Comments: The Unrequited Dream of Smart Guns

Just so. Col. Jeff Cooper used to call the double action mechanism for semi-automatic pistols "an ingenious solution to a nonexistent problem." So it is with "smart guns."

The entire idea is a tail-chasing exercise in making human beings perfect by means of making perfect--or at least temporarily neutering--a tool. It's an idea in search of a necessity.

Any firearm that is not as reliable as human engineering can make it is essentially useless. But that, of course, is the point for the anti-gunners whose pathetically weak intellectual horsepower is the engine for the smart gun concept. As long as the free market prevails, such weapons will never be economically viable, particularly the bizarre idea that government could transmit a "fail safe" radio signal that would render inert all firearms within range of the transmitter, thus stopping mass shootings. Of course, this would also have the effect of protecting mass murderers when the good guy's weapons suddenly become paperweight, to say nothing of the old folks holding off a troops of aggressive burglars, or the tiny woman about to stop a crazed rapist with a suddenly limp handgun.

Let's see. Here's a reliable handgun that will go bang when I need it to go bang. Here's a handgun that costs a great deal more, and that will, without notice, fail to go bang when its battery dies, if there's radio frequency interference in the area, if someone opens their garage door or car door, or if the government suddenly decides I can't go bang when I want? Gee. Tough choice.

Posted by mikemcdaniel at November 21, 2009 08:05 PM