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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.

I do own guns for self-defense, yes. But not because I'm afraid.

I also shoot competitively with the same guns.

Do you think everyone who puts on a gi and studies practical martial arts for years does so solely, or even primarily, out of raw irrational fear? If so, why?

I get that you don't like guns and don't choose to own them. It's a free country, and I 100% support your choice. I happen to choose differently. That doesn't make me less rational, or less human, than you.

Ah, the assumption that anyone who chooses differently than you

must be acting out of primitive emotion, because if "they" were choosing intelligently, then OBVIOUSLY "they" would agree with you on your pet issue. So "they" must own guns out of deep-seated fear or something.

Years ago (back on Common Ground Common Sense, originally the John Kerry forums) I encountered this same claim and posted the following in response. I don't own guns out of fear, and I don't think many people do; the defensive utility is certainly part of the picture for most people, but it's more about competence than about fear. Since CGCS is (alas) no longer operating, I'll repost it here.

Proficiency with firearms is a martial art just like isshinryu karate, tae kwan do, kenpo, or tai chi, and can gives a sense of accomplishment and competence just like any other human discipline. The Japanese concept of bushido applies just as much to the gun culture as to other martial arts cultures. I have some moderate experience in the Asian martial arts culture (isshinryu), and there are a lot of similarities between the gun culture and the traditional martial arts culture, and just as with empty-hand martial arts, proficiency in self-defense is a symbiotic benefit that is a worthwhile purpose in its own right.

Just as with the other martial arts, IMHO training and skill development are an end in itself, very much a Zen thing, if you will. To shoot well you must view shooting in a very Zen-like way; breath control, minimization of muscle tremors, concentration, sharp focus on the front sight, smoothness... A lot of the shooters I know also have a thing for archery, which is pretty much the same thing, and my (ex-)wife did fencing for a while.

Some people pride themselves on how well they can smack a small white ball with a stick on a golf course. Others pride themselves on how accurately they can shoot a firearm.

Also, I am a certifiable physics geek, and there are very few inexpensive hobbies that are more physics-intensive than rifle shooting. (Aviation is more physics-intensive, but it's not inexpensive...) Many shooters are mechanically inclined, and I'll bet the percentage of photographers and engineers among shooters is higher than in the population at large. My younger sister is a shooter and she also happens to be a professional engineer, with degrees in both engineering and mathematics.

It's also a "freedom thing." The guns in my gun safe are a tangible reminder of political and personal freedom, a Zen-like discipline, a fun hobby, a tool of personal security, and a locus of camaraderie that crosses political, social, and ethnic lines. I do not own them by a grant of permission from some social elite; I own them because I choose to, and because as a mentally competent adult with a clean record, it is my right to choose to.


Here's the root of the disconnect, I think. A lot of prominent gun-control activists are people who have both been impacted by criminal violence, and have not been particularly exposed to the positive side of gun ownership. I think to some degree, they have come to see "guns" as the entity who victimized them, and see gun control as a way to lash out at that enemy. That victimization by people misusing guns also taints their view of gun owners, I think, that we must somehow be either ignorant, or evil, or some selfish mixture of the two, possibly with some sort of sexual deviancy thrown in (because some of those victimized see guns as sexualized power objects). As a for-instance, Sarah Brady's husband was shot by a nut with a .22 revolver; while I don't think that justifies her attempts to ban my rifles, it at least helps me understand it.


It's not "any and all guns" that are involved in criminal mayhem; it's actually a tiny subset of guns, mostly illegally possessed handguns, in the hands of a violent few. And in fairness, it's not all gun-control activists that dream up creative deceptions to try to outlaw our most valued possessions, either. I think most of us on our respective sides are not as far apart as our legislative positions on the issue would appear to make us; I think we just have a huge knowledge and communication gap (on both sides).

There IS common ground to be found. The bedrock of that common ground is, NOBODY wants to see criminals misusing any guns. People who hurt other people piss me off just as much as they piss you off. We all agree that bad guys shouldn't have them. The disagreement comes in when people on your side of the issue decide to slap sweeping restrictions (AWB, handgun bans, pre-1861 capacity limits) on everybody in order to affect the bad guys (so they hope), and we respond by opposing all new restrictions to avoid having wrongheaded restrictions slapped on the good guys. Hence the impasse.

"Judge orders Wal-Mart to let SC church challenge contraceptive sales"

Would you be cheering the theocratic principle then?

The fact that a church thinks God wants them to ban something is hardly newsworthy (look around and you can find churches that want to censor, ban, or outlaw all kinds of "sins" they disagree with---whether contraception, alcohol, cigarettes, erotica, same-sex relationships, "nonsporting" weapons, "unwholesome" entertainment, or the practice of Islam---but it's a little odd to see the theocratic principle implicitly endorsed here on DU. I guess the idea of Banning Things For Gawd is ok as long as the sin in question is gun ownership.

The church's obsession with rifles is a little odd, though, since rifles are the least misused of all weapons in the United States, but whatever. It's a free country.

Ah, makes sense.

FWIW I know the original Spencers (late 1850s/early 1860s) were set up to use speedloaders, so they could be reloaded pretty quickly, and each Blakeslee Cartridge Box (1864) held 6 to 13 speedloaders of 7 rounds each, for up to 91 rounds on tap per case. I am not aware of whether any speedloaders were made for the later Henrys and Winchesters or not.

Further back than that.

"The first 10+ magazines go all the way back to the 1874 Gatling gun "

Further back than that. The Henry lever-action carbine of 1861-ish had, IIRC, a capacity of 16+1, as did numerous 1860s and 1870s Winchesters. The Evans rifle of the early 1870s had a capacity of 28 or 34 (may have allowed +1, not sure). To go back to a time when civilians couldn't buy over-10-round (or over-15-round) firearms, you have to go back to the 1850s or earlier.

IIRC, the precharged airgun that Lewis and Clark carried on their expedition in the early 1800s (comparable in power to a modern .45 ACP) had a 20-round magazine; production of that rifle began in 1795.

Specifically, 19 *names* were affected that could no longer be used in marketing.

"AWBs never intended to restrict rifle ownership except for a few percent, about 3% of all listed firearms were affected by the 94 awb, iirc about 19 'assault rifles' were affected out of over 700 firearms."

Specifically, 19 names were affected that could no longer be used for guns sold to non-LE civilians. For example, Colt could no longer use the trademark "Colt AR-15" for an AR manufactured for non-government civilians. But they could call it a "Colt 6920" and legally sell it, as long as it met the features test, and AR sales went through the roof during the ban's debate and in the years after it passed.

The biggest impact of the 1994 AWB on rifles was in the honor-system restrictions on combining "evil features". For example, you could have a protruding handgrip or a flash suppressor, but not both on the same rifle (the items were legal to buy but not legal to install, though the ban was not enforced). Hence, post-1994 Mini-14s with straight stocks could use flash suppressors, whereas post-1994 AR's with protruding handgrips had to have brakes or smooth muzzles instead. My AK was a ban-era import (2002 model SAR-1), so it had a smooth muzzle and no bayonet lug, and of course it wasn't stamped "AK-47".

"those rifle sales are likely to existing gun owners, rather than newbies. "

Some, perhaps most, were probably to people who already own at least one gun, yes; a relatively expensive rifle isn't most people's first gun purchase.

The thing is, every time a new ban on any particular type of gun is proposed, people who are in the "I'd like to own one of those someday, but it's not a financial priority right now" will make it a priority. That's why the Feinstein law tripled AR-15 and civilian AK sales during and after 1994, and why the mad rush to ban guns and magazines in 2013 drove demand, and sales, through the roof.

"I don't own any guns anymore, gunfree about 15 yrs (I even renounced the 2ndA), don't need worry if I left a round in the chamber or it getting stolen, no panic attacks, no sweats about carrying concealed whether the handgun might misfire or get caught on a twig or drop out in a restaurant & go off or make others irate. No worries about getting arrested or sued for inadvertent brandishing (whether true or trumped up) or whatever else can go wrong accd'g to murphy when carrying a gun. They were always safer just in a gun safe in the home. "

I respect your choice, and I don't criticize you for it. I just reserve the right to choose differently myself.
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