July 21st 2013

Smart Gun - Dumb Idea

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This is the third in a short series on the "Smart" guns subject. The first was "Are "Smart" Guns, a "Smart" Idea?" by Charles Heller, then the second was "Dead Batteries Make Dead People" by Ted. R, JPFO member, back in 2000. There are predictably many articles on line covering this and it is certainly worth keeping informed. One further item we came across was by our friend and writer David Kopel - "Smart Guns", from January 29th 2003.


By Peter Caroline, Circa 1996, JPFO long time member.

I have seen the future, and there is the distinct possibility that it sucks. If you've been following the popular firearms press, you're undoubtedly aware that Colt has announced that it is working on the development of a "Smart Gun." Basically, this is a handgun which can be fired only by one person. If you're wearing the special secret decoder ring or perhaps have an appropriate computer chip implanted somewhere in your anatomy, then this Smart Gun will recognize your voice or your handprint and allow you to fire it. Now, is that not special?

Ostensibly, the raison d'etre of the Smart Gun is to keep law enforcement personnel from being fired upon and killed with their own handguns. This is a praiseworthy goal since, unfortunately, too many police officers have met such an end. Now, most of the law enforcement types I've known seemed to be intelligent and aware and skilled enough in weapons retention to avoid that eventuality. But statistics would indicate that this is indeed a problem. I just can't help but think, however, that what Colt is implying is, "You cops are too dumb to hang on to your own guns, so we'll provide you with one that can't hurt you when someone inevitably takes it away from you."

I'd be curious to hear the police reaction to the Smart Gun concept (I mean real street cops; not the Fraternal Order of Police brass or other pols). What really concerns me, though, is that once these Smart Guns are out on the beat, our best and brightest folks in Washington are most assuredly going to decide that this device is a wonderful idea for all of us civilians who insist upon owning a handgun. I mean, what a brilliant invention...a gun that can't be fired except by the designated owner, as it were. If the gun is stolen, or picked up by a child or idiot, it would simply be an inert piece of metal and plastic.

Of course, if you were disabled or absent and someone in your household needed the gun for protection, all bets would be off. Ditto if any part of the complex circuitry went awry. And, Colt estimates that the Smart Gun would cost approximately 50% more than the equivalent conventional (or "Dumb?") gun. It's rather like another swell idea from our government, the automotive airbag, which, with the exception of a few unfortunately decapitated children, has done a sterling job of protecting the lives of people too stupid to fasten their seatbelts.

Rep. Pat Schroeder

Don't misunderstand; I have great respect and admiration for the American firearms industry. Since the days of Eli Whitney, they have led the world in innovation and productivity. They have also, on any number of recent occasions, shown an alarming proclivity for shooting themselves in the foot (politically speaking). And in coming up with an idea that thrills even an anti-gunner like Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-CO), I'm afraid that Colt is pursuing this dubious path.

I'll admit it's easy to knock someone's honest and well-meant attempt to cut down on some of the carnage of our streets. And maybe, rather than being negative and nasty, I should try to offer an alternative solution. Okay, try this one for size: we're always talking about our rights under the Second Amendment. Let's now talk about our responsibilities. Instead of Smart Guns, let's insist on Smart Gun Owners. Here's how it works: If you are an adult, mentally competent American citizen with no felony record and no substance dependency, you can own any gun or as many guns as you want.

If you commit a crime, misuse a gun or allow someone else to misuse your gun, then you go to jail forever. It's a very simple equation: you screw up = you pay for it. This is, admittedly, a harsh process. It does not, however, require any additional expense, computer chips, transistors, batteries or technical ingenuity. It's called Personal Responsibility and, years ago, people used to teach it to their children and rely on it quite heavily in their dealings with one another. It works for both cops and the public they protect and serve...and maybe, in some Utopian tomorrow, our elected and appointed officials.

Refer to the "Sandy Hook Index" for an archive collection of valuable material we have shown since the events at the Newtown Elementary School.

Check out Gun/Murder Statistics: A set of tabulated and graphical data showing relationships between gun numbers and murders - categorized by alphabetical countries listing. Useful research material.

Thought for the day -- "Isn't it strange that after a bombing, everyone blames the bomber ... but after a shooting, the problem is the Gun ! "

Yours in Freedom, The Liberty Crew at JPFO
Protecting you by creating solutions to destroy "gun control"

"Waco a New Revelation".
Purchase the DVD direct from the JPFO Store

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