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Could IoT Provide Gun Control? 

Weapons Intelligent Tracking System by Portman

We’re number 1: At first that's good, a catchy slogan that could form the background of any presidential campaign. Unfortunately, the study by associate professor Adam Lankord at the University of Alabama, investigated which country had the most mass shootings between 1966 through 2012 and the United States far exceeded its peers with a whopping 90 mass shootings (not including the most recent incidents beyond the study's cut-off date).

The right to bear arms is hot topic in our society; many polls show a slight majority of the American public leaning towards the Second Amendment. So, for a moment, let’s take getting rid of guns off the table and think outside the box. Let's turn off our pro- or anti-gun sentiments and click on our tech knowledge.

One idea slowly garnishing interest and influence is GPS tracking in guns. This is not a new idea. The federal government has been experimenting with using wireless Nano and GPS technologies to track, disrupt, and even self-destruct firearms for at least two years. The project – known as micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) – utilizes Nano devices created by engineers that can affect a weapon’s operation. MEMS capabilities could be built into U.S. weapons within three to five years and the market for this technology would be around $1.1 billion dollars, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

With a market this large, the government isn’t the only player in the firearms technology game. Portman Security Systems, a manufacturer of GPS tracking devices, announced a program called WITS (Weapons Intelligent Tracking System) back in 2008. WITS can detect when a weapon has been drawn, discharged, knows how many rounds were fired, the trajectory of the bullets, and whether any hostile firearms were nearby.

The Gun Box

The Gun Box

Last but definitely not least is built-in safety technology. GunBox, which manufactures "smart" gun safes uses fingerprints and RFIDs to unlock and lock an owner's gun safe. It also has the ability to send alerts to the owner if a gun is taken from its case.

These are only three examples of technologies that add a layer of security and, in my opinion, provide us with brief glimpses into alternative ways to combat the gun violence that has stricken our nation. Should law-abiding citizens have to forfeit their rights and the ability to protect themselves? No. Should mentally challenged individuals be allowed to walk around with guns? No. Unfortunately the argument thus far has been an either or option and I believe technology opens that debate up and presents us with alternative means to be a safe society.

The Internet of Things is projected to connect 212 billion things by 2020, according to IDC. What if some of those "things" included weapons? Granted, some heavy pro-gun advocates will worry about privacy – but that's already an integral concern about IoT and their fears will surely be addressed along with the swathe of worries by people concerned about healthcare trackers, smart refrigerators and thermostats, and driverless cars? The same governance that must rule how this data is used (or not used), sold (or not sold) could certainly surround smart guns and smart garage doors.

After all, why isn’t there already a GPS chip in all guns? For example, if an owner's GPS-chipped gun enters a location and the owner doesn’t have a carry permit wouldn’t it be great if that weapon automatically could be disabled or – at the very least – alert law enforcement. If you’re a parent and your child takes your gun, wouldn’t it be great if the weapon itself sends you an alert before something tragic happens.

The technology is here, the question now is why isn’t anyone talking about it?

RasheenWhidbeeAbout the Author:

Rasheen A. Whidbee has been in the information technology field for over 10 years and he's also founder of UrbanMovement.org which is a non-profit focused on helping other non-profits and individuals through technology. Follow him on Twitter @rwhidbee

 

About the author: Alison Diana

Managing editor of Enterprise Technology. I've been covering tech and business for many years, for publications such as InformationWeek, Baseline Magazine, and Florida Today. A native Brit and longtime Yankees fan, I live with my husband, daughter, and two cats on the Space Coast in Florida.

60 Responses to Could IoT Provide Gun Control?

  1. Don in LA

    54% of all shooting are by black men under the age of 30, who shoot other black men. That is 4% of the population commits 54% of all shootings. We really need to address institutional racism and job creation more than access to guns.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Don, I agree with your comment as a nation we need to address the many forms of institutional racism that exist today. It’s not only about racism, for example the stereotypes we hold in regards to mental illness.

       
      • Don in LA

        What about modifying a magazine and not the entire gun? Gun owners could choose to use this feature or not.

         
        • Rasheen Whidbee

          Great Suggestion Don. In order for anything technology to work there would have to be a very long discussion between the actual users and then engineers.

           
  2. Randee

    Why is nobody talking about it is easy to answer because no one trust it. I mean we are constantly reminded that computers get hacked and your information is stolen so what is stopping a bad guy from reversing the tracking devise to locate your gun then using another devise to steal your gun and then use it in a crime.
    No different than stealing your credit card information or stealing your new car that was recently proven using software and the internet.

    Then by your own statement “The federal government has been experimenting with using wireless Nano and GPS technologies to track, disrupt, and even self-destruct firearms for at least two years.” I sorry but the Second Amendment is about stopping a Tyrannical government with this much power not handing it over to them.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Randee, thanks for your comment. You are right to some extent, computer crimes need to be seriously addressed in this nation and if any solution were to be implemented in regards to fire arms it would have to be thoroughly tested. Just recently an article on EnterpriseTech showed how a car’s navigation system could be hacked and allow a remote attacker to control where you drive. So any system like this should be addressed with caution; however technology is entering all realms of our lives, from our home security system to the very locks on our refrigerator doors, so not to even investigate a security mechanism because of fear doesn’t seem practical given the environment we live in.

       
      • Jason

        You didn’t address allowing the government the ability to disable or track our guns. Gun owners will never grant the government that authority. We want full, unrestricted control of our guns. We deploy them as we see fit and answer to no one. There are people talking about it, but the truth is that gun owners generally don’t want it-and we are the consumers who pay our money for the guns we want. We decide what is marketable and what is not. The only people who want this technology are people who want to allow government to control our guns. These are people who are not likely to want to buy guns. And we certainly are against laws that require it. It’s our choice and our choice alone.

         
        • Tom

          One item that has been forgotten about: Costs
          Because of the costs many of us are forced to use substandard firearms. If you do such a ting you will double the cost of firearms, but raising the cost of old , unmodified and non-communist type weapons.
          Rasheen: if this country is too dangerous for you then leave it. And as to those who have lost their lives to gun violence, compare to that number of the ones whos lives have been saved by guns.
          A gun is a tool operated by a person, why not lock up the bad people instead of ignoring the problem or letting them return to society?

           
          • Rasheen Whidbee

            Tom although I don’t agree with you, I thank you for your opinion. I would like to start by saying I believe individuals should have the right to carry weapons; however, I also acknowledge that due to many factors some people in our nation should not carry weapons. I also believe strongly that if we want to continue to be the greatest nation we need to lead by example. We can’t tell other nations to act a certain way when we have incidents such as mass shootings on an almost daily basis.

        • Rasheen Whidbee

          Jason, thank you for your comment. And I feel many would agree with your sentiments. However I hope we don’t weed the argument down to an all or nothing type of scenario. Putting a chip in your firearm to allow the government the ability to track your sidearm for many reasons will probably never fly in this country. However if you have small children or even teenagers you may want to have some type of safeguards in place for your own personal use. A smart safe for example is a measure most gun owners are okay with.

           
          • Marc Lein

            I recently upgraded my safe’s lock and when I did I had the chance to add one with Bluetooth technology….I chose against adding that feature because tech in this regard does nothing but add vulnerabilities.

  3. Spencer60000

    This whole article is based on misconceptions…

    The ‘study’ that shows the US as ‘leading’ in mass-shootings is ridiculous.

    It ignores crimes such as the mass-murder of over 100 people in a Chinese train station because it was committed with a knife instead of a gun?

    As for ‘Iot-enabling’ firearms… why?

    The majority of people killed by firearms (~60%) are suicides. What use is it to track there perfectly legal gun?

    Almost 80% of the rest are criminal-on-criminal murders. Do you really think a criminal with an illegal gun will not simply remove whatever device you put in there?

    The author is using a technological solution to problems that don’t exist.

    If you want to track something, follow the small percentage of people who are known killers, yet are still on the streets.

    That would be worth tracking.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Specer6000, thanks for your comment. I think you missed the point of the article a bit. You are correct in stating that the article doesn’t take into account mass murders in China with a knife, or to add another example mass murders in North Korea by starvation because that wasn’t the intent of this article.

      If you have a child in a public school or a university you now have to think about some maniac walking through the doors. If you’re out at the movies you now have to worry that some crazy person is going to walk through the doors and shoot up the place. And by definition these are the types of mass shootings that were counted in the study. So these are real problems we are facing daily now. You can clearly see them for yourself on the news.

      Your question of if it’s worth tracking? That’s the question I think needs to be truly addressed. To someone who lost a loved one to gun violence they would most likely say yes, but to an avid gun collector or hunter they may say no and I think there lives the true debate.

       
      • Spencer60000

        Rasheen,
        Let say that you are somehow able to add IoT functionality to all the guns in the US (~300 million). Even the ones in criminal hands.

        Now you can track the physical location of all of them.

        Maybe You can associate them with an owner (although would also require a massive and illegal firearms registration scheme).

        So you did all that. Now what does that information get you?

        If the owner is a criminal then presumably you WOULDN’T give them their illegal gun back after IoT-ing it.

        So by definition criminals will either disable existing tracking or not get it installed in the first place.

        As for the mass-shooters, how would an IoT-enabled gun have stopped Sandy Hook?

        Those were perfectly legal firearms the psycho killed his own mother to get hold of.

        Maybe an alarm to the police if a gun is on school grounds?

        OK? But at best you are shaving a few seconds off the 911 call.

        You aren’t stopping anything because these kinds of cowards will continue attacking until an credible armed response confronts them (aka ‘good guys with guns’, aka the police).

        You would spend billions on a system that as usual for gun control laws, would only impact law abiding people, and would have no effect on public safety.

         
        • Rasheen Whidbee

          Spencer6000, now we’re asking the right questions. An alarm to the police in that situation may save a life. If his mom had a smart safe he may have never gotten the gun in the first place. But asking these questions are what start positive debates.
          Would ROI be there, that’s something gun manufacturers, owners, politicians and software developers would need to determine. I find smart safes to be a great compromise.

           
  4. BIGGER_HAMMER

    Rasheen, I find the idea of the .GOV being able to disable or destroy the firearms owned by it’s own citizens with the simple push of a button to be as frightening as anything from “1984”. The 2nd Amendment was designed to ensure that the Citizens had a “check” against the tyranny that has resulted in the mass murder of millions of citizens by their own governments. USSR? Chine, North Korea, Cambodia, Rhwanda, No Thank You. Keep The Change… .

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Thanks for the comment, Hammer. You do have a point and with any new technology some features would make the cut and some wouldn’t. I could definitely see that feature not making it. But for example, letting you know if someone else has removed your gun from your safe, seems like responsible compromise.

       
      • BIGGER_HAMMER

        Rasheen, I would agree knowing when ANY item of yours is taken without your permission is a “Good Thing”, be it Your Gun, Car, Computer or other important Valuables. There are now currently Bio Metric safes that will only allow the authorized user to access the firearm, and will signal if unauthorized access attempts are made. That is a good thing that IoT can do. Glad to Agree that there are safety steps both sides can agree too!

         
  5. Milalex

    I foresee a number of technical problems to GPS or any other electronic device in a firearm. First there will have to be a power supply, a battery. Batteries either go dead or can be removed. This brings up the question of should the firearm power suppy “fail unable to fire” or “fail able to fire” Law enforcement and military would require that firearms “fail able to fire” This would then defeat the whole rational of such a system as one could disable the device just by removing the battery.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Great question Milalex and I think this is what engineers would have to work out. One of the manufacturers I mentioned in the article actually was able to place a chip in the barrel which gave them the ability to tell the trajectory of the bullet, if the gun was in the holster, etc., and didn’t require too much of a charge, but eventually it would need to either be replaced or recharged. I would also be curious if it affects the performance, and if the gun gets wet.

       
    • Troy Scott

      Are the shielded from EMP?

       
      • Rasheen Whidbee

        Troy, that’s a great question. I don’t believe so, but I will investigate.

         
  6. bernard

    While “smart gun” proponents may have raw electronic tech knowledge, these arguments show a lack of mechanical knowledge and basic critical thinking.

    Guns are very simple machines. Most modern handguns are still merely tweaks to pattents and design dating to the late 19th and early 20th century. While some of the tech may deter home accidents, it wont stop mass shootings or general crime.

    That GPS device? That RFID chip? You can just remove it.

    Modifying “dumb guns” with this tech will always be a process a small child with typical “redneck knowhow” could undo under the same principles of field stripping.

    Making new guns built from the ground up with this tech has also proven difficult. Guns contain explosions, these rattle most of the available tech to the point of break. Which is why so far the only true smart guns fire .22LR (which in self defense it isnt unheard of when an assailant not only survives but is still mobile after several shots from what is essentially a varmint round) and still cost more than what the average American spends when buying their first car.

    And abandon notions of “mandating” this tech. Most of this stuff would likely be interpreted as a “trigger lock” which Heller v. DC ruled was unconstitutional to mandate in the home.

    That and thanks to how much the government has scoffed at privacy in its execuitive capacity, you would sooner pass a renewed AWB law before anything requiring this technology in the civilian market.

    Smart guns mandates wont work, neither in a political or practical matter. That and its basically understood among FFLs now that selling a smart gun is horrid publicity.

    That is of course not even addressing all the security concerns. Sometimes the best cybersecurity measure is to not use the tech outright. Weigh costs and benefits, tech is only as good as its utility.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Bernard, thank you for your comment and logical argument. And I agree with you on some points. Putting a chip in an old Colt Patterson it’s really practical. And nothing is every full proof. As I’ve been saying throughout the discussion, I’m a big advocate for smart safes and most gun owners that I’ve spoken with have a safe of some kind.

       
      • Marc Lein

        Safes are great! That being said not every firearm I own is in a safe, because how I conduct the operational security of my home and family is no ones business but mine.

         
        • Rasheen Whidbee

          Marc,
          Thanks for your comment, how you maintain your firearms inside your house is definitely your right, but if you have multiple people in your home, who don’t practice shooting a firearm would you be willing to accept the responsibility if they did something reckless?

           
          • Marc Lein

            I’m a single full time parent of a 14 year old girl, who I started teaching about firearms safety at an early age (7 or 8). She shot her first firearm at 10, she fired fully automatic machineguns at a supervised event at age 12 and again at 13 and 14. Education is the key! Your hypothetical scenario doesn’t really apply in my case as 1. I rarely have multiple people in my home. 2. those that do come to my home are most likely part of the ever politically incorrect “gun culture” and hence already educated on the basic rules of firearms safety 3. I will always prefer that we hold individuals responsible for their own actions, so in my case if you ransack my home in order to discover a firearm I keep at the near ready and then use it in an unlawful manner, then that individual should be held accountable for their criminal act. there can be a happy medium between leaving a firearm in 1000lbs safe and one in plain sight on the dining room table, or behind some closet door.

  7. Ko I

    Considering the potential harm that such technology could, and thus due to Murphy’s Law, would cause, would the author of this piece consider a massive penalty to the company that developed the “smart gun” technology in any and all instance where it fails? Either if it fires when it is not supposed to or fails to fire when it is supposed to. How about something like a ten million dollar fine, all of which goes to the user or family of the user that the tech failed. In essence, this technology must be 100% foolproof. Absolutely nothing less is acceptable. The makers of the technology should be absolutely sure it will be beyond reproach in terms of reliability, or should not even try to make this “smart gun” technology.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Ko 1, thank you for your comment, I would like to say yes to that question but I doubt any company would commit to 100%. Even today no company, tech aside, guarantee’s 100% success simply because it would be an unwise business decision.

       
    • Tom Stanley

      Excellent point Ko;
      Except the change I would make is 100 million over 10 years, in a trust to be filled in the beginning. With distributions to the family or their descendants, like a Dynasty trust. And that would be per killed individual, and for the life of the gun, not just a year or so.

       
      • Tom Stanley

        Also if such a law was enacted it would prevent e-guns from ever being pushed through

         
  8. Troy Scott

    A number of problems with this. When they came out with all the electronic anti-theft and tracking devices on autos it was a very short time and the criminals had transmitters that could open the garage, defeat the anti-theft and tracking, and even start the car. Far easier than a coat hanger and hot wire. A big part of anti gun control is registration. For a number of reasons but the main one I see is that databases get hacked daily. We hear about a few of them. The cartel, terrorist organizations, and any number of organized crime will have a list and a roadmap of where to steal the guns they need. Now for two things that evade the gun control groups probably because they just don’t know or understand guns. First of all guns with normal care will last well over a hundred years. They estimated 300,000 in the US right now. Next is that there is now voodoo or magic in making guns. Oct. 2013 the Mexican authorities raided two cartel operated clandestine machine shops producing military grade firearms. The drug lords that need to supply their street dealers can easily afford mills and lathes. You can put all kinds of difficulties on gun owning citizens but the worst of the criminals will easily get them.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Troy, you made a couple great points. These large databases keep getting hacked and someone needs to address that. The government loses 5 million fingerprints and offers no solution or reparation and I think that’s something that needs to seriously be addressed. And yes some guns are very, very, old. I’m a fan of the Colt Army. But I this is where the ideas start. A gun enthusiast and tech come together and ask what will and will not work.

       
  9. Joe

    Same old anti-gun jazz. Smart gun technology is unreliable, and a reason why law enforcement and the military will not use it. Second, it is simply another method to ban firearms already owned, as evident in legislation in NJ ready to launch the moment that any smart gun is sold anywhere in the U.S.
    Thank God the antis are not bright and are losing ground.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Joe, thanks for your comment, although I don’t agree with it entirely. I do agree that in NJ that they make it extremely difficult for law abiding citizens to get a firewarm.

       
  10. Michael

    That’s a well written article. At the end you pose a question (paraphrased): The tech/ability is here…why aren’t we talking about it (and pursuing it)?

    The simple answer to your question is that “mass shootings” aren’t really that big of a deal.

    I’m not trying to be flippant in my response – it’s just that in terms of “stuff that kills people” this is not even close to being a major issue. Certainly not big enough to get people (on either side of the gun debate) to do what would be necessary to effect change.

    But I’ll go a level deeper – let’s say that “mass shootings” *were,* in fact, a significant cause of death in the U.S. And lets furthermore say that people on both sides of the gun debate were willing to do what’s necessary to effect change.
    I’ll argue that STILL nothing would happen, and that because (like other commenters before me indicated) the technology, although POSSIBLE, is not ready for prime time.

    I understand that Portman Security Systems and others like it claim their products are ready for the market. I also understand they would LOVE there to be a new law requiring the use of their products. But that isn’t going to happen until they are embraced by law enforcement and military alike…
    …and that is NOWHERE close to happening. It’s not just that it could be hacked or that it’s untested. It’s that when a firearm is deployed there is almost ZERO room for error, and modern firearms already have enough points of failure (they might cycle improperly, have a bad cartridge, etc.).
    We know how to deal with these issues because we have to, but introducing additional points of failure is going to be met with UNBELIEVEABLE resistance by anyone whose life is on the line.

    In closing, I’ll say that I do think there is a place for these types of “smart guns.” Namely, they can be used in situations where no lives are on the line.
    For example, they could be used for
    – Training exercises – they get handed out for training and can be instantly deactivated if the instructor sees something going wrong (or simply when the class goes on break).

    – New gun owners that are buying solely for recreational purposes. The gun can be deactivated and locked up when not in use.

    – Gun ranges that rent guns – the gun will never be used in a self defense scenario, thus is a perfect candidate for a rental. It offers the added benefit of making the gun very unattractive to a potential thief who might walk out with the gun in their range bag.

    I think that if smart gun manufacturers focus on these and similar “target markets” (ha ha), they might find some early adopters who are willing to work through the kinks with them.
    Based on their performance in those limited areas, they might find the case for wider adoption on the mass market.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Michael, thanks for your comment and I really like the idea of using the smart gun technology in training scenarios. An example comes to mind, I believe was in the news a few months ago where a young child accidentally shot her instructor and having this technology may have prevented that. I also agree that some tools may not be ready for prime time as you put it, however like any technology it takes time and tweaking and experimentation to advance.

       
  11. Lee Cruse

    The idea of someone (government or otherwise) being able to track or turn off your “arm” would be a serious violation of the Bill of Rights. Should never be considered in any form or fashion.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Lee thanks for your comment, and I agree that it would be a violation of our rights for anyone anywhere to be able to disable our personal firearm. My only counter to that (playing devils advocate) would be in a situation where law enforcement has been call and a suspect has a firearm, would you rather they be forced to use deadly force or would your prefer they have a means of legally disabling the weapon? Keep in mind being able to legally disable the weapon would also keep law enforcement out of harms way as well.

       
  12. Marc Lein

    As Veteran, Firearms owner(licensed to carry concealed in multiple states) and someone who has worked in the tech field for over 2 decades, please allow me to say I will never own a firearm with GPS, RFID’s, or any kind of nano tech. the defensive use of firearms can be a life or death situation and as such the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) should be adhered to. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Marc,

      Thanks again for your comments, I know we’ve gone back and forth a bit.

       
  13. blueballexpress

    You keep going on about stuff being taken out of your safe without permission. Well stop giving out your combination!! Common sense.
    Its scary that government is working on technology to blowup our guns!!!!!

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      blueballexpress, thanks for your comment. I keep mentioning the safe because in many instances the guns were taken without the other family members knowledge. It may come as a surprise but not all gun owners own safes.

       
  14. Charles West

    First off, as was stated guns are durable goods. Guns over 130 years old are still shot by their owners and modern materials make even more durable firearms. Estimates of the number of firearms in the US vary but most hover around 300 MILLION. None of them have any tech in them. With the recent surge in sales based on the mere TALK of more gun control, sales shot through the roof with millions more being sold in just a few years. Say this tech becomes available and becomes mandatory, there will be another gun buying spree to make the last ones look like a mere statistical blip. All those people buying guns on fear of a ban were NOT doing so just so they could turn them in when demanded. Very few people would likewise have their existing guns modified, and the sheer number of different gun designs out there would make adapting it to them all virtually impossible. So unless a massive confiscation of existing guns happens, anyone wanting a weapon without tech simply has to want one enough to get one. Let’s say the utopia the makers envision comes to pass, every gun out there is tracked, and can be disabled with a simple command. Britain has a crime problem, and guns are hard to get there. The weapon of choice there? Kitchen knives. A group of Doctors over there even proposed a ban on sharp pointy knives used in cooking… And then of course we have the problem of the rest of the world making all these guns with no tech. TONS of illegal drugs and people pass over our borders daily. Just hide some of these guns under the bales of cocaine and hand one to each person walking across the border, the authorities will never find them…

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Charles thanks for your comment. You make two very valid points: there are an enormous amount of guns in this country and installing tech in each one is really not an option, and two people would go on a gun buying spree if this was made mandatory which I don’t think should happen. I think that a good compromise between the two would be welcomed. For example having kids under 15 use smart guns at a shooting range so they have proper training may be a good comprise. Making it mandatory to keep your gun in a safe unless you are willing to take responsibility if a family member or friend uses your gun in a crime would be another example of something I would support. THESE ARE EXAMPLES PEOPLE!

       
  15. Zulu Mike

    Soo are you willing to go house to house and force this on people who would choose not to do this? Military vets, retired police and oath keepers who took an oath to protect the constitution will not let this happen. Not to mention the black market guns. Find some drug dealer and they can point you in the direction of a black market gun. There are so many ways to get around this. If someone is gonna kill they will find a way. Did you know that SUICIDES are included in the gun crime statistics.There are too many patriots that will not let our second amendment be changed in any way and our privacy invaded. Believe it or not there are still a lot of people willing to die for this great country to keep it the way it is.The world’s largest army. America ‘s hunters! A blogger added up the deer license sales ( FYI that’s not including illegal hunters and non hunting veterans) in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion: There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin. Allow me to restate that number: 600,000 Over the last several months, Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world. More men under arms than in Iran. More than France and Germany combined. These men deployed to the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin, to hunt with firearms. That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan’s 700,000 hunters, all of whom have now returned home safely. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states. It’s millions more. The point? America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower. Hunting….it’s not just a way to fill the freezer.. It’s a matter of national security. Sorry for the long post. I am a passionate patriot who loves my country the way it is. I took a oath ( even though I’m a civilian) to protect this country from enemies foreign and domestic and I will keep it until the day I die. (****Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety *- Ben. Frank.***)

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Zulu Mike, thank you for your comments and from your writing I feel the sincerity of your patriotism.
      Should we go door to door and force people to do this? No. But should we have more vendors creating tools that can help responsible gun owners? Yes. For example fingerprint grips may be something a gun owner would consider, especially those who only own a pistol for home protection.

       
  16. Zulu Mike

    You know suicides are thrown in with gun crime statistics. It is so easy to get a gun off the black market not to mention you can make a shotgun with nothing more than 2 pieces of pipe an end cap and a screw. There is no way you can find and chip every gun in America. Then what of those who refuse because there will be a lot.

     
  17. Don H

    1st: As with any safety system/device it can and will be disabled. Being a gunsmith for 30+ years I can attest to this having disabled numerous ‘safety’ devices on my personal weapons.

    2nd: Being in Law Enforcement for 18+ years I know criminals will find a way to obtain and render said FA safety devices useless if not immediately then within a short time… guaranteed!

    3rd: I’m ecstatic that I will NOT be around when this technology will be forced down the throats of my fellow LEOs. It will not be a benefit for most of them.

    4th: In a perfect world said devices would be a plus if not for a completely, wholly untrustworthy federal government.

    Finally: I would like to thank Mr. Whidbee for writing/commenting in a logical and respectful manner. These ideas, while minimally effective, are not entirely without merit. But the way in which Mr. Whidbee always responded, even to some less than kind comments, is beyond refreshing! Not once did he result to name calling or insulting gun owners. Thank you. That alone left me feeling almost human… again.

     
    • Alison Diana

      Thank you, Don, for the feedback. As the managing editor of EnterpriseTech, we encourage discourse across the entire spectrum of opinions but expect respect for others’ thoughts. We can all agree to disagree and, perhaps, even learn from each other. Appreciate you taking the time to post this feedback on both Rasheen’s article and his many responses to all the comments it generated.

       
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Don H, I would like to thank you for your comment. I’ll admit it was refreshing. It also highlights that just because there are disagreements, that doesn’t mean there’s no need for a conversation. I would also like to say thank you for your service; law enforcement in our society unfortunately has many challenges that most individuals in society aren’t even aware of.
      Lastly, I do believe that criminals will find ways to circumvent most, if not all, measures of protection but I think these IoT measures would help counter any legal arguments they may try to utilize.

       
  18. Alison Diana

    Rasheen’s contributed article and the many thoughtful comments only underscore the giant hurdles this country faces in respecting Americans’ right to bear arms while curtailing access to the mentally ill, criminal, youth, and others who should not have guns. IoT technologies — which so many industries across the swathe of vertical markets — holds a lot of promise and privacy concerns.
    The promise lies in its ability to make once-dumb items — household appliances, vehicles, trucking palettes, and hospital machines, etc. — into smarter devices that can communicate with an IoT platform, sharing data to reduce break-downs, speed delivery, improve healthcare, enhance customer service, etc. OTOH, these devices also may capture too much data about the end-customer, feeding this data into databanks and adding it other publicly available information to paint a much clearer picture of the buyer. (You may recall the story about a girl who Target knew was pregnant before she told her parents, based on her buying patterns.) Gun makers could well want some form of IoT within their products — just as every other kind of manufacturer is adding these smarts to their devices.

     
  19. Richard

    Rasheen: Various systems have been around for decades. Many years ago there was a magnetic interlock that used a ring to enable the function of a service revolver offered to Police. Result ?
    Not one Department placed an order.

    Further no Agency or the DoD would ever consider these newer systems being promoted. Any of them are easily disabled by HERF potentially resulting in a non functioning weapon. Oh, that’s going to go over really well.

    Will consumers embrace so called Smart Guns ?
    No
    This whole discussion is absolute fantasy, the only real research being done is being paid by Government grants to tax addicts as a form of “welfare”. In short it’s the worst form of Government Pork Barrel spending.

    As another party mentioned, there are hundreds of millions of guns out there and no feasible way to incorporate these kinds of tech into them.
    It’s just another solution in search of a problem in my opinion.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Richard, Thanks for your comment, but unfortunately we’ve gone back to an all or nothing argument. Using these systems in training scenarios seems like a great compromise which another reader proposed. Smart safe is yet another comprise, which I’m sure readers are tired of me saying.
      In regards to law enforcement usage, they may soon find themselves having to experiment with this sort of technology simply because of the amount of bad shootings which have been caught on camera.
      AND cops are not bad neither are military personal. There’s just been a string of bad instances.

       
  20. Joe Earle

    Why not experiment on police guns?

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Joe great question, given the recent events and the election of body cameras I wouldn’t be surprised if some agencies elected to try some options.

       
  21. Traaxx

    I have to agree with the idea of tracking known felons. You can’t really ensure public safety, without putting everyone into a cage, but since felons already have to identify themselves as felons on most documents, then tracking them would simplify criminal investigations. It would be like rescinding their right vote, once it was judge safe the GPS device could be removed. This actually is workable and doesn’t hold the entire society guilty for a small percentage of the populations crimes.

     
  22. Blueballexpress

    I noticed, rasheen, in your comment that vendors are creating tools to help “responsible gun owners”. I find that comment insulting to say the very least! You are insinuating that those of us whom chooses not to use these ‘tools’ are irresponsible. The best tool to use is the brain. I keep a majority of my weapons in a large safe and keep a few pistols by my bed in a locked finger access safe. I taught my kids about firearms safety, i have left a loaded pistol by my dresser in full knowledge than my kids will never play with it, they have seen videos about what bullets do and have enough common sense not to touch it and they have on occasion ‘reminded’ me that it was out and to put it away.

     
    • Rasheen Whidbee

      Blueballexpress, I’m not insinuating anything and as I’ve said numerous times it depends on the person and how they operate they’re firearms and what training they provide the individuals around the firearm.
      Are they’re irresponsible gun owners? Yes. Are they’re irresponsible drivers? Yes. Providing additional options for these individuals seems responsible. For example not all gun owners teach they’re children how to fire a gun. Having a safe in that instance seems like a responsible idea.

       

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