Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 38 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Telling Lies About “Smart Guns”

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Elizabeth MacBride is doing just that.  Take a look.

“The firearms made by our member companies are designed to perform in austere and less-than-ideal conditions when lives are literally at stake,” wrote the NSSF spokesman. “To date, authorized-user technology developments have only introduced points of failure that could put the lives of lawful and authorized users at risk when they need those firearms to preserve lives.”

I asked iGun founder Jonathan Mossberg about how reliable the iGun is. He says the gun already passes military specification testing, including “a 3,000 round torture test including freezing and dropping.”

“We have already built a personalized firearm that is more reliable than most commercial firearms available,” he wrote.

Based on conversations with companies and engineers developing military weapons with chip technology, reliability is a valid worry – but it’s an existing worry for every gun. Weapons without chips or ID technology fail now (we don’t know how often, but they do).

“The market should decide which technology and which product to buy based on its merits as the market does now,” Mossberg said.

It’s important to note that in the gun community, where the belief in the singular defensive power of guns is common, a higher risk of a gun failing means a higher risk of dying in a confrontation.

This would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.  Read it again if you must.

First of all, she said that the iGun founder “wrote.”  In other words, she sent him an email and he responded.  This is reporting, apparently.

Second, freezing and dropping has nothing at all to do with anything.  That she didn’t know how to press the issue with him is an indication that she shouldn’t have been writing this piece.

Third, she (or her sources) acknowledge that failure of the technology is a “valid worry,” but she dismisses that “worry” because a failure can happen anyway.  This shows absolutely no knowledge or understanding of anything mechanical or electronic.

The fact that a tire on an automobile can burst while driving and throw the automobile into a spin is no reason for sticking a nail in the tire.  The nail increases the probability of failure.

Let’s turn to the next bit of propaganda on smart guns, written within a few days by none other than Ms. Elizabeth MacBride.

There’s a revolution building in gun design, one with far-reaching implications in military and civilian weaponry, says one of Israel’s top tech investors.

“We believe that in less than 5 years every gun that will be produced will have a smart chip in it,” said Ron Zuckerman, a long-time executive, investor and angel whose list of successes includes co-founding Sapiens International Corp., which develops software for the insurance industry, serving as CEO of Brazilian telecom GVT and as co-founder of influential Israeli venture funds, including Magma. Now a California-based angel, he is an investor in many tech startups.

One of those is a small tech company, Secubit, that is focused on one of the hottest areas in the gun world: tech-enabled weapons. Zuckerman estimates there is a $50 billion market for high-tech guns, including military, law enforcement and civilian. The company’s first market is the military, where there is a growing interest in tech-enabled weapons as war becomes more distant and mechanized.

Yea, there’s “growing interest” in smart guns in the military, just as in law enforcement.  Right.  That she would publish shit like this is embarrassing.  To her.

So in case readers have forgotten it, my bet is still on the table.

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.

Ms. MacBride?  Questions?

A Former Remington Executive Takes On A Challenge: Building A Smart Gun That Can’t Be Hacked

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Forbes:

For a while this summer, Ginger Chandler ignored the emails from LodeStar. As an executive who had formerly worked on product development for Smith & Wesson and Remington, she was an obvious candidate to help the startup develop a better smart gun. But she knew the history of smart gun efforts in the United States.

In short, they’d failed. Smart guns are a kind of graveyard of heroes who have been torn apart on the rocky shoals of American gun politics.

Chandler had been laid off from Remington as it neared bankruptcy in spring 2017. She’d started a platform for to help small gun accessories makers to access markets. But she had time. So, she started to think about the idea.

“Smith & Wesson ran after this 20 years ago and failed,” said Chandler. “Other companies have done it and failed. And I’m not interested in addressing the politics. I feel like we get it wrong every time we try to do that.”

But the executives at the company were on a mission.

CEO Gareth Glaser had a 30-year career in corporate America, but after a mid-career program at Harvard he wanted to do something with a social mission.

Ah, how sweet.  A social mission.  It’s all mere altruism, isn’t it.  But wait.

Ralph Fascitelli, another executive, had long been involved in Seattle-based Washington CeaseFire, which advocated pragmatic solutions to gun violence. They both saw smart guns as a business-oriented, pragmatic solution to gun violence, and a big market: They estimate potential sales at $1 billion, or about 40% of the 7 million unit handgun market.

There were high-profile investors involved (though they don’t want to be public), including a former CFO of Smith & Wesson, Chandler told me. The company has raised $500,000 and needs about $3 million to start producing the guns.

LodeStar was appealing, to be sure, Chandler thought.

“Giving people options so that they can maintain their firearms and keep others who are not authorized from using them …  that is a good and honorable cause,” she said. “No one would disagree with that.”

She found herself open to the idea. But there were other challenges.

The idea of smart guns makes incredible sense: build guns with tech-enabled safety features, like fingerprint IDs, that could prevent them from being used by someone who doesn’t own them. Take, for instance, the 15,000 children who are killed or injured by guns every year (the number is based on 2015 stats). “Smart guns can reduce gun deaths by 37%, which correlates with our own analysis re saving lives from suicides, domestic violence, police gun grabs, stolen guns used in homicides, child accidents, school shootings involving teenage underage shooters,” said Fascitelli by email.

In other words, the technology used on your smart phone, applied to guns, could save as many as 37 people out of the 100 who die each day from guns, not to mention those who are injured by guns. In fact, the three big gun safety/public health experts have all voiced support for smart guns: UC Davis’s Dr. Garen Wintemute, Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Stephen Teret and Harvard’s Dr. David Hemenway.

The market for smart guns starts with parents who want to keep their kids safe and police departments who worry about guns being turned around on police officers.

But when companies have tried to introduce them – Mossberg Firearms, iGun and most recently, German company Armatix – some of the technology wasn’t as easy as it is now. There’s been a backlash from the gun community.

So which is it?  Either the gun community will accept these things because no one could possibly disagree with such an approach, and it makes good sense, and it’s a swell idea, or the gun community has rejected them and is causing a “backlash.”  Which is it?  It can’t be both.  Only a lousy reporter wouldn’t probe to find the truth.  Only a shill would write an article that sounds like an ad.

The NRA says officially that it is concerned that technology introduced in guns could make guns less safe, though that claim is widely dismissed. The second issue is that smart gun technology could be mandated, which both the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation object to. More than 15 years, a New Jersey law seemed to confirm some gun owners’ worst fears:

A law sponsored by Loretta Weinburg in 2002 mandated that only smart guns could be sold in New Jersey within three years after the first model hit the market anywhere in the United States. That law is now largely regarded as a well-meaning failure — even by Weinberg — because it touched off such a nasty dispute with gun rights proponents,  as columnist Mike Kelly wrote.

Smart guns haven’t received much support from some gun control organizations over the years – though the Obama Administration tried to promote research into them.

“The major gun safety groups like Brady have done very little to promote a technology approach. … This we “believe” is because of a small group of naive well-heeled idealists on the left don’t want a safer gun to be the solution to gun violence   The idealists on the left, who supported the New Jersey mandate, and right have prevented a pragmatic solution for a long time,” said Fascitelli.

So the controllers haven’t pushed technology, it’s the right teaming up with the left that has prevented smart guns.  Well, this is a narrative I haven’t heard before, maybe because it’s idiotic.

In addition, politicians in New Jersey seemed open to changing the 2002 that would have mandated smart guns in New Jersey (which some in the gun community objected to on principle and as a sign that other states would follow.)

This week, in the wake of the Tree of Life shootings, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he would introduce new gun control bills, including one that would replace the mandate. The new legislation would require every New Jersey gun retailer to carry at least one smart gun

Mandates did trouble Chandler, but New Jersey seemed to be conceding part of that battle, and truthfully, over the years she had come to have a more nuanced view of the subject.

“When seatbelts got mandated in Texas, it made me angry that they were trying to legislate an individual right. But when somebody has a wreck without one, all of your insurance goes up,” she said. “Then, in my first job out of school, I designed air bags. Air bags save lives.

Mandating that they are in cars is not a bad thing.”

[ … ]

So now we get to the crux of the issue, yes?  It’s not that this is an economic option for people, it’s not that it’s the far right teaming up with the far left to kill the idea, it’s not that the technology sucks, it’s not that it can be hacked, it’s not that it’s another step in the process of defending life, it’s not the failure modes inherent in yet another complex component in the train of equipment, it’s all really about the need to mandate these things.

I asked if, in the wake of her decision to join LodeStar to work on smart guns, whether she’d gotten any hate from her friends or the community. She was nervous about that, she said.

But, no. “What I did get was, ‘Ginger, that’s such an uphill battle. Why would you spend your time there. They’re not against smart guns. They just don’t think anybody can do it.”

That’s not the kind of remark that stops Chandler, who seems not only pragmatic but one of those people who slices through obstacles like butter. Saving 37 lives every day seems like a pretty good goal.

“I just kind of believe this is a good thing,” she said. “I believe this will happen.”

She’s a liar.  She doesn’t really believe in them, and she doesn’t really believe the market can support this.  She believes that she can sell the product if the government mandates that all other products are illegal.

I remind readers of my challenge.  Hard hats and ketchup, folks.  I have yet to have anyone take me up on it.  And as for money, I hope and recommend that she and leftist investors of all sorts drop millions upon millions upon millions of dollars into the venture.  I think that would be wonderful – and a good social mission.

Can A New Smart Gun Crack The Firearms Market?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

HuffPo:

Sometime in the next year, Philadelphia-based startup LodeStar Firearms says it will release the first commercially viable smart gun, a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun with a user-recognition lock designed to allow only authenticated users to fire it.

This sort of technology hasn’t caught on in the U.S., so it’s something of a gamble for LodeStar, which is raising $3 million in seed funding to finalize a prototype. The company is banking on being able to disrupt the firearms industry by capitalizing on an uncertain demand for gun safety features. If such advances prove popular, LodeStar says, it could lead to an industrywide evolution that would ultimately save thousands of lives each year.

LodeStar is still ironing out the specifications of its pistol; regardless of how it turns out, it won’t be the first or only smart gun on the U.S. market. Firearms manufacturers have been tinkering with personalized locking technology for decades, hoping to sell consumers on handguns that are resistant to misuse by children, thieves or assailants.

But smart guns have largely failed to break through, in part because of opposition from people who claim the technology will lead to bans on traditional firearms, with only more expensive and less reliable options allowed. Pro-gun groups have even boycotted companies that have pursued gun safety initiatives.

In 2014, German manufacturer Armatix released the iP1, a semiautomatic, .22-caliber handgun that initially retailed for about $1,800 ― as much as five times the going rate for some comparable traditional handguns. Included in that price is a watch required to activate the weapon, using radio-frequency identification (RFID).

LodeStar told HuffPost that it may use similar technology and that it’s also exploring an unspecified alternative. The company ruled out fingerprint technology, which Armatix reportedly utilizes in a new prototype. LodeStar CEO Gareth Glaser previously raised the possibility of a firearm that could be unlocked by a microchip implanted in a user’s hand.

Oh please, please, please, please let it be.  Please Lord let a company invest huge sums of money into a gun that costs too much, is too complicated, has too many failure modes, and [oh please Lord let it be] requires surgery to operate.

And remember what I said about hard hats and ketchup.

Please, Please Buy This Gun Company

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

Andrew Ross Sorkin writing at NYT:

The usual suspects of potential buyers are circling, including rival gun manufacturers like Sturm, Ruger & Company and some small financiers willing to accept whatever criticism would come from buying Remington.

More tantalizing is a pie-in-the-sky idea: whether a beneficent billionaire, like Michael R. Bloomberg, could buy the company and either try to transform it or shut it down — a sort of philanthropic euthanasia in the name of gun control.

Yet all of those options have challenges. So here’s a practical idea that should be considered more than just a thought experiment:

What if the big banks that have provided financing to Remington during its bankruptcy were to back — and partner with — one or more of the big private equity firms in an effort to transform the company into the most advanced and responsible gun manufacturer in the country?

After all, virtually all the banks have a “social impact” unit or at least an initiative meant to “do good.” And so do many private equity firms, like TPG and Bain Capital.

And they would not be out to kill the business; quite the opposite: They could create a profitable model for the rest of the industry using technology and sound sales policies to reinvent the modern-gun manufacturer.

A reimagined Remington with a new management and mandate could develop smart-gun technology. It could back fingerprint technology meant to prevent anyone who is not the gun’s owner from shooting it, a measure that could greatly reduce suicides and the potential for guns to be stolen. It could add an identity stamp to ammunition fired from any of its guns. It could also establish and standardize responsible sales policies for retailers to sell its firearms.

What would happen, for instance, if a consortium were to come together so that the banks offered the buyer a below-market loan, giving a socially responsible investor the advantage of a lower cost of capital? What would happen if one of the big retail chains like Walmart and Dick’s — both of which have already established that they only want to sell guns in a responsible way — were to guarantee distribution, sales and marketing support?

Yes, Andrew, in your world little girls like puppy dogs and purple unicorns throwing pixie dust in the air as they fly across the sky spreading cheer and happiness to all.  It’s a nice vision – for a little girl.

The reality is that Remington would quickly go out of business, the “smart gun” wouldn’t sell, and no more people would buy guns from Walmart or Dick’s than do now.

This is what happens when social planners who know nothing about what they’re trying to plan collide with more capital than should ever be under the control of one man.

So here is a suggestion, Andrew.  Take the challenge.

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.

To date, no one has taken me up on the challenge.  That’s disappointing, because I’d like a free gun.  If you don’t like that challenge, here’s another one.

Talk law enforcement into taking a smart gun.  All officers, no exceptions.  Find a department somewhere in a large city to agree to arm all of their officers with smart guns.

See if you can pull this off, Andrew.  I’m watching and listening.

Postscript: Poor Remington.  What an awful time to be in bankruptcy.

Two To Three Seconds Of Dead Time When You Pick Up Your Gun

BY Herschel Smith
11 months ago

The Media Line:

Seasoned gun advocates often concede that the most difficult part of any debate over gun safety comes when the conversation turns to the frequency with which children are killed or maimed by loaded weapons belonging to a parent or guardian. Once discovered, it’s an even bet that the gun will quickly morph from an instrument of protection to the lethal toy that kills about one kid per week while leaving countless other lives in shambles.

A gun safe offers a reasonable degree of protection – if the safe is nearby when the weapon is needed, or the gun owner actually returns it to the safe.

A handgun outfitted with a biometric grip is an effective safety device – unless the gun owner’s hands are wet or greasy at that critical moment of life or death.

A new mechanism developed in Israel by a pair of army Special Forces veterans is proving to be an undeniable alternative to chain locks, safes, biometrics and even careful handling. The ZORE X core rapid dial gun lock – named from the Hebrew word for ‘flintstone’, the stone used to fire muskets of yore –has a cartridge shaped lock that fits into the gun’s chamber like a round of ammunition. When the need arises to activate the pistol, the mechanical locking mechanism that had been chambered is unlocked by a battery-operated element that unlocks the gun, ejecting the lock assembly while replacing it with a round of ammunition, all in one action. The manufacturers insist the entire procedure for disabling the locking mechanism to firing the weapon is about 2 to 3 seconds.

Ohad Levi, a 31-year old lawyer and gun owner who was introduced to the ZORE X by his wife who heard about it and thought it sounded like a reasonable way to protect children …

How many of you are willing to give up that 2 to 3 seconds?

Hey, I wonder if they’ve taken my challenge on “smart guns” yet?  I’m sure somebody would want to see me “pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.”

But here’s the deal I made with you smart gun folks.  If you lose you have to buy me the gun of my choice.  To date, no one has taken me up the challenge.  What gives?

Gareth Glaser Wants To Spend A Load Of Money On “Smart Guns”

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 3 weeks ago

NBC Philadelphia:

Gareth Glaser could be seen as an optimist. After all, he believes gun owners will pay more to implement strong safety mechanisms in firearms.

He even believes gun owners might be willing to have chips implanted in their hands.

The implanted microchip would send a signal to a “smart gun” held in that person’s hand allowing for the trigger to operate, Glaser, CEO of Lodestar Firearms, told NBC10.

The implant is only one of a few ideas to improve the safety of guns. Glaser said a ring or watch could also be used as signal-bearers — if worn, a handgun could be fired.

It’s called “token recognition technology”: The technology keeps a gun from firing unless the “token” is within inches of the trigger. Glaser believes it’s the gun of the future.

“Our token is either going to be in a ring, in a bracelet, or quite possibly implanted right here between your thumb and forefinger,” Glaser said as he showed off a similar smart gun made in Germany. “I think law enforcement would go for that.”

As NBC10 reported in November for an initial story on smart gun technology and the impediments to their sales growth in the United States, an average of seven children shoot themselves each day.

That type of tragedy is exactly what spurred Glaser, of Radnor Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, to getting into the firearm manufacturing business. The former executive with 30 years’ experience in the energy and pharmaceutical industries was at a colleague’s party when the woman’s son shot himself accidentally with a shotgun.

Oooo … yep.  I’m sure law enforcement will go for that.  And I can’t wait for those chips to be surgically implanted in my hand.  I’m sure willing to double the cost of firearms, even though I will have to cut by half my purchases.

I encourage Mr. Glaser to spend, spend, spend, spend like a drunken sailor to make this smart gun technology.  It’s brand new.  No one has tried it before.  Please write me a note Mr. Glaser and let me know how it works out.  I want to meet those LEOs who are willing to use “smart guns.”

Prior: Smart Gun Tag

Senator Looking To Restart “Smart Gun” Efforts In New Jersey

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

NJ1015.com:

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg heads to Washington for the day Thursday, waiting to kick-start a 15-year quest to require personalized “smart guns” on the shelves of New Jersey gun retailers.

Such guns would have technology keeping them from being fired by anyone other than the registered owner or, as envisioned in the case of police officers, the officers and their partners. Current New Jersey law requires them to be exclusively sold in New Jersey once they’re viable – which may be unintentionally undercutting their path to the marketplace.

Weinberg was invited by the head of CeaseFire Washington state to attend Thursday’s event in the nation’s capital, featuring a former United States drug czar and the results of a survey on the safety concerns of 400 law enforcement professionals.

“They’re wanting to move toward the child-proof handgun technology, so we’ll hear the results of that survey. We have a panel. Some people who are involved in the research and development will also be there,” Weinberg said.

Yea, I’m sure that’s what they’re wanting – to move to smart guns for the sake of the children.  Just not for them, but for everyone else.

I hope they are successful fielding a “smart gun” for the cops to try out first.  And once all of that money has been spent, I think the cops in New Jersey should keep them.  Forever.

In light of this, I renew my challenge for any designer to use the NRC fault tree handbook and demonstrate that a “smart gun” is as reliable as any other.  If he can do that, I’ll pour ketchup on my hard hat and eat it.

Tag: Smart Guns

A Smart Gun That Is “Relatively Reliable”

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 11 months ago

This is rich.

When Kai Kloepfer points his .40 caliber handgun, it fires like any other weapon. But when someone else gives it a try, it doesn’t work. It’s the first firearm with same built-in security as many smartphones.

If the gun is picked up by an authorized user, a sensor recognizes the fingerprint and it will fire.

Guns that only work for their owners used to be the stuff of movies, like James Bond’s gun in “Skyfall,” but Kloepfer thinks he has the technology to make them a reality, reports CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil.

“I think this could be huge. I think it could really be the future of firearms,” Kloepfer said.

He’s the founder of BioFire, a start-up still headquartered in his parent’s house in Boulder, Colorado. Now a freshman at MIT, Kloepfer started work on his gun as part of a science project when he was 15 years old.

“There’d be days when I’d sit down … I’d look up 14 hours later. I hadn’t moved from the spot. I hadn’t thought about anything else,” Kloepfer said.

He realized he couldn’t stop mass shootings, but he thought he could still save lives.

After all, in one year alone, nearly 600 people died in firearm accidents. There were thousands more suicides, many committed with guns that do not belong to the victim.

“Why did it take four and a half years to put a fingerprint reader on the side of a gun?” Dokoupil asked him.

“Well, it’s not as simple of a process as you might imagine,” Kloepfer said. “It’s also not something anybody has ever done before.”

Kloepfer’s weapon doesn’t only lock like a smart phone – it charges like one.

The invention has won him some deep-pocketed allies.

“Kai is the Mark Zuckerberg of guns,” Ron Conway said.

Conway was an early investor in Google and Facebook, and now he’s a putting his money behind Kloepfer’s smart gun.

“What Kai has done is used all of the latest technology available us to innovate a truly authenticated gun. You couldn’t do this five years ago,” Conway said.

But a push for similar guns misfired memorably in the late 1990s. A Colt prototype failed in a major demonstration, and Smith & Wesson dropped its smart gun program after resulting boycotts nearly bankrupted the company.

“What has changed from then until now to make it possible to make a smart gun like the one you’re working on?” Dokoupil asked.

“I would argue pretty much everything,” Kloepfer said.

Well, almost everything.

“Good intentions don’t necessarily make good inventions,” said Stephen Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. They’re the main trade group for companies that make and sell guns.

Sanetti expressed concern about the reliability of any firearm that depends on battery power.

“The firearm has to work. And a firearm is not the same as a cell phone,” Sanetti said. “The consequences of a cell phone not working are inconvenience. The consequences of a firearm not working could be someone’s life.”

Kloepfer said his gun is “relatively reliable.”

How many of you want a gun, a more expensive gun I might add, that is “relatively reliable?”

So young engineer (I’m so sorry, I’m an engineer and I hate that you’re getting ready to throw your career away on something like this, but apparently there is no one around who can counsel you any better).  Here is what you need to do.

… 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.

Unless you can design a gun that has a delta of precisely zero (0) greater failure probability, is as light, aesthetically pleasing, no more weighty or roomy, and just a cheap as classic guns, there is no market for your toy.

Sorry.  And actually, there wouldn’t be any market anyway even if it met all of those stipulations because the government or a perpetrator (perhaps I’m being redundant) might be able to use the electronic features to turn the gun off when they wanted to.

But I don’t want to be too negative on this, because I want to see companies go bankrupt funding the research.  So carry on.

The New York Times On Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

NYT:

… the guidelines reignite the promise of smart guns — a promise cut short 16 years ago when the N.R.A. led a boycott of Smith & Wesson after the gun manufacturer pledged in a White House agreement to explore smart-gun technology.

The technology is available. In fact, Jonathan Mossberg, scion of the nation’s oldest family-owned gunmaker, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, patented a shotgun in 2000 that successfully blocked firing by anyone not wearing the shooter’s radio-frequency identity ring. The gun industry lacks not the high-tech know-how, but the fortitude to advance the safety of its weapons in the face of gun-lobby politics and threats. The new voluntary guidelines aim to create industry standards for reliable battery power in a smart gun, for ensuring unhindered speed in drawing the weapon and for the distance allowed between the gun and its owner’s ID device.

We’ve dealt with this before, but I’ll repeat it here for those of you who may have missed it.

… 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.

But that’s not the end of the discussion because I’ll add to it.  First of all as I pointed out above, the additional electronic components add additional failure modes to the firearm, making it more unreliable when it needs to be used than a gun without those same failure modes.

Second, the additional electronics is an additional maintenance headache because there will inevitably be breakage due to heat, shock from the recoil, and moisture and oil associated with gun usage.

Third, gunsmiths won’t be able to work on them and the guns will have to be shipped back to the factory for maintenance, or otherwise maintenance will have to be done by plug and play replacement of electronic modules.  This adds expense and time to maintenance.

Fourth, the additional electronics will add unnecessary weight to the gun.

Fifth, the additional electronics will occupy additional space inside the gun, making the gun less ergonomic and more difficult to use

Sixth, the additional electronics gives the government (or anyone else who designs the means to defeat the electronics) a door inside to cause the gun to malfunction when it’s called upon to operate.

There are more reasons that readers could add, but it isn’t necessary.  Six is enough.  Here is an engineer’s / mechanic’s / machinist’s adage that should guide your thinking.  Make the machine as simple as you can so that we can work on it.  That’s why we don’t like modern emission control systems and onboard computers.

Prior: Smart Gun Tag

Department Of Justice Issues Voluntary Smart-Gun Guidelines

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

Fox News:

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a series of specifications for smart-gun manufacturers, born out of the president’s January executive action aimed at curbing gun violence.

But there’s a catch to the new set of guidelines: They’re voluntary.

“This project was designed to spur the growth of enhanced gun safety technology – and not to mandate that any particular individual or law enforcement agency adopt the technology once developed,” the Department of Justice wrote in a blog post.

That’s not a blog post.  They don’t allow comments.

Smart-gun guidelines.  Voluntary.  Probably because they couldn’t go through the rule making fast enough to force it on federal employees (the only people they have control over short of law making by Congress).

But take note that your tax dollars have been spent on developing this wasteful foolishness.  They just couldn’t convince the law makers to go along with it, but they wanted to publish this anyway.

This is what collectivist lame duck looks like.  Still controlling, but powerless and frustrated.  Pathetic.  Worthy of ridicule.


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