For $549 You Can’t Own A Gun Detection System That Can’t Detect Guns

I’m not sure what to think about this one. GunDetect is being marketed as a camera that can detect when somebody is carrying a gun. Based on what has been published so far I’m not sure if this is meant to be a legitimate product or a really clever troll.

The first problem regarding GunDetect is technical. Namely what the device isn’t capable of doing:

There’s a question as to how effective this will be as a first line of defense, though. The makers say that their system is accurate “90% of the time” in instances where a gun is clearly visible. That sounds good, but that leaves a lot of room for misses. What happens if nogoodniks are smart enough to conceal their weapons? Also, night vision support isn’t in these existing models — for now, you can forget about spotting thieves in the middle of the night. The technology could easily be useful as an extra layer of gun safety or security, but it won’t replace a good home security system or vigilant parenting.

There’s only 90% chance that the device will successfully detect and gun and then only if the gun is being carried openly and there’s enough light. In other words this device is pretty much worthless at determining whether the person who broke into your home at oh dark thirty is armed or not. But the problems with this product don’t stop there. If you want access to this remarkably limited device you’ll have to spend some major dough. Since it’s 2015 this product has a Kickstarter page. On it you’ll notice two models being offered:

GunDetect comes in two versions, both of which are based on the latest computer-vision algorithms and optical sensing hardware. The difference is the location for the massive amount of number-crunching required to reliably detect a gun in an image.

GunDetect Premium is our main product and does all its vision processing locally using a powerful computing system that does not need to send any video data to the Internet – giving you the peace of mind knowing your private video never leaves the premises.

GunDetect Cloud has less local processing and uses our Internet servers to help crunch encrypted video data – potentially taking longer to detect a gun than GunDetect Premium.

Getting a GunDetect Premium requires throwing $549.00 at the Kickstarter. GunDetect Cloud starts at $349.00 but that only includes a one-year subscription to the service. What a bunch of stingy bastards! The Premium line seems like the only sane way to go since it doesn’t require working Internet service to function, doesn’t upload a constant video feed of your home to a third-party server, and doesn’t involve a yearly $100.00 (I shit you not, the reward tier for an additional year is $100.00) subscription. But for that price you could invest in an actual gun that would at least give you a means of defending yourself against an armed invader.

I don’t think technology able to detect whether is somebody armed is necessarily a bad thing. It could serve as an additional layer of defense for a home or office. However such a device can only be considered effective if it can detect both open and concealed weapons as well as function independently of an external server and not be dependent on environmental factors such as light availability. A weapon detection system that can’t detect conceal weapons is pretty worthless. If somebody is carrying a weapon I can see that already, I don’t need an expensive camera to confirm what my eyes are showing me. Any system that depends on an external server is rendered worthless if the Internet goes out, which can happy for any number of reasons including a burglar cutting your Internet line or the power going out. And what good is a weapon detection system that is unable to detect whether the person who kicked in my door in the middle of the night is armed? That’s the situation where I would most want to know whether somebody is armed or not.

Nothing about this product impresses me. It has technical weaknesses that make it ineffective at detecting weapons, the subscription service for the Cloud model is expensive, the price of the standalone Premium model is very expensive, and the Cloud model creates some serious privacy concerns. Judging by the number of backers so far I’m not the only one who sees this product as a nonstarter. If this is meant to be a legitimate product it would behoove the developers to return to the drawing board and sort these problems out before begging the Internet for money. If this is meant to be a clever troll I must tip my hat to them.

Does Anybody Do This

I’ve seen a few gun blogs posting about the Glock “Gadget” this week. Most of the posts read more like paid advertising (nothing wrong with that) than genuine reviews but they all make a claim that I’m curious about. According to the post on The Firearm Blog:

I agree with ToddG from Pistol Forum that holstering a hammered firearm is indeed safer than holstering a common striker-fired handgun. This is principally because a shooter can “ride the hammer” to ensure it cannot fall during the holstering movement.

Striker-fired guns like Glock, M&P’s, and others on the other hand can easily discharge when they are holstered improperly, either with something catching the trigger or a booger-picker not quite out of the way.

The “Gadget” adds the “hammer-riding” capability to a striker-fired pistol to make it easy for the shooter to holster the weapon and physically tell the striker is being pulled prior to a discharge. (That said, it is much easier to pull a trigger in a downward motion than it is for one to hold the striker in. It may be possible to have the gun go off and a shooter injure their thumb during the discharge).

Does anybody actually “ride their hammer?” I’ve been shooting for a long time and I have never seen anybody “ride their hammer” when holstering a hammer-fired pistol. I certainly haven’t done this. As far as I can tell this is a marketing myth created to sell a device that most people would otherwise find entirely unnecessary.

So I ask you, the greater Internet, do any of you actually “rides your hammer” when holstering a hammer-fired pistol?

Darwin in Action

How do you check to see if one of your firearms is loaded? If you answered, Put it against my head and pull the trigger,” you may want to reconsider your life:

MIMS, Fla. — Police say a man who was checking to see if a bullet was still in the chamber of a pistol has died after he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, accidentally shooting himself.

Authorities say 49-year-old Charles Cooper shot himself at 1:50 a.m. Sunday during a weekend fishing trip and a cookout in Mims.

I have a hard time considering that accidental. Accidents usually imply the actor wasn’t purposely taking action to cause the result. Our brilliant specimen here pretty deliberately put the gun to his head. It probably won’t surprise anybody to hear that alcohol was likely involved. Once again it’s worth noting that alcohol and firearms, or any other weapon for that matter, don’t mix well.

With that said I believe he should be awarded nn achievement in excellence for saving future generations from his prodigy.

It’s the Man, Not the Machine

There are several well-known figures in the shooting community that, for the life of me, I can’t understand why they’re famous. One of those figures is Bob Owens. His advocacy of guilty until proven innocent leaves a bad taste in my mouth but when I read prime derp like this I’m left questioning is credentials:

In terms of mechanical design, there are few flaws with Glock pistols. If a law enforcement officer, soldier or citizen does exactly what they are supposed to do all of the time with cyborg certainty, there will be no problems with the Glock or other popular pistols mimicking its basic design. Unfortunately, “RoboCop” is only a movie, and humans are liable to make similar mistakes over and over again.

The underlying problem with these pistols is a short trigger pull and the lack of an external safety. In real-world encounters, a short trigger pull can be lethal, in part because a significant percentage of law enforcement officers — some experts say as high as 20% — put their finger on the trigger of their weapons when under stress. According to firearms trainers, most officers are completely unaware of their tendency to do this and have a hard time believing it, even when they’re shown video evidence from training exercises.

For more than 35 years, officer-involved accidental discharges with Glocks and Glock-like weapons have been blamed on a lack of training or negligence on the part of the individual cops. What critics should be addressing instead is the brutal reality that short trigger pulls and natural human reflexes are a deadly combination.

Here is another problem with Owens, he’s a cop apologist to a fault. In his world, as far as I can tell, police officers are seldom, if ever, at fault for their screw ups. But the reason people blame the lack of training for negligent discharges is because it is entirely due to a lack of training. Blaming the short trigger pull of a Glock pistol ignores the fact that an officer who fired negligently had their finger on the trigger before they were ready to shoot. There’s a reason that’s one of the four rules of firearms safety: so long as your finger isn’t on the trigger the gun will not fire.

Adding a manual safety won’t solve this problem because an officer will likely train to disengage that safety as they’re drawing their weapon. Longer trigger pulls don’t address the problem of the finger being on the trigger when the officer is not intending to shoot. So long as an officer’s finger lies on the trigger when they’re not planning to fire the chances of catastrophe are infinitely higher than they would be otherwise.

It’s no secret that police officers receive substandard training. Many officers only fire their gun during annual or biannual qualifiers. Some hit the range between qualifiers, which is good. But I think officers should also be participating in action pistol sports to get some semblance of handling their primary firearm under stress (granted, a sport isn’t as stressful as getting shot at but it at least familiarizes you with how you will operate a firearm under stress).

Professional Upbraiding

I’m interested in getting a Beretta M9. Specially I’m interested in the new M9A3. As I was searching for information on if or when the pistol would be made available for sale to non-military personnel I came across what may be the most professional way to tell somebody to shut up and fuck off that I’ve ever witnessed:


Zing! As I’ve explained before, I carry a .45. However I don’t do so because of some delusion that the .45 is somehow superior to 9mm. I just happen to like .45 and realize that I will almost certainly never be in a situation where what determines whether or not I survive is the caliber of my handgun.

Your Survival Tip of the Day

This is a survival tip for all of my brothers and sisters who choose to carry a firearm openly. If you want to openly carry a firearm it’s probably not a good idea to antagonize people with a history of violence and a shield against accountability:

Police did not identify the man, who was not arrested, charged, or injured in the encounter – which he recorded on video and posted online.

“While out on an open carry walk, I was followed by the Madison Heights police department,” said the man, who calls himself Nunya Beeswax online. “They followed me from a distance, which was troubling, because they could clearly see that no laws were being broken. After initially declining to speak with the police, I decided to approach them and ask why they were essentially stalking a law abiding citizen. I did not appreciate the fact that one of these trigger happy morons placed his hand on his pistol when he approached me.”

The man approaches officers and asks why they’re following him, and he tells police he won’t answer any of their questions.

He asks one of the officers to remove his hand from his holstered weapon and demands to know whether the officer will shoot him.

“I’m talking now,” the man says, interrupting one of the officers. “That shiny little badge he has on his chest doesn’t give him any more rights than I have. Actually, you all work for me and the taxpayers, right?”

“You come over here with your hand on your gun, that’s reason for me to think that you feel ill will towards me,” the man continues. “If I were to do the same thing, you’d probably pull your gun out and point it at me, am I right? I’m talking to you, tough guy.”

There’s nothing wrong with open carry but being an antagonistic asshole isn’t a good way to make friends and can be dangerous if the people you are antagonizing are members of the largest, move violent gang in the country. In this case the person open carrying admitted that he initiated conversation with the police, which breaks the cardinal rule of never talking to the police.

Not only is being an antagonistic asshole a poor survival tactic but it can also become a legal nightmare down the road. The idiot antagonist filmed his antics and posted them online so that it can never be erased. Should he ever be involved in a self-defense situation this video could be used for a nasty bit of character assassination. If avoiding conflict isn’t reason enough for you to not be an asshat then possible court case is another reason you should consider.

Or you could just choose to not be a dick because being a dick seldom leads to anything positive.

Bigots Can’t Even Get Their Bigotry Right

Remember the fuckface gun range owner in Arkansas that decided to ban all Muslims from her gun range? Sickeningly I know some people who cheered this decision because they believe Islam is a synonym for terrorist. Apparently the range owner believes Islam is a synonym for brown people:

When we reported last fall on a Hot Springs firing range that was declared a “Muslim free zone” by its owner, several blog commenters asked, “how will she know who’s a Muslim?” The answer, unsurprisingly, seems to be good old fashioned racism. The Times was contacted over the weekend by a college student from Hot Springs who went to the Gun Cave with his father for a round of target practice.

They’re not Muslim, but they do happen to be South Asian. They were told to leave by a woman, presumably Jan Morgan, the owner.


“When we went in, a woman asked, ‘Where are you guys from?’ We told her we were from Hot Springs. She said, “this is a Muslim free shooting range,” so if we are [Muslim] and if we don’t like the rule, then leave. We said that we’re not Muslim, but my dad asked, ‘Why is it Muslim free?’ and they started having a conversation. Then, all of a sudden, I don’t know what went wrong, but she stopped us from filling out the paperwork and said ‘I don’t think you guys should be here.’ She told us to leave or she’d call the cops on us.”

Listen, if you’re hellbent on being a bigot at least get your bigotry right. I’m theorizing, with the circumstantial evidence available to me so far, that the owner of the range isn’t hating on Muslims specifically but claiming to hate Muslims being that’s more acceptable in this country than being a racist.

Either way, I really hope the range goes bankrupt. Or burns down in a fire. I’m not picky.

BRB, Oper8ing

I know what you’re thinking, where the fuck is all the new free content. It’s not here, that’s for sure. Yesterday, because I wasn’t hungover as fuck, I decided to slack off and hit the range with a couple of friends so we could practice our elite oper8ing skills. As you can see by my blackness of my weapons and my 1950s greatcoat I’m tactical as fuck:



Pictured are the Glock 30SF and my DPMS AR chambered in 7.62x51mm. Not pictured are me practicing my Captain Kirk rolls.

As a side note I think my New Year’s resolution will be to buy more firearms chambered in 9mm and 5.56x45mm because trips to the range with .45 and 7.62x51mm doubles as a weight lifting event. But I love the calibers to much.

Indoor Shooting Range

In general I’m not a fan of indoor shooting ranges. That may sound like a strange thing to here from a Minnesotan in November but indoor ranges are much louder than outdoor ranges and the air quality can be pretty iffy. Still, I would love to have one in my basement but I know the man would stop me from enjoying it:

Police were responding to a 911 call reporting shots fired inside the house near S. Circle and Hwy 24 in Colorado Springs. Officers say as they approached the house they heard more shots and noticed the front door was open.

When they got inside, they says they found three people in the basement. Two were allegedly taking turns shooting at glass bottles and a third person was watching.

Bummer. I guess those guys should have had suppressors. But seriously, the last sentence of the story reveals something that I doubt anybody will find surprising:

Police say they had also been drinking.

Well… no shit?

Again, on a serious note, I’m guessing the home owner hadn’t setup the basement with the proper outfitting for a firing range. Assuming somebody did properly setup their home to stop bullets from leaving I think having a range in their basement would be pretty awesome.

EDIT: 2014-11-18: 10:16: My derp caught up with me and I typed that indoor ranges are louder than indoor ranges. This has been fixed. Everything thank Mr. King for e-mailing me about this.

What Authors Come Up With When They Understand Neither Technology or Guns

Most gun owners know that journalists employed by major media outlets have a notorious lack of understanding of guns. Their ignorance, as many people working in the computer field know, doesn’t just apply to guns through. When it comes to technology they are more often than not entirely clueless. So when guns and technology are combined in one article the only expectation should be totally stupidity and that’s what we have here:

Broadcast for Safe Firearms draws on the idea that if computers are now reliable enough for cars, medicine and fly-by-wire aircraft, they are probably reliable enough to provide a framework to cut down mass shootings.

The idea isn’t brand-new, as the authors note. Their addition to the research is to propose what they call a “context-aware system in the firearm” that can draw on information from sensors in the environment to make safety decisions.

In other words, instead of enforcing “safe environment” rules by way of checkpoints where guns are not permitted (on airplanes, in consulates and embassies and so on), “we propose to address these safety areas within the firearm itself”. The gun would negotiate its operations by communicating with the safety area transmitter.

If the author understood guns and technology he would know to call bullshit on this research immediately. It’s an unworkable idea. The first thing going against it is that it relies on a central authority to distribute the access control lists to each individual firearm. That means any firearm will only be as capable as the central authority allows it to be. It also means that there is one point of failure, which is never desirable. Another thing going against this idea is that it relies on wireless communications to enable or disable firearms. Wireless communication is an amazing technology but we still haven’t mastered foolproof communication. Something as simple as a concrete wall can block a wireless signal meaning many buildings suffer very spotty wireless coverage. Additionally the access control mechanism is easily defeated by those shielded carrying bags.

It’s also worth noting that this mechanism, like most gun control schemes, relies on controlling the design of a very simple mechanical device. How, exactly, does one integrate this technology in already existing firearms and prevent individuals with 3D printers or computer numerical control (CNC) machines from building firearms without this technology included?