‘Smart Guns’ Hit the Shelves in California: Why They’re a Terrible Idea

Smart Guns

The first so-called “smart gun” hit shelves on Thursday in California, kicking off lively discussions on the future of gun control in America as technology continues to advance. While the left continues to lob questions at gun owners such as, “Why do you need a gun?” and “Why are you opposed to ‘common sense’ measures like universal background checks?” the nature of the gun debate is likely to shift as we enter a new era of firearms technology.

The Smart System iP1, a .22-caliber pistol made by the German gun-manufacturer Armatix GmbH looks futuristic and is designed to ensure that only authorized shooters are able to fire the gun. The shooter wears an RFID-equipped watch that is activated by a PIN number. When the shooter grips the gun, the watch and the gun sync and the gun “unlocks” to allow the wearer of the watch to shoot.

This is a recent innovation for which the left has long awaited. For decades, the same crowd that confuses “semi-auto” with “full-auto,” insists that barrel shrouds are “a shoulder thing,” that classifies weapons based on how scary they look, have eagerly awaited the day that technology can produce a “safer” gun that the know-nothing left can promote as a viable alternative to the barbaric man-killers of yesteryear.

With the “smart gun” hitting the shelves, it can only be days before we hear, “Why don’t we legislate so all guns sold in America are equipped with this technology?” In fact, a 2002 New Jersey law mandates that three-years after so-called “smart guns” are available for sale in the U.S., New Jersey will prohibit the possession of conventional firearms.

While it’s laudable that some are looking for safer ways to keep the guns out of the hands of those with mal intent, it’s also laughable that this could be thought of as a viable solution to gun violence. No matter how safe we make firearms, the true instrument of murder is evil intent- not the instrument itself.

Many suggest that such technology is good for parents who don’t want their children to have access to their firearm. But like poisonous chemicals, sharp knives and power tools, the answer is not electronic gadgetry- it’s to instill a respect for such dangerous instruments.

I, and many other gun-carriers, carry only the most-reliable firearms. Antiques, relics and oddball firearms are for shooting with friends; the carry piece must be the most reliable handgun one can afford. With such a new technology, I cannot endorse anyone trusting their or their family’s lives to an RFID chip.

Furthermore, the cost of the gun- $1,399 for the gun, $399 for the watch- is an outlandish cost for an unproven gadget that should give any home-defender pause as he reaches for the tool that could save his life.

The new “smart gun” provides a talking point for the ill-informed and is likely to serve, in the minds of liberals, as a viable option to reduce gun violence when it is anything but. The Saturday Night Specials that flood the streets of inner cities will continue to help facilitate the nefarious deeds of violent criminals as the $1,800 “smart gun” remains a mere curiosity.

Microstamping, “smart guns,” gun bans- they are all useless measures to further hinder the law-abiding. If we are ever to reduce gun violence, we must be willing to address social malaise and the erosion of common decency. We must also be willing to lift the burdens on the law-abiding and affirm the God-given right of people to carry firearms for self-defense. 

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