In yet another show of, “We only pretend to care about gun safety,” gun enthusiasts are harassing a woman working for foreign gun manufacturer Armatix. Their reason? According to The New York Times, she’s advertising a .22 caliber pistol with “smart” identification technology. It has a radio frequency enabled stopwatch, meaning that nobody but the owner can use the gun. Belinda Padilla, the woman in question, is on the receiving end of harassing phone calls, and pictures of her address and mailbox posted online with captions asking if a blurred person is her, because of that technology.
The big gun lobbyists, specifically the NRA, are afraid of smart guns because they think it leads down the slippery slope to government mandates. Those, of course, will always, always lead to outlawing all guns (just look at the horrid dictatorships countries like Finlandand Switzerland are now…oh wait).
The article in The New York Times says that gun enthusiasts like pointing to a 10-year old New Jersey law that says, once smart guns are recognized on the market, all guns sold there must have the smart technology within three years. The NRA-types don’t want the government regulating their guns in any way, shape or form, so as long as the technology stays off the market, they think they’re good to go.
The problem is that this smart gun technology could help to save lives by preventing people from accidentally firing them, or stealing them and then using them in a crime. It might save children, for instance, who are playing with the cool new toy they found, the danger of which they don’t understand. Young children often don’t know how to handle guns safely, let alone how to check and be sure that they’re unloaded. If they don’t have that stopwatch on, then maybe, just maybe, they won’t accidentally shoot their little brother or sister. Or themselves.
Other things the NRA fears about smart guns is that the government will use the radio devices to track and control weapons, and even disable them, according toBusinessweek. Author Paul M. Barrett says that laws probably would start requiring the smart technology if it’s available here, and admits he’s skeptical about the whole idea. One has to ask, though, is all of this really such a terrible thing? The NRA’s specific statement about smart guns reads:
“Failed attempts to develop and market ‘smart guns’ have been going on for years. NRA does not oppose new technological developments in firearms; however, we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire. And NRA recognizes that the ‘smart guns’ issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”
They basically oppose anything that might lead to a safer society, except the sale of more guns. They have such a choke hold on Washington that we haven’t made any progress on anything from background checks to an assault weapons ban, even though children continue to die in accidents, even though mass shootings continue to happen. The NRA has created this horrible culture of fear that makes people believe guns are their only way to ensure their freedom.
Eventually, we might see smart guns on the market. But it’s not likely, as companies like Armatrix can’t get a foothold in the U.S. market, thanks to the NRA’s ridiculous influence.
Watch David Rubin and Ana Kasparian discuss the NRA’s problem with smart guns.