If there are two things that Americans love, they are guns and cell phones. Knowing this, a Minnesota company has invented a gun that looks like a cellphone, called the Ideal Conceal. On its website, the company boasts that the innovative .380 caliber pistol “will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight.” It is roughly the same size as a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone, with a protective case. NBC News describes:
In locked position, the two-shot plastic gun with a metal core can be discreetly slipped into pockets, like a real phone. But “with one click of the safety it opens and is ready to fire,” Ideal Conceal claims.
It is the hope of Kirk Kjellberg that the Ideal Conceal will help gun carriers move through society more inconspicuously. With more than 13,000 likes on Facebook, it’s clear that gun advocates are excited to see ingenuity in the firearm game. However, there are plenty of people who will not be on board with this idea, especially in light of the various instances of police brutality that have fueled the Black Lives Matter movement (not to mention, a child wanting to play games on someone’s phone could hurt themselves or somebody else). It is the perspective of this writer that the Ideal Conceal will give an already trigger-happy American police force an excuse to squeeze first and ask questions last.
Just ask Atronie Scott. Wait…you can’t.You can’t ask Antronie Scott what he thinks about the Ideal Conceal, or anything else for that matter. At the beginning of February, he was gunned down by police in San Antonio, when the officers mistook the cellphone in his hand for a gun. Scott shared the same fate as an unnamed man in Las Vegas the month before. The cops opened fire on him, because they thought his cellphone was a gun.
Granted, the deceased were pursued by police, because they were believed due to suspicions that that they were dangerous criminals. Scott was wanted on drug and gun charges. The anonymous man in Vegas was wanted for multiple violent crimes committed in Arizona. However, are they not entitled to their day in court? Regardless, simply being Black is enough for police (and vigilantes) to believe you have committed a crime, it seems (re: Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, etc.). The cops are already mistaking phones for guns. Now, police across the nation can say that they had reason to believe a victim’s cell phone was an Ideal Conceal, simply because it exists.
While White gun owners may feel more comfortable walking around in the world with an Ideal Conceal, this new excuse for killer cops may induce increased discomfort, stress and paranoia for Black folks.