AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 7 Comments

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at…… [read more]

DoD To Allow Weapons In Recruitment Centers

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 11 months ago

Military Times:

Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.

In a memo released Thursday, Carter urged top military officials to “develop action plans to improve the security and force protection of DoD personnel.”

His memo noted that current Defense Department policy authorizes the arming of additional “qualified DoD personnel (not regularly engaged in law enforcement activities) based on the threat and the immediate need to protect DoD assets and lives.”

Carter also urged military officials to “consider any additional protection measures including changes to policy and procedures that protect our force against the evolving threat,” according to the memo.

Another key aspect of the “action plans” should be identifying ways to “improve off-installation site security, including practical physical security upgrades and procedural improvements.”

Carter’s memo also calls for a new assessment of “mass warning notification systems and regional alert systems” to identify any problems or gaps.

Well, perhaps.  It isn’t clear that the DoD will authorize weapons in recruitment centers.  They still work for the current administration, after all, and the administration is as anti-gun and anti-personal defense as any we’ve had in our history.

This whole debate reminds me of the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.  It split the conservative community.  Fight terrorists wherever they are, said some.  Others, like me, said don’t ever allow the President or anyone else the authority to kill citizens.  This power can be turned on gun owners and patriots of all stripes (or anyone else who happens to be out of vogue).  The debate would be muted if we actually trusted the government.

For the record, I advocated allowing Marines to arm themselves with personal weapons, although not issuing arming orders for them on U.S. soil.  This simple solution would, if adopted, solve all of the issues.  But I also pointed out the current Marine Corps Commandant orders via a MARADMIN that prohibits even personal weapons in personal homes of Marines except under very strict conditions (which would prevent their actual use in an emergency).

This question of arming Marines is a fake problem created by the gun controllers (some of who live in the military), which has real world consequences.  Solution: let the Marines arm themselves.  They’ll do a fine job.  They don’t need your help.

General Russel Honore: Gun Controller

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 12 months ago

The Advertiser:

Retired Gen. Russel Honore’, Louisiana’s most well-known 21st Century military hero, said America is mired in a state of denial about its gun culture that’s harming the country.

“As a country we’re in a state of denial because we’ve confused the right to bear arms with the right to carry arms all the time anywhere or anyplace you want,” Honore’ told Gannett Louisiana on Monday. “We have to have a different kind of conversation in America and be prepared to speak about the politically unspeakable.”

Honore’ said the string of recent mass gun murders — culminating with the tragic movie theater shooting in Lafayette Thursday in which two victims died — should provide a wake up call.

“It breaks my heart to see that happen in my home state or anywhere in America,” he said. “We’ve got a problem in this country, and at some point the politicians have to get down into the community and find some answers to this problem.”

Honore’ had considered running for governor this fall but decided against making the race earlier this summer.

The retired army general, best known for his role leading the Hurricane Katrina recovery in New Orleans, said during his time in the military soldiers “were required to clear their weapons and turn them in as soon as they came in from the field.”

“The best place for weapons when you’re not in the field is to be locked up in the garrison,” Honore’ said. “Our biggest problem before Desert Storm was (soldiers) accidentally firing their weapons, and they’re trained.

“I’ve been around guns all my life, but when I was growing up they were locked in the cabinet unless you needed them for hunting.”

Honore’ also said he disagrees with those advocating for military men and women at recruitment offices to be armed. Some armed civilians have taken it upon themselves to stand guard at recruitment locations since the mass shooting at a Tennessee office this summer.

One such civilian accidentally fired a round at an Ohio recruitment office last week. Nobody was injured.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to arm military at the recruitment offices or to have civilians there with guns,” Honore’ said. “That’s the job of law enforcement. On our bases, yes, we guard our gates and our bases, but not at the recruitment offices.”

Field training with weapons owned by the armory and civilians with personal weapons.  I think he is conflating very simply different issues.  Moreover, if his Soldiers were “accidentally firing” their weapons, it was no accident (we’ve learned on the pages of TCJ that there are no accidents and that negligent discharge is a much better phrase), and they apparently weren’t well trained as he is claiming.

But his uneducated, simpleton ideas aside, take note of the claim.  He is perhaps Louisiana’s most well known war hero of the 21st century.  The Times-Picayune also has information on Honore.

“We’ve got to rethink and re-set our thoughts about guns,” said Honore who played a key role in post-Katrina recovery. “We have to focus less on ideology and more on practicality.”

Aside from the civil war he wants to start, there’s that assertion again: ” … who played a key role in the post-Katrina recovery.”

It’s obvious that he’s running for something, or is trying to bolster his collectivist credentials for some consulting or political gig.  But I want to know more.  As readers know, I have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests asking who issued the arming orders for the National Guard troops who were in the field post-Katrina?

My intention was not only to learn this information (the merit of such knowledge is obvious), but use it to lead to other information, such as who issued the order to confiscate personal weapons from civilians post-Katrina?  The courts slapped down such unconstitutional antics, but it was a long time before everyone recovered their weapons.

Who issued the arming orders for General Honore, and who ordered the general to confiscate weapons?  Is this something he did of his own volition, or does the chain of command go yet higher in culpability?

General Honore knows something, and I have not yet given up on finding the truth, even though the government never intends to honor my request or federal law concerning the FOIA.  And if the reporters who wrote all of this about the general cared about real reporting rather than just parroting collectivist talking points brought to them by the handlers, they would help me find the truth.

He’s A Good Officer!

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 12 months ago

News from the great Northeast:

MEDFORD (CBS) — A Medford police officer is on administrative leave after he was recorded threatening a driver during a traffic stop Sunday night.

“I’ll put a hole right through your head,” Detective Stephen Lebert is heard telling the driver, who recorded the heated encounter on his dashboard camera.

In the video uploaded to YouTube titled “Medford Detective threatens to kill civilian,” the driver explains that he made a wrong turn on an unfamiliar rotary at Winthrop and High streets.

The video shows Lebert, who was off-duty at the time, wearing shorts and an undershirt. He’s seen pulling in front of the driver in an unmarked vehicle, saying “now you’re done” and ordering him to roll down his window.

The driver, a software designer named Mike from Malden, then backs up before seeing Lebert pull out his police badge. He tells Lebert that he didn’t realize he was a cop.

“I’ll blow a hole right through your [expletive] head,” Lebert says as the driver pulls over. “You’re lucky I’m a cop because I’d be beating the [expletive] out of you right now.”

[ … ]

Medford Police Chief Leo Saco told WBZ-TV that Lebert was placed on leave when he arrived to work Monday morning. Saco said he couldn’t explain the Sunday night incident, but said Lebert is a 30-year veteran of the department and a good officer.

This is not the first time Officer Lebert got in trouble for a confrontation with a civilian that was captured on camera. He had to undergo counseling for an encounter during an arrest in 2012.

During that incident, he was being recorded by the brother of a man who was being arrested. Lebert poked the camera and said, “what you should do with your brother is take him up on the railroad tracks and tell him to lay down.”

The cop isn’t in a marked car, isn’t uniformed, and comes running up to a car in a threatening manner.  The driver would have been entirely within his moral rights – and perhaps within his legal rights since he could have been shot at any time as far as he knows – to have put the car in gear and run the cop over.

But remember.  He’s a “good officer.”

UPDATE: Just sent to the Medford PD chief: “My God I’m glad I don’t live in a collectivist “heaven” like you do, where it isn’t legal to own guns, and “the only ones” are the people who get to bully others around.  The driver should have put the car in gear and run the bully over.  I might have just shot him.”

Recruiting Center Negligent Discharge Discussion At Oath Keepers

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 12 months ago

I was going to comment on the fact that when folks carry weapons – whether they are defending a recruiting center or simply carrying to defend themselves – and they have a negligent discharge, they are helping no one but the forces of anti-gun politics.  I’ve harped on trigger and muzzle discipline so much that I’m sure readers tire of it, but it always pays to rehearse the rules one more time.  But David Codrea beat me to the punch.

Basic safety rules are things Oath Keepers with real-world experience can share with all gun owners. So are command, discipline and training, all vital elements whether performing guard duty or participating in an armed event. Leaders organizing such operations must make certain those joining them understand all safety and conduct rules, which should be assured beforehand and then monitored for continued compliance.

Serious business is at hand that requires alertness and attention along with seriousness and maturity. If someone shows up and is resistant to that, you don’t need him.

Good intentions on the part of volunteers are not enough, because we all know where the road paved with them leads.

To me the most interesting perspectives are found in the comments:

flinter: Perhaps it is time to tell civilians who show up at recruiting centers to leave their guns at home. Lets leave the ARMED stuff to the veterans and oathkeeping LEO’S………….I will cook for them and give them any support I can.

GIJEFF69: I NEVER keep one CHAMBERED! Wtf?

Now, these two commenters could always be trolls.  God knows there are enough of them to go around.  But I find it interesting that these comments were made at Oath Keepers.  We all know LEOs and we all know the statistics.  LEOs have their fair share of NDs.  But differentiating between LEOs and ordinary civilians is a throwback to collectivist thinking, and saying that you will make dinner for boys who come out and show moral support has the obvious intention of insulting the reader.

As for the notion of carrying without a round chambered, you can make the decision you want to, and there are times I have a round chambered and times I don’t (depending upon the circumstances that would be too involved for this specific conversation).  But for a supposed LEO to say something like that is astounding.  If you join reddit/guns and tell those boys that you carry a gun without a round chambered, you will be savaged in the comments.  And honestly, if you cannot trust yourself to carry a weapon with a round chambered because you want to handle it or touch it or are afraid you’re going to stick your finger inside the trigger guard, you probably shouldn’t have the gun to begin with.  Something is wrong with you.

All in all, the entire exchange of comments at this Oath Keepers discussion thread is technically and tactically juvenile, and the tone is highly disappointing.  I expected better.

Guns Tags:

Chris Christie On Guns Again

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 12 months ago

More Chris Christie (as if anyone can really stand that):

ANKENY, Iowa — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) got into a heated exchange with a skeptical voter who accused the presidential candidate of being “anti-gun” during a town hall on Saturday, citing New Jersey’s tough gun control laws.

Responding to the man, who did not identify himself but mentioned he was part of the Iowa Gun Owners organization, Christie defended his record, refuting every claim the voter mentioned, and, at times, even raising his voice.

“Come up with one fact that shows one thing I’ve done as governor in New Jersey that’s done anything, anything not to support the rights of legal gun owners,” Christie said as the crowd gathered inside a local community college auto body shop erupted in applause. “Don’t come in front of this group of people and lie about my record, which is what you did.”

The voter accused Christie of proposing to ban .50-caliber rifles, requiring a government-issued ID for every firearms purchase and setting up a statewide firearms registry of guns and gun owners. Christie responded harshly, holding true to the theme of his campaign, “Telling it like it is.”

“I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but your information is wrong,” Christie told the man.

Christie noted that he vetoed the .50-caliber ban, the statewide ID system and the law that was passed to reduce magazine sizes from 15 to 10.

The man in the crowd then asked if Christie is planning on pardoning Brian Fletcher, a North Carolina man who is facing prison time after telling a police officer in New Jersey that he had a gun in his vehicle, which is the customary and legal thing to do in his home state. Christie said he hasn’t made a decision yet, but is reviewing the situation.

“I’m not going to make that decision in 15 minutes nor should I. Nor should you want me to,” Christie said. “I see you shrugging your shoulders, why are you shrugging your shoulders about? You have your point of view, but have some facts about it.”

Good Lord!  Are we really going to have to listen to this loud mouth for the next year?  Chris, you are gun control collectivist from way back, and you made your fame in New Jersey pushing an “assault weapons” ban.  As for Mr. Fletcher, I do indeed want you to make your decision quickly rather than be cowardly about it.  And it should be to destroy all of the paperwork you ever had on him and tell your LEOs to stop arresting people who come across state lines with weapons, right after you pass a reciprocity law recognizing the permitting system of every other state in the country.

The fact that you won’t do that tells us everything we need to know about you.  The fact that you think we don’t want you to make your mind up about it should tell you something about yourself.  You have lived in collectivist-land for so long you don’t have even the slightest understanding of what the rest of us believe.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 12 months ago

David Codrea:

“There’s a natural inclination to want to defend yourself, but if you can get through a situation like this and not do anything, and simply give these people what they want, and get the police out there as quickly as possible, that the way to handle it,” the Mesquite Police spokesman advises. “Let us handle it.”

Highly irresponsible counsel.  Never follow it because you don’t know what they really want.  All you know is what they say they want, and they are criminals who can’t be trusted.  Hmm …I seem to recall the Bible saying something about people who cannot be trusted (Titus 1:12).

Well, it appears that Mike Vanderboegh’s warning shot over the bow scared off the bad guys.

Visualizing the future battlefield.  For reasons I’ve explained elsewhere, I think this is pure fantasy.  The generals have been watching too many movies.  The so-called Big Dog sounds like a millions angry Africanized bees, won’t stand up to water, moisture or dust, and needs too much power to operate.  The so-called exoskeleton is fantasized because they want to see genderless battlefields.  Because they’re idiots.

Ben Carson again on guns:

“Early on, when I entered the political arena and I was asked the question about guns, I didn’t know at that time that you always start that off by saying how important the Second Amendment is and that you will never compromise that,” Carson said.

No, what you really have to do is tell the truth.  I think you did that the first time you ever opened your mouth on the subject.  And at that point we learned all we ever needed to know.

This Church Has Two New Members: Smith & Wesson

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 12 months ago

WCNC.com:

One Charlotte area pastor is taking church protection into her own hands.

Pastor Brenda Stevenson of the New Outreach Christian Center has announced plans to purchase and carry a firearm to protect her congregation. The decision comes in the wake of the massacre that killed nine members of the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“We need protection,” Stevenson told NBC Charlotte from inside her church’s pulpit. “I want them to know ‘Have no fear. God is here,’ but we got two more members. Smith, and Wesson.”

New Outreach is known throughout Charlotte for helping to feed and clothe thousands of people during the holiday season. Stevenson says some of the people the church has helped have frightened her.

[ … ]

“I am not prepared to use it at this point, but when I get through taking the course, and get the permit, yes,” Stevenson said.

Very good.  Get the training, learn to use it, trust God, and do His bidding.  He would have you defend yourself and your congregation because you are all made in His image.  Arm the congregation as well.  You think more clearly than some of the goobers about whom I’ve written.

As for the bad people, meet Smith & Wesson.  And then prepare to meet your maker.

Things You May Not Have Known About The Remington Walker Fire Control System

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

KRTV.com:

Over the years, Barber has amassed a mountain of documents, including internal memos from Remington and thousands of consumer complaints, that he said show that the company knew about the flaw with the trigger mechanism, known as the Walker Fire Control, and did nothing about it.

“I believe that I am quite capable of defending myself with Remington’s own documents, which speak for themselves and clearly speak volumes about what the company knew, when they knew it and what they did or did not do with that body of knowledge,” said Barber.

Remington has adamantly denied that the Walker Fire Control is defective. But the company has agreed to replace millions of trigger mechanisms in its top-selling bolt action rifles as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement

The details of the settlement are still being worked out in federal court and aren’t expected to be released until December of 2015. But we do know that Remington does not want the trigger replacement program to be labeled a recall. Also, part of the deal is that Remington does not have to admit that its products are defective or concede to wrongdoing.

That does not sit well with Barber.

“Until Remington at least quits denying a problem and wrongdoing, the cycle of death and injury will just continue,” said Barber.

Barber said he wants Remington to come clean about the history of problems with the model 700 rifle.

He showed MTN an internal memo from 1990 that says, “the number of model 700 rifles being returned to the factory because of alleged accidental firing malfunctions is constantly increasing.”

The memo was dated January 25 and already 29 rifles had been returned that month.

Barber also released to MTN a confidential document on testing done within Remington’s own facility. It advised the tester to wear a glove for protection and “be prepared for the rifle to inadvertently follow down or fire.”

“Remington goes as far as telling their own employees, as shown in that document, they warn them,” said Barber. “They tell them to be prepared for the gun to fire during testing, but yet they deny this fact to the public?”

They prepared their own gunsmiths to expect the rifle to “inadvertently fire” during testing.  I had not heard this before, even though I have linked a good bit of evidence (likely obtained initially by Barber) in previous posts.  It might actually have been interesting and enlightening for the case to go forward to court to see how Remington reacted.

I had also intended to mention that Jack Belk sent me his book (personally signed) entitled Unsafe by Design: Forensic Gunsmithing and Firearms Accident Investigations.  It’s written in a breezy, conversational style with lots of pictures and technical explanation.  The section on the Walker fire control system beckons me again, since it’s involved enough to read through a second time.  I highly recommend Jack’s book.

Should The Marines In Chattanooga Have Been Armed?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

There is in the news today a call for the Marines at the recruiting station in Chattanooga to have been armed, since “we are at war” with radical Islam.  A different take on the subject can be found (via WRSA) from Mason Dixon Tactical.  Here are some excerpts.

The question is somewhat easy to answer. “Should they have been armed?” The short answer is “No.”, at least not from an “On Duty” perspective. I find it interesting that some who have been crying to high Heaven about the “Jade Helm” exercise being a lead in to martial law, are some of the same ones saying the Marines should have been armed, and that we should arm all Service Members in CONUS. Those Marines were not acting in their combatant military capacity in those centers, they were there performing other duties. There was no reason for them to be armed anymore than the average citizen on the street, whom I might point out is just as much a soft target for terrorists, if not more so, from a “lack of training and awareness” standpoint. You want to arm the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen within the U.S., fine, but not before every citizen who is not legally restricted from firearms ownership, get’s to be similarly armed for self defense as well.

[ … ]

Being armed while on duty (especially visibly), unless you are operating in a Military Police, or base Security Forces specialty, is not something that should be, or technically can be authorized. Most don’t even realize that the majority of service members never even fire a handgun while in the service, let alone qualify with and carry one on a regular basis. That’s not even mentioning the logistics nightmare of having to train and qualify every Service Member, and then issue  them a handgun for self defense, which they would have to turn in at the end of the duty day (No, you can’t take it home), and only then (off duty) would they be able to carry a personally owned weapon.

More on that in a moment.  The most idiotic thing I have ever read from a General comes from Odierno, via Mike Vanderboegh.

“I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

Analysis & Commentary

Special Operations routinely carries handguns even when armed with rifles, and at the time “green on green” attacks began I advocated that all Marines be qualified to and armed with a handgun when deployed and under arming orders, and this having been the case could possibly have stopped a great many of the attacks perpetrated on the USMC in the Helmand Province.

As to whether this is feasible or a logistics nightmare, there is no question that it could be done if the decision is made to do it.  I’ve seen what Marines do to waste time.  “Lance Corporal, have your fire team move this pile of dirt from here to the building roof, and when it’s done, call me.”  Lance Corporal – “Aye Sergeant.”  Call made, Lance Corporal – “Sir pile of dirt moved as ordered.”  Sergeant – “Ahh … made a mistake because I was distracted ordering the Corporal to take out the trash, move the pile of dirt back, and then police the grounds for cigarette butts and gum wrappers.  And then head over to watch the PowerPoint presentation on base safety protocols.”  And on it goes.

I call bullshit on the notion that a Marine cannot qualify on a pistol just like he qualifies on his rifle.  The Marines make big stuff out of 500 yard rifle qualifications, and the DMs and Scout Snipers go much farther than that.  Muzzle discipline, weapons clearing and malfunctions, weapons maintenance, rules of gun safety, etc., etc., are all taught as if straight from the Bible, and if you fail at any of it, you visit the “room of pain” for a while, and never fail again.  There isn’t any reason this cannot be laterally transferred to handguns as well.  There simply isn’t any reason.

Odierno’s objection isn’t stupid because he really believes what he said, it’s stupid because he is toeing the party line and cannot come up with something better.  But it must be observed that all of this has to do with Marines who are deployed and under arming orders.

As for when the Marines are stateside, we have dealt with this before too.

If I am not mistaken NCOs could never have personal weapons on reservation property, and officers could only with base commander approval.  But what this MARADMIN appears to do is expand the stipulations even farther.  Take note of the requirement for “government family housing … privately-owned firearms will be stored in a fully-encased container that is capable of completely enclosing the firearm and must be locked with a key or combination lock.  All firearms will be fitted with a trigger lock.”

This expands the rules to property off of the federal reservation, and if you live in housing that is in any way subsidized by the government for families, your personal weapons must not only be in a container large enough to contain the whole of the weapon, and locked, but it (or they) must also have a trigger lock(s) on it (them), even while inside the container.

Damn.  Heads of households had better hope they aren’t the victims of crime.  Their families are completely unprotected and unsecured.  This, from a Marine Corps Commandant who is alleged to be trying to secure his Marines from harm.  Oh well.  This is also from a Commandant who was allegedly involved in illegal command influence in investigations under his charge.  Readers already know what I think of airman Amos.  When Daniel graduated from Boot Camp I presented him with a present.  It included several things signed by Marine Corps Commandant Alfred Gray, with personalized notes to him.  I’ll never request anything like that from Amos.

Airman Amos was a worthless, spineless sniveling lackey crap-weasel and a traitor to the USMC.  Notice that the MARADMIN that is the subject of the post had to do with personal weapons off federal reservation property.  Marines couldn’t even have those unlocked, within arms reach and ready to be deployed without risking NJP or dishonorable discharge.  As best as I know, this MARADMIN is still in effect.

As for whether the Marines in the recruiting office in Chattanooga should have been armed, the answer is a resounding yes and no.  Mason Dixon Tactical raises a very important point.  It wasn’t too many hundreds of years ago in our history where men were required to carry long guns to worship, practice with the other men after worship, and use the day for fellowship and training.  This could one day become more regular in America as the security situation degrades.

But at the moment, LEOs are the only ones who regularly openly carry pistols (and sometimes patrol rifles).  This has been the source of much mistrust, and may yet prove to be the catalyst for worse things than mere mistrust.  The history of the use of the military for battling insurrection is complex and varied.  But the armed forces carrying weapons in the states just doing battle with anyone or everyone is a dark road to start.  We don’t want to travel that road.  I have been critical of Operation Jade Helm, and for what I consider to be good reasons (I will hold in abatement the question of what I think of Robin Sage, since it isn’t an analogue to Jade Helm given than Jade Helm involves not just the armed forces but coupling with law enforcement – which I think is the most dangerous part of it – and scenarios that paint locals as the enemy).

The effectiveness of pistols in a situation where the shooter is in a stand-off position putting rounds through glass is dubious anyway.  The best defense against a rifle is another rifle and better training, but remember, whatever Soldiers and Marines get to carry, we should too.

There was no reason whatsoever that the Marines should have been carrying armory-issued weapons in a recruiting center, as no training was occurring and no one was at the range.  That “we are at war” isn’t a salient objection, as Congress must declare war in order for it to be legal.  Arming orders were not issued, and moreover, they shouldn’t be in the states (the exception I have often advocated is arming orders for troops at the Southern border) excepting an invasion.

But also remember that self defense is a God-given right, and those Marines in Chattanooga, if they had chosen, should have been able to carry personal weapons for self defense.  Odierno’s objection is ridiculous.  Negligent discharges can be trained out of people, and as for consequences of NDs harming others, we who carry on a daily basis learn to cope with and minimize that risk every day.  We are just as liable to do time in the penitentiary for reckless endangerment or negligent homicide as a Soldier or Marine, perhaps more so, and certainly more so than LEOs.

Should those Marines have been armed?  No, not in an official capacity.  Let’s don’t go down that dark road.  But yes, in a personal capacity if they understood and took seriously their God-given duty of self defense and the Marine Corps allowed it (which they don’t).  It’s important to understand and properly categorize the reasons for arming Soldiers and Marines.

UPDATE #1: Washington Post – “The FBI has recovered a pistol that might have been privately owned and used by one of the Marines killed here Thursday during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center, according to law enforcement officials.

Investigators are trying to determine based on forensics whether the pistol, a 9mm Glock, was used in an exchange with the shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and possibly wounded him, officials said.

The standard-issue pistol for military personnel authorized to carry a sidearm is a variant of the 9mm Beretta 92. According to the Marine unit’s commanding officer, Maj. Mike Abrams, Marines are not authorized to carry personally owned firearms while at the support center.”

Impulsively Angry Gun Owners

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

That’s just about all of us if you believe the press, except that according to Politicus USA, that’s only if you have a lot of guns.

This week an article was circulating around social media with a headline that would draw cheers from many, though by no means all, progressives: “Bombshell: Gun Owners Tend to Be Angry, Unstable, Impulsive.” If one clicks on the article, there is indeed some bombshell research contained within it. However, the headline does not accurately reflect the research study’s findings and misses the chance to inform, as well as advance, a policy argument. It is unfortunate because it doesn’t do progressives any favors to circulate headlines that are erroneous. It ends up putting us on the defensive as we have to defend why statements are being made that don’t reflect reality.

Researchers at Duke and Harvard conducted research with results that can help form social policy, indicate to family and friends when a loved one may be dangerous, and destigmatize a group that has long been maligned as unsafe. The social scientists who completed this research used the National Comorbidity Study to get their findings. The National Comorbidity Study has been conducted since the 1990s as a study of mental health and substance abuse in the community, most recently using a nationally representative sample of 5,563 people with the purpose of determining the percentages of mental illness and substance abuse in the population. The calculation of whether randomly selected research participants have either problem was done through an extensive, standardized, face-to-face interview. There are also questions about the use of professional services, etc. The most recent iterations have included questions related to gun ownership. This is where the “bombshell” research results come from.

The researchers found that 8.9% of those who reported being impulsively angry also reported gun ownership. This is not a small percentage if we, as Americans, are trying to keep guns out of the hands of people who could easily be at sudden risk of shooting any number of people. On the other hand, it also means that over 90% of the people who get impulsively anger did not have a gun. Because of the way the study is structured, the converse—over 90% of gun owners were not impulsively angry—is also true. Oops, there goes the bombshell idea that “gun owners tend to be angry, unstable, impulsive.”

What made this study so useful is that they were able to pinpoint who is at risk for violent behavior. It comes as absolutely no surprise that people who owned six or more guns or who had a history of violent behavior were those who reported the riskiest behaviors of “outbursts of anger,” “getting into fights,” or “smashing or breaking things.”  These are the people who are at risk for killing someone. The vast majority of these people don’t have a diagnosable mental illness, and reported never having been committed, so the study’s authors point out that the focus on keeping guns away from people with serious mental illness who have been committed is misplaced. It ends up stigmatizing a group further that already struggles heavily with stigma.

So if you own six or more guns, you are at risk for killing someone.  Six is the magic cutoff – not five, and not seven.  It’s six.  So the “researchers” and “social scientists” say.

Actually, her data proves nothing of the sort.  There isn’t any cutoff, there isn’t any proof.  This is nothing.  In order to have a meaningful analysis, an individual would have to have (a) a number of very large sample populations, (b) assurance that the sample population wasn’t biased, (c) a reliable means of extracting true information (torture is illegal and unreliable and gun owners are known to give false or incomplete information concerning their ownership of guns due to [justifiable] mistrust of the government), (d) repeatability and verifiability (in other words, is there fully independent means of verifying that when they said they got violent they actually did so, were charged with it, and found guilty of a crime), and finally (and this may be the most important), (e) enough studies over a large enough set of sample populations that they could meet the central limit theorem and create a standard distribution in results, with a fractional standard deviation of, say, around 0.05 or less.

None of these things obtain, and they will never do so.  And if you believe that there is such a thing as social “science,” then you may as well believe in witch doctors and voodoo.  If you want to do science, then study the Navier-Stokes equations or the Boltzmann transport equation.  Then maybe I’ll have some respect for you.  Until then, you’re all just witch doctors to me.


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