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.