Magazine article Law & Order

Are "Smart Guns" Smart?

Magazine article Law & Order

Are "Smart Guns" Smart?

Article excerpt

We tend to think that technology is the answer to nearly everything. Got a problem? There must be a technofix for it. While this can be good, it is not always good. Such is the case with the so-called "smart gun."

What's wrong with smart guns? Let me make a list, first as it applies to cops, then as it applies to civilians (your spouse, family members and close friends).

1. Technology involving computers and computer.chips is subject to failure. How many times has your computer crashed? It would be a wee bit more serious if your gun's computer crashed on the street. Colt's design uses a radio transmitter on the wrist and receiver in the gun-that's two separate pieces of electronics to fail.

2. Ever have a battery in your flashlight go dead? Imagine if one failed in a smart gun. Smart Gun technology has been demonstrated in a nice, clean indoor range during very controlled situations. (Colt's version demonstrated on TV couldn't be fired live because it was so delicate.) How many dings and dents does your duty weapon have in it? How many times does it get bumped during a shift?

4. Do you think a fingerprint identification pad on the gun would still be able to read your fingerprint if your hands were muddy, dirty, greasy or bloody, or even wet? What if the gun got muddy, dirty, greasy, bloody or wet?

5. These systems require about one second before they recognize and allow the user to fire the gun. Since most gunfights occur in 1.3 seconds, that leaves you 0.3 seconds to fire and conclude the situation.

6. These systems will have a light on the weapon to let you know operational status. This means that in the course of a critical event you will look away from the threat and check that light-several times-until the shooting starts (hopefully when you pull the trigger).

7. This technology will fit on your duty weapon: What about your backup or off-duty gun? …

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