April 12th 2014

"Smart" Guns, Their Surprising Critics,
and Powerful Allies

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By Kurt Hofmann, April 12th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

Claire Wolfe notes that so-called "smart" guns, equipped with delicate electronics designed to make the guns less likely to fire when the trigger is pulled, have recently received the high-profile backing of United States Attorney General Eric Holder, and thus of the Obama administration. As she notes, "'Guns that won't work' is a handy phrase" to describe these firearms (expect a failure rate of once per magazine for the one model to have so far hit the market), and it's also a pretty good explanation for this administration's enthusiasm.

But not everyone who might be expected to share that enthusiasm does. The rabidly anti-gun Violence Policy Center for example, is none too keen, although their reasoning (to be polite) is decidedly . . . odd. VPC cites such objections as the fact that "smart" guns will be new guns, and since, according to the VPC, new guns tend to be "more lethal" (through some combination of larger ammunition capacity, more powerful caliber, and smaller, more concealable size), the net lethality of privately owned firearms would increase. VPC also worries that the perceived "safety" of such guns would induce more people to buy them, thus increasing the number of privately owned firearms.

The VPC "study" instead favors more conventional "safety" measures, such as magazine disconnect safeties, designed to prevent a gun from firing when the magazine is removed, thus (in theory) preventing careless people from unintentionally firing guns they believe to be unloaded, because the magazine has been removed. Interestingly, at least one police department, that of Colorado Springs, decided to replace their magazine disconnect safety-equipped pistols with guns lacking this "feature," because the mechanics of the magazine disconnect make for a heavier trigger pull, and thus less accuracy--and a less accurate gun is a less safe one.

A spokesman for the law enforcement union Fraternal Order of Police offered a perhaps even stranger objection to "smart" guns -- and not only for issue to the police themselves (despite the fact that at one point, protecting officers from being shot with their own guns by perpetrators who wrest them away from them was supposedly one of the biggest selling points). Nope -- the FOP spokesman is concerned about even the criminals being limited to such guns -- for this remarkable reason:

We want a police officer to be able to take any gun, his partner's gun, a criminal's gun, any gun, and use that gun to his advantage. If he is in a scuffle, and he gets a criminal's weapon and it's useless to him, we've got a safety problem.

So safety requires that a police officer be able to shoot a suspect with the suspect's gun. Certainly a creative argument.

But on the other side of the ledger, "smart" guns backers are not limited to AG Holder and the rest of the Obama administration. Scott Brown, ostensible "Republican," former U.S. Senator of Massachusetts, and aspiring U.S. Senator of New Hampshire is an "adviser" (paid?) for Global DigitalSolutions, Inc., which not only pushes "smart" gun technology, but has expressed interest in buying much of the firearm manufacturing capacity in the U.S.

And Armatix, maker of the recently (if only briefly) marketed iP1 "smart" gun, has a cozy relationship with the gun ban zealots of the United Nations and the even more rabidly (or at least more openly) anti-gun IInternational Action Network on Small Arms. Armatix also seems to have managed a mysterious, and indeed nearly magical, exemption from California's "microstamping" requirement for all new semi-automatic handguns, indicating some powerful friends within the California government.

In the end, even with a couple surprising critics, this technology, and calls for it being mandated for all privately owned guns, are not going away any time soon. The guns are far from "smart," but the people pushing them are clever enough to try to give themselves an "Off" switch for the Second Amendment.

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Yours in Freedom, The Liberty Crew at JPFO
Protecting you by creating solutions to destroy "gun control"

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