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benEzra

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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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And what percentage of that 55% stems from...

And what percentage of that 55% stems from the *intentional* conflation of non-automatic Title 1 civilian rifles with NFA Title 2 restricted automatic weapons in gun control literature and the corporate media? Or the lurid portrayal of "semiautomatic" as referring to unusually rapid-firing weapons, as opposed to simply the way the vast majority of civilian guns work? Or the intentional misleading of the public as to the magnitude of rifle homicide vs. shotgun, handgun, knife, club, and fist/feet homicide?

There are probably ten times as many AR-15 owners alone in this country than there are members of all gun control organizations combined...and that's not counting the millions more owners of SKS's, civilian AK's, Mini-14's, M1A's, M1 Garands, and other popular "assault weapons", or the millions and millions who own over-10-round Smith & Wessons, Glocks, Sigs, Rugers, Springfields, and heck, even Winchesters going back to the fricking 1860s.

The gun control lobby's irrational obsession with modern-looking rifles and their magazines---and obsession is what it is, since rifle homicide has been rare and falling for decades---has been its downfall. Gun control advocates faithfully recite the anti-"assault weapon" catechism and condemn their sinful sinning owners every chance they get, even when so doing wrecks policies that actually might otherwise have some common ground (like UBC's).

Nope.

"AR's aren't in common use" might have been mostly true in 1989, when AR's were less common than Mini-14's and SKS's. It certainly isn't true now, and pretending otherwise only hurts your cause.

FWIW, I took my AR to the range Saturday, which was about 75% full. On the rifle side, I think every rifle but two were AR's or civilian AK's; the two that weren't were a pair of lever-actions. Yeah, AR's are popular.

I spent a couple of hours shooting paper and clay-bird fragments at 100 to 210 yards. Once I get it dialed in, I want to head to the other range near me and try various loads at 500, but that's for another day.

Have *you* shot a rifle range lately? Or to a sanctioned rifle competition?

"I have searched in vain for any reasoned arguments that pistol grips, forward grips, telescoping stocks, grenade or rocket launchers, and barrel shrouds are indispensable or even contribute to self-defense."

That's easy. Separate pistol grips make a long gun much more secure against a disarm attempt, and encourage a safer and more effective low-ready position rather than port arms or high ready. They also tend to facilitate more accurate shooting, which is why so many unlimited-class shooting sports use vertical handgrips, even on bolt-actions.

Adjustable stocks are useful in helping the gun fit the people who use it (do you and your significant other have exactly the same arm length?). They also allow the same carbine to serve both a target shooting and a defensive standby role; a fixed-length stock would be set up too long for HD or too short for shooting from a bench, so the only ways to have it both ways are either for the stock to be adjustable, or to switch the stock when you go to the range and when you come home, which is stupid and pointless.

"Barrel shrouds" were metal heat shields sometimes used in lieu of a forward handguard, but the term could be stretched to encompass any free-float handguard (whether metal or not), and *those* are certainly useful for a civilian gun. I use polymer/aluminum handguards and mount the light on my front sight tower instead, but whatever. Set up your own gun however you want, but keep your paranoid fingers out of my gun safe, please; I do plan to go to a JP or Midwest free-float tube at some point, after I upgrade to a better scope.

BTW, do you care to explain how legislating particular handguard or handgrip aesthetics, or requiring stocks be interchangeable instead of adjustable, has any relevance whatsoever to addressing either murder, suicide, or gun accidents?

As to "grenade or rocket launchers", you well know that actual M203-style grenade launchers are tightly controlled by the National Firearms Act, as are the rifle grenades made for the military 75-100 years ago. You also know that the politician pulled "rocket launchers" out of his posterior since not only are RPG's and such NFA controlled, but they are also not attached to civilian small arms, period, and you damn sure know that.

Finally, the obligatory dose of reality, to counter the "AR's are of teh debbil" mantra. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Table 20, Murder by State and Type of Weapon, there were 12,253 murders reported to the FBI in 2013 in the United States. All rifles *combined* accounted for 285 of them, and the long-term trend is *down*.

You know, if MDA/VPC/CSGV/Brady/Joyce et al wanted to sell as many guns as possible,

then it's hard to think of how they could shape *their* rhetoric and legislative proposals more effectively than what they already do. Bloomberg is the best AR-15 salesman in the nation. Every time sales start to return to normal, he kicks off another "let's ban more guns and magazines" campaign, and then sales of modern-looking rifles, handguns, and regular magazines go to the moon again.

Then don't pretend it's about "saving lives", since rifles are the least misused of all weapons.

If MDA is fighting to legislate rifle stock shape, then it has nothing whatsoever to do with "saving lives", and everything to do with sticking it to lawful gun owners.

You can't simultaneously claim that they aren't out to ban people's guns, and that they want to ban AR-15's and other popular rifles. And you can't claim that their focus is "saving lives" if one of their top legislative priorities is banning guns involved in fewer than 250 murders annually out of 12,000. They're after competitive shooting, recreational shooting, and the enthusiast culture, and that focus proves it.

And why would they stop there? If MDA is after centerfire .22's and slow .30's used in fewer than 200 murders annually, then why should owners of handguns or pump-action shotguns trust them?

Aha, found it. One of the first (or perhaps THE first) ad campaign MDA ever did...

was a call to ban the most popular civilian rifles in the United States.


http://momsdemandaction.org/tag/assault-weapons/

They're also on record as supporting a ban on common 11 to 30 round magazines, yes?

Pretty much every proposed "assault weapon" ban that I've seen introduced in the last twenty years has been confiscatory, either immediately or upon the death of the owner. Never mind the fact that rifles account for less than 300 murders annually, or that rifles are underrepresented in suicides, or that altering stock shape or mandating pre-Civil-War magazine capacities won't save any lives whatsoever.

Also, I seem to recall they are pretty aggressive about attacking concealed carry by licensed non-LEO's, even though we have a much lower homicide rate than even LEO's do, never mind the population at large. It seems to me that whatever the opinions expressed at local meetings may be, the priority of the national leadership is to go after lawful gun enthusiasts, not violent criminals or the mentally ill, and many of their legislative proposals reflect that.

Regarding Australia...

Australia's next-door-neighbor, New Zealand, didn't ban guns and has a somewhat lower homicide rate than Australia, no? (0.9/100K vs. 1.1/100K, though Australia's fluctuates in the low to high 1's/100K year to year). If Australia counts homicides the same way the Brits do (on convictions, yes?), then the rate would also be increased slightly if counted as the U.S. counts them, though for all I know Ausstralia counts homicides the same way we do. A number of U.S. states do have homicide rates similar to Australia (Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Idaho, Maine, Hawaii are in the same 1.0 to 1.9 murders per 100K that Australia tends to bounce around, and very few other states are as gun-friendly as Vermont); most U.S. murders are concentrated in dysfunctional urban cores with double-digit homicide rates per 100K, which Australia seems to lack. I also note that the overall U.S. suicide rate is slightly lower than that of Australia, despite the very poor state of mental health care in this country, and the fact that Americans work the longest hours with the least time off of any First World nation, last time I checked.

I do note that Australia's homicide rate appears to have remained a lot more constant before and after the ban than the U.S. media likes to acknowledge, with a much later decline that paralleled the decline in many other nations that *didn't* ban guns, including the USA (whose rate has declined 50% since 1991 or so, FWIW).



Australia's gun ban and confiscations went into effect 1995-1996. Note that the overall murder rate didn't move much; looking at the data, it appears Australia's murder rate has always been low, before and after the bans, just as it was in England. And the restrictions are never enough; the Australian gun control lobby, having confiscated all handguns and most rifles/shotguns, is now fighting to ban 1860's style lever-actions and is even going after some bolt-actions now in West Australia. Personally, I think the better takeway from Australia (and Europe in general) is to figure out how they managed to avoid dysfunctional urban cores like Chicago's and Baltimore's, because that is where the overwhelming majority of U.S. gun violence occurs.

Oh, and Australia *has* apparently had mass shootings since the confiscations went down, although they don't get a lot of media play, which is probably a good thing; we'd probably have fewer ourselves if our own media didn't insist on portraying mass shooters as celebrity antiheroes.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/10/21/1034561430158.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Hectorville_siege
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2906200/Farmer-DID-shoot-three-children-wife-years-immense-stress-recovery-brain-injury-murder-suicide-shocked-quiet-community.html

Thing is, Australia didn't have many mass shootings in the decades before Port Arthur, either; they still don't, but they do have them. To claim that they were rampant in the decades prior, and vanished after, is probably misleading.

Also, a lot of people who praise the "Australian model" in the abstract don't realize just how extreme Australia's laws are compared to the rest of the Western world (even England, where Brits can own semiautomatic shotguns with unlimited capacity, never mind continental Europe where handguns and "assault weapons" are legal, or New Zealand), and don't think through the surveillance and police actions that would be required to implement Australia-style confiscations in the United States. You'd be looking at confiscating 140 to 200 million guns and a third of a billion magazines from more than sixty million citizens (outnumbering the police perhaps 100:1), which would make the War On Drugs look like merely a warmup. Of course, what would actually happen in *this* country would be that most law enforcement would simply refuse to enforce such a ban against their fellow citizens, as we saw with the recent magazine ban in Colorado and with the ridiculous new restrictions in New York state. So the effect would be simply to drive the legitimate gun market underground, where it would be less regulated.

The other interesting thing about Prohibition is that it tends to push the market toward trafficking in harder, more profitable goods, just like the Volstead Act pushed alcohol consumption toward distilled liquors instead of beer and wine, and the War on Drugs pushed drug consumption away from cannabis and such and toward cocaine, meth, and heroin. Looks like Prohibition in Australia is starting to move the firearm black market toward more profitable automatic weapons.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/jeweller-angelos-koots-admits-to-making-submachine-guns-at-his-seven-hills-home-and-supplying-them-to-bikie-groups/story-fni0cx12-1226760983916

I'll bet he isn't the only one. Submachineguns are conceptually a whole lot simpler to manufacture than closed-bolt semiautos are.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=175220

Here's the thing: Australia can make whatever laws it wants. I may think those laws are ineffective, counterproductive, or unjust, but I don't have to live there, and I certainly don't frequent Australian political forums trying to get them to legalize UK- or US-legal guns. I *do* have to live in the USA, though, and since the 2ndA is an integral part of the very charter that created my government in the first place (recall that the Bill of Rights was a condition of ratification), it's not going anywhere. Prohibitionists can daydream about confiscating 75% of guns in the USA a la Australia, but it is not going to happen, and pretending otherwise doesn't do their movement any good.
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