Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ahhh, the wonder world of gun control!

This morning, I was doing two of the things I really enjoy doing in my spare time. I was putting together a new rifle, while reading Ironically, there was an article on that website about how our new president is considered by most to be "gun salesman of the decade".

It would seem that our beloved president is heavily supported by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which in and of itself was more than enough reason for me to have not voted for if I actually needed another reason. You see, I am a firearm owner, and I actually detest the idea of violence. With this in mind, know that I do own several firearms that were designed with no purpose whatsoever than to kill another human being.

Contradictory statements? Hardly. Firearms were originally designed with the express and primary purpose of taking a human life. Why would a non-violent person ever want to own such a thing? Well, aside from the "sporting purposes" they have since been adapted to, they are also for the purposes of armed defense of ones' life, liberty, and property. Remember this, boys and girls: When seconds count, the police are just minutes away!

Seeing as how the rifle I am in the process of putting together at the moment happens to be one of those evil "semi-automatic military-style assault weapons", I thought I would go over some of the so-called facts on the Brady Campaign's page dealing with this exact situation. And, of course, correct these myths with, well, you know...actual facts. Please keep in mind, I have placed words such as "military-style" and "assault weapon" in quotations, as these are terms utilized by the Brady Campaign and have absolutely no bearing in reality.

1) A large-capacity ammunition magazine which enables the shooter to continuously fire dozens of rounds without reloading. Many assault weapons come equipped with large ammunition magazines allowing more than 50 bullets to be fired without reloading. Standard hunting rifles are usually equipped with no more than 3 or 4-shot magazines;
It takes less than a second or two for a practiced individual to drop an empty magazine from your typical rifle, have another in its place, and have the bolt released to load a new round. High-capacity magazines do not increase the number of rounds fired, they merely reduce the number of magazines a person needs.

The claim that "many assault weapons come equipped with 50 round magazines" is, of course, nothing more than a blatant lie. I am considered, even amongst my redneck friends, to be somewhat of a "gun nut". I own two of these "military-type" rifles, and am in the process of building a third. I have NEVER seen a new-in-box rifle sold with a magazine capable of carrying more than 30 rounds. Most ACTUAL military rifles (you know, the ones actually used in combat) don't even come equipped with magazines larger than that.

2) A folding stock which facilitates maximum concealability and mobility in close combat (which comes at the expense of the accuracy desired in a hunting weapon);
A folding stock does absolutely NOTHING to diminish the accuracy of a rifle. I know this must really warp the minds of those at the Brady Campaign, but here's how it UNFOLD it before you shoot it.

3) A pistol grip which facilitates spray-fire from the hip without losing control. A pistol grip also facilitates one-handed shooting;
What is "spray-fire"? Seems like yet another made-up word, like "assault pistol". The purpose of a pistol grip on a rifle has absolutely nothing to do with being able to control a weapon, and everything to do with the design of the rifle itself. The ergonomic characteristics of a "traditional"-style (read: NOT pistol grip) stock actually provide for better control when firing from the hip, due simply to the angle of the wrist...but we wouldn't want human biology to get in the way of those lobbying dollars, now would we?

4) A barrel shroud which enables the shooter to shoot many rounds because it cools the barrel, preventing overheating. It also allows the shooter to grasp the barrel area to stabilize the weapon, without incurring serious burns, during rapid fire;
Have these people ever actually seen even a hunting rifle? You need a "barrel shroud" for neither stabilization, burn prevention, nor to prevent overheating. The standard fore-end of a wooden stock on your average ordinary bolt-action rifle will handle the first two, which is why they were designed with them in the first place. A "barrel shroud" actually acts contradictory to the third reason, as it provides more of a barrier to open air, thus preventing the rifle from cooling as rapidly as possible...but we wouldn't science to get in the way of those lobbying dollars, now would we?

5) A threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor which allows the shooter to remain concealed when shooting at night, an advantage in combat but unnecessary for hunting or sporting purposes. In addition, the flash suppressor is useful for providing stability during rapid fire;
Wow. Did these people get a list of facts, and then intentionally write the exact opposite of the truth? First off, the flash suppressor (or "flash hider", as it is more commonly called), is not used to "increase concealment" for night shooting. It simply won't do this. It is nothing more than a vented extension to the barrel, which redirects muzzle flash in specific concentrated directions, as opposed to throwing a ball of fire directly out the end of the barrel. The purpose of the flash hider is not concealment, but rather, to prevent flash blindness of the shooter by dispersing muzzle flash.

The "sporting purposes" of this are quite clear. The two most commonly-hunted game animals in Texas are whitetail deer and wild hog. Both are commonly hunted in low-light conditions. Hogs frequently roam at night, whereas deer commonly feed at dawn and dusk. If you are blinded by muzzle flash, are you not less likely to make a follow-up shot if you miss your first shot?

Now, moving right along...the idea of "stability during rapid fire" being a byproduct of a flash hider. Again, blatantly false outright lie. A flash hider is NOT the same as a "recoil compensator" (or "muzzle brake", as they are commonly known). While they are similar, and many compensators also perform the task of working as a flash hider, the purpose of a recoil compensator is to direct muzzle blast outward instead of forward. Unlike a traditional flash hider, a muzzle brake typically has a smaller outlet on the front end, usually only slightly larger than the barrel bore. This forcefully directs muzzle blast outward, after expansion inside the compensator causes the blast to push forward on the "cap" of the brake.

Ironically, during the years of 1994-2004 under the "Assault Weapons Ban", muzzle brakes were allowed by law, whereas flash hiders were not. BATFE approval was necessary, to ensure that it acted primarily as a brake instead of a compensator, and it was also necessary to either blind-pin or weld the brake on to prevent swapping it out for a flash hider. Again, the "sporting purposes" of the muzzle brake should be obvious. If you can prevent your barrel from kicking upward after firing, it is easier to take a follow-up shot. This, of course, is why the manufacturers of hunting rifles (yes, even bolt-action rifles) put muzzle brakes on their weapons.

6) A threaded barrel designed to accommodate a silencer which allows an assassin to shoot without making noise;
Pardon me, but when did the Bloods and the Crips start taking lessons from James Bond? They don't sell silencers at Wal-Mart. They aren't exactly common on the black market, either. Seriously...when was the last time you saw someone being prosecuted for a firearm-related violent crime involving the use of a sound suppressor? Oh, you haven't ever heard of such a thing? Yeah, me either.

That's probably because it requires a special license to make one, and you also have to fill out extensive paperwork and pay hundreds of dollars in special taxes and filing fees to buy one. Each one is registered by the government. It is literally just as easy to purchase a full-auto machine gun in a lawful manner, as it is to purchase a sound other words, it's a certifiable pain in the butt to get one, which is why gangbangers don't ever use them.

7) A barrel mount designed to accommodate a bayonet which allows someone to stab a person at close quarters in battle.
Again, when was the last time you heard of someone actually bayoneting someone to death in America? To the best of my knowledge, this hasn't happened since the that thing we like to call "The War of Northern Aggression". Okay, so it's properly called "The American Civil War" in our textbooks, but I think you get the idea. Essentially, it just doesn't happen.

So what did banning a bayonet lug mount do to the "assault rifle" industry? Not much, except cause them to retool for recasting of front sight bases for AR15 rifles. You see, the Colt AR15 rifle and its clones were adapted from a military rifle (designated as the M16 by the US military). No, the "AR" is not an abbreviation for "assault rifle", nor is the "15" anything having to do with "military-lite" was a design by Eugene Stoner, employed by the Armalite ("AR" being "Armalite Rifle"), and the "15" was merely a model number preceded by the AR7 (.22LR) and the AR10 (.308). Anyhow, the combination front sight and gas block had an integral bayonet lug cast into it, as it always had for the decades predating the assault weapons ban. When bayonet lugs were outlawed by the AWB, it caused A) excess inventory of such-equipped front sight bases to be rendered useless without modification, except as replacement parts for "pre-ban" rifles, and B) increase in costs associated with the manufacture of of new front sight bases. It did absolutely nothing to lower the virtually non-existent "bayonet homicide" rate in America.

8) Semi-automatic "military-style" rifles have no purpose as "sporting weapons".
Actually, this is taken from a quote from Jim Zumbo of Outdoor Life Magazine, it was merely posted on the Brady Campaign website to somehow "prove" that the modern rifle is useless for hunting.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. In actual fact, EVERY firearm currently used for hunting today was either ACTUALLY used as a military weapon, or based on a design of a military weapon used at some point. This tradition dates back all the way to the bow and arrow.

I have killed only one deer in my entire life, and it was done with a semi-automatic civilian version of the M16 rifle currently in use by the United States military. The animal was killed efficiently and ethically, with only one round having been fired that day from my rifle.

9) The assault weapons ban expired in September 2004 when Congress and President George W. Bush took no action to save it. That means that AK47s and other semi-automatic assault weapons are once again flooding our streets, as the weapons of choice of gang members, drug dealers and other dangerous criminals.
Interesting. They are the "weapons of choice" for the criminals who aren't allowed to own firearms to begin with? Hmmm...something just doesn't seem right about this. Oh, I know what doesn't seem right about that statement. It's contradictory to REALITY.

The Brady Campaign likes to point out that the number of "assault weapons" traced to gun crimes dropped by 66% during the AWB. Interestingly enough, even during the year they used as the "high number" when the AWB was not in effect, "assault weapons" accounted for LESS THAN FIVE PERCENT of all "gun crimes".

While the above statistic is true, and also included in the "assault weapons" page on the Brady Campaign website, there are a few other facts they left out. Aside from the fact that these "assault weapons" consisted of less than five percent of "gun crimes", there is A) many of these "assault weapons" were actually nothing more than semi-auto pistols that held more than ten rounds, and B) "gun crimes" consisted not only of crimes of violence involving firearms but also thefts of firearms from law-abiding citizens.

10) Law enforcement officers are at particular risk from these weapons because of their high firepower and ability to penetrate body armor.
"Assault weapons" are, in reality, no different than any other firearm in terms of being able to penetrate body armor.

Body armor is rated by the National Institute of Justice. Most policemen wear a Level IIIA vest, which is rated only to stop HANDGUN rounds. Handguns included in the AWB are NOT able to penetrate this armor, as their only characteristics putting them on the list are semi-automatic firing and a standard (read: higher than ten rounds) magazine capacity.

Just about every rifle larger than a .22LR rimfire rifle (which is the smallest commonly-available round on the commercial market) will penetrate a Level IIIA vest, because these vests are not designed to stop a rifle round...which means that an "assault rifle" will penetrate it. So will your grandpa's old bolt-action hunting rifle.

A LevelIII vest, which is designed to stop rifle fire, WILL stop rounds from an "assault rifle"...but won't stop many of the heavier hunting rifle rounds available on the commercial market. In reality, "assault" cosmetics (bayonet lugs, collapsible stocks, et cetera) make a rifle no more or less dangerous than any ordinary bolt-action rifle, especially when it comes to penetrating body armor.


So, what have we learned here today? The Brady Campaign is so full of that their eyes are turning brown. I really enjoy my "assault weapons". "Assault weapons" are not used extensively by gangbangers. An AR15 can both kill a deer AND accept a 100rd drum magazine...and it will still fire only one round every time you squeeze the trigger, unless you break the law or pay the tax necessary to have it do otherwise. We don't have a problem with "drive-by bayoneting" in this country, or anywhere else in the world. President Obama hates guns. Did I leave anything out?

No comments:

Post a Comment