Some students in a Plano, Texas school want to take a technological approach to stopping mass shootings.
Boy-howdy it’s a bad idea.
You’ve heard of smart phones, smart cars and even smart homes.
Now, a group of Collin County teens are developing a new high-tech device: A smart gun.
After the Las Vegas concert massacre, the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and numerous guns brought on local campuses, the group of students said enough’s enough and developed what they hope will be a solution.
“It’s fear stimulating and in my group we were like, we can’t deal with this, we have to do something about it,” said Salwa Shahid, a junior at Plano West High School.
My problem with smart guns is this, eventually they will be made mandatory. New Jersey has the Childproof Handgun Law which bans all non-smart handguns three years after smart guns become “available for retail sale.” That may be too difficult to pass in other states, or at the Federal level, but New York has tried to push a law that would require gun owners to carry a $1 Million liability insurance policy as a prerequisite for gun ownership. I can see mandatory insurance on non-smart guns being used to make non-smart gun ownership prohibitively expensive.
Then there are all sorts of regulatory runarounds when it comes to mandating safety technology. Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell wants all new cars to come with BAC ignition interlocks so you have to pass a breathalyzer to turn on your car. “If it only saves one life.” Seriously.
Imagine what legislators could do to lock you out of your smart gun.
The Secure Gun is a modified Nerf gun.
A camera on the front uses artificial intelligence to detect if a gun is pointed at a person, crowd, animal or target.
If aimed at a person or crowd, the gun limits the amount of times you can pull the trigger.
Just how good is that AI? Can it tell a human from a Defense Criminal Investigative Service B-60 Target or a B-21 Qualification Target?
What is it’s rate of false positives, i.e., it thinks it’s looking at a person but it’s not?
How far away is the AI accurate?
Can it tell a good guy from a bad guy?
Also, for bad guys, how easy is it to override this technology. Can I just hang a picture of a target over the camera and make the AI think I’m shooting at paper? So the bad guy who wants to break the law can disable the safety, but the law abiding citizen can’t (because, disabling the safety will be illegal).
I don’t know but I don’t trust it.
“You still are allowed to do one bullet every 20 seconds so you still are allowed to use self-defense so it’s still going to work,” said Shahid.
Because good guys never miss. Because bad guys always go down with a first shot hit. Because there are never multiple attackers.
GPS on the gun would create geo-fences, stopping it from firing in certain locations like schools and churches.
Because things like the good guy who stopped the Sutherland Springs Church Shooting or the woman who stopped the church shooting in Colorado Springs never happen and there is no reason for a good guy to be at a church with a gun.
“We realize that this will offend some people but the thing is you have to have compromise … you have to have a compromise in order to have the better of humanity,” said Hanzala Rehan, a senior at Plano West High School.
There is no compromise on this. I am not letting anyone, other than myself, have the ability to control if the gun goes bang when I want it to.
The Secure Gun, they say, would be built into new guns and a version would be made to be retrofitted onto existing guns.
The prototype and any implementation – they know – has a long way to go.
But their sites are set on turning the tricked-out toy into in a solution to a serious problem.
The Secure Gun placed in the top five at a competition with innovations from 45 countries.
A patent for the device is pending.
And so it is on the path to becoming the next mandatory safety device imposed on us.
Anti-gun politicians can say:
“See, you still have your gun rights, we’re just limiting how fast you can shoot, what you can shoot at, where you can shoot, how many rounds your gun holds, and we can turn it off remotely. But we’re not taking your guns away.”
This is just awful.
There is only one upside to this that I can think of. Between a gun that limited to one shot every 20 seconds and a magazine capacity of 5 to 10 rounds, by other laws, I might have a decent chance of taking on Rob Letham or Travis Tomasie in a match if I just practice my reloads. It’s a much more level laying field.