re AP article in local paper, Letter To The Editor


PDA






alan
December 24, 2002, 06:05 PM
The headline on the AP Wire Service story reads as follows: "N.J. requires handguns only owner can shoot", which might sound nice until one thinks a bit, on what is involved.

1. The state legislature has mandated the use of a technology that does not exist. Why, except to perhaps show the folks back home that they are doing "something", would any legislative body possibly want to do that?

2. Governor elect McGreevy describes this legislation as "common sense legislation". Personally, I have significant reservations on that, however the readers attention is directed to question 1 above, re this. Let them draw the appropriate conclusions for themselves.

3. With regard to this latest in electronic "whiz-bangs", "whiz-bangs"yet to see the light of day, this owner recognition scheme would certainly be an example of such, how many of you have experienced repeated computer crashes, cell phone and even common hard wired telephone "problems", and other examples of the latest darling of the electronics industry heading south, at inopportune moments? That situation, a very real one by the way, might explain the curious exemption for police sidearms, from the above mentioned requirement, however one more question remains unanswered.

4. Because, in theory at least, the job of the police officer is to protect the individual, interestingly the courts have repeatedly said otherwise, 98% reliability from police service arms is less than is acceptable. Looking at what the political types, the "elected things" have wrought, is this margin of UNRELIABILITY acceptable in handguns that the law abiding civilian might have recourse to, in protecting himself or herself? My answer is NO, but it seems others see the matter differently. How might Mr., Mrs. and Ms. Everyman see it, one wonders?

If you enjoyed reading about "re AP article in local paper, Letter To The Editor" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Blackhawk
December 24, 2002, 06:52 PM
And, of course, I presume that LE's are exempt from this nonsense...? :rolleyes:

alan
December 24, 2002, 07:14 PM
Balckhawk: This should answer your question.

3. With regard to this latest in electronic "whiz-bangs", "whiz-bangs"yet to see the light of day, this owner recognition scheme would certainly be an example of such, how many of you have experienced repeated computer crashes, cell phone and even common hard wired telephone "problems", and other examples of the latest darling of the electronics industry heading south, at inopportune moments? That situation, a very real one by the way, might explain the curious exemption for police sidearms, from the above mentioned requirement, however one more question remains unanswered.

Of course they are, same as with those "inaccurate, unsafe JUNK GUNS" when in civilian hands, which presumably, when in LE hands, become something entirely different, god knows what though, perhaps MATCH GRADE ARMS.

Blackhawk
December 24, 2002, 07:32 PM
Thanks, Alan. We get to take up reading in grad school, I think... :o

Nathaniel Firethorn
December 24, 2002, 08:59 PM
Alan, where did you get that 98% reliability figure?

- pdmoderator

Husky
December 24, 2002, 10:43 PM
Didn't the New Jersey State Police recently (within a few years) discontinue use of the HK P7 pistols, or was it a different gun?

Was that an issue with the gun itself or with its use?

Also, the phrase 'common sense legislation' is getting a little old with the gun control crowd.

alan
December 25, 2002, 01:23 AM
pdmoderator:

Read the entire article, but pay particular attention to the 9th paragraph. I suppose I'm "guilty" of creating a play on words.

December 20, 2002. The author's stuff also appears in Reason magazine.


Lock Step

The hazards of "smart guns"

By Jacob Sullum



When I flip open my mobile phone, a pleasant female voice asks, "Who would you like to call?" I say, "My office." A few seconds later, she says, "Please repeat the name." Enunciating as clearly as I can, I repeat, "My office." After another pause, she informs me, "The name cannot be recognized."

At worst, the unreliability of my phone's voice dial feature is annoying; I can always enter the number by hand. But imagine a gun that incorporates voice recognition technology, allowing you to fire only after a locking mechanism is satisfied that you are the owner.

Now imagine that a burglar has broken into your home or a thug is confronting you on the street while you pull out your gun and try to make it work by saying the magic words just so. Like my phone, your gun is so smart that it's stupid.

To be fair, voice recognition is just one of several approaches to "personalizing" guns so they can be fired only by authorized users. Other possibilities include rings containing magnets or transponders and devices that recognize fingerprints or grip characteristics. But each of these technologies has limitations, and none is ready for market.

That fact did not stop the New Jersey legislature from passing the country's first "smart gun" mandate the other day. The bill, which Gov. James McGreevey has promised to sign, requires that all handguns sold in the state incorporate some form of personalization within three years after the first such model is introduced.

"Are we, as a body, anticipating Star Trek technology?" asked a legislator who voted against the bill. "Why not go all out and mandate that all weapons in New Jersey be phasers set for stun?"

Unfortunately, the law may not be quite that ineffectual. If one manufacturer rushes a "smart gun" onto the market before the technology is perfected, the rest will have to follow suit. Instead of having a choice between expensive, newfangled guns that may not always work properly and cheaper, old-fashioned models with known capabilities, New Jersey residents will be forced to test the beta version, with potentially deadly results.

Revealingly, the mandate exempts police weapons, even though research on personalized firearms was initially aimed at stopping criminals from firing guns grabbed during struggles with cops. The exemption is also odd because one of the bill's avowed goals is to prevent adolescent suicides. "What children have more access to guns than the children of police officers?" asked a lobbyist who fought the mandate.

Legislators must have recognized that police officers would not want their lives to depend on batteries, electronic chips, or recognition devices that could fail in an emergency. As the Independence Institute's Dave Kopel observes, "the police will not put up with a gun that is 99% reliable."

Even if a "smart gun" always worked as designed, various contingencies could prevent an officer from firing it. What if he forgot his transponder ring, wore gloves, had sweaty palms, switched hands, or tried to use a colleague's gun?

The bill's authors probably were also concerned about the cost that "smart guns" would impose on police departments. Colt, one of the manufacturers working to develop personalized firearms, estimates they will cost $300 more than conventional models.

The mandate's supporters apparently did not worry about its impact on the budgets and lives of ordinary citizens. Yet once the law kicks in, it will effectively ban affordable handguns, preventing poor people in dangerous neighborhoods from defending themselves.

The law will have no corresponding effect on criminals. Assuming they do not find a way to circumvent "smart gun" technology, they may occasionally find that they cannot use a stolen weapon. But there will be plenty of other ways for them to obtain the tools of their trade.

Likewise, personalized handguns won't have much impact on suicides, since Dad's pistol is only one of many ways to kill yourself. They might prevent a few accidental gun deaths among children, except that it appears there are none to prevent: New Jersey reported zero such cases in the two most recent years for which data are available.

That doesn't mean there are no advantages to personalized guns. But they should be weighed by consumers, not by legislators. It's bad enough when politicians force you to make the same choice they would. It's worse when they want you to take a risk they prefer to avoid.

© Copyright 2002 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Jacob Sullum's weekly column is distributed by Creators Syndicate. If you'd like to see it in your local newspaper, write or call the editorial page editor.

Read the entire article, but pay particular attention to the 9th paragraph. I suppose I'm "guilty" of creating a play on words.

alan
December 25, 2002, 01:26 AM
Husky:

I believe that you asked this on another site, and it appeared to have been answered. Personally, I haven't a clue concerning what handguns are or were carried by any NJ Police outfit.

vertigo7
December 25, 2002, 10:25 AM
"Freeze, Mr. Burglar"
"***?"
"Wait, I gotta reboot my piece. Don't move, m'kay?"

In other news a gun prototype opened fire on its owner when said owner refused refused to upgrade to Service Pack 2. By accepting Service Pack 1, he gave the gun the right to shoot him with or without provocation for any reason whatsoever.

Jokes aside, a gun is not a computer... it can't afford to fail even once... ever.

The minute a gun refuses to fire in a situation due to bad battery, loose wire, bad reception, misread palm print, battery in the watch is dead or whatever other gimmick is used and the owner ends up dead, the lawsuits are going to be insane. This law makes anti's and sheeple "feel good" while preventing absolutely nothing.

vertigo7

Triad
December 25, 2002, 10:36 AM
What about interference from other electronics? I've seen those signs cautioning people with pacemakers, would smart guns be any different?

Shotgun
December 25, 2002, 10:52 AM
This should not be a surprise to anyone, condsider the way N.J. settled the problem when the leading candidate dropped out of the race and totally ignored the law. Stupidity seem to have gotten a strangle hold on the lawmakers in N.J.:mad:

2nd Amendment
December 25, 2002, 11:50 AM
If the law makers there insist on Smart Guns aren't they effectively disarming themselves as well? They couldn't possibly handle a device more intelligent than they are...

Nevermind...

alan
December 25, 2002, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Shotgun
This should not be a surprise to anyone, condsider the way N.J. settled the problem when the leading candidate dropped out of the race and totally ignored the law. Stupidity seem to have gotten a strangle hold on the lawmakers in N.J.:mad:

What does this say about the last element or is it the key element in the equation, the people who elected, then returned to office, this bunch of legislative "know nothings", double-talkers or whatever one might choose to refer to them as. Obnviously, one includes the governor in this, but it's the legislature that writes law, the governor merely, in effect says, "that's O.K. with me fellows".

80fl
December 25, 2002, 02:00 PM
And what will happen with a gloved hand, greasy hand, injured shooting hand, etc. etc.?
You know the abuse that a cell phone can't take. Will we have to baby our guns.
Just more anti b.s. taking the sheep ever closer to total disarmament.

alan
December 25, 2002, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by 80fl
And what will happen with a gloved hand, greasy hand, injured shooting hand, etc. etc.?
You know the abuse that a cell phone can't take. Will we have to baby our guns.
Just more anti b.s. taking the sheep ever closer to total disarmament.

Re what will happen, if this legislative POS stands, and the state ag eventually annoints some electronic "whiz-bang" as the sacred cow of the moment is that one of "the good guys", civilian type is going to get blown away. The politicians will, of course, display appropriate sorrow, however since ythey would likely be convered by "immunity" of some sort or other, nothing more from them, other than pious and maudlin ramblings.

As for the firm that produced this "dream machine", perhaps "electronic nightmare", they might be convered by immunity too. If not, then here come the lawyers, and by the time the thing wended it's way through the courts, everyone involved would likely have either retired to Miami, or died of old age. In any event, the lawyers will likely have stolen all or most of the money, and the victim, or their survivors might, perhaps, maybe, get "a coupon".

Allow me a question now, anyone reading, please feel free to offer answers. Respecting the 14th Amendment, U.S. Constitution, which speaks of or to EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW, re the LE Exemption from the law, as written , what might one expect from the federal judiciary, since THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE, correct me if I'm wrong, is binding on the states.

80fl
December 25, 2002, 07:12 PM
Alan: You sir are correct.

alan
December 25, 2002, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by 80fl
Alan: You sir are correct.

Probably, most likely, or definately, the case, sad to note.

If you enjoyed reading about "re AP article in local paper, Letter To The Editor" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!