Maybe you thought Jon Stewart was being too cynical when the weary Daily Show host opened last night’s show with the prediction we “won’t do jack shit” in the wake of one more mass shooting. In that case, let me introduce you to self-proclaimed “Second Amendment guy” and gun dealer Andy Raymond, and why he says he’ll never try selling a “smart” gun again.
Raymond is not a bleeding-heart liberal. As co-owner of the Maryland gun shop Engage Armament, he stakes his livelihood on people’s rights to buy his weapons. Business was good, until he added one new piece of merchandise.
German entrepreneur Bernd Dietel designed the Armatix iPi1 .22-calibre pistol after a 2002 shooting that left 16 dead in the Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt. He wanted to make a safer weapon, and designed the pistol so that it could fire only if the user was wearing a wireless wristband that would unlock the mechanism by broadcasting a specific frequency. It’s the kind of thing that could have stopped Adam Lanza from using mother Nancy’s guns to kill her and go on a rampage in Sandy Hook in 2012.
Raymond didn’t see anything wrong with offering another option. This wasn’t a plot to replace anyone’s guns. No one was demanding buyers swap out their Desert Eagles. Just one more, slightly safer gun on the rack amid hundreds of firearms. Not patient zero that would infect all the other guns with safety features.
Then the death threats started. Protestors came. People told him they’d burn his store to the ground and murder his bulldog. Raymond backed down.
“I should have known better,” Raymond told the L.A. Times. “I would rather be shot by an i-gun than ever get involved with it again.”
Do you have any idea how much these people love guns? They’ll protest if you tried to stop them from buying a minigun that fires as much as 6,000 rounds per minute. Flamethrowers? Outside of California, sure, every man should have the right to ejaculate 13 feet of fiery death whenever the whim strikes. The real story here isn’t that smart gun tech isn’t being offered; it’s that we’ve finally found the one weapon they don’t want to buy.