Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Smart Guns: Make No Mistake, They're Coming

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Smart Guns: Make No Mistake, They're Coming

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark O'Mara

I'd like to buy another gun. Most people don't know that I own more than one firearm - and despite some unfounded suggestions that I'm a "ban and confiscate" gun-control guy - I'm actually a supporter of the Second Amendment.

I'd like to buy another gun, but this time, I would like to buy one of those new smart guns. It's the type of gun that has a radio chip in it, and you can't pull the trigger unless it's in very close proximity to a reciprocal chip - perhaps one embedded in your watch.

The first time I saw something like that, it it was in a movie with Sylvester Stallone called "Judge Dredd." His weapon, The Lawgiver, was programmed with his hand print, and only he could fire the gun. What a cool idea that was: a gun that could never be taken and used against you. Back then that was science fiction, but now such a weapon is a reality.

Now there is a smart gun called Armatix iP1. If that gun is more than 10 inches away from an RFID chip worn on a wristwatch, it will not fire.

Now I see some problems with that. First of all, should you need that gun, you damn-well better have that watch on. I don't wear a watch to bed; I don't wear the same watch all the time; and I would hate to ask an attacker or a burglar to wait a moment while I find my watch and put it on. So that's a major problem.

Maybe someday we'll get used to the idea of chips being implanted in our skin and that will do away what that concern (although the thought of that is a little "Big Brother" for me). For now, it might be a questionable choice to leave yourself without protection for lack of being able to grab two items rather than one.

But isn't that my choice? If I want to decide to buy one of those smart guns - taking the chance that it will be inert at the moment that I need it unless I have my watch on - isn't that my choice and my choice alone? Seemingly not. Andy Raymond, owner of a gun store in Baltimore, who was intending on selling the Amitrax iP1 pistol, has abandoned the decision to stock those guns for fear of reprisal. People have threatened to burn his shop down if he decides to stock the gun. …

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