The moment has come. The much talked about "smart" pistols are on the American market. Biofire Technologies, a Colorado company, announced this week the launch of the first commercial model: it takes facial and biometric recognition to unlock a 9mm handgun designed for home defense.
It is the spark, hopefully, of a competition between arms manufacturers to create ever safer models, which prevent the mass murders now out of control in the USA.
Prevent tragedies with biometric technology
The idea behind smart guns, as mentioned, is to use biometrics to unlock the weaponrythus preventing fatal accidents, especially among children.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearms were the leading cause of death among children in the United States in 2020. That year, gun-related deaths have reached their highest peak, with 45.222 deaths recorded. And this year could be surpassed: in less than 4 months the dead are already 11.500, with more than one shooting a day.
Will smart guns be enough to stop human bleeding?
Mind you: it's good news that will save some lives. With about 1600 dollars, no one will be able to use smart guns that do not belong to them, and cases such as those in which small children kill themselves by mistake will be avoided.
Shooting with stolen weapons will also be more difficult as smart guns become more widespread: over 80% of people responsible for school shootings of young children have stolen guns from their own families.
But if you want a personal opinion on whether smart guns are really decisive: no. They won't be. I am a palliative. They prevent the accidental use of a weapon, not the intentional one. They don't stop anyone who wants to kill and has a weapon. They don't reduce the outrageous, ridiculous accessibility of even assault weapons in the United States.
Recent research of the National Institute of Justice ruled that the vast majority (77%) of perpetrators of mass shootings between 1966 and 2019 purchased at least one legal firearm used in carrying out their acts of violence.
For this reason, we welcome the arrival of smart guns as another small, very small step in the right direction: but an effort of another kind is needed. And above all, political will is needed, which beyond the facade declarations seems to be completely lacking.