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Sun Apr 10, 2016, 12:11 PM

 

Can Our Society Implement a De-Escalation of Force? Part Two

Can Our Society Implement a De-Escalation of Force? Part Two of Four

By CompanyFirstSergeant

Link to Part One: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1172189947

Part Two –

• Background information on the AR-15
• Federal Assault Weapons Ban 1994-2004

THE AR-15

Technically, the AR-15 rifle is described as a lightweight, intermediate cartridge, magazine-fed, air-cooled, semi-automatic rifle with a rotating locking bolt.

The AR-15 rifle is was first built in 1959 by ArmaLite for the United States armed forces. Because of financial problems, ArmaLite sold the design to Colt. After some modifications, the redesigned rifle was adopted as the M16 rifle. In 1963, Colt started selling the semi-automatic version of the rifle for civilians. Although the name "AR-15" remains a Colt registered trademark, variants of the firearm are made, modified, and sold under various names by multiple manufacturers. (Wikipedia)

The term Assault Weapon is attributed to firearms industry advertising:


Phillip Peterson, the author of Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Assault Weapons (2008) wrote:

The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.

So the origin of the term assault weapon is attributed to gun-industry hype. Let’s take a look at a real term, ‘assault rifle.’

The similar but technical term assault rifle refers to military-issued rifles capable of selective fire - automatic (full-auto), semi-automatic, and burst fire. Assault rifles are distinguished from battle rifles (such as the M-1 Garand) in that they are lighter, more maneuverable and lend themselves better to a transition from woodland to urban combat and vice versa.

The military version of the AR-15, known as the M-16/M-4, fulfills this definition.

You callin’ my gun ugly?

To sell these guns, the gun industry had to get past a major sales problem – customers did not want them at first. In a gun store, the ‘old-school’ deep-blue steel and darkly stained walnut firearms of years past – which evoked awe in the eyes of a potential buyer – were not selling very well anymore.

Hunting, nationwide, was on the decline, and self-defense was of primary importance to most customers. Gun stores had become, in effect, mini-museums of old-looking rifles in which to spend some time while purchasing a handgun.

Compared to the (in the eyes of gun enthusiasts) beautiful old-style rifles on the store's shelves, modern military weapons (or their civilian counterparts) are, for the most part, very unattractive pieces of hardware.

They do have two things going for them, however…

• They are endlessly re-configurable:

Scopes, flashlights, lasers, forward grips, etc. Once a gun-store sells an AR-15, they can expect return customers to spend two to three times the original price on accessories. For example, an ACOG scope costs more than any AR-15. These rifles have earned the nickname ‘the Barbie doll for men.’

• They are everywhere in the media:

Photos of police officers guarding Wall Street after 9/11, National Guard soldiers on train stations, cops in Ferguson pointing their rifles directly at protesters. Will Smith’s character carried an AR-15 every time he left his house in I Am Legend, full-size cardboard cutouts of soldiers holding M-4s grace the lobbies of military recruiting offices across the nation.

Pushing these things to the customer became easy. And lucrative.

The Shoulder Thing That Goes Up.

If an inanimate object is ugly and menacing looking, but we don't really know what it does... let’s take a look at what makes it so ugly.

It came down to a handful of relatively useless features.

The definition of an assault weapon became one of cosmetics, not of functionality. Parkerization (a military grade rust-resistant coating) may cause a rifle to become an unattractive dull gray, but it does not increase its deadliness. Same for aluminum anodizing, and cheap plastic handgrips.

What really matters are the features that make this a truly deadly weapon. Can you legislate against these features...?

Semi -automatic? No, many hunters use semi-automatic rifles (one trigger pull = one bang) for quick follow-up shots.

Detachable magazine? No, many fine sporting rifles have detachable magazines.

Let’s take the above two, and add the following…

Assault weapons – as defined by law: rifles and shot guns that had the above two features were considered assault weapons if they also had any two of the following: folding stocks, pistol grips, bayonet mounts, attachable grenade launchers, flash suppressors, or threaded barrels designed to accommodate a flash suppressor.

So pistol grips, which just make the rifle more comfortable, were considered an evil feature. Same for bayonet mounts. Bayonet mounts? Are we re-fighting the Civil War?

THE FEDERAL ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, enacted in 1994, had a 10-year ‘sunset clause,’ in that it was a law destined to expire in ten years if not renewed. The ban restricted the manufacture, transfer, and possession of semi-automatic ‘assault weapons’ except for those already in lawful possession at the time of the law's enactment. It also ‘protected’ a list of firearms and features that fell outside of the definition, some by name, some by feature.

The ban also defined the term "large capacity ammunition feeding device," which is commonly shortened to "large capacity magazine," or high capacity magazine. These were defined by the assault weapons ban as magazines, belts, drums, feed strips, or similar devices with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

I will leave it to factcheck.org to bring you the results...

Both sides in the gun debate are misusing academic reports on the impact of the 1994 assault weapons ban, cherry-picking portions out of context to suit their arguments.

* Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association, told a Senate committee that the “ban had no impact on lowering crime.” But the studies cited by LaPierre concluded that effects of the ban were “still unfolding” when it expired in 2004 and that it was “premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence.”

* Conversely, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has introduced a bill to institute a new ban on assault weapons, claimed the 1994 ban “was effective at reducing crime.” That’s not correct either. The study concluded that “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.”

Both sides in the gun debate are selectively citing from a series of studies that concluded with a 2004 study led by Christopher S. Koper, “An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003.” That report was the final of three studies of the ban, which was enacted in 1994 as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

Whatever the case may be...

AR-15s have become the largest selling model of firearm in the United States. 1.5 million sold in the past 5 years. Over 30 companies manufacture them. The market for AR-15s and accessories is over one-billion dollars per year.

The AR-15 is notoriously difficult to write legislation around. The 'lower receiver' is machined from a block of aluminum approximately 5 inches by 9 inches. On it, are the model name and serial number. This part is the legal firearm, so the majority of the rifle is just parts, unaffected by law.

The AR-15 has been re-branded as 'America's Firearm' or the 'Gun of the Good Guys' despite it's frequent use in notorious and tragic mass shootings recently.

To Be Continued...

Up next in Part Three:
* Implications for Personal Self Defense
* The Militarization of Police



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Reply Can Our Society Implement a De-Escalation of Force? Part Two (Original post)
CompanyFirstSergeant Apr 2016 OP
DashOneBravo Apr 2016 #1
flamin lib Apr 2016 #2
beevul Apr 2016 #3
jimmy the one Apr 2016 #4
Eleanors38 Apr 2016 #5
DashOneBravo Apr 2016 #8
Eleanors38 May 2016 #10
friendly_iconoclast Apr 2016 #6
beevul Apr 2016 #9
CompanyFirstSergeant Apr 2016 #7

Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 12:58 PM

1. Another reason they are popular

First person Video games. I opened my gun case and of the young guys said "wow you got one of the Call to duty guns"

A lot of kids who don't grow up around guns spend a boat load of time using one on the games.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:11 PM

2. You were absolutely right in Part one that there has been an arms race

between the police and civilians. The old saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight is well illustrated in the move from revolvers to semi automatic and lately to "assault weapons" on both sides. At the same time this transition happened the number of gunshot wounds went from one to three or more per incident. Now the police are bringing MRAPS to the gun fight. What's next? M1A1 Abrams?

In part two the marketing of the "Barbie doll for men" is absolutely dead on. One acquaintance had his AR dressed out to the point that it was almost impossible to actually fire it. Thing must have weighed 20 pounds! It's all about the add-on sale. Gun manufacturers are selling totally useless crap to gun nuts at unheard of levels. And the gun nuts drink any cool aid the manufacturers serve up! It's amazing to me that a group of people that can't get through a simple discussion without asking for cites, research, data and empirical information will gladly buy into the health benefits of suppressors.

I'm actually enjoying this thread series but I disagree with you on outlawing semi automatics with removable magazines. It can be done and in my opinion it should be done.

Looking forward to part 3.

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:27 PM

3. The arms race that wasn't.

 

You were absolutely right in Part one that there has been an arms race between the police and civilians.


Except where reality rudely intrudes.

The old saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight is well illustrated in the move from revolvers to semi automatic and lately to "assault weapons" on both sides.


Seeing as police have been carrying fully automatic weapons in many many areas in America since the mid 90s, during which time so called assault weapons were banned, the picture isn't quite "as painted". Full auto mp-5 to be exact and I've both seen them with my own eyes and had it verbally confirmed by an officer.

One acquaintance had his AR dressed out to the point that it was almost impossible to actually fire it.


Picked your pocket, did it?

Gun manufacturers are selling totally useless crap to gun nuts at unheard of levels.


Whats totally useless to you may not be so to others. Can't stand that much, can you?

It's amazing to me that a group of people that can't get through a simple discussion without asking for cites, research, data and empirical information will gladly buy into the health benefits of suppressors.


Its amazing to me that the very first people to complain when a Harley or a car with loud exhaust goes by are same people that can't see any logic in suppressors. And if that wasn't enough, they simultaneously malign those who see it clear as day.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 01:02 PM

4. well to do white man's toy

The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong.

I thought it originally developed from circa the nazis, sturm waffen (storm weapon, aka assaulting weapon/firearm).

The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.

Well, howsoever it evolved, somewhen it has become a political term used today to mainly define rifles with a high muzzle velocity which often have an automatic rifle equivalent in the military {AR15 to M16, AK47, 74}, and which can often be converted back from civilian semi-auto to full automatic by use of a conversion kit or sometimes a simple tool such as a file (not that many assault rifle owners do this, it would be counter productive, just that the capability exists).

What really matters are the features that make this a truly deadly weapon. Can you legislate against these features...? Semi -automatic? (one trigger pull = one bang)
Detachable magazine? No, many fine sporting rifles have detachable magazines.


Limitation on the magazine capacity, as you are well aware.

Assault weapons – as defined by law: rifles and shot guns that had the above two features were considered assault weapons if they also had any two of the following: folding stocks, pistol grips, bayonet mounts, attachable grenade launchers, flash suppressors, or threaded barrels designed to accommodate a flash suppressor.

Wasn't this some sort of compromise (cough) with the gun lobby in crafting the AWB? I think to water it down. Gun lobby tactics 101, water down gun control then bash it as useless when it doesn't live up to expectations.

mother jones: In the ensuing war with the NRA, which was adamantly opposed to the assault weapons ban (even a ban severely weakened through legislative compromise), Clinton used police officers as his backup.
The legislation prohibited the manufacture, possession, transfer, and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, yet it defined assault weapons in a manner that would allow gun manufacturers to skirt the ban without much trouble. It exempted 650 firearms and grandfathered in weapons and ammo clips produced or purchased before the enactment of the ban. "It was better to get what we got than nothing,"
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/bill-clinton-assault-weapon-ban-newtown-shooting

AR-15s have become the largest selling model of firearm in the United States. 1.5 million sold in the past 5 years. Over 30 companies manufacture them. The market for AR-15s and accessories is over one-billion dollars per year.

Still only a small fraction maybe 1 to 3% americans own one (multiples per one owner), less than 3% of national gunstock is ar15; Most all gun owners would NOT want to own one, moreso & especially democrats.
I think maybe 50c per 0.223 bullet, for why squander such money at a shooting range? (golf a better way to squander money). I bought box of 250 22 caliber longs when I got a short rifle, still had most of the bullets when I got rid of gun 15 years later.

The AR-15 has been re-branded as 'America's Firearm' or the 'Gun of the Good Guys' despite it's frequent use in notorious and tragic mass shootings recently.

One of the biggest concerns with the AR15 should be that it has such low recoil for a high muzzle/high kinetic energy 0.223 bullet. There is such little rifle rise as with a heavier bullet, so the AR15 shooter does not need to compensate much at all for recoil, does not have to return the rifle to a shooting position, nor re-aim. Adam Lanza killed 26 teachers & kids, and he was a light guy. The San Bernadino recent shooting, the lady involved weighed about 100 lbs, and carried an AR15 (if report was valid), whether she shot it dunno, but the mere fact that she chose it is crystal clear was because of it's low recoil.
And I'll ask you as I did Ezra, what good are assault rifles for? what do they accomplish which another rifle or handgun couldn't do better? They are a well to do white man's toy.

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Response to jimmy the one (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 02:59 PM

5. I'd LOVE to have a light-recoiling deer rifle. "Assault rifles" are "good" for infantry.

 

The AR 10 class of weapons (which handle heavier/larger calibers) would be quite nice for the field, but the overall weight exceeds my Rem Model 700, and they are expensive. I don't find much "good" in using an assault rifle as I have no need for full-auto fire, and use of such in the field is illegal.

Haven't checked on the racial component of either, but I am told the old Rem Model 8/81 .35 was a good brush gun, and in some instances favored by blacks in the deep South. I believe it worked as well for them as for whites. The Model 8/81 (1908) was semi-auto as well. As is the Garand, as is the M1 Carbine.

Edit: the first Assault Rifle was developed by the Germans in 1944; the AK-47 came 3 yrs later. Neither are semi-auto only, as is the AR 15.

For fun, I would like a Model 8. Hear-tell the mechanical recoil is as loud as the report! But the old .35 is an excellent round, and still chambered in the Marlin lever action.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 02:53 PM

8. It's good for small people

My petite daughter couldn't shoot my .243 Sporter.

But she loves the AR with the collapsing stock.

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Response to DashOneBravo (Reply #8)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:26 PM

10. If the "black guns" are set up right, weight is indeed less of a problem.

 

I shot someone's Rumanian-made AK which was set up such that it fit me well, and I had to move very little to acquire and hold à target. Very nice to shoot.

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Response to jimmy the one (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 11:12 PM

6. 'Technological Dunning-Kruger Effect and self-importance didn't mix too well in that post

Last edited Tue Apr 12, 2016, 10:03 PM - Edit history (1)

Well, howsoever it evolved, somewhen it has become a political term used today to mainly define rifles with a high muzzle velocity which often have an automatic rifle equivalent in the military {AR15 to M16, AK47, 74}, and which can often be converted back from civilian semi-auto to full automatic by use of a conversion kit or sometimes a simple tool such as a file (not that many assault rifle owners do this, it would be counter productive, just that the capability exists).


"Defined" by those a) unfamiliar with (or are simply lying about) how modern semi-automatic rifles are actually made- the ATF regards rifles as you described as automatic weapons
for legal purposes, so rifles and carbines made and sold over the last 25 or 30 years are designed to not be capable of accepting the mythological 'conversion kit' or having their sear filed down - and they're still not assault rifles, James.

Gun lobby tactics 101, water down gun control then bash it as useless when it doesn't live up to expectations.


Since the 'expectations' of those plumping for assault weapon bans were based on
false premises, I see no problem with this. Crime rates have gone down, so your
culture war was and is both unnecessary and a failure.

Still only a small fraction maybe 1 to 3% americans own one (multiples per one owner), less than 3% of national gunstock is ar15; Most all gun owners would NOT want to own one, moreso & especially democrats.


Assumption of facts not in evidence- you presume here to speak for "m)ost all gun owners" *and* Democrats.

One of the biggest concerns with the AR15 should be that it has such low recoil for a high muzzle/high kinetic energy 0.223 bullet. There is such little rifle rise as with a heavier bullet, so the AR15 shooter does not need to compensate much at all for recoil, does not have to return the rifle to a shooting position, nor re-aim. Adam Lanza killed 26 teachers & kids, and he was a light guy. The San Bernadino recent shooting, the lady involved weighed about 100 lbs, and carried an AR15 (if report was valid), whether she shot it dunno, but the mere fact that she chose it is crystal clear was because of it's low recoil.


1) Nice use of the passive voice in the first sentence, which elides the fact that
it is merely your own opinion.

2) More assumption of facts not in evidence in your last line- again this is only your opinion

And I'll ask you as I did Ezra, what good are assault rifles for? what do they accomplish which another rifle or handgun couldn't do better? They are a well to do white man's toy.


1) Again, these aren't assault rifles- you are either ignorant of the definition of 'assault rifle'
or are dissembling. I'll leave it to the disinterested reader to decide which...

2) "W)hat do they accomplish?" I can tell you one thing they haven't accomplished, which
is a rise in crime rates- your objections are moot.

3) "They are a well to do white man's toy." Arguable, and even if it were true your quibbling
amounts only to minor-league reverse classism and is racist, to boot













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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 05:04 PM

9. I must have missed this before.

 

Excellent deconstruction, most appropriate, and exactly correct.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 01:19 PM

7. Move to top...

 

...as part of a series.

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