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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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You just proved Salon's point.

Outlawing rifle handgrips that stick out (which is what you actually mean by "banning assault weapons" does not affect, in any way, the lethality of available rifles. Just like outlawing scotch, but not vodka, wouldn't affect drunk driving in the slightest.

"Assault weapon":

Not an "assault weapon":

Those are the *same rifle*.

The NRA is only a very small part of the issue.

I believe the NRA has about 5 million members, whereas over 20 million Americans own "assault weapons" (or far more if you use the proposed new California definition), and 50+ million own over-10-round magazines. Probably 75-80 million own guns that are banned in Australia. For perspective, about 16 million Americans hunt in a given year.

I think guns would be a lot less front-and-center in the national conversation if the prohibitionists weren't constantly trying to ban the lawful ownership of the most popular ones.

Because full autos were never common in civilian hands, and semiautos work well for civilian use.

But since 75% of the civilian gun market is semiauto, and semiautos have *always* been considered suitable for civilians, banning semiautos would be a lot more like trying to ban beer and wine than banning, say, fentanyl.

Semiautomatics are civilian-legal in California and in Bloomberg's New York City, in Canada, and across most of Europe. They are not going anywhere.

If a gun is easily converted to full auto, it is considered a machinegun under Federal law

even if not actually converted. That's why there are no civilian semiautos that fire from an open bolt.

The civilian AK, civilian AR-15, etc. do indeed have internal differences from the restricted military/government select-fire models that make them as difficult to convert as any other civilian semiauto.

Actual select-fire assault rifles were originally developed to allow a single weapon

to fulfill both the room-clearing role of a submachinegun (in full-auto mode) and the medium-to-long-range role of a rifle (in semiauto mode). Remember that the primary CQB weapons of the time were submachineguns, like the Thompson, the PPSh-41, and the MP40.


Combining both functions into one select-fire rifle simplified logistics and made individual soldiers more flexible, instead of having to have different guns (or different soldiers) assigned to long range vs. close range.

The ammunition was also downsized to split the difference between a pistol round and a rifle round in terms of power. For example, 7.62x39mm sits almost exactly (in terms of case length, and power) between the 7.62x25mm round used in the PPSh submachinegun, and the 7.62x54mm round used in full-power Russian rifles.

If you take away the automatic fire capability and leave only the semiauto mode, you do reduce the number of rounds you can put into a close-range target or multiple closely spaced targets in a very short time. But for civilian use, whether law enforcement or home defense), that's not a negative; aimed fire is always going to be better in a LE patrol or HD role than less-discriminate fire, and particularly hosing a hallway or a room full-auto with a subgun. In long-range shooting, you are correct that full auto *from a lightweight rifle* is not going to be more effective than aimed semiauto fire, unless you switch to a compressed-burst mode like the AN-94 or HK G11. But at very close range, a full auto putting multiple rounds on the same target or multiple adjacent targets in a very short time or for hosing a doorway/hallway/small room, full auto is going to be more effective than aimed semiauto.

I'll point out that the U.S. originally made the M4 with just semiauto and 3-round burst capability, but brought back full auto after the Iraq war showed that semauto and 3-shot burst were inferior to full auto for CQB:


I am convinced we have had guys get killed because of the three-round burst fire, he said. If you go into a room and there is 10 feet of wall you want to render uninhabitable, you dont do that with a three-round burst. One of the best things they are doing is going back to automatic fire."

As to FMJ vs. HP, the Hague accords (written with full-power rifles in mind) mandate FMJ for general infantry use when fighting other nations that are signatories to the accords. There are some exceptions (open-tip match bullets for precision rifles are allowed, softpoints/hollowpoints are allowed in law enforcement, or combat with non-state forces, etc.). The military also tends to have more interest in shooting *through* things than in limiting penetration, whereas in civilian use like LE or HD, limiting penetration with a fragile HP or SP is safer for bystanders and neighbors.

I apologize for misconstruing your position, then.

I took this comment as a defense of efforts to ban AR-15's, but I apparently misread your point:

"This is a good reason why AR-15's are a problem, the people who possess them do not have control of their emotions and can not control their desire to shoot the weapon. This is why there is an effort to get the mass shootings stopped."

I can thin of a few ways to address mass shootings, in terms of reducing motive and reward, addressing mental-health issues, making potential targets less vulnerable, and ensuring countervailing force is on site where large numbers of people are.

Where I disagree with the gun-control lobby is that I realize that we've already banned mass-area-effect weapons like machineguns and destructive devices, and that all that is left to ban are ordinary one-shot-at-a-time civilian small arms owned by millions of citizens. Those trying to "stop mass shootings" by outlawing civilian guns and common magazines are chasing a red herring, and perhaps do not realize just how counterproductive it is to threaten fifty million nonviolent and peaceable citizens with felonies for responsibly exercising a civil right.

If I am understanding you correctly, then...

you do in fact advocate taking some guns away from the innocent and nonviolent---even from tens of millions of households---in the name of public safety, if some minuscule percentage of guns are misused (and all are to some degree, though rifles like the AR-15 are less misused than shotguns and pistols).

You were wondering at the beginning of this conversation why gun owners feel that some people want to take their guns away. Well, there you go.

FWIW, I've passed an NC background check, Federal background check, FBI fingerprint check, mental health records check, attended mandatory gun training, and have 30 years' shooting experience, including shooting well under stress. I would respectfully suggest that taking my guns away would not improve public safety one iota. And it is precisely the attempt to take guns from the peaceable and nonviolent that drives such opposition to gun control proposals, and that has pushed U.S. gun sales to record levels in the past several years.
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