Someone posted a link to an interview with Kevin Barnes, CEO of Blocksafe on FB. I started writing this as a comment to the original post, but it became a book (or at least a pamphlet). So here’s my take on it here.
BC: Guns are 15 times more likely to be used against a gun owner or accidentally discharged (often by children) than used in self-defense. Would Blocksafe eliminate this risk and would you support making this type of system mandatory for all gun owners?
And yet, Barnes didn’t counter that with, “You just lied to my face. Guns are not 15 times more likely to be used against a gun owner or accidentally discharged than used in self defense. Unless, of course, you only count actual shots being fired as self defense. Or maybe you even only count a dead perp as self defense. That’s what makes you a bald-faced liar.” It’s what I would have said.
Or maybe he did.
Thanks to Katie al-Couric ‘s fast and loose “interview” with VCDL leadership, I tend to distrust interview transcripts unless also published by the interviewees. (Not that I trusted them before; just that I trust them much less, now.) Those in the gun industry need to talk to their lawyers more. You need to retain the right (and exercise it) to record the entire interview yourself. You need to retain the right (possibly non-exclusive) to the entire content of the interview. And you need to insist that if they edit it at all, they need to include a statement in their own published version of the interview that the full transcript is available from you with a link to where readers and viewers can get it.
I say that because Barnes seems to make clear that he is against his technology being mandated. He might have gone far enough, but it’s possible that it did not make the cut. But here is what I think nearly all gun owners can agree to. He needs to take the hardline stance that W. P. Gentry of Kodiak arms took when meeting with then Attorney General Eric Holder a few months after Sandy Hook. He (at least claims to have) told Holder that he would not allow his technology to be used to impose any restrictions on gun owners.
Read Frank Miniter’s “The Future of the Gun“. Electronic technology is not necessarily bad in guns. We need not fear it. But only if (and that’s a BIG IF) we can:
Keep the government’s grubby mitts off it.
Make it 100% the choice of the gun owner whether or not to have it, whether or not it is enabled, and how, or if, it can be disabled.
It can be set to a failure mode (dead battery, etc.) of FIRE and not SAFE.
Can always be set (if not completely lacking the feature) to not allow remote shut off and even possibly have no wireless connection whatsoever (or if it has wireless, it must be optional and allow hardwired connections to make changes, offload data, etc.)…this should work even if I snip the wireless antennae off with wire cutters.
Make it no less reliable than guns without the technology (i.e.: see (3) above…failure mode of FIRE).
I still have my doubts. Imagine if you whacked you’re smartphone hard with a mallet 25-50 times every week for a year. Even assuming a hard, damage resistant case, how long do you think the delicate circuitry inside it would last? I’m not convinced this can be done without some severe hardening for harsh conditions that would radically increase the costs.
A couple of days ago, Cheaper The Dirt posted a link to a blog post by Dave Dolbee on a segment on “Smart Guns” aired by CBS’s 60 minutes that included an interview with NSSF President Steve Sanetti. It got me thinking about the conditions under which I would consider owning a smart gun.
Mind you, I’m not talking about the conditions under which I would consider any legislation whatsoever regarding smart guns, much less any legislation mandating them. My conditions for accepting the mandating of smart guns — even under the guise of government manipulation of the market like requiring manufactures and/or retailers to produce/sell at least one model of smart gun or be fined; increased taxes on non-smart guns; increase regulation of guns not equipped with smart gun technology; or any other stealth method the gun grabbers can dream up — are simply never.
What follows is what I posted in response.
I would demand several conditions before ever even considering having a ‘smart gun’ (but would always oppose any kind of mandate, like New Jersey’s).
1) I would insist that a sizable number of law enforcement agencies issue them, and *only* them, and that their effectiveness be tracked and reported back. Full FOIA access needs to be provided for any data accumulated.
2) I would demand that the failure mode (dead battery, EMP, CME, short circuit) be to allow the gun to be fired by anyone. I should even be able to remove all the circuitry and have the gun still function like any traditional non-smart gun. I would rather have the possibility that the disabling mechanism be defeated (which is what we have now, anyhow) than to have the gun not fire when needed.
3) There should be no remote access whatsoever. No wireless, no antennae. Wired ports, such as USB, ethernet, or JTAG, shall be the only allowable interfaces.
4) Fully programmable by the owner, including a complete wipe and install of software of our choice. Much like jailbroken phones, but even more openness: No “baseband” for which there is no source code available. All circuitry must have full specs published. This is no place for patent or copyright wars. If I own the gun, I refuse to be restricted in any way by the vendor or anyone else in the way it can be programmed.
5) Expanding on (4), all operational software must be Free Software in the sense that the Free Software Foundation defines it. All source code must be provided. A development system must be published. It must be possible for me to reproduce the binaries exactly with that development system (which needs to run, at a minimum, on Linux based operating systems and probably BSD as well). And I must be able to make modifications without technical nor legal roadblocks. I must also be permitted to redistribute the software along with my changes. This precludes that the original software being Windows based or OSX/iOS based. Android is one, but not the only possibility. Other Linux or BSD based systems can be the base system as well.
I suspect New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg wouldn’t like any of the above.
You might see a pattern here. That pattern is that I refuse to be forced to have my guns, new or retrofitted, include new technology that allows anyone but me decide how, when, or where it will function. I will fight any attempts to even open the door a crack to have technological developments in firearms be used as a platform for gun control of any kind.
I got a one word response from some random commenter: “Ridiculous.”
Sure, it’s ridiculous if you see new technology as a means for the government to restrict our God given freedoms.
Sure, it’s ridiculous if you see new technology as a way for other entities, such as software vendors with hyper-political leftists executives, to implement their anti-gun agendas without government.
Sure, it’s ridiculous if you want to put your right to self defense in the hands of the same kinds of people who have no problem dispensing with the idea of free speech within their realm (yes, their right, when it’s their platform, but it doesn’t make it smart nor does it make them champions of liberty) because someone might be ‘microaggressed,’ ‘triggered,’ or offended.
Imagine a Facebook app running on your smart gun that determines from your GPS location a building you’ve entered that, unbeknownst to you, is posted with a gun ban sign, but not on all entrances and posts to your Facebook page that fact. Or perhaps another app that sends that info to the building manager, or even the local police. All over an honest mistake. Anyone who knows anything at all about the state of information technology knows (or should know) that all of those possibilities are trivial to implement.
One of the advantages of firearms is that they are an equalizing force. A 90 lbs. 70 year-old can defend against a 250 lbs. muscle bound thug on PCP just as easily as a hardened Marine in most cases. They are the epitome of empowerment of the individual. Even the emancipation of the individual. Changing the function of firearms to expand the power of government to restrict them or tether the individual to the manufacturer defeats those purposes.
And I will not submit.
I will stick with firearms that can last a least a few generations. It is partly why I favor metal guns over dishwasher safe Tupperware. And it is why I will favor guns that will always function without circuitry of any kind. Not that I eschew the technology completely, but it should be easily removable by the empowered, emancipated individual without any kind of permission required or any other roadblocks.
In North Carolina we have an antiquated, Jim Crow era Pistol Purchase Permit that only 2 or 3 other states have. It is required to get one even for private sales of handguns. So we essentially do have UBCs for handguns, at least.
We are in the process, via House Bill 562, of trying to get this repealed, and are, once again, just like two years ago, facing opposition from our anti-liberty, pro-tyranny (as ‘discretion’ is the very definition of tyranny: the Rule of Men vs. the Rule of Law) NC Sheriffs’ Association. And Bloomberg is spending his millions under the auspices of the demanding mommies.
But what was interesting is that, through a few phone calls to DAs and court clerks, it’s been discovered that selling a pistol in a private sale without a PPP (or a Concealed Handgun Permit, which suffices according to statute as well) isn’t something that is ever used in any prosecution. I.e.: it is never enforced and is likely ignored by most private sellers and buyers.
Technically, the seller is not even required to take possession of the PPP or ask to see the CHP. And even if you do, you can put it in the circular file or shred it and not be in violation of the law. And the way the law is written, even an FFL dealer is not required to take possession of the PPP, though you’d be hard pressed to find one that wouldn’t. Both the CHP and PPP are good for five years. And therein lies the problem for our sheriffs: they can issue a PPP and a year later, the recipient could commit a crime that makes him ‘prohibited person’. Yet he can go buy a gun without a background check *at an FFL*, because the NICS check was already done. There is a mechanism for the CHP to be revoked, but not the PPP.
Now, mind you, I’m not in support of the requirement for a PPP, CHP, or even a NICS check. They are all useless and infringements on the human right to keep and bear arms. But my point is that the PPP, NC’s UBC for handguns, is largely ignored by buyers and sellers.
But we’re still pikers compared to the guys and gals in WA. They’ve stared down Leviathan and caused him to blink. We’re unlikely to face the degree of state-level tyranny they do now in WA. At least not in the near term. I pray that if we ever do, there will be enough brave souls to stand against it as they have.
As us techies say in the field of computers, the protocols underlying the internet were designed to detect censorship and to route around it.
Free thinking people have a similar constitution. We detect problematic public policy imposed by the greedy, power mad collectivists and we route around it.
Though Zero and his Odramabots (aka Democrats, aka ‘progressives’, aka communists, aka all-around jackasses — hey, don’t look at me, they picked their own mascot) have succeeded in forcing socialized medicine down our throats (policy-wise, at least for the time being), they will not corral us into their bureaucratic nightmare without a fight.
Yeah, the VA is such a success story for socialized medicine. Too bad dozens of dead veterans is harshing that mellow, now isn’t it.
I will admit that the passage of the (un)Affordable Care Act is having one (but only one) positive outcome. And that is the destruction of the status quo and the rise of something better. Even the notoriously left-wing Washington Post has noticed. Note the clueless critiques from many of the commenters. Sean Parnell of The Self-Pay Patient blog has some good debunking of the promoters of the bureaucracy here.
I told at least a few government supremacists on Facebook and elsewhere that we would destroy this intolerable act by any means necessary. Defund, Dismantle, Destroy, Defy, and hopefully, eventually Repeal. Right now, we are in the Destroy phase. More power to thesemedicalcostsharingprograms, and any others that I have missed. The unintended consequence of the rise of these options, it is hoped, is that it will financially bankrupt the morally bankrupt system of the ACA.
One day when I eventually leave my current job, I will likely sign up and tell my new employer that if he likes his benefit package, he can keep it.
I’ll keep my own money, at least for the most part, and pay for the coverage I want. I won’t being paying hiked up premiums (I am unmarried, with no kids, and have a higher than average income, so I ain’t gettin’ any subsidies), contributing to your subsidies, or paying any penalties.
So pay for your own abortions, sex-changes, and birth control, you little twit.
Object lesson: Never, NEVER, take off your eye protection while shooting, especially in an indoor range. I didn’t, but if for some stupid reason I had, it’s only about two inches above my eyes.
I could have SO much fun with this.
Anyone got a bandaid with a picture of a bullet hole on it?
I shot myself in the head!
Take a hacksaw to a bullet and glue the rear half to a bandaid so it looks like it’s half inside the hole in my head. “NO, Don’t pull it out! It’s holding my brains in!”
Fun aside, be safe out there, folks. This hurt like hell. Blood all over the place, as with any head injury. Nasty welt and it’s still a little sore (happened around 7:00pm last night). Thought it might turn black and blue, today, but it hasn’t. Still swollen, though. Thankfully far enough from the eyes that I didn’t get a black eye. No stitches required, just a butterfly bandage. It was a ricochet off the back stop of the range. This was a .38 special round. Glad I wasn’t shooting .357 Magnum out of my Ruger Security Six at the time.
Really had crappy luck last night. To top it off, after dinner I headed home and not more than half a mile from the restaurant, got rear ended. Actually, it was a three car collision. Lucky for me, I was the car in front of the stack and got jostled a bit but no injuries and nothing but scuff marks on the rear bumper of my BMW. Middle car (a subcompact) not so lucky getting squished at both ends, and the passenger needed a ride in an ambulance to the hospital. No apparent blood or broken bones, but she was crying about abdominal pain. Woman who hit the guy who hit me was driving a big-ass 1980 Buick. Hood, front grill, and probably radiator, fan and fan belt damage. She was the one cited, of course. Good, because she let slip that she was talking on the phone when it happened. Lived here forever, but didn’t know where the hell she was and she wasn’t even far from home. Hmmph. People.
Stay Dangerous, My Friends. (To others, not yourself!)
Ever hear the lie that “nobody wants to take your guns”? Well, for anyone who says that, calmly refer them to this Guns Saves Lives article from last year and this one from David L. Burkhead. The first one has some dead Youtube links, but the descriptions remain. The second one is updated whenever someone for ‘reasonableguncommonsafetysense’ lets the cat out of the bag.
Sometimes the only sane answer to a request to start dialogue or have a conversation about guns is, “No!” For the past 100+ years, every single time we have agreed to compromise on guns, it has meant that the enemies of liberty will agree to take just a wee bit less of our liberty than they originally intended. This time.
No. I do not want to have a conversation about guns. I only want to threaten legislators with the loss of their seats if they dare infringe any further on the right to keep and bear arms. I will also remind them that if they should not heed my warning, then I, along with vast numbers of others, will defy their new orders thereby destroying their legitimacy in the process (“just powers” come from the “consent of the government” — if I have to cite the source, we have other problems). As has been done in both Connecticut and New York.
If the “90% of gun owners are in favor of universal background checks” claim were not a lie, their side would not be requesting a “dialogue”. They would be drafting laws that would pass with barely any resistance. No. We do not need to engage them. We only need to smack them down in the legislatures. We need to send them home to weep that they are the tiniest of tiny minorities
Say it loudly, and say it often. No. They need to convince us. And they won’t ever convince us. There is no cost to us to cut off conversations early and just say, “No!” Tell them to go away and cry themselves to sleep that they are one of a tiny, tiny minority, with nothing to offer a free people other than to put them in chains.
Herschel Smith of Captian’s Journal has post up regarding a typically wishy-washy NRA board member who thinks the ‘rhetoric’ at pro-gun rallies is getting a bit too much.
In it, he explains what many government supremacists will never understand. And that it is that they can go ahead and attempt to repeal the 2nd Amendment, because as much as they try to lie about it, that is, in fact, what they want. But, although it would most certainly affect the life of the Free Man on a day-to-day basis, it does not, in fact, affect what my rights are in the slightest.
Government does not administer rights. The only proper role of government is to protected pre-existing rights.
Here is what Herschel says:
I have weapons because God gives me the right to own weapons, not the second amendment. The opinions of the people are as subject to the vicissitudes of ideology as the times in which they live, and the mind of man cannot be entrusted with the rights of mankind. If Mr. King is placing his trust in the people, he is building his house on sand.
My rights are what they are by divine pronouncement. It is righteous to own guns because it reflects the character of the Almighty. Without this I’m no different than the statist thugs and collectivists who want to disarm me, except we happen to be on different sides of an issue. It means everything … everything … to be right and righteous.
“It is righteous to own guns because it reflects the character of the Almighty.” That ought to put a wad in some people’s panties. As it should.
[Trying to get out of the habit of putting stuff like this on Facebook and instead putting it here and letting the WP plugin put it on Facebook. Maybe my posting will be regular if I commit to that. No promises, yet, but I’m going to try to pay attention to this blog more.]
Recently, I found this pamphlet posted on a bulletin board:
It was behind a glass cover, so I couldn’t covertly remove it to read it. So, when back at a computer, I fired up search engine to see if I could find out at least where it came from and, if I got lucky, the full contents of the pamphlet.
Well, I stopped my search early after finding this article from about a year ago on Parents magazine website with the presumptuous title of A Pediatrician’s Role in the Gun Debate as if any pediatrician has any legitimate role in the gun debate beyond that of any other citizen. (I’ll go further with a Rand quote: “A gun is not an argument.” In other words, there is no debate to have at all. The answer is quite simply, “No.”)
David Codrea has publicized how one enterprising former sheriff addressed the problem of doctors, any doctors, claiming to have training above and beyond the medical and into the “safety” and particularly “gun safety” realm with this Firearms Malpractice Form. It is something which I would recommend every gun owner carry with him to appointments with doctors they haven’t seen before or, in this day in age with the new, horrid requirements of health control, to appointments with any and all doctors.
It’s clear from the comments on the aforementioned Parents article, as well as the article itself, that many so-called safety advocates don’t quite get the objection to having a doctor ask a patient about guns. One went as far as saying, “A doctor’s job is to help keep your child alive by keeping them healthy and safe.”
Let me be clear: The doctor’s job is what I hire him to do. And that is to advise me on strictly medical issues. Notwithstanding wannabee pseudo-scientific, tyrant enablers and modern day Typhoid Marys of today like Dr. Garen Wintemute , guns are not a public health issue. Nor are guns a private health issue. I don’t go to my auto mechanic for advice on gardening. What the vile citizen disarmament advocates have done for a few decades, now, is try reframe the debate over and and over again by changing names of their organizations, and how they try to sell their tyrannical collectivism. This is exactly what Wintemute acknowledges in a paper he co-authored in the Annals of Internal Medicine just last year by referencing former editor of Annals, Dr. Frank Davidoff who called on readers to ‘reframe gun violence as a medical issue.’ One is inclined to ask, why do you need to reframe anything at all, if you’re not trying to manipulate the conversation? Why is reframing necessary, unless you are trying to pedal something that is simply not true.
It all comes down to where the training, skills, and experience of those in medical profession are bounded. Professionally speaking, of course. I’m perfectly willing to listen to a doctor explain to me the details of the damage to flesh and bone I could expect to see from a small, rounded metal object a bit short of one half inch in diameter, propelled at 800ft/s and entering and remaining inside me or exiting out another hole it makes in my body. I am not, however, willing to grant him any deference in discussing what guns I might own, that I keep in my house, or in what state I keep them in nor the ammunition that goes with them. That is something I will only discuss with a true firearms safety instructor, such as the many produced, through training, by the NRA. Or maybe I’ll discuss it with other trusted individuals whom I deem knowledgeable in the area of self defense, safe carriage, safe handling, child education issues (including child curiosity, and ways to mitigate it). If, that is, I discuss it with anyone at all.
I know several individuals who grew up in homes where guns were not only kept in the house, but kept either loaded or with the ammunition very close at hand. They were also not locked in a safe. A recommended approach is twofold. First, start education young. If at all possible, do not ever refuse to engage in a little education and training regarding firearms any time the child asks. One of the key goals here is to kill the mystery and curiosity of guns. You want to make guns literally boring to the child. For more excellent information on kids and guns, Kathy Jackson of The Cornered Cat has written some excellent pieces and it’s worth your time to peruse her site and read her book.
Second, or really just a subset of the first, is to ensure there is seriousness embedded in training the child. If necessary, embed a literal fear of punishment for even touching the firearms without permission. (I’m not even touching the issue of what that punishment should be. But whatever severity you decide as a parent is necessary for any infractions, the severity of this should be at or near the highest on your list.) Be sure to include the rare, but possible necessary exception of using the gun for what it is intended: defense, when age appropriate (as you determine, not any kind of doctor). Take this case of Kendra St. Clair:
Now, Ms. St. Clair, by her own admission, had never fired a gun before. That is something I hope her mom will remedy, now, and take her to the range and teach her all she needs to know about safe firearm handling and self defense. It is fortunate that the correct individual wound up with a hole through his body. Proper training will increase the odds of a similar result if, God forbid, anything like that happens to her again. It’s also not clear whether or not the gun was locked up, as neither Kendra nor her mom say. She did call her mom first and it was then that her mom actually told her to get the gun. But that may not always be possible.
I do my best to stay out of doctors’ offices. And with the current regime in the District of Criminals (who bring absolute truth to that slur), I’m going to make every effort to continue along those lines. But should I ever set foot in a doctor’s office again, I will be armed with the Firearms Malpractice Form stuffed in my pocket and prepared to politely ignore any inquiry regarding firearms and simply say, “So. Are we going to talk about my health? Or was I mistaken in thinking I would find a doctor here?”
In other words, to any doctor who would attempt to venture outside the boundaries I dictate while I request his professional advice, whether for myself or any dependents I may have, I have drawn my line in the sand. And you can go pound same.
To answer the title of article titled A Pediatrician’s Role in the Gun Debate is easy: None.