Evaluating Smart Guns

Joe Huffman: “Today I attended the Seattle “Smart Gun” Gun Symposium presented by Washington Technology Industry Association in association with Washington CeaseFire,” and so he begins his multi-part series where he covers the conference. Joe has done biometric authentication in his career, so it’s safe to say his is not a layman’s opinion. You can see his final post here, which contains a link to all the other parts. Based on what I’ve read, I think the grip recognition technology is likely dangerous based on the description. End consumers not likely to truly understand the limitations of the technology, which could give owners of these firearms a false sense of security. A false negative identification in some situations can be potentially deadly, but false positive identification would defeat the entire purpose of the technology, and is very concerning.

Joe’s article has a lot of detail in it, and well worth a read if you want to understand the technological and political dynamics of this technology. I had meant to post this sooner, but I needed to find time myself to read through the whole thing in detail. One thing I will say is that it does appear that some folks working on this technology are genuinely interested in bringing something to market they think will be a benefit to people, rather than forcing it on the market because they have alternate agendas. That is not universally the case, however, and as you would expect, there were people who wanted to force smart gun technology on us, because it’s pretty apparent they are out to get gun owners and want to frustrate us out of exercising our right.

MDA Shot Down Again

Bearing Arms breaks the story that Raising Cain’s Chicken Fingers has told Mom’s Demand Action to take a hike. I attribute this to two factors. First, Kroger has shown that it’s possible for a mass market brand to stand up to Mom’s Demand Action without suffering any real consequences. Second, as Bearing Arms mentions, Open Carry Texas has realized the problems with that kind of protesting and effectively stopped doing it. MDA has been forced to go through years old pictures on the Internet in order to find some pretext for putting pressure on a new chain, and it hasn’t been working. I think it’s safe to say, if this car MDA is driving hasn’t run completely out of gas yet, the engine is definitely starting to sputter. I think MDA is find out how hopeless they really are if they don’t have help from our side.

“Your Brain on Guns”

My first impression of this story in Mother Nature News is that TTAG’s Charlie Hebdo simulation continues to pay off in spades, but a closer look reveals this to be perhaps the biggest piece of tripe I’ve seen in a while on the topic of guns. The media’s narrative on that simulation has already been dismantled by people far more expert than I. But this article promotes the idea that the mere presence of firearms drives aggressive behavior. Most of us, who actually own firearms, know this is patent nonsense. So what is it based on? It’s partially based on a 2006 study that showed that 30 men who interacted with guns as opposed to children’s toys would add more hot sauce to water that they thought someone else would drink. I shit you not. Too small a sample size, and insufficient control. Maybe just sitting there raises testosterone levels even more? Did you test that? What about interacting with a power tool? Or solving a puzzle? You’d need to do that to show whether there was really anything special about a weapon, or whether other objects or tasks affect testosterone levels in the same way. Did you control for weapons phobia? Perhaps the subject feared them, and I would imagine in men that fear drives testosterone levels.

The other major factor that this article relies on is the controversial “Weapons Effect,” which has never been reliably reproduced under controlled conditions. I suspect the 2006 study was an attempt to show replication, but the 2006 study is likewise scientifically flawed. Of course, the scientific problem with these studies doesn’t stop people and reporters who don’t like us, and don’t like what we do, to use this pseudoscientific nonsense to smear us.

h/t to Thirdpower

Why Do Teachers Need Special Self-Defense Standards?

Our community is often upset, rightly so in my opinion, when police are given special powers that ordinary citizens lack. For the most part, the justification standards for use of force and deadly force is the same for an ordinary citizen as it is for the police officer. Police officers, of course, sometimes have different powers to apprehend, and also have qualified immunity (which is why a citizens arrest is never a smart idea). I think it’s an important tenet of our Republic that all citizens are equal before the law, regardless of whether they are agents of the state or not. I know we don’t often live up to that, but I think that is an ideal to strive for.

So that leads me to question why other people, people who are often agents of the state, need special powers to protect themselves? I could see a bill that prevented a teacher who exercises their right to lawful self-defense from being fired. That’s really just employment law. But it appears the bill says:

… an educator is justified in using force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event in defense of the educator’s person or in defense of students of the school that employs the educator if, under the circumstances as the educator reasonably believes them to be, the educator would be justified…in using force or deadly force, as applicable, in defense of the educator or students.

I’m not really certain what this even accomplishes, but I admit to being ignorant of any detailed knowledge of Texas self-defense law. The rest of the article leads me to believe that the sponsor of this legislation, Rep. Dan Flynn, is Texas’ very own version of our Daryl Metcalfe. Thinking of it that way puts this in an understandable context.

News of the Day

Sort of a mini-news links, since there’s not honestly much happening today to comment on:

Everytown was on the hunt for victims to exploit, but then something rather unexpected happened.

This is a few years old, from Don Kates, about myths in regards to European gun laws and gun ownership. Europeans are not so disarmed as Americans often think.

Via Tam, some commentary about the M14 that’s riled up a lot of M14 fans. More from Weaponsman.

Shannon Watts hitching her BMW to the wrong horse. The funny thing is these people really aren’t very good at what they do. A decade ago, the Bradys honestly made fewer gaffes. But Everytown has money that Brady could never have dreamed of.

NRA is coming to Emmaus. Gun owners in this state should be very worried, because we’re already showing a lack of ability to hold statewide offices despite the Democrats running really lackluster candidates.

Gun bills return to the Colorado Capitol, but this time, hopefully, it’s our turn.

Good to see Elanor Clift is alive and well, and as ignorant as ever.

This is well past the last straw for me

It’s been a while since I’ve considered Governor Christie as a potential for my vote in either the primaries or the general election next year, but this would have pushed me off the fence if I was still on it. Vaccine choice is where he decides that the government doesn’t know best?

If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, that’s fine, but then you can keep them out of contact with other people’s kids; who might not have a choice. As an image macro I saw going around the book of Face the other day put it, “I can’t bring peanuts into school, but you can bring measles?”