With all of this talk about Obama pushing for more expansion on smart guns I am surprised to see very little reflection on Colt’s attempt in the 90’s, which was recently covered by NPR.
Donald Zilkha, an investment banker who was not a gun owner, bought the company in the 90’s. He had a plan to lead Colt into being the first company to producing smart guns.
While the technology and reliability was the big concern, the engineers at Colt felt they could tackle that challenge.
However, the biggest problem was one that Zilkha admits that he had not considered. “I hadn’t totally fully understood the culture.” He found out that many gun owners were skeptical of a gun that required technology to work in a life or death situation. To overcome this and to reach everyone else, Zilkha planned to demonstrate the technology for the Wall Street Journal. The tech used was a bracelet that used a radio frequency from a wristband that the shooter must wear.
Then the second problem occured at the demostration- the gun did not fire when it should have. It made the front page of the WSJ, and the smart gun from Colt was dropped. Since then no big gun company has produced smart guns, at least not effectively.
So there is a history of unreliability and not big market for such a product. Manufacturers and dealers should not be forced to supply something, especially when their is no demand. I don’t care if people want smart guns for their home. That’s your freedom to make that decision. However, I, as well as millions of others, do not want smart guns in our houses. It’s the same reason as to why I do not want a low quality gun, I prefer to own something reliable.
So the next time you see someone wanting smart guns just remember that it is their choice to want one, but it is not anyone’s choice what you should own.
Have a nice day, everybody.