More than half of all gun deaths in the United States are suicides. At almost 20k a year, those who take their own lives using firearms make up slightly more than half the total number of suicides as a whole. It’s a terrible number, but it’s a number that doesn’t have to be so high. Besides the obvious approach of limiting easy access to firearms (NJ’s relatively tough firearm restrictions are partly credited with its low suicide rate), long years have been spent developing technology that would bring responsibility directly to those who choose to own firearms. This technology that would ensure that only the firearm owner could operate his/her chosen firearm. Makes sense, right? Fears of a firearm being stolen, found by a child, used by a despondent family member, removed during an altercation would dissipate.
Yet, the gun lobby and anti-regulation extremists refuse to embrace this technology, thus revealing The Truth: They care not about firearm safety; they care only about their own control of guns. Oh, and the profits that flow from the firearm manufacturing and marketing industry.
Interestingly, the “smart gun” manufacturers, most notably Armatrix, tout the safety features:
The [smart gun] manufacturers argue that these new technologies could prevent suicides, accidental shootings and the deaths of police officers whose guns are wrested away in a struggle.
The technology is still new, of course, and relatively untested. But instead of lining up to try it out at demonstrations, anti-regulation gun extremists have targeted the Armatrix representative with harassment and threats, and the on-line wannabe tough guys swarmed a FFL firearm dealer who had planned to sell the guns.
“I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans,” one [calguns.net] commenter wrote.
The idea that threats to physical safety and intimidation are acceptable methods of influencing policy is no big deal to second amendment extremists. Their goal, as it always is, is to silence critics using the same tactics we see in schoolyard bullies.
Clearly, these extremists believe profiting from fear-mongering and toasting to the deaths of 30 thousand Americans a year is so much more palatable. The pernicious glee with which the gun industry has marketed its products smacks of the giggling F-U attitude seen in The Wolf of Wall Street.
In the same vein, it is a tiny minority of people who are creating the waves and drama (the modus operandi is consistent) that draws our attention and media time away from true tragedies that are happening every day.
Stay focused, people. It’s not hopeless.