Cold, Dead Hands



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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140 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    One of the gun lobby’s favorite quotes is “An armed society is a polite society”, which, as I’ve pointed out many times, wasn’t true in the book it comes from. Another is “The right to buy weapons is the right to be free”, taken from AE Van Vogt’s Weapon Shops of Isher, which sold weapons that are smart in exactly the fashion which has resulted in threats to their seller’s life. Either they can’t read or they assume their audience can’t.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Add to that that in the Old West, almost the first law passed as soon as the town got big enough was “check your guns with the sheriff first thing, pick them up on your way out of town.” TTBOMK, those people 125 or more years closer to the Founders than we are never had a problem with that violating the 2nd amendment…Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Well, yes. the guns were for where the sheriffs weren’t.
        Like they ought to be now.
        (and for the most part are: the underground economy folks keep guns in the city because they can’t call the police)Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I still don’t understand the objection to this weapon. It will only fire if it’s within a close proximity to an RFID chip, embedded in a watch worn by the owner. Seems like a perfect sort of thing for defense in a home invasion situation — if the bad guy gets the gun, it’s useless to him.

    What am I not seeing? Why is this a danger to gun ownership rights?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Is it possible for the authorities to disable the RFID chips?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        This seems a risk that the gun owner should be able to take (again, provided these guns don’t become the legal standard). Even so — if this is an issue — resist it, not the selling of the guns.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Dumb guns could be banned and these things might not work reliably seem to be the main concerns.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I think the former – especially with the NJ law that apparently kicks in if the gun is sold anywhere nationwide – is a legitimate area of concern but the solution is to resist that law, not to threaten this man.

        If the guns don’t work, won’t the market correct for that?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        @kazzy is on point for the second issue: if the RFID chip technology is unreliable, then it just isn’t a good gun.

        As for banning all other guns if this is available, that’s going to sound a lot like an unconstitutional taking and an unconstitutional restriction of the right to keep and bear. Until and unless this technology becomes so ubiquitous that gun culture changes to accommodate it, dumb guns aren’t going anywhere.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        The NJ law is that only smart guns could be sold, not that existing ones would be confiscated. Though I’m not sure if that applies only to newly manufactured guns; being forbidden to resell an older gun does sound like a taking.Report

    • Avatar dand says:

      apparently there is a law on the books in New Jersey that bans all other guns once one becomes availableReport

      • Avatar Murali says:

        I doubt that law is constitutional.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Probably, but how likely is a lawsuit against it going to get an injunction against enforcement while it works it’s way to the Supreme Court?Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        Probably, but how likely is a lawsuit against it going to get an injunction against enforcement while it works it’s way to the Supreme Court?

        New Jersey courts are kinda conservative, aren’t they? GWB appointed half of NJ’s District Court judges, Regan and GHWB two more. NJ is the Third District Court of Appeals, assuming the District Court isn’t the last stop.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Perhaps, but I tend not to trust too much to the political leanings of judges. It’s an inconsistent thing when their ideology runs up against their legal training/logic. Which one will carry the day really depends on the judge.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        I can empathize with that to a degree, but ultimately, that’s what you’re going to have to deal with, right?

        Sooner or later, someone will mass-produce a smart gun and it will be available in New Jersey. Heck, the downloadable gun guys might even do it.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        I would surmise that the hope is to hold that day off until the law can be changed. A faint hope, I think, considering how hostile NJ is to gun owners already. I can not imagine that NJ will suffer enough turn-over anytime soon to have a hope of overturning that law legislatively.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      The general problems with firearms like this, outside of the inherent technology, which could be subject to jamming, hacking, etc. is that you need the linked chip in the wrist ban or such close at hand. If you don’t the gun is useless. So if hubby, with the wrist chip is in the basement and doesn’t hear the break in in the bedroom window, wifey can’t use the gun since she’s not wearing the chip, for example.

      Personally I think these types of weapons are foolish, but hey, it’s your life.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Why can’t wife have a chip too?Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Because that’s a recipe for disaster, if hubby keeps hanging his socks on the bannister.

        More seriously, you also need the gun, and its bullets, close at hand. If they are not, the gun is useless. Now, I can certainly see an argument that you don’t want to overcomplicate ANY tool, but we generally accept that certain complications can add enough safety to compensate for the complication.

        My car is also “useless” without keys; but the fact that no one else can easily drive my car without my permission is pretty handy.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        +1 to GlyphReport

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    From the article:

    But after hundreds of protests on his store’s Facebook page and online forums — a repeat of what Oak Tree faced — Raymond released a long video on the Facebook page saying he had received death threats and would not sell the gun. He apologized and took responsibility for the decision. He had sold none of the smart guns and would not, he said.

    I certainly hope that the death threats were given to the authorities and that the authorities follow up appropriately…

    But as for the other 99.44% of the comments, doesn’t this fall under the whole “free speech doesn’t mean that you get to say whatever you want without it being criticized in turn” issue that we’ve been hammering on for the last however many days?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Well, first off, selling the gun itself isn’t “speech”. But, sure, people have every right to respond to this man’s intended sale. They can boycott, protest — hell, even an absolute reading of the 1st would give them the right to offer death threats.

      But my issue — again — is with the sincerity of their argument. Do they believe in an unfettered right to access guns? Or the right of some people to acquire some guns?

      As the seller said:
      ““To me that is so fricking hypocritical,” Raymond had said. “That’s the antithesis of everything that we pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment people should be. You are not supposed to say a gun should be prohibited. Then you are being no different than the anti-gun people who say an AR-15 should be prohibited.””Report

    • Avatar dand says:

      i don’t anything about this area of the law but if the groups advocating the boycott receive funding from the makers of regular gun is it possible that this violates Unfair competition laws?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Oh, my assumption was that the people doing these things were all individuals acting individually.

        Is that one of the theories? Colt or S&W or those guys are the ones opposing these guns, the way that Ford or GM opposed Toyotas?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        One of the things the gun lobby is best at is orchestrating “spontaneous” email campaigns.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Yeah, but “Colt” is not “the gun lobby”. It seems to me that “the gun lobby” is far more likely to enjoy the fruits of foreign imports (of dumb guns, anyway) than Colt or S&W.

        But, hey. Maybe the shop owner is getting death threats from American Workers who fear for their livelihoods if these foreign guns start gaining marketshare and displace American Middle Class Jobs.

        How are we supposed to feel about that, again?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        No, and there’s no reason to think that Colt or any rival manufacturers are involved here. dand is speculating, not asserting. I’m disagreeing with your assumption that a large group of people all saying the same thing at the same time in the same channels are acting as individuals rather than as an organized group.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      They can boycott him, and I can point at them and say “Tell us again about how it’s not guns you love, it’s freedom, you fishing hypocrites” Free speech iz kool.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Eh, when it comes to stuff like boycotts, there’s the fundamental problem of how it’s possible for progressives to boycott Wal-Mart.

        From what I understand, progressives already don’t shop there.

        When it comes to firearms, the people who purchase firearms are the only ones who can credibly threaten “I’m not going to buy that sort of thing and, on top of that, I’m not going to buy stuff I ordinarily *WOULD* buy from your store if you do sell it!”

        And then, of course, we can mock them for being hypocrites… but that doesn’t strike me as likely to change much of anything the second the news cycle changes.

        My suggestion would to be to change the market. All of the people who, until now, would never ever even think about owning a gun? Hey, buy this one! And buy it from this guy! Keep him afloat! If enough people do this, if enough smart guns move, if there’s enough of a change, then the old gun culture will be subsumed into the new one.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I’m sorry, @jaybird , but that is an ass-backwards proposal.

        We shouldn’t tolerate these behaviors because gun stores aren’t like Walmarts.

        These people are wrong. Why can’t you just admit that? Why does everything have to be about how EVERYONE (but Jaybird, of course) is wrong?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Oh, is it just that someone on the internet is wrong?

        Darn those people! Go gettem, Kazzy!Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        We shouldn’t tolerate these behaviors because gun stores aren’t like Walmarts.

        Unpacking this, I assume you’re not referring to the death threats because, hey, I already agree that the death threats should be taken to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

        If we’re just talking about people telling a proprietor that they don’t want him to sell a particular make/model and are willing to shop elsewhere if he does… I don’t know how to best fight against that. Mocking them until they shop there?Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        They are death threats on the internet. You really think folks will extradite for that?Report

  4. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    Just another example of something I pointed out way back in the gun symposium. Gun nuts are the biggest threat to the second amendment. Death threats from “responsible, law-abiding gun owners” to a gun dealer for selling the wrong kind of gun? Seriously? And you wonder why some people feel threatened by you and your precious fucking rights?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Let’s imagine a universe in which it’s likely that Donald Sterling got death threats after his statements became public.

      How many would it have taken for us to be willing to talk more about the death threats and what that meant about those opposed to Donald Sterling?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I think people would have talked about those delivering the death threats almost immediately. Because death threats are wrong. They are a form of coercion.

        What is different about this situation is those issuing the death threats are doing so in attempting to achieve something that goes against something they claim is of dire importance: free and unfettered access to firearms.

        The owner of that store wants to make MORE guns available. They are opposing him. Were it gun-control advocates who were attempting to make fewer types of guns available, they’d insist rights were being trampled. So why are they not concerned about gun rights in this particular circumstance? They are so unconcerned, actually, they were wiling to threaten violence — something I bet most of them doing do on a regular basis.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        But he didn’t. Not one that’s been reported, so far as I know. What does that tell us about people offended by racism vs. people offended by purely hypothetical threats to the 2nd Amendment?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        What does that tell us about people offended by racism vs. people offended by purely hypothetical threats to the 2nd Amendment?

        They get different newspaper coverage?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Damned liberal medie! (link is to Fox.)Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:

        The analogy doesn’t really work, @jaybird . He would have to be getting death threats and boycotts from the KKK for… I don’t know what reason really. That’s where it breaks down.

        To me, this is sort of a Godwin’s Law thing: He who issues the first death threats loses the argument.Report

    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

      Death threats from “responsible, law-abiding gun owners” to a gun dealer for selling the wrong kind of gun?

      Rod, it seems you never miss a chance to link the words “responsible gun owner” to an instance of gun owners behaving badly. It’s a pretty dishonest rhetorical tactic, and I’m asking you to stop.

      You’re playing a game of guilt by association, of pointing at the worst members of a group and trying to tarnish the whole group as being of that type. It’s not too far removed from this.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:

        I’m sorry, @jm3z-aitch , my bad. I hear that construction so often from the pro-gun side that in my mind it’s just responsiblelawabidinggunowners anymore.

        Seriously, you’re aware of linguistic programming, I assume? The Right does it constantly. During the interminable budget battles, spending isn’t just “spending”, it’s always “out-of-control spending”, deficits are constantly “exploding”, and taxes are always “burdensome”. Another tack of course is substitution, where “estate tax” becomes “death tax”, wealthy people are “job creators” (regardless of how much manufacturing they move off-shore), and (my personal favorite) suicide bombers become “homicide bombers”. (That last didn’t really stick being particularly stupid and clumsy.)

        In this particular debate, any proposed gun control measures were consistently derided as infringing on the liberties of RLGOs, never just “gun owners”, even when the particular measure was supported by a solid majority of said RLGOs. It’s like the other variety, the irresponsible type, didn’t even exist, at least not in numbers large enough to matter.

        I have no desire to unduly restrict the rights of genuine RLGOs. I would like to do something about the other kind. But that’s a conversation we seemingly can never have because something something RLGOs.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        The RLGO tag was in responsive to some rather dishonest broad brushing. Essentially trying to lump people who acquire guns illegally with those who do the background checks & whatever else the state requires in order to score some political or rhetorical point.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      No “responsible gun owner” makes serious death threats. If someone who owns firearms makes a “serious death threat”, the loose the “responsible” moniker. FULL STOP.Report

  5. Avatar Murali says:

    This reminds me of something Mencius Moldbug said some years ago about cryptographic security for all firearms.

    The standard Patchwork remedy for this problem is the cryptographic chain of command. Ultimately, power over the realm truly rests with the shareholders, because they use a secret sharing or similar cryptographic algorithm to maintain control over its root keys. Authority is then delegated to the board (if any), the CEO and other officers, and thence down into the military or other security forces. At the leaves of the tree are computerized weapons, which will not fire without cryptographic authorization.

    Thus, any fragment of the security force which remains loyal to the shareholders can use its operational weapons to defeat any coalition of disloyal, and hence disarmed, employees and/or residents. Ouch! Taste the pain, traitors. (Needless to say, the dependence of this design on 21st-century technology is ample explanation of why history has not bequeathed us anything like the joint-stock realm. It was simply not implementable – any more than our ancestors could build a suspension bridge out of limestone blocks.)

    It seems like a way to get leviathan really off the ground. I wonder if there is any way to get it implemented…Report

    • Avatar veronica dire says:

      It’s a fun cyberpunk scenario, but of course weapons are physical devices built by engineers, and these weapons can be adapted by those same engineers. So you have to keep your engineers happy and totally control information flow from them.

      There is a tumbledown brownstone near the seaport where an old engineer, blind from the torture he received, before a sympathetic guard snuck him out, who teaches young men and women to adapt their weapons, to free them from control. They call him the Liberator.

      And private keys are just numbers. They have to be stored somewhere, available to someone, do their work somehow on some computer.

      This becomes a brittle line of defense, as a brave team of super hackers and their badass commando friends (including one hot girl in a purple cat suit) infiltrate your base, break into your mainframe, steal your key, and then shut down every weapon held by every guard.

      Then the Ewoks attack!

      Anyway, sure, it could work.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        If they really wanted to get this stuff off the ground, they should have law enforcement use them for 2 or 3 years.

        If after 2 or 3 years, the police endorse them? I reckon that I would defer to their hands-on experience with the guns.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:

        Chickens and eggs. I suspect the cops would want to wait to see how the production models perform in the field first. Because, you know, unlike the suburban gun nuts, these guys face genuine hazards on a daily basis requiring a dependable firearm.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Ah yup!

        It’ll help once they’ve gotten a few out there and they’ve had enough time to beat the hell out of a few on video to show that they can take a pounding. Then people will buy them as novelty items. If the products are good, those early purchasers will get the word out. Popularity will increase.

        Or at least, it will in states that haven’t decided to try & force them on a market that isn’t interested in them at the moment, and are now even less so because it’s mandated.Report

    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

      It seems like a way to get leviathan really off the ground.

      I think if there’s anything that Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us, it’s that legal guns aren’t necessary for the protection of the citizens against an oppressive government. Humans are clever animals and can make effective weapons out of an impressive variety of materials. As Veronica notes, engineers are good at adapting things. An elementary form of napalm can be made using gasoline, laundry detergent and styrofoam. International arms dealers will sell to insurgents in the U.S. as well as insurgents in Chechnya.

      In an age of cheap technology, readily available to the masses, Leviathan may become even harder to sustain.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        No, they AREN’T necessary, but they serve as better tools than things like the liberator (in ww2) do. The better the civilian weapon, the easier to trade up to the soldier’s weapon especially with the improving body armor.Report

  6. Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

    So it turns out you actually can go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      I think you mean “overestimating”. Why does offering a different kind of firearm assume people are stupid?Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    A gun that requires another device to shoot is as crazy as a car that won’t move without a key.Report

  8. Avatar zic says:

    I don’t if any of you have seen this?


    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

      I’m enjoying the irony of people waving the flag of the United States while insisting upon county sovereignty.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Yes, it’s quite delicious.

        Plus the acts of terrorism, pouring fuel around vehicles and threatening to light it, etc.

        The call for the sheriff and park police to disarm is amusing, also.

        And the whole bring your wife and kids to the revolution, civilian casualties encouraged.

        But as someone who actually cares about land management, these folks got some ‘splaining to do. I’ve been thinking about a post on stewardship and private property rights; so if there’s anything you recommend I read before tackling that, @jm3z-aitch , I’m asking now.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        And bemg able to get away with that kind of criminal behavior with no repercussions is the best illustration of white privilege I’ve ever seen.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        That said, I think it’s easy for people who don’t live in the West to overlook the significance of the public lands issue. The federal government owns 83% of the land in Nevada. At that level, it’s understandable if people feel as though they live in an occupied territory.

        There is plenty of empty land, but little available for development. It’s worth keeping in mind that one of the factors leading to the American Revolution was colonists’ anger that Britain forbade them access to the lands across the Appalachians after they were gained in the French and Indian War.

        There’s also the issue of representation. When people deal with federal officials concerning land use, they’re not dealing with someone whose imperatives stem from the local populace, but from afar–from the imperatives of people in California, Massachusetts, Ohio, etc.

        And local representation in the federal government is relatively small. There are 5 states where the federal government owns over 50% of the land: Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. Collectively they are outvoted 9-1 in the U.S. Senate. In the U.S. House they’re outvoted by 27-1 (435-16). Add in the presumably supportive Representatives from Wyoming and Montana, and you’re up to 18 (only 25-1). You might pick up a couple more friendly ones from Colorado, but probably 2 of Oregon’s (from the PDX metro area) ought to be discounted. They just don’t have much real voice.

        On certain issues they d, I should note. They’ve successfully managed to block increases in grazing fees for decades, but that’s only because it’s an issue of low salience to the general public outside the region. And while they’re over-represented on the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, they’re a minority even there. I’m not saying that’s unfair, because we represent people not acreage–I’m just talking about the realpolitik of the issue. But keep in mind this type of large population domination by other states was exactly what the small states feared at the constitutional convention.

        And it’s not really public lands most of them oppose. A lot of them accept the federal military bases (although they might find them a little more extensive than they’d like), and there’s no significant anti-state land ownership movement.

        Cliven Bundy and his supporters are dead wrong on a number of issues. But to simply dismiss them as right-wing red-neck idiots is to facilely overlook the seriousness of the underlying political issue.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        …while insisting upon county sovereignty.

        Even more fun since it’s Nevada, the state that Bundy keeps claiming he’s a citizen of. Nevada is a Dillon’s Rule state whose constitution basically denies the very concept of county sovereignty.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        LOL. Thanks, Michael, I wasn’t aware that Nevada worked that way.

        Any idea what the state charges for grazing on state lands? I haven’t been able to find that. One of the ironies in this is that–contra standard beliefs–states aren’t necessarily more profligate with their own land, because they have a greater financial stake than they do with federal land. So if the state actually owned the land, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bundy’s grazing fees were greater than (the abysmally low rate) they currently are.Report

      • Avatar zic says:


        I get the problems of federal ownership.

        My peeve here is best practices; and best practices are rooted in science. Bundy has a long history of overgrazing. As I said, I’m interested in the nexus of ownership and stewardship.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I can’t find anything about state grazing fees. I did find this, from the commies at Forbes:

        One month of grazing one cow/calf combination or five sheep (the definition of an AUM) costs $1.35—a fee that’s substantially below the present-day cost of $16-$20 per month to graze livestock on private land.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        @mike-schilling there’s probably tremendous variation based on where the grazing takes place, purely because the amount of land will vary by climate.

        During normal rainfall, it takes two acres of land to support a cow and calf in the northeast. The same cow and calf would require up to 60 acres in the high deserts of the west; and even more land during a drought. Not all land is created equal when it comes to grazing.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I’m assuming it’s comparable land, or the price comparison is meaningless. (In other words, I’m trusting Forbes to report honestly. I see the problem.)Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        That’s the federal fee, essentially unchanged for decades. The Feds really ought to auction off the AUMs.

        Ranchers like to claim it’s about land quality, but there’s plenty of side-by-side private and public land with disparate fees to demonstrate that’s not generally true. Plus there’s variability in federal land quality without variability in price.

        Full disclosure: I own land out there that has been leased out for grazing in the past by our owners association.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        The Feds really ought to auction off the AUMs.

        Particularly if the Forbes piece is accurate, and the expense of keeping wild horses off them isn’t covered by the fees. Bundy’s getting a subsidy, but he’s insisting at gunpoint that he wants charity instead.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        From the Denver Post:

        According to a Government Accountability Office report in 2005, grazing fees generated less than one-sixth of the expenditures needed by the government to manage grazing on public lands in 2004.

        “It represents another huge form of subsidy to public lands ranchers who are already massively subsidized by us all,” Fite said. “This also brings up a whole other cost of the public lands grazing program—the cost of water lost, fouled, wildlife habitat lost, etc. due to grazing.”

        J.J. Goicoechea, president of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, said conservationists fail to take into account that rancher-funded improvements for pipelines, water troughs and fences also benefit wildlife.

        Hmmm. It’s a stalemate, what with each side having it’s own facts and all. I guess the only way to peacefully resolve the dispute is with guns.Report

      • Avatar Murali says:


        If you don’t mind me offering a recommendation, I’ve always liked this paper.

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        After a little digging, it’s not surprising that it’s hard to find anything about Nevada fees for grazing on state land — it appears that there’s not enough such land to matter. The legislature, university system, and Dept of Transportation hold land related to their functions; the remaining “agency lands” amount to about 140,000 acres, the large majority in state parks and wildlife management areas. Nevada has gotten rid of all but 3,000 acres of its state trust lands (Colorado, in contrast, retains 3,000,000 acres of trust lands). There are Nevada state grazing districts/boards, but their only responsibility appears to be managing the state’s share of federal grazing fees.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Thank you, @murali

        I’m grateful, will read that carefully, and still welcome other should-reads the theories of private property.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:


        Thanks. I had wondered if that might be the case, but had to run off to a graduation ceremony and didn’t have time to look it up.

        Fences good for wild animals? Our own facts indeed. But, yes, the subsidy aspect of this has long been known. Rent-seeking at its finest, wrapped in the garb of patriotic rugged individualism.Report

  9. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Re: Smart Guns – the concern is, as was stated above, that once a smart gun is sold in certain states (NJ, CA), that laws either on the books, or being proposed, will mandate that all guns sold in that state be smart guns. AFAIK, there are no exceptions to such mandates requiring said guns to be accepted by the market, or to be functionally reliable, etc. (in short, such laws are a significant market disruption should they ever go into effect, since they will interfere in the ability of the market to decide if smart guns are, well, smart).

    The largest signal gun owners are getting regarding the desirability of smart guns is the police. The one class of gun carriers who are most likely to face a situation where there is an attempt to take their gun from them are also, almost as a whole, absolutely against being issued such firearms. If the police are resistant, you can bet private citizens are not keen to being required to own one if they want a gun.

    Secondary concerns, besides reliability (electronic systems are not always reliable in systems under a lot of mechanical stress & vibration, and the military grade systems we have that are, would significantly raise the price of a gun), fall under the ability of government to remotely “jam” such a gun, as well as the technical ease with which an electronic control of a mechanical system can be bypassed when you have complete access to the mechanism. Short of a gun with an electronic firing pin (see MetalStorm), it will be impossible to force illegal gun owners to have smart guns (or microstamped guns, or whatever scheme they dream up for tagging bullets/cases/guns via mechanical systems). And even electronic firing pins will probably be circumvented in short order.

    So, in summary, had certain states not actually put such idiotic mandates into law, this would be a non-issue and the market would be permitted to suss out the desirability of smart guns, as well as technical challenges.

    As to the whole threat thing, two points:

    A) The gun rights movement knows that some of our worst enemies are in our own ranks. We do call them out when we encounter them, but really that is all we can do.
    B) Not that two wrongs make a right, but gun control activists, private & public, are well known for a lot of violent rhetoric towards gun rights activists, to the point that it is a meme amongst the gun rights crowd (Why are gun controllers so violent?). Their side seems a lot less interested in calling them out.

    And seriously, why are you people not shining the MRS signal for these issues?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      (Why are gun controllers so violent?).

      Can you point some of this out? I honestly don’t know what you mean. And if the NRA or similar groups are calling out the threateners, I’m not seeing it.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        @mike-schilling I’m on mobile devices all day today. I’ll dig up some links, etc. tomorrow.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:


      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Even though I walked back the comment (every group has idiots they’d rather wish they didn’t, the kind who are decidedly “Not Helping”), I did say I’d get you some examples, so here is one set.

        Say Uncle is something of a clearing house for links to what is happening in the Gun Rights movement. If you are curious as to what most gun rights advocates think about something, it’s a good place to start.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

        And yup, it’s about what I thought.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        The disturbing thing is, this minority who is ostensibly against violence & therefore against guns that (in their view) enable violence, would want to directly or indirectly visit violence against others who are not ideologically aligned.

        It’s like Right-To-Life activists who claim to be against killing (the unborn specifically, but also in general), but then go ahead and kill abortion providers.

        Something is seriously not right with such people.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I’ve looked at the most recent 10 of these, as an attempt at a representative sample.

        The first points to a politician who opposes concealed carry and was recently arrested on child porn charges.

        The second is about a sheriff who seems like a very bad guy, including having questionably revoked a man’s carry permit. I don’t see the second of these as meaning he’s anti-gun in general.

        The third quotes the most recent Fort Hood shooter as having said on Facebooks that mentally unbalanced people like Adam Lanza should not have access to firearms. I don’t think it’s reasonable to consider him typical of people who have that belief.

        The fourth quotes a talk show host who talked about shooting an NRA official and claiming stand your ground privileges, That’s a legitimate complaint.

        The fifth is about a cop who was enthusiastic about confiscating illegal guns. The cop went overboard on Facebook (after he’s been called a Nazi, which might be extenuating.) But he didn’t threaten violence beyond confiscating the guns.

        The sixth is about a man who’d fought to outlaw guns in New York schools but was found carrying one himself. He claims he didn’t realize he had it with him. No violence occurred. And it’s hard to call someone who carries a gun almost everywhere “anti-gun”.

        The seventh is a politician who’s in jail for domestic violence and supports The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence . I don’t think it’s reasonable to consider him typical of people who do.

        The eighth quotes a woman who’s upset enough about gun violence to use the fish-word repeatedly about the NRA. No violence threatened or implied.

        The ninth says the the Arapaho high school shooter was a Democrat. This is just stupid.

        The tenth quotes an unhinged rant attacking gun owners for not doing enough to oppose drones. The guy’s a violent nut-case, but he’s attacking gun owners for not being anti-government enough.

        So, that’s one legitimate complaint out of ten. The rest are just the delusions of a group of people who want to feel like persecuted victims. And they’re armed. Terrific.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

      “B) Not that two wrongs make a right, but gun control activists, private & public, are well known for a lot of violent rhetoric towards gun rights activists, to the point that it is a meme amongst the gun rights crowd (Why are gun controllers so violent?). Their side seems a lot less interested in calling them out.”

      Of course, even if this is true, which I doubt, unless we’re talking about a repeat of “a few anti-war protests had a few idiots in them, so all anti-war protestors are socialists who think Bush is Hitler” which was another right-wing meme seen as truth, any supposed violent rhetoric is nothing compared to the actual violence caused by guns every single day.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Well, it’s certainly possible that gun rights activists look a lefties as engaging in violent rhetoric (I mean if they feel that way then they feel that way), but I have hard time believing it equals Palin’s “crosshairs” map, a Colorado gun rights activist saying “it’s time to hunt Democrats”, or Nugent’s “just help me shoot somebody” in reference to Obama and lefties generally.Report

      • Avatar dand says:


        you mean the map that was almost identical to one used by democrats in 2004?Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        The crosshairs map is not a legitimate example of violent rhetoric. Google “in the crosshairs” with quotes. It’s a metaphor for targeting something for some adverse outcome, in this case electoral defeat. If Giffords had not been shot (for entirely unrelated reasons), this never would have been an issue at all. As it is, the overreaction was just a shameless ploy to score some cheap points off a tragedy (i.e., politics as usual).Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Not really something that is taken seriously. More just something that makes us go “hmmmm”. It’s common enough that it’s openly joked about within the community (if we took it seriously, we’d report it to the police).

        There are more than enough calm, rational people to argue with that there is no need to engage the irrational.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Palin’s crosshairs (captioned “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”) drew criticism months before the Giffords shooting, for the obvious reasons. Even a GOP congressman, when asked, admitted it was inappropriate, though he added the standard BSDI:

        While [Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)] continually claimed that both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have incited violence, he could not point to a single example of Democrats doing so.

        But attacking anyone who points out that gun violence is a problem is (what’s the expression? Right.) politics as usual.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Huh. I hadn’t known that. The first I heard of it was immediately after the shooting. I stand corrected and apologize for the error, but I’m not sure whether this should cause me to judge the overreaction more or less harshly.

        Either way, my core point stands: The idea that this was an incitement to violence rather than a metaphor for electoral action is either disingenuous or paranoid.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        It’s an area where we can agree to disagree about where the line is. Though I’ll rest easier after we implement the Final Solution for gun nuts.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Not that two wrongs make a right, but gun control activists, private & public, are well known for a lot of violent rhetoric towards gun rights activists, to the point that it is a meme amongst the gun rights crowd (Why are gun controllers so violent?). Their side seems a lot less interested in calling them out.

      Ya know what, I’m walking this back. I should not be engaging in “Both Sides Do It” kind of crap. It adds nothing to the conversation at hand.

      My apologies, I’ll try not to do it again.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      I should have putt his on your radar. My apologies. I found the article interesting because of the absurdity of the actions taken by this subset of gun rights advocates. The tech part is a different issue but certainly part of the broader conversation. And, of course, you are the sort of person who I’d much rather see as the face of gun rights than the wahoos who typically occupy that space.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        I suppose, if you want to, you can putt it to my radar. I just didn’t realize you were so into golf.Report

  10. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Re: Grazing fees, et. al. Having grown up in WI, where cattle can subsist well on minimal acreage, I’m starting to wonder about the cost comparison of maintaining a lush pasture for cattle grazing versus paying grazing fees & property taxes, etc for all the high desert land?

    How much would it cost to prepare, irrigate, & maintain?Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Not sure I like this notion, there’s some serious water usage and habitat concerns in general. But lush ‘grazing land’ is built aplenty in the west, we generally call it a golf course. And it costs a lot; even using recycled gray water.

      There’s some use of sheep to crop courses in Scotland; but I didn’t find much evidence of golf courses/grazing combined, and most golfers would not be happy with the clip, footprints, or cow flaps of cattle.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Trust me when I say that you don’t want to open any can of worms for discussion that’s got “western water law” included somewhere in it. Let’s just sum it up as, for the vast majority of the West, the normal surface water flows are grossly over-allocated and who gets the water available in any given year is complex (and occasionally stupid [1]) almost beyond belief. In most areas, current ground water withdrawals are also up against the limits of what’s allowed. The newest wrinkle in the West is establishing hydrological linkages between ground water withdrawals and surface flows, with those holding surface water rights trying to reduce the amount of ground water that can be pumped. If it ain’t already “lush pasture” for grazing, it ain’t ever gonna be.

      Certainly since the 1970s, one of the sources of increased friction between the federal government and the western states has been the feds’ effective ability to take a rancher/farmer’s livelihood away by using eminent domain to seize water rights to achieve the purposes of the Clean Air and Endangered Species acts.

      [1] Here’s my current favorite example. In Colorado, rain barrels were illegal because such were impoundments of water that would otherwise run off and flow downstream (the law was seldom enforced). The reasoning, according to the courts, was that the diversion into the barrel and whatever use the homeowner would put it to was a new use, and so the rights were junior to everyone else who had a prior claim on that runoff (in the form of downstream flows). In order to acquire the rights to make use of the water, the homeowner would need to identify all of the downstream landowners with existing rights and purchase the right to use however many hundred gallons from all of those people. Now, under certain circumstances, you can get a permit for a legal rain barrel.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      In general, desert, high or not, isn’t suited to be heavily watered. The water leaches salts and concentrates them into a layer, adding to the calliche that’s already there. Continued use raises this layer rendering the soid less and less productive until it’s worthless. That’s why no one really grows stuff out there.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      So short answer is, Snowballs chance in hell.

      Got it. Just thought I’d ask the question. I wasn’t sure if the reason was legal, one of economics, or just laziness.


      the feds’ effective ability to take a rancher/farmer’s livelihood away by using eminent domain to seize water rights

      Now see, that sure sounds like a taking, which means the feds should be handing over big bags of money to the affected land owners/ranchers.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Well, you’re into the realm of “regulatory takings” there, and SCOTUS jurisprudence provides something less than crystal clear guidance on those things. In a nutshell, if the regulation denies the owner an economically viable use of their property, it’s a taking. But as with all things legal, “economically viable” doesn’t necessarily confirm to a common-person’s understanding, but is whatever a majority (or perhaps only plurality) of the Court declares it to mean in a given case.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Now see, that sure sounds like a taking, which means the feds should be handing over big bags of money to the affected land owners/ranchers.

        It can be complicated… really complicated. I’ll almost certainly get some of the details wrong, but consider a hypothetical case. Establishment of a federal “reservation” — eg, a national forest — creates implied reserve water rights. Unlike private rights, these are not fixed in size but are (now) the minimum amount necessary to fulfill the primary purpose of the reservation. In the case of a forest whose purpose is preservation of timber, the size of the claim is the minimum amount needed to accomplish that — which may change, and specifically may increase, over time. Unlike private rights, the feds may increase their senior claim (which probably dates to 1890 or so, a very senior claim in the interior West) simply by showing the need. Summer temperatures now average 5 °F higher so more water is needed? Junior rights holders will need to prove in court that the feds are wrong if they want to keep their diversions. OTOH, the lucky guy upstream whose claim dates to 1880? He doesn’t have to give up a drop — gets his full amount (or drains the river dry trying) before the feds get any.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        That all just makes my head hurt thinking about. I’m going to go back to something simple, like programming up a differential equation solver.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:


      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Fish You I Got A Snowballs Chance?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Senior Claim. (Not to be confused with the Univision character Señor Clam.)Report

  11. Avatar Shazbot3 says:

    Rule of law?

    That’s only for oppressing black people. White ranchers needn’t worry about it.Report

  12. Avatar zic says:

    @mad-rocket-scientist (or anyone else) — a tangental request, if someone with some engineering experience would write a post about RFID tech?

    I did a piece a long, long time ago about a company that had developed tech to implant RFID tags during the plastic injection process; they were putting them in casino chips; it allowed the casino to follow the chips around the floor, among other things. It was an interesting topic, and the technology has much advanced in the interim. Thought the uses and potential might make for an excellent discussion. (I can certainly write this post, but I’m the non-technical person looking in and screwing it up, so I’d ask if anyone has expertise, first.)Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


      I understand the technology well enough, although my knowledge of the Electric Engineering that goes into it is limited, that not being much in my wheelhouse.

      In this context, RFID can be useful, especially if a gun could recognize multiple users/RFID tags, so the adults in a family can each use a firearm, but kids & others could not, because they don’t have the RFID tag.

      Ultimately, it comes down to a few technical questions:

      What is the RFID reading range? Is it just a few inches, a few feet? If it is a few inches, then I may lose the ability for off-hand shooting. If it is a few feet, then if the gun is taken from the owner, the assailant may still be able to fire it in close quarters.

      How robust is the electronics in the gun? RFID tags are pretty hardy, but the tag reader is more complex, and thus more likely to fail at inopportune times. Such electronics have to be five nines reliable and able to survive falls, impacts, and the normal action of the firearm, as one can not count on a situation that calls for a firearm to be one where the gun itself does not take a beating (e.g. police often get into physical confrontations before they pull a gun, so the gun itself might get banged around prior to use; can’t have the electronics failing then & disabling the gun).
      Battery Life? Will the gun warn the user if the batteries are low?

      How is the RFID tag packaged? Is it in a ring, a fitness band, sub-dermal in the shooting hand?

      How much does it add to the cost?

      Can it be jammed? While the police may have a justifiable need to jam a smart gun signal, the ability to do so will most certainly not remain solely in law enforcement hands. If all guns must be smart guns in a given state, and if RFID recognition is the most popular way to do it, then criminals could steal/buy/build a jammer and go on a spree relatively certain they won’t face return fire.

      Finally, how easy is it to circumvent? Again, this is electronic control of a simple mechanical system. There are a limited number of ways such a system can disable a gun, and you are probably not going to be able to use them all in a single firearm. A smart gun might prevent an assailant from shooting the user in the heat of the moment, but if the assailant gets away, how hard will it be for him/her to remove the smart gun system and get themselves a shiny new gun? If this can be done in under an hour with hand tools & a Google search, then the overall societal good is questionable at best, therefore so is any such mandate for such technology.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist interesting.

        (But I was requesting a separate post, and should probably be researching and writing it myself.)

        If they can follow a polka chip around a casino floor; and if they know who purchased that chip, they can track you around the floor as you move. So thinking of the technology and other uses: say you’re shopping at walmart. You put something in your cart, it’s got a chip in it for security purposes. But it could also be potentially read by readers throughout the store; tracking your path, and tied to you if you purchase it with some sort of identifying information (in other works, a non-cash payment). Or you robotic vacuum cleaner could read tags on stuff throughout your home to vacuum while you’re at work. So there are all sorts of applications, some good, some privacy invading.

        Now back to your regularly scheduled gun entertainment.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Ah, yes, a whole post. If no one else takes up the gauntlet, I will try to do one. I’ve got a couple I’m working on right now that are first in the queue.

        But yes, you are right. I’ve seen public libraries use them to speed up check out. Put all your books near the reader, tap your library card, it scans the books, you go on your merry way.

        For supply chain/logistics, they tend to follow cases/pallets, rather than individual products, unless the cost/size of the individual product is sufficient to warrant the minimal expense.

        When I worked in IT, we toyed with the idea of putting RFID chips on all the hardware for inventory & loss control, but we could not get the funding.


      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

        @zic @MRS

        I have some relevant technical knowledge (and the equivalent of a BSEE; most of my RF work is in higher frequencies – UHF through S-band, but I have done some VLF as well; I also did a small amount of work on an RF something that functioned within an artillery shell – yes, it functioned *after* the shell was fired, thank you). As you both know, I hope, RFID encompasses a wide range technologies with different tradeoffs. I’m sure you’re capable of doing the googling to find the basic tutorials. That said, if you have specific questions, I’m at your service within reason – email heterodyne underscore tech atsign geeemail.

        MRS, the system engineering approach these guys are taking seems wrong to me. Maybe you or Mike S can chime in, but it seems like the gun should have the simple part, i.e. a gun ID tag plus the PAL (permissive action link) analog, which is easy/easier to shock harden. If the enabler is in ring or watch form factor (probably something more like a fat coin form factor that can be packaged in various ways). Assuming mutual inductive coupling, the coupled power falls off as inverse sixth power, which makes it pretty much jam-proof unless the jammer is either very close to the gun, in which case you have other problems, or has a fairly big portable generator :).

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Scott, I defer to you. My understanding of electronics is pretty basic, and I am certainly nowhere up to speed on the state of the art (at least, not without a significant reading effort I just do not have time for right now). I understand the mechanical systems much better, especially since they are dirt simple.

        This is a pretty good summary of what is out there in the realm of Smart Guns.

        To whom it may concern, if someone comes up with a smart gun that is reliable, I’m all for putting them on the market. I might even buy one. But I would not even remotely consider mandating them, and certainly not without the police endorsing them & issuing them to all officers as their duty weapons.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Thank you, @scott-the-mediocre

        I knew about supply-chain management.

        Active tags can send back telemetry data; which is a new development since I reported on the technology back in its infancy.

        If you know the frequencies being used, seems like it would be possible to blast out the signal with a powerful radio broadcast; potentially a big security problem.

        At close range, would a magnet held in contact with the tag block it from being read?Report

      • Avatar Citizen says:

        Is there any reason there has been no mention that EMP munitions exist? Maybe part of this years civil unrest “non-lethal” 40mm ordinance.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I defer to Scott too. This isn’t an area I have any applicable expertise in.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I’ll defer to Scott as well. I do occasional RF stuff for telemetry, but strictly as a hobbyist and — so far at least — outside of RFID tech.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        @citizen I thought that EMP ammo was just in video games. Got links?Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

        Burt, aside from DNFTT, public information does indeed indicate weaponized EMP generators. Rather large ones. The scaling factors can be found in the open literature, from whence one can infer what would be needed to fit such a generator into something with e.g. a 40mm diameter.

        Since I don’t play video games, I had no idea that gun fired EMP generators were such a trope.

  13. Avatar scott the mediocre says:

    I do claim technical expertise in some forms of RF system engineering: over the last fifteen years that’s been my main job about half the time. I claimed that expertise mostly in response to Zic’s original comment about a post she was going to write. I have no expertise whatsoever in gun system engineering; from the something RF in an artillery shell project I did learn some design principles about highly shock resistant electronics and how to make RF systems work using those principles.

    MRS, I read the Wikipedia article. Seems like everybody named who made something beyond paper was trying to leverage some existing RFID technology, which is good for low development cost but crappy for anything else. I agree with you that an approach like that is unlikely to work. I have no idea how big the plausible smart gun market is, and whether it’s worth it for a company to develop a from scratch solution.

    Regarding shock resistance, I have no idea what the shock spectrum in the frame (body? what’s the right term?) of a typical handgun looks like. They’re pretty much all blowback action these days, yes? I suspect the shock profile is rather milder than the shell, but perhaps not: the artillery cartridge contains some features to limit the brissance that pistol cartridges might lack. At any rate, other than crystals and certain kinds of inductors, it’s actually pretty easy to encapsulate most ordinary electronic components (including ICs as long as they don’t have exotic features like FinFETs) to withstand the shock even under bias. The tricky part comes from the difficulty of doing precise frequency control without crystals. Hence the wise smart gun design won’t depend on precise frequency control of anything inside the gun (as opposed to the enabler ring/watch/whatever, which probably just needs to withstand the shock profile of a military grade watch).

    I would design it so that the enabler has to be on the same hand as the gun – if someone wants to be able to use it in their off-hand, they either buy two enablers or move the enabler to the other hand (which I realize is a potential issue in some use cases). That way the range is very short. We would use inductive coupling, which as I said falls off in power with distance to the sixth power (MRS, there are ways to make it reasonably independent of the relative orientation). Zic and others worried about jamming, that means if my transmit radiated power from the enabler is let’s say 10 microwatts and worst case distance from enabler to the gun’s receive antenna is six inches (15 cm), and we want the jammer’s standoff range to be fifty feet (15m), we need 10^18 less jam margin (20 dB is more than sufficient) so 10^16*10 microwatts or 100MW radiated power, before we apply anti-jam techniques on the link. I retract my SWAG of a portable generator – the jammer will need a portable nuclear power station (n.b. there are techniques to make a directional antenna for the jammer which makes the falloff a bit less, but the jammer antenna becomes huge). Zic, the magnetic block to detune an EAS tag only works with old style magnetic and magnetoacoustic systems.

    note that since nobody is paying me to do this (consulting contracts accepted :), I’m not going through the link margin analysis to see if 10 microwatts is enough radiated power for six inches separation (the ferromagnetic material in the gun makes it very complex). n.b. 10 microwatts sounds very low, but that is radiated power and the radiative efficiency of antennas that are very short relative to the wavelength is very very poor. That’s why the coils in Sensormatic and similar EAS systems (that you have to walk through) are so huge.

    I don’t know if I answered questions, but be more specific and I will try again.

    • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

      sorry about the wrong nestingReport

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      So jamming is highly unlikely & shock resistance is doable (the frame of a gun does suffer considerable impact stress, not a lot relative to the materials in the gun itself, but enough that after an hour of shooting, your hand will be sore).

      I suspect that within a few years, we will see viable smart guns available.Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

        MRS, just to be clear – jamming is unlikely if the system designers know what they are doing rather than trying to leverage off the shelf RIFD technology, which is an admittedly big assumption. Jamming off the shelf HF to UHF active tags from a safe standoff distance isn’t as easy as you might think, but it’s doable. OTOH, adding some well known jam resistance techniques in the protocol design (so no HW changes) should make them reasonably jam resistant. Similarly, the shock resistance approach is going to be much easier with a custom design. Pulling numbers out of the obvious spot, I would SWAG the assembled PCBAs for one gun and one enabler at something like $15-$25 the pair, FOB chinese assembly at highish volume (10k+ units). I don’t know the pricing structure and margins in the gun market, so I don’t know if that cost at retail markup would be prohibitive or not.

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        $25/unit is at worst ~10% bump in price (low end crap pistols run around $250, mid-range models are $500-$700, and high end are well over $1K)Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

        MRS, the $15 to $25 would be the gun mfr’s cost for the two circuit boards, and you would have to add incremental packaging costs, both on the gun and for the ring/watch enabler, and retail markup Still, since these would presumably be premium weapons toward the higher end of the retail price range, it seems like the market might bear the price increase.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        jamming is unlikely if the system designers know what they are doing

        Also, forging is unlikely if the system designers know what they are doing, but RFID-enabled passports are a mess… so…Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        “but enough that after an hour of shooting, your hand will be sore).”

        This really depends upon the caliber of the bullet being fired, the grains of power in the cartridge, and the weight of the pistol’s frame.

        I big ass 1911 Cold ACP will have less recoil and hand hurting after an hour than a feather weight, titanium cylinder .357 mag revolver.Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

        Re Jamming – oops, this morning I thought of a jamming attack on a smart gun that used off the shelf active RFID tags (HF to UHF range) which could not be defended against without changing the electronic hardware, probably both on gun side and the enabler side. Our smarter smart gun designers are going to have to do custom hardware using a lowish frequency and inductive coupling, I think. Using inductive coupling gives the inverse R to the sixth falloff which makes any standoff jammer pretty dubious.

  14. Avatar Citizen says:

    The design I found in 2007 was a military ordinance design. It was rather simple in function. Basically a coil filled with HE. As the explosive wave propagated from the back of the shell to the front, massive amounts of current were produced as the coil was electron loaded. As the coil ended up destroyed at the end of the propagation, the magnetic build-up in the coil was released as a big EM thump.

    The Pentagon was asking for a 40mm version in 2012, supposedly for IED destruction. It would be handy in a civil unrest scenario to take out all electronic devices before you send in the troops to play patty cake. No iphone coverage, cameras or media trucks to have to contend with, Just a lovely, local electronic blackout.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

      You mean “ordnance”, not “ordinance”. huked in funix dudnt werk fur u!Report

    • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

      Thanks for the reference. Interesting (about the IED disabling grenade; I hadn’t read any of the excited press reports). We’ll see. My suspicion is that the Pentagon is looking to come up with a deployable version of Vega and Mora’s resonant hot wire detonator trigger-er (press release the popsci press all cited here, real paper “On the Electromagnetic Susceptibility of Hot Wire-Based Electroexplosive Devices to RF Sources” – note, I didn’t read the whole paper, but enough to get the gist of what they did). Standoff range is surprisingly good, and there is no particular reason I can think of why one couldn’t power it with an explosively pumped flux compression generator or build a vircator that could survive grenade launcher acceleration (whatever that might be – MRS? The IED designer’s countermeasure against this sort of attack should be fairly obvious to any other RF designers :), but I surely won’t say what it is here.

      Nice paranoia at the end there, though.