Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Straw Man Law

I'm not a fan of "assault" rifles per se. (The definition used by the government to ban these a while back, before allowing the law to lapse didn't really address real assault rifles, but the civilian versions, and it went largely to cosmetics–flash suppressors, folding stocks, high-capacity magazines and such, and named names.) 

If I were out in the boonies engaged in guerilla warfare, I'd want a good deer rifle. Better hardware, more powerful, more accurate. In a tight urban environment, I'd prefer a pump shotgun. 

If you want a full-auto weapon, i.e., a machinegun, you can get one in many states, but it has to be registered with the feds, you have to have the checks, sometimes the approval of the local sheriff, and they will know who you are and where you live. I can't recall seeing a case where somebody who had one of those legally cut loose with it at the mall. And those, since they are no longer made for civilian use, cost a fortune. You can get a good used car for less than a nice Tommygun, and top-of the-line subguns are also spendy.

Do you need a hundred round magazine? A fifty? Twenty? Fifteen? Probably not. The average gun fight, according to the old FBI standards, was three feet, three shots, three seconds. 

The video shows an Army pistoleer doing fast magazine changes. With a little bit of practice, you can drop and insert a fresh one faster than it takes to read this, so you don't really need a high-cap magazine unless you are facing the Chinese Army come ashore, and in that case, you are screwed anyhow. 

My father's .22 lever action Marlin, as I recall, loaded like 19 rounds in a tube under the barrel. Not very sexy, and it took a while to reload once it ran dry, but outside of wars, more people have been killed with .22's than any other caliber. 

If the end times came and I had to narrow my selection to one gun as I headed for the hills? A .22 rifle and all the ammo I could carry would be my first choice. 

Where the real cure will come for deadly violence in America, if it ever does, will be to deal with the hand holding the weapon. As long as the hand is willing, a tool will be found. To educate people so that the idea of killing somebody else comes last, and not first? That's the trick. 

I wish I knew how to pull that one off.   


Anonymous said...

I have a question.

I'm from Canada and the firearms laws are different here.


Finally got rid of the 'long gun' registry ( benefit to farmers).

Outlawed bullet proof vests for civilians.

Getting a handgun (any handgun) is supposed to be tough.

My question:

Why would anyone outside the military want an assault rife?

Steve Perry said...

That's the key word: "Want."

As opposed to "need." Most people don't need one.

Why would somebody want a Corvette instead of a Miata. They are both two-seater sports cars, right?

Take away some of the cosmetics of so-called "assault rifles," and the same weapon, firing the same round, you can get. You can turn a Ruger 1022 into an "assault" rifle. Not my thing, but ... taste ...

Goes to taste. Vanilla or Chocolate? Hard to argue with that.

Old Bull Lee said...

Can't read anything in the image of rifles, Steve. Do you have a link to it somewhere?

The intention of the Second Amendment is that civilians be able to own the same weapons as the military, as a deterrent against tyranny.

That doesn't technically answer the Canadian's question, but that is ONE of many reasons people passionately defend a "need" for assault rifles.

Steve Perry said...

Link to the image:

Won't do you much good, though -- it's a T-shirt design and the image is the same size on the site.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, the idea of a civilian militia equal to the military was fine when everybody carried muskets or Kentucky long rifles. That horse was never actually put into the barn, though, few citizens owned cannons or rockets, and there's no chance of it happening now. Battleships and jet bombers, tanks, nuclear missiles? I don't want Billy-Bob getting his hands on any of that stuff.

Guerilla forces are never as well-armed as the established military, even when supplied by outsiders supporting them. Civilians aren't going to slug it out with the United States military on the field of battle. If it ever comes to that, it will be like the original revolution -- guys hiding behind trees and sniping at superior forces, then hauling ass.

Just like they are doing it in Afghanistan now. You can only win a war like that through doggedness, stinging and fleeing, until it get to be too expensive and too much trouble for the superior force, they say "Fuck it," and pack up. You don't beat them in battles, they walk away.

Assault rifles are -- pardon the pun -- an easy target. They look nasty to civilians, you don't need one to hunt Thumper, and save for rounds per minute, good hunting rifles reach farther, hit harder, and are better made. Serious snipers don't look for their M4s outside short urban range, and probably the last issued military rifle I'd own would be an M14. Real wood, big bullets, solid construction.

If ARs were made illegal, it wouldn't bother most but the hardcore shooters who love 'em, and our Canadian friend's question is the reason. They won't give anybody parity with the Marines, no way, no how, so why do you need one?

But of course, it's the slippery slope argument. Once you have those, then you come for the high-cap pistols and sporting rifles. Then the shotguns, and eventually, Grampaw's .22 varmint rifle and his old duck gun. If you dig around the anti-gun manifestos, the groups make it plain that's the plan. They don't bandy that about, of course, but it's the overall strategy, always has been. All guns gone, period.

A lot of military hardware is made for the dumbest guy in the room. If he can't operate it and keep it running? This was a problem with the early M16s in Vietnam. Magazines were crappy, a speck of dirt would shut the system down. They fixed that, but early on, soldiers would swap an M16 for an AK when they recovered one. Which is why the AK47s and their clones are the most popular assault weapons out there: They work if you drop them or get them dirty.

More regulation is eventually coming; the questions are, what kind and when.

Nataraj Hauser said...

I recommend you check out a book titled "On Killing", by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. He digs into the military's efficiency at breaking down soldiers (young men, mostly) reluctance to shoot another human. They have dramatically increased the percentage when comparing the Civil War versus Vietnam. And then, with no un-training, they release said ex-soldiers back into society. It's a fascinating read.