Smart Guns, Stupid People

Nearly 800 children under 14 were killed in gun accidents from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one in five injury-related deaths in children and adolescents involve firearms.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, homicides, suicides and accidents involving guns cause twice as many deaths in young people as cancer, five times as many as heart disease and 15 times as many as infections.

And that’s just young people.

So it makes no sense at all that the NRA and the rabid pro-gun lobby have violently opposed sales of the so-called “Smart gun.” The gun requires that the shooter–presumably the owner of the weapon–be wearing a wristband. Otherwise, it won’t fire.

Mind you, no one is suggesting that the Smart Gun be mandated. It would simply join the wide array of lethal weapons available to buyers in our not-so-civilized country. Yet gun shop owners who have offered them have gotten massive blowback–including death threats–from self-styled “Second Amendment” purists.

Critics argue that the need to “find a wristband, maybe in the middle of the night” would be too cumbersome in the event of a home break-in. Of course, current safety precautions–some a matter of local law–require keeping guns in a locked box, or even disassembled. Surely the time required to re-assemble a gun, or unlock a box, is equivalent to the time needed to find a wristband.

For that matter, paranoid folks can SLEEP in the damn things.

This hysteria over technology that can make their precious firearms safer is just one more bit of evidence of the mindlessness of today’s gun lobby.

If survey research is to be believed, this craziness isn’t representative of the hunters and sportsmen who make up the bulk of NRA membership. If that’s the case, it’s past time responsible gun owners took back the organization from the wacko fringe.

Giving people the ability to CHOOSE to purchase a safer gun is not a violation of even the paranoid version of the Second Amendment.


  1. The NRA is now a lobbying group for the gun industry. It does not represent people but corporations instead.

  2. The GOP has too many people in this country convinced that President Obama – or his cohorts – will show up at their door to confiscate their guns and ammunition. I have spoken to my few gun owning friends who are actually intelligent people but believe this nonsense. Researching several web sites to disprove the accusations are ignored; they prefer to believe the social media rants and misconceptions. Look at Joe the Plumber; he has many loyal followers who believe his version of the 2nd Amendment overrides the lives of children and other innocent victims. This country is on a witch hunt; and these hunters are armed with President Obama in their crosshairs.

  3. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of innocents and bystanders.

  4. Not certain that i understand the comment from JB. Are you saying to be free, some innocents and bystanders must be sacrificed?

    Sheila, I agree with your thoughtful comments. I love your blog and your common sense approach to today’s issues. The NRA has become a lobbying group for gun manufacturers and they have done an excellent job of convincing gun owners that the federal government will soon be knocking at their doors (in the middle of the night to confiscate their weapons!

    Finally, many of our amendments have been re-examined and clarified over time, why can’t this happen with the 2nd amendment as well.

  5. Mary Kay: I’m pretty sure JB was making a sarcastic comment based on the old Jeffersonian quotation about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.

  6. Sometimes sarcasm and dry humor isn’t communicated well in this modality. Don’t ask me how I know.

  7. Certainly the current emphasis of the crazies is to blame Obama, but that is just for today. Other Presidents and members of Congress have been cast as villains in the past and will be again. Joe the plumber will always find a current target to serve as a devil trying to take away the people’s “rights”.
    And, JB, your sarcasm is well-placed.

  8. I hope the grieving Father gets somewhere with his anger about the death of his son last Friday. His anger is fueled by the NRA and their total disregard for human life because their rights trump the victim’s right to live.

  9. I could be wrong but I am not aware of any local laws tbat require vuns kept in tbe hometo be dissembled or in a locked box.

  10. I am Jim Brown and am NOT the JB in the comments above. I view the leadership of the NRA as dangerous lunatics. I grew up with guns and and am not anti-gun. NRA lobbying against sane gun control has cost people lives.

    Why would anyone follow the philosophy of Joe the Plumber? There are many sick people out there. Some of them shoot people and some of them lobby for the NRA.

  11. Face the facts the USA is a violent country. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute the USA defense budget is 640.0 billion. Our defense expenditures place us first among the top 15. As a percentage among the top 15 we have 37% of the expenditures. The two largest global suppliers of major weapons during the five-year period ending in 2013 were the U.S. (29 percent), Russia (27 percent).

    From a Swedish Newspaper article: Last year testified to an upswing in deadly violence, new crime statistics revealed on Monday, as 87 people lost their lives to violence in Sweden.

    Indianapolis had nearly 150 Homicides last year.

  12. Like other issues, guns have a cost to society – deaths, violence by some with access to weapons, etc. It appears that EPA is about to require the power generating plants to start sharing the costs for the impacts they have on the environment. How about a similar approach to weapons – you have a license plate fee, excise tax and wheel tax for cars. Why not tax weapons? As popular as they have become, imagine the revenues that it would generate?

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