Smart guns: a problematic solution to gun control

Edwin J. Viera, Columnist

Over the summer the tragedy that happened in Orlando brought on major conflicts about gun control and how far people have come in the understanding of the LGBTQ community. It brings about many different questions about gun advocates, the upcoming technology for guns and a book by Joseph Heller.

Heller wrote the amazing novel, “Catch-22,” which has come to mean being in a difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions. In other words, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go. It seems with the gun control issue in the country it becomes a real “Catch-22.”

The “Catch-22” in this case comes in the form of smart guns. Many gun companies have developed something called a smart gun; this type of technology allows the owner of the gun to be the only person to use it. For example, if someone broke into a house and tried to use a homeowner’s smart gun it wouldn’t fire.

One of the main issues in the presidential race is the position of gun control. While, for many, the idea of gun control is owning a handgun for protection from a potential robber. For others gun control is owning enough arms to supply the U.S. Army.

Enter one of the many problems. If smart guns only recognize the print of the owner; what happens if the owner decides to use that gun on a school. Sure many school shootings could have been prevented but how long is it going to be before we find the solution?

Smart guns could be the solution but there are a few bugs that have to be worked out. Sure there is the matter of getting around the idea of only one person being able to use the gun, but perhaps increased regulation could help with this.

Here is where the “Catch-22” comes into play. This is ultimately a situation people may not be able to escape from. Since only the owners of a smart gun can use them; how do you keep people who own smart guns from using them to shoot up a school? After considering this, I couldn’t help but wonder.

When it comes to gun control; are smart guns the answer or part of the problem?

Using a smart gun is like using the fingerprint unlock on an iPhone. It scans your fingerprint and will allow the owner to shoot it. Now this comes in two different forms.

The first is through a ring and will only operate when the owner is nearby and the other is through a scanner on the gun.

Also it would cut down on the number of accidents that happen with guns.

Now let’s examine the positions of the presidential candidates on gun control. Trump says that he wants to uphold it and keep politicians from chipping away it. He also says that the mental health system is unbroken.

As true as that maybe it’s only one part of the problem. Trump actually acknowledges the other reason which is the background check art of buying a gun.

To quote Trump’s website on Second Amendment on the “So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.”

Hillary Clinton wants to “expand background checks to more gun sales—including by closing the gun show and Internet sales loopholes—and strengthen the background check system by getting rid of the so-called ‘Charleston Loophole.’ Take on the gun lobby by removing the industry’s sweeping legal protection for illegal and irresponsible actions (which makes it almost impossible for people to hold them accountable), and revoking licenses from dealers who break the law”.

Clinton also wants to “keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill by supporting laws that stop domestic abusers from buying and owning guns, making it a federal crime for someone to intentionally buy a gun for a person prohibited from owning one, and closing the loopholes that allow people suffering from severe mental illness to purchase and own guns.” She will also support work to keep military-style weapons off our streets.

Gun control is one of the leading issues in the country, but the way it’s being handled doesn’t make sense. Sure we need to control the way guns are sold in this country, but at the same time some alterations need to be made to the types of guns sold. Maybe smart guns are part of the solution to the problem, but even the solution is flawed.

Smart guns work well because only the owner can fire them but since the owner is the only one who could fire it doesn’t keep someone from shooting up a school. In the end it seems that guns are going to be a major “Catch-22” in society that keeps presenting more difficult problems to solve. Now the real question becomes; how do we solve a never ending problem?

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