A Week in Review - January 15th, 2016

The New Jersey state legislature voted to mandate that gun stores carry at least one "smart gun" within three years of the technology being vetted by state authorities.  The evaluation standards of that vetting are unknown, and an "ipse dixit" approach from the State Police would be unsurprising.  This raises important questions.  Why do state official - and those that continue to reelect them - feel it is appropriate for government to tell a private business what it must stock and sell? And, given that federal law now dictates what private citizens must purchase, where does this intrusion and control of supposedly free commerce end?

Last Friday, tech industry executives met with senior members of the Obama administration, ostensibly to brainstorm ways to "disrupt paths to radicalization to violence" and "identify recruitment patterns" used by terrorist groups. However, "[FBI Director] Comey’s participation in the meeting was on the condition of encryption being on the agenda, an official said."  In other words, the threat of terrorist attack is so serious and imminent that circumventing it... can come with conditions and strings.