US /
We Can Make Guns Safer, but Gunmakers Don't Want To
The technology exists, we just aren't implementing it: Farhad Manjoo
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 11:57 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A gun that only fires when its authorized owner is carrying it: Sounds like something out of the movies—and indeed, James Bond carries one in Skyfall—but such technology, as well as features to make guns safer, is very much possible. So why hasn't it been widely implemented? Because "gunmakers don't care," declares Farhad Manjoo on Slate. While our cars, appliances, and other products are subject to consumer safety laws that have made them less dangerous over the years, guns are exempt from most of those laws—so gun companies can't be sued and embarrassed after gun deaths the same way car companies can be after vehicle accidents.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is also prohibited from regulating guns. "If they can’t be sued and can’t be regulated, gunmakers have no incentive to make smarter guns," writes Manjoo, even though such guns "might prevent hundreds or thousands of deaths per year." Manjoo concedes that "smart guns," which use a variety of different methods from grip-recognition to fingerprints to RFID tokens to passwords to ensure only authorized users fire them, may not have stopped Adam Lanza's recent massacre, since his mother presumably would have added him as an authorized user so she could take him to the shooting range. But such guns, or guns with other safety measures gunmakers have been slow to implement, could have saved many victims like 7-year-old Craig Loughrey. Click for Manjoo's full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Your Take
33%
5%
13%
7%
41%
1%
7% of people agree
that it's Depressing
Check Out Another Depressing Story
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 121 comments
hopalong40
Dec 20, 2012 8:36 AM CST
THE SHOOTERS, ARE GOING AFTER THE WRONG PEOPLE.
hopalong40
Dec 20, 2012 7:58 AM CST
MORE GUN GRABBERS B.S. IF THEY CAN'T TAKE GUNS AWAY, THEY LIE ABOUT SAFE GUNS. I CARRY EVERYWHERE I GO. THE ONLY WAY, THEY CAN TAKE MY GUN, IS FROM MY MY COLD DEAD HANDS. I HAVE A PERMIT, AND THE TRAINING. SO TAKE YOUR B.S. AND GO AWAY. AS FOR THE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. IF ONE PERSON HAD A GUN, THEY MIGHT HAVE STOPPED THE SHOOTER. AS IT PLAYED OUT, NONE OF THE VICTIMS HAD A CHANGE IN HADES. MY HEART GO'S OUT TO THE LITTLE KIDS, AND THEIR PARENTS. YOU FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE. DON,T BLAME THE GUN, BLAME THE SHOOTER. THERE ARE A LOT OF CRAZY PEOPLE, OUT THERE. YOU CANNOT TALK TO PEOPLE WITH A CLOSED MIND. WELL, MY MIND IS CLOSED ABOUT BANNING GUNS.
augie2
Dec 19, 2012 11:51 PM CST
In the late 70's they came out with a ring when worn by the gun handler would allow the weapon to activate. It was bullshit and easily over ridden. Oh, it was a liberal bullshit idea that didn't work very much like many proposed today.