HotAir has this post today on the Armatix iP1, a pistol which is wholly unsuitable for defense against anything other than paraplegic squirrels. It’s another twist on the idea of the so-called “smart gun” that only allows a user wearing an RFID-chipped watch to fire it. I’ll elaborate on its uselessness later, but first, I’d like to discuss the magazine disconnect.
The magazine disconnect is a
bug feature, primarily in handguns, that disables a firearm when the magazine is removed. It will also disable a firearm if the magazine isn’t properly seated and the mechanism isn’t engaged.
The supposed benefit to this is that if a police officer is fighting a suspect, the officer can take the magazine out, rendering the gun inert. That it renders the officer’s gun inert for the officer is never considered… or that simply jarring the magazine slightly loose will also disable it is never considered. For the citizen, the supposed benefit is… for the children or something.
For a citizen carrying a pistol for self-defense (or for law enforcement), there is a need for a firearm to work the first time every time. And it simply adds one more thing to go wrong that wasn’t there before. If a magazine doesn’t seat right, rather than have one round fired and the need for immediate action to “tap rack bang” and get the gun working, it simply means there is no first shot. That lack of a first shot means the immediate threat that’s caused the defender to draw is going to overwhelm them.
I can’t think of any law enforcement agencies that carry pistols with a magazine disconnect, though examples where the magazine disconnect is rejected are quite frequent.
It makes a tactical reload more dangerous, because rather than changing one magazine for another with a pistol still carrying one round… it means reloads are changing one magazine for another with a pistol that’s been turned into a brick for the time being. And if you don’t seat that reload properly, your pistol is still bricked. If for whatever reason your pistol magazine well (the place the magazine goes, for you non-gun folks), has become dirty, whether because you’re rolling across the ground of a Christmas tree lot or if it’s just filled with pocket lint, you’ve rendered your gun inert.
Magazine disconnects objectively make guns more dangerous by making them less reliable. The push for “smart” guns is like saying knives should be made safer by making them dull – folks who work with knives know it’s a dull knife that’s unreliable that causes injuries. To the uninformed or to a vapid idiot, a dull knife seems less dangerous. Magazine disconnects also make guns more dangerous by allowing casual users to rely on the disconnect, thinking that a firearm with no magazine is “safe” without checking the actual chamber.
Magazine disconnects, however, are not called magazine disconnects by the state of California. They’re called magazine “safeties” and are mandatory.
Which brings us to the Armatix iP1, as introduced in the Washington Post as the “iPhone of guns”.
One of California’s largest firearm stores recently added a peculiar new gun to its shelves. It requires an accessory: a black waterproof watch.
The watch’s primary purpose is not to provide accurate time, though it does. The watch makes the gun think. Electronic chips inside the gun and the watch communicate with each other. If the watch is within close reach of the gun, a light on the grip turns green. Fire away. No watch means no green light. The gun becomes a paperweight.
A dream of gun-control advocates for decades, the Armatix iP1 is the country’s first smart gun. Its introduction is seen as a landmark in efforts to reduce gun violence, suicides and accidental shootings. Proponents compare smart guns to automobile air bags — a transformative add-on that gun owners will demand. But gun rights advocates are already balking, wondering what happens if the technology fails just as an intruder breaks in.
A bug has been added in the name of “safety”. Magazine not in? Gun won’t work. Not wearing your magic watch? Gun won’t work. Magic watch battery dies? Gun won’t work.
Criminal identifies your magic watch arm and knows how to disarm you? Gun can’t help. Don’t wear your magic watch because it looks stupid and has to go on the wrong wrist? Gun won’t work. Get hassled by police who see you with a gun-watch? Gun brings you problems.
If your kid can find your magic gun, he can also find the magic watch. If you’re going to off yourself with your own gun, you can find your magic watch.
James Mitchell, the “extremely pro-gun” owner of the Oak Tree Gun Club, north of Los Angeles, isn’t one of the skeptics. His club’s firearms shop is the only outlet in the country selling the iP1. “It could revolutionize the gun industry,” Mitchell declared.
When someone has to go out and say they’re “extremely pro-gun”, and yet they’re introducing a product that makes lawmakers salivate at rights they can now legislate away… I suspect this guy’s another Jeremy Alcede.
Lawmakers around the country have been intrigued by the possibilities. New Jersey passed a hotly contested law in 2002 requiring that only smart guns be sold in the state within three years of a smart gun being sold anywhere in the country. A similar measure made it through the California Senate last year, and at the federal level, Rep. John F. Tierney(D-Mass.) also has introduced a mandate.
Looks like James Mitchell’s “extremely pro-gun” stance has just led to New Jersey laws activating in 2017 that will ban all gun sales except for a glitchy .22 pistol.
Smart guns, advocates say, will have huge appeal to buyers. “If you have two cars, and one has an air bag and one doesn’t, are you going to buy the one without the air bag?” said Belinda Padilla, president of Armatix’s U.S. operation. “It’s your choice, but why would you do that?”
Belinda Padilla is an opportunist and clearly an idiot when it comes to both gun rights and self-defense, but she sure knows how to be a crony and make something that will appeal to government, who will mandate her product.
A better example would be “if you have two cars, and one has a starter that requires a digital signature from the powered-RFID key where if the battery goes dead in the key, you’ll be left stranded and unable to drive; and you have a car that runs on a mechanical key, are you going to drive the one with the glitchy system that will fail you and leave you stranded?”
I’ve only been stranded by a mechanical key… never. But I’ve been stranded a handful of times due to dying batteries on RFID-only keys. If I’d needed the car to start right then and there… or even needed the doors to unlock right then and there, I’d've been screwed.
It’s one thing to have something go wrong with a machine, it’s another to have failure specifically engineered into the machine.
Teret and others point to now-commonplace safety enhancements that Americans were skeptical about at first: air bags and smoke detectors. “They thought the air bag would kill them,” said Teret, who did early work on air-bag technology. “They thought it would shove them out the back window, that it would explode. It takes awhile to dispel these mythologies.”
Comparing it to airbags actually may be more accurate than they think. Airbags deploy violently and injure people in minor accidents, and occasionally deploy because of damaged or faultly sensors, or due to jarring on rough roads. Airbags require holding steering wheels differently in order to avoid being crippled by them. I’ve personally been injured by an airbag, and have had a handful of coworkers injured by airbags that deployed spontaneously due to any number of electrical glitches or faulty sensors.
For people who drive on rough roads in rural areas, an airbag can be a huge liability, because cars may not know the difference between a bounce on a rock or an impact.
And also, Airbags Kill More Kids Than School Shootings:
Life with airbags has turned out very differently from the one promised by Joan Claybrook back in 1977. That’s when she told Congress that those friendly balloons in every car would pillow away 40 percent of crash deaths each year.
Last year, Dwight Childs, 29, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, screwed up. He ran a red light, resulting in a 10-mph crash. It was exactly the sort of mistake airbag supporters have always said, “you shouldn’t have to die for.” Childs’s two-month-old son, Jacob Andrew, strapped into a rear-facing child seat on the passenger side of a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup, was killed by the airbag, and Childs himself was charged with vehicular homicide.
The man’s crime? He didn’t switch off the airbag.
Judge Kenneth Spanagel piled on the punishment: 180 days in jail, suspended except for two cruel and unusual days; Childs must check in to jail on Jacob’s first birthday and on the first anniversary of the crash. Childs was ordered to make radio and TV ads about airbag safety for the Ohio Department of Public Safety. He was also placed on probation for three years, his license was suspended, and he had to pay $500 in fines and court costs.
I’ll boil it down for you. First, government forced this man to buy airbags, because bureaucrats in Washington know better than he what’s needed for his well-being. Then, when he failed to deactivate the safety feature he was compelled to buy, it sent him to jail. Airbags have turned America’s sense of justice on its head.
That government force is a big part of this story. From the Silicon Valley elitist do-gooder who came up with the prize for bringing a “smart” gun to the market:
Conway, out in Silicon Valley, said: “You let the free enterprise system take over. Just like everyone opted into the iPhone and abandoned the flip phone and BlackBerry, consumers will vote with their feet. We want gun owners to feel like they are dinosaurs if they aren’t using smart guns.”
Except New Jersey already passed a mandate. Other legislatures will follow. Gun ban groups have been pushing this nonsense for years, as more guns can be banned because they can point to the bug-as-a-feature Armatix as a “success” that means everything else can go away. The same has already been done with magazine disconnects. The same has also been done with loaded-chamber indicators (which don’t interfere with function as much, but do make for a false sense of security, and do establish new banning criteria on all guns that don’t have them).
The objective is the same as the microstamping scam – ban guns by mandating technology that’s onerous, dangerous, and eliminates most of the market.
The same style of government force objectives are pushed in the automotive world through CAFE standards. Statist knows-what’s-best-for-you government doesn’t like certain cars, so they require automakers to not make them by putting restrictions on them that can’t be met. Same government force used to mandate the use of nonexistent fuels.
One final note – police and law enforcement won’t have these in their guns. Ever.
Car thieves disable and manipulate RFID systems with computers in order to steal cars. Any criminal with forethought could disable police firearms.
Or, in another scary thought, any government with a broadcaster could be disabling citizen firearms. Makes confiscation needless if a gov agency can just brick a gun with the click of a mouse.