Friday, July 18, 2014

The Gun Lobby And A Dumb Law Are Keeping Us From Safer Guns

The Gun Lobby And A Dumb Law Are Keeping Us From Safer Guns:
(July 16, 2014)   The Huffington Post

If Loretta Weinberg is so adamant about the efficacy of "Smart Guns", why is she offering a "deal
to the NRA that she will withdraw what she has already admitted is a dumb law?

Just another Liberal Democrat end-run, for political purposes?  Probably, but pity the poor Huffington Post Writer who is charged by his editor of keeping up with the Politics while pretending to understand the issues ... which he (admittedly) DOES NOT!

The Lawmaker: Loretta Weinberg is a senator for the state of New Jersey (video)
 “If, in fact, the NRA will make a public commitment to not stand in the way of the manufacture, distribution or sale of any gun that is limited by technology to the use of only its owner,” Weinberg said, “then I will ask the New Jersey legislature to amend the law.” 
The Reporter:  Stuart Hunter is a writer for the Huffington Post
 Imagine a gun that a person could leave on his or her kitchen counter, without having to worry that someone else would fire it. That gun exists. A so-called "smart gun" uses biometrics or radio signals to stay locked until it's held by its rightful owner.
 Smart guns could save some of the hundreds of lives -- many of them children's -- lost in accidental shootings every year. And they could reduce the number of shootings committed by criminals with stolen guns.
 Yet thanks to a poorly written gun control law in one state and the efforts of overzealous pro-gun groups -- and in spite of the fact that at least $12.6 million of taxpayer money has been spent researching and developing the technology over the past 20 years -- smart guns are not available for purchase anywhere in America.
 That's not for lack of trying. A few gun dealers have recently tried to sell the one model of smart gun that's currently on the market: the Armatix iP1, a .22 caliber smart gun that doesn't fire unless it's within 10 inches of a special watch. In response, they've been threatened with boycotts and violence ....
Wow! Boycotts and Violence!  That's a strong accusation.

Let's look at the background:

Legislation passed last year in the State of New Jersey requires that "three years after it is determined that personalized handguns are available for retail purposes, it will be illegal-. for any dealer or manufacturer to sell, assign or transfer any handgun unless that handgun is a personalized handgun". The States of New York, Ohio and Tennessee as well as the US Congress, are understood to be preparing similar legislation
So, one state is ACTIVELY expected to enforce this law, and three other states (including "congress") are keeping a close eye on how this whole kerfluffle works out.

A couple of gun shops in NJ have suggested that they are interested in selling the guns, but they have been dissuaded:

(From the original Huffington Post article, see above:)
In early May, almost immediately after the Washington Post reported that Engage Armament, a Maryland gun shop, would soon start selling the Armatix iP1, store owner Andy Raymond received phone calls and online messages threatening to kill him and burn his shop to the ground.
“Even by local people, people I thought were my friends,” Raymond told HuffPost. "It was one of the craziest fucking things that's ever happened to me." After being threatened, Raymond said he decided not to sell the gun at all.
Why did  that happen?

Because a New Jersey State Senator proposed a bill .. which was later enacted, and which is now (according to the bill author) subject to being stopped by the author .. saying that if a "Smart Gun" technology became available, then that was the only gun(s) which would be legal for purchase in the state.

Which put Andy Raymond in a bit of a bind.  Professionally, and personally.

In a 12+ minute video posted to the store’s Facebook page (NFSW, due to language), Maryland gun dealer Andy Raymond of Engage Armament says that he has reversed his decision to carry the Armatix iP1 pistol.
Raymond says that he was unaware that if he stocked the pistol, that he would trigger a dormant law in New Jersey that requires everyone in that state to convert to so-called “smart guns” once they are offered for commercial sale in any state. 

So ... (a) the advent of "Smart Guns That Work" (sort of, maybe, for various interpretations of the word "work" but this is 'unproven technology') have caused an uproar ; and (b) "the first prototype ... was reliable 90 percent of the time ..." --- it has not been proven to be 100% reliable; and
(c) the gun is only .22 caliber ... hardly appropriate for most uses for which a $2,000 gun is usually the buyer's "First Choice" (self-defense, etc.), and (d)

("Unproven technology"?  Because according to reports, the gun works "90 of the time".  My 1911, produced in 1918, works 100% of the time.  Which would YOU choose?)

The thing is, whether it's appropriate or not ... if you live in New Jersey and this handgun is available for sale ANYWHERE in America, and somebody buys one ... BAM!  You can't buy anything else in New Jersey!

Oh, I almost forgot.  Here's the "Dumb Law" that Huffington Post writer Stuart Hunter (remember that name, it will be on the Mid-Term Exam) referred to.        
 From NPR:

Basically, the Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 says that once "personalized handguns are available" anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months
The "Hmmmmm - moment" is that somewhere during this process your thinking has changed from "That's Just Wrong!" to "Hmmm ... maybe Andy Raymond's travails are, if not justifiable, at least understandable".  (No, we are not advocating 'threats of violence' against people with whom you disagree;  just saying that some people with "control issues" need to find better ways of working out their frustrations!  Being "justifiably angry" is not the same thing as being "justifiably abusive"!)

Let's talk about the two unaddressed people in this story:

  • The lawmaker who made the law
  • The reporter who wrote the story
(May 02, 2014)
New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said in an exclusive interview Friday with msnbc that she will introduce a bill to reverse a 2002 New Jersey “smart gun” law if the National Rifle Association will agree not to stand in the way of smart gun technology. 
The New Jersey law mandates that once guns that are personalized to the user – commonly known as “smart guns” – go on the market anywhere in the country, New Jersey gun sellers have to stop selling traditional guns within three years and shift exclusively to smart guns. 
The New Jersey law has been used to oppose the sale of smart guns. In two separate instances – including one this week – gun sellers have vowed to sell the Armatix iP1 digital smart gun, only to reverse course amid death threats and other pressure from those citing the New Jersey law. 

The Reporter (Stuart Hunter)

Apparently, the author doesn't really know much about guns.  He was just on assignment by his editor, and has no strong feelings one way or the other about "Smart Guns"

Which only proves that, if you are inclined to accept the words of "Authorized Journalists" as reliable and authoritative, you are subject to believing bullshit.

Just saying.


Mark said...

Adhere to the liberal orthodoxy or you are fired!

Anonymous said...

Listen to what Mark has to say.

Anonymous said...

Is there a great movement or push within the gun world for so-called smart guns?