‘Smart’ Technology makes firearms safer

570cb7570de362b5b7ba_faith.jpg
Local Rabbi considers new technology to monitor firearms Credits: TAPinto Staff
570cb7570de362b5b7ba_faith.jpg

On Thursday, May 21, I attended the first ever Smart Tech Gun Fair in the nation, hosted by the New Rochelle, NY Police Department. What is a “smart gun?” It’s a gun that can only be used by the authorized user (think about a “smart phone”).

There are a variety of ways to do this. One rifle requires the user to wear a special ring that activates the unlocking device. Other companies at the fair focused on biometrics, including hand grip or fingerprint recognition. Another company focused on a mechanical lock that can be retrofitted to a regularly sold gun.

The goal of this event was to initiate discussions between smart-gun developers, law enforcement leaders, and public officials. Five developers were present, including one who brought a market-ready smart rifle whose technology could be applied to a handgun.

Sign Up for E-News

Lisa Reisboard, Temple B’nai Abraham Social Action Committee chair, and I went to the event with NJ Together, part of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation. NJ Together has been focused on the issue of gun safety for the past two years. My friend Rabbi Joel Mosbacher is a leader of this local and national issue, personally touched by the tragedy of his own father’s murder by gun violence 16 years ago.

Smart guns are one part of Metro IAF’s Do Not Stand Idly By Campaign against gun violence. Forty percent of guns manufactured are paid for by taxpayers, for the military and police. Over 70 municipalities, states, and counties across the nation have signed on to an RFI (Request for Information) indicating the next time they purchase guns, they will inquire about gun distribution and possible smart gun technology. Lisa and I spoke to the Livingston Town Council along with TBA Social Action Committee member Bob Singer and members of the Livingston Clergy Association in Spring 2014 and are proud the Council signed on to the RFI.

It was great to see NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg at the New Rochelle event. I sat with her and publicly thanked her during the opening session. Sen. Weinberg championed New Jersey’s Childproof Handgun Law of 2002, which had terrific intentions but, lawmakers agree, needs to be replaced. The current legislation, never implemented, requires that as soon as a smart gun is sold anywhere in the country, within three years, all handguns in NJ must be smart guns. The unintended result is that sellers are reluctant to market a gun that would limit the sales of other guns, thereby stifling a potential emerging smart gun market.

Margot Hirsch, of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, spoke about the $1 million dollar challenge, begun by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs two years ago, to be awarded to developers of marketable technologies that could prevent accidental deaths and reduce violent crime. “What Tesla and Uber have done [for the electric car and the ride-sharing industry], we hope someone can do for the gun industry,” she said.

The Smart Tech Gun Fair was an opportunity for police and individuals to see how the technology works. Clergy, police chiefs, mayors, and lay leaders from five states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Ohio — attended. It was amazing to meet Kai Kloepfer, an 18-year-old Colorado high school student. He graduated a few days ago and is deferring his studies at MIT to pursue smart gun technology with his company AeGen Technology. Kai is from Boulder, about half an hour from where the Aurora movie theater massacre occurred. He explained that focusing on smart technology, through fingerprint recognition and other methods, is a good opportunity to avoid accidental deaths through unauthorized use.

As someone who is not a gun enthusiast, I thought it was imperative to touch and try the technology. It was a wild experience for me to fire a smart rifle. The gun requires the authorized user to wear a special ring. Without it, it does not unlock. It can be applied to a handgun as well. The technology has been around for 15 years, but the market for the technology has not been developed, in part because the firearms lobby insists smart gun technology is not reliable and that smart gun legislation will limit the sales of other weapons. As Rabbi Mosbacher said, “the gun industry is stuck in the typewriter” era.

Every 30 minutes another child dies or is injured by a firearm. We owe it to the present and the future not to stand idly by.

Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz is a rabbi at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston.

This article originally appeared in the New Jersey Jewish News: http://www.njjewishnews.com/

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

April 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Softball: Justina Benvenuto Named Union Catholic's Girls Conference Athlete of Week

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- After bursting on the scene with a fabulous freshman softball season at Union Catholic last year, there was a lot of hype surrounding Justina Benvenuto as she entered her sophomore season.

Benvenuto has more than lived up to all the lofty expectations, both on the mound and at the plate as she has sparked the Vikings to a 6-1 record this spring.

Benvenuto has been ...

Lunch & Learn: 'Israel at 70: Its Meaning and Value in Jewish Identity' with Professor Kenneth W. Stein Apr. 22

SUMMIT, NJ - For four decades, Kenneth W. Stein has taught Middle Eastern History and Political Science at Emory University. His scholarship focuses on the politics of the modern Arab world, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, modern Israel, and the Arab-Israeli negotiating process. Stein earned awards at Emory for excellence in teaching and life-long mentorship of ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

New Providence Borough Council to Cultivate Relationships with County Officials

April 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Robert Robinson touted the importance of personal relationships with Union County representatives at the Monday, April 9 council meeting.

Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Bette Jane Kowalski attended the Street Smart campaign kick-off event prior to the meeting providing the council members with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with the two ...

Chatham Township Committee Unanimously Adopts Ordinance to Ban Marijuana Retail Sales; Cannabis Advocates Disagree

April 13, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter began the new year by pledging to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and Thursday night he followed through by voting to adopt an ordinance that prohibits "marijuana cultivation, production testing, manufacturing facilities and retail stores' in the township.

The Chatham Township Committee ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_11433c9e92ddbc063eae_103a27776b9f3cdaaab1_img_2579

Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Peace , New Providence

Our Lady of the Peace Church Holds Healing & ...

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Other

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Education Other

Getting Real About Retirement – Will You Have Enough Money to Remain Comfortable?

Let’s get real about retirement. Will you have enough to remain comfortable in retirement for 30 years or more?  Studies show this is a recurring fear many Americans have - and for good reason. Many Americans are completely unprepared to fund a comfortable retirement, and remain naive about the actual costs involved.  As a Fee-Only financial advisor, my number one priority is ...