Monthly Archives: August 2016

Another Attempt at Smart “Guns”

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:
  1. Keep the government’s grubby mitts off it.
  2. 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.
  3. It can be set to a failure mode (dead battery, etc.) of FIRE and not SAFE.
  4. 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.
  5. Be economical.
  6. 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.
Stay Dangerous, My Friends.