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Response to loyalsister (Reply #139)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:57 PM

147. Thoughts, at some length...

Last edited Wed Dec 14, 2016, 07:36 PM - Edit history (1)

Using guns designed to kill people for target shooting does not change the original purpose.

Almost all hunting and target guns were originally designed for killing people, and were secondarily adapted by civilians for civilian use.

For example, the Winchester Model 70 deer rifle:



...is a very close civilian derivative of the main German infantry rifle of both World Wars, the Mauser G98/K98:



which was originally designed to kill human beings at distances of up to two kilometers, thanks to its powerful 8mm round. Captured and military-surplus Mausers became popular as hunting rifles through the 20th Century in both the USA and Europe, due to the same characteristics that made it an excellent long-range infantry rifle---power, accuracy, and reliability. Winchester eventually came out with a copy of the Mauser called the Winchester Model 58, which was later tweaked into the Model 70, that became famous as the issue U.S. Marine Corps sniper rifle in Vietnam---and the most sought-after deer rifle on the civilian market for a generation.

Likewise, this 16-shot Civil War combat rifle, the rapid-fire Henry of 1860:



after the war became the Winchester Model 1866 civilian rifle, which was later developed into the M1873 and M1894, and became the most popular hunting gun in the nation.

I personally own exactly one military rifle, a Russian infantry rifle made in 1905 that saw combat in World War I, the Finnish Revolution of 1917-1918, the Winter War of 1939-1940, and the Finnish war against the Nazis in 1944-1945. It still shoots great, and the sights adjust from 150 meters to 2 kilometers.



USAers Nugentian sense of entitlement to shoot and kill people isn't going to change, but possibly limiting the tools for it would limit how much it happens. Or, at the very least how many a person can kill within a short amount of time.

We already limit civilians to non-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns; all automatic weapons (including M16s and actual AK-47's) were restricted in 1934 and banned in 1986. We already limit caliber to .50" (12.7mm) or less, with larger calibers (like .729 caliber shotguns, aka "12 gauge" allowed on an exemption basis. We already restrict explosive projectiles that could kill indiscriminately. We already restrict guns easily convertible to automatic fire. And so on.

Civilians in the USA are limited to pretty much the same types of guns Canadians and many Europeans can own---manually operated rifles and shotguns like bolt-actions, levers, and pumps; one-shot-at-a-time autoloaders like the Ruger Mini-14, AR-15, Tavor SAR, Springfield M1A, or M1 Garand; autoloading pistols; and revolvers. Within that subset of civilian-legal guns, there is not much difference between the shots-on-target capability of a lever or pump vs. an autoloader.

I'll also point out that handgrip shape has absolutely nothing to do with lethality; this NYC-legal and CA-legal rifle (Ruger Mini-14) is functionally exactly the same as an AR-15, firing the exact same small-caliber ammunition at the same velocity and rate of fire from the same sized magazines.



Requiring that AR-15's be modified to use straight stocks like this would not affect lethality in the slightest.

Keep in mind that rifles are the *least* misused of all weapons in killings, and the trend is down, not up. Out of the 13,500 murders every year in the USA, all kinds of rifles together account for 250 to 270 of them, or less than 2%.

Rifle Homicides, 2005-2015
2005: 442
2006: 436
2007: 450
2008: 375
2009: 348
2010: 358
2011: 323
2012: 302
2013: 285
2014: 248
2015: 252
(Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005-2015, Table 20, Collated)

Finally, even if you magically outlawed all rifles, you would not address mass shootings one iota. The Newtown murderer took a 9mm pistol, a UK-legal semiautomatic shotgun, and a small-caliber rifle stolen from his murdered mother to the school where he murdered those kids, and had he used the pistol or the shotgun instead of the rifle---or had he used a straight-stocked hunting style rifle like a Mini-14---the outcome would have been no different.

If you want to make a real dent in killing, end drug prohibition; start fighting the culture of violent gangs, not the target shooting/hunting/self-defense culture; and start looking to repair our broken inner cities. Legislating rifle handgrip shape, or trying to confiscate half a billion magazines from 60+ million people, or endlessly harassing the licensed and vetted, is pointless, counterproductive, and politically asinine.

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