A Failure to make firearms safer

The only thing more tragic than the killing of the Weymouth police officer and a bye stander by a high or deranged suspect with the police officer’s handgun this past weekend is the fact the these deaths could have been prevented by “smart gun technology” if the commonwealth required police departments to use this technology for on duty weapons.  When will legislature at least require a trial of these smarter weapons?

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3 Comments

  1. Dan,

    Police departments reject “smart gun technology” for a variety of reasons.

    First, it doesn’t really exist in a meaningful way. The only example that’s made it to market was a .22LR pistol that was only suitable for target shooting (and even then, not really). If you don’t understand the difference between a .22LR and the typical 9mm or .40SW round police usually use, I’d be happy to explain.

    Most importantly, the type of mechanisms used will significantly decrease the reliability of the firearm. You need to look at the net benefit of the technology and will it result in another officer being shot when it fails.

    The suspect in this tragedy was well known to police. In the last year or so, we’ve had a couple of similar incidents in the state where an individual well known to police has killed an officer. The one on the Cape a few months ago even had firearm charges against him. Why aren’t we looking into the systemic failure there?

  2. The reason why there’s no reliable smart-gun technology on the U.S. market that doesn’t force police officers to trade reliability for security is because every time one of the gun manufacturers starts trying to invest money in researching such technology, they are pilloried by the right-wing media and accused of selling out to the gun-control movement. Ref: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/smart-guns-60-minutes-lesley-stahl/

    No, it’s not rational, at all, but there is very little rational about the right’s opposition to reasonable gun safety measures that are supported by a large majority of the population.

    1. The reason the right wing media objected to smart gun technology was due to a law in New Jersey.

      The New Jersey law was written such that as soon as a “smart gun” was on the market, all other handguns were banned in that state. That law was, at best, incredibly naive as to that type of technology.

      Beyond that, if you were a police officer, would you trust your life to anything like RFID or fingerprint reading technology that requires a battery? Would you trust that technology coming from companies with exactly zero experience in that area?

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