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Once again, there is talk of pushing smart gun technology to reduce gun violence and accidental shootings. In the summer of 2016, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a retired police officer, announced a competition for creating safer guns. He believes that smart gun technology could bridge the chasm between gun control and gun rights. Adams stated:

“I think that the problem is that people use [the phrase] ‘gun control,’ but actually, it’s guns out of control. Oftentimes when we think of illegal guns, we think of a person who goes out and commits a crime. But the crime that was committed was using a gun they weren’t authorized to use.”

“We use smartphones for everything. The only thing we haven’t applied technology to is handguns.”

Most smart gun technology designed so far utilizes a fingerprint reader that is programmed when the gun is purchased. The fingerprint of the owner is programmed into the gun, resulting in the gun not operating for anyone other than for the owner.

The argument is that guns that are stolen will be useless to whoever stole it or bought it on the street. That may be true to an extent. A smart gun can be reprogrammed with a new fingerprint with special software, meaning that some criminals will be able to obtain the software and make a fortune reprogramming guns for other criminals.

However, a HUGE argument against smart guns is that they will leave loved ones defenseless and vulnerable to criminals. Read the incidents below and realized that smart gun technology would have left all of them defenseless and at the mercy of others who intended to rob, rape and possibly kill them.

In 2011, 18-year-old Sarah McKinley was home with her baby son. Her 24-year-old husband had recently died of cancer. A couple of men who knew her husband was dead tried to break into her home. One of them was carrying a 12-inch-lng hunting knife. Sarah grabbed a handgun and shotgun that had belonged to her late husband and warned the men she was armed. This was the second visit to the house for one of the men and they made their sexual intentions towards her known. After one of them kicked in her door Sarah shot one of the intruders, killing him instantly and the other fled.

In 2012, 12-year-old Kendra St. Claire of Oklahoma was home alone when an intruder tried breaking into the house. She called her mom at work who told her to grab her (the mom’s) handgun and hide in the closet. Kendra did and as the intruder tried to open the closet door, she shot him in the shoulder, forcing him to flee the house. He was quickly apprehended by police and charged with his crime.

In 2014, another boy used a shotgun protect himself from a masked intruder. Seeing the masked intruder trying to break in through the back door, the boy grabbed a shotgun and shells, loaded and fired in the direction of the intruder who then fled in fear.

In 2014, three armed intruders kicked in the door to a home in Hockley, Texas where a woman was cooking breakfast for 8 people. One of her sons ran to the bedroom and returned with a loaded gun and when he heard his mom pleading that the men not harm her granddaughters, he began shooting at the intruders. One intruder dropped where he stood and the others fled, leaving the family unharmed.

In 2014, several armed men kicked in the front door of a home on Road 140 around 6am. At home at the time were a 22-year-old man and his three siblings, ages 18, 11 and 8. The oldest brother quickly grabbed a handgun from the safe as he saw two men entering his house. When the 22-year-old confronted the intruders, shots were fired. When it was all over, one intruder lay dead on the floor inside the house and another intruder was wounded. His companions grabbed him and took off in their vehicle. Whose gun was in the safe and if it had belonged to their father, the 22-year-old would not have been able to use it to defend himself and his younger siblings.

In 2015, a 13-year-old boy in Charleston County, South Carolina used one of his mom’s loaded guns to ward off two armed intruders trying to enter his home through the back door. Seeing that the men were armed, the boy feared for his life and fired at the intruders. One of the intruders died and the other was severally wounded but the boy suffered no harm. No one knows what would have happened to him had he not had access to a loaded gun when the armed men entered the house and discovered him home.

A Sarasota 15 year old was home alone earlier this week. At 12:30 in the afternoon, a man tried to break in the backdoor of the teenager’s home. The teenager heard banging at the backdoor and looked out to see a strange man at the door wearing a black mask. Grabbing a loaded shotgun that was not locked up in a gun safe, the teen fired a warning shot in the general direction of the intruder who then fled.

In 2017, At a home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a suburb on the southeast corner of the Tulsa metropolitan area, three really unfortunate criminals decided to break into a home with the intent of burglarizing it. According to the Wagoner County Sheriff’s office, the three men entered through a glass back door. They encountered the homeowner’s 19-year-old son, armed with an AR-15. After an exchange of words and failure to leave the home, the son, fearing for his safety and protecting his home, opened fire on the three intruders. When police arrived on the scene they found two of the burglars dead on the kitchen floor and the third was dead in the driveway.

These are only a very few of the incidents where someone in a family has used a gun owned by another family member to defend themselves. Smart gun technology would have rendered all of them to be helpless and unable to defend themselves. It won’t stop some criminals but it will prove harmful and deadly for many loved ones and this is the main reason why I and many others are adamantly opposed to smart gun technology.

 

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