Saturday, May 23, 2015
Smart Guns are Here; But You May Not be Able to Buy One (Conclusion)
Who would benefit from the development of a ‘Smart Gun?’ Potentially, if perfected (which they aren’t), all of us.
As you might recall from my previous post, the iP1 is a .22 caliber pistol (not pictured at right). The iP1 could be a good personal protection weapon for the ‘beginner’ gun handler. It’s light. And, the recoil is minimal.
Most gun enthusiasts, however, would consider it little more than a conversation piece, a possible collector's item, a target pistol, and of no consequence in an actual survival or combat situation. The reason for the .22 caliber of the iP1 is the associated lack of recoil. A heavy recoil would be hard on the internal circuit board; and, perhaps, lead to malfunction. Therefore, military personnel wouldn’t be interested, nor would police, nor would serious competitive shooters.
That said, the technology could evolve to include larger calibers and/or improved (more deadly) bullets. I know the anti-gun folks don’t like the sound of that. Nonetheless, regarding bullets, most law enforcement agencies now use ‘hollow-points,’ for their shock-impact value and the resulting, immediately-disabling wound.
It should be noted that a perfected ‘Smart Gun’ would be a tremendous step forward in police officer safety. “According to FBI statistics, 33 police officers were murdered with their own weapons,” between 2004 and 2013.
Fortune Magazine pointed out the many accidental shootings by children of other children or even adults. Fortune cited the tragic incident in an Idaho Wal-Mart when a two-year-old reached into his mother’s purse, which was sitting in the shopping cart, took the gun out, pulled the trigger and killed his mother. A ‘Smart Gun’ might have prevented that accident. But, I suppose safe gun-handling practices would also have prevented it.
So, who would be against the ‘Smart Gun’ if, theoretically, it could be perfected?
Well, it seems most folks interested in guns (pro and con) – at least for now - are against it. Why?
The NRA isn’t exactly against ‘Smart Guns,’ but they are against any accompanying mandates. Like, for example, outlawing other guns not so designed. However, law makers love mandates. It’s their nature. It gives the appearance of doing something constructive. And, State Legislative bodies (particularly New Jersey) have considered, even tried, establishing laws prohibiting gun ownership - other than ‘Smart Guns.’ This is a potential way to tax, license, regulate, perhaps make illegal, most guns – their real objective.
Trial lawyers have expressed the opinion that manufacturers of traditional guns could be sued on the same basis as cigarette companies – on the premise that guns that don’t possess ‘smart’ technology are inherently dangerous to the public. Unless some legislative protections are put in place to protect ‘Smart Gun’ manufacturers, they will be unwilling to risk the necessary investment and potential liabilities.
Many folks are against any guns, particularly handguns, and consider a ‘smart’ handgun to be unnecessary and basically an oxymoron. They state that there is no such thing as a smart or safe handgun and that they should all be banned. An untenable position that runs head-on into those who appreciate guns for various reasons; not to mention the 2nd Amendment.
My opinion: ‘Smart guns’ could be a good thing, a very good thing. They should be promoted and perfected. However, manufacturers and gun innovators should be protected from punitive lawsuits. Who knows, maybe 50 or 100 years from now, all guns will be ‘Smart Guns’ and others not so enhanced will be considered antiques.
But, that’s then and this is now.
On a lighter note, I was hoping that the development of ‘smart’ golf clubs was on the horizon – and the sooner the better.