How old am I? I’m old enough to remember when the only people on whom government wanted to put electronic bracelets were criminals. Attorney General Eric Holder testified yesterday on Capitol Hill about gun-safety programs promoted by the Department of Justice, which wants almost $400 million in the next budget for “common sense” regulations like electronic bracelets for firearms:
“I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe,” he said.
“By making them either through finger print identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.”
“It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that we can make sure that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, but at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things that we see on a daily basis,” Holder said.
First, the electronic bracelet concept has barely passed the theoretical stage, let alone made it into the commercial market. There is literally one pistol model being sold in one gun story in America which fits Holder’s “common sense” requirement. How exactly would that allow Americans to “enjoy their Second Amendment rights”? Most gun owners — and there are over 60 million of them — handle and store their weapons safely. More people get murdered each year by body parts than by rifles, for instance, which had been the focus of gun-control efforts over the last sixteen months.
Drunk drivers kill nearly as many people each year as all firearms, and that figure may be seriously underestimated. Driving is already a government-regulated activity, so why not focus on installing breathalyzers in autos? Because when people need to drive, they don’t want a failing breathalyzer unit to keep their car from starting, and since most car owners don’t drink and drive in the first place, they don’t want to be treated like a criminal just to exercise their privilege of driving on public roads. Why should law-abiding citizens have to deal with the same kind of system malfunction at the precise moment they need a firearm to defend themselves or their families?
“Common sense” would be to leave law-abiding citizens alone. Of course, “common sense” would also be to not traffic rifles to drug cartels across the border into Mexico without any way to track them or retrieve them, so we know what role “common sense” plays in Eric Holder’s DoJ.
Update: I originally said that drunk drivers kill nearly twice as many people as those with firearms, but I was thinking specifically about handgun murders. I’ve changed the wording on that sentence; thanks to Tom W for the correction.