News is coming out of California of the first so called “smart pistols” to hit store shelves in America. These guns require a user to have a smart watch that has had a pin code entered before they will fire. No watch and no pin and they won’t work. There have been a few folks that have asked if these could be a viable option for arming teachers as part of POST and other similar programs. I think the concept is intriguing but I have a few reservations:
- It’s new technology. Will it work 100% of the time everytime? Maybe, but we need to see it in the field for some time before putting it in a critical role like defending our students and teachers. I would say the same for any new gun on the market, but it goes double for a new gun with a whole new operating approach. This will work itself out over time – either it will prove to be reliable or not.
- It’s only a .22. Not the caliber anyone should be defending themselves.
- The cost. For the cost of the gun and the watch you could buy 2 or 3 standard duty pistols. Safety has a price and if the first two issues resolved themselves then I am sure this one could be overcome, either by the market lowering the price through competition or schools deciding it was worth it for the added safety.
- The extra time required to deploy. With a smart gun you have to have type in a code, which may be difficult under the stress of a shooting. Like all things I am sure there could be training developed, but this would be new as well.
- The removal of the concealment. If you have to have a watch on, then the students would pretty quickly figure out everyone with the watch has the gun. Give everyone a watch? Maybe, but that’s a pretty expensive decoy and then you are making people participate that may not want to.
What do you think? Do smart guns solve some of the concerns with arming teachers or do they create more problems than they solve?