“The most effective tool was changing the design of cars, and that’s in large part why I believe that we and do the same thing with guns. We do have to try to get people to act prudently with the gun that they have, but if we change the product, we’re going to be even more effective than trying to change the behavior of hundreds of millions of people.” – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor Stephen Teret, Gun safety advocates support ‘smart’ technology to prevent accidental deaths, [at pbs.org]

80 Responses to Quote of the Day: Mandating Safety Edition

  1. If only they could make the GUN safer. All of this personal responsibility business is a real drag. Science is the answer!

  2. Gun safety is very simple thing. The problem always involves a firearm in the hands of the untrained or inattentive. Put the same mandates restrictions on parenthood and see if the “safety” issue solves itself.

    • Coming soon to CA: the Smart C**k. After a brief outpatient procedure and short recovery, you can program this watch to allow procreation for a period of 2 hours, 4 hours, whatever! It’s simple and it’s safe!

      Yeah, kinda like that.

    • Speaking of trained and attentive, how difficult would it be for a gunsmith to open this thing up and disable the device? Pretty sure that’s what I would do with one if I had it.

  3. Key word: “Bloomberg”. Yes, he paid big $$$ to get his name on the side of a building to honor his Napoleonic self. The message gets lost clearly.

    • Hmm…it’s an article by professor Stephen Teret. Maybe a case of Teret’s Syndrome? You know, spouting a thread of verbal tripe without thinking.

      Yes, I know it’s really spelled Tourettes….

      • “…Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor Stephen Teret”
        I need say no more. Cue another truckload of grant money in three… Two…

  4. probably not more cost effective than a decent safe.

    although there may be small market for this type of thing for people with children or guys with angry wives and large life insurance policies.

    • My Ruger, and I’m sure many other modern semi-autos, has a great safety device for unauthorized use: if you drop the mag and kick it across the room the pistol WIL NOT FIRE, even if there is a round in the chamber. As for all the other ways a pistol can be mis-used by an unauthorized person, personal responsibility. Keep the damn gun away from them. And regarding suicides, that topic has been discussed at length. They use a gun because it’s effective. They use something else if they can’t get a gun. Is there any background check or safety device that will predict if a legal and authorized user might decide to suicide? Nope.

  5. Never going to happen, but if you banned the sale and production of guns that don’t meet a certain mark for safety (ie, drop safe) that might do….nothing but piss off 1911 owners. No, TBH the safety thing is BS if you consider how low accidental deaths (or deaths from guns in general) have been dropping like a rock for decades. But no, the antis don’t like fact, they like theories that only fit with their own illogical perception of how bad the world is.

    Plus isn’t there a saying about how the more parts something has the more likely it will break? Adding a digital lock is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard.

  6. This won’t change the behavior of criminals. Because they will just buy or steal illegal “dumb guns ” while the law abiding general public will have there behavior changed because they will be dead when their “smart” guns don’t work. Let’s see every police offer out fitted with these “smart” gun first and see how well that works for them.

    • That has to be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen…guns don’t exist to shoot paper targets. Paper targets exist to improve the shooting skills of gun owners…so the gun can be more effectively employed for self-defense, hunting, or (if necessary) throwing off tyranny.

      • I think these have their places, it would be great for shooting clubs in schools. Completely destroys the whole it’s to dangerous argument.

    • Very creepy. Is this a False Flag operation? “We’re really for reducing the harm that guns can do by accident,” …by making them damn near useless all around.

      EDIT: This was meant to be a reply to Nathan.B’s link to the Armatix website.

  7. “Hello, Mr. Burgler. Would you mind holding this piece of paper for me? Yes, face it towards me, that’s right … No, you can hold it at waist or chest level, either is fine … Okay, great, now give me a moment while my gun boots up…”

  8. I’ll never support mandatory safeties on firearms or any sort of smart gun technology. But that said, when I had kids I had a Magna-Trigger installed on one of my K frames. Great stuff, and it’s one extra layer of safety for the kids in the event of a brain fart. Not for everyone, and certainly shouldn’t be required, but it works as a voluntary measure for me.

  9. Sure, let the Police and every other government alphabet soup agency use this for 5 years and if there are zero issues and non of them are killed due to a malfunction, I will take one. Thing is no LEO would put their lives on the line with this nor should I.

    Anything can be hacked and electronics can fail.

    If we are going to take parallels to cars, anti lock brakes fail often, air bags fail and not even NHTSA knows if airbags in cars greater than 5 years old will actually work. This is all BS because it is trying to regulate human behavior. In regards to human behavior, even the founders knew that couldn’t be done and believe that was something that could only be done through religions and churches.

    Changing human behavior never works. Look at prohibition or the fact that more people die yearly from smoke related diseases than from guns.

      • The government doesn’t lead, it exempts itself. That’s one of the biggest problems facing society today. The government does not subject itself to transparency, Obamacare, 2nd and 4th Amendment restrictions, etc. Their mission is allegedly *too important,* and the media gives them a free pass on their hypocrisy. Freedom is an uphill battle.

  10. Can we regulate politicians under the Consumer Product Safety commission? These last weeks conclusively prove we have some defective product in DC.A surgeon generals warning on the suit lapel might save some constituents’ well being.

    • Even better, how about a warning label on campaign commercials. Maybe something like:

      WARNING! The Surgeon General advises that repeated viewing of this material can cause major brain damage.

  11. if ‘they’ want to mandate that all new firearms be drop-safe, that’s fine with me. well, that and proof testing; but that’s more or less all i’m happy with.

    • Don’t be fooled: drop safety tests are merely theatrics. See: the CA approved handgun list and all the perfectly good guns which don’t make the cut. CA has been using “safety standards” to force manufacturers to provide government agents with guns to mistreat and destroy. The expense is subsequently transferred to the buyers. The Glock Gen 4, isn’t on the list. Many good guns aren’t. You’re welcome to check the CA DOJ website if you don’t believe me.

      The antis love to add “safety standards,” and eliminate guns from the market just like Obama has blocked the re-importation of military surplus guns via executive order.

      • Another reason Cal. does this is that they can levy a fee every time a manufacturer creates a “new model” by changing a grip supplier, offering a new finish, or offering ANY new option on an existing “approved” gun.

      • I disagree in part. First, the testing is done privately, not by government agents, and the money spent on testing goes to private contractors, not the general fund. Two, as originally envisioned, it was to require guns to be drop safe, and it fulfilled that mandate. All rostered firearms are indeed drop safe. Where the roster went astray was in the addition of politically motivated requirements intended to make the guns “user safe” or idiot proof if you will. First it was manual safeties, because for some guns (Glock), it is too easy to draw the un and fire “accidentally,” or for a child to shoot himself or another child. Then the LCR was added because too many (adult) idiots think that dropping the mag means the gun isn’t loaded. (And from some stories I see I the news periodically, there are still a bunch of such idiots around). When the LCR wasn’t obvious enough to dissuade these guys from pulling the trigger on loaded pistols, the mag lock was mandated. So the point has been to make guns more or less idiot proof–and there is some sense to such efforts. [Then the Legislature went over the top, mandating microstamping technology, a technology that has absolutely nothing to do with safety and everything to do with a misguided belief that such tech will aid in solving crime.] “Smart” tech is just another attempt by politicians to circumvent Darwin’s law.

        • Mark, you meant LCI (loaded chamber indicator), right? I think LCR is a Ruger handgun. 🙂

          Nitpicking aside, I agree with your assessment. The problem is that an increasing number of major manufacturers, who make VERY safe and reliable products, are simply refusing to jump through the hoops. Glock and HK immediately come to mind.

          At this point, the Roster is a de facto ban on the sale of current-model pistols in CA and it needs to be overturned in court ASAP.

        • the LCI is the most dangerous thing I have seen on a handgun.

          My sister has one and she does not brass check even other people’s guns. We had been taught by my dad and used to have the best habits.

          the LCI can ruin proper habits.

      • i am aware of this; i meant to say ‘in theory’ but the phrase escaped the keyboard. 🙂

        great response acur81, btw. a+

  12. Common Sense Advocates support ‘smart’ Politicians
    “The least effective tool was changing the design of college professors, and that’s in large part why I believe that we do the opposite thing with politicians. We do have to try to get people to act prudently with the politician that they have, but if we change the product, we’re going to be even more effective than trying to change the behavior of hundreds of millions of people.”

    • He’s almost echoing Eric Holder’s postulation that “we need to brainwash people into thinking differently about guns.”

      • Akira says: He’s almost echoing Eric Holder’s postulation that “we need to brainwash people into thinking differently about guns.”

        Holder’s actually got it right, in a sense. (Good God, did I actually write that?) Two problems, though: First off, he’s going in the wrong direction. Second, its not brainwashing that needs to be done, but education.

        Here’s a few points in the right direction:
        1) Guns are inanimate objects. They are tools that can be used to various ends by a human user, either good or evil.
        2) Being inanimate objects, guns have no volition. They cannot act on their own.
        3) In the same vein, guns have no concept of right or wrong, nor of good and evil. These moral concepts reside solely in the mind and heart of the one wielding a gun.
        4) A loaded gun lying on a table is just as dangerous as my 8″ chef’s knife lying next to it. Which is to say, not at all. Once I pick either one up, it becomes as dangerous as my mindset, or ignorance, or carelessness is at that point.
        5) Knowing that I am responsible for my mindset, knowledge of the tool, and care about using it, and the consequences of poor choices, it is my responsibility to learn what I can about using said tools safely and effectively, and to secure them from use by those who are not informed, or who wish to do something evil or dangerous with them.
        6) All this being said, it is education about firearms, their safe use and handling, what they can and cannot do, and when their use is appropriate, is, I believe, of paramount importance in bringing a positive message to those who are ill-informed or ignorant, and in preserving our right to keep and bear arms.

        You cannot legislate morality. You cannot legislate intelligence. You cannot legislate carefulness into the careless. What you can do is educate.

        Thanks,
        Phil

  13. He let slip a little glimpse of their “master plan” there…this isn’t about reducing the small number of deaths from accidental discharges, this is about continuing down the road to ultimately take away guns from, as he says, “hundreds of millions” of gun owners.

  14. Home invasion! Quick, get the gun! Oh shit, the watch! Where’s the watch!

    Mr. Home Invader, please stand by while I look for my watch.

    Here it is. Why won’t the gun fire? Oh shit, the batteries! The batteries!

    Mr. Home Invader, please stand by while I go to the store to buy new batteries.

  15. Soooo… if they magically got their way, and all firearms from now on could only be fired by their owners… do you think they would stop telling women not to carry because their gun is more likely to be used against them? Would they embrace the waves of new female gun owners who would suddenly feel safe carrying since their fear of guns was based solely on that flawed propaganda?

  16. There is a difference between safety improvements in cars and mandating all vehicles be equipped with Breathalyzer ignition interlocks, should we do this because it will save lives?

    • Don’t be too quick to think your rhetorical question hasn’t been proposed as a serious “solution” by people that believe breathalyzer ignition devices on all cars is just “common sense”. I’ve heard that suggestion from several individuals before.

  17. If they want smart guns, fine. It should be an optional feature. I won’t have any smart guns in my home, as I have smart occupants.

  18. Funny thing: guns HAVE been made safer over the years. Grip safety, magazine disconnect safety, drop safety, firing pin block, firing pin disconnects, etc. These were all design improvements to make the firearm safer to handle. The only thing that has gotten LESS safe is society, and making firearms more difficult ro operate will not solve that problem.

  19. Another “academic” bought and paid for by Bloomberg’s money. No wonder that Bloomberg has such contempt for people. They’re all for sale — and cheap.

  20. The interesting thing about the “government sets car design” argument, is that they set these requirements for “on-road” use. That is usage of the car on government funded public roads. Vehicles for exclusively “off-road” use – be that a 4×4 in the wilds or a race car on a track – do not require any of these safety devices. The government also has no control over the sale of these off-road vehicles with non-compliant (for on-road usage) safety systems. People sell race cars all the time – you just have to move it about on-road using a trailer.

    As most firearms are stored on private property and used on private property, I don’t think the car example makes the point they are trying to make. Not that their ignorance will be any impediment to them.

    • The same agrument is made when people speak to me about licensing, insurance, and testing for gun ownership.

      I concede that will agree to these restrictions on carry weapons, such as with vehicles on public roads. However, with weapons on my own property or for recreation at the range, I want absolutely all restrictions lifted on weapon not for use on public property, just like vehicles.

      If I can have an unlicensed, registered, and uninsured 1000 horsepower drag car in my garage, I can also have an unlicensed, unregistered, and uninsured full auto rifle in the safe.

      Fair is fair.

  21. And those bullshit safety regulations are why America doesn’t get the good European cars and why modern cars are so massive.

    • Thank Ralph Nader and the Chevy Corvair and the Ford Pintoes with exploding gas tanks for all the modern safety crap in cars now. also if you get the chance read unsafe at any speed and get a glimpse of what libs went after before they got a hard on for guns.

  22. The most effective tool was changing the design of cars,

    Would somebody please point out to this moron that most harm from cars comes from accidents? And that the danger of accidents from guns actually ranks below things like swimming pools and choking hazards?

    • Yes but they can’t campaign for changes in pool design. They are treating this almost exactly like Ralph Nader did back in the days when he was on about the Chevy Corvair being a death trap and trying to mandate a safety feature that, up until that point, had been optional. I’m of course, referring to the seat belt.

  23. The idea is nice. Problem is if you need someone else to shoot the firearm they have to have the synced watch. What happens when another person in your home needs to use it. Each firearm would have to have multiple synced bands. Training, education and RESPOSIBILITY are the true key to “SAFETY”.

  24. More expensive, less reliable, less durable, harder to use. What’s not to like from an anti perspective? And the fact that it might seem like a good idea to low-information voters is a giant bonus.

  25. “The most effective tool was changing the design of cars, and that’s in large part why I believe that we and do the same thing with guns.”

    That’s retarded.

    Almost all automobile deaths are accidental.

    Almost all gun deaths are deliberate.

  26. That’s right lets put “computer tech” in all the new guns.

    Anyone care to bet that the NAS/ATF/FBI/ABCDEF../etc, will not only know what frequency they operate on, but have built in back-doors to turn a citizens gun off. And don’t get me started on what an directed EMP weapon (like the one police are working on to disable fleeing cars) might do to your gun if they decide you don’t need to have it.

    Madness.

    • You beat me to this. Yep, this is exactly what will happen. Of course, the government would know all the codes to these firearems If this were to ever go through, I hope this idea dies a loud and painful death. Smaller government the way the Constitution intended.

  27. You know, a reasonable person has no NEED to own a car that drives faster than 15 mph. You talk about all the safety improvements in cars, and they’ve let the auto industry get away with making bigger and stronger engines, and faster cars. Now, 55 mph speed limits are all over the place. There was a time in this country when the common speed limits were 8 mph city and 13 mph highway. Clearly, cars wouldn’t be so lethal if they weren’t able to drive so fast. Karl Benz never envisioned a day in which his invention would cause so much death and destruction …

  28. I hear the world “could” a lot in this report.

    Not to mention bloody shirt waving. With no mention that the Eddie Eagle program has probably saved more lives than smart guns ever will.

    And to compare seat belts and airbags to “smart” guns is simply moronic. A more apt comparison would be to compare seatbelts and airbags to issuing everyone in high crime areas kevlar and bullet proof helmets.

    • Yes. And in the case of vehicles, safety improvements are independent of the car’s actual performance, They don’t limit the speed or carrying capacity or horsepower. They don’t make your car less likely to start in the morning or less likely to respond when you really need to summon up a bit of extra speed.

      As Leo Atrox said above, in the midst of these safety improvements, vehicles have become ever more powerful and refined. And speed limits have gone up, not down. Engines have become more powerful, the 55 mph highway speed limit has gone up to 75, even 85 in some places depending on the roads, and the average vehicle could almost double the highway speed limit. And still the public is actually trusted to operate these machines.

  29. Issue these to police. Wait about 3 years. And if the cops still want to use them I’ll be amazed.
    The government would luv this. They could remotely disable guns at will, over certain days, in areas they deemed dangerous, etc.
    NJ has a standing law that the minute “smart guns” are on the market it’s the only gun you will be allowed to have in NJ. Have fun people.

  30. Smart technology cannot succeed as long as it is reliant on electronics, and as a consequence, on batteries. How many gun owners buy a personal defense handgun, put it in the nightstand, and leave it there for years? For all of these gun owners, batteries and electronics are a recipe for disaster.

    Mechanical means of smart technology (that rely on some kind of magnet in a ring) were invented years ago. The cost of these devices doubled the cost of the gun, and have never sold well–telling us what the market thinks of such things.

    Two thirds of deaths caused by guns are “owner authorized”–suicides. No smart tech in the world will prevent these deaths.

    Accidental shootings are a small minority of gun related deaths–and they are easily preventable by available technology, from locks to safes, to the use of training and common sense. Smart technology thus addresses an issue that results solely from “user error,” not a failure of technology.

    The number of persons killed by their own firearms is not known to me, but I suspect is microscopically small. Thus, smart technology in most cases will prevent lawful activity, like loans, use of another’s firearm in an emergency, and the like.

    Conclusion: Smart technology is an idea of a solution in search of a problem.

  31. Oh no, someone is breaking into my house! I’d better get my gun.

    I’ll just fumble around for this wristwatch and put it on. I hope the batteries are in good shape. Oh no, it’s not backlit! That’s okay, I’ll turn on a light. Now I’ll enter in my PIN. Time to grab my keys and unlock the gun (I don’t want anyone stealing it). Great, got the gun, waiting for it to boot. I hope there’s no wireless interference, battery in that should hopefully be okay too, if I recall. There aren’t any glitches in the latest firmware, right? Now I’ll just tell it how long I want to be able to use it for. Wait for the green light, and it’s ready to go! Easy!

    What could possibly go wrong?

  32. It’s a stupid argument. The use-cases of guns and cars are completely different, as are the avenues for misuse and accidents.

    Here’s a hint: Most vehicle deaths aren’t caused by people intentionally running down other people, or driving themselves off cliffs. Good luck engineering that out of the vehicle.

  33. He might be a real nice guy, but it’s too much of a coincidence for me to pass up mentioning how much Rep. John Tierney’s name sounds like Tyranny.

  34. Sounds like something that ‘Big Gov’ can use to turn off a persons gun when they want to. Not good for 2nd Amendment.

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