Smart gun owners don’t need smart guns


There’s an alarming trend that seems to have been born somewhere deep within the bowels of the People’s Democratic Republic of California – a dangerous groupthink that is slowly moving east.

It’s a mistaken belief that somehow a few bits of vastly-overpriced technology packed into Youmindisyourprimaryweapongrip of a pistol and a corresponding piece of jewelry will somehow make us all safer.

I speak of course of the so-called “smart gun,” which the Chardonnay-sipping commissars would have you believe will revolutionize the firearms industry and bring an abrupt end to all the “gun violence” that so bedevils their beloved workers’ paradise.

Though horribly flawed, the theory behind the latest smart gun incarnation is simple: The shooter wears a watch or ring that emits a low-power electronic signal, which is picked up by a receiver in the pistol. If the operator doesn’t wear the jewelry and no signal is received, the pistol will not function. Therefore, if The Bad Man bursts into your home, grabs your gun and lacks the fancy jewelry, all will be okay. He’ll hang his head in shame and show himself out, right?

The latest smart gun models are receiving high praise from those who most likely blanch at the thought of ever even touching an actual dumb gun. Who knows, maybe they will soon become the next must-have celebrity fashion accessory, replacing diamond-studded iPhone cases and small hairy purse-dogs that remind me of Muskie lures.

Despite the cacophony of pro-smart-gun propaganda, I won’t ever own one. My reason is simple: They’re dangerous, unproven junk.

I’m a firm believer in the KISS principal: Keep It Simple, Stupid – especially when it comes to personal security. The more complex the plan, the more you rely on technology, the greater the likelihood it can fail.

I’ve had the misfortune to interview survivors of actual home invasions. They all said the same thing: It happened so fast.  When The Bad Man comes bursting through your door, there likely won’t be time to strap on the special watch or slide on the electronic pinkie ring.

Even if the homeowner is able to don the jewelry, we’re talking about untested electronic tech. Things can go wrong, especially when mounted in a device that, by design, recoils hard when fired.

There are also battery concerns. I’ve got lithium in all my sights and lights. I test them religiously, yet occasionally they expire unexpectedly.

I’ve also heard the hokum that smart guns are “perfect” for law enforcement. In my humble opinion, any police chief or sheriff who even considers issuing them to their officers is ready for the rubber-gun squad. Quality security holsters and realistic weapons retention training are far better choices for increasing officer safety than any electronic doodad.

Besides, street cops are notorious for not maintaining and abusing their gear. High-tech watches and rings would get pranged daily, rendering the officers’ pistols inoperative, most likely when they’re needed most.

I plan to let the West Coast Comintern fuss and fuddle over their smart guns unmolested, at least for now, until they start talking legislation.

I don’t care much about what transpires there anyway.

I’ve always said the best thing to come out of California is Interstate 40, East.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


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  3. Anybody who believes that there is even ONE cop in this whole country who would submit to an order to carry these weapons, either on- or off-duty, is hallucinating.

  4. Actually, the ONLY Ones are adamant about being excluded from smart gun requirements. If it’s not safe for the po-po, it’s not safe for the plebes.

  5. Stark Dickflüssig on

    It obviously needs a feature that also disables the gun if a certain coded signal is broadcast, that way some half-awake yahoo won’t accidentally shoot a cop. Of course, only the police will have access to such a broadcaster. Well, the FBI, too. I guess the IRS would like a similar thing. Oh, & postal employees. EPA inspectors. Park rangers, too. Can’t leave out the OSHA inspectors. In fact, thinking about it some more, it makes even more sense to have all electronically disableable firearms disabled all the time, & y’all can just call the police to have your gun turned on if you really need it. Please be ready to provide identifying details, so we know you’re not just some criminal trying to fake us out, & let us know how many bullets you’ll be needing to fire, & have your credit card handy because there’s a nominal administrative fee to cover the cost of having an operator on duty…

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