Tracking Point’s PGF rifle places more power into the hands of civilians at the expense of the Government.
Completely inexperienced novices have high hit-rates using the Precision Guided Firearm at targets nearly a kilometre away. This allows anybody to become an expert marksmen without the extensive investment in time and money that ensures the vast majority who can currently hit targets at one kilometre’s distance are employees of the Government.
For this reason some people, such as smart weapons analyst Noel Sharkey, worry about this placing “too much power into the civilian world”.
“Being a sniper is a very specialised role and requires a great deal of training – but now anyone can be an accurate assassin and at long ranges, too.”
Essentially it is OK to kill people, so long as you are an employee of the Government. If this is the case then it is unfortunate for us that it is the very task of taking lives which is the only job the government is actually efficient at.
This rifle empowers the part-time, unpaid citizen as part of a militia more than it might empower the armed forces. This is because it is the armed forces which due to their extensive resources could always train men in the art of sniping, whereas citizens are generally too busy, unorganized, and lacking in sufficient resources.
Ironically this rifle provides this ability to the masses by using “a variant of the “lock-and-launch” technology that lets fighter jets fire air-to-air missiles without the pilot having to perform precision aiming”. Thus the technology of one set of arms, aircraft, which is totally out of reach of any citizens’ militia and essentially the exclusive purview of Governments, has been used to empower those same set of citizens.
This self-aiming rifle, in a small way, redresses the imbalance of power between citizens and their governments, and in so doing may ultimately advance the cause of liberty. Let us hope this relatively minor development is part of a larger trend towards the decentralization of power brought about by cheap and accessible capability-enhancing technology.