Ah, yes, the smart gun conversation. Here we are again thanks to a new bill from Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney entitled the Handgun Trigger Safety Act. But before we cover that bill, let’s think about a specific scenario.
Think back to the last time you genuinely feared for your life. It happens to most normal folks from time to time. For some of us who suffer from diagnosable testosterone toxicity, it’s a not altogether unfamiliar experience. Perhaps you had a car wreck, slipped at the edge of a precipice, stepped on a venomous snake, or were involved in a crime. What exactly did that feel like?
I have thankfully only had to present a gun for real once. I shoot all the time, but this time was the real deal. It involved armed gangbangers, a belligerent drug dealer, and a lot of scary shouting. It all turned out fine, but I don’t recall a great deal of higher order thought taking place at the time.
When you think you’re going to die your body does some peculiar things. Picture what happens should a bear start to chase you. Catecholamines surge through your system shunting blood to long muscles, dilating your pupils, increasing your heart rate, and bumping up your blood pressure. The human animal is designed to survive at all costs. The problem at hand is that the Honorable Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York’s 12th District doesn’t understand that very well.
The Handgun Trigger Safety Act
Congresswoman Maloney recently introduced a raft of new gun control measures designed to protect us all from the scourge of gun violence. Let’s overlook the fact that crime in general has been steadily declining in the era of widespread concealed carry of firearms by civilians. The isolated examples of school shootings and similar ghastly stuff are nonetheless undeniably horrible.
In the face of such as this, politicians do what politicians do. They weaponize the crisis to drive new laws that further encroach upon our individual freedoms. A timeless axiom is that once a government takes away some of your freedom they never, ever willingly give it back; that river only flows one way.
The Congresswoman’s plan is broken down into five components. They are each unfettered from reality in their own unique ways, like the previously discussed NICS Review Act. However, today we will discuss the Handgun Trigger Safety Act. This is what happens when somebody who clearly knows nothing about guns or the physiology of armed conflict tries to regulate its tools. The end result is simply a sordid mess.
Handgun Trigger Safety Act Specifics
If enacted the gun industry has five years from the passage of this law to get its act together. At the end of those five years every newly manufactured or imported handgun in America would have to include some kind of nebulous onboard mechanism that only allows it to be operated by its authorized user. She refers to these as “Personalized Handguns.”
The law helpfully defines the term “authorized user” in great detail. It offers zero insight into how this thing could actually work, however. The law would require incorporation of this new hypothetical security apparatus into the design of the gun. Companies may not sell it as an accessory. Gun owners may not readily remove or deactivate it.
Ten years after enacted, the law would require these rules apply to all handguns except antiques and military guns. After that 10-year cutoff, nobody can sell a used handgun without this nebulous failsafe technology. And this so-called tech only allows a pistol to fire by its authorized user.
At least there’s an exemption for the military. Our Delta Force shooters will certainly be relieved. You’ll note, however, that there is not an exception for law enforcement. The law would require our boys and girls in blue to run this disabling technology as well. This bilious screed applies to everybody.
It’s honestly an honorable goal. I would love it if I could snap my fingers and only Good Guys would be able to fire guns. However, I’d like to start every morning pooping out gold nuggets, too, but chances are that’s not going to happen, either. It’s obvious that Congresswoman Maloney gets her images of how guns really work from James Bond movies and her iPhone.
I love that my iPhone opens itself when I touch it. However, multiple times a day I have to try that a couple of times to make that work. I’m honestly not real interested in trying to remember how to hold my fingertip on my firearm to unlock it in the face of a dire threat to my survival. A dire threat to my survival is the only reason I would ever touch my firearm in public anyway.
What happens if it’s dirty? How about if the battery dies? What if I’m trying desperately not to lose control of my bowels and my fingertip isn’t square to the scanner pad? The bottom line is that out here in the real world, where I live and Congresswoman Maloney clearly doesn’t, this just won’t work. Period.
Maloney’s Handgun Trigger Safety Act represents magical thinking on so many levels. Americans currently own approximately an estimated 400 million guns. Let’s put that into perspective. You and I own 20 times more gun as we can count soldiers in all the world’s armies combined.
Maloney can craft whatever laws she wants, it simply will not affect reality beyond perhaps putting some unfortunate otherwise law-abiding gun owners in jail. It will also make it very difficult and very expensive to buy a gun. And therein lies the point.
I can’t imagine anybody smart enough to land a seat in Congress actually believing any of this is going to work. The real purpose of the Handgun Trigger Safety Act is obviously to make it tougher and more expensive for folks like you and me to buy guns. In the fantasy world where Congresswoman Maloney lives, criminals obey laws. Laws drive reality, and the Constitution serves as an impediment to merely creatively circumvent.
We have our very own amendment, for goodness sakes. If Congresswoman Maloney applied the same logic to the First Amendment, you’d need a background check to own a word processor and a biometric scan to enter a church. It would honestly be kind of funny if there wasn’t so much riding on it.
Every fire starts with a spark. This is a proper spark. If we hope to remain a free people, we must be ever vigilant.