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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 04:09 PM
Number of posts: 12,148

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That doesn't mean firecracker-sized small arms cartridges are "bombs".

That level of hyperbole is downright funny. Are firecrackers "bombs" too? Although in light of the fact that I've heard .22 caliber rifles called "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (yep, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were actually destroyed by a small-caliber rifle, dontchaknow) I guess it could be worse...

FWIW, guns *are* regulated. U.S. citizens with clean records and no restraining orders can only own non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed, non-disguised small arms under .51 caliber, or shotguns (up to .775 caliber, typically) that cannot be easily converted to automatic fire, and have a minimum barrel length of 16" for rifles or 18" for shotguns, and armor-piercing ammo is banned in all calibers in which it matters. Pretty much anything else is a 10-year Federal felony to possess without a whole lot of Federal paperwork. In most states, you have to have a license to carry one concealed; to get a license here in NC, I had to pass an FBI background check, state background check, mental health records check, fingerprint check, take a class on self-defense law using a state-approved curriculum, and demonstrate competence on a shooting range, live fire. But that's not enough for you...

It is controlled. And there's only about a sugar cube's worth in a cartridge.

A 9mm round contains about half a gram of powder (0.02 ounce); a .223 load (small caliber rifle) contains about 1.6 grams of powder (0.06 ounce).

Even bulk powder is probably a fair bit safer than gasoline, if that puts it into context---and far more controlled.

It's "defensive" to point out that gun propellants burn, rather than explode?

Guns depend on a smooth burn to smoothly pressurize the chamber, just like car engines do. If you are familiar with the internal workings of gasoline engines, you know that a detonation instead of a smooth burn can destroy an engine, and the same is true of a firearm.

Here's what happens when gunpowder is ignited (skip ahead to 0:28 or so):

When confined inside an enclosed chamber, the rising gas pressure and temperature greatly accelerate the burn rate, but it's still a burn, not a detonation. For a typical small-caliber centerfire rifle, pressure peaks when the bullet is about an inch and a half down the barrel and gradually declines until the bullet exits and drops the pressure to ambient. Same as an airgun, just with a different source of gas and a much higher working pressure (55kpsi for a typical rifle).

And it's not pedantic to point out basic errors of fact, when *legislation* may end up based on it.

One relevant Supreme Court ruling, in addition to D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v Chicago...

is Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue, 1983. Minnesota levied a heavy tax on printer's ink, and the Supreme Court held that this violated the First Amendment freedom of the press. Even though ink is not mentioned in the First Amendment, it was held to be necessary for the exercise of the right, and therefore protected. Were that not the case, then many freedoms (not just that protected by the 2ndA) could be outlawed simply by outlawing the tools necessary to exercise them.
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