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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Eric Holder and "Gun Bracelets"

Attorney General Eric Holder's comments before the House Appropriations Committee earlier this week related to "Smart Gun" and other technology related devices that make if harder to access firearms have gotten a lot of attention on various firearm related web sites.  The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo News claims all of that attention would never have materialized if the Washington Free Beacon had used a different headline in this story that has been shared widely, including on this blog.
 Holder was talking about things like the Gun Box, a storage device for firearms that can only be opened when the owner passes a radio frequency ID (RFID) chip over it, the sort of thing in your credit cards that lets you tap instead of swiping. The Gun Box embeds its RFID chip in a bracelet. Need your gun? Wave your hand over your storage box and it opens — but your kids and criminals can't gain access.

That's not the headline the Free Beacon put on its story, as Talking Points Memo noted on Wednesday. Instead, the site went with: "Holder: We Want to Explore Gun Tracking Bracelets." That's the headline that carried over to the conspiracy site InfoWars and to Fox News and to the NRA website. There's no tracking in what Holder referred to, unless you're worried about being tracked by your gun. But if the headline had been "Holder: Let's Make Guns Smarter," all those other sites wouldn't have picked it up.
But the Atlantic Wire is not being completely up front either.  Holder did talk about "Smart Guns" not just the "Gun Box"  And, the NRA and NSSF have pointed out the flaws in so-called smart guns on numerous occasions and it is a safe bet that the Attorney General announcing the Justice Department wants to put a significant sum of additional taxpayer money to promoting such technologies would have drawn just as much attention as the Washington Free Beacon story drew.

Fact is, the U.S. Department of Justice, through congressional earmarks, funded so-called smart gun technology research from 2008- 2010, with that last grant award closing out in 2013.   There is no conspiracy theory as the Atlantic Wire infers.  There is a certain segment of congress and the current administration that wants to make access to firearms as hard as possible for the population as a whole, not just prohibited persons.  The Free Beacon, Fox News, and the NRA was simply doing what the mainstream media won't, report the various schemes this administration cooks up to further infringe our rights.

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