This morning’s email feed from The Trace contained a link to an article in the online Forbes Magazine about the sale of a new iPhone case that looks like a gun.  The article wasn’t particularly positive about the product; in fact, it was downright negative, listing 15 different reasons why something could go “very, very wrong” for anyone who paid $51 for what appears to be something made in Japan or at least shipped from Japan.  The Gun Grip Case as it’s called is evidently no longer for sale on this particular website, which features all kinds of products from Japan, but a competitive product for $24.99 has already appeared in another online store.

gun-grip-case-iphone-5-cover-1                God Bless America – if there’s something out there – anything – which costs money, you’ll find someone in our great country who’s willing to buy it. But aside from our desire to shop until we drop, I found the content and tone of the article somewhat disquieting because why should an organization like Forbes which is committed hook, line and sinker to free enterprise look so negatively at someone’s attempt to make a legal buck?

And the reason may lie in the fact that the Forbes reporter, Tara Haelle, spends most of the story interviewing an attorney named Emanuel Kapelsohn, who is identified as the Vice President of something called the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, which is sponsored by just about every major gun and ammunition manufacturer around.  Kapelsohn is quoted as saying that the Gun Grip Case is a “stupid, stupid, stupid product that should never be sold,” and the article then goes on to list no less than 15 reasons to support Kapelsohn’s point of view.  Here’s a couple of real doozies right off the list:

  1. Someone could mistake the iPhone for a real gun.  Huh? They could?  It sure as hell doesn’t look like a gun to me.  Actually it looks like exactly what it is: an iPhone stuck on a plastic gun.
  2. A cop could shoot someone waving it around or pulling it out of their pocket or purse. I thought that cops had to be able to pass a vision test in order to be a cop.
  3. A cop could injure or kill a bystander in attempting to address the perceived threat. See # 2 just above.

And in case these reasons aren’t enough to keep this product off the market, Kapelsohn who is also an attorney is quoted as saying that the company making this product will “absolutely be sued out of existence.”  Has Kopelsohn ever gone into Wal Mart and noticed all the air-soft guns that look a lot more like a real gun than anything that this Japanese company is trying to sell?  For that matter, how come gun companies haven’t been sued out of existence in states that allow residents to walk round with real guns that aren’t concealed?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that Kopelsohn’s concerns aren’t genuine or real.  What I am saying is that the problem isn’t whether or not someone can walk around with a droid or any other kind of gadget that looks like a gun.  The problem is that people are walking around with the real thing in their pocket and if somebody pulled one of those out and waved it around, Kopelsohn would no doubt have the same concerns.

Or would he?  One of the corporate sponsors of his training organization is an outfit called Team One.  And they run training classes for all kinds of shooting skills, including one course called “Concealed Carry Instructor Workshop,” which is described as a course that “is designed to merge combative handgun techniques with everyday carry and concealment of the personal handgun.”

I love the idea that Kopelsohn’s organization is sponsored by a training company like Team One. Frankly, I’d rather be sitting next to someone whose iPad is attached to a plastic gun than someone with the real thing in their pocket just waiting to engage in ‘combative handgun techniques.’