Friday, January 29, 2010

Red Light, Green Light!

Someone will always come up with something to cover a niche market. In this case, they are sort of inventing their own niche market. An electronic firearm that is automatically disabled if it is not near the corresponding wrist watch, a "safe" gun. I have a few problems with it.

1. A "safe" gun, is a term more commonly called a "safe queen." It is a firearm that because of its beauty or monetary value is never fired, but resides in your safe. It is brought out for show and tell, but nothing more. I don't own any "safe queens." I certainly don't begrudge someone who does. Everyone probably has a small fortune tied up in something that will never be sold. My is in coins.

2. $10,000 price tag. Alright, I am sure this is just the starting price and as the technology catches on it will come down in price. Right? Seriously, though, this is being marketed to law enforcement and personal security people. What law enforcement agency is going to spend $10,000 per firearm? Most common firearms used by law enforcement cost less than $1000. Besides, if I had $10,000 to spend on a firearm, I wouldn't buy a .22, even if it was gold plated. I would buy one of these.

3. .22 caliber. There is nothing wrong with .22 caliber. I own several and shoot more rounds of .22 than all others combined. That being said, I would only use .22 in a defensive situation if I had no other choice. Again, this is marketed to law enforcement and personal security. I would be that there are a total of ZERO law enforcement agencies that use .22 as their standard (or even backup) caliber. The vast majority (and by that I mean all) use .38 special, 9mm, .357, .40 S&W, or .45ACP (or one of their derivatives).

4. LED lights. This is designed so that if the firearm is near the watch, it is activated and a green light is lit. Otherwise a red light is lit. OK, for stoplights and electronics, green means on and red means off. For firearms, not so much. If you haven't looked at your manual safeties lately take a look. You will find that the safe position is white and the fire position is red. Every firearm manufacture that I know follows this method. Green is for camoflage. This tells me that people who actually use firearms probably had very little to do with its development. Not sure I want to trust someone like that with a weapon.

5. Electronic whiz bang stuff in a mechanical instrument. Let's be perfectly honest with ourselves. Firearms are mechanical devices. The revolver was invented more than 150 years ago and is still in (very reliable) use today. Semi-automatic handguns were developed more than 100 years ago and we are still making some of the exact same models that were produced at the turn of the 20th century.

But, but, but, sound like you are anti-technological advancement. Uh, no. I happen to love a lot of technology. That doesn't mean to say that every technological advancement is good or worth spending our money on. No one complains that pencils are outdated and we continue to sell billions of them each year. Yet this technology (using carbon based substance to make marks on a plant based substance) has been in continuous use for more than 10,000 years. Before they used charcoal and wood, today we use graphite and paper. It is essentially the same. Mechanical pencils are nice, but in all honesty, they aren't as reliable as a regular wood pencil, can you imagine what would happen if someone came up with an electronic pencil?

The reason why firearms are so popular with law enforcement, military, hunters, sport shooters, and yes, even criminals, is because they go BANG each time you pull the trigger. If they don't do that reliably, then they are sold at a discount. Quality firearms go BANG whenever someone pulls the trigger, and they don't go BANG unless someone pulls the trigger. This company has produced a gun that goes BANG when someone pulls the trigger IF (and depending on your situation, that could be a big IF), there is a wristwatch nearby, AND IF the batteries are still working, AND IF none of the electronics have gone bad. And they want to charge a premium for it as well.

So, if you feel like wasting $10,000 on this paper weight, do you mind sending me a check as well?

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