There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s. So why am I writing one? Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong. Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject. It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information. Or you may not benefit at [read more]
Smart ass Ron Conway is banking on your stupidity.
In the 2012 movie Skyfall, James Bond brandishes his trusty sidearm, but with a high-tech twist: There’s a sensor in the grip that reads palm prints so only he can fire it. The souped-up firearm saves the secret agent’s life, and in the real world, similar technology could do the same for thousands. Or so says Ron Conway, an avuncular Silicon Valley billionaire trying to disrupt the gun industry.
Speaking at the International Smart Gun Symposium in San Francisco in February, Conway exuded the cockiness of a man who invested early in Google, Airbnb and Twitter. “The gun companies have chosen to sit on their asses and not innovate,” he said. “Silicon Valley is coming to their rescue.”
Conway isn’t a gun owner, and for most of his life, he never gave much thought to firearms. But after Adam Lanza shot up an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, killing 26, Conway created a foundation that has given $1 million to inventors. The goal: perfect user-authenticated firearms.
The only problem is politics, not technology. Ignore the fact that any legitimate fault tree analysis of so-called “smart guns” would find them less reliable due to differences that cannot be overcome with any design change. Know-it-all Ron Conway knows what you want and is going to drag you kicking and screaming if necessary into the promised land.
On another front, president Barry is going to renew his push for smart guns, and guess whose Ox is getting gored?
While the “smart gun” element of the actions drew little attention earlier this year, critics are gearing up to fight back against the possibility that such guns could be required for government firearms purchases.
A source familiar with the plans said that type of mandate isn’t on tap right now, but critics are still worried the administration is laying the groundwork for such a move. Among the biggest skeptics are cops worried about testing an unproven technology on the streets.
“Police officers in general, federal officers in particular, shouldn’t be asked to be the guinea pigs in evaluating a firearm that nobody’s even seen yet,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We have some very, very serious questions.”
Uh huh, I’ll bet you do, blue costumed one. And one recent editorial at the Albany Times-Union believes that a mandate is the only way to go – for all guns.
Of course smart gun technology won’t cure gun violence in America altogether. But if the technology can be made reasonably reliable — as reliable, say, as an ordinary gun is today — it could prevent many such guns from being obtained illegally and used to commit crimes. It could also make it impossible for a child to stumble on to one and accidentally fire it. We’re at a loss to see anything undesirable about either of those outcomes.
The technology takes several forms that share a common feature: making a gun inoperable to anyone who does not know how to disable the security. That might be done with a code or fingerprint, technologies that are already used to safeguard things like computers, cars, homes and offices.
Groups like the National Rifle Association still will no doubt find reasons why smart guns are a bad idea. Limiting future firearms production and sales to smart guns, they’re sure to say, wouldn’t removed from circulation the more than 300 million guns already in the United States that lack smart technology, nor would it stop determined bad guys from hacking smart guns. And if it adds even a small cost to the price of a gun, they’ll insist that’s an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms.
The NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation already say the marketplace should decide whether smart gun technology is a good idea or a bad one.
But we all know, as they do, that the marketplace won’t insist on safety, any more than the market was keen on seat belts, motorcycle helmets, smoke detectors, or emission controls in cars or factories.
Ah, it’s literally that simple. It’s the NRA rather than individual gun owners, it’s a matter of seat belts, smoke detectors and helmets. It’s all so clear now.
Here’s what I think. No matter what smart ass Ron Conway says, I don’t think he or any venture capitalist is going to invest any money or time at all in so-called “smart gun technology” because they know they won’t get one dollar back out of it. Oh how I wish they would. Oh how I wish someone would invest his life’s earnings in such an endeavor to “make us safe.” It would be a good object lesson, yes? But alas, it won’t happen.
And I don’t really believe that president Barry is going to mandate that anyone in any federal agency only use or procure smart guns. President Barry will be out of office by the time such a mandate would take effect anyway. President Barry is a lame duck and can’t mandate anything. At this point he is nothing more than a court jester.
And I think the editors of the Albany Times-Union don’t really understand what they’re demanding. Question for the editors. Does the phrase “second amendment remedy” ring any bells for you? Yea, that one. Listen to me. Any time you’re feeling froggy – any time you’re feeling froggy – you give it a whirl and try to mandate that we gun owners only purchase, own or carry “smart guns.” See how much “safer” that makes you when the second amendment remedies are invoked.
Any time you’re feeling froggy.
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