Smart Guns: Dumb Idea

Make Believe

Make Believe

In the wake of Sandy Hook, yet another organ of the lamestream media has resumed praying at the altar of the mythical Smart Gun, which is alleged to be unable to fire for anyone except an “authorized user”:

Personalized guns touted as safety check

They aren’t the only ones yammering about the non-existent Smart Gun either:

(more below)

AP, via NY Daily News:  Debate over futuristic ‘smart gun’ technology resumes as gun control issue takes center stage in national politics

CT.com:  Smart Guns: Lawmakers Debate Whether Technology Can Make Firearms Safer

St. Louis Beacon: Smart guns could slash firearm death rate

Their whines all echo the same false refrain: gun advocates “killed” the Smart Gun.  They deliberately overlook the very real physical and legal risks that a Smart Gun would create.

A few outlets actually provide a more evenhanded look at the issue:

U.S. News: Why Both the Pro- and Anti-Gun Lobby Are Against ‘Smart Guns’

Like any mechanical or electronic process, a safety mechanism can be added into the process flow.  Such a mechanism can be built as a “Fail-Safe” or as a “Fail-Deadly“.  While operating, a safety mechanism (of either type) will allow a gun to function when desired and will not allow it to function when not desired.

The difference comes when the safety mechanism itself fails.  In that event, a device with a fail-safe safety mechanism will not function, but a device with a fail-deadly safety mechanism will function.

Some of the Smart Gun concepts use mechanical systems to disable the gun unless a magnetic ring is worn.  But an owner would have to wear rings on both hands to ensure that they could respond to an attack if their dominant hand was otherwise unusable.  And the hand position on the gun is important as well, which is something that isn’t always possible in the heat of the moment.  And a user would have to avoid losing the rings and wear them at all times.

Other Smart Gun ideas are electronic.  And electronic devices are highly prone to glitches and failure.  Batteries die.  Fingerprint readers are inaccurate, slow to use and vulnerable to hacking.  Passwords are slow to enter, easy to guess and are hackable as well.  Radio (RFID or other nearfield transmission) is easily detectable by 3rd parties, as well as being vulnerable to jamming or hacking.  And the user might not know their gun will not function until it is too late to fix the problem.

There is a reason that police departments have refused all attempts to field Smart Guns: their imperfections will get good people killed.

And the presence of a Smart Gun in the latest James Bond movie (which wasn’t very good, no thanks to a bad script and lackluster direction by the overrated Sam Mendes) was just a shout out to the anti-gun crowd.  No intelligence agency worthy of the term would field a weapon that could be traced back to themselves or one of their agents.

If a Smart Gun isn’t acceptable for police use, it certainly isn’t suitable for civilians.

I can’t say that I am surprised by the left’s fervent devotion to the concept of Smart Guns.  They have a track record of backing fantasy over reality, and persisting in their believe no matter how unpleasant the reality becomes.

UPDATE:

Another left-wing dreamer spots the Smart Gun unicorn.

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