H/T to Jon H. from the gun email list at work.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. After all he is a politician and he is from Chicago:
A South Side alderman is asking for City Council hearings on an unorthodox gun control measure that would allow for GPS tracking of firearms.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police officer, has suggested that global positioning system chips be embedded in new guns, and retrofitted on existing firearms, so they could be located if they go missing.
“Just like if your car gets stolen, OnStar can tell you where your car is. If your gun gets stolen, and you report it, we should be able to find that gun,” he said.
Your car has a battery that weighs 40 pounds and is recharged every time you use the car.
You cellphone is a better analogy but doesn’t make his case any better. A cellphone has a standby time of, at most, a few days and requires a service provider such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon in order to report it’s position.
That doesn’t even take into account that a criminal who steals one with a GPS will remove the battery or destroy the electronics.
One of the better comments I read on the site:
The difference between stupidity and genius: Genius has it’s limits, stupidity doesn’t, case proven by Willie Cochran.
Stupidity this strong should cause him to burst into flames hot enough to melt tungsten. The reporters that didn’t call him out on the stupid should smolder.
The worst part of course is that we have cops and politicians who even think of such things. In that case I’d prefer we have stupid tyrants rather than smarter ones.
I’ll call this an “electronic arm band measure”. Maybe some of the older Jews would have an opinion on that, Hmm?
How about we put tracking devices on all public servants, so we know where our paid servants are at all times? Anyone with internet access should be able to locate any public servant at any time. Surely we have the right to know. We pay them after all, and rogue governments are vastly more dangerous than the occasional stray firearm.
After we’ve tagged all the politicians, cops and lower level paper pushers and their aids and interns, THEN I will NOT consider tagging my firearms. How’s that for a nice, fair and equitable compromise?
It may sound silly now, but so does the “self driving car.” In fact, don’t you remember when people poked funny at Jerry Brown for talking about the “personal phone” that you could carry around with you? What about when Wilbur Wright thought man could fly?
I wouldn’t underestimate man’s ingenuity to invent things that don’t exist now.
I have zero doubt that the technical challenges could be overcome. That’s not the point. The point is that the very notion is stupid, and evil, but I dispensed with it above. Maybe you weren’t paying attention. Maybe you’d favor an electronic arm band for the Jews, or for gun owners, and so you’d ignore any morally based opposition to it.
A self-driving car was plausible and people were working on them at least 15 years ago. We have had “self driving” airplanes and boats for decades.
In this case there are laws of physics that are the challenge. Not computing power or sensor technology. Sending a signal takes power. Where does the transmitter get its power and how long does it last? If you want to use a nuclear power source then you can probably get something that will last a decade or two but it won’t fit in a gun. And as always, the transmitter can be easily disabled.
The revolutionary technology that has to be created is something like an RFID chip that is powered by a very remote device, such as an airplane or satellite. Can it be done? Probably. But not right away, not cheaply, and not in a way that can’t be easily defeated.
I’m actually more concerned with RFID chips on guns. They’d be smaller, need less power, and be harder to find/remove. Obviously they’d only have local uses but still would pose huge privacy concerns.
“You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear. ” – Office Space.
“However, problems reportedly arose due to poorly implanted RFID chips which were forced into the guns, bending the antennas and decreasing their effectiveness. Cartels and straw purchasers also eventually came up with creative ways to shake tracking maneuvers and overhead surveillance, such as driving in loops for hours until surveillance planes had to refuel.”
GPS/RFID in firearms doesn’t work, and is easily jammed. You can buy portable jammers that look like a cel phone or lighter… It’s a waste of time and money.
Just subjecting the firearm to a strong magnetic field (easily done by an amateur) for a few seconds would disable just about any GPS or RFID.