U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Thousands of Xcel customers locked out of thermostats during ‘energy emergency’,” The Denver Channel reported Sept. 2. “Xcel confirmed … that 22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday.”
The lockout happened with temperatures in the 90s, with “some reporting home temperatures as high as 88 degrees.”
“It’s a voluntary program,” corporate flack Emmett Romine, vice president of customer solutions and innovation at Xcel protested in an obvious attempt to deflect and mitigate criticism. “Let’s remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives.”
Yeah, well he didn’t know giving up control meant someone else would take it, one customer who signed up for price credits countered. Besides, he thought an emergency meant, you know, an emergency.
People don’t pay attention to the fine print. They don’t seem to realize that the people in control are the ones calling the shots, meaning an emergency is what they say it is.
In this case, fortunately for all concerned, reports thus far are limited to periods of discomfort and disgruntlement. It doesn’t take much imagination, though, to envision vulnerable segments of the population like the elderly or the ill suffering real health consequences.
So fixed income and physically weakened customers shouldn’t sign up, right? Problem solved? After all, it’s “voluntary.”
The environmental cases are like gun-grabbers. They’re never satisfied with the incremental concessions they gain today but use those as secured objectives from which to launch their next incursions in a relentless march toward their end goals.
The similarities don’t end there.
12 years ago, media reports were noting:
“If you’re crawling through traffic in 2025 and approach a traffic light, IBM hopes it will be able to take control of your car. And according to the patent, you won’t be able to go again until it lets you. …With a laptop and customised software called CarShark, the researchers disabled the brakes of a regular family car and switched its engine off – while it was moving.”
Naturally, there’s always a “good” reason given for doing this. “Commonsense safety.” That’s the standard excuse for giving up all kinds of freedom to government control.
Yes, government control. That’s where it always ends up. From the 2010 report:
“In 2008, it became mandatory for all American cars to be fitted with CAN (Controller Area Network), a standard protocol for enabling all the car’s electronics to talk to each other, so there’s one part of the puzzle in place.”
OK, but this site is AmmoLand. What does any of this have to do with guns?
Some of us have been raising this warning flag for as long as we’ve been warning people about so-called “smart guns.” From “Things to Come,” a Guns and Ammo article I wrote in 2002:
But perhaps the most immediate and insidious threat we face from technology comes under the guise of “safety— for the children,” so-called “smart guns” under development and soon to be required in a state near you. Because…they’re also lobbying for another technology they developed to be required on cars— a “shutoff switch” that police can activate by remote control, making the rest of us pay for the infinitesimal fraction of drivers who lead them on car chases.
As writer Vin Suprynowicz warns (and I and some others independently predicted), this technology could be used by the police as “an `electronic master key’ to `disable’ any `smart guns’ in the house,” and be used as a pretext to “ban the manufacture of any gun that ISN’T a `smart gun’.”
So police can turn guns fitted with one “off” and incapable of firing—and that could be mandated. Anybody doubt it will be if remote shutoff technology becomes widespread?
Does anybody doubt anti-gun activists, opportunistic politicians, ambitious police chiefs, LEO unions, and the like won’t demand it in the name of “public and officer safety”? Does anybody doubt they won’t challenge the motives of anyone who would resist such a “reasonable restriction,” painting them as “anti-government extremists”? Especially when this technology would enable them to do more than post a sign in “gun-free zones”?
Of course, criminals would ignore such laws. They would remove disablers in violation of edicts threatening federal felony sentences and fines. The smarter ones would learn how to hack into the system—and turn off cars, guns, and whatever else suits their purposes. And yes, of course, police would be exempted (like with “smart guns,” initially developed in response to police gun takeaway” incidents, they’re not about to trust their lives to this nonsense)…
Here’s another similarity: “Smart guns” have been presented as consumer alternatives, with perceived incentives to make them worth it to a certain segment of the market. In other words, like the thermostat lockout, they’re presented as “voluntary.”
Do you remember what the state of New Jersey did when they showed their cards too soon and tried to mandate “smart guns” only? It’s like those demanding to control their countrymen are excitable children who can’t control themselves. Never underestimate the megalomaniacal obsession that drives the violence monopolists. How else would you define the overarching compulsion to control every aspect of everyone else’s life exhibited in every new “gun law” introduced?
What they’re really going for, of course, are “commonsense tyrant safety laws.” And here’s how they get their foot in the door:
A new law proposed by President Joe Biden is set to increase the ubiquity of kill switches in new vehicles by the year 2026.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.