New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who wrote the Garden State’s so-called “smart gun” law, now admits that the law is fatally flawed. She says she’ll introduce legislation this fall that encourages development of “smart gun” technology, but does not mandate it.
Weinberg’s so-called “Childproof Gun Law,” passed in 2002, would outlaw the sale of conventional handguns three years after any handgun is commercially available that "can only be fired by an authorized or recognized user.” Twelve years after the law was passed, New Jersey’s attorney general admitted what everyone already knew: Such firearms don’t exist.
Even if they did exist, many consumers—particularly those purchasing firearms for self-defense—would be rightly suspicious of technologies that render firearms inoperable. While New Jersey’s law specifically exempted law-enforcement officers from its mandate, we believe all New Jersey residents should have the right to choose the firearms appropriate to their own situations.
Home Invader Shot In Sharpsville, Pa.
A Sharpsville, Pa., woman and her boyfriend were relaxing at home just before midnight on Monday when the woman’s estranged husband, 36-year-old Nick Ference, forced his way inside the house. When Ference found the woman’s boyfriend, he threatened to kill him, prompting the boyfriend to flee. After Ference cornered the man in the basement of the home, the man pulled out his legally registered firearm and fired at Ference, striking him in the chest before dialing 911.
According to Sharpsville police, there were also three children in the home at the time of the incident, but no one else, including the armed citizen, was hurt. Ference’s estranged wife had reportedly taken out a protective order against Ference earlier this year, but cancelled it the following week.
Gun Safety? Don’t Look At Armatix
When German manufacturer Armatix debuted their iP1 pistol, hailed around the world (largely by people who had never discharged a firearm) as the first viable “smart gun,” it launched waves of hype and legislative buffoonery. The most widely repeated claim was that Armatix—now spiraling toward bankruptcy—was finally going to make guns completely safe.
Now we’re starting to wonder how serious they ever were about gun safety. Guns.com noticed that a feature in the LA Times, still trying to drum up enthusiasm for the iP1, depicted Armatix USA’s chief executive Belinda Padilla breaking two of the three NRA rules of gun safety at once: In the header image, she is pointing a pistol at the sky with her finger on the trigger. More effective gun safety is absolutely something to pursue, but perhaps we shouldn’t look for design breakthroughs from people who ignore the fundamentals of handling a firearm.
Playing Both Sides Of The Police Line
There’s been an ongoing debate about the importance, or lack thereof, of proactive policing in America. How much is too much … or too little? When do you engage … or disengage? Should they be preventing crimes … or simply responding to them?
In light of the “Ferguson effect” and amid calls for “police reform,” some cops have become a little less proactive for fear of backlash. As a result, violent crime is on the rise in many cities. Yet the ones calling for reform refuse to acknowledge this connection. Worse, they’re calling out the cops and accusing them of shirking their duties.
Which is it? Anti-police activists can’t demand that cops back off and then attack them when they do. If less proactive policing is preferred, accept that more crime is the result. Better yet, instead of asking our cops to back off, how about backing off our cops?
Resistance Is Futile
In a chillingly arrogant, condescending ramble, Sean Palfrey, MD, has proposed a modest plan over at Huffington Post: Use the democratic process to destroy firearms ownership bit by bit. Positing that “bullets and firearms are pathogens, similar to the smallpox virus …,” he suggests “communities around this country could vote to establish … firearm-free blocks, zip codes, towns or cities.” And this would be different from what hasn’t worked for more than a 100 years (arbitrarily starting with the Sullivan Act of 1911) in what meaningful way?
The illogic that underpins this suggestion is stupefying. A vast, overwhelming majority of firearms will never hurt anyone, and a preponderant majority of their owners live long, fruitful, peaceful lives—and have done so for well over two centuries.
Now try hanging around with the smallpox virus. To suggest the same methods will solve the problems of either is absurd—and dangerously so, if you care about liberty at all.