Why Smart Guns Are So Very, Very Stupid

It should be obvious, but apparently it isn't quite obvious enough. Firearms, in the right hands, are used as a last resort to protect life: they are life support equipment. Would you want an ambulance that can only be driven by someone wearing the correct $300 wristwatch? A fire truck? A fire hydrant that can only be accessed by an electronic chip? An oxygen tank, a defibrillator?

Should a rape only be prevented or stopped by one person? Should only one person in a family be able to protect it? Should you have a chest of wristwatches, so you can wear the right one at home, another in your car, another at your farm?

For those that think that “technology” is fool-proof, can you explain or the last 10,000,000 automobiles recalled by General Motors? Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 relied on technology. No one today calls it perfect technology, nor does anyone know what actually happened.

No life support tool or life support piece of equipment should be any more complex than it needs to be. No life support equipment should be more difficult to operate than it needs to be. No life support equipment should be any more expensive than it has to be, unless you feel only wealthy people should be able to protect themselves. No life support equipment shoulf be any less reliable than possible.

A recent report commissioned by the White House titled Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-related Violence suggests what self-defense gun experts have been saying for years. The report, ordered under one of President Obama’s 23 Executive Orders signed in the wake of the Sandy Hook incident, asked the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Research Council and other federal agencies to identify the “most pressing problems in firearms violence.”

To the dismay of those who would used the report to try to further restrict access to personal defense firearms, the study found that gun ownership actually saves lives and those who have a firearm at their disposal improve their chances of survival and reduce their chance of injury in the event they are confronted by a violent criminal. Consider that 3 million people use a gun to defend themselves from harm every year. Over 8,000 Americans every day act with (potentially) deadly force to prevent injury or death to themselves or a family member.

In addition to overwhelming evidence that owning a gun reduces your chances of injury when attacked, regardless of whether you fire your gun or not, the new report proves that there has been a decades’ long obfuscation of national statistics that have been used to determine the importance of guns in self defense. Up until this study became available, anti-gun politicians often cited figures that indicated that just 108,000 people a year used guns in self defense. The new study suggests that those numbers were off by over 2500%. (Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013.)

It shouldn't be a real stunner that you get the wrong answer when you ask the wrong question. The question should be crime control, not gun control and surely not citizen control.

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of power; but they cannot justify it, even if we were sure that they existed. It is hardly too strong to say, that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intention, real or pretended. When bad intentions are boldly avowed, the people will promptly take care of themselves. On the other hand, they will always be asked why they should resist or question that exercise of power which is so fair in its object, so plausible and patriotic in appearance, and which has the public good alone confessedly in view? Human beings, we may be assured, will generally exercise power when they can get it; and they will exercise it most undoubtedly, in popular governments, under pretences of public safety or high public interest.” – Daniel Webster, A SPEECH DELIVERED AT NIBLO'S SALOON, IN NEW YORK, ON THE 15TH OF MARCH, 1837.


Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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