By Dave Workman
A recent report from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) on the subject of so-called “smart guns” had some bad news for Barack Obama and the anti-gun lobbying groups that have pushed this proposed technology.
Long story short, “smart gun” technology is apparently still not ready for prime time. This much becomes evident when reading the 96-page “Review of Gun Safety Technologies” or the easier-to-digest 25-page “Baseline Specifications for Law Enforcement Service Pistols with Security Technology.”
It’s a lot of dry reading, but anyone interested in the “smart gun” discussion should take a look at both documents. The larger document actually does a real review, and it doesn’t pull punches. It notes, for example, that “palm print technology” that uses a palm as the identifier for activation rather than a fingerprint “has never been successfully integrated into a firearm authorization system.”
All of this allowed Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, to pen something of a “we told you so” blog at the organization’s website. Months after Obama had promised a big push to develop the “smart gun” technology, NSSF reminded everyone who could read that the organization had predicted the outcome of that effort.
Most interesting of all, Sanetti noted, was the lack of coverage by the mainstream press about either the review or the baseline specifications, which had lauded the president’s proposals earlier in the year.
The NSSF reminded readers that the firearms industry is not opposed to technology advances in firearms design. Industry simply opposes mandates for using such products. That’s the same position taken by gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Law enforcement doesn’t want to be guinea pigs for the research, either. Duty sidearms need to work every time, same as defensive firearms for armed citizens.
Black Rifles Matter
Speaking of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, rights activists in Washington and Oregon will want to pay attention to some data the organization publishes on its website, thanks to threats of efforts in both states to ban so-called “assault weapons” in 2017.
When anti-gunners claim that “nobody hunts with one,” hit them between the ears with the fact that modern semi-auto sporting rifles (MSRs) are chambered for such game-stopping rounds as the .308 Winchester, .450 Bushmaster, .243 WSSM, .25 WSSM and .300 OSSM.
When they talk about “high power assault rifles,” experienced hunters and shooters can laugh them off the map by comparing .223 Remington to a .30-06 Springfield or .300 Winchester Magnum.
According to NSSF, “the typical MSR owner is 35-plus years old, married and has some college education.” Sixty percent of MSR owners have more than one of these rifles, and 44 percent of the owners are “current or former military or law enforcement.”
The most common use of these rifles is recreational target shooting (89 percent), home defense (77 percent), collecting (62.8 percent) and varmint hunting (62.3 percent).
Rifles of any kind are used in only about 2.5 percent of all homicides in the United States (252 slayings out of 13,455 total murders in 2015) according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
‘Black Friday’ Was Busy
“Black Friday,” that mammoth shopping day after Thanksgiving, reportedly saw a record number of background checks processed by the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS).
Business Insider said 185,713 NICS checks were conducted, about 400 more than the system recorded on Black Friday in 2015. This may have come as a surprise to pundits and anti-gunners who had expected things to slow down because Donald Trump won the election. A Hillary Clinton victory might have caused even more people to require checks.
As we’ve previously reported, a background check does not necessarily mean a firearms transaction occurred. But that many NICS checks is a pretty good indication that Americans are buying more guns and applying for more carry permits and licenses.
However, Business Insider also reported that Sturm, Ruger and Smith & Wesson — two companies that are publicly traded — showed a stock slowdown starting the day after the election. On the other hand, the same story said Sturm, Ruger reported in its third-quarter earnings statement that “demand for guns was stronger than usual during the summer, likely driven by election-related rhetoric.”
That rhetoric was being credited for bringing out the gun vote in November.
Big Fight Brewing Over Nat’l CCW Reciprocity
Just because Donald Trump is headed to the White House and Congress is controlled by gun-friendly Republicans doesn’t mean anti-gunners have hoisted the white flag.
The Wall Street Journal recently noted that Peter Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions — the Gabby Giffords – Mark Kelly gun control group — is promising to fight national concealed carry reciprocity legislation “tooth and nail.” Trump suggested during his campaign that concealed carry permits and licenses should be honored in all states.
Some estimates on the number of licensed armed citizens go as high as 14.5 million, and that figure keeps rising.
Connecticut Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal told the newspaper that national reciprocity will be “dead on arrival” in the U.S. Senate. He complained that such legislation would allow “people that have permits from states with the weakest standards possible to carry [weapons] in the streets of any U.S. city,” the newspaper said.
Yeah, but criminals with absolutely no standards at all do that already.
Don’t Wear Shades To A Midnight Robbery
Wearing sunglasses into an Orange Park, Florida convenience store in the midnight hours turned out to be a dead giveaway in the morbid sense for a would-be robber identified in news reports as William Kyle Smith.
A clerk in the store told authorities that he was “suspicious” after the guy strolled into the Prime Stop Food Store wearing shades. This was in the middle of the night. So, when the robber pulled a gun, the unidentified clerk — who just happens to be licensed to carry — pulled his own piece and fired, according to WOKV News.
Surprisingly, the dead man’s family didn’t hold any animosity toward the clerk. They said Smith was addicted to drugs, and his sister reportedly acknowledged that if he hadn’t died in the robbery, he would have “ended up killing himself on drugs.”
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