In Praise of Stupid Guns – Part 2

courtesy popsci.com

Earlier this week, we ran In Praise of Stupid Guns by Patriotic HIT Pharmacist. Here’s part two of that post.

THE POLITICAL PROBLEM

The pre-positioned legislation mandating “smart guns” in New Jersey reveals the end game for gun control activists. The 2002 New Jersey Childproof Handgun Law requires that once “personalized handguns are available” anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be “smart guns”. This is designed to cripple the market.

The law prescribes that within thirty months after “smart guns” are available for retail sales purposes, the New Jersey state officials will create and distribute a list of “smart guns” which are the only firearms that may be sold within the state.

Recent tepid attempts to introduce such “smart guns” into the marketplace received a swift backlash from firearms owners who see them as potentially dangerous and restricting their Second Amendment rights. Gun stores and manufacturers who had indicated an interest in selling “smart guns” were even, quite wrongly, subjected to death threats.

This anti-“smart gun” sentiment is so strong that an unintended consequence of the draconian New Jersey legislation has been to discourage potential “smart gun” marketing in general. (Also see The Deception of “Smart-Guns” Revealed at Last.)

THE DARK UNDERBELLY

Let’s look at the opposite side of the implementation reliability dilemma. Guess which portions of the population will circumvent “smart gun” restrictions? Yes, that would be the criminals and the terrorists (and some true patriots).

Mechanically-based “smart gun” technologies will be defeated by either Dremel tools, tool punches or amateur machinists, possibly with 3-D printers to make work around parts.

Electrically-based “smart guns” will succumb to assaults by magnets (already done and viewable on the internet), conventional or microwave ovens to either melt or “fry” delicate circuits, immersion, or freezing with refrigerant gases. There will also be information on the Dark Web where criminals can get hacks to the software.

A candid discussion on this topic also requires a dip into conspiracy theories. For any electronic “smart gun” technology there will be software and electromagnetic transmission. For example, the user would have to wear a special bracelet to send a signal to the firearm to unlock the trigger or to allow the firing pin, striker, or slide to move. This signal could be jammed non-maliciously by stray emissions from cordless phones on the same channel or by intentional jamming.

Just imagine a criminal or a jack-booted government agent outside your house blanketing your firearm activation frequency or, worse yet, remotely deactivating your firearm by means of secret, obligatory software access portals to be used by the BATFE, TSA or the Secret Service (which bad actors could exploit). Hypothetically, upon the declaration of martial law following the tumultuous election of President Chelsea Clinton, she might stoop to release the firearms deactivation malware created by the NSA to disarm her pesky political rivals.

NIGHTMARE SCENARIOS

Let’s get even more apocalyptic, just for fun. Here are two nightmare scenarios that would prove “smart gun” adoption to be as dumb as the Pet Rock craze.

Nightmare Scenario #1: We suffer an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event. See the Afterword of the disaster fiction book, “One Second After” by William Forstchen for an explanation of the effects. Suffice it to say that either of these events will result in the widescale failure of electronic devices and the last thing you would want is a firearm that is suddenly just a metal and plastic paperweight.

Nightmare Scenario #2: Locating gun owners by listening or pinging. It should be possible to detect “smart guns” with EM emissions with the right equipment. In my neighborhood, the gas utility company no longer uses human meter readers on foot. Instead the gas company van drives slowly by my house and “pings” the meter to interrogate it. It is not a stretch to have a black SUV with tinted windows drive through your neighborhood to plot the number and location of all firearms and maybe the serial number for good measure. Big Brother will be watching you and listening to your guns.

THE ACHILLES HEEL

Here is the final argument against so-called “smart guns” that cannot ever be overcome by technology.

No matter how fantastic the technology gets, it will never be able to discern intent. The gun cannot use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose the psychological state of the person using it. A firearm will never be able to discern malice from righteous intent.

So, a good guy substituting for a disabled police officer will be locked out and unable to shoot the Bad Guy. When a Good Guy cannot operate an “unauthorized” gun, we all lose.

Alternatively, a rogue cop who wants to shoot an innocent will not be kept from doing so by any “smart gun”. Ultimately, humans make critical decisions in just moments and their morality dictates their actions. A gun can never play God.

FINALLY

When friends, colleagues or enemies suggest that we should use “smart guns” I would recommend responding: “What? Are you stupid?”

 

‘Patriotic HIT Pharmacist’ is a relatively new firearms owner (thanks to the previous President). This Second Amendment zealot takes self-defense seriously, is trained and certified in health informatics, and dabbles in reloading.

This post was originally published at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar DaveL says:

    Regarding “Stupid Guns”, I refer you to Murphy’s sixth law of war: If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.

    1. avatar Get Freight says:

      So, “Stupid Gun” is an applicable name since he has outlined all the ways it does not work.

    2. avatar Sich says:

      Sound like the Axiom: “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough”.

    3. avatar Guest says:

      If it’s stupid but it works, it’s still stupid. You just got lucky.

  2. avatar Muhammad says:

    I was reading that article and thinking wow! TTAG finally got some good writers, then I sadly discovered it was just reprinted here

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      That was harsh.
      TTAG does have good writers. They work for free too, we call them “commenters”.
      🤠

  3. avatar tdiinva says:

    Let’s keep our objections to reasonable scenarios, i.e., hacking and jamming by malicious actors. It would not take much power to jam smart gun electronics and the software will be hacked. Smart guns will merely enable criminals to prey on people.

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      More reasonable still would be malfunctions, dead batteries, or not being able to find the activating device (watch, etc.) when you need it.

    2. avatar Bloving says:

      My main objection is: “Smart guns exist now. Turn in your old guns or retrofit them.”
      Oh yes, they will demand that.
      🤠

  4. avatar little horn says:

    the stupidest part of this to me is that they have the notion in there head that a smart gun is somehow impossible to use to murder innocent people.

    1. avatar c4v3man says:

      Worse is that they somehow think smart guns will dramatically impact murder rates. If Billy Bob wants to murder his cheating wife, even if the stars align and and the smart gun actually prevents him from shooting his wife, what makes you believe he won’t kill her in any other way?

      Requiring this type of technology as a way to stop mass-murders is even dumber, as many of the murderers who achieve high numbers plan their attacks out well in advance… plenty of time to circumvent any gun control policy that could be enacted. Again, even if the impossible happens and the would-be gun-toting murderer is prevented from using a gun to murder a bunch of people, what’s to prevent him from using explosives, fire, vehicles, etc to kill a similar or even greater number of people?

      1. avatar little horn says:

        idk, maybe they see this a way to stop kids accidentally shooting themselves/others. because apparently safe’s are just too complicated for some people. thats about the only area i can see this making a difference but again its not like there isn’t a cheap alternative already in ready supply, SAFES.

        1. avatar Bloving says:

          As Ol’ Bill Carter in Houston would say, “A safe gun owner is a gun safe owner.”
          🤠

      2. avatar California Richard says:

        Well, obviously MIT is going to develop the iBurn Smart Fire and iCut Smart Knife. There’s going to be a 10-day cooling off period before you can buy fire and we’re going to need background checks and have to register all knives…. That’ll stop those senseless deaths! As for cars, the only common feature for all vehicles used in murders and accidental deaths is that they all have engine silencers. Obviously if we banned mufflers the car violence rate would go down. Also, no vehicles with a fuel capacity over 10 gallons. You don’t need a high capacity tank to run over a dear! If it saves one life, it is worth it. /sarc/

  5. avatar Warlocc says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The concept of smart guns isn’t all that bad. There probably are some people out there that can benefit from the technology.

    The real, big problem with them is the stupid laws.

  6. There are five words which describe New Jersey politics, the mobster and gangster
    tradition of that corrupt state, and their legacy of deceit, socialism, and Democrat
    rule: deceitful, crooked, immoral, treasonous, and socialist!

    James A. “Jim” Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Don’t leave out Chicago !

  7. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Here we are, again, fighting the wrong battle.

    “Smart guns” are not really envisioned as being criminal-proof. They are all about keeping children from shooting each other, and maybe deter the occasional spree shooter. We already lost the NICS battle, arguing that background checks are easy to evade; the anti-gun crowd simply does not care – if it stops one bad guy from buying one gun, and prevents one murder that hour, universal background checks should be mandatory for all sales.

    “Smart guns” are not about facilitating self-defense, but complicating the life of the gun owner.

    Biggest feature of “Smart guns”? If the inadequacy of “smart guns” deters potential buyers (and ends the introduction of any “dumb guns”), mission accomplished. Once a “smart gun” can be demonstrated to save one life, banning all “dumb guns” from public ownership becomes a “reasonable restriction” (it would be crazy to allow continued possession of “dumb guns” when “smart guns” are available – you can still own guns so 2A is not infringed).

    1. avatar Barnbwt says:

      Half the article is speculation identically opposes to “what if it saves a life?” You’re right, they don’t care. Now what?

      If anything, the wrong battle is even engaging these people politically. Valuing the opposing opinion is part of politics/diplomacy after all. Civil disobedience, or less civil taking direct action to stop their policies are the alternatives.

  8. avatar strych9 says:

    I rather doubt an EMP would disable smart guns very far from ground zero. They simply lack enough wiring to have much of an “antenna” to pick up enough of the energy from the pulse to damage them.

    The real danger of an EMP is to the power grid due to the fact that all those nifty transmission lines do act as massive antennas. Cars and aircraft will be fine. They survive lightning strikes on a regular basis.

    The real issue with a watch-type based transmitter is, as pointed out above, jamming due to other, usually innocuous, RF transmissions or intentional jamming. Also loss of a transmitter or dead batteries.

    Any moron can make things more complicated. Smart people simplify wherever possible. “Smart guns” are more complicated and unnecessarily so, they’re not smart at all.

    1. avatar Barnbwt says:

      A device operating on sensed unpowered RFID responses isn’t much of an antenna?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Considering that the range on the most powerful active RFID is 1500ft while the longest range for passive is like 162ft, and then considering how quickly the energy from an EMP drops off as you get away from ground zero no it’s not much of an antenna compared to even the antenna on a car radio or a cheapo walkie talkie.

        An EMP just isnt a big concern for a device like this unless you’re relatively close to it.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          If you are close enough for EMP to effect a small devvice EMP is the least of your worried.

    2. avatar Sich says:

      But then again, unless there’s a built in “Surge Protector” inside you’re Watch, iPhone, iPad or Laptop. You’re going to be replacing a lot of Expensive Things. Just to immobilize your Smart Gun.

  9. avatar Barnbwt says:

    Dumbest craze; per rocks or Tide pods?

  10. avatar Barnbwt says:

    Seeing as they can’t even make smart cell phones (in the sense that security measures reduce theft, or reduce drunk/careless texts, or reduce child access by careless parents)

    What makes them think this can possibly work? Cell phones don’t even have mechanicals that can bypass the safety, and their ‘smarts’ are still unreliable at best. How often do you have to repeat a fingerprint check or password when it’s not recognized? Why would anyone think that’s acceptable in this application?

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    New Jersey is dumb enough to mandate gun muzzles with facial recognition.

  12. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    If God wanted us to have smart guns, then Mr. Browning would have given it to us already.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “If God wanted us to have smart guns, then Mr. Browning would have given it to us already.”

      BINGO !

  13. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    With “Dumb Guns” and their multiple safety features, the gun goes off or not, as you choose.

    The point of “Smart Guns” is your gun goes off, or not, as *they* choose.

    Everything else is noise and distraction.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Nicely put.

    2. If that were true, the US Military would still be using Dumb Weapons of WWII Technology.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        I think you missed his point, entirely.

        1. The US Firearms Industries didn’t just stop making Flint Locks, when the first Cap & Ball was introduced in the 1840’s or the first Brass Cartridge in the 1850’s didn’t automatically stop production of Cap & Ball Revolvers. The FMJ of 2018 is just as “Stupid” in intelligence as the first FMJ invented in 1882…

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Still missed.

          Let me try to sort it out, because his comment was short, succinct, direct, and bang on point regarding the real intent of the “smart gun”.

          Statement: “With a ‘dumb gun’, you decide when it fires, or not;”
          – You, the gun owner control whether the gun is used/fired

          Statement: “With a “smart gun”, THEY (the grabbers, leftists, authorities) decide when the gun is used/fired”.

        3. Exactly how is that when a Proximity Sensor is used? In my Apartment Building, everyone has the Same Fob to get into the Building. Yet the Same Fob is “Keyed” to a specific apartment. All Fobs are Contact Fobs, which physically have make contact with the Entry Sensor.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Exactly how is that when a Proximity Sensor is used? In my Apartment Building, everyone has the Same Fob to get into the Building. Yet the Same Fob is “Keyed” to a specific apartment. All Fobs are Contact Fobs, which physically have make contact with the Entry Sensor.”

          Completely irrelevant to the original phrase, which was about who controls when gun can be fired. Or maybe your words are dead on: others would, indeed, control how your “smart gun” works.

        5. In other words, you’re “Anti-Technology” of any kind Period! So why are you Communicating by way of a Computer IF you hate Technology so much.

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “In other words, you’re “Anti-Technology” of any kind Period! So why are you Communicating by way of a Computer IF you hate Technology so much.”

          Why does this look so much like a failed attempt to use a computer in general conversation? Is the technology for making computers emulate humans that archaic?

          Note to whomever is behind this: your software is not ready for prime time.

        7. Unfortunately I also have an Electronic Pacemaker to keep my Heart from Flat Lining on me when I breath. Signals are sent via “Cell/Sat” system 24/7/365 to God Who Knows Were. The “Price” of staying and being alive. Take the Laser off your Hand Gun, you never know someone in the Government might be Listening and Tracking your every movement…

        8. avatar Jim Bullock says:

          S/he is deliberately pretending to miss the point. You can tell because his/her comments include and depend on the distinction s/he’s claiming to misunderstand.

          This is why nobody wants to have “a conversation” with the anti’s, or a gaggle of other agenda-wranglers: They are not honest brokers. Grown ups can’t be bothered with put-up non-conversations that are really show trials. (There’s some value in NRA Dana entering the smackdown ring with Sheriff Lyin, for PR. For solving a problem, developing policy, or simply understanding, well , the show trials are less than worthless.)

          And they don’t “discuss” honestly. “Smart guns” are like “smart bombs” in including on-board intelligence. Literally everything else about the two uses is different. But, Our Dear Interloper knows that. Looking to score a cheap rhetorical point, n possibly appear clever. Not worth talking to.

          Offhand, I don’t know a common name for this pattern of language abuse. It seems like a degenerate form of the “motte and bailey fallacy”, which the logic-pedants will tell you is a rhetorical technique not a fallacy. It depends on a form of misrepresentation / misdefinition. The packaging is the “motte and bailey” part.

          Our interloper has attempted something similar. “Smart guns” must be the same as “smart weapons (of war)”, so every attribute of the latter applies to the former … so, whatever you said about “smart guns” must be wrong because it doesn’t apply to “smart weapons (of war)”

          The weaseling is easier to see if you compare “smart guns” with “smart bombs.” (BTW comparing an instance vs. a category is another logical cheat.)

          Sorry for dragging on. What’s the famous quote? Something like “The problem is it takes 10x more work to refute some casual BS than it does to refute it.” This is the anti-gunner’s stock in trade, so …

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Agree with you points about “antis”. However, have seen two entries on the subject that take off on tangents. Wondering if that means more than one “fake” POTG, or a thread indicating poor reading comprehension skills is not unusual?

      2. avatar tdiinva says:

        Smart weapons are vulnerable to countermeasures. The reason that we haven’t seen their vulnerabilities exploited is because we haven’t exactly been fighting a peer adversary of late.

        1. Guess what? So are the Dumb Ones…

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          A simple jammer can defeat a JDAM. There are no countermeasures for an inertially guided or gravity bomb. When you make a weapon system more precise you introduce vulnerabilities. Anybody who works weapons technologies knows that. You clearly don’t.

        3. I use to Arm and Repair US Military Aircraft’s in the Vietnam War! I guess that gives me a modicum of knowledge on how they worked.

      3. avatar Jim Bullock says:

        “Smart guns” puts automation into a gun to stop it, while “Smart bombs” puts automation into a bomb to help it. Same “smart”, used to opposite effects and utility, by different people: “Smart bombs” the automation comes from the user, supporting their aims. “Smart guns” the automation comes from somebody else, supporting their aims.

        There’s a simple test. If gun owners want “smart” technology, they’ll ask for it, pay for it, and makers will make it. Exactly like mechanical safeties. Or “smart” technology in military weapons.

        1. One bomb in 300 bomb dropped in WWII, ever got within a mile of it’s intended target. Would care to venture on how many 5-inch, 3-inch, 40mm, 1.1-inch, 20mm and .50-caliber rounds were fire to shoot down One ~$60-K “Kamikaze” in WWII.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          And if you can crack the guidance system of a SAM your hit probability drops to zero. Just ask the Syrians. Bullets are cheap. Surface-to-Air systems are expensive.

  14. avatar tickTalk says:

    Don’t count on that not taking effect in NJ soon. Just look at the PDRC’s microstamping law. As written, it could not take effect until micro-stamping had cleared all technological and patenting hurdles. Of course that has never happened, even the inventor says it does not work yet. But of course, then AG Kamala Harris decided to ignore the law and implement it back in 2014. So now to get added to the ‘legal to buy’ in california list a semi must have a non-existent tech. As makers upgrade their models, they can suddenly no longer sell in the PDRC and they drop off the list.
    That list is now down to about 700 out-of-date and less-safe and reliable designs (compared to newer models). Multiple court challenges have failed (9th circuit.. what else is new).. no thanks to the NRA of course, they gave up on cali long ago.

    So I can see NJ just declaring that law to now be in effect.

  15. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    Our objective at this critical moment in history must be to utterly destroy any and all so-called “smart gun” developers. We must not only repudiate and publicly debunk the claims they make as to their intended products “safety” features but also make it impossible for them to secure financing for their products.

    Like many other “innovators”/”innovations” the automaker Tesla would be nowhere had it not been for the deep pockets of Wall Street/Silicon Valley investors, they too must become objects of our wrath should they decide to dip their toes into the waters of “smart gun” technology. We must “brand” these “smart” gunners effectively making them pariahs in their own communities, doing as “The Left” would do “By Any Means Necessary”, accusing them of pedophilia/suggesting they sexually assault children, labeling them as financial “fraudsters” would be a good start.

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