 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants
The New York Times has a problem with guns. The problem is both personal and professional, namely: the fellows who run the Times do not know all that much about guns, and they do not care to take any steps to learn about them.
The problem manifests itself heterogeneously: they cannot seem to get guns right no matter how they approach them. They do not understand concealed carry laws. They do not understand gun statistics. They do not understand assault weapons bans. They do not understand the rules of NRA conventions. They do not understand Australias gun control laws. They do not understand concealed carry demographics.
Add to this extensive list another thing about firearms the Times does not understand: smart guns.
In an editorial published this past Sunday, the Times asks: Why Not Smart Guns in This High-Tech Era? The papers editors, you see, think guns should be equipped with fingerprint scanners, radio frequency chips or other evolving technology that blocks anyone but the owner from using them, and they are frustrated that gun-lobby politics and threats are keeping smart guns off the market, thus causing untold numbers of murders and suicides.
This would indeed be very troublingif it were true, or anything resembling true. In fact, the gun lobby does not oppose smart gun technology. For example, the NRA, in its own words, doesnt oppose the development of smart guns, nor does it oppose the ability of Americans to voluntarily acquire them. Only in a New York Times editorial could you construe an explicit statement from the National Rifle Association to mean the exact opposite of what it means.
The Times refuses to look deeper than the false boogeyman it has created out of the NRA. There are three reasons gun-owning Americans are suspicious of, and reluctant to purchase, smart guns. These reasons merit serious consideration, which is perhaps why anti-gun folks are so reluctant to consider them.
The first is entirely utilitarian: smart guns as they exist today are wholly impractical. When I say impractical, I mean, Not practical enough that youd want to risk your safety buying it.
Case in point: last November the NRA-published magazine Americas 1st Freedom reviewed the Armatix iP1, the widely hailed firearm that some consider to be the first feasible smart gun on the market. What did they find? In their own words, a number of very serious problems, namely: a chronic tendency to jam, the worst double-action trigger [theyve] ever tested, an inability to safely thumb the hammer forward, a limited range of functionality due to the radio frequency mechanism to which the gun is paired, and a sky-high price tag (nearly $1,800).
Dryly, the reviewers note that they found the pistol greatly wanting. Do tell. If this is the finest the smart gun market has to offer thus far, no wonder nobody wants anything to do with it. Would you want to drop nearly $2,000 on an unsafe, semi-non-functional, inconvenient gun?
People who buy guns do so to ensure that they can keep themselves and those they care about safe. They are generally not willing to leave that safety up to this kind of chance, even if The New York Times really, really thinks they should. 2. If You Need a Gun, You Cant Fiddle
But what if these kinks can be ironed out and a smart gun can function perfectly every time it needs to be fired? Still there are reasonable objections to this technology.
Smart guns generally operate by way of a radio frequency identification device (RFID): you must be wearing a special watch, or a ring, or some other trinket for the gun to operate. But what happens if the watch batteries fail? What happens if you lose the ring? What happens if the device is damaged? Your gun becomes an inert object, utterly useless to you and your family. Most gun owners do not want to have to keep track of an easily lost or easily damaged item in order to ensure their gun works.
Moreover, the basic premise of an RFID device renders a smart gun far less practical than a normal one. Presumably you will want to keep the radio device and gun separate so children or other unauthorized users cannot easily access the gun. Unless youre wearing the RFID device all the time, this naturally means that, in a domestic emergency, youll have to scramble for the device before the gun can even work.
If theres an intruder in your house threatening your children or your spouse, you dont want to have to run across (or out of) the room to find a small object, then run back to the other side of the room (or another room entirely) to get the gun. No serious student of self-defense will want to waste precious seconds running around assembling far-flung parts to make a firearm work.
The same time crunch applies to fingerprint scanning, as well: think of how often your iPhone fails to read your fingerprint properly. Would you want the same unreliable technology if your life were at stake? 3. The Danger of Giving Power to Control Freaks
Yet even if a smart gun owner is willing to sacrifice safety for a small sense of security, there is a third issue to consider, and it is the most troubling: the threat that, once smart gun technology becomes widespread, the government will mandate that all guns must be smart. This is not a conspiracy theory or even a simple academic exercise: its already the case in New Jersey.
This is a deeply concerning proposal. Not only would government-mandated smart gun technology make American firearms prohibitively expensive (thus denying the poor a valuable option for self-defense), but there is a chance the technology could be used against gun-owning Americans themselves. Criminals or mass shooters could theoretically scan a public area to determine who has a gun and thus whom to shoot first. They could also scan individual houses to see which contain firearms (thus giving the criminals advanced warning of the presence of a firearm) or who doesnt (thus marking the house as an easy target).
Also, as the NRA itself confirmed, the iP1 features a kill switch that [allows] it to be disabled by third parties. Got that? Whoever owns an iP1 can have his handgun disabled remotely. Does that sound like a secure firearm to you?
Americans are wise to be mistrustful of smart gun technology. In its present state it is unreliable and expensive. Even if the technology improves, however, it is still intrinsically a risky and fraught choice for self-defense. Yet The New York Times editorial board cannot figure out why nobody wants to buy these guns. Perhaps they should try talking to some real gun owners in order to find out. But why would they start now?
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Nra doesnt keep smart guns off the market.
They keep mandates that citizens must have them, off the market.
If the New York Slimes could hawk 'smart guns' that would link to the internet and require a local police approval before the firing mechanism would be enabled, they would.
Whatever the New York Slimes says related to the 2nd Amendment is garbage.
New Jersey has already passed a law that after a certain date ALL handguns sold in the state MUST be so-called “smart guns”. Smart guns are a liberal wet dream. They are so expensive most people can’t afford the, they are unreliable, finicky, and can be disabled remotely. If they are such a good idea, why don’t they mandate that the police use them?
Well it is ridiculous after all.
I mean look at all the federal and state leos and agents that all use smart guns. /s
I mean they never worried that there would be problems with smart guns. /s
And moreover, I won’t comply. I’ll be keeping my “dumb” guns, thank you.
I shoot both left and right handed. How does that work with smart technology? Also, I want my family members to have access to its use in an emergency.
this “smart gun” crap is written and pushed by those who know nothing about guns.
It probably doesn’t work. Even with fingerprint recognition, assuming that multiple fingerprints can be registered, I doubt that there would be fingerprint scanners on both sides of the hand grip.
The Russians will hack them.
Not shoot when you want to, then shoot when you don’t.
And shoot hellary voters at the polls, too.
Bad idea, bad.
>> Also, I want my family members to have access to its use in an emergency.
I think you can have more than one authorized user. Else pretty dumb for a smart gun.
The New York Times wants law abiding Americans dead. This is widely understood these days.
The SLIMES knows it is a bad idea. That is why it was proposed.
Because I don't want to be put on hold for an Indian techie who I can't understand to fix the problem with my Schmart Gun while someone is shooting at me with a dumb gun.
Possibly worthy of your bang list.
The writer nails it: all the NYT and the antigun people want to do is mandate “smart guns” to be all that can be available. Older technology guns will have to be destroyed “for safety” since there will be no way of economically retrofitting (butchering) the electronics into our Lugers, Mausers, Walthers, Colts etc.,etc.
What would happen when the electronics don’t work? Yeah I’ll keep mine oiled and cleaned. You can have your dummy guns NY slimes.
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If you like half truths, libel, disinformation, propaganda and outright vicious lies all you have to do is read the NYT editorial pages.
Plus the new smart guns will be hackable to be rendered useless when the SWAT team mistakes your house for the drug dealing perps down the street.
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