This may be the gun quote of the week, and it’s only Monday morning:
There is a battle going on in the U.S. over the development and sale of so-called “smart guns” — handguns that proponents say should improve safety and lower suicide rates because they can only be fired by owners.
Gun-store owners say there is no market for such guns and that they have never had a single customer inquiry. In addition, some owners say, smart guns are too expensive, or the technology does not exist.
“I do not personally have any objections to having a gun that only operates when the owner fires it,” says Nick Newman, 48, who for 20 years has owned Cherokee Firearms in Springfield, Mo. “But that is kind of like saying I would prefer flying my car to work.”
USA Today is one of many anti-gun media organizations attempting to push the technological fantasy of “smart guns,” an idea that no company has made in a reliable, viable format for defensive handguns.
The only “smart gun” that exists in even a semi-viable form is the $1,800 iP1/iW1 Armatix combination. It is an electronically neutered 10-shot semi-automatic pistol in .22LR mated to a bulky watch. For the system to work, the watch requires a PIN code to be entered every few hours, and it must be worn on the firing hand at all times for the firearm to work with any sort of reliability at all. Armatix also owns a patent which appears to be a software “backdoor” which allows government agencies to turn off their firearms remotely.
What American shooter wants to spend $1,800 on a gun/watch combination that cannot be shot with the off-hand at all without failing 100% of the time, which requires a PIN code to function, is time-limited before it locks again, which is only chambered in the anemic .22LR caliber, and which may be disabled remotely by the government or anyone else who learns to hack the technology?
No one who is buying a pistol for viable self-defense, that’s for sure.
As for the claim that “smart guns” will help stop suicides, I find that to be a very bizarre argument to make. First, we have to start with the reality that there are 300+ million firearms in the United States, and these existing firearms have an indefinite life span. They are going to be in circulation for decades to a century more, and will be the dominant form of firearm for the foreseeable future. They cannot be retrofitted with bolt-on “smart gun” technology that isn’t just as easy to remove. Then there is the fact that most people who commit suicide with firearms are using their own firearms, or those firearms to which they have lawful access. What prevents a smart gun owner from committing suicide with a smart gun? Absolutely nothing.
“Smart guns” are a technology that simply isn’t wanted by the market, and is only being pushed by those who would like to see the market destroyed from the inside.