Kai Kloepfer of Colorado has developed a 9-millimeter pistol that uses fingerprint and facial recognition that permits only an authorized user to fire the weapon. If anyone else — including a child — pulls the trigger, it will not fire. He says the goal of his smart gun is to prevent some of the thousands of accidental gun shootings and suicides every year. The National Rifle Association says it isn't against smart guns, but calls the technology unproven. "If we can save one kid's life, I would consider that to be a net positive," says Kloepfer.
Class discussion: Guns are the leading cause of death for American children and teens. Could smart gun technology help reduce those deaths? Why would the National Rifle Association discourage the development and sale of smart guns that could avoid many firearm accidents and suicides? Firearms are presently exempt from product safety rules. Should the government regulate the safety of guns like they mandate automobile safety? Is there any way to really reduce gun violence while there are more firearms than people in the United States?