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Are Smart Guns a Smart Idea?

It seems like the topic of smart guns is coming back into the forefront of attention for both the anti-gun media and politicians alike. But are smart guns a good idea? Or, is this a disaster waiting to happen?

If you don't know what a smart gun is, it's something along the lines of what you'd see in many futuristic movies where each gun is somehow encoded to only work for the individual it is meant to work for. In order for the bad guy to use the good guy's gun he has to remove a finger and carry it around with him for his finger print.

So once again we find ourselves the lab rats as politicians try to make movies come to life.

I honestly don't have a problem with the theory of smart gun technology. I think that, in theory, it would be cool to have a gun that only my wife or I could shoot. But, to me, it really stops at theory because there is so much that could go wrong with these things that something inevitably will go wrong.

The tech is not there

It really boils down to a few different things, tech wise, as to why these things likely won't work. One only has to look as far as the fingerprint gun safes that are out there to see that we are pretty far off from having tech that will actually work the way it is supposed to.

What if it's not a fingerprint thing, but an RFID thing?

Well first of all, I'm not putting an RFID chip anywhere near the inside of my body, and that's really the only way something like that would work.

Room for error

Because the technology isn't yet good enough, at least on a large scale, there is room for error. Imagine someone breaking into your house at night, only for you to get your gun and it not fire because there is a problem with the tech reading your finger print?

Do you ask the perp for a moment while you adjust your finger to get it to the point where you can defend your life?

In the decisive moment of a critical incident you need to be able to protect yourself because things could go awry in a split second. That split second is not the one you need to be messing with your “smart gun” because it decided to be stupid and stop working.

Can they be hacked?

More realistic, can they be accessed remotely by anyone, not just hacked? In other words, can the manufacturer or the government suddenly turn off all the guns because it's time to take over the world?

Don't laugh. Let's not forget why the founding fathers made sure we had the right to keep and bear arms to begin with. If there is even the slightest chance that my guns can be turned off I don't want any part of it.

You can't have it both ways

I lost count of how many times I've seen the argument of “the Second Amendment only applies to muskets” and other similar, idiotic statements.

Of course we almost always fire back with the quill pen and typewriter argument, saying that if that thinking applies to the Second Amendment then it should also apply to other rights where technology also changes.

But the thing is, you don't get to say that the 2A only applies to muskets while simultaneously ushering in a new era of firepower.

If that doesn't make the gun grabbers hypocrites then I'm not sure what does.

Let the market decide

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that we let the market decide. This is not the sort of thing that should be forced on us if we don't want it.

Plus, it's also important to note that any small businesses would likely be put out of business for a lack of ability to adapt to the changing market if smart gun technology is forced on us. The little guys won't be able to spend the same amount of money on research unless it's freely made available.

That will decimate our industry and kill countless jobs. Not good. Unless, ya know … that's the end goal.

Conclusion:

I think in theory smart guns are fine if an individual consumer wants that kind of tech to keep their own “guns safe.” If that is the case, then that's fine.

It has to be a personal choice. Just like some people choose to carry Glocks, others choose to carry SCCYs, and others still might carry a WWII era Luger. It's a personal choice.

However, I think the idea itself is dangerous to freedom if it is forced on us with a law. The market should ultimately be able to decide if they want it. I personally would never consider buying a smart gun. There are too many issues, and technology breaks all the time.

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4 Responses to Are Smart Guns a Smart Idea?

  1. Kevin Donner February 24, 2021 at 9:49 pm #

    I definitely agree with your take on the fingerprint access system, but when you mentioned RFID you piqued my interest. As a technician I work with several RFID systems that identify pallets and other tooling, and in my experience they are very fast, very effective, and very reliable. I obviously do not want an RFID tag implanted in my body either, but a wristband or even a tag embedded in my watch band might work very well. There is no conceivable way for this to be disabled, either, as once it is programmed RFID can be set as a closed loop system.

    I’m not sure if this would work for everyone, but for those who would like both accessibility of a weapon in an emergency and also a bit of extra safety in the case of youngsters in the home or even a situation where a criminal takes possession of your weapon, this could be a viable alternative. Sounds interesting! I’ll admit, though……for now I will stick to my SP101 🙂

  2. Bill February 25, 2021 at 11:01 am #

    We don’t need smart guns. We need smart politicians the can actually read and understand the Constitution of the United States.

  3. Mark B. February 25, 2021 at 12:57 pm #

    Yup are absolutely correct in stating the that the market should decide the fate of smart guns. I am not against smart guns if that’s what someone wants to own. It is not for me to decide. I personally do not want one, that is my choice. To stop the market from developing the technology, like you stated, would, or could be, detrimental to many businesses. I would like to see how the tech advances and go from there.

  4. Gary February 26, 2021 at 1:28 pm #

    Great points, Josh. I am also not interested. What part of THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED don’t the politicians understand.

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