So watching last night’s Daily Show replay this morning, I learn about the NRA’s counterintuitive stand against….guns. My first thought was to give a bit more credit to the oft-made claim (which I’ve generally regarded as not without merit but a bit too simplistic) that the NRA’s primary agenda is to protect the interests of American Gun manufacturers; as this new technology comes from a German company. But this particular exception to the NRA’s exception to their general policy goes back quite a bit further than this, and demonstrates the complicated nature of the NRA/gun manufacturer relationship:
The CEO of Colt wrote an editorial supporting smart guns in 1997; he was ousted the next year. Smith & Wesson started building one in 1999 as part of a government order; the National Rifle Association immediately organized a Smith & Wesson boycott. Last month, Oak Tree Gun Club in California briefly carried the iP1, but a fierce backlash prompted a swift retreat before any were sold. The store now denies it ever stocked the gun, even though photos show otherwise.
I admit I have a hard time comprehending many of the motivations of many gun enthusiasts–I remain perplexed, for example, on what terrifying unsuspected consumers of mediocre burritos does for their cause–but I admit I have a hard time sorting out the seemingly virulent, decades-old opposition to this sort of technology making it into the marketplace. Is it entirely out of fear of the proliferation New Jersey style legislation mandating such technology? Because if so, the NRA would seem to be underestimating their own legislative might–they seem very well positioned to prevent meaningful gun restrictions without having to restrict guns, something they ostensibly oppose in principle, to do it. Or does the very existence of this technology violate some peculiar ideological conception of the proper boundaries of the gun/human relationship? Does surrender too much of the autonomy to the gun, rather than the human? For ammosexuals, must the human always be the ‘top’? Or are guns just no fun any more when there’s no chance of a six year old shooting her baby sister?