Part of President Obama’s “common-sense” gun reform executive actions was to push for the development of “smart gun” technology. Tomorrow, the administration is going to release a report from the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security Departments on ways to “spur” the development of “smart gun” use.
“Smart guns” are guns that can only be fired by their owner. Theoretically.
Critics are arming themselves for a mandate from the government.
Back in January when I wrote about this issue, I said the same thing: “I think we can easily imagine the government mandating this type of thing in the name of ‘sensible gun reform.'” I was talking about a mandate for the general public but I have no doubt this is the camel poking its nose under the gun control tent.
There are problems with “smart gun” technology which is why law enforcement is concerned.
A source familiar with the plans said that type of mandate isn’t on tap right now, but critics are still worried the administration is laying the groundwork for such a move. Among the biggest skeptics are cops worried about testing an unproven technology on the streets.
“Police officers in general, federal officers in particular, shouldn’t be asked to be the guinea pigs in evaluating a firearm that nobody’s even seen yet,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We have some very, very serious questions.”
Additionally, how does forcing police and government agents to use “smart gun” technology have an effect on mass shootings, street crimes or suicides? Aren’t these the reasons the government has to make “sensible gun reforms” in the first place?
Some companies say the slow development of effective “smart gun” technology is due to the fact that government grants have dried up.
According to Politico, “Entrepreneurs and researchers who’ve worked on smart guns say that government will have to take the lead on creating a viable market and showing the guns work when police and military use them — ‘not the bully pulpit, but the buying power of these public agencies,’ as Don Sebastian of the New Jersey Institute for Technology put it in an interview.”
The government will have to take the lead on creating a viable market? There is no market if the government has to create one. When someone starts talking about the “buying power” of the government, hold on to your wallet.
“As long as there’s a belief that there’s no market or ability to get into the market, nobody’s going to invest in this,” Sebastian said. But it’s not a belief, it’s a fact. There is no market or there would be functioning smart guns among us already, without the government (or rather taxpayer dollars) subsidizing it.
Is this “technology” even good for law enforcement? Perhaps that doesn’t matter — as Politico writes, “the Obama administration already has frayed ties with rank-and-file cops, many of whom didn’t think the president took their side in his reactions to police violence and protests like those in Ferguson, Missouri.”
“They sit down among themselves and decide what is best for law enforcement, but from a political standpoint, and then tell officers they’re doing it for their benefit,” Pasco said. “I have never heard a single member say what we need are guns that only we can fire.”
This is just another government boondoggle, like so many others, that serves no purpose, is funded by the tax payer, and ultimately will erode our right to keep and bear arms.