Are you going to tell them, John, or should I?

Rabid advocate of citizen disarmament John Rosenthal–founder of Stop Handgun Violence, and one-time founding member of the supposedly “pro-gun” (Ha!) American Hunters and Shooters Association (which Paul Helmke himself has said the Brady Bunch sees as an ally)–has some advice to the “Lightworker” for reducing “gun violence.”

None of the seven ideas are new–they’re the kinds of things the citizen disarmament zealots have been pushing for years. I did notice, however, something interesting about the last one (emphasis mine):

#7 Create incentives for the gun industry to make “personalized guns”

According to gun maker Smith and Wesson, guns could be made with personal recognition technology such that only the intended user could fire the gun. This practical technological solution would save the lives of countless victims of gun violence, accidents and suicides each year. It could also help save the lives of the 17% of police officers killed in the line of duty by a criminal accessing the officer’s gun. In fact, in an agreement with the Clinton administration, Smith and Wesson promised to invest a portion of net profits into “personalized gun technology”.

Funny you should bring that up, John. Funny, because the one state (to my knowledge) that has passed such a law, pending availability of the technology, is New Jersey–and guess who will be exempt from the requirement to use the “smart guns.” Yep–New Jersey’s finest will be the “Only Ones” exempt from being required to use the technology that Rosenthal touts as being desirable because it will make police work safer.

Why is that, do you suppose? I don’t follow New Jersey politics very closely (I have enough headaches here at home in Illinois, thank you very much), but my guess is that to ensure passage of the legislation, those pushing it sought the endorsement of police groups, and said groups would only provide that endorsement on the condition of the exemption. Well, why is that, one might ask?

Because police officers are unwilling to needlessly trust their lives to complex, failure-prone technology (not to mention the added failure point of batteries). The folks in charge of police department budgets might also have been less than enthusiastic about the certainty of dramatically more expensive service firearms.

Rather than point out that those of us who are not “Only Ones” have exactly the same concerns, I’m curious about whether or not Rosenthal has run this idea past the usual police allies of the citizen disarmament movement–the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), for example.

Normally, whenever The Enemy perceives a need to illustrate how they’re “on the side of the police,” while “the gun lobby” (that would be you and me) isn’t, they drag out groups like the two mentioned above, who dutifully chirp their agreement. My guess is that this time, it might be a harder sell.

Maybe those groups should become the “Only Ones” switching sides enough.


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