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Hardly Anyone Is Buying 'Smart Guns'

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,15 days | from the think-about-little-johnny dept.

Technology 814

Daniel_Stuckey writes "The technology is here. So-called 'smart guns' are being programmed to recognize a gun owner's identity and lock up if the weapon ends up in the wrong hands. Entrepreneurs and engineers have been developing technology to make safer guns since the early '90s, and by now we've got working prototypes of guns that read fingerprints, hand grips or even sensors embedded under the skin. But after 15 years of innovation, personalized guns still haven't penetrated the marketplace."

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Smart guns... (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294089)

They can't figure out why? The guns are obviously smarter than their inventors.

Re:Smart guns... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294147)

Surely the safest gun is one that is not in the 'marketplace' at all !

Re:Smart guns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294585)

Tell that to a policeman patrolling a dangerous area.

Re:Smart guns... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294625)

An area that's dangerous perhaps because of all the guns?

Re:Smart guns... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294169)

Everyone take a deep breath. The manufacturers do know they aren't going to be big sellers. Some people are interested in the technology developed. Like Android with the face-recognition for unlocking your phone, it's kind of an advertising gimmick that no one actually uses. Or you could put a physical Yale lock on a phone, make it very secure, right? But it's not really that useful. No need to get angry over it, just not working right now.

Re:Smart guns... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294609)

They're probably making minimal R+D effort and a lot of political noise in the hope that a law will be passed

(requiring a lot of expensive upgrades to the stuff they sold last year)

Re:Smart guns... (5, Insightful)

Mister Transistor (259842) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294173)

Why is very simple, people don't trust them. They use technology to prevent a simple mechanical device from working, which do you think is more likely to break?

Guns are life-saving devices when used by the police or military. Murphy's Law says it all, and if their life-saving device won't function for whatever reason they are dead. Period.

Then there is also the old remote-control problem like using a magnetic or EM/RFI field to jam the gun's mechanism and render it useless remotely, but I'm sure they already addressed this, right? Right?

Bottom line is no one trusts the technology, it's too new, unproven, and an introduction of multiple points of failure in an otherwise tested and time-proven technology.

Re:Smart guns... (5, Funny)

geirlk (171706) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294229)

If Murphy had used a smart gun, he wouldn't have been shot with his own gun.

On the other hand, he then wouldn't have become Robocop neither.

Re:Smart guns... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294231)

Guns are life-saving

You must be American...

Re:Smart guns... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294361)

Or thought about it

Re:Smart guns... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294409)

Clearly not.

Re:Smart guns... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294569)

Guns are life-saving

You must be American...

Or thought about it

That would make them life-swapping, at most.

Re:Smart guns... (1)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294635)

Perhaps our criminals, like our police and military, are simply more weaponized than those of your country?

Re:Smart guns... (2, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294679)

Perhaps our criminals, like our police and military, are simply more weaponized than those of your country?

Perhaps if our police was as weaponized as yours our criminals would have to tool up?

Re:Smart guns... (4, Insightful)

philip.paradis (2580427) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294443)

Guns are life-saving devices when used by responsible citizens employed in any occupation to stop an immediate threat to the life of an innocent person.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Smart guns... (0)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294527)

The question is: How often is that a real situation compared to, say, bad people using guns to help them commit crimes?

(not seriously expecting the USA to disarm itself - the cat is well and truly out of the bag).

Re:Smart guns... (5, Informative)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294617)

The answer is: pretty often.
Numbers are argued over constantly, so I won't bother quoting any, but this subreddit is relevant: http://www.reddit.com/r/dgu [reddit.com]

Re:Smart guns... (5, Insightful)

Drakonblayde (871676) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294663)

It depends.

I carry a sidearm with me pretty much everywhere I go (as allowed by state law, anyway). I reside in Georgia, and I have in fact carried my sidearm in plain view on MARTA and in the public areas of Hartsfield-Jackson.

I've never had to use it, never even had to draw it, and $DEITY willing, I never will.

It's presence on my hip has acted as a deterrent to what would have very likely resulted in at least a 911 call, if not a trip to the emergency room or the morgue on two occasions. Downtown Atlanta is not a friendly place at 3am.

A disarmed populace is just a crop of victims waiting to be harvested. Contrary to popular belief, most folks who legally carry a firearm are not cowboys out looking for a reason to go shoot somebody up. Most of us take the responsibility of carrying a firearm very seriously, and we do so because we understand that the world at large is not a friendly place. I am an honest and true believer that it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Re:Smart guns... (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294557)

guns, cyanid pills and the inquisition

Re:Smart guns... (1)

Smivs (1197859) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294599)

Guns are life-saving devices...

Er, I think you might have got that wrong!

Re:Smart guns... (5, Insightful)

Drakonblayde (871676) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294623)

You've got it right in one. The biggest issue is one of trust. I don't trust the gun to not screw up when I need it the most.

I don't trust the technology to work when the gun needs to be rekeyed to a new owner upon resale (assuming that's even possible. Wouldn't surprise me if the intial models are imprint once and that's it). Or when I want to rent a gun and test fire it before I purchase.

I don't trust the technology to not have some kind of back door making the firearm able to be disabled, even when I'm the keyed owner and I pull the trigger.

As for safety... give me a break. My first firearms instructor put it best 'Your finger is the safety'. If I put my finger on the trigger, it means the discharge of my weapon is imminent unless circumstances change *really* quick.

About the only way this will work is for manufacturers to offer it as a cheaper alternative (aka, the Android business model) in order to spur adoption, and then increase cost as it became more mainstream.

The vast majority of firearms deaths are caused by people pulling the trigger on purpose, and a smart gun does nothing to prevent that decision.

Stupid 2 (1)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294333)

The problem is there are two sides of stupid who feel if they meet on a middle ground they are loosing something.

The gun control debate and the abortion debate are in essence part of a core debate.
Is life and safety more important than liberity.

Both issues have seemed to become so polarized that logical debate has broken down.

There are thing like the parent post who say "I disagree with your views, so you must have a mental problem" but the problem it is on both sides. We are no longer considering the humanity of both sides.

Gun right advocates don't want this because if it becomes popular it could be law and reduce their rights to own gun as well fear tracking gun owners, which could slide down the scale even further. Liberity is more important thansafety.

Similar debate on abortion, small laws such as the doctor should have admitting privileges at an hosipital, means there could be less dr. Who can perform anortions make it harder for a woman to choose. Liberity over safety.

The core debate is too abstract for most people. So they link up with their political parties and regurgitate what they say, thinking they are so smart and informed.

Re:Stupid 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294451)

Get yourself a browser that does spell-checking for gods sakes. It's "liberty", not "liberity", as you've written several times in your post.

Re:Stupid 2 (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294571)

...and "lose", not "loose" ( http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling [theoatmeal.com] ), which is a mistake a simple spelling checker won't catch. For that you need to actually know how to spell.

And that kinda sums up the problem with this sort of technology. No technology will make a gun magically safe, for that you need to take personal responsibility for the education of gun owners (and parenting).

Re:Smart guns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294539)

No, the reason is the NOBODY wants DRM! ;-)

Re:Smart guns... (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294677)

I like it.

I'm more pro-gun control, but I consider myself middle of the road. I just think certain people shouldn't be allowed to own them and someone else always jumps in telling me I said don't want anyone to own them. I have a lot of hunters in my family I have no problem with some people owning guns.

I digress, the fact is most people who buy guns are not going to buy "smart" guns basically with DRM included, maybe some people will buy them for the novelty. People who don't buy guns, aren't buying them anyway. It seems pretty clear cut to me.

Darwin (5, Funny)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294133)

Any technology that prevents the accidental death of irresponsible gun owners' children is simply interfering with natural selection.

Re:Darwin (1)

Thanatiel (445743) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294513)

Tell that to Jack O'Neill

Boom (2, Insightful)

nicolastheadept (930317) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294137)

The idea of having your kids not be able to blow their brains out with your gun seems like quite a good one...

Re:Boom (0, Flamebait)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294149)

there is no shortage of redneck children in the world

Re:Boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294551)

actually there is... White rural Americans does not reproduce the way they used to.

Re:Boom (1)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294631)

actually there is... White rural Americans does not reproduce the way they used to.

You can thank abortion laws for that.

Re:Boom (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294589)

...and we'll probably be better off if a few of them shoot each other when young.

Re:Boom (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294197)

Trigger locks and safes will do the same thing, and not mess up and get you killed when you need it to work.

Re:Boom (2)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294369)

Trigger locks and safes will do the same thing, and not mess up and get you killed when you need it to work.

Yeah... they would be better off making the hand reader a feature of a gun safe, to provide owners an option for faster access to their guns, than having to enter a combination.....

In addition, they could add the 'enter combination option' as a backup

Re:Boom (1)

Splab (574204) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294385)

Already made, and hacked...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yr6ATdaDQ8 [youtube.com]

Trigger locks are a joke by the way...

Re:Boom (3, Informative)

pla (258480) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294591)

Trigger locks are a joke by the way...

Instead of a nice 15 second clip of someone defeating a trigger lock (you could have found hundreds of them - Hell, your link had three linked from it), you posted 40 minutes of anti-gun FUD propagandist bullshit? Classy.

And as for locks - some trigger locks count as a joke. That amounts to a straw-man, however; some balcony rails count as a joke, but we don't scream bloody murder that we need to ban balconies - We buy functional rather than purely decorative rails instead.

You want an effective cheap gun lock? If you can Fire this [info4guns.com] with the lock in place, I'll buy you a beer (or a wine spritzer with some foofoo garnish, if you prefer). Five seconds on and off, and you can't even seat the magazine, much less rack it.

Re:Boom (3, Insightful)

DarkTempes (822722) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294237)

I suspect the problem is that gun safes and gun locks are better and more reliable.

Anything that's 'smart' and portable probably uses a battery and batteries die.
In the event that one actually needs a gun (which should be rather rare) you don't want to find out the battery is dead.

Now, a biometric/rfid/"smart" gun case or gun lock might be an improvement over traditional key locks. Maybe.

Re:Boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294277)

...so it;s better if they use a blade or tall building?

Re:Boom (4, Interesting)

gadget junkie (618542) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294299)

The idea of having your kids not be able to blow their brains out with your gun seems like quite a good one...

obviously you aren't able to field strip a gun..... anybody who keeps an handgun whole, with a colocated loaded clip in a house with kids has it coming. and you can reassemble an handgun very quickly if the need arises, or not at all if the threat is so sudden that it would not have helped in any case.

when my adolescent son took to softair, I took the opportunity to teach him what he really needed to know. gun safety procedures, even if it is a toy: proper handling. unless you are live, keep the finger out of the trigger guard, and the rifle pointing down. Keep the weapons on safe all the time, until the game begins, and put them on safe immediately after. NEVER, NEVER point a gun at something you are not shooting.

It's like safety belts in cars: train until you cannot behave differently from the proper way, and you'll have an head start.

Re:Boom (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294339)

The idea of having your kids not be able to blow their brains out with your gun seems like quite a good one...

Even cheaper solution: Don't have a gun at all. Works in most of the world, except some violent uncivilized countries in Africa and Asia, and parts of the US.

Re:Boom (4, Informative)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294387)

You seem to have left Europe out of it. Little fact, Switzerland and Finland have close or higher rates of gun ownership than the USA.

Re:Boom (4, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294431)

Unless you have a cunning solution to the fact Americans are disproportionately more likely to kill each other that you can implemented PDQ then maybe taking away the easiest way for them to do it makes sense until then? Highlighting that other countries can own guns, and be responsible at the same time, just highlights the fact the problem is 'Americans with guns' not inherently guns.

Re:Boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294377)

Keeping guns safe is an equal idea. You don't need to keep it in your desk drawer, together with ammunition.

Re:Boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294423)

The idea of Americans having kids scares the hell outta me. We don't need more of them, however, I do agree with natural darwinian selection over there.

Re:Boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294597)

If you like the idea of natural Darwinian selection, then you may have a treat coming. Europe isn't producing anywhere close to enough children to maintain its native population. As a result many European countries are importing foreigners with cultures hostile to European values. Those immigrants are not assimilating, and they constitute a rapidly growing proportion of various countries. In 30-50 years many European countries are likely to be on the edge of, if not in, a civil war. You'll see who the fittest is then.

Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser [telegraph.co.uk]

Plenty of countries in Europe are effectively doing the same thing.

Tragic, but useful (2, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294439)

Well, we're talking types who think they absolutely need a loaded gun everywhere they might be in the house, including racks by the bed and whatnot. And that their life WILL depend on it any day now, when squads of evil government black muslim communist ninjas will burst into their home to confiscate their bible and replace their medicare with an evil socialized one. And their kids who think that playing cops and robbers with daddy's gun, presumbaly in between eating paint chips and being homeschooled in how many dinosaurs fit on Noah's arc, is a good idea.

I dunno, it certainly is tragic, but their noble sacrifice to improve the species' gene pool will be remembered.

Re:Tragic, but useful (1)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294613)

Due to the misguided "save the raptor" protests, there were no dinosaurs on Noah's Ark.

Re:Boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294555)

The idea of me having his kids, sounds kinky.

Re:Boom (0)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294683)

These are kids...put a lock on it, and they'll think you're trying to keep, I don't know, hundred dollar bills or something stuffed down the barrel from them...as some form of early Christmas present that they aren't supposed to find.

The proper approach, of course, is to drag your kids into the living room the same night you buy a gun, calmly take it out, put on a pair of ear muffs, then pull the trigger three times in quick succession. When their hearing comes back, they'll have learned an important lesson: if the sound of a gun can make you go deaf for several minutes / hours, imagine what the actual impact of a bullet could do. Then offer to take them out back, let them try on the bullet-proof armor, and find out first-hand what some harmless (haha) rubber bullets feel like when shot into someone's back. Point to said guns, when they say that they prefer not to, that these are weapons, much like the sharper steak knives you have at home, and they can not only make you bleed, but they can also make you hurt the entire time you are bleeding.

Finally, inform them that while sneaking into and out of the house is a time honored tradition / rite of passage, use a key and use the hall lights when moving about inside, no matter what time of night you get in.

Three things... (5, Insightful)

Flentil (765056) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294187)

1: Don't need another point of failure introduced, if the reader doesn't recognize it's owner at the worst possible moment when he needs to fire a gun.
2: Price hike. I expect there would be a hefty price jump with these newfangled electronic gizmos.
3: Remote killswitch? The police can kill your car's engine and disable your gun with a simple command. So can hackers.

Also, are batteries included? I don't think people want to charge up their guns, unless they're shooting plasma bolts.

Re:Three things... (1, Insightful)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294395)

1: Don't need another point of failure introduced, if the reader doesn't recognize it's owner at the worst possible moment when he needs to fire a gun.

There are also those who argue that you shouldn't wear your seat-belt because it may prevent you from getting out if your car in on fire. (I'm not making this up!) Both arguments are equally stupid, and for the same reasons.

2: Price hike. I expect there would be a hefty price jump with these newfangled electronic gizmos.

Not if they made mandatory. I'd expect the price-hikes will be comparable to what happended when the FCC announced that emergency GPS location will be mandatory in cell-phones (I.e. no price-hike at all. Electronics is cheap to mass-produce.)

3: Remote killswitch? The police can kill your car's engine and disable your gun with a simple command. So can hackers.

I don't think anybody is proposing to include a remote killswitch.

Also, are batteries included? I don't think people want to charge up their guns, unless they're shooting plasma bolts.

Guns need to be dissassembled and cleaned on a regular basis. Charging or replacing a battery does not add much to that procedure.

Oooo, a Slashdot point by point argument! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294521)

There are also those who argue that you shouldn't wear your seat-belt because it may prevent you from getting out if your car in on fire. (I'm not making this up!) Both arguments are equally stupid, and for the same reasons.

Of course they do. But does a seatbelt ONLY work if the battery is connected or charged? Does it only work for the owner of the car?

Not if they made mandatory. I'd expect the price-hikes will be comparable to what happended when the FCC announced that emergency GPS location will be mandatory in cell-phones (I.e. no price-hike at all. Electronics is cheap to mass-produce.)

Probably true. And who gives s shit. Considering what gun owners are paying now any electronics will be chump change compared to the original price. And price has never stopped gun owners before. Just look at the ridiculous prices they're paying for AR-15s.

I don't think anybody is proposing to include a remote killswitch.

Hackers, baby! Dirt bag who wants to rob house and rape the little girls goes and buys the remote kill switch and you're dead and your women raped.

Guns need to be dissassembled and cleaned on a regular basis. Charging or replacing a battery does not add much to that procedure.

And if the battery dies in between cleanings and you need it??

Re:Three things... (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294547)

I don't think anybody is proposing to include a remote killswitch.

Yet.

It's normal. (1, Flamebait)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294191)

Smart guns need smart owners, that's the problem.

Re:It's normal. (1)

gutnor (872759) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294303)

That is a good point. People that cares about their firearms not getting used by their kids or others is a small fraction of the market that can be interested in the SmartGuns. However, for those people there are many other options available: Not owning a gun, or leaving it at the fire range. Proper safety - like disabling the gun, or having a safe. Strict gun education in the family. All of those compete with the Smart Guns.

Compared to those solutions, Smart Guns do not really bring much value. Smart Gun are simply not smart enough to be interesting.

heuristics (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294193)

False positive = you die
False negative = you die

The stakes are extremely high, and the recognizer has to be 100% accurate, which is impossible.

Re:heuristics (1)

renoX (11677) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294247)

>False positive = you die

Well with regular guns, you die too in this case with a far higher probability!

>False negative = you die

Only in the case that firing the gun will save you but threatening someone with a gun (which looks to be functional even if it isn't) won't.
Possible but far from 100% of the case.

Reliability up to 99.99% (1)

grimJester (890090) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294337)

>False positive = you die

Well with regular guns, you die too in this case with a far higher probability!

>False negative = you die

Only in the case that firing the gun will save you but threatening someone with a gun (which looks to be functional even if it isn't) won't. Possible but far from 100% of the case.

LIfe and death situations are rare. Given that a gun in the home is more likely to kill a family member accidentally than an intruder on purpose, a 90% effective smart gun would save more than nine lives for every one it wastes. The only reliability numbers I found with a quick search were for BIOMAC [wikipedia.org] that claims a goal of 99.99%. This would save more than 10 000 lives for every one wasted.

Re:Reliability up to 99.99% (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294483)

Rare or not, life-and-death situations are the whole reason to have the gun in the first place. (unless it's a like, a toy, or something)

A gun that might fail in a life-and-death situation is a gun you don't buy.

Also, you can't just just compare "number of deaths." It matters who does the kiling and why. Lethal accidents are slightly acceptable. Lethal malice is not, because by accepting it, you create an incentive for there to be more of it.

Re:Reliability up to 99.99% (1)

grimJester (890090) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294549)

Also, you can't just just compare "number of deaths." It matters who does the kiling and why. Lethal accidents are slightly acceptable. Lethal malice is not, because by accepting it, you create an incentive for there to be more of it.

Of course the numbers are relevant. A one in ten thousand chance a gun might fail to fire creates no incentive to attack the user. According to Wikipedia, "Between 1987 and 1990, McDowall found that guns were used in defense during a crime incident 64,615 times annually", "In 28% of incidents where a gun was used for self-defense, victims fired the gun at the offender.", so a gun fired in self defense would fail about once per eight months. I dare say few of these cases would be fatal. In contrast, one child dies in gun accident every three days. How is that acceptable?

Re:Reliability up to 99.99% (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294643)

They "claim" to have a "goal" of 99.99%.

A claim is not fact, and a goal is not a real measurement.

Just sayin'

Its just a dumb idea (5, Insightful)

zippo01 (688802) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294201)

Why would anyone buy this? Its a horrible product idea. Take a reliable device and fuck with it. All I want is to know that when I point and click it goes off. Not, my hand isn't held right, the battery is dead, i'm in a fight and its covered in mud, or its just dusty and it malfunctions. Or even worse and a delay, which could cause you to be off target or allow someone else to enter the sight picture. It is a self defeating idea. If you are worried about child protection, buy a safe, teach your kid gun safety. Carry it with you. I could go on for ever.

Re:Its just a dumb idea (5, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294475)

People won't because they'll stick to the simplified, knee-jerk, kind of logic that you do there.

If a smart gun worked 99.5% of the time when you held it and never worked if you didn't then you are trading a 1/200 chance of the gun not firing when you want it for the complete removal of it being used against you or by someone else who you didn't want to. Given that the standards smart gun manufacturers work to are actually higher than that the risk of a properly maintained smart gun failing is negligible.

The statistics are clear: gun ownership causes more deaths among the family that owns it (child deaths, gun used by attacker etc) than it prevents by protection. Unless someone is considerably more responsible, trained and competent than the average owner having a gun in your health increases risk. A smart gun could actually change that calculation, though frankly given the number of intentional family killings by owners I doubt it would make gun owning households safer on average.

Re:Its just a dumb idea (0)

JackieBrown (987087) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294515)

The statistics are not so clear since if you kill or scare off an intruder, it is unlikely to know if that intruder would have killed you so it wouldn't be recorded as a prevented murder.

Re:Its just a dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294619)

Oh, come on - Zippo is clearly combat trained and field strips every firearm he has every evening. He keeps two loaded weapons next to his bedside just in case an intruder should break into his house. He's already reduce the pull on every trigger to 7 grams.

So far he's lost a dog, a parakeet, two cats, and three kids, but he's never been robbed. He really misses that dog, too - it was his best friend.

Duh (3, Interesting)

gmhowell (26755) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294205)

They are a stupid fucking idea that are the answer to a question nobody asked. Well nobody other than those who ultimately wish to take all guns from people not employed by the government.

For those who think I'm wrong and that these should be mandatory, why don't you go lobby the government (at any level from local to federal) and have some of these technologies mandated for LEO fire arms use. Report back with your results.

Actually, this is a pretty interesting idea! (1)

tlambert (566799) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294297)

For those who think I'm wrong and that these should be mandatory, why don't you go lobby the government (at any level from local to federal) and have some of these technologies mandated for LEO fire arms use. Report back with your results.

A remote kill switch on firearms used by rogue law enforcement or rogue military types would be interesting:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/12/rogue-cop-manhunt-ends-in-shootout.html [thedailybeast.com]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/fort-hood.html [washingtonpost.com]

...but just as impossible to implement as an actual "smart gun" that was 100% effective.

Maybe they could make a "smart gun" that couldn't fire on unarmed target instead?

Re:Duh (0, Troll)

Required Snark (1702878) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294501)

According to you, none of these events happened.

Drunk Man At Party Accidentally Shoots And Kills Himself In Los Angeles [talkingpointsmemo.com]

Gun Falls Out Of Holster, Wounds Man In Wal-Mart Parking Lot [talkingpointsmemo.com]

Texas Man Wounds Girlfriend While Confronting Ex With Shotgun [talkingpointsmemo.com]

6-Year-Old Shoots 5-Year-Old While Playing Cops And Robbers [talkingpointsmemo.com]

12-Year-Old Shoots 9-Year-Old Brother, Then Shoots Himself In Ohio [talkingpointsmemo.com]

Three Handguns Found In Room Where Ohio 3-Year-Old Was Shot And Killed [talkingpointsmemo.com]

In gun-nut-land, where you are John Wayne/Rambo/The Lone Ranger, only the "bad guys" are ever hurt by guns. Here in the real world, guns cause immense amounts of damage.

Use of army weapons and private firearms for suicide and homicide in the region of Basel, Switzerland. [nih.gov]

OBJECTIVES: Switzerland has one of the highest rates of firearm suicides in the world. International studies show a positive correlation between the rate of households with guns and femicides with guns. Because its defense system requires a militia to keep personal firearms at home, Switzerland has a high rate of households with a gun.

METHODS: Records of suicides in the region of Basel between 1992 and 1996 were reviewed. Suicides with either army weapons or private firearms and suicides by other means were compared. Methods and types of homicides that occurred in the region at the same time were also analyzed.

FINDINGS: Firearm suicides were clearly the most frequent means of suicide. They were also used in 30.0% of domestic homicides, although other means were used at similar rates. Firearms for suicide were mainly used by men, especially army weapons. These men were younger, professionally better qualified, and fewer had ever been treated in one of the local state psychiatric services.

DISCUSSION: The use of firearms for suicide, rather than homicide, and particularly of army weapons by young, well-educated men, requires more attention in debates and informed policy regarding access to firearms and suicide prevention in Switzerland.

There is a reason that you cling to your guns, and use phrases like "a stupid fucking idea". Your unadmitted goal is intimidation through the threat of violence. You are a bully/coward, and gun ownership is fundamental to your violent fantasies. Even as you read this, you are wishing that you could jam a gun in my face and make me back down.

You're not alone. I've already had threats of personal violence here on Slashdot for saying pretty much the same thing. The last genius called me out for hiding using internet anonymity. He challenged me to give my real name so he could find me and hurt me in an unspecified fashion, I assume using a gun. Of course, he was hiding his identity as well, which was a good thing for him because gun ownership and violent threats are a potential federal crime. Des Moines Man Sentenced to Prison for Internet Threats of Violence and Possessing a Firearm During Threats of Violence [fbi.gov] . Just remember that before you reply.

Gun Owners are a Conservative Lot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294211)

For those who aren't in the gun culture it may come as a surprise that gun owners tend to be a somewhat conservative lot when it comes to new technologies. They prefer things that are reliable and proven to gimmicks, especially for their go-to guns, because at the end of the day they want to be absolutely sure that their guns will fire reliably and immediately whenever the safety is off and they pull the trigger. Anything that might possibly interfere with that, like smart guns or RFID bracelets and rings or crap like that, is most unwelcome indeed. Oh sure, you'll find the occasional gadget fetishist at the gun shows, but they're the exception rather than the rule in my experience.

Battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294221)

I'm not a gun guy, but what is your recognition system is out-of-battery ? I doudt there is passiv user recognition that doesn't need energy.

Re:Battery (1)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294403)

Or worst yet, what happens on a 5% charged battery? Some cheap electronic components misbehave on low charges.

Re:Battery (4, Funny)

JackieBrown (987087) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294519)

Don't worry. It fires a warning shot every hour to let you know it's time to change the battery.

Gotta be careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294575)

That can get you 20 years in Florida. Better to just kill someone and call it self defence. Don't forget to scream "help" right before you pull the trigger - it'll both confuse your target as well as bolster your self-defense case.

Re:Battery (1)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294649)

Don't worry. It fires a warning shot every hour to let you know it's time to change the battery.

Be sure to turn off the auto-aiming function, located in the advanced settings menu, before putting your gun away.

Smart guns eliminate sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294233)

This isn't a surprise to me, at least for enthusiasts. A gun that can only be fired by one person wouldn't sit well with the enthusiast crowd because it would eliminate the sharing factor. I don't belong to a gun club myself but my Dad does. Part of what he likes about going to the range is interacting with people that bring different guns and they trade off for a few rounds. It gives him a chance to try out a range of guns without necessarily having to buy them himself. Smart guns would put an end to that.

I would think that smart gun technology would be best directed toward professionals like law enforcement but even their embracing the technology would be limited by cost.

Re:Smart guns eliminate sharing (1)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294407)

Good point, arms DRM! Man, the NRA should be lobbying for this HARD!

Needs more mil/gov support first (1)

maliqua (1316471) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294257)

Cost is always the issue with things like this. Once military and gov't contracts for such devices create massive production volumes they'll be cheap to consumer but no ones going to pay a likely huge premium on something that new and not exciting, fun or much more effective than safe storage and responsible ownership

The "wrong hands" (2)

Cobonobo (2981333) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294285)

Of course, what we actually need is not a gun that responds only to its original owner, but on that can determine whether said owner is mentally sound enough to own said gun or not. In fact, what we need is for there to be a system in place that does exactly that. Changing the way the tool works is irrelevant. If someone is unhinged enough, they'll go and pick up another gun for $20 behind a dumpster somewhere.

Smart guns are a silly idea. (1, Troll)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294319)

You're in a firefight, and your gun gets damaged, so you pick up the gun of your dead/wounded buddy to stay in the action, pull the trigger and go f**k as it doesn't fire at the advancing enemy hordes....

Re:Smart guns are a silly idea. (1, Flamebait)

Moral Judgement (2865819) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294405)

I know man, shit like that happens the whole time. Why it was only last week that my friend was gunned down by hundreds of men. We were going to the shop to get milk, and this combat battalion, carrying assault rifles and wearing ski masks, bursts out of like nowhere! My friend is riddled with bullets, but luckily in his dying moments he managed to lob a 15 pound (7 kilo) handgun to me. Thanks to the power of Jesus and America, I was able to overcome these terrorists. But just think, if he had been stupid enough to have a smart gun, I would have been literally defenseless against this army. I bet they would have liked that.

You're forgetting (2)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294469)

...what happens when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs, and a zombie is chewing on the brainzzz of your buddy, so you pick his gun up, train it on the red eyed fiend and pull the trigger. As nothing happens, the zombie breaks from his meal and stares at you hungrily....

Re:You're forgetting (1)

Moral Judgement (2865819) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294495)

Awesome! I've always wanted to be a zombie. Can I be a vegan zombie? Grainzzz....

Re:Smart guns are a silly idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294485)

Of course it does. I see it on TV all the time. Also my neighbors told me to stock up on canned food so that I can support my family for 8 weeks in case of a major attack. I can't keep the gun in a safe though, it just takes way too long to get the key, open, load and fire. Instead I feel much safer with my Glock under the pillow.

At some point we need a serious education campaign. If we don't my kids will at some point believe the above and never think again about the real dangers and problems.

Sergeant Major at Leningrad (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294389)

While handing one rifle to every pair of men: The first man takes the rifle and shoot. When he gets shot, the second man picks up the rifle and shoot. 'Nuf sed.

Re:Sergeant Major at Leningrad (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294489)

emf jamming fears is probably what is keeping militaries off it. there's some ideas about giving the soldiers tags that would let them use their militarys guns.

really the use case for the smart guns would be target plinkers kept at home..

personal responsibility (4, Insightful)

Gravis Zero (934156) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294391)

a gun is a large responsibility. smart guns are an attempt to remove that responsibility. if you are irresponsible then you should not have a gun. if you dont know if you are responsible enough to own a gun then you are not.

before someone tries to compare it to owning a car, i would like to point out that a gun is specifically for killing. it has no other function, it's literally a killing machine.

i have yet to hear an argument for making crossbows safer yet it serves the same purpose as a gun. if it is somehow intrinsically safer then why aren't people advocating crossbows over guns?

Children will have to teach adults how it works. (1)

ajlowe (2653007) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294399)

Children are not as dumb as you think. This will work as well at keeping children safe as child proof caps and parental internet filters. The one and only thing a firearm must do is absolutely, positively go bang every time you pull the trigger. Anything contrary to this principle will be rejected by the market. If you want to keep your child safe, 1. Teach them firearms safety. 2. store firearms in a secure and safe manner.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294493)

Argh! Not stupid Americans and their stupid guns again.

Smart is usually unreliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294497)

No matter what industry it is, something "smart" is usually something unreliable. Would I like to own one? Yes, if it were very high-tech and was automatic and would look like it's from a sci-fi flick then yes, I would buy one ONLY for novelty use. I'd go fire it at a range but it wouldn't be the first gun I'd try to grab to save my life from an intruder.

But (1)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294499)

They saved Bond, James Bond's life!

This should surprise us? (1)

pla (258480) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294505)

They cost more, and have lower reliability. Why would they sell well?

The only people buying "smart" guns fall into the "I fear/hate guns and want them banned and only own that one to show all my friends as a proof of concept". Anyone actually interested in owning a firearm for self defense, or hell, even just for hunting, will stick to something that doesn't beep in error and ask you to re-authenticate right when you have that deer - or soon-to-be rapist - in your sights.

Smart guns - a smart idea (0)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294531)


I've read plenty of comments here and it seems people are very concerned with a "single point of failure" and "what if...I needed to use someone else's gun" (you know, to defend against the "attackers")

So let's not blow this out of proportions. There are plenty of viable uses for owner identification systems. IMO the US needs more gun control so this idea appeals to me.

Here's my vision of it:
1. Let's say there is a mechanism, that is roughly as reliable as the mechanical trigger mechanism in place to lock the gun should the person handling it not be an owner. I know, this is not yet the case but it could very well be in X time. (Because this "single point of failure" argument that seems to concern so many...for that crucial moment that so many of us actually encounter.)

2. Police and military will have "master access" or a shared key that will allow their soldiers to share weapons with each other. (You know, for those would be real life combat situations so many of you warriors describe.)

3. This will help prevent gun theft, illegal gun sales and make sure children don't accidentally blow a hole in something because they found Daddy's gun and he did not keep it behind two locked doors. (Because he needs quick access to his gun, for when the enemies attack)

That's how I see these smart guns working. I'm certain we'll have some sort of implementation of the sort, eventually.

And on gun control in America...it's high time owners will have to pay for psychological evaluation, mandatory handling training and be limited to one firearm per person. A handgun should be the maximum any person should be able to buy.

Not sure how America is better with so many gun owners...I certainly think it needs less guns, less gun owners and less guns per owner. -I know call me a commie conspirator.

Why would they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294573)

We have the technical capability to build cars that refuse to be operated by a drunk driver. Guess how many people would buy it.

Most people are asocial assholes and aren't willing to pay a premium for something that mostly benefits the safety of other people. If they gave a shit about their surroundings, they wouldn't be owning guns in the first place.

Smart Guns != Safer Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294633)

If there is even a 0.1% chance the gun will refuse to fire at that critical time when I need it to, it is not a safer gun.

Let the others be smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294637)

Well, everybody wants the others to use smart guns and his be proven technology.

Police Adoption (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294641)

Police departments have adopted holsters that require 2 or 3 distinct actions to draw the pistol because this technology has been proven durable, reliable and effective at preventing officers from having their own pistol used against them.

Police departments are not adopting smart guns because they have not been proven durable, reliable or effective. The reason for this is the "smart gun" technology is still at the gadget level.

Simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44294655)

People aren't that fond of DRM....

Biased thinking (1, Troll)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | 1 year,15 days | (#44294673)

The problem here is that we, as humans, are very bad at working with probabilities. When asked "how likely is ... ?" we mentally substitute the question "how easily can I think of examples of ... ?"

Try it yourself. Which of the below do you think is more likely:
* A child or teenager in the U.S. is kidnapped by a stranger (not a family member or aquaintance.)
* A child or teenager in the U.S. is killed or injured in an accident involving a gun.

If you're an average American, and unless you googled the statistics first, you probably said that stereotypical kidnappings are more common than gun accidents. After all, we hear about it in the news all the time, and you can probably name a few children that were abducted. Therefore you'd worry if our child goes out by himself, but feel quite safe leaving him unsupervised at home with a gun in the house.

In fact, gun accidents are much more common. There are about a hundred stereotypical kidnapppings a year in the U.S. but about a thousand gun accidents involving children and teenagers. (If we only look at fataiities, there are also more children killed in gun accidents than by non-family, non-aquaintance kinappers.)

When it comes to guns, we can very easily think of scenarios where we pulls out our gun and save the day. This happens all the time in movies, and although it happens rarely in reality it gets much publicity when it does, so in our minds it is a common occurence.

We have a much harder time imagining the statistically more likely scenario that someone else gets hold of our gun and hurts somebody with it.

A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide (11 times more likely), a criminal assault or homicide (seven times more likely), or unintentional shooting death or injury (four times more likely) than in a self-defense shooting. (Source [usatoday.com] )

Statistically speaking, a gun with a personalization system that is so bad that it never allows the gun to fire would still be safer for the gun-owner and his family than a gun with no personalization. Still people worry about the remote possibility that "the gun might not fire in that critical moment."

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