F Stands for FAIL: Magnets – 1, “Smart Gun” Technology – 0

The news broke [recently] that the “smart gun” which many gun control advocates hoped would usher in the brave new world of mandatory user recognition technology is … if not exactly a fraud … a good example of common arguments made against smart guns.

According to an article in Wired magazine, the $1,800 .22 LR pistol that made such a splash with gun controllers upon its debut is easily hacked. It can be activated (or deactivated) at distance from authorized users. Its locking mechanism can be defeated by holding magnets against the slide. And the equipment to do these things is readily available and costs less than a trip to the movies.

The hacker profiled in the article – who goes by the pseudonym Plore – told Wired, “I was confident I’d be able to break it … I didn’t think it would be so easy.”

Obviously, Plore isn’t used to dealing with gun control advocates. Most of us who do so on a regular basis come to a similar realization. We know we can debunk their nonsense. But we’re often still surprised just how ridiculous most of their propositions really are.

The simple point is this: technology doesn’t exist, until it actually exists. We can’t simply wish things into existence. An entire generation grew up wanting flying cars like the Jetsons used. Most grown-ups eventually learn to live within the realm of the possible, while still striving for improvement wherever it can be found.

But the sense of entitlement to whatever they want is so acute among many gun control advocates that their longings sometime achieve the force of law, even though reality refuses to accommodate them. Thus, they pass mandates for things like “smart guns” and microstamping, ban guns whose appearances particularly offend them, and insist on the creation of gun control capabilities and bureaucracies for which their jurisdictions lack resources and therefore ignore.

It may be that someone, someday will actually come up with user recognition technology for firearms that actually works and that does not pose untenable reliability or remote manipulation issues. As the Wired article indicates, however, that day has not arrived, however much some may wish for it.

For now, if you want a gun that works as advertised, the smart choice is still traditional technology, backed by sound storage and handling practices.

© 2017 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

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