EDITORIAL: SMART GUNS COULD SATISFY BOTH SIDES IN BATTLE
Is there any benefit to bringing logic to a gun fight?
Logic is the weapon of choice wielded by Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut in its efforts to persuade gun manufacturers to embrace the development of smart guns.
Rather than lobby for police to purchase smart guns, CONECT is trying to convince departments to order weapons only from firms committed to the development of this technology, thus steering the marketplace.
They are part of a bigger movement by the national alliance Metro Industrial Areas Foundation. These faith-based groups seem to have accepted that the National Rifle Association and police unions are too formidable.
It’s hard to blame them. The NRA is clearly more powerful than Congress, which prefers blood money over reasonable legislation such as universal background checks and a national ban on military-style assault weapons. We get it: Rock crushes scissors; scissors cuts paper; paper covers rock and cash beats lives every time.
The only way to defeat cash is with cash.
So, we ask gun lobbyists and the NRA to consider a persuasive rationalization from deep in the quiver of reasons to promote smart gun technology: It can put more money in your pockets.
Smart guns, which require the owner’s fingerprints or a linked device such as a watch or ring, are not ready for prime time. That doesn’t mean the development of guns should remain stunted. It took a while for the world to accept electricity and refrigeration. It wasn’t long ago that cell phones and electric cars were a punchline.
Create a better smart gun and the market will likely draw consumers who would otherwise never consider purchasing a gun. It syncs up with the NRA’s position that such change should be dictated by market demand.
In fairness to the NRA, it has held the position that it is not opposed to smart guns, only any legislated mandate of their use. So, the workaround is for users, especially police, to want them.
Smart guns are not the only solution to gun safety, but hold the potential to greatly reduce accidental deaths and curtail the use of stolen weapons.
The state of Connecticut, as well as many of its individual municipalities, have joined the effort to lean on gun manufacturers to develop smart-gun technology. Among those towns is Newtown. Smart guns could not have prevented many American massacres, but it remains a possibility that Adam Lanza may not have killed children and their educators with his mother’s weapons if the devices wouldn’t work in his hands.
Representatives of gun manufacturers directed Connecticut members of the ad hoc group Do Not Stand Idly to consult with the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation. The foundation reportedly declined to meet, and did not respond to a Hearst reporter’s request for comment.
We are not surprised they flinch in the face of discourse. In this unceasing gun fight, words may be an even more potent ammunition than cash.