January 7, 2005 5:58 AM PST

In wrong hands, high-tech guns won't fire

The circuits that control music players, cell phones and PDAs may soon be in a new location: inside electronically controlled guns.
Photo: Metal Storm's 'smart gun'
The New York Times

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these professors will be sued if the product is sold
And the companies making it will also be sued.

If you're trying to defend yourself, it's unacceptable to have something added where the "system fails in one out of 10 cases". That's like saying it's ok if you're in your car and it crashes and the gas tank blows up in 1 out of 10 cases.

We're talking about people's lives. Anything less than seven 9's reliable (99.999999% reliable) is unacceptable. Anything less and these so called "helpful professors" will get sued along w/ any companies that license the technology as soon as a gun fails to shoot because of it. If politicians start mandating this, they should be sued as well.

You can tell these professors were funded by someone who doesn't understand that reliability is paramount when you're defending yourself :-)
Posted by kenyee (147 comments )
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Somewhat Agree
Well... given the large amount of support for gun control, I'm not sure anybody would be thrown in jail. Yet I do agree with your opinion. If I had a gun for self defense, I would want to know that it was 100% reliable, in case I needed it. How would you like to confront an armed burglar with a pistol that won't fire because the batteries are dead? I will only warm up to this idea once every police force and military unit in the US agrees that this technology is beneficial and adopts it across the board. Until its good enough for police and military, it is not good enough for personal defense. As far as hunting weapons goes, this is a complete and total joke. Gloved hands, akward shooting positions, makeshift bipods... it would never work.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
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This is a bad idea
I know a large percentage of law enforcement officers shot in the line of duty are shot with their own gun. This is NOT the solution.

So we put a computer chip in the gun to recoignize and identify a legitimate user by their pressure during the firing sequence. Now the officer doesn't know if the gun will fire or not until the shot actually goes off. Think that might be distracting enough to affect accuracy?

This would also mean that officers pinned down in a firefight situation would be restricted to their own personal firearm to defend themselves. Again, bad idea.

How about SRT teams who can't swap a rifle around to respond to a fluid situation?

I am all for technology, but adding a chip to a handgun, the last line of defense is a bad, bad idea.
Posted by (52 comments )
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So, an officer is shot in the arm during a traffic stop. He runs off the side of the road into a wet, muddy, grassy field.

His grip is different, strength is different, mud and blood cover the sensors, it's dark and he doesn't realize there's long grass stuck in his grip.

I guess we just expect him to throw the useless weapon at his attacker ??
Posted by regulator1956 (577 comments )
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Typical academic BS idea
A handgun is intentionally a fully mechanical weapon, with the possible exception of laser sights. However, failure of laser sights do not render the weapon inoperable. Mechanical failure is much rarer than electronic failure, especially in something like a handgun, which is generally well-maintained (if the user who relies on it wants to stay alive). Electronics failure itself is much rarer than software failure. Trust me, I have been in the software industry for 20 years; I know a lot about software failure, dealing as I do with software quality.

Finally, electronics usually depend on an energy source (battery) of some sort. All this will reduce the reliability of a handgun. Adding something that reduces the reliability of a handgun is risking someone's life (its user). Anyone who buys such a weapon is either feeble-minded or seriously misguided.

The premise of the software is also flawed. People's physical characteristics change under dynamic conditions. You may not have time to grip the handgun properly in an emergency situation. Your dominant hand might be injured, so you might have to use your other hand. A friend or family member might need to defend himself or herself.

The funny thing is that various schemes over the years have been hatched. I remember a magnetic ring that enabled the handgun.

The bottom line is: if you have children and a handgun, keep it either on your hip or locked up in a safe out of reach of the children. Teach your children firearm safety when they are old enough to understand. Possibly use a trigger guard that small hands cannot remove. Education is the most effective prevention technique.

If, God forbid, this grip recognition software ever makes it into production weapons, the anti-gun lobby will have more effectively outlawed handguns than by any other technique, because nobody will want to trust their lives to such a weapon. I pity the manufacturer that is forced to adopt this, because surely they will not do it willingly.
Posted by yobtvoya (41 comments )
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