Who? you ask. Joe Nocera is a fatuous blowhard who writes for The New York Times — the sort of guy who is full of opinions, low on information, and lower on experience that doesn’t involve Midtown Manhattan coffee shops and his commute to whatever brownstone in Brooklyn he probably lives in. This colossal tit decided to weigh in on the subject of gun safety — and immediately shows you the level of inexperience he has with the subject (much less anything outside of Midtown coffee shops, the commute to Queens [or wherever] and a small selection of readings of Noam Chomsky, Marx, and whatever that toast-dry “important” novel in the Arts and Leisure section.)
Here’s this guy’s opinion on gun safety…we should have child-proofing. Maybe some sort of biometric thing that only the user can fire the gun like in (wait for it!) Skyfall.
Hint the first: If you don’t know a thing about the subject on which you’re opining…don’t use a fictional movie to support your claim. Especially one known for gadgetry that is unrealistic. (I submit as Exhibit A: the alligator sub!)
Hint the second: Mentioning child proof caps like they have done anything but hazard two or three generations of arthritic geriatrics that can open the bloody things shows — again — you don’t know much. Want a child proof cap opened? Give it to a kid. Pop! Faster than a two year old can reconfigure your internet settings on your laptop.
The technology does not work. Yes, I know the German company says it does. They’re lying. Here’s the issue: a gun may look really complex but it’s essentially a few chambers to contain a small explosion, a few springs to allow a trigger to release a hammer or striker, and a main spring in the case of a semiautomatic to make the slide run back and forth. That’s it. It has to be simple, or it would not work reliably. (This guy probably thinks bombs all have trembler switches, and “collapsing circuits” and other whiz-bangery to keep our EOD guys from disarming them…)
If you need a pistol, the need is usually immediate, unexpected, and life-threatening. Seconds count. If you have to worry the batteries on your child proofing feature have run out (sorry — the gun doesn’t work since it remains in the “lock” position) or you don’t have the wee key for the trigger lock You see, genius — they do have child proofing on many brands of handgun. Taurus, Smith & Wesson, and a host of others have a little lock that is part of the trigger mechanism to lock them out. No one uses them because you usually don’t have two minutes to call “time out” and find your trigger lock key.
Point of fact, many people choose revolvers because of the paucity of safeties and other “buttons” that make a semiauto so confusing to anyone who has trouble working their bathroom taps. Semiauto pistols like Glock, some of the Walthers and the S&W M&Ps, Kel-Tec, etc. don’t even bother with safeties. Why? 1) they assume you’re not stupid, 2) a safety, especially on a small weapon, is hard to deactivate under stress.
So that brings us to your big idea, Mr. Gun Expert: Biometrics are still buggy. Try using the fingerprint lock on your HP…”too fast”…”too slow”, “please make sure your finger is correctly positioned”… If you need a gun, you NEED a gun. And three green lights at the back of the grip won’ tell you anything about the operating condition of the firearm. (See, I saw Skyfall, too.) Want to save battery power? Do you switch the gun off? Can you find the switch at 2am, in the dark, full of adrenaline because someone just kicked in your door, and you haven’t been to the range to practice using the thing because you’re having a hard time finding ammo right now?
You. Will. Die.
You want to “save the children”? Here’s how. Keep the bloody thing out of reach and out of sight. Small kids climb pretty well, but they usually can’t get to the high shelf in a bedroom closet. Keep the magazine out (if you must…see the reasons safeties and biometrics are bad above.) It’s safe as houses. Best, once they’re old enough, show them how they work, take the shooting, and impress upon them the responsibility of owning and using a firearm. It works. Generations of farm kids have had loaded shotguns and rifles and pistols in their houses and they don’t regularly shoot themselves or anyone else dead.