Comment of the Day: “Observations On Obama’s Executive Orders On Guns And The Golden Dancer Presidency”

Are smart

Are smart guns…smart?

 J. E. Houghton illuminates one of President Obama’s wish list items for gun safety—fascinating. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, “Observations On Obama’s Executive Orders On Guns And The Golden Dancer Presidency” :

I would like to offer an observation concerning one of President Obama’s executive order policies: To direct federal agencies to promote “smart gun” technology through the procurement power of the Federal government. The President compares guns to smart phones and asks why we can’t use the same modern technology to limit access and use of guns like we do with smart phones. (Vice President Biden’s post-Sandy Hook commission came up with a similar recommendation.)

This may sound like a good idea to some, mostly people who have no knowledge of guns and do not depend on guns for their own personal safety, national defense or homeland security.

Since the inception of firearm technology… probably around the end of the 1300’s… gun makers have been striving to achieve simple ends in the gun making trade: To make small arms effective and reliable. To those ends, they have long ago succeeded. For example, the Model of 1911 Colt semi-automatic pistol, which is to this day to many, the “Gold Standard” for effectiveness and reliability in a handgun. Even earlier the Model of 1898 Mauser bolt action rifle was perfected and is still today considered a high standard of effectiveness and reliability. Yes, we are still seeing refinements and advancements on small arms technology, but the basics of effectiveness and reliability were achieved over a hundred years ago.

Now, we have a president who seems to be wanting to use United States military and law enforcement personnel as “crash test dummies” for the new “smart gun” technology… basically taking us back to less effectiveness and less reliability.

Obviously, smart phone technology can be applied to guns. But, how often to smart phones fail to function due to a dead battery or some other technical glitch? What happens when the “smart gun” is dropped in the mud or the water? What happens when the gun is dropped on the pavement and delicate circuitry is disrupted? Will the dangerous enemy or homicidal criminal stop and give the soldier or law enforcement officer a chance to replace the battery or to by-pass damaged circuitry? Maybe these technical “bugs” can be eventually engineered out of the smart guns. But at what cost in money and in lives?

No… this is not a good idea. But it is exactly the kind of idea that comes from the minds of people who do not have to put their lives on the line to face real threats. (As an aside, it is interesting to note that the French didn’t even bother putting mechanical safety devices on their military rifles until after World War 2, believing that their military personnel should be properly trained to safely handle a deadly weapon and be able to kill when necessary.


9 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “Observations On Obama’s Executive Orders On Guns And The Golden Dancer Presidency”

  1. Excellent observations! Early in my law enforcement career, which began in the mid-1970s, I remember reading about efforts to modify law enforcement firearms so that they would only fire for a user wearing a companion wristwatch or ring. This is back in the days when many LODDs were officers killed with their own weapons taken from them by criminals. I recall that the obvious “what-ifs” about these mechanisms could not be sufficiently addressed to garner any significant law enforcement support or interest. Law enforcement technology developed better retention devices for duty holsters, and officers were trained in weapon retention techniques, which greatly reduced the number of handgun take-aways.
    I suspect that as the operating principles for proposed “smart guns” has become more high-tech and complex, so too the potential problems
    The “smart gun” is one of those “ingenious solutions to a non-existent problem.” What is needed is not smarter guns, but better trained and more careful gun owners and handlers.

  2. I lost $2000 investing in smart-gun technology.

    The political opposition was too great to overcome. The technical issues weren’t that hard (though hard enough).

    “Australian defense company Metal Storm made a prototype electronic smart gun called the O’Dwyer VLe. It utilized biometric authorizing technology and was the world’s first 100% electronic handgun. It also incorporated Metal Storm’s patented ‘stacked projectile’ technology, which, in cohesion with the nature of the weapon system itself, meant that there was no moving parts, no separate magazine, no ammunition feed, and it outstripped conventional firing systems”

    “Smart guns have been criticized by gun-rights groups like the NRA as well as by gun-control groups like the Violence Policy Center. The Violence Policy Center argues that smart guns will make firearm ownership more commonplace by making firearms seem safer.”

    That plus NIH doomed the project.

    • Or just stay away from the damned things. That’s my approach although I’m fine with other people having them. With grand kids into everything, I gave my U.S. Army Major nephew my great uncle’s (his great grand uncle’s) Browning over under shot gun. It’s kind of an heirloom and a nice gun but its danger outweighed my attachment to it. Plus, my nephew is into hunting and he’s obviously well trained in firearms. He can figure out how to deal with his ten year old boy being in the house with it and their other weapons. Just part of life.

      • That’s what I do now also.

        I use to own a lot of guns and even carried one for a while until I was mugged while carrying and realized it was just something to make me feel more secure , that IT didn’t actually make me more secure.

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