July 23, 2019 | 67° F

Smart guns are not a practical solution to gun control issues

Letter to Editor

I write this as a proud member of the National Rifle Association as well as a Rutgers student. I just wish to make a point about Sabri Rafi’s piece on smart guns without getting into a debate on the minutiae of gun control. They are correctly identified as merely a “band-aid,” but there is one fact of which he may not be aware: Smart guns are completely impractical. As National Review Online’s Charles C. W. Cooke notes, “There currently exists a grand total of one “smart” gun — an expensive German product that comes only in a weak caliber that is wholly unsuitable for self-defense.” That gun, the Armatix iP1 pistol, costs $1,800 — approximately three times the price of an average handgun and far out of most people’s price range. It is a .22 caliber firearm, which, as anyone familiar with guns will tell you, is better described as a “pea shooter.” He goes on to cite Guns.com’s Max Slowik, who points out that, “And [Smart guns] just don’t work 100 percent of the time. Which is precisely why both New Jersey and Maryland have enacted legislation that exempts them from being forced to issue smart guns to their police officers. For a target or recreational shooter, this might be OK. But for anyone who may want to use their gun for self-defense, police or otherwise, the failure rate inherent to smart guns — about 1 percent with the latest generation of smart safeties — is unacceptable.” Revolvers, the form of gun usually preferred for self-defense purposes due to their almost-complete reliability, would actually have their failure rate drastically increased if they were to be manufactured with smart technology. (The iP1 is a semiautomatic, not a revolver.) I hope this brings a little clarification as to exactly how successful any smart gun solution would be.

Ben Kusnetz is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in political science.

By Ben Kusnetz

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