Assault Rifle Ignorance - And Response (9)

Friday, June 24, 2016

I was just reading the when I noticed the poll they had up. “Should it be illegal for private citizens to possess assault rifles?” They already are illegal, for the most part. They are very highly regulated by the BATFE under the National Firearms Act and one must jump through extensive hoops, be on waiting list for months, pay $200 for a tax stamp on top of the more than $25,000 price tag that goes along with those types of firearms (because they are so scarce) in order to purchase one. In which case the federal government knows exactly who bought it, puts them on list (you liberals should be happy about that), knows where they live and that person cannot sell that item (lawfully) to another individual without involving a the federal government again through that same long and tedious process.  

Now I understand that the poll could be asking if the laws need to be changed to allow private citizens to be able to buy assault rifles more easily, but I am going to go out on a limb here and say the editor at the Chattanoogan is misinformed, as is most of the general public, about what makes a rifle an assault rifle.  

In order for a firearm to meet the classification of “assault rifle” it must meet three standards. 

1.       It must have a detachable box magazine. (The little thingy that holds the ammunition and too many ignorant people call a “clip”.) 

2.       It must fire an intermediate cartridge with an effective range of 300 meters.  

Now pay attention because this last one is very important to most of you that call all black rifles “assault rifles.” 

3.       It must be capable of select fire. That means there is a switch/lever that can take the rifle from semi-automatic to fully automatic. Semi-automatic means that for every pull of the trigger, only one round of ammunition will discharge. Full automatic, or as the BATFE refers to them as “machine guns”, when the trigger is pulled will discharge continuously until one of two things happens, the trigger is released or the rifle runs out of ammunition.

Please read and reread until you reach full comprehension. An AR-15 is not an assault rifle and the “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for assault rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle, the company that developed it. It was original developed for the military as the M-16 (which was capable of select fire) and later, due to popularity with those that used it during their service, thank you to all who did, adapted it for civilian use as the AR-15 (not capable of select fire and therefore not an assault rifle).

Please, educate yourselves and don’t let media buzz words drive your emotions into false support of new laws that may already exist.

John Masters

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Mr Masters your points are very well taken. Let me add the following: 

According to a Pew Research Study released in November of 2015 and reported on NPR on Nov. 23, 2015, only one in five Americans trust their government all or most of the time. 

In a CNN/ORC poll conducted after the San Bernadino terrorist murders, 60 percent responding disapproved of the way President Obama was handling terrorism and 81 percent said they believed terrorists associated with ISIS are in the country and could launch a major attack here. 

Given those are real, not imaginary, fears and a rejection of a failed policy by President Obama to keep average Americans safe, for Democrats to want to disarm citizens is not only ill timed, but moonstruck. 

Americans deserve an honest discussion about terrorism and not false arguments full of deceptive schemes to disarm citizens already untrusting of their government. 

Thank you, Mr. Masters, for your clarifications. I seriously doubt, however, the usual suspects who croon the leftist mantra will change their tune. 

Ralph Miller 

* * * 

Mr. Masters is entirely correct about what a true "assault rifle" is.  Most people who know, including myself, don't even like the media made up label "assault rifle".  An AR-15 is simply a semi-automatic rifle that may or may not resemble a military selective fire automatic rifle.  The term assault rifle has been used so long by the media and liberals like Clinton and others that people that don't know actually think AR does indeed stand for 'assault rifle".  

Of course, we have to ban those scary looking black guns.  Here's a chance for our liberal friends to educate themselves.  Google Ruger Mini 14.  Just an ordinary looking rifle, right?  Except it has the exact same fire control system as the evil, scary looking black gun and shoots the exact same cartridge (.223) at the exact same rate of shot per each pull of the trigger. It can even be configured to hold the same number of rounds.  Yet nobody is clamoring for a ban on this rifle only because it simply doesn't look as scary as the so called "AR" rifle.  It's all driven by hand wringing hysterics and emotion. 

I declined to participate in the flawed poll because, as Mr. Masters correctly pointed out, for all intents and purposes it is already illegal for an ordinary citizen to own a true "assault rifle". 

Dennis Wooden

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The semantics of what you call these weapons is aside from the point. All your hair-splitting over stats and appearance is irrelevant.

No should be able to own anything that delivers that much death, that quickly. I don't care if you call it an assault rifle, an AR-15, or a boom boom magic time fun stick.

Your hobby is not worth human lives.


Ray Ingraham

* * *

I want to discuss what we call assault rifles or weapons for mass killing.

First, let me give you some credentials before my opinion.

As a young man I spent two years in Vietnam. I was an infantry sergeant.  I was in the jungle and I don’t mean some rear echelon at a base camp. I shot at the enemy and the enemy shot at me, at me individually, personally. My primary weapon was the M-16 assault rifle. I saw the gruesome damage to human flash that high-powered military ammunition can do.

A previous writer points out that fully automatic weapons (like the M-16) are difficult to obtain under our current laws. But let’s remember the identical semi-automatic version of that same military weapon can be easily and inexpensively obtained. I want to tell you that such weapons are just as deadly.

During my training and borne out by experience, a modern military rifle is much more effective while in semi-automatic operation. I mean for killing people. (It’s difficult to aim a rifle while in fully automatic operation and it exhausts ammunition very quickly.) So to imply that restricting modern military rifles to semi-automatic operation makes them safer and appropriate for civilian use is ludicrous.

Military rifles and their ammunition were not developed for home defense, or hunting or target shooting.  They were developed to do one thing, and one thing only, kill people, many people as fast as possible.  As the many mass killings we have in the U.S. prove, semi-automatic knock-offs of military rifles do a very good job. I mean at killing people.

Gun aficionados nitpick about terms. The public and media have seized on the term “assault rifle” to mean modern military rifles including the widely popular semi-automatic version of these same weapons. 

So we all know what we mean by assault rifles, we mean a weapon for mass killing of people.  It’s the weapon that every Tom, Dick and G.I. Joe wants to have around the house.  It’s the same weapon that U.S. companies make so much money from. It’s the same weapon that the N.R.A. hypes as a “sporting rifle”. The U.S. is the only first world country that guarantees public access to such deadly weapons. Sadly there are deranged individuals in this world, but in the U.S. they can easily go on a killing spree enabled by these weapons. Let’s have some effective gun control laws and get rid of weapons for mass killing.

Bill Hurst

* * *

Guns, guns and more guns. That seems to be the wish list for Wayne of the NRA leadership. Some 300 million guns in the hands of citizens is a number I have heard many times.

But before I ask why such foolishness I want to share a bit of background. I was trained on gun safety in high school by NRA instructors. Most of us took the course because most of us hunted. Rural area of home had lots of White tail deer, pheasant, rabbit and squirrel and the best Northern Pike, Walleye fishing in the state. The shotgun was the only state-approved weapon for deer. Shells were not buck shot but a lead slug. Squirrel, 210 gauge shotgun and 12-16 gauge for rabbit, pheasant etc. We didn't need anything else.. My father- in- law had a small 38 pistol that was taken on fishing trips to Canada for Muskie.  Those fish can get very large and very  difficult to land one and they have lots of sharp teeth. The pistol was to land the fish safely, not alive,  brought into the boat.

The country has gone far beyond that pastoral scene and for reasons that are becoming more and more bizarre so many guns keep coming. There was an argument from an obvious gun owner and zealot for gun rights explaining the difference between semi and fully automatic weapons. The argument was that one can pull the trigger once and the bullets empty out quickly for the automatic, not allowed in this country. The semi auto  the trigger must be pulled for shell. The young man in Connecticut that killed all those small children..... The guy in Orlando killed many more, some 49.  The argument for owning that AR-15 just falls flat..The AR is a gun sold to look like a military weapon. It is not a hunting rifle.  Pulling the trigger each time is still killing.

    Let me move a bit to the absurd. Caveman had no weapons like the AR-15. Instead they used stealth, sticks, stones and a large club to feed the family. Took a lot of work to hunt down and not be the hunted to kill so that one could eat. Supposing, taking the absurd even further, that we had 300 million clubs, sticks and stones. The guy in Orlando would not have been able to kill 49; the young man that killed all those children, etc. My point is this .. We have little need for 300 millions guns.

The idea of the well-written militia of armed men and women to thwart whatever evil might threaten had some merit at the time the 2nd Amendment was written, but now? I have a pistol in my home. It is not kept loaded. It has an eight-shot clip in a separate zippered area of the gun bag. I keep the gun in a cabinet. In the event of an intruder... knocking down the door.... he, gun in hand demanding money... What do I do? Oh, I know... "wait just a moment Mmr. burglar, I will get the money..." but secretly I want to get my pistol; put the clip in place; load; safety off... confront the burglar...  Oh, I know, the Wayne mantra. .  "A good guy with a gun..." . Absurd on the surface and when fact is presented.. they stammer and talk louder.  

     Donald (the mouth) Trump uttered another one of those NRA messages of more guns... DT said that while the shooter was spraying bullets in the bar in Orlando the good guy with a gun would just have to pull his gun from his holster under his shirt and start shooting.. In the midst of chaos, the inexperienced and holder of gun permit, also scared, shoots in the direction of the shooter, some 20 feet away.. Guess what happened? He missed and instead added to the total of dead. 20 feet is long way to shoot a short barrel pistol with accuracy.. Ditto for the movie theatre massacre; the school shooting incident, more then one.  The only people that MIGHT have a chance of hitting the shooter is an experienced cop who logs hundreds of hours shooting for practice. The average gun owner does not have that experience.

There is overwhelming support for background checks and universal background checks in all states, not just a few that comply with loose legislation. There is overwhelming support for no guns if on terror watch list. Am I going too far?  Just those two would tighten somewhat the ability, soooo easy, to get a gun.. The ease of purchase is one of the reasons why we have 300 million in this country.

I have no cause for the collector or the pure hunter to have, store and use his weapons. Target practice is fun.  Shooting deer, rabbit and pheasant used to be fun because of the challenges.. I never developed a taste for venison but knew people that did. Ditto for squirrel, rabbit. Pheasant can be fixed and be a wonderful meal.

Behind the wood stove of my youth was an array of loaded guns. A single shot 22 cal., a level action rifle, think 38cal., a double barrel 12 gauge. All were loaded. Us kids knew they were behind the stove. We were not allowed to touch unless an adult was with us. The 22 cal. single shot was for woodchuck... Better be good. That Woodchuck puts his head and sometimes his entire body where one can see and from a good distance, one shot, hit the woodchuck. Some folks in the town ate woodchuck. Our concern was a cow stepping in the hole and breaking a leg. That 22 cal. came in handy one day when, while collecting eggs, a skunk was also collecting eggs. The skunk, so busy and upwind from me didn't see nor hear me.. I scurried out of the coop and got the 22 cal. single shot.. Oh, I got the skunk alright but the skunk got me and all the chickens; the coop and wide area surrounding. The skunk smell, when fresh, is powerful one. My heroic tactic was soon met with humiliation..Clothes off, leave them by the creek, walk back to the house. "Don't you ever touch that gun again, now get in that tub and rinse off with tomato juice."

Robert Brooks 

* * *

Gun enthusiast and the NRA would have you believe that in all of the mass shootings that have occurred in the last few years, that if only the "good guys" had guns, they would take out the "bad guy", as if they were being denied or oppressed from being gun-toting good guys. There is nothing keeping the "good guys" from having guns, except that they most likely don't want guns. There are no laws preventing this if they meet all of the requirements, which apparently are few and not too hard to meet.

This is not the wild west and we are not cowboys and Indians. I am sick of the nitpicking and word play of what is and what is not technically an assault rifle.  We all know what they are talking about and most of these weapons were never intended to be sold to Joe Bob to shoot at squirrels or beer cans.

I have hunted all my life and own a rifle and a shotgun and they stay locked away. There has never been anyone threatening to take away my guns or anyone else's. I will never strap a pistol on my hip unless I join the police force or go into the military and I don't want see other people walking around with one either.  For the record, if you visit my home or my business, you are welcome to leave your gun at home or in your car. 

Thing is, we have one of, if not the highest, gun-ownership in the world and the highest mass shooting rate in the world - that is pretty easy to work out. More guns are not the answer. We need tougher laws to make it harder to get and own a gun, just like every other modern nation in the world, not easier.

When people are being murdered at such high rates, I stop caring about second amendment rights.  I care more about human rights and the right to live and feel safe. The NRA and the gun lobby owns Congress. This needs to stop. 

John Fricke 

* * *

I love guns. To me, the most beautiful are the old over-under shotguns that have finely etched artwork all over and are attached to an incredibly fine looking stock made out of burled walnut or mahogany or whatever. I get all warm and fuzzy over Brownings, Bennellis, Colts, Winchesters, etc.

To be honest, I've handled an AR-15 made by Colt and it is a fine piece of equipment. Very well made. The one I shot had zero intention of jamming or messing up in any way. I think it's a good looking gun and my paint ball gun looks just like one. They are extremely accurate and, from what I've read, reliable. And like the guy said, it shoots a .223 round which is cheap ammo that has a pile of muzzle velocity.  

If you hold a .223 round in your hand and look at the bullet, you can see that it's no bigger than a .22 long rifle. It just has a lot more gunpowder behind it. I had a bolt action varmint rifle made by CZ that shot .223's and it was a blast to target shoot with. I was told that you can see just what muzzle velocity means by getting a gallon milk jug and filling it up about 80 percent with water and then the rest of the way with a loud color dye like Volunteer orange or Georgia red or Auburn puke. I chose Alabama crimson. Then, I propped it up on a log or something in front of a dead winter grassy earthen embankment. Then I walked about 50 yards back and took aim.  

When I pulled the trigger, the red gallon literally exploded. It vaporized. Seriously. What was a full Bi-Lo gallon jug instantly became a five foot square mist of crimson all over the bank. The jug became 50 or 60 little pieces. If you do that with a .22 long rifle, you'll get two little holes with water leaking out- one where it went in and one in back.  

When I heard about the Orlando gay bar I thought of people I know and love who are gay and Sandy Hook and that little experiment of mine. I was 50 yards out and these maniacs were point blank. At 10 or 20 feet and decently aimed, nobody had a chance and those who survived are in for a God-awful struggle. Both of the monsters carried multiple fully loaded large capacity magazines. 

Again, I love guns. I will 'til I die. But why, gun loving brothers and sisters, do I need a magazine that holds more than five cartridges that push bullets out of a barrel at 3,200 feet per second?  Why won't Ruger make large capacity magazines for their .223 shooting Mini-14? You have to get those on the after market. Is there a reason for that? And by the way, if you put a mini-14 next to an M1 Carbine, the military assault rifle of WWII, you'll see they look a lot alike.   

My wish is that many many years ago they'd had the foresight to make large capacity magazines as illegal as machine guns so we could have been policing them like we police machine guns now. Got to figure that out. Get the magazines out of civilians hands. Semi-autos have simply gotten too good.  

That's not gun control.         

Savage Glascock, Sr.     

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Mr. Fricke, 

When you say things like this, “When people are being murdered at such high rates, I stop caring about second amendment rights.  I care more about human rights and the right to live and feel safe.” Then you sir, deserve neither the right nor the freedom guaranteed by our constitution. 

Andy Bates

 * * * 

I will respond to Mr. Glascock's question as to why Ruger does not have large capacity magazines for their Mini-14. If you look back to the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, you will notice that William Ruger was pushing for a restriction on magazine capacity. That's odd. Why would a gun manufacturer want to limit his product?

Turns out, Mr. Ruger was trying to compete with the up and coming Glock firearm, who's double stack (two wide) magazine, allowed for higher capacity. The Glock was stealing his market share, so he turned to our lawmakers to make the competition's guns illegal on a technicality. Once illegal, it became desirable and when it expired in 2004, the flood gates opened.

Is this a case of the outlaw of an item creating a demand?  

Tim Giordano

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