Monday, April 28, 2014

The gun lobby's smart-gun FUD

FUD: fear, uncertainty and doubt. That's what the gun lobby is peddling to dissuade the marketing of smart guns.

Smart guns would tie the ability to fire a weapon to its owner. That, to me, certainly sounds like a decent compromise between the right to own a firearm and the right of the rest of us to be safe from that gun.

Yet here's the gun lobby's argument:

Firearms manufacturers and gun rights groups say the technology could malfunction and cause a weapon not to fire when someone needed it to work.
Um, yeah. And guns never misfire today.

(That was sarcasm, in case that wasn't clear.)

Cigarette manufacturers peddled rhetoric of similarly low quality when warnings of cigarettes' health risks surfaced decades ago. Big business is wont to throw off all restraint when its business model is threatened.

Here's what traditional gun manufacturers really worry about:

The National Rifle Association, in an article published on the blog of its political arm, wrote that “smart guns,” a term it mocks as a misnomer, have the potential “to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”
That argument plays into the fears of Second Amendment absolutists, too, who have talked themselves into a paroxysm of paranoia that the government is coming for their guns.

The truth, by the way, is that the more these absolutists go batty in their "defense" of their right to bear arms, the less the rest of us trust gun owners as a whole. Truly responsible gun owners have to embrace reasonable measures in order to keep more extreme anti-gun policies from gaining traction. But first, they have to throw off the suffocating embrace of the N.R.A. and similarly radical gun-rights groups that purport to represent all gun owners.

I can live (I hope) with only some guns being "smart", but I sure as hell don't see why none of them can be. The radical gun lobby is fucking over the entire country with its selfish and irrational zealotry. Are you a responsible gun owner? Then repudiate the kind of mindlessness that opposition to smart guns embodies.

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