Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gun Control Myths, Lies and Mistakes

I'm coming in a bit late in talking about this topic. I wanted to wait a few days to start this out of respect for the victims of the Connecticut massacre. If only a few others showed some similar restraint. I suppose it's as some have said, "You can't let a crisis go to waste."
This post will run very long, and I may eventually split it up into separate sections. The plan is to add a few statements about gun control, and the myths, lies and general BS that is constantly repeated. Hopefully a point or two will be added daily over the next few weeks.

The killer couldn't have done this without an "Assault Weapon."
I want to start it off by addressing the myth that the school shooter needed an "Assault Weapon," or semi automatic in order to commit this horrendous crime.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Any gun owner with at least mediocre skills could have successfully committed this crime with a 5 shot revolver and a pocket full of speed loaders and speed strips.
Why is that?
It's because the killer was unopposed, and could kill at his leisure. He basically had all of the time in the world in which to murder these children and teachers. That's what happens in gun free zones. We keep seeing this over and over, yet some act surprised that the murderers keep going to churches, malls, movie theaters and schools. There is a reason why we aren't seeing similar acts at gun stores, ranges and police stations.

"Assault Weapons" were banned before 2004:
A list of rifles were banned from 1994 to 2004. They are referred to as "Assault Weapons" despite only having a militaristic appearance. They are semi automatic firearms, and fire one bullet for each squeeze of the trigger. Military rifles are generally capable of full auto fire or firing in bursts.
When some in the media or politicians intentionally confuse "Assault Weapons" with military weapons, they are lying and/or misleading you.
During the time that these semi automatic rifles were banned, "Assault Weapons" were used in less than 1% of gun deaths. The number is actually less than 1/2 of 1%.
The law was proposed because most Americans didn't own these types of firearms, and many in the gun owning community didn't care if someone else's guns were banned.
So what happened? The law was clearly a success, these rifles disappeared from the market. Right?
Wrong. The flash hiders were removed. The bayonet lugs were taken off, and the pistol grips were replaced by thumbhole stocks.
These redesigned weapons were sold with 10 round mags. 30 round magazines were available during the entire 10 year period that the ban was in effect. They doubled in price but could always be found. I'm sure that mass murderers are very concerned about running up their credit cards when buying 30 round magazines.
The same weapons were sold with a few cosmetic changes. Politicians and the mainstream media pretended that the law did something worthwhile because the bayonet lugs and flash suppressors were taken off. Somehow the guns became less deadly without a plastic pistol grip.
This AR15 is legal under the former "Assault Weapon" Ban. The AWB is still the law in some states, and you may continue to own AR15's, AK47's, AK74's, etc. You just have to dress them up a little differently.
Does this make the residents of those states safer?
This is what most believe an AR should look like, and it's sale would be illegal under the former AWB.
Guess what? They fire the same bullet and the different furniture does nothing to make the weapon safer.
Of course, gun laws are written by people like these. It's no surprise they are useless and intended more for gun control than crime control.
Btw, Connecticut has an "Assault Weapon" ban in place.

Assault Weapon Bans work:
Connecticut has an AWB in place.

Registration Works:
Connecticut already requires gun registration.

No One Needs A High Capacity Magazine:
I probably should have said, "Normal capacity magazine." These 15, 17, or 30 magazines are what the firearms used when they were developed. The 10 round mags that the anti gunners constantly push are neutered versions of what the weapons should come with.
As the term hi capacity magazine is accepted despite being inaccurate, I'll go ahead and use it for this post.
Years ago, research was done regarding police officer's accuracy when they were involved in a shooting. In the study, LEO's averaged about 1 hit out of every 5 shots fired. That's not a lot.
Consider that they may somewhat prepare for an encounter ahead of time. This is true whether it's a traffic stop or an arrest.
On the other hand, when an innocent citizen is involved in a violent encounter, it is often a complete surprise. It's an attack and it is usually not announced ahead of time.
Let's pretend that the normal citizen has the firearms skills of the average LEO.
Would you want to be limited to a ten round magazine? Bear in mind that this might only give you two hits for every 10 shots fired.
Suppose there are multiple assailants?
Why would anyone want to limit their self defense tools?
I find it amusing that those screaming the loudest for bans on hi capacity magazines are surrounded by gun toting guards that have... hi capacity mags in their weapons.

"Assault Weapons" are so much more lethal than rifles used for hunting:
This statement shows a clear lack of knowledge in regards to both hunting and "Assault Weapons."
"Assault Weapons" usually come in 4 main calibers. There's more than the 4 that I'll discuss below, but these make up the bulk of the millions of AB's on the market.
.223/5.56mm is what you'll find most AR15's chambered in. This is generally considered a varmint round, and most states will not allow you to hunt deer with this caliber. It's not considered powerful enough. This is what the killer used in the recent massacre.
.308/7.62mm is a common military, hunting and "Assault Weapon" caliber. We'll call this even. The AB's and hunting rifles are largely equal in stopping power. I'm not going into specifics about hunting loads vs. ball ammo.
7.62x39mm is used in many "Assault Weapons" such as the AK47, SKS and even some AR15's. It's a common round and is ballistically similar to a 30-30 used by hunters nationwide. Most would not consider this round more deadly than hunting ammunition on the market.
5.45x39mm is commonly used in the AK74 variant AB's and even a few AR15's. The ammunition is very similar to the .223/5.56mm in AR's. I would not consider it more deadly or even nearly as lethal as that used by most hunting rifles.
Those in the anti gun community point to the recent massacre as proof that these guns use a more lethal round than is commonly found in the hunting community. That's far from the truth. Reality is that the murderer shot children, and unfortunately, everything is more lethal to them (from aspirin to ammo).
The small size of the victims and the total lack of opposition in this Gun Free Zone is why the body count was so high.

Gun bans keep guns out of the community:
Do I really need to mention the success of banning guns in DC and Chicago?
Pretend that all firearms in America were banned today, and then confiscated. Smugglers would fill the demand for weapons just as they do for the drug trade. Guns would be brought in illegally just as Meth flows in Mexico, Cocaine comes in from Columbia and Heroin is shipped in from the other side of the globe. Of course the drugs I just listed are consumable items that must constantly be replaced. This requires a constant pipeline to keep the market supplied.
On the other hand, firearms will last for generations. Smuggle a gun into a banned state and it's around for decades. The same can be said for ammunition.
Obviously if a ban on firearms took place we would have widespread smuggling of weapons from our Southern neighbor. The drug cartels would expand into this market, or new crime syndicates would be created. The irony is that the cartels would ship weapons into the US instead of our Justice Department walking them into Mexico.
Gun bans are futile.
When we manage to win the war on drugs I'll begin to believe that we could manage a ban on firearms.
It's also worth considering that most Americans support firearms ownership. No one wants a meth lab next door, or a drug dealer on the corner. Most really don't care if the guy across the street target shoots, or if the neighbor has a Glock for self defense.

If Only We Had Smart Guns:
Where to begin?
No one wants them. The law enforcement community doesn't want to trust their lives to computer chips in firearms. If they don't have enough faith in the technology then I certainly am not interested in these weapons.
I'll make a deal with you. When Obama's Secret Service detail turns in all of their standard weapons and adopt Smart Guns, I'll start buying them.
BTW, your firearms are often exposed to solvents, oils, temperature changes, recoil and even being dropped. Is this something that is healthy for computer chips?
The usual method for Smart Guns is to have a computer locking mechanism inside of the firearm. You wear a ring, pendant, etc. that sends a signal to the weapon. This unlocks the gun if it's close enough to the firearm. The people that leave their guns laying around are the same people that would leave the rings/pendants out for children to find.
Would it be possible to send out a signal that is strong enough to disable a Smart Gun? Perhaps not today, but how about 5 years from now? We can jam cell phones so why not the Smart Gun technology?
Technology changes greatly from year to year. Today's Smart Gun is something that would have 20 "How To Hack It" videos on YouTube tomorrow. I suspect there would be universal remote type devices eventually sold.
Let's pretend that "Smart Gun" technology actually works, and I buy a Kel-Tec PF9 (which now costs $200 more thanks to the Smart Gun system). Will I be able to get the chips, pendants, rings, etc. replaced in 10 or 15 years when they break? How about 30 years from now? Will this gun eventually become a paperweight because the technology has moved on?

Wild West Shootouts:
If more people carry, or carry concealed, we'll have a huge spike in killings as people engage in "Wild West Shootouts" after every fender bender or argument. We heard this repeated over and over as more states adopted concealed carry laws, and the number of permit holders grew into the millions.
Needless to say, this hasn't happened. CCW holders are statistically more law abiding than law enforcement officers.
All of the rhetoric about, "Streets running red with blood," and "Wild West Shootouts" have proven to be false and it's not hard to find examples of CCW stopping crime.
It is however very hard to find examples of CCW committing crimes.

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