NBC News becomes marketing arm for smart gun makers

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Smart guns are an interesting development in the world of firearms; if we’re being perfectly honest. The idea of a firearm that cannot be accessed by anyone who isn’t approved sure does sound great. It would make their use after theft more difficult–not impossible, but trickier–and it would prevent a number of accidents.

But there are problems with these weapons, too. Big ones.

One of the biggest, though, may be how the mainstream media has basically become the marketing department for these manufacturers.

The Songs, of Guilford, Connecticut, have become advocates for so-called smart guns, which are designed to be fired only by an authorized user, employing fingerprint detection, bluetooth links and other technology that locks the gun to anyone else.

Companies have tried for years without success to bring such a product to market, but now at least two firms say they are close. The CEO of one of them, LodeStar Works, called the Songs a few months after Ethan’s death.

“I was like, oh my God, that would have saved Ethan’s life,” Kristin Song said.

LodeStar Works, based near Philadelphia, provided a demonstration of its current 9 mm handgun prototype at a firing range in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The smart tech includes three ways to verify the user. It can be unlocked by a fingerprint, a pin pad code or a smartphone app that can be paired via Bluetooth with the firearm.

The owner chooses which of the three methods is the primary one. The company says its weapon will sell for around $900, compared with $600 for a typical pistol.

“The technology can work, and we’re making it work,” said LodeStar CEO Gareth Glaser. “Our authentication methods are reliable, they lock and unlock the firearm, and it shoots. Now, it’s still just a prototype, and it’s in development.  But that’s going to be the major proposition of our company, that this is a very reliable, trustworthy technology.”

While NBC News did reach out to Larry Keane from the NSSF to get his comment, his concerns were mostly just glossed over.

However, there are reasons to be concerned about these weapons. While I’m not actively opposed to the existence of such weapons, they’ve got to prove themselves before anyone should be willing to trust them.

NBC News has basically agreed to parrot the official company line, but there are some facts they ignored. Namely how these guns that are supposedly so close to coming to market don’t actually work worth a damn as a firearm.

For all the push by the media–NBC News is getting picked on here, but they’re far from alone in carrying smart guns’ water–they fail to address the actual reliability of such weapons. And this is on Twitter and was covered by several places in the gun media, including us.

Once upon a time, NBC admitted it rigged car safety tests to make vehicles appear to be less safe. It seems the lesson they learned from that incident is that they should go in the complete opposite direction and make something that is dangerous appear safe.

Thus far, there’s been absolutely no critical examination of these smart guns by people like NBC News. Instead, they just parrot what these companies put out and then top it off with the hopes and dreams of activists who know little about guns.