On January 12 CBS News was awed by a smart gun that is unlocked by a smartphone-style fingerprint reader and is “relatively reliable.”
The gun is a .40 caliber Glock that MIT freshman Kai Kloepfer altered by making it inoperable unless activated by the swipe of an authorized user’s finger across the reader. On October 8 Breitbart News reported on this very gun as it was being developed by Kloepfer and he admitted that the smart gun’s reader will not work if the authorized user is wearing gloves or if his fingers are dirty. Smartphone users have the same problem. And Kloepfer’s fingerprint reader also failed to work if the authorized user’s fingers were wet–just like a smartphone.
But CBS News is euphoric because the gun is “relatively reliable.” And even though Kloepfer admitted the gun would not stop mass shootings, he believes his smart gun could save some lives. After all, Kloepfer says “it functions almost every single time.” Lost on Kloepfer and CBS are all the additional lives that could be lost when the gun does not function–those represent lives that could have been saved had the victim reached for a traditional handgun that goes bang every time.
Moreover, think of all the additional sexual assaults that could occur in a scenario where a firearm is only “relatively reliable.” Each fail could represent a horrific assault that could have ended if the victim had grabbed a classic, tried-and-true revolver.
It is interesting to note Kloepfer’s admission that his gun would not stop mass shootings, because this may actually be the strongest argument against smart guns that needs to be made. In the “theory” surrounding such guns, the authorized user of the weapon would be the person who passes a background check to acquire it. That would mean, the Orlando Pulse gunman–who passed a background check for both his weapons–would simply shoot up the place and slaughter innocents with his smart gun instead of a traditional firearm. It also would mean the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2016), the UCLA murder/suicide gunman (June 1, 2016), the Umpqua Community College gunman (October 1, 2015), Allison Parker’s murderer (August 26, 2015), the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015), the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015), the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015), the Muhammad Cartoon Contest attackers (May 3, 2014), the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015), the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014), the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014), the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013), the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013), the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012), Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011), the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009), and the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007) would have still been able to carry out their heinous acts because they all passed background checks for their weapons. The only difference would have been that they would have carried them out with a smart gun instead of a traditional firearm.
Is CBS News listening? The point is clear–even if smart guns worked they would not prevent evil people from carrying out evil deeds. The only thing that stops such people is an equal or greater amount of force coming at them when they try to carry out such foolishness. And that equal or greater amount of force is brought to bear by a good guy with a gun that goes bang every time, not a good guy with a gun that is “relatively reliable.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.