“Is it Time to Put Chips in Guns?” semiconductor market industry analyst Jim Handy asks in a Tuesday report for Forbes. “There is an idea for a semiconductor application that has been kicked around for years, but has not yet found its market. It’s the notion of using RFID chips to prevent guns from being used by anyone except their owners.”
That subject has been frequently discussed in this column, including an inevitable feature reported on last July about a geo-location system that can not only track guns, but allow them to be shut off by authorities, itself a feature this columnist predicted as inevitable in a Guns and Ammo magazine article written in 2002. But the Forbes piece goes on to highlight another development gun owners and liberty activists will find equally as ominous and offensive: Surgical implantation of a chip in a user’s hand, eliminating the need for activating rings or bracelets.
“I have been working on smart guns for the last few years and there is a demo of a smart gun operated by an implanted RFID chip on our website,” Robert NcNamara of TriggerSmart posted in comments under the Forbes story, providing a link to the video embedded above. “The implant issue is a controversial one in the USA. I can understand the chip floating around under the skin of a dog but this would not be a problem with human implanted chips. Also the chips are so small now that they could be injected under the skin in a few seconds.”
The video itself quickly proves ridiculous to anyone who knows anything about guns and especially about objections to the so-called “smart” ones. The opening scenario, where a law enforcement agent obliviously turns his back on a suspect, who then promptly executes a takeaway from a holster not designed for retention, may make for clumsily-executed drama. Still, it hardly reflects how anyone who has a brain in his head, let alone even the most basic of training, would behave in a detention situation with someone you have reason to believe is a criminal.
Granted, officer deaths with their own weapons prompted an initial $620,000 National Institute of Justice grant to Sandia National Laboratories back in 1995. Predictably though, tentative laws mandating “smart guns” when the technology "becomes available" exempt the police, who aren’t about to entrust their lives to a mechanism that, by design, interferes with the performance of their service weapon. They, like most of us, have experienced pointing a remote at a television or garage door and having nothing happen.
"If a weapon is taken from an officer, I personally believe it is primarily a training issue,” impressively-credentialed trainer Ken Goode told me in a 2002 interview. “Most folks seem to try and solve most tactical problems through some sort of hardware improvement without looking at the core system. The human operator should be the primary system to be improved upon. Many departments are dangerously low in their delivery of ongoing advanced officer training. If an officer cannot be trusted to deploy and keep his or her weapon, please don't give them one in the first place!”
In the implausible TriggerSmart video with the MIB agent getting so thoroughly owned, J is lucky he has K around, because even if his gun was disabled so the perp couldn’t fire it, he no longer has a weapon, and the big guy with the arm tats looks like he could eat the little suit’s face.
The video only gets better, if by better I mean unwittingly hilarious.
Enter the narrator (Pajama Boy sans onesie and hot chocolate?), to breathlessly gush about what just went down, and to set the stage for “interviews” with TriggerSmart’s Patrick O' Shaughnessy and Joe Dowling of Georgia Tech, who came up with a device that looks like it would take mere minutes to remove to once more have a non-disabled firearm. Plus that would get rid of that sharp-edged, boxy protrusion the device creates on the handle that looks like it could cause a whole new set of problems and snags for both concealment and smooth, rapid deployment. Just as PB's finger on the trigger could cause safety issues of it's own.
Option one to activate the electrically-brought-to-life Frankengun is a monstrous black ring, something sure to mark who is armed if this ever catches on and interested parties know what to look for. As with all such non-solutions, it renders the ability to pass the gun off to a trusted partner moot, as well as leaves the ring-bearer defenseless if a wound is sustained necessitating weak-hand shooting. And, as Mr. Goode, who presumably knows more about tactical situations than Robert, Patrick, Joe and PB combined observed, “Most tactical folks remove rings due to the propensity to rip fingers off if you slip and attempt to regain your balance and get hung up by the ring. I have read numerous articles detailing this hazard.”
Besides, rings -- and fingers -- can be removed, isn't that right, Precious?
Now it’s time to try out the device, and Pat and PB head to the range with a test rifle. PB tries it without the ring and it does not work. Pat tries it with the ring and it fires. A triumph of technology...?
That the TriggerSmart can screw up a perfectly good firearm was never in dispute.
Now it’s PB’s turn with the ring, and he quickly proves a device is never a substitute for knowing what the hell you’re doing as he picks the gun up WITH HIS FINGER FIRMLY WRAPPED AROUND THE TRIGGER, and leaves it there after he fires, turns his head away from the target and puts it down. Pat, for his part, does not cuss at him and throw him off the range. Sorry, but the thought of PB having a negligent discharge while wearing his “Hercules” ring is almost funny.
What’s not funny is the “$150 to $200” additional cost Pat estimates his gizmo would add to the price of a gun. So much for people of limited means being “safe,” but then again, if these abominations are ever mandated, it will be with the intent of disarming them anyway.
It’s “a small price to pay,” PB solemnly assures us, while graphics exploiting the memory of Newtown and beseeching Obama for more “gun control” flash across the screen. Indeed, Obama’s “support for smart gun technology” is actually used as a selling point, as he brags about how TriggerSmart was “extended an invitation to the White House.”
“But what if the ring gets stolen?” PB asks, setting us up for the end game. That’s easy: “Subdermal RFID implants,” and Pat has shown us just how painless that is by letting some guy who looks like a mechanic and isn’t wearing a face mask operate on him on a workshop bench.
Then it’s back to the firing line, where the field test works flawlessly, with RoboPat squeezing off a shot while PB grimaces and holds his arms up looking like he’s been frightened by a mouse or something (seriously, what guy reacts that way at the range?).
“There it is, you’ve got part of a working gun implanted in your hand,” PB declares in awe.
“For the everyday person, it’s a personal choice,” Pat explains.
Who believes for a second those intent on mandating disarmament edicts have any intent of making anything about gun ownership a matter of personal choice? Certainly not Eric Holder, who TriggerSmart’s Robert McNamara proudly posed with. Then again, coming from a company that publicizes Obama’s “executive actions” on guns and that stands to make money on their patented device, I’m not so sure about them, either.
And who believes for a second that any of this nonsense will have any impact whatsoever on the choices of the violent criminals we’re being told this has been designed to frustrate and thwart?
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When your turn to be tested comes, how will you fare? Wouldn’t it be better to stop the antis before they get that far? How can we, if most gun owners let a relative handful of activists do all the work? The latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "The Unconstitutional State.”