In the gun control wars that erupted again in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and subsequent mass shootings, there is one technology that Silicon Valley tech cognoscenti, East Coast media types, and progressive politicians from across America have all settled on as a viable part of a long-term solution to the nation’s gun violence problem: the smart gun.
President Obama recently made funding for smart gun research part of his end-of-term gun control push, and it’s easy to see the idea’s appeal. The smart gun promises a technological fix for gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them — thieves, children, and anyone else who isn’t the authorized user.
Unfortunately for the president and other well-intentioned advocates of electronically enabled gun control, the smart gun, in all of its incarnations, is a fantasy.
Not only is it impossible to produce a smart gun that gun buyers will actually purchase in large numbers, but even if the technological hurdles could be overcome, the results are sure to drastically disappoint everyone who has been looking to these weapons as some sort of silver bullet that can end gun violence.