When former vice president and now presidential candidate Joe Biden recently made a strange and rambling statement about “smart-gun” technology, it was hard not to laugh.
Biden said, “If I get elected president of the United States of America with your help, if that happens, guns, we have the capacity now in a James Bond-style to make sure no one can pull a trigger unless their DNA and fingerprint is on it. We have that capacity to do it now. You know it.”
Biden was clumsily trying to articulate what is a real threat to gun rights. Some politicians see so-called “smart-gun” technology—defined as some kind of device that would theoretically only allow a firearm to function when used by a specific person or group of people—as a clever way to ban every gun that doesn’t incorporate some government-approved version of this futuristic technology.
The latest move in this direction is legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) designed to “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an enhanced research credit for the development of smart gun technologies.”
Politicians like Biden and Murphy have noticed that American gun owners have shown no interest in buying products that put the uncertainty of a battery and some kind of new technology between them and their perfectly functioning firearms. Anyone who has used a fingerprint reader on a smartphone knows that these devices won’t work if a finger is just a little moist. That experience alone makes people pause. Why would someone willingly alter what is a reliable mechanical device designed to save their life into an unreliable mechanism?
Anti-gun legislators who back this type of legislation have surmised that if this technology is developed, “smart guns” can then be made mandatory. A mandate of this technology could be used as a de facto ban on all of the many firearms now owned by and sold to the public. Such technology, whether it works or not, could also allow government officials to put their bureaucratic fingers into the internal workings of our firearms.
The legislators backing this bill also likely wouldn’t mind that a mandate on “smart-gun” technology would make guns much more expensive—pricing the poor out of their freedom works for those who like this type of legislation.
Put another way, the sponsors of this bill want to use public money to push American businesses into manufacturing a product that consumers have yet to show any interest in. There is nothing smart about spending taxpayer money to fund a product there is no demand for—clearly, the only reason behind this legislative push is for these politicians to use any technology that might be developed as a means to massively restrict American freedom.
Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week
“If you need a license to drive a car. You should need a license to buy and own a firearm.”—Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said this at the Democratic Presidential Debate on June 26, showing he either doesn’t know or doesn’t want to admit there is a difference between a constitutional right and a legal privilege. The Second Amendment, of course, protects our constitutional right to bear arms.
Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week
“Contrary to the impression left by TV shows and movies, so-called silencers, a.k.a. suppressors, do not eliminate ‘the sound of gunshots.’ On average, they reduce the noise generated by a .45 ACP pistol, the kind used in the Virginia Beach attack, from around 157 decibels to something like 127 decibels, which is still louder than a siren or a thunderclap.”–An article in Reasoncriticized legislation introduced by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) that would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of “gun silencers.”
(Frank Miniter is the author of Spies in Congress—Inside the Democrats’ Covered-Up Cyber Scandal. His latest book, The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace, will be out this summer.)