Over the years, smart technologies have made computers more intuitive, household appliances more automated, and machines more efficient. So why haven't they been embraced by the gun industry? A Smarter Gun profiles the figures on the forefront of the movement to make guns safer, and the resistance that blocks their efforts at every turn.
Smart guns are equipped with fingerprint or radio-frequency-based recognition technologies, and will only operate in the hands of approved users. It may sound like an exciting concept worthy of exploration, yet very few smart gun models actually exist. Companies like Colt and Smith & Wesson - both behemoths of the gun industry - have toyed with the concept in the past, but they recoiled from these initiatives once they were met with vociferous opposition from various gun rights organizations and fragments of the general population. For the time being, the status quo in gun manufacturing remains defiantly mechanical and low-tech.
The antiquated nature of gun design is actually a major selling point for the weapon's most ardent enthusiasts. It's proven, reliable and extremely simple for anyone to operate. Introducing new intelligent technologies only leaves a gun more vulnerable to malfunction. Would you want to leave your life to chance when faced with an attacker or intruder intent on causing you harm? In addition, if this technology is fully embraced and allowed an opportunity to evolve, some foresee a future where these guns are mandated by the government, and no other options will be allowed. This is a concept that many gun sellers and owners view as an unacceptable form of socialism.
But in the age of mass murder and accidental shootings, the fight wages on. Proponents believe the technology provides a common-sense approach to curbing these tragic incidents, and that it does nothing to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Developers continue to build upon their designs, and attempt to construct an intelligent gun that meets the needs and desires of everyone.
By engaging with an array of people who stand on all sides of the issue - including the manufacturers, gun shop owners, users and victims of gun violence - A Smarter Gun provides a well-rounded and fair-minded look at this ongoing debate.