Dave Workman On Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 6 months ago

kirotv.com:

Another company, Triggersmart, uses a radio ID tag that can be embedded in a ring.

But a poll done for the symposium reveals only 40 percent of current gun owners would switch to a smart gun — and 62 percent of gun owners reject any mandatory requirement to have them.

Dave Workman is a gun owner with the locally based 2nd Amendment Foundation.

“Let’s not even be talking about the technology until we are certain that it works,” Workman said.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart was on a panel, but wasn’t ready to commit to smart guns.

Urquhart says it will be years before the smart gun technology is ready. And then he’s not likely to mandate it for his officers.

Contrary to Dave’s edict, let’s talk yet again about smart gun technology.  I am a registered professional engineer, and I spend all day analyzing things and performing calculations.  Let’s not speak in broad generalities and murky platitudes (such as “good enough”).  That doesn’t work with me.  By education, training and experience, I reject such things out of hand.  Perform a fault tree analysis of smart guns.  Use highly respected guidance like the NRC fault tree handbook.

Assess the reliability of one of my semi-automatic handguns as the first state point, and then add smart gun technology to it, and assess it again.  Compare the state points.  Then do that again with a revolver.  Be honest.  Assign a failure probability of greater than zero (0) to the smart technology, because you know that each additional electronic and mechanical component has a failure probability of greater than zero.

Get a PE to seal the work to demonstrate thorough and independent review.  If you can prove that so-called “smart guns” are as reliable as my guns, I’ll pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.  If you lose, you buy me the gun of my choice.  No one will take the challenge because you will lose that challenge.  I’ll win.  Case closed.  End of discussion.

Now to the real issue.  I won’t have a weapon that can be manipulated by anyone, or for which outside interference of any kind is possible.  As I said about Gottlieb’s position, “I’m not opposed to people spending their money the way they want.  If Gottlieb wants one, let him buy one.  Leave me out of it.  And don’t ever … everEVER … tell me what kind of gun I can have or must buy.”

Prior: Smart Guns tag

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Comments

  1. On January 30, 2015 at 12:50 am, William Baker said:

    I’m guessing their sample size on their 40% poll was ridiculously small, and taken at a DNC convention

  2. On February 1, 2015 at 9:24 am, Russell Smith said:

    I’m gonna guess that they asked five people.

  3. On February 5, 2015 at 11:52 am, Joe Huffman said:

    The details of their poll are here. It’s not quite as small and as damning as you make it out to be.

  4. On January 30, 2015 at 10:06 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    Any modern appliance now has a computer inside. My neighbor had to have two new motherboards installed in a built in range. Our new built in stove/microwave combination has failed twice – had to shut down poser and reboot to make everything work.

    Does anyone know anyone who hasn’t had to remove the battery from their phone to get it to work again properly? Of suffered a computer problem?

    Do we learn time and time again about back-door tech that allows software companies to mine data?

    I even read an article by a techie who, after purchasing a new “smart” TV, was afraid to turn it on. It stated in the manual not to speak of private things in front of the television, as voice commands were transferred to a server. So, if one spoke their online banking password over the phone, it could fall into the hands of someone monitoring the system. Or, if a problem arose, and the tech department had to listen to what was recorded by the TV, could gain sensitive info.

    With a computer device inside a gun, I imagine the fault tree would look like a forest if it could ever be completed.

    David Codrea in an Examiner column had the designer of a “smart gun” answer questions in the comments section. I asked the designer if he had been contacted by and PD or single officer asking after his system. He answered no – not yet. Wish I’d known about the NRC Fault Tree back then. That answer would have been illuminating.

    Police, who have their own guns turned on them on occasion, aren’t interested in this tech. They want any gun they pick up to fire when they press the bang switch. Even if they have mud or blood on their hands, or if it is another officer’s gun, or a Raven .25 they picked up in a gunfight.

    Why would anyone, even parents with children, be interested in this tech? If a parent takes the time to demystify the guns in the home to their children, a child can be a lifesaver in a bad situation. And children who earn enough respect from their parents to be able to use guns are typically in less trouble and have better grades than children who are not trusted around guns.

    This so-called “smart gun” tech honestly looks like a solution in search of a problem, when all other solutions are calculated into the equation.

    Even calling these devices “smart guns” amounts to doublespeak of Orwellian proportions.

  5. On January 31, 2015 at 9:39 am, Pat Hines said:

    The above is exactly right. Nearly all gun owners know that so-called “smart gun” electronics can be shut down in a number of ways by an outside transmitter. Any PD that adopts these weapons will soon be facing organized criminals who have transmitters to shut down the cops weapons. I don’t expect to see any PD adopt them, but would like to know if that happens, and the results that will produce.

    I don’t think you’ll ever have to eat your hard hat, Herschel, this technology is dead in the water, like betamax and those huge cassette players.

  6. On January 31, 2015 at 11:39 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    “Any PD that adopts these weapons will soon be facing organized criminals who have transmitters to shut down the cops weapons.” I didn’t think it through that thoroughly, but really good point.

  7. On February 1, 2015 at 10:21 pm, KUETSA said:

    They’re NOT gonna make police use this technology – they’re gonna make citizens use it – so they can shut down CITIZENS firearms at will – that is the point – law enforcement will be EXEMPT (Like for all other gun control laws) – using this technology would put their lives in danger. Citizens would be safer. Everyone should know the double standard by now. All gun control is a power struggle to tip the balance of power to the point that politicians are very comfortable that their army of law enforcement will easily win against a mass revolution. Pitchforks and torches should be enough to keep a citizens family safe!

    GUN LAWS MUST BE EQUAL FOR ALL CITIZENS IN THEIR PRIVATE LIFE – LAW ENFORCEMENT OR NOT!!! NO EXEMPTIONS!!! OUR LIFE IS OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL!!! WE HAVE A RIGHT TO, AND NEED FOR, THE SAME STANDARD IN FIREARMS TO DEFEND OURSELVES AND SUCCEED IN WINNING, AS THEY DO!!!

    ANY AND EVERY POLITICIAN WHO VIEWS FIREARM OWNERSHIP BY LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AS A THREAT – MUST BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE!!!

  8. On December 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm, snowfarthing said:

    Massad Ayoob has a revolver that can only fire if you’re wearing a ring with a magnet on it — if I recall correctly, that feature was added after-market by a gunsmith. Smith and Wesson’s first M&P semi-automatic has a feature where it won’t fire, even if there’s still a chamber in the round, if the magazine is removed. Apparently this feature has saved the lives of a couple of police officers.

    Yet I find it interesting that these features aren’t demanded by police officers in general. Even Massad Ayoob seems more interested in merely pointing these features out, rather than insist that every gun out there come with these features (at least for police). Isn’t it odd that we have, even now, simple ways to make a gun “smarter”, yet they aren’t demanded by police officers?

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that “smart” guns aren’t the safety game-changer smart-gun advocates would have us believe they are…

  9. On December 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    I’ve seen one – a model 28.

  10. On January 30, 2015 at 11:01 am, KUETSA said:

    40% of gun owners would switch to a smart gun? That’s pretty funny – ZERO PERCENT OF GUN OWNERS I KNOW WOULD SWITCH TO A SMART GUN!!! If we all use smart guns then our guns could be remotely shut down along with our smartphones – and if we forget to bring our smartphone with us – our smart gun could relay our GPS data to whoever is interested! I wonder who would be interested???!!!?!

  11. On January 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm, Harry_the_Horrible said:

    Tell ya what.
    When the US Armed Forces, the Secret Service, AND Law Enforcement Officers adopt “smart gun” technology for their own use, I will consider using it.
    And not one second sooner.

  12. On January 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm, Jhn1 said:

    Better yet, mandate that police and the SS have to have “smart” gun tech, and evaluate the results first.

  13. On January 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm, Harry_the_Horrible said:

    Neah. ADOPT it.
    If it is good enough them, I might accept it. But not before.

  14. On January 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm, UNCLEELMO said:

    Remember the good ol’ Remington EtronX rifle, and what a rousing success it was?

    I rest my case.

  15. On January 31, 2015 at 7:45 pm, Mark Crist said:

    I seem to recall the powers that be bitching about electronic firing systems being a BAD thing because there’s no firing pin marks on the brass for the police to use. To say nothing of the potential for it to make a firearm “too accurate”.

  16. On February 1, 2015 at 12:56 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Ha! The “mother of all of Remington’s many abortions.”

    http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2237731

    And see:

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/12/chris-dumm/electric-cartridge-primers-gone-but-not-lamented/

    Nice juxtaposition, this. Thx.

  17. On February 1, 2015 at 8:04 am, UNCLEELMO said:

    About halfway down the PredatorMasters thread someone mentions how rifles are headspaced at the factory. If what he says is true, it’s amazing.
    I’ll stick to Savage, and do it myself. I prefer zero tolerance.

    And the article ‘Gone But Not Lamented’ was a hoot. Thanks, Herschel.

  18. On February 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    I recall seeing Etronix rifles for sale at CDNN a few years for chump change. Advertised as “collectors items.” HAHAHAHA….

    Had a field day laughing at that “tech.”

  19. On January 31, 2015 at 7:57 pm, Mark Crist said:

    Smart gun technology does show some promise in potentially preventing unauthorized use. I would submit that the antigun folk are going at this all crabbed. One has but to look at the widespread use if electronic sights and lasers in the military and their growing use in the civilian firearms market.
    Once its use becomes widespread in law enforcement and the military, civilian shooters will be lining up money in hand. They then have but to wait for all of the older guns to wear out. No worries. But I still have my old fashioned iron guns.

  20. On January 31, 2015 at 10:31 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    “Smart gun technology does show some promise …”

    Here’s a promise. I’ll never have one.

  21. On February 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Smart gun technology shows promise in preventing use. FIFY

  22. On January 31, 2015 at 10:15 pm, TEEBONICUS said:

    Since there is no way to circumvent the core weakness in any of the technologies, i.e. the ability to remotely disable the weapons that are so equipped, it is a dead issue.

    As a doornail.

    Only gullible folks and people into collecting gimmicks are market fodder.

    A mandate slipping through is tantamount to slicing the Second Amendment’s throat and watching it bleed out.

  23. On February 5, 2015 at 11:49 am, Joe Huffman said:

    Not all of the technologies can be remotely disabled. “Dynamic Grip Recognition” is one such example.

    That said, I still agree that “smart guns” will never have widespread market acceptance.

  24. On February 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Can one use the gun with the other hand? Or with a hand injury, like a missing finger? Are you familiar with the tech, Joe, or do you have a link? I’d be interested in more info.

    It appears, absent any knowledge, that some wrinkles would need to be ironed out – especially for LEO use.

  25. On February 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm, Joe Huffman said:

    With the Dynamic Grip Recognition you would need to program it to accept each hand separately. And probably again for if you wanted to shoot it right handed supported by your left hand as well as left handed shooting supported by your right.

    More information is here and here.

  26. On February 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm, Pat Hines said:

    “Not all of the technologies can be remotely disabled. “Dynamic Grip Recognition” is one such example.”

    The only tech of which I’m aware that can’t be remotely disabled would be fingerprint recognition built into the grip, which has it’s own bundle of problems. First, it would not be cheap, would require battery power, and would have to recognize the prints from both hands, including if the shooter had his hand off set from the original scan position. Perhaps not impossible, but difficult to set up for proper error correction. I can’t begin to estimate what such technology might cost, figure at least $1000.00 per firearm in mass purchase, a lot more if only buying one.

    On the other hand, any device that takes a external signal, be it on the electromagnetic spectrum or infrared, it can be remotely deactivated.

  27. On February 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Pat the whole thing is ridiculous. I have to undergo a palm scan to get into where I have to work sometimes, and the technology is top of the line, best in the industry. And it is unreliable. Joe wants this to work ever-so-much, but my challenge remains. Prove it with a fault tree analysis or shut up about it. It’s just smoke and mirrors for gullible morons.

    And no one will take up the challenge. You see what we get when I make the challenge? Broad generalities and murky platitudes, just what I said not to do.

    I tire of people doing what I ask them not to do in the comments. It has become droll and boring.

  28. On February 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm, Joe Huffman said:

    No. I don’t want this to work. In fact I don’t think it can ever work at a level acceptable to someone using a gun in a defensive situation. But I’m not opposed to the free market making one available as long as there is no mandate requiring all guns be so encumbered.

  29. On February 10, 2015 at 12:26 pm, Joe Huffman said:

    DGR is essentially a crude, scaled up, version of a fingerprint scanner. It uses pressure sensors in the grip in an attempt to authenticate the user.
    Since there is no communication to a different unit required it is no more susceptible to jamming than a fingerprint scanner.

  30. On February 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm, Pat Hines said:

    In other words, it is a useless add-on for unsuspecting buyers to spend their money acquiring.

    Got it.

  31. On January 31, 2015 at 10:44 pm, Dave Workman said:

    Well, Herschel, since my name came up, I’m not keen on so-called ‘smart guns,” and that was no “edict.” That was a suggestion, in a five-second sound bite, and there is, IMHO, really nothing to talk about. Especially when it comes to “smart guns.” Never add a battery to anything that works just fine without one, eh?
    Far as Alan Gottlieb is concerned, I read that comment he made to the newspaper. He never said anything about mandating the technology, never mentioned a thing about what anyone else could, would or should buy, and for anyone to suggest he did because he said he’d buy one (provided, of course, somebody could prove it worked) is a bit of a stretch.

  32. On January 31, 2015 at 11:02 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I don’t know if he would ever mandate it, Dave. I haven’t asked him, and really it isn’t all that important to me. The mandate – if it ever comes – I will disobey regardless of who issues the order or who advocates it. My imperative never to tell me what gun I can purchase has to do with anyone reading this article, not just Alan Gottlieb.

    My opposition to “smart guns” is two fold. First, it is poor engineering. Not just a specific model, but the concept – the thing in its essence (“substantia”). Second, the fact that something is claimed to “work” (a claim to which I will only acquiesce if I perform the analysis) can be seen by the totalitarians as reason for a mandate.

    Allowing something to live or perish on the open market (which I support) just isn’t good enough for control freaks.

  33. On February 3, 2015 at 10:43 am, Joe Huffman said:

    The poll was of 800 people total. 31% were gun owners. This means there were 248 gun owners asked if they would swap their existing gun for a smart gun. 40% of those (99) said yes.

    Not all “smart guns” are vulnerable to radio frequency interference. Examples include Dynamic Grip Recognition (DGR) and fingerprint based technology.

    DGR is claimed (and I suspect the claim is mostly true) to work with muddy/bloody hands and with gloves. But the false acceptance rate (unauthorized person is able to fire it) is extremely high unless the hand sizes of the authorized and unauthorized people are significantly different. That is, it probably would work to keep a small child from firing a gun authorized for an adult with normal size hands.

    I know quite a bit about biometrics (biometrics expert for a government lab for several years), electronics (MSEE), and software (25+ years as a computer programmer). I do not believe there will ever be a biometrics based gun that will be reliable enough to be functional in a “take-away” situation. I do not believe there will ever be a “smart gun” that will defeat a thief who has access to a few common shop tools.

  34. On February 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Joe Huffman left a comment that got lost when Disqus got inadvertently disabled in a site upgrade. I would appreciate it if Joe would post that comment again.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published January 29th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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