As the nation debates universal background checks for firearm purchases and gun restriction laws, technology may deal with one part of the solution to the number of gun-related deaths in the United States. Technology that uses biometrics and radio frequency identification for smart guns could create weapons that can’t be fired unless they’re in the hands of the owner.
Last Sunday’s Conversation asked: What is your opinion of smart gun technology, and do you think it can curb the rate of gun deaths in the United States?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Not much impact on violence
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Re “Tech, not law, will reshape firearms industry” (Forum, Dan Morain, Nov. 22): The use of technology in firearm design to reduce gun violence and improve gun safety is a very long-term, partial solution that will probably have minimal impact on most gun violence in today’s environment.
Many guns, if not most, in use today are designs that date back to 1873 and are not only functional and working, but loved by their owners. A modern handgun such as a Glock can be expected to still be working well in 50 years with only moderate care. It will require decades of production and sales of high-tech guns to displace those that exist, unless existing firearms are outlawed and confiscated, and current designs are banned and can no longer be made.
And that is a tough row to hoe logistically and politically. This does not mean that work to improve the technology shouldn’t be explored, but what people buy will ultimately determine what manufacturers make unless controlled by the government.
James Ferguson, Roseville
Scheme to disarm citizens
This is yet another common sense, first-step scheme to disarm law-abiding citizens.
You can bet that those elites deemed worthy of having guns by big brother will not be burdened by this restriction. For instance, the legions of armed bodyguards of politicians paid for by U.S. taxpayers will not be required to submit to having their weapons controlled by big brother.
With “radio frequency identification in smart guns” installed in common citizens’ weapons it will be easy to deactivate them by sending a signal at a whim. The camel is still trying to get his nose under the tent.
The very real possibility is that this technology will break down just when you need an operating firearm for legitimate defense of you and yours. An inoperable firearm is no better than a paperweight.
James Bleecker, Sacramento
Insurance industry can affect guns
Since most gunshot wounds are accidental, why not require liability insurance for firearms like we do for automobiles?
The insurance industry has done more for vetting the reliability of driving safety technology through their actuary tables than any government or tech industry study.
Matthew Dmitri Jeziorski, Sacramento
Adrian Tysoe – Gun control is fine. They had stricter gun control when the Constitution was written than you might think, certainly more than most states today. The only issue with these smart guns is they don’t really tackle the real problem, which is that 300 million guns already in circulation don’t have any smart features.
I don’t think banning is feasible, but proper gun control is a good idea. And possibly some of the same controls as we have for driving automobiles like pink slip registration that has to be handled in a similar manner, and possibly insurance to help pay for the accidental damage inflicted with guns that far surpasses crime.
Alexis Garcia – Terrorist attack happens, we blame the terrorist. Gun attack happens; we blame guns (and not the shooter). Liberal logic 101.
Alejandro Vasques – Smart technology sounds expensive and dangerous, because the government would be able to disable the weapons whenever it wanted.
David Powell – A few smart gun tech companies already went out of business, lol. The technology was way too costly.
Alex Falk – If it’s a physical object, it can be altered. If it’s software, it can be hacked. How about enforcing current laws, and expanding rights for legal gun owners?
Pat Walsh – They don’t care if the technology is junk or unreliable. It’s a Trojan horse for gun prohibition laws.
Michelle Cesar – Any weapon that I have to wait to identify me will most likely just get me killed.
Jimmy Van Heste – When my life is on the line and I need to defend myself, I don’t want an extra system that could malfunction. You won’t get a second chance to protect yourself after getting a 404 error.
Stephon To – I’d buy that pistol of I had money. I think it’s cool, but seeing how California wants it mandatory that all guns have to have it, I say no. I’m not relying on that with my life.
Greg Bower – Lets be sure the police and government get them first.