When it Comes to Guns, Smart is Stupid

Do you support the development of smart gun technology?

To the uninformed, the idea of a smart gun may seem like a fantastic idea. It’s been proposed as a viable solution to crime, gun-related violence, accidents, and suicide. It’s often referred to as the “fix” for all firearm-related problems by attempting to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the firearm through technology and is often applauded by mainstream media, a group that can’t get basic facts about firearms correct.

Would smart guns actually reduce the rate of suicide or self-inflicted accidents? Likely not. Smart guns, if working as designed, would still allow any hypothetically authorized user to discharge the firearm. So, to make it simple, if you own the smart gun you can still shoot yourself with it either accidentally or on purpose. For the same reasons, a smart gun won’t actually prevent you from accidentally shooting someone else. And, to someone really determined to commit suicide, not having access to a firearm likely just means that they’ll use the local bridge.

Owning a smart gun also won’t prevent you from brandishing, committing aggravated assault, aggravated battery, murder, having Accidental Discharges (AD’s) or any other firearm-related crime.

As an instructor who has taught thousands of people, I believe that the only real way to prevent accidents in any age group is through training. I often hear firearm companies market on the fact that you don’t have to pull the trigger to take our XYZ fancy model gun apart. The reason for that is because many people have shot themselves while taking their gun apart. How about we just follow one of the basic safety rules and not point it at ourselves when we pull the trigger?

Certainly, using technology or locks to prevent unauthorized users from accessing guns would prevent theft and unauthorized use, right? Well, probably not. All modern motor vehicles on the planet have door locks and ignition locks to prevent access by unauthorized users. Many of them are sophisticated, expensive and use similar technology as smart guns. The FBI reports that in 2012 the United States alone had an estimated 721,053 motor vehicle thefts. A battery and a computer chip aren’t going to magically prevent theft or unauthorized access.

For firearms to work properly they have to be maintained and kept clean. Essentially what this means is that there must be some type of user access. If it can be accessed, it can be hacked or modified. Many of the smart gun technologies rely on RFID, wireless, magnetic, or biometrics (think fingerprint or retina scanners) to “lock” unauthorized users out of the firearm. All of these technologies can be hacked.

Don’t believe me? Do a quick Google search on credit card hacking and see how many millions of dollars a year are lost by credit card companies. Trust me, if those companies could completely prevent hacking and “unauthorized users,” they would.

SEE ALSO: Shocker! You Can Hack Smart Guns–With Magnets!

Most of us carry firearms to protect ourselves and our families, which is certainly one of the rights protected by the Second Amendment and recognized by the Supreme Court.  One of the universal legal requirements for self-defense across the nation is that the person defending themselves must be in imminent danger of serious injury or death. “Imminent” is a legal term that means it’s about to happen, it’s close at hand, it’s on the precipice, it’s on the verge, it’s so close to happening that it’s almost certain to happen.

What this means in most self-defense situations is that you aren’t justified in “using,” pointing, or firing a firearm until the last moment that you can possibly wait and still live. Smart gun technology is going to slow that down. A half of a second could mean the difference between living or dying, being prosecuted or being justified. That’s assuming that the “smart gun” works every time, which it won’t. Circuit boards will eventually fail, and moisture, condensation, gun oil, extreme conditions, temperature, dust, etc. all cause major problems in electronics.  I want my guns to work all the time and not just when I happen to be wearing an RFID chip or when I remembered to charge the battery on my stupid “smart” gun. Also, I am not okay with the idea of my firearm being jammed or hacked by bad guys or the government, and both could realistically happen.

If you want to get really scary, consider that proponents of smart guns believe the only way they could ever be effective is if everyone was required to use them. All other “non-smart” firearms would need to be banned. I’m not okay with that and certainly, the founding fathers, who rightfully had a major distrust of government, wouldn’t be okay with that either.

Let’s be intelligent and not even start down the slippery slope of “smart guns.”

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About the author: True Pearce is the Managing Editor at GunsAmerica. He’s a competitive shooter, hunter, instructor & attorney. You can see and follow his adventures on Instagram. @true1911 https://www.instagram.com/true1911/

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Thomas November 22, 2020, 3:49 pm

    Smart guns are dumb smart crooks can enable or disable them at their whim ,leaving you disarmed and them with an active weapon that you are supposed to be the sole operator.

  • Hondo May 13, 2018, 11:08 am

    Let law enforcement be the Ginny pigs ( no pun intended ) on this technology and see how it goes, i’ll just stick with tried and true dumb technology.

  • Altoids May 12, 2018, 6:22 pm

    If guns have “smart” chips in them how difficult would it be for some government agency, or even a hack to disable them all from a central location?

  • MJ May 12, 2018, 2:33 am

    Just like liberals, wanting a mandate with no proven technology. California doesn’t need them, they just put all the guns on a list, then eliminate them for your own good.

  • codenamedave May 11, 2018, 8:41 pm

    blah blah blah…

    Don’t care about arguments against the practicality of smart guns, if you’re an American worthy of the name that’s not the issue. If someone wants to buy/use one, go sic. I’m not going to argue with you if you want to use a rubber-band gun for home defense, that’s your choice. The issue is whether or not the gummint requires their use. If it’s just an opinion piece then fine, otherwise arguing about whether or not an individual should choose to have one puts you on the same side as the controllers.

  • Robert J. Lucas May 11, 2018, 9:33 am

    No has proven to me that any of these designs, are RAD hard. Another thing, adding complicated electronics to elegant simple mechanical designs, is a recipe for disaster.

  • Jay May 11, 2018, 8:42 am

    Smart guns are right up the democrat/liberals mind set alley! I say give them all smart guns and all their body guards smart guns and let’s see how it goes! A ten year study should work!

  • alan keithley May 11, 2018, 6:33 am

    the only thing smart is the unit behind the trigger..guns that go bang when you have to have it, thats how safe a gun has to be………………………….ahhhaaacaronda.. this storm is just beginning……its going to be a big blow…and its going to last…..far to long……get your FOWL weather gear out and wear it……may YOUR god be on our side…..my god is out to lunch at the moment…..

  • Owen Weislow May 11, 2018, 6:18 am

    I’m unsubscribing; this article is stupid!

    • Al May 11, 2018, 9:00 am

      Good, we don’t want you or your silly opinions.

    • bbbs53 May 11, 2018, 1:45 pm

      Beat it snowflake!

  • Jasper W. Riley May 11, 2018, 4:23 am

    Electronics are far from failsafe. To much to go wrong when time counts.

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