“Federal ‘smart gun’ mandate going nowhere unless ‘Only Ones’ are exempted,” Firearms Coalition Director and frequent WorldNetDaily contributor Jeff Knox left a helpful comment:
Kurt, these people say they want “smart guns,” but not too smart. They’re going ballistic over a new rifle-scope combo that uses laser range-finding, environmental and motion sensors, and a sophisticated computer system to make a mediocre rifle shooter a Dead-eye Dick out to 1000 yards. The shooter lights up his target with the laser identifier and pulls the trigger. The computer waits until the moment the shot is perfectly lined up to actually fire the gun. Now that’s a smart gun.
Precision Guided Firearms – Tracking Moving Targets and Extreme Accuracy
Mr. Knox provided a link to a National Public Radio article about the new TrackingPoint rifle system, describing all the sophisticated gadgetry that (assuming everything works as promised) will allow even a shooter of modest skills to make stunningly accurate shots at 1,000 yards and more. Naturally, not everyone approves of such technology being made available to “civilians*“:
Chris Frandsen, a West Point graduate who fought in Vietnam, doesn’t believe the TrackingPoint technology should be allowed in the civilian world. The gun makes it too easy for a criminal or a terrorist to shoot people from a distance without being detected, he says.
Frandsen doesn’t explain why banning the technology makes sense, when, with sufficient training and practice, a shooter with far less sophisticated equipment can make the same shots. Or perhaps he wants such training made unavailable to private citizens, too. If so, he would not be the first. The rabidly anti-gun Violence Policy Center has implied that it would be desirable to restrict not only the hardware for extraordinarily accurate rifle marksmanship, but also the training that develops the necessary skills:
The sniper culture in America is fueled by a deadly dance of profit among the gun industry, private sniper schools that teach civilians the deadly skills of sniping, and those who write and market instructional books and videos about sniping and who sell all of the “after market” paraphernalia that sniper’s use.
. . . At least one manufacturer refers in its advertising to a sniper school. And this is all bound together in the gun press, magazines and other publications which are effectively arms of the gun industry and relentlessly promote the virtues of sniping rifles and their use.
It is well past time for condemnation of the sniper subculture by our national political leadership, investigation of gun industry marketing practices by Congress and regulatory agencies, and legislation regulating this deadly trade at the state, local, and federal levels.
If NPR‘s coverage of the rifle was a bit overwrought, the gun prohibitionists quoted in this Oregon Herald article are in flat-out panic:
” . . . this product gives shooters a better accuracy than, on average, most cops,” [National Gun Victims Action Council head Elliot Fineman] said. He said the target accuracy of most police is three out of ten.
“To think that private citizens that are not trained could shoot better than 3 out of 10, it’s scary,” Fineman said.
David Chipman, a spokesman for Mayors Against Illegal Guns [A wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg, Inc.] which lobbies for an expansion of background checks for people buying guns, said the PGF “is not your grandfather’s hunting rifle used for sport and recreation this is a weapon designed to kill with precision.”
“This technology potentially enables any two bit criminal to operate with the skills of a highly trained sniper,” Chipman said.
. . .
“This is an industry hell bent on making weapons more lethal and taking no measures to extend safety,” [CSGV executive director Josh] Horwitz said. “If this type of technology is transferred into semi automatic and automatic weapons [explain how that “guided trigger” would work on a fully-automatic weapon, Josh] weapons, it would make it even more lethal.”
As blogger Thirdpower points out, these rifles cost over $23,000 (which includes 200 rounds of highly specialized ammunition–more rounds beyond that would undoubtedly add a great dealmore to the total cost). Chipman’s “two bit criminal” has certainly moved up in the world.
Keep in mind that all this enormously expensive technology (of as yet unknown physical robustness) promises to provide is better accuracy. An increased ability, in other words, to hit thetarget, rather than something else–an innocent bystander, perhaps. They are arguing, essentially, that “public safety” requires that “civilians'” rifles miss a lot (at least 70% of the time, apparently, according to Fineman’s rules–then again, Fineman is apparently out of his bloody mind). What’s next–outlaw scopes? Rifling?
The gun prohibitionists want to ban so-called “Saturday Night Specials,” because they’re too small and cheap. They want to ban .50 caliber rifles, because they’re too big and expensive. They want to ban so-called “assault weapons,” because they can be “spray-fired from the hip” too quickly and inaccurately. And now, $22,000+ bolt-action “sniper” rifles, because they can be fired too accurately. Is there any gun they don’t want to ban? Any gun that the various “Goldilocks” of “gun control” would think is “just right” for private citizens?