Both sides of the gun control debate abhor violence. That is about as close as the two sides get.
One side blames violence on the gun, as if the inanimate object hurt, maim or kill without human action. And we on the other side fight to keep what we have and what we can pass on to our children. But there are bunches of people in the middle that don’t know a slide, from a barrel. And it is this group that is caught in the crossfire of fact and fiction over the so-called Smart Gun.
This is the group that sees the death of children by criminals and mentally disturbed people and wonders why can’t we do something. Their only point of reference are movies, where people like James Bond, Judge Dred, the guys in Aliens2, and a host of other Sci-Fi heroes have weapons that can only be used by them. They’re using technology that only fire in the right hands. It works so well on television. These so-called smart guns can recognize a watch, DNA, a ring or even just a grip. So WTH?
The truth is that this smart gun technology is not new. It has not been used because it is unsafe. It is not safe to use a firearm that does not have the 100% probability of working when you need it. It is unsafe because criminals will not comply with yet another law imposed on the law abiding. It is unsafe because the more complex you make something the greater the probability of failure. Batteries not included. Technology can be defeated. You don’t need a battery-operated fork.
The truth is that to make a gun safer requires education of the user. You cannot idiot proof a mechanical device. We have to educate our society. Thou Shall Not Murder is still confusing to some people. A smart gun is way beyond that.
Why did Marylanders get so angry with Andy Raymond, the co-owner of Engage Armament, a store known for its custom assault rifles?
After the Governor Martin O’Malley changed the gun laws in the state (2013) recently without support of the community it affected –we were still sore. History has shown us that whenever concession is made – we lose. We saw that if smart gun was successful selling point, then some politician would use the momentum to mandate that all or future firearms be implemented with such devices. Gun-control groups and politicians would almost certainly push for mandatory smart guns. New Jersey, where debate on the topic has gotten further than anywhere else, actually has a currently dormant statute on its books that would require that all guns sold in the state have “smart” technology, were the technology widely available and deemed to be effective. Why, because there is a smart gun making company in New Jersey. Which would again increase the prices for law-abiding people. It would change how we legally use firearms for sport and recreation. It would impose risk to the gun owner.
Mr. Raymond’s actions angered the gun community because it was like he shot us with a Star Trek phaser set on stun. As a gun dealer in Maryland he should have been seen as the staunchest supporter of the right to keep and bear arms. I understand that he is a businessman. It is very hard to be a federal firearms licensed dealer in Maryland. It’s a tough business. But the anger comes when it seems as if he was selling us out –for a profit. That is where the passion comes from. It was extremely wrong however for folks to threaten his life. It was just a Zumbo move.
There are at least three smart gun companies in Europe and Mossberg has a smart gun. Colt tried it in a pistol back in 1999. And it failed miserably.
When it comes to self-defense I teach simplicity. We can make better technology but we have not improved on humanity. There is so much more that is wrong with smart gun technology when it comes to self-defense that I could go on longer. There can be no one-stop solution for anything having to do with us. A stun setting on a gun in the future sounds good but it may still kill if it were ever invented because all of us are not the same size, shape or have the same mental stamina. There are a lot of people trying to sort out how to help and how to make a buck. The key is to sort out which is which.
I love tech like the next guy but lets not infringe any further on my rights.