Dumb Guns

I’ve always thought the NRA exists to serve the financial interests of the gun manufacturers and that the death, destruction and heartache that flow from its fanatical opposition to even the most uncontroversial (to sane people) and widely supported gun control actions are purely incidental. This story makes me wonder if that’s actually true:

‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. A few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers were all it took.

Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”

Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.

So the gun lobby unleashed flying monkeys to harass and intimidate this woman, who represents a gun manufacturer. Here’s the NRA’s statement on the “smart gun” issue (source: link in article linked above):

NRA does not oppose new technological developments in firearms; however, we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire. And NRA recognizes that the “smart guns” issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.

No one has said jackshit about retroactive or future government mandates, of course, though President Obama and other Democrats have urged the exploration of technology solutions to make guns safer. That would seem to fall under the heading of “common sense,” if such a category existed on Planet Gun, which it doesn’t.

But in any case, wouldn’t there be money in smart guns for gun manufacturers, either in retro-fitting existing guns or selling new smart guns, perhaps to people who wouldn’t otherwise arm themselves for fear of accidents or theft?

So what’s going on here? Is the NRA simply in the tank for existing donors, and the smart gun people just need to slide them some bags of cash to get them on board?

Or is this knee-jerk opposition to something a Democratic president spoke approvingly of, and “oppose Democrats” is a higher imperative than “generate funds for gun manufacturers” in the NRA mission statement?

It can’t be anything as simple as principle since the NRA has demonstrated a thousand times it has none. What is their angle?

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119 replies
  1. 1
    Belafon says:

    There was a push some years ago to require guns to be able to detect the owner, most likely during the Clinton years.

  2. 2
    scav says:

    hey, without the front end of the funnel to getting guns into illegal and violent hands, how can the manufactures continue to grow their markets!? Over and above the simple number of guns pushed down the funnel, they can use the stats to drive sales in the frightened to death market sector. Gravy Multiplier!

  3. 3
    RandomMonster says:

    No one has said jackshit about retroactive or future government mandates

    No one has to. If it could even conceivably in a hypothetical, hard-to-imagine future imply anything remotely looking like the ability to control weapons, they’re against it.

  4. 4
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    They don’t want any precautions or safety features. They want the maximum amount of fear, chaos, and public uncertainty. They want the old west. Smart guns don’t fit the narrative.

  5. 5
    PaulW says:

    If I were that lady I’d be asking the federal government to investigate the NRA for possible racketeering: using intimidation, extortion, threats of violence in a coordinated effort to harm her and stop her from running her business. There’s no free speech here if they’re using threats of violence to stop her from exploring her business options.

  6. 6
    PaulW says:

    @Belafon:

    Remember back as far as 1989, when they James Bond set up with a sniper rifle with a Smart palm reader (it was based on R&D developments at that time).

  7. 7
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The smartgun is a threat to a murderer who buys his wife a gun and then uses it on her but tries to make it look like an accident. Plenty of cases of that, probably 1000’s more thinking about it.

    As dumb as “I’ll die in a crash if I’m wearing a seatbelt because I won’t be able to get out of the flames!!!” but with more potential to harm others.

  8. 8
    Sterling says:

    The gun nuts don’t need the NRA to tell them what to think of new tech like this. They can organize a boycott and internet rage fest within hours. “Rabid” doesn’t begin to describe their level of commitment to the gun-owning lifestyle.

  9. 9
    Chris says:

    I’ve always thought the NRA exists to serve the financial interests of the gun manufacturers and that the death, destruction and heartache that flow from its fanatical opposition to even the most uncontroversial (to sane people) and widely supported gun control actions are purely incidental. This story makes me wonder if that’s actually true:

    As someone else pointed out to me here yesterday or the day before, the ordinarily greedy assholes who’re just in it for the money are no longer in control of the party. The pathological psychos who want to watch the world burn are. Or at least they’re too powerful to be ignored.

  10. 10
    Amir Khalider PK says:

    @PaulW:
    In Skyfall, Q issues James Bond with a Walther PPK that fires only when he, Bond, is holding it. Nice to know that some tech ideas never lose their novelty.

  11. 11
    Cassidy says:

    I remember the last time this “smart gun” topic came up and someone tried to insist it would be embraced and loved and cherished, because technology and reasons.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    @PaulW:
    In Skyfall, Q issues James Bond with a Walther PPK that fires only when he, Bond, is holding it. Nice to know that some tech ideas never lose their novelty.

  13. 13
    RobertB says:

    My guess would be 1 part NRA’s slippery slope worries, exactly as they said, and 2 parts just coming up with _something_ to make themselves look useful.

  14. 14
    Eric U. says:

    @Chris: that makes sense, they really ratcheted up the fear and paranoia and now they can’t control it. I always thought that the micro-taggants were a great idea, but then you could actually tell who murdered someone, so it can’t be done. The gun manufacturers don’t want to make it so that illegal things can’t be done with their weapons.

  15. 15
    SatanicPanic says:

    It’s got the word “smart” in it, so naturally they’re opposed. IVORY TOWER ELITIST GUNS!

  16. 16
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Oops, not enough coffee. In #7 the paranoia that a gun with any kind of safety won’t be fast enough during that home invasion robbery that’s not only going to happen but the robber/rapist/whatever is going to give you enough advance warning to reach for that gun is as dumb as thinking a seatbelt will kill you.

  17. 17
    catclub says:

    @Another Holocene Human: This is why I also removed the doors AND the seatbelts from my car. … you never know.

  18. 18
    Fester Addams says:

    Maybe they’re finding it’s more profitable to run a grift on large numbers of gun rubbers than it is shaking down manufacturers for trade association fees…

  19. 19
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Eric U.: I’ve never seen a convincing argument where the expense/annoyance of taggants outweighed the bennies.

  20. 20
    catclub says:

    @Eric U.: I thought micro-taggants are now in Ammonium Nitrate.

    I can believe they are not in gunpowder for bullets.

  21. 21
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Fester Addams: Maybe La Pierre read the Cliff Notes on the Prince and figured it is easier to be feared than loved so why expend unnecessary effort?

  22. 22
    raven says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I knew that guy when he played football at Illinois.

  23. 23

    Honestly, I would guess the opposition is 10% fear based that a smart gun would malfunction during a critical time, 10% worries that they couldn’t blame a firearms discharge on someone else, and 80% is simply a part of the psychosis that compels these guys to carry assault rifles in public or flash their guns at a kids’ baseball game.

    They don’t want anything to come between them and their ability to deal out death and intimidate their fellow man.

  24. 24
    khead says:

    RFID = Obamachip

  25. 25
    muddy says:

    @RobertB: Drawing a breath before uttering the word “safety” is a slippery slope to these idiots.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: The sad part is that “smart” features on a gun really do render the thing unreliable and it’s a reasonable argument to make if you’re in the profession of carrying guns. I would have been uncomfortable in the military using that kind of thing and I can imagine LEO’s wouldn’t be too happy with it, either. But, instead of making a reasonable, logical argument these fetishist cowards are more concerned with registration and confiscation and all the other b lack people boogeymen that have invaded their delusional brains.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion:

    They want the old west.

    The one that John Wayne lived in. The one they saw at the Saturday matinee.

  28. 28
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Wayne La Pierre is lazy and shiftless. Pass it on.

  29. 29
    gray lensman says:

    More to the point, google “microstamping”, a modification to the firing mechanism in (hand)guns which would leave a readable, traceable mark on the cartridge primer when the gun is fired. Go to Ruger.com and watch the video. This is only in California now but the gun makers are trying to show that this doesn’t work reliably toward accomplishing its purpose: tracing gun owners/users. They have several convincing points, but that won’t stop politicians from requiring it, no matter how ineffective it is, because it looks like a simple solution to a complicated problem. Gun people see a short step to restricting sales/registration/confiscation soon after.

  30. 30
    Scott S. says:

    @Eric U.: I’ve had the impression that what the NRA would really like to do is get laws passed stating that anything you do with a gun is legal. Stabbing someone? Illegal. Shooting someone? Legal. Anything less is violating the Second Amendment.

    I think part of what they’re doing is trying to ratchet up the fear and crazy for the sake of gun sales. Part of it is ratcheting up the fear and crazy because they, like the Kochs, want a society of sociopaths.

  31. 31
    Mike E says:

    @PaulW:

    There’s no free speech here

    What, you can’t yell “fire!” at a crowded rifle range?

  32. 32
    Keith says:

    First test the simplest hypothesis: Do the current big-money donors to the NRA stand to benefit from letting a new entry into the domestic small-arms industry?

    If the answer is “No” (and it is indeed no, as domestic manufacturers lack such a product, having been bullied out of pursuing the same – S&W, Clinton era) then, that is all you need to understand.

    Opposition to Armatix does serve the interests of the NRA’s biggest donors.

  33. 33
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Exactly. They have always craved a fantasy that has been refined over many years of bad action movies and witty one liners. The fact that these twerps get red faced and shake in impotent rage any time you actually confront them should tell them all they need to know about their “manliness”.

  34. 34
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cassidy: I’m pretty sure this product is not aimed at LEO but at women who think they need a gun for protection but don’t want it turned on themselves as they’re well aware that guns bought by women for protection often end up as that woman’s murder weapon in the hands of a husband or boyfriend or ex. The gun failing to go off is the whole point.

    Did you know LEOs in GB don’t carry guns around all day? They have to be issued guns in specific circumstances with permission? Imagine that.

    There might be exceptions in London but the rural police (you know, like our “patriotic sheriffs”) definitely no.

  35. 35
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalider PK:

    I remember that movie. The summer before it came out, I was working at the local public pool, where they’d just installed a fingerprint-scanner, and the damn machine misread so many people that everyone wanted it gone. I think they were just waiting for approval from on high.

    So naturally, when Skyfall came out, my mind went right to that. I could just imagine an MI6 officer in the middle of a firefight pulling out his gun, gripping it for the two or three seconds required for identification, getting an ERROR message, going through it again, and finally whacking it like a malfunctioning laptop, all while trying not to die.

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    @Comrade Dread: “and 80% is simply a part of the psychosis that compels these guys to carry assault rifles in public or flash their guns at a kids’ baseball game. ”

    In spite of the fact that number of that kind of events is too many, it is still a vanishingly small fraction of gun owners who pull those stunts.

  37. 37
    Tim C. says:

    It’s the old conflict in conservatism between the grifters who care about very little besides making money and the true believers who run the gamut between the merely ignorant, to the delusional, to the completely insane. What makes the landscape hard to decipher is that there aren’t really a ton of conservative institutions that don’t have a lot of overlap between the groups. There’s also the fact some of the wealthiest donors are in fact also true believers like the Koch brothers, while some of the most obvious socons are also the most obvious grifters (Sarah Palin, Ralph Reed). Someone with a better understanding of all the groups could probably make a neat conceptual map.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    @gray lensman: Wait, wait, wait. You mean to tell me a gun manufacturer put out a video showing a gun control measure to be unreliable!? No. No way. Next, you’re gonna tell me that there is an insurrectionist rancher in Nevada who said some incredibly racist shit about black people picking cotton.

  39. 39
    🌷 Martin says:

    The NRA knows that the biggest two markets for gun sales are:

    1) To criminals
    2) To conservatives that shit their pants daily in fear of Obama/minorities/Hillary/children selling cookies and assuage their cowardice by shoving another AR-15 under the bed, and another box of ammo in the nightstand.

    Smart guns undermine the former, and the message above encourages the latter to rush and arm up before Obama mandates dickprint readers on the guns, thereby discriminating against the dickless.

  40. 40
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gray lensman: Gun people see a short step to restricting sales/registration/confiscation soon after.

    Yeah, that sentence following logically from the ones preceding it. ////

  41. 41
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Imagine you’re an evil gubmint stooge. Now imagine you have no way to tell who bought or sold a gun and who fired it. Wouldn’t you be MORE motivated to confiscate all guns?

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    it is still a vanishingly small fraction of gun owners who pull those stunts.

    The problem is they are the most vocal and the ones who set the tone.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    It’s the slippery slope argument. Anything that restricts anyone’s use of any gun at all is bad. I’m shocked they allow safety catches.

  44. 44
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Oh yeah, I can see being given the choice and deciding to go with the dumb gun, just because it’s simpler. But these nuts are against giving anyone the choice. I guess because they assume that it will be mandated if it ever comes into existence. Which is maybe not a terrible argument if they stop there. But they won’t. They’re already threatening this lady and I’m sure it’s because they think that guns with chips in them will all be connected to the off button that Obama will carry on his person at all times in anticipation of the gun owner harvest he has been planning since his birth in Kenya.

  45. 45
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    When you are exchanging gunfire with the bad guys in a darkened theater or smoky elementary school hallway and you run out of ammo, you need to be able to back flip five times in a row and grab the discarded firearm of a recently dispatched baddie to continue your single-minded defense of your area of responsibility. Every second amendment fantasist knows this.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I’d disagree. The quickest way to the hearts of gun owners is to show their product being used by “elite” police and military forces. Don’t forget that these knuckleheads think they can become operators by osmosis. Any gun manufacturer with half a working brain will attempt to get the military/ LE crowds to adopt it. And, regardless of preference, LE and military still buy in bulk and based on budget. If a manufacturer of “smart” weapons can meet the specs and come in with a better bid, they will get it.

    As for not carrying guns at all, I’d love to live in a society where we have no guns. I would not ask any LEO to not carry in our present society as there are way too many RWNJ’s who have them.

  47. 47
    gnomedad says:

    From the article:

    “I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans,” one commenter wrote.

    The NRA taliban at work.

  48. 48

    that slope’s just too darn slippery and there are blue helmeted thugs at the bottom waiting to put people in fema trailers.

  49. 49

    I’d like to add to @Tim C. that you should never underestimate a grifter’s ability to fall for their own hype, or a crazy person’s ability to find ways to make their lunacy pay. ‘Greedy’ or ‘Nuts’ are not either/ors.

  50. 50
    ThresherK says:

    @catclub: If you wanted to be safe you’d remove the windshield. “Thrown clear…” and all that.

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    But these nuts are against giving anyone the choice.

    Exactly. I’m not aware of law enforcement organization thought on the smart gun question for civilians, but it would make sense for cops to want technology that can stop civilian guns from falling into the wrong hands, even if they (cops) didn’t want to use it themselves.

    But of course, we know for a fact the NRA is happy to disregard law enforcement organization opinions when it doesn’t align with their own. It happens all the time.

  52. 52
    Tone in DC says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    The NRA knows that the biggest two markets for gun sales are:

    1) To criminals
    2) To conservatives that shit their pants daily in fear of Obama/minorities/Hillary/children selling cookies, and assuage their cowardice by shoving another AR-15 under the bed, and another box of ammo in the nightstand.

    LULz.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: They know this because they saw it in a movie.

    A movie that was produced by Liberal, Jewish Hollywood.

  54. 54
    hoodie says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Yeah, that sentence can have just about anything as a precedent, e.g., “Sun rises in the morning. Gun people see a short step to restricting sales/registration/confiscation soon after.”

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human: In the case of Ted Nugent, saying that isn’t the slightest stretch.

  56. 56
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Betty Cracker: It has been interesting how the “law and order” party has become so ambivalent about law enforcement in recent years. I didn’t really see that coming

  57. 57
    Suffern ACE says:

    There may be a market out there for people who have children at home and would buy guns, but won’t because of the fear that children might find the gun and shoot themselves or others accidently. So yeah, rather than develop that market, they make potential buyers deal with the bullroaor of the militia that the NRA is building. And seriously, they are a militia in the making.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    There may be a market out there for people who have children at home and would buy guns, but won’t because of the fear that children might find the gun and shoot themselves or others accidently.

    Then there are the chunderheads who don’t see a problem with their children playing with mommy and daddy’s toys.

  59. 59

    @SatanicPanic:
    Looking back, it seems like they stopped caring about ‘tough on crime’ the moment ‘black street gangs’ stopped being a cultural meme. Coincidence?

  60. 60
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Then there are the chunderheads who don’t see a problem with their children playing with mommy and daddy’s toys.

    I think sex toys are still illegal in a lot of the South.

    For the protection of children, you know.

  61. 61
    Botsplainer says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    It has been interesting how the “law and order” party has become so ambivalent about law enforcement in recent years. I didn’t really see that coming

    Happened around the same time that the PO-lice got so militarized and assholish that they no longer felt constrained to concentrate assholishness on neighborhoods of poor white folks and random people of color, and started treating everybody like shit, including middle to upper middle class white people. Now, of course, that has become a crisis to the sorts of guys who write for Reason.

    Don’t the police know that they can only treat poor white trash and the colored like shit? If little Jeremy Winthrop IV acts up, it’s just youthful hijinks that deserve a wrist slap and stern talking to by his LAX coach, not charges and a jail cell.

  62. 62
    Peej says:

    What I understand is that the NRA doesn’t want the New Jersey law passed 12 years ago that requires only smart guns be sold in the state 3 years after those guns are for sale anywhere in the US to take effect.

  63. 63
    rk says:

    So what’s going on here? Is the NRA simply in the tank for existing donors, and the smart gun people just need to slide them some bags of cash to get them on board?

    They want children to find guns and accidentally shoot themselves, and they want gang related violence to continue so that fearful middle aged men and insane lunatics keep buying guns.

  64. 64
    C.V. Danes says:

    Some other government mandated safety features: working brakes, seat belts, air bags, stop lights and signs, speed limits, blood alcohol levels…

    All part of the vast conspiracy of our government overlords to inflict safety on us, I guess.

  65. 65
    PaulW says:

    @Mike E:

    What, you can’t yell “fire!” at a crowded rifle range?

    If you do, everyone would open fire. Kind of a moot point.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rk: DING DING DING DING!

    It’s all about moving product.

  67. 67
    Cassidy says:

    @Suffern ACE: I think you overestimate the thought process of the kind of person who wants to own a gun for self and home defense. Safety is not usually a top priority.

  68. 68
    JoyfulA says:

    @catclub: Not vanishingly small.

    We had a woman in this area who did that, waving her handgun at Little League games apparently to get attention to spout her “rights” speech. Yes, she did get in the newspaper.

    Within the year, she was dead. Her husband shot her.

  69. 69
    Calouste says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Safety caps on pill and bleach bottles.

  70. 70
    Barbara says:

    It’s about the fact that those manufacturers that funnel money to the NRA cannot compete with smart technology guns at this point in time. Moreover, once smart technology is adopted then those manufacturers that do not adopt it will be unable to deflect tort suits the way they do now, because they will not have made their products as safe as possible. It has nothing to do with public restrictions and everything to do with private gain with minimal accountability.

  71. 71
    MomSense says:

    I find it really disturbing that it is not enough to just disagree with Ms. Padilla. They actually post information about her address, appearance, and make threats against her.

    Remember that momsdemand event where a bunch of wahoos showed up armed outside the restaurant where they were meeting? These gun fanatics practice intimidation and threats of violence in order to get their way.

  72. 72
    Mike in NC says:

    Some gun nut sent a Letter to the Editor of our local rag, the usual paranoid NRA-approved bullshit about how dictators like Obama have a history of confiscating firearms. I responded by pointing out if that were the case, why did every adult male in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq and Afghanistan have an AK-47 stashed under their bed?

  73. 73
    JoyceH says:

    It’s simple. A world in which a gun can only be fired by the authorized and licensed owner, who underwent a background check to purchase the gun, is a safer world. In a safer world, the fearful and credulous can’t be stampeded into buying more and better guns for their own ‘safety’. The more violent and dangerous this nation becomes, the better for the gun industry. Civilization swirls downward into chaos – bad for us, but good for them.

  74. 74
    Ash Can says:

    @🌷 Martin:
    @Another Holocene Human:

    I’m betting that you’ve both hit the nail on the head. AHH’s theory, especially, goes hand-in-hand with the efforts of the NRA’s political wing (a.k.a. the GOP) to shut down CDC studies of how guns actually end up being used (domestic homicides, suicides, accidental shootings). And imagine what percentage of current gun sales would be wiped out by measures that would all but eliminate strawman sales that funnel guns to people unable to own them and/or unwilling to use them legally.

    I can see how opposing smart-gun technology serves the gun manufacturers, but I can also see how it serves organized crime, and in a very big way. Methinks the feds should quietly take a closer look at who the NRA’s big-money donors really are.

  75. 75
    D58826 says:

    Somewhat off topic but still dumb gun related. Just suppose the NRA gets it fondest wish and we have open carry laws all over the country. In addition these laws stipulate that the cops can’t ask the gun owner about his gun or whither he has a permit to be carrying it. I don’t think these assumptions are far fetched as they seem to be the direction in which the gun fetish crowd is moving.
    Now most days the AP wire feed on my smart phone has several reports of schools or hospitals under lockdown because someone saw a man with a gun.. Now how in heavens name are people, teachers, security guards, the police, etc suppose3d to tell the difference between a heavily armed good guy in his Rambo gear intent on protecting the innocent from the crazy man planning on killing as many people as he can? Or do we simply accept the fact that our cities will become like Beirut during the Lebanese civil war in which people live in their own enclaves and cross streets at a dead run.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MomSense:

    These gun fanatics practice intimidation and threats of violence in order to get their way.

    Textbook terrorism.

    Oh, wait, they’re not swarthy and Muslim. Therefore they cannot be terrorists.

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    I see from its website that Crickett Firearms, the American company that sells guns for children, is still in that obscene business. There is no more photo gallery of darling pink-cheeked angels firing little pink and blue rifles, of course, since they’ve been shamed into taking it down; but the rest of the site is still up.

    I wonder, would Crickett Firearms be in favour of ID locks on kids’ rifles?

  78. 78
    Belafon says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    intimidate their fellow black man.

    This white man has had his eyes opened enough to know that gun “rights” are about one thing.

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Traces back to the culture of the slave holding states. Nat Turner’s Rebellion and all. We need these guns to keep our sentient property in line.

  80. 80
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Betty Cracker: There’s a specificity to the ambivalence. The local sheriff? He’s a good guy (note: nearly always “he” and probably a good ol’ boy as well). The local town/city police chief? Hot/cold there: for every one they like, there’s one that’s either in bed with Teh Yoonyuns or putting Righteous Upstanding Patriotic Real Ahmurrcans™ from the countryside in irons for scaring the cityfolk with their guns practicing their 2nd Amendment Rights™. Anything higher up the food chain is drawing UN pay, learning to fly the black helicopters and scouring Facebook pages for photos of wingnuts Righteous Upstanding Patriotic Real Ahmurrcans™ to haul away to FEMA camps and make them love Agenda 21. Take a look at the Cliven Bundy situation: that loser demanded the sheriffs (whom he apparently respects even if he doesn’t quite trust) disarm and perp-walk the feds off “his” property.

  81. 81
    boatboy_srq says:

    @khead: Funny that they never so much as made a peep when passports all got RFIDs.

  82. 82
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Beatings and lynchings stopped working – thanks MLK Jr. – so they’ve got to step it up a notch.

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq: If there’s one thing that Obama has failed to do that pisses me off, is that he hasn’t got his thin black ass into gear and got those FEMA camps up and operating.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I responded by pointing out if that were the case, why did every adult male in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq and Afghanistan have an AK-47 stashed under their bed?

    And look just how well protected all these people were when the Taliban or Milosevic’s people came knocking. The guns really did a great job of stopping the Scary Thugs Coming For My Rights, didn’t they?

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:

    @Scott S.:

    I think part of what they’re doing is trying to ratchet up the fear and crazy for the sake of gun sales. Part of it is ratcheting up the fear and crazy because they, like the Kochs, want a society of sociopaths.

    I think it’s worth considering that it’s not an act or a way of driving gun sales but a reflection of them being genuinely paranoid about the government taking their guns. It’s part of the general Republican trend of using the same propaganda for so long that they’ve started to believe their own lies.

  86. 86
    Punchy says:

    Wouldn’t this technology completely undermine “under the table” gun sales? After all, how would one be able to reprogram the firearm after the sale without the exchange of the gun becoming known to the reprogrammer (gun manufacturer? Federal agency?)?

    I think they’re opposed because now Bubba cant give his gun to his cousin in exchange for 3 sows and half an acre of wheat.

  87. 87
    Ash Can says:

    @D58826: This is why I want to see all concealed carry mandates replaced with open carry ones. Most immediately, it would allow me to identify where, and who, my family and I need to stay away from. Additionally, it would force the issue of how sick our society has become under the current interpretations of the Second Amendment, and force us as a nation to take a good hard look at what it, and the rest of the Constitution, actually say. (I also wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the NRA were to trump up an excuse to fight blanket — as opposed to isolated — open-carry laws tooth and nail, for precisely this reason.)

  88. 88
    daveNYC says:

    @JoyfulA: I’m conflicted about how I should feel about that.

    What’s annoying is that this would be a good solution for kids getting hold of the parent’s weapon and doing something stupid with it. For those households where the kid is old enough to out think the gun safe.

  89. 89
    muddy says:

    @Ash Can: But but but it makes them a target!

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    To the gun nuts a smart gun is like the gov making them wear a condom. It diminishes their power. Which they feel has been stripped from them, one law at a time. No amount of sanity will filter into their arguments, for the same reasons. Remember these are the people who think 24 is a documentary, that the wild west really was, that they will ride into a criminal situation and kill one person for each bullet they carry.
    It is about power, how little they have, how much they perceive they should. They don’t want to live in society, they want to control society.

  91. 91
    Belafon says:

    @daveNYC: A 12 year old in Heath took his parents handgun with him out on a walk and shot himself in the head over his girlfriend breaking up with him.

  92. 92
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: You’re confusing the nuts at the bottom from the organ grinders at the top of the organization — to introduce an unusual musical bowl of pecans. Membership is scared, yes: Leadership, aka industry, is pushing sales.

  93. 93
    Tim C. says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: As the kids say, “True Dat”

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    We also talk about gun mfg and how they are just in it for the money. What if the gun mfg are in it because they are gun nuts, who think everyone needs to be armed? Yes they might make money off this but they might just be in the business because they are gun nuts who know how to mfg things.

  95. 95
    RSA says:

    I was curious about how it works; from the article:

    Armatix said it had an agreement with the Oak Tree Gun Club, a large gun range and retailer about 20 minutes north of Los Angeles, to sell its iP1 pistol, which can be fired only after the owner enters a five-digit PIN into a watch that transmits a signal to the gun. The gun, which retails for about $1,800, disables itself if it is more than 10 inches from the watch.

    Even without the PIN entry, it seems like a reasonable safety measure. Someone can’t easily take your gun and use it against you. You’d think that would be a useful feature… unless you believed that could never happen to you.

  96. 96
    D58826 says:

    In Western Pa, a new bride got into an argument with her husband’s niece over who would be the designated driver. Seems they had been celebrating the wedding at the local bar. Well the bride went out and got her hubbies gun and shot the niece dead. Where is a good woman with a gun when you need her.

  97. 97
    Trollhattan says:

    @D58826:

    Wait…what?!?

  98. 98
    Steve M. says:

    In 2000, Smith & Wesson reached an agreement with the Clinton administration to put mandatory trigger locks on its guns and introduce “smart gun” technology, similar to what’s described in the post.

    The gunner response was total war:

    Gun clubs and gun rights groups responded to this agreement by initiating large-scale boycotts of Smith & Wesson and by consumers refusing to buy their new products while Police agencies flooded the firearms market with used S&W guns…. After a 40% sales slide,[10] the sales impact from the boycotts led Smith & Wesson to suspend manufacturing at two plants.[11] … This agreement signed by Tomkins PLC ended with the sale of Smith & Wesson to the Saf-T-Hammer Corporation. The new company (Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation), which publicly renounced the agreement, was received positively by the firearms community.

    These fuckers will not yield.

  99. 99
    flukebucket says:

    I can’t help but think about Rick Santorum saying last week that “millions of people are saved every year in this country by good people with guns”.

    He would be hard pressed to find one actual example.

  100. 100
    Schlemizel says:

    Sorry, I am at lunch so I have not read the thread yet. To me the reason the NRA would oppose a ‘smart gun’ is that it stands a chance of reducing fear. An awful lot of the guns on the street are there because they were stolen. If the number of stolen guns goes down fear goes down & gun sales go down.

    The NRA’s job is to maintain fear, the gun guys make the sales.

  101. 101
    JaneE says:

    Their actions speak volumes. If something might reduce the number of people killed, they oppose it. Anything that might increase the number of dead they are for. Therefore, the goal is more dead bodies. As far as I am concerned, the only goal of the NRA today is to kill more people. Even some of their sportsmen supporters from the past are starting to realize that. They have become a lobbying group for mass murderers, terrorists, and the arms dealers who supply them.

  102. 102
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cassidy: Military weapons (when carried by military in war) are different. You would want a soldier to be able to use another’s weapon, if they had the need. Would be nice if only our side could fire the weapon.

  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @Steve M.:

    Can you imagine the benefits to mankind of these little shits could actually put that much will and energy into anything more productive than their penis compensators?

  104. 104
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: Either way they’re totally unaware of the human costs of their actions.

    Which makes them sociopaths.

  105. 105
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Good point, but that metal gun can also be used as a pretty effective club.

    That is probably what they are marketing towards.

  106. 106
    Roger Moore says:

    @scav:
    I don’t know. I’m sure that pumping fear was originally just a sales technique, but it’s been going on for long enough for true believers to get to the top of the organization. Even some of the people who used to know that it’s a scam may have been in the bubble for long enough to start believing their own propaganda.

  107. 107
    Paul in KY says:

    @SatanicPanic: I would think the nutwads would think that if the gun won’t fire due to some computer/electronic intervention, then a code could be set to ensure none of those guns fire (even for the person who’s allowed to fire it).

  108. 108
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    1000% in agreement. Just pointing out that sometimes the rational is not just money. Not that they would be less sociopathic if their only reason was money or death.

  109. 109
    Roger Moore says:

    @flukebucket:

    He would be hard pressed to find one actual example.

    It shouldn’t be too hard to find somebody who was saved by a good guy with a gun. Being saved by a good guy with a gun who wasn’t a law enforcement officer would be a good bit harder.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    @JaneE:
    We also talk about the nra being the driving force but there is an awful lot of gun nuts out there who either have the smallest dicks on the planet or at least think they do. Not discounting that both may be true. But I still feel this is about power or lack of it. We express it as being mad at the 1%, they have truly robbed us, but gun nuts see that certain segments of the population have gotten power they didn’t used to have, thereby diminishing the gun nuts power. We see the cause, they feel paranoia because things aren’t as they used to be. Supporting the 1% will bring back things to an order they understand, at least that’s the idea. Of course it won’t but it’s not hard to see that gun nuts don’t make rational arguments.

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  112. 112
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Ruckus:

    We also talk about the nra being the driving force but there is an awful lot of gun nuts out there who either have the smallest dicks on the planet or at least think they do.

    I rather believe it is the size of their brains that is the problem, and the fact that they refuse to utilize the limited brain capacity they were endowed with.

  113. 113
    David says:

    smart gun technology might be ok for a target pistol. But I do not want to trust my life on the same technology base as my smart phone and the computer at work that crashes constantly. It’s not paranoia. I’ve had one armed home invasion in the last year and it took the police 2 hours to respond. Some technology has to be point and click (or boom).

    Microstamping is great, as long as nobody replaces the barrel, which is trivial and easy to do. and after market barrels are very common: improved accuracy is often a reason.

  114. 114
    Ruckus says:

    @C.V. Danes:
    Of course you are factually correct about the brain but men with power issues usually, in my experience, relate those to manliness, whatever the hell that means, and that centers around how powerful they think they are in their shorts.

  115. 115
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @David:

    Microstamping is great, as long as nobody replaces the barrel,

    I thought the microstamping was on the firing pin? (Which would make it useless if a shooter polices their brass, but a firing pin is harder to replace than a barrel.)

  116. 116
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Peej:

    What I understand is that the NRA doesn’t want the New Jersey law passed 12 years ago that requires only smart guns be sold in the state 3 years after those guns are for sale anywhere in the US to take effect.

    I think this is the New Jersey law, which could be worry-inducing if one is a gun-rightsist.
    http://law.onecle.com/new-jers.....8-2.5.html

  117. 117
    Bill Arnold says:

    @flukebucket:

    I can’t help but think about Rick Santorum saying last week that “millions of people are saved every year in this country by good people with guns”.

    Did Santorum say what they were saved from? Murder? Eternal damnation? Paying high prices for good and/or services?

  118. 118
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @David: how often does your microwave oven crash? What about the ignition control system in your car? How often would you say you have to Ctrl-Alt-Delete your TV remote?

    Same technology is in all of them.

  119. 119
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    What they REALLY want is a safety feature in all guns that would make them non-operable and electrocute anyone touching them if their melanin level was too high…

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