Considered musings and random commentary.
Friday, March 05, 2004
The good, the bad, and the facts.
Well, the GOOD news is, the "Assault Weapons" Ban has bit the dust.
The BAD news is, it bit for the wrong reasons.
OK, for the grossly under-informed (http://www.creators.com/0229/JD/JD0303ag.gif) I'll go over the essential basics. But first, a little mechanical background:
Assault RIFLE: REAL military weapon, i.e., it actually has MEANING (a definition) in the military vernacular.
"Assault Weapon": a media-made-up term to refer to anything that looks "mean" or ugly.
Assault RIFLE: Commonly uses a mid-sized or smaller calibre of intermediate energy. i.e., 5.45 mm, .308 calibre.
"Assault Weapon": Commonly uses a mid-sized or smaller calibre of intermediate energy. i.e. 5.45 mm, .308
(Hey! A _similarity_!)
Assault RIFLE: User-selectable multi-fire modes, usually consisting of
Single shot mode (i.e., "SEMI-AUTO", one trigger pull results in one bullet fired)
Burst mode (i.e., one trigger pull results in multiple -- usually 3 bullets being fired)
Full Auto mode - Fully automatic, "machine gun" mode (i.e., when the trigger is pressed, bullets continue to fire until the trigger is released or until the magazine is empty -- about 5 seconds worth, IF THAT) http://people.howstuffworks.com/machine-gun3.htm
"Assault Weapon": Well, it's er, a semi-automatic. But hey, if you pull your finger really fast, it might SOUND like a machine gun, right!? Yes, folks, the "AWB" bans NON-Assault-Rifles, or, more clearly, it bans auto-loading rifles.
What's an "auto-loading" rifle? Well, many common hunting, target-shooting, and plinking rifles are "auto-loading", what we, in the know, call a "semi". It's not a truck. It's not a machine gun. It's simply a rifle.
So the "AWB" bans the ugly equivalent of hunting rifles. In fact, there are plenty of hunting rifles out there chambered in the same round -- or sufficiently close enough to cause "no never mind". The venerable .30-30, a medium-power, medium-range rifle is chambered at .308. Congress (or the liberal element) wants to ban the equivalent of ugly hunting rifles.
Some folks make servicable hunting rifles FROM the "military-style" (another media misnomer). The typical SKS (chambered in a .308-sized round) is acceptable as a deer rifle out to about 150 yards, I've read. No, sorry, nobody is hunting deer with machine guns, no matter WHAT the looneys in Gun Control, Brady, or Congress claim. As a side note, there is a russian hunting rifle that is based directly on the design of one of the world's most popular ASSAULT RIFLES (only in semi-auto). http://izhmash.udm.ru/saiga.html
So why is everybody so hep on banning non-Assault-Rifle "assault weapons"? Media pressure, and the looney left. Sorry, that's what it amounts to. Well, there may be some ignorance thrown in, but journalists are supposed to REPORT the FACTS. It's a pity that so few know how to.
"Much of the steam that is left in the drive to ban semi-automatic firearms seems to be fueled by a massive confusion of terms.
The media has at times intentionally tried to mislead, at other times, the errors may have resulted from ignorance and confusion. ..." -- http://www.newswithviews.com/Pratt/larry4.htm
What about the crime? Er, WHAT crime? You know, all the crime commited with those "assault weapons! Bill Clinton even SAID, the 'asault weapon' is the weapon of choice of DRUG DEALERS!". An out-and-out lie. So, what WOULD a "drug dealer" want to use? Something small, easily (or MORE easily) concealed, easy to source -- handguns. Handguns, of course, are also the choice of citizens for personal defense... so simple even a poor granny can safely and successfully use one to defend herself from hot burglary or rape. So effective that rapists now fear the tiny woman rather than the other way around. So easy that even 12-year-old girls can dust the britches of middle-aged men in firearms competition using a .45. Anway, that's a topic for another time. Back to "assault weapons" and what not. Are they "evil"? NOT! Sorry. One last link... http://www.uncledave.org/firearms/fullauto.html