In November of last year, Kurt Knutson appeared in a segment on Fox News where they investigated new “Smart” gun technologies to see if they worked. The company that was tested was iGun Technologies and they had a modified 12 gauge pump shotgun operated by a ring the owner would have to wear to discharge the firearm. In that short clip, Knutson first tried to fire the gun and it wouldn’t fire. Once the proper owner had the gun, it was able to discharge just fine.
So what’s the issue?
The main issue revolving around Smart gun technology is the threat of it being mandated by legislation. Even the owner of that Smart Gun technology said he didn’t want to see that happen. This is predominantly geared for a marketplace that is wary of firearms but would like to have access to them for home defense and daily carry purposes but fear they may get into the wrong hands.
Here’s where the fear factor skids in: President Obama recently introduced measures to “fast track” research into Smart gun technology for Federal agencies. There has been some definite push-back on this measure because Smart gun technology is far from perfect and has been actively developed in a number of ways with each having some shortcoming.
“Police officers in general, federal officers in particular, shouldn’t be asked to be the guinea pigs in evaluating a firearm that nobody’s even seen yet,” James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, told Politico.
While it hasn’t been said officially, main stream media keeps touting this untested technology as “the future of guns”. Even the word “Smart gun” seems to connotate that it’s somehow more intelligently designed — which is a very bad marketing ploy meant to manipulate potential shoppers, not an actual statement to any of the many companies producing these sorts of firearms.
There’s nothing wrong with “Smart guns”. Development of new ways to bring safety and security to the use of firearms constitutes an arena for innovation. However, when that innovation hasn’t even been battle tested and it’s already leaking into the cracks of the political sphere, there’s plenty to be cautious about.
Guns do not kill people. People kill people. The use of the word “Smart gun” needs to go away entirely. The gun isn’t any smarter than any other handgun somebody buys at the store. If anything, there’s one additional failsafe a gunowner needs to pass through in order to get it work. That constitutes the potential for delay and the potential for weapon failure.
More importantly, we need to stop lowering the bar to the lowest common denominator. Irresponsible people who take the lives of themselves and others into jeopardy with bad practices need training, not another technological crutch. We need to stop breeding a dumber human where the expectations that he or she can act responsibly diminish further and further and start making education about firearms a more common thing.
If instead of spending likely billions of dollars placing Federal agents in harms way with a firearm that could potentially fail them, why not spend a similar amount introducing gun safety into basic education requirements? Sounds silly, right? What if the majority of the populace was routinely taught that firearms are like any other tool and need to be respected. The lives of the person wielding the firearm and the people around that person ought be respected. Those are key lessons that can be educated to, do not require billions of dollars in untested, untried equipment to be introduced, and there’s no legal mandate waiting in the wings to swing down and force law abiding gun owners to adhere to.
The basic rules of firearm safety; you can either educate people on them and dismantle the idea of the gun as a “scary” thing that needs to be feared and live in a much safer society because of it or you can continue to mystify firearms and make them an esoteric subject in the main stream media.
In conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with “Smart” guns — there’s everything wrong with how they’re being forced into a role where basic education should exist.