Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. A few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers were all it took.There was no issue here about government mandates or the like, mind you. Her crime was the supposition that some gun owners might want a safer gun, which is all it took for a wave of outraged "enthusiasts" to come surging toward her house like a tsunami of stupid. Can't have that. If we try to make a gun that your children can't find and play with and accidentally fire into some other child's skull, we will have lost an important piece of America. If we try to make a gun for police departments that only officers can fire and not people who might be attacking them, well now that takes some of the sport out of it, doesn't it? But most specifically, the National Rifle Association crowd is quite certain that someone making a safer gun is the doorway to tyranny, so all the kids and cops and gun owners who want to be just a tiny, tiny bit more responsible than Wayne Effing Batshit Racewar Bunker Boomstick LaPierre can just go to to hell.
Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”
Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.
The National Rifle Association, in an article published on the blog of its political arm, wrote that “smart guns,” a term it mocks as a misnomer, have the potential “to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”Specifically, the market reacted by sending her threats and by making her company a vivid example of what happens to a gun seller who does not toe the increasingly feverish movement line. The NRA exists to promote and worship the sacred firearm, perhaps, but it looks like they finally found a gun they don't like.
Mr. Keane said the industry did not oppose developing the technology. But, he added, “No. 1, the technology is not ready. No. 2, we believe the market ought to work.” Of the Armatix episode in California, he said, “They tried to put the product on the market, and the market reacted.”