Archive for the 'Assault Weapon Ban' Category



Leon Panetta On Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Leon Panetta:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta joined the gun control debate on Thursday when he told troops at a military base in Italy that only soldiers needed armor-piercing bullets or assault weapons.

Asked by a soldier what President Barack Obama would do to protect school children from gun violence without infringing Americans’ right to own guns, Panetta said action was needed after the attack on a Connecticut school in December in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

He told members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Vicenza that there were areas where steps could be taken,

“I mean who the hell needs armor-piercing bullets except you guys in battle?”

Well, anyone who wants to protect themselves against a multi-man home invasion may decide that he needs “assault weapons.”  But one would think that the secretary of defense would have more important things to worry with, like the fact that we’re losing the campaign in Afghanistan.

But remember that this is the very same Leon Panetta who retains the services of body guards.  So here’s the deal, Leon.  Disarm your body guards or tell us that you’re a liar – that you really don’t believe what you say – that you know people need protection, but that you don’t care about that except for the really important people like you.

Then you’ll say in public what we all know to be true.  You’re a sniveling lackey just like Stanley McChrystal.

Questions For Newtown Police Department

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

From NBC News:

But as a veteran law enforcement officer, what was most striking to Kehoe was that the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, had heavier firepower than Kehoe and his officers. The police had Glock pistols with 14-round magazines;  Lanza had a Bushmaster assault-style rifle, two handguns and multiple 30-round magazines that allowed him to squeeze off an estimated 150 shots.

Although it’s still not clear if Lanza ever fired at responding officers — Kehoe thinks he took his own life when he heard the police sirens —  the disproportionate balance in firepower bothers him.

“We never like to think we’re going to be outgunned in any situation we’re dealing with,” he said. “We do a good job of  securing dynamite in our society. … (Assault rifles) are another form of dynamite. … I think they should ban them.”

I think you’re not getting the full story, so I have posed the following questions to the Newtown Police Department:

(1) Do your officers have tactical shotguns (e.g., Mossberg 930,
Benelli, etc.) in their units?  If not, do they have any kind of
shotguns in their units?
(2) Do your officers have AR-15s in their armory?
(3) If so, do they carry them in their units?
(4) Are their AR-15s the equivalent of assault rifles, i.e., do they
have selective fire capability, or are they only semi-autos like
civilians arms?
(5) Did any of your officers carry any firearms other than their side
arm in response to the Sandy Hook disaster?
(6) If not, could your officers have made the choice to have carried
any firearms other than their side arm in response to the Sandy Hook
disaster?
(7) Finally, it has been reported that the response time to the Sandy
Hook disaster was 20 minutes.  Is this accurate?

Thank you so much for your attention to these questions.

What you want to bet that I never get answers to these or any other questions?

Seven Rounds Instead Of Ten

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

From CBS New York:

People familiar with closed-door negotiations told The Associated Press a tentative deal was struck over the weekend.

The tentative agreement would further restrict New York’s ban on assault weapons, limit the size of magazines to seven bullets, down from the current 10, and enact more stringent background checks for sales. Other elements, pushed by Republicans, would refine a mental health law to make it easier to confine people determined to be a threat to themselves or others.

Yaaaaaay!  This means that some of Kimber’s 1911′s (with seven round magazines) are legal, while the ones that have eight round magazines are “assault weapons.”  And maybe for a real laugh NY will include the eight- and nine-shot revolvers in their AWB while excluding the 5- and 6-shot revolvers.

Notice also that the NY republicans pressed for making it easier to falsely imprison innocent people.  New York.  Good for a laugh if nothing else.

What To Expect On Gun Control In The Coming Months

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

We’ve discussed it many times, this proposed extended and expanded assault weapons ban proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein.  The new legislation may fail, but the White House has it’s own front in this war on firearms.  But their own propaganda betrays a serious weakness in their approach.

The White House is also developing strategies to navigate the rocky and emotionally fraught terrain of gun politics once final policy decisions are made. The administration is quietly talking with a diverse array of interest groups, including religious leaders, mental-health professionals and hunters, to build as broad a coalition as possible, those involved in the discussions said.

The president is expected to face fierce opposition from the NRA and its allies in Congress, including most Republicans and some Democrats.

But Biden signaled to those involved in the policy discussions that the White House is not afraid of taking on the NRA, the nation’s largest gun rights group. At the Dec. 20 meeting, according to Stanek, when one law enforcement leader suggested focusing on only the most popular proposals, Biden responded: “Look, what I’m asking you for is your candid opinion and ideas about extreme gun violence. Leave the politics to the president. That’s our job with Congress.”

They want to turn hunters against the NRA and modern sporting rifles.  Fat chance.  That didn’t work out so well for David Petzal or Jerry Tsai.  Their plans to divide and conquer the NRA will meet with disastrous results.  Every minute spent on such a tactic is wasted, and thus we have to hope that they expend a lot of energy on it.

But the later part of the strategy, i.e., politics, is far more fearsome and they have proven very adept at that approach.  Gun Owners of American (h/t Mike Vanderboegh) gives us an inside baseball look at the current tactics.  In summary, John McCain is working against gun owners by pressing (along with the Democrats) for a rule change that would essentially be a work-around of the filibuster rule.  Lindsey Graham has vowed to vote against new gun control measures, but since he is McCain’s lap dog, he may be looking for cover as he works silently behind the scenes to assist in Feinstein’s plans.  Joe Manchin has backed off of his public calls for new gun control measures, but he may be playing the same game as McCain and Graham.

Currently in the Senate, Rand Paul is the only immovable champion of second amendment rights.  If new laws pass the Senate, they must also pass the House before going to the President’s desk.  It isn’t clear what the House will do.  If history is any indication, they are in a weakened state, and lack any backbone anyway.

However, the Republicans stand warned.  If – controlling the House of Representatives – they allow new gun control measures to pass to the President’s desk, the GOP will cease to exists as a viable political party.  Voters are having difficulty finding differences between them and the Democrats anyway.  Caving on gun control would seal the fate of the GOP as a historical relic rather than a future possibility.

If new gun control measures don’t pass the Senate and House, the game is far from over.  The Obama administration is investigating the possibility of executive orders reclassifying semi-automatic firearms as title 2 weapons, thus doing by fiat what the legislative branch rejected.  The fight will continue, just in a different locale than the Senate and House.

Finally, if new gun control measures pass to the President’s desk (in which case he will surely sign the measures into law), it means more than just new background checks.  All semi-automatic firearms will be taxed, required to be submitted to the ATF for approval, controlled from crossing state lines, and prohibited from being bequeathed to your children or grandchildren in your wills.  Violation of any of these rules will turn you into an instant felon.  Of course, this would mean a resistance for which America isn’t prepared.

Karl Denninger writes:

It is time for We The People to take a stand, as did John Hancock, Richard Stockton, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Penn, Arthur Middleton and others.

Your right to life is not bestowed by government. Your right to liberty is not bestowed by government. Government never possessed those rights and you cannot bestow what you do not first lawfully possess.

You right to life and liberty were bestowed by your creator. Those rights inure to each and every one of us by virtue of being human. And here’s the point which many of you wish not to discuss:

A right without the ability and willingness to defend it is no right at all.”

Bob Owens writes:

“The Second Amendment of the United States was never written to protect hunting or target shooting. It was written by men who had just fought a successful armed revolution against the most advanced military of their day, and who wanted to ensure that future generations would be armed with weapons of contemporary military utility in order to stand against the day that once more, tyrants would attempt to consolidate power and lord over the people as their betters.

“Any attempt to take the contemporary arms of military utility our Founders wanted us to have, which includes the standard magazines and clips used in these firearms, is an act of tyranny that the Founders would recognize as an event justifying the use of force to retain our freedoms.”

“Tread carefully.”

Brandon Smith writes:

“There is no ambiguous or muddled separation between the citizenry and the government anymore. The separation is absolute. It is undeniable. It is vast. It is only a matter of time and momentum, and eventually there will be unbridled oppression, dissent, and conflict. All that is required is a trigger, and I believe that trigger has arrived…”

Mike Hendrix writes:

“This is a society preparing for war,” writes Bob Owens.

“Reluctantly, almost unwillingly, it should be noted. But the sad truth is, war is already being made upon it, and has been for a long time now. Said society has been more than patient, more than tolerant. But eventually, enough is enough. Everyone has their limit; freedom-loving Americans’ has very nearly been reached. A few more steps over the line, and the kettle is going to boil over.”

“Any liberal-fascists who think we’re all going to go gently into that good night really, really need to reconsider. We all have to hope they do. But we all have to be prepared for the possibility, the likelihood, that they mightn’t. “This far, no further” is more than just an empty slogan.”

“Gird your loins.”

Alan Halbert writes:

“We are in far more danger from these actions of our own government than from another Sandy Hook atrocity by a crazed killer.”

“The Second Amendment’s purpose is to provide for the citizens’ defense from all who would deny their natural God- given right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” against a criminal, a foreign or domestic enemy, or our own government. We will witness the end of the Republic if this proposed legislation is passed, since all of our rights flow from the citizen’s ability to defend them.”

“As for this citizen, I will never disarm or surrender my Second Amendment rights, much less willingly comply with such a traitorous act of Congress if enacted… it is actions like these that light revolutionary fervor in a nation and its citizens. It did so in 1776 and it will do so again.”

John Jay writes:

“…when it is done, and the regime defeated, no one will talk about what he did in the war. It shall have been terrible, and brutal. Executions, murders, assassinations and the inevitable collateral damage shall be the issue of the day. This is the price that those who attempt to impose a totalitarian regime in the America’s shall face. Many of us will die, and some shall become iconic photos hanging from lamp posts, stripped naked and hoisted by their ankles, as final witness and testimony to their arrogance.”

“Those who seek to take our weapons trifle with history, heritage and firmly held belief. It should be remembered, those of us who believe this way are god fearing, and shall invoke and beseech our God for support. We have a religious underpinning and faith that shall carry us through this, as opposed to those who seek to suppress us. They have nothing but naked ambition to sustain them.”

“Do Obama, Pelosi, and Feinstein have the stomach for this sort of conflict? Are they willing to initiate, in order to try and gain the rule they aspire to? We shall find out.”

Western Rifle Shooter’s Association writes:

“Understand that once the ball opens, there will be no stopping the righteous fury of viciously-indignant Americans, especially once the 2013 versions of Waco and Ruby Ridge are re-enacted by Regime loyalists across the nation.”

“No one associated with the Federal government or its mutant-twin ruling parties will be safe.”

“Especially once the guys with the scoped hunting rifles come in.”

Mike Vanderboegh writes that there would be a revolution if the government confiscates weapons, and Herschel Smith warns that there will be resistance and writes that the resistance won’t be “the peaceful kind.”  If it goes to the point of forcible implementation of the proposed legislation, it will be awful, bloody, violent and extreme.  Right now we don’t know for certain what will happen in Washington.  But depending upon that outcome, what will happen all across America has been written.  1.6 billion rounds of handgun ammunition won’t be nearly enough for the government.

You’ve been warned.

UPDATE: “Class II” has been changed to “Title II.”  I appreciate Glenn’s attention to this article.  Also, David Codrea gives a link.

UPDATE #2: Thanks to John Richardson for the attention.

UPDATE #3: Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh for the attention.

Voting On Gun Control With Your Bank Account

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Around America, people are voting on gun control with their bank accounts.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Requests for gun permits soared in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties last month, mirroring a nationwide buying spree fueled by fears of tougher gun laws after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

In all, 1,971 people applied for handgun purchase permits in Mecklenburg in December, compared with 860 who applied in December 2011, according to data from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Julia Rush said the department has a backlog of applications and has used overtime to deal with what she called a “deluge of requests.” North Carolina law requires that handgun purchasers get a permit from their local sheriff’s office. The permit must be presented to the gun shop before the purchase can be made.

Such permits are not required for shotguns and rifles, including the Bushmaster AR-15 assault-style rifle used in the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 schoolchildren and six faculty and staff members dead. Federal law does prevent felons, certain types of domestic abusers and people with a history of mental illness from possessing the firearms.

Local gun stores have had lines of would-be purchasers stretching out the front door in some cases. Larry Hyatt said the crush of sales at his gun store on Wilkinson Boulevard in December was remarkable.

When The Observer visited the shop Dec. 21, a wall that had held assault-style long guns was nearly empty. Before the Newtown shooting, it had been full.

“It was just overwhelming,” Hyatt said. “We couldn’t even (get) people in the store. It’s like going to the grocery store when it snows. We started running out of some things.”

Hyatt Gun Shop saw a jump in customers the day after the president made his remarks, Larry Hyatt said. December became the single busiest month Hyatt has had since his gun store opened on Wilkinson Boulevard in 1959.

Hyatt typically has 12 or 13 staff members working the counter. During December, he had 30 coming in early and leaving late. His gunsmiths – the people who repair guns, or add accessories – were drafted as salesmen. Still, there were times when the store was full and the shelves emptied quickly.

And in a single day of sales before Christmas, Hyatt Gun Shop did more than one million dollars in business.  The people who purchased these firearms aren’t planning on Dianne Feinstein telling them that they cannot bequeath their wealth – including their firearms – to their children or grandchildren.  If she attempts to do so, she (and any jackbooted thugs whom she sends to enforce the laws) will meet resistance.  Not the peaceful kind.

How To Get The Assault Weapons Ban Through Congress

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

From The NYT, Adam Eisgrau, the same lawyer who crafted the first assault weapons ban is giving advice on how to do it again.

The bill had three main components. The first was a list of well-known, deeply feared guns that were banned by name (like Uzis). The second banned the future manufacture and sale of any new semiautomatic weapon with a detachable magazine and more than two of several assault-style features (like a forward handgrip). The third and most critical section was Appendix A, which listed every single hunting rifle and shotgun in use at the time — there were hundreds — that didn’t run afoul of the features test in the second component. Those firearms were unequivocally exempted from the bill.

At the time, gun-control advocates resisted the incorporation of Appendix A. But the idea behind it was and remains crucial to making any meaningful changes in America’s gun laws. They must gain the support of gun owners, most of whom are heartsick over senseless carnage.

By explicitly protecting hundreds of popular sporting guns, the bill enabled senators and representatives to push back against the tide of protests — many of them generated by the National Rifle Association — at town hall-style meetings in their states and districts. They could show their constituents that their ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns were protected in Appendix A or that their guns could be added to it, if need be. Proponents of the legislation distributed blue booklets describing all three parts of the bill, including pictures of the assault weapons banned by name and the full list of guns protected by Appendix A.

By which he means he’ll leave bolt action rifles and revolvers alone, and specifically outlaw all of those millions of modern sporting rifles that have been purchased over the last several years, by a lot of people who committed a lot of resources and paid a lot of money in a very troubled economy.

That’s a winner, alright.  I like it.  The largest gun store in my area, Hyatt Gun Shop, did one million dollars of business in a single day before Christmas, mostly selling these rifles.  The idiot lawyer who initially assisted Senator Feinstein wants to enter a time machine and do it all over again in 2013, as if this year is the same as a quarter century ago.

Even then it wasn’t popular, and coming out in favor of legality of only the traditional hunting weapons got David Petzal drummed out of the business (just like that same attitude recently got Jerry Tsai drummed out of the business).  So I agree with counsel.  I like Eisgrau’s approach.  Ban just about everything out there, and see how far you get with that.  I think you might meet some resistance.

We’ve Always Had Access To Military Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

From a NYT Editorial:

Bushmasters are by no means the only assault weapons of choice among mass killers (the Aurora shooter used a Smith & Wesson), but the brand’s repeated presence in murderous incidents reflects Bushmaster’s enormous popularity in the gun world, the result of a successful marketing campaign aimed at putting military firepower and machismo in the hands of civilians. Gun owners once talked about the need for personal protection and sport hunting, but out-of-control ad campaigns like Bushmaster’s have replaced revolvers and shotguns with highly lethal paramilitary fantasies.

The guns, some of which come in camouflage and desert khaki, bristle with features useful only to an infantry soldier or a special-forces operative. A flash suppressor on the end of a barrel makes it possible to shoot at night without a blinding flare. Quick-change magazines let troops reload easily. Barrel shrouds allow precise control without fear of burns from a muzzle that grows hot after multiple rounds are fired. But now anyone can own these guns, and millions are in civilian hands.

“There is an allure to this weapon that makes it unusually attractive,” Scott Knight, former chairman of the International Chiefs of Police Firearms Committee, told USA Today, speaking of the Bushmaster rifles. “The way it looks, the way it handles — it screams assault weapon.”

The company’s catalog and ads show soldiers moving on patrol through jungles, Bushmasters at the ready. “When you need to perform under pressure, Bushmaster delivers,” says the advertising copy, superimposed over the silhouette of a soldier holding his helmet against the backdrop of an American flag. “Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered,” said a 2010 catalog, peddling an assault rifle billed as “the ultimate military combat weapons system.” (Available to anyone for $2,500.)

In case that message was too subtle, the company appealed directly to the male egos of its most likely customers. “Consider your man card reissued,” said one Bushmaster campaign (pulled off the Web after the Newtown shooting), next to a photo of a carbine. “If it’s good enough for the professional, it’s good enough for you.”

The effect of these marketing campaigns on fragile minds is all too obvious, allowing deadly power in the wrong hands. But given their financial success, gun makers have apparently decided that the risk of an occasional massacre is part of the cost of doing business.

What a silly, puerile commentary.  Notice the use of effeminate, emotional prose: male egos, machismo, out-of-control, bristle, and the fear-inducing “screams assault weapon.”  Oh, and we mustn’t forget the shoulder-shrugging issue of the “occasional massacre,” either.

The NYT says that shooters were once interested in self defense (as if we’re not now concerned about that very thing), but apparently those writers who live in their protected bubbles and ride in limousines to work aren’t aware that the trend in home invasions is for the criminals to utilize multi-man teams to terrorize, steal, rape, torture and kill their victims.  Perhaps the editors should read the news.  High capacity magazines, indeed.  Anyone who is responding to such an event wants everything they can get for self protection.

But the best sentence of the commentary is this one: “But now anyone can own these guns, and millions are in civilian hands.”  The editorial staff should do their history homework, or maybe read a little bit.  The M1 Carbine used a high capacity magazine with a low to moderate recoil cartridge.  And it has been around and used by the military since 1942, and used by the civilian population since right after World War II.  I recently purchased one myself, a new rifle from Auto Ordnance.

We (American citizens) have always had access to military firearms.  The ready availability of firearms isn’t new.  Neither, for that matter, is acts of terror against school children (see Bath School Disaster).  What is new is American fascists blaming firearms owners for such events.

UPDATE: Mike Vanderboegh has some thoughts.  Yes, Mike, I just need some more money.  Some for a Garand, some for an M-14, and some for … [to be continued].

New York Gun Crime

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Valuable statistics from New York Daily News:

The gun scourge in New York goes far beyond the assault weapons that are grabbing headlines in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

New state stats show that firearms were responsible for more than 58% of the murders statewide last year — but the biggest problem was handguns.

Of the 769 homicides reported in 2011, 393 were the result of handguns. There were 16 deaths by shotgun, five by rifle, and 33 by an unknown “firearm-type,” the state Division of Criminal Justice Services reports.

The rest of the killings were a mix of stabbings, beatings and other assaults.

A package of new proposals that Gov. Cuomo says he’ll push to give New York the nation’s toughest gun laws would come down on the military-style assault rifles like those used to kill 26 people in Newtown and by the crazed gunman who attacked firefighters responding to a blaze in Webster, N.Y., on Monday.

But Cuomo is also mulling measures that would rein in handguns including tougher gun registration rules and limits on the size of gun magazines to no more than seven bullets.

Gasp!  You mean that the dreaded and evil AR wasn’t the firearm of choice with criminals?  Perhaps owning them requires productive members of society to work hard and save their money because they cost so much?  Just a guess.

Take note of the other important point here.  At 42%, murder by other-than-firearm accounts for nearly half the total.  This is remarkable, and yet leave it to New York politicians to work hard at more of the same failed gun control policies to address the issue.  In order to address crime, the Governor is proposing more rules for law-abiding citizens.  If something doesn’t work, do it again … and again … and again.

Feinstein’s Law Wouldn’t Have Stopped The Connecticut Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Here is Senator Feinstein’s proposed law.  Of course, the remarkable thing is that not a single aspect of the law would have stopped the Connecticut shooting, or the Colorado shooting for that matter.

Magazine size is irrelevant, since the shooter was unimpeded (which is the core problem anyway).  Registration of firearms is also irrelevant, since the firearm owner was fully legal (the firearm was stolen and then used to perpetrate another crime).  Finally, grandfathering firearms is also irrelevant, since this firearm would clearly have fallen under such a stipulation (which Feinstein sees as necessary to pass the law).

Also note that the old issue of “sporting purposes” is back in the framework.  Recall what I said about such a test.

The ATF must decide what is the “sporting purposes” category by populating the list with examples, and then make the claim that such-and-such an example is deemed to be or not to be a “sporting purpose” because it is or isn’t on the list.  It reasons in a circle.

And moreover:

While ATF lawyers might disagree, for something to have a “sporting purpose” means nothing more than it can be taken to the range and operated by the owner to his or her entertainment or training.  The shooting skills – whether for official competitions such as IDPA or 3-Gun, or for unofficial activities such as regular range visits for the purpose of betterment at the science of firearms operation – are sports.  All of them.  Period.  This is non-negotiable.  If it is a firearm, it has a sporting purpose.

But then again, this isn’t really about sporting purposes, or safety, or public concerns, is it?  It’s about government control, as such progressive laws always are.  Gun control has always been about gun control.  Progressives aren’t liberal.  They’re statists and control freaks and micro-managers and social engineers.  This proposed law is another testimony to that.

Some Guns Are Just For Combat

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Some reactionary commentaries achieve little more than the following result: “A .223 caliber weapon (or an AR) killed the children in Connecticut, therefore ban those guns and this won’t happen any more.”  Or something thereabouts.

But occasionally a more technical argument is presented, and (ret.) Lt. Gen. John Castellaw has recently given us one.

The marksmanship and weapon handling skills I learned gave me a good start when I became a Marine. — But if my grandfather were alive today, he would be sorely disappointed that a major reason for gun ownership has changed from being a sportsman to being a “resistance fighter in waiting.”

[ ... ]

This generation of assault weapons and ammunition weighs less than previous combat rifles, allowing more ammunition to be carried, hence increased lethality of the basic infantry unit. The wounds produced are more traumatic; the bullet tends to yaw or tumble when it hits soft flesh as it transfers kinetic energy to the body. The reason most cited by purchasers for the frenetic buying is the fear of “the government taking away our Secnd Amendment Rights,” the rallying call not for sportsmen but for aspiring resistance fighters.

This resistance fighter mentality has been stoked by those who seem to feel deeply that our country is in the hands of illegitimate political leadership. The calls for “secession” reveal an inability by a vocal group to abide by the results of our democratic process and instead call for state and local governments as well as individuals to refuse to work within our system. Extremists decry political positions other than their own on topics from immigration reform to forging a plan for government fiscal responsibility. The words used to attack and defend political and cultural beliefs are words of war, not of civil discourse.

We must stop and ask ourselves if our country has gotten to a point where a substantial portion of our citizens has a fear, and maybe hatred, of our popularly elected national leadership and our fellow citizens who may look different or worship differently or vote differently. And is willing to endure multiple Newtowns materially enabled, if not caused, by the easy purchase of combat assault-style weapons.

There are many things we can do to reduce these scenes of carnage, ranging from dealing more effectively with those with severe mental illness to improving the security in our schools to returning to civil political discourse to reducing our culture of violence. One that seems a no-brainer is to make a distinction between a gun designed to hunt game and a gun designed to kill people and act now to keep those weapons for use where they were made for, combat.

He trots out his credentials at the end of the commentary, including being retired USMC.  My son was a Marine who saw combat in Fallujah, and earned the combat action ribbon.  He knows Marine officers who are idiots, and I’ve talked to some of them myself.  His having been a Marine Lt. General means absolutely nothing to me.

My son remarked after the Connecticut shooting that a trained shooter isn’t going to choose an AR anyway.  He will going to use a bolt action rifle with expensive glass and ensconce himself in a protected, stand off position to wreak the most havoc.  But I’m willing to concede the point that a shooter may not be trained like my son.  He was a SAW gunner, but also completed some of the Scout Sniper training and was a designated marksman for his unit.

So what of the AR and its round?  I will also grant the point that I’ve called an AR a legitimate home defense weapon.  If that’s the weapon you choose to defend yourself and your family, it’s immoral to force you to choose otherwise.

But notice the equally absurd (but analogous) arguments he didn’t make.  At the place where the gun aficionados hang out, there are many folk who still (and will always) believe that the best close quarters battle (CQB) weapon every invented by mankind is the .357 magnum revolver.  But note that General Castellaw didn’t argue for making the .357 magnum round illegal because it achieves a velocity that causes hydrostatic shock.

Instead he chose to focus on the fact that it yaws when it strikes tissue.  Even in this, he is wrong.  The 5.56 mm round doesn’t just yaw when it strikes tissue.  It yaws in flight, even with boat tail ammunition.  That’s one reason that it is an effective round for CQB while being inferior to the 7.62 round at distance.

But it was larger caliber rounds that allowed the Texas tower shooter to achieve his nefarious aims.  Those larger caliber rounds don’t yaw and fragment like the 5.56 mm round does.  And that’s the point.  The general knows that the whole issue of the weapon pattern is irrelevant.  Magazine changeout on an AR takes 1 – 2 seconds, and even if you’re shooting a revolver, speedloaders can essentially make the weapon the equivalent of a semi-automatic handgun.  Typical (Bolt Action) deer hunting rifles can be used with great effectiveness to wreak havoc.

He knows that hating on the AR platform is a loser’s argument, so he invokes caliber and ballistics, still a losing argument because of the implications of allowing other calibers and rounds that have other ballistic (but equally deadly) performance.  The argument the general really wants to make in advocating that we distinguish weapons of war with any other is that in his opinion, only the police and military should have those weapons of war, and thus only the police should make war on the civilian population and only the military, under the control of the politicians in approved campaigns, should have the option of sanctioned violence.

But of course, the analogue is that the general also believes that you shouldn’t have the option of choosing certain kinds of weapons for your own defense.  That, dear people, is a political rather than a technical position.  The general is in over his head on ballistics, and it’s better to heed my counsel: “It isn’t the caliber of the weapon one is holding that’s the problem.  It’s the caliber of the one holding the weapon.”

So ban ARs or their round – I cannot stop you, although I can certainly stop you from confiscating mine.  But if you do it, don’t be a coward and hide behind disingenuous and silly arguments that focus on the platform, the round or its ballistics, the pattern, or the safety of the public.  We see through all of those arguments.  Do your deeds because you’re a statist and want to see the public disarmed.  Admit the truth.


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