With “smart guns” still a theoretical idea rather than an actual product, the Wall Street Journal reports that “smart-gun evangelists” failed to note that Silicon Valley was not buying into the technology.
In other words, those who believed Silicon Valley firms and their investors would rally to the cause failed to consider the tech industry’s abhorrence for any kind of firearms manufacturing, even if such manufacturing was dubbed “smart.”
The Journal‘s report notes that calls for such firearms were widespread among many gun control proponents after Adam Lanza’s heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012: “In theory, a gun with a fingerprint reader or [radio frequency identification] technology might stop murderers like Lanza who used guns purchased and stored by his mother, and to a greater degree prevent accidental shootings and suicides.” The Journal also suggests that “smart-gun evangelists” hope the recent Parkland, Florida, shooting will give them momentum to get something done.
However, real-world problems cloud these theoretical aspirations.
One such problem is the fact that smart guns with radio frequency identification can be fired by anyone who has the bracelet, ring, or watch with which the firearm is paired. Thus, for example, Lanza could have taken his mother’s watch, thereby activating the gun, then killed her with it, gone to school, and carried out his attack by keeping the watch in close proximity to the firearm.
An even bigger problem lies in the fact that legal gun owners, who alone would be authorized to use the firearms they own, could simply use their smart guns to carry out attacks. The Parkland school shooter used a gun he bought at retail via a background check. A fingerprint reader or radio frequency identification requirement would have done nothing to stop him.
And that brings us back to smart guns in general. They are a theoretical approach to gun control that is not ready for prime time. In order to be ready, there will have to be lots of investment and testing, followed by more investment and more testing. And the Journal makes clear that Silicon Valley — the obvious place for such technology to be perfected — is not interested in becoming involved in firearms.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.