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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 03:09 PM
Number of posts: 12,148

Journal Archives

Given that 50-60 million people own semiauto rifles,

I think the fact that they kill *fewer* people than shotguns, revolvers, knives, clubs, and even bare hands---making them among the least misused of all weapons---demonstrates that the obsession with rifle stock styling, and criminalizing responsible ownership thereof, is wrongheaded and counterproductive.

As to the nukes analogy, a .22 caliber non-automatic civilian rifle is many orders of magnitude less dangerous than a nuke, both in terms of storage and in terms of accidental or intentional misuse. I think banning alcohol is a better analogy than nuclear weapons, since alcohol and guns are both popular consumer products that are commonly enjoyed by a substantial fraction of the population, but with a very small percentage of misuse as well, and which a minority wish to outlaw on moral or pragmatic grounds---except that alcohol kills about 250 times as many people annually as rifles do.

As to banning only modern firearms, I don't think you'd really be OK with us owning guns from the 1830s through the 1870s either, since rate of aimed fire with a lever-action is pretty comparable to that of a modern semiauto, and I believe pumps go back to the mid-1800s as well.

The small-caliber competition rifle that the Newtown shooter stole from his mother....

is one of the safest rifles on the market, with one of the best and most robust manual safeties out there, and one of the safest in the event of a case rupture. It's also one of the safest to customize, since the headspace is determined by the barrel extension itself and not by the receiver-barrel interface.

The gun control lobby doesn't want to ban AR-15's because they're not safe, or because they're powerful (they're the least powerful of centerfire rifles), or because of their rate of fire (ROF and capacity are the same as a Ruger Mini-14, which they say they don't want to ban), or because of their rate of misuse (rifles are the least misused of all weapons). They want to ban AR-15's because of their looks, primarily the shape of their handgrips.

Bicycles kill three times as many people annually as semiautomatic rifles do....

and rifles as a class are the least misused of all weapons. Even the Liberal Gun Club forum is dominated by semiauto rifle shooters. I think you are either misinformed about the scope of rifle misuse, or in deep denial about the prevalence of semiautos in U.S. homes, including Dem and indie households.

Not just the USA, either; semiautos are legal and popular in Canada, most of Europe, New Zealand, etc., and even UK residents can own semiauto shotguns and semiauto .22LR rifles of unlimited capacity, if they so choose.

It's ironic that your avatar is a picture of an avid semiauto shooter who was murdered with a bolt-action.

The thing is (and I pointed this out in another thread), if all semiautos were banned (not going to happen), the professional gun-control lobby would simply switch to demonizing "Saturday Night Specials", "Vest Busters", "Big Boomers", "Sniper Rifles", "Combat Shotguns", "Riot Guns", "Silent Killers" (.22LR assassin's weapons, dontchaknow), and "Cop-Killer Bullets". Pumps and levers fall under the "assault weapons" catch-all, anyway.

Or would you be OK with people owning this pump-action?

Only a tiny minority of gun owners hunts, FWIW, so the hunting canard is irrelevant. If other guns were banned, you'd be saying "You can hunt with a bow, nobody needs a military-style sniper rifle" anyway.

I'm sure you would. And undoubtedly revolvers, and "riot guns", and "sniper rifles"...

If all semiautos were to magically disappear overnight, the professional gun-control lobby would dust off their "Saturday Night Special" talking points (nobody needs small, low-powered revolvers, ban them); their "Vest Buster" and "Big Boomer" talking points (nobody needs large, high-powered revolvers, ban them); and their "Sniper Rifles" talking points (nobody needs high-powered bolt-actions, ban them). Then there'd be "Combat Shotguns" and "Riot Guns" (nobody needs .729 caliber military-style weapons of mass destruction, ban them), and "Silent Killers" (nobody needs .22LR assassin's weapons, ban them), and "Cop-Killer Bullets" (nobody needs any modern rifle caliber at all, ban them).

I'll pass. We'll keep our Title 1 civilian guns, thanks. All of them.

You have been advocating banning people's rifles all up and down this thread,

while studiously ignoring the fact that you're talking about banning guns that even Canada and most of Europe don't ban.

If you mean you haven't advocated banning *all* rifles, true. Just like the Volstead Act didn't ban *all* alcoholic beverages. But you are asking to ban a majority of rifles, e.g. detachable-mag semiautos, even though they account for less than 250 murders a year out of 13,500+.

Plus, since detachable-magazine pump-actions and lever-actions can deliver comparable rates of aimed fire to a semiauto, your putative semiauto ban would be pretty useless if you didn't also ban detachable-mag levers and pumps, too. Here's one detachable-magazine rifle that would be completely exempt from your proposed ban:

Pump-action, 5.56x45mm or 7.62x51mm, STANAG magazines, folding stock since it has no buffer tube.

The Australian gun-control lobby got pump shotguns banned for exactly that reason (rate of fire), and started going after lever-action shotguns hard last year. Australians can still own pump rifles like the Troy PAR on an ordinary Class B certificate, though, and the prohibitionists are very unhappy about it.

That you consider rifle ownership to be comparable to human trafficking and child porn...

pretty much explains where you are coming from on the whole ban-rifles thing. And again, most developed nations don't view rifles that way.

One of the founders of the modern gun-control lobby had something to say about rifle restrictions, back when rifles killed more than twice as many people annually as they do now:

"O)ur organization, Handgun Control, Inc. does not propose further controls on rifles and shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are not the problem; they are not concealable."

--Nelson T. "Pete" Shields, head of what is now the Brady Campaign 1978-1989 (Guns Don't Die--People Do, Priam Press, 1981, pp. 47-48).

I think a more relevant comparison is probably alcohol, even though alcohol kills 250 times as many people annually as rifles do. The initial attempt at prohibition, the resulting civil disobedience and political backlash, and the shift away from prohibition toward a "responsible use with enforcement to deter misuse" model is instructive for those who do actually care about reducing harm from violence.

Most Western nations DON'T ban detachable-magazine semiautos...

It happened in Australia and in most of the rest of developed nations.

Most Western nations" don't ban detachable-magazine semiautos, a fact that you appear to have overlooked. Semiauto rifles with detachable magazines are popular among sport shooters in Canada, most European nations, New Zealand, etc. etc., as well as in the strictest gun-control jurisdictions in the USA (NYC, MA, CA, NJ). The UK and Australia are extreme outliers, and even the UK allows semiauto shotguns of unlimited capacity, including detachable-magazine Kalashnikovs.

http://www.guncity.com/firearms/all-firearms/centrefire/semi-auto/223-rem (New Zealand)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=189580 (Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, Norway, Hungary, etc...)

http://www.rusmilitary.com/html/firearms_saiga12.htm (United Kingdom)

http://calibremag.ca/colt-canada-worth-the-wait/ (Canada)

Canadians can even own a couple detachable-magazine semiautos that Americans cannot, such as the Norinco T97, and the civilian Tavor was in Canadian homes long before Tavors were imported into the United States. The amount of background checking and red tape to own guns varies from country to country, but few Western nations ban the rifles you are trying to outlaw.

We won't win tomorrow and maybe not in my lifetime--I only have 20 or so years left--but we will win.

I am a Gen-X'er (40's now!); most "assault weapon" enthusiasts are a lot younger than you are. The Baby Boomers preferred bolt-actions and the occasional wooden-stocked M1A, but my generation and younger are the primary aficionados of more modern, smaller-caliber designs, and AR ownership definitely skews younger than bolt gun or M1A/Mini-14 ownership. And guess what kinds of target guns millenials most gravitate to. Even Bloomberg himself hasn't gone out on the limb you are standing on; he made no moves to try to ban detachable-magazine semiautos while mayor of NYC, nor has he since. Rifle bans were a gamble by Josh Sugarmann and the VPC to try to build momentum for new handgun restrictions, and that gamble backfired spectacularly and is still doing so.

As far as ownership numbers, states that actually license ownership and hence actually count lawful owners (IL, MA) show that gun ownership in those states has substantially *increased*. Most polls also show an upswing in the number of gun owners nationwide, making U Chicago's non-anonymous General Social Survey quite the outlier. NFA licensure and carry licensure are also up sharply since the 1990s and early 2000s, even as gun crime has fallen by half.

The rifle-ban efforts in this country in this country are primarily driven by a few wealthy Baby Boomers, and has dramatically less popular support now than even 20 years ago, thanks in large part to *precisely* the same damn-the-facts irrationality we are currently discussing. The gun confiscation movement in 2016 is sustained primarily by the gigabucks of a certain authoritarian Wall Street kingpin and old-money corporate media, not the grassroots.

I do not hold all cc holders in disregard, just the 95% (my estimate based on personal observation) that are just paranoid, agoraphobic, racist and too foolish to know what they are doing.

And yet carry license holders are dramatically *less* likely to commit violent crimes than the unlicensed, and dramatically less likely to wrongfully shoot someone than police officers are (even though we outnumber police officers by something like 20 to 1). I think your characterization of us as "95% paranoid, agoraphobic, racist and too foolish to know what we are doing" pretty much validates my point, does it not?

We agree to disagree.

That's *precisely* what I'm advocating---the right to disagree with you, and live peaceably and responsibly by my own choices regarding gun ownership. I respect your choices and your beliefs; I simply ask to be free to live by my own rather than yours.

Thank you. We agree on something. That's a start.

it makes no sense to ban assault weapons by definition

Thank you. We agree on something. That's a start.

let's ban the function that makes them so lethal.

They're not "so lethal". Rifles account for fewer deaths than any other type of weapon in the United States, even though detachable-magazine semiautos are the most common rifles in U.S. homes, and by far the most common rifles used in the shooting sports.

No semi auto weapons with interchangeable magazines, period.

Haha, now you sound like the Catholics who demand a ban on all hormonal contraceptives. Run the numbers. That'd be one of the fastest ways I can think of for your movement to slide completely into irrelevance.

Not many members of your personal echo chamber may own semiautos, but that doesn't mean semiautos as a group aren't the most popular rifles on the market. I don't have the numbers handy, but I'd expect that two thirds or more of the civilian rifle market is semiauto---not just all the modern-looking centerfires and .22's, but the old-fashioned ones like the Mini-14, the 10/22, and all those Remingtons and Savages and Marlins. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Mini-14's aren't even banned in California, Massachusetts, or New York City, for Pete's sake. Mini-14's, AR-15's, 10/22's, and all manner of other detachable-mag semiautos are legal in Canada and most of Europe, and you think you're going to outlaw them in the United States?

Stop pussy footin round with hand grips and bayonet lugs. Just ban the things that make them more lethal than wheel guns

They're not "more lethal than wheel guns (sic)"; revolvers kill ten times more Americans annually than all rifles combined, not just those with detachable magazines. All told, semiauto rifles of any type account for maybe a third as many annual deaths as bicycles do (722 people died riding bicycles in the most recent year I have stats for). Once again, you're forgetting that all rifles combined account for less than 350 deaths/yr out of 13,500 or so, and semiautos are only a subset of that.

By discarding the silly handgrip-aesthetic rules (which even you admit are ludicrous) and going after all detachable-mag semiautos, all you've done is expand the number of people you want to threaten with prison for rifle ownership, from the ~25-30 million who own modern-looking rifles to the, what, 50-60+ million who own any detachable-magazine semiauto rifle?

But that doesn't matter, because you hate rifles and the people who own them, so you don't give a fuck about inconvenient facts like the FBI data on weapon misuse.

As to handguns, how many of your fellow citizens own handguns now---70, 80 million? You're not going to ban them, period. So you might think about focusing on getting them out of the hands of the few thousand urban criminals that commit 80% of U.S. murders (ever heard of Project Ceasefire?), rather than trying to take them away from the lawful and nonviolent. But of course, your posts make clear that you despise vetted carry license holders far more than you despise the felons who actually commit most homicides.

The prohibitionists have certainly tried.

But given that people with violent felony records commit 10-20 times more gun murders (almost exclusively with handguns) than people with clean records do, and there is widespread consensus that violent criminals shouldn't be allowed to commit mayhem with guns, maybe we should focus the interdiction efforts on the already-identified bad actors rather than trying to take away the rights of background-checked, squeaky-clean noncriminals, homeowners, sport shooters, etc., no?

I think the organized gun control lobby really doesn't give a crap about gun misuse, since it is primarily fighting to demonize and criminalize the people with clean records, jobs, training, often prior military/LE experience, government licensure, even security checks/clearances, etc., while giving violent criminals a free pass. How often do you guys demonize concealed-carry licensees or AR-15 owners/shooters, vs. violent felons?

The thing is, legislating rifle stock shape, or making it a felony as serious as rape for 60+ million people to possess the circa-half-billion magazines currently in their gun safes, or curtailing where vetted concealed-carry licensees can carry, isn't going to do a damn thing about the few tens of thousands of felons who actually commit the overwhelming majority of murders and gun-involved assaults in this country. But that isn't really the point, is it?

The FBI just released the murder stats for 2015.

I posted these stats in GD since the report came out today, but I think it'd be a good topic for more extensive discussion here.

The link (FBI): Murder, by State, Types of Weapons, 2015

[font face="courier new"]Total murders...................... 13,455
Handguns............................ 6,447 (47.9%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,648 (19.7%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,671 (12.4%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,544 (11.5%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 624 (4.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 269 (2.0%)
Rifles................................ 252 (1.9%) [/font]

Total murders were up in a few large cities, with Chicago accounting for a good portion of the increase, per news reports. The rate in most of the nation was more or less unchanged. That link breaks it down by state and type of weapon, but you can download it in Excel and sum the columns. The above stats include the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

Looking only at murders committed using firearms, handguns accounted for 92.52%, shotguns 3.86%, and rifles (including "assault weapons" 3.62%. If you extrapolate "Firearm - Type Unknown" by those percentages and re-run the totals, the stats would be as follows:

[font face="courier new"]Total murders...................... 13,455
Handguns............................ 8,897 (66.1%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,671 (12.4%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,544 (11.5%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 624 (4.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 371 (2.8%)
Rifles................................ 348 (2.6%) [/font]

I didn't mention this in the GD post, but I think this shows the falsehood of the ZOMG RIFLEZ ARE WMDS!!!!! scaremongering (homicide was up, but rifle murder is still at historic lows), and also points out the utter futility of trying to address homicide by legislating the shape of rifle handgrips (which doesn't affect lethality in the slightest). All but 8 states had either 0 rifle murders or were in the single digits.
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