Archive for the ‘assault rifle’ Category

How exactly do I feel about “assault rifles”?

I ask this because there is a Pew Charitable Trust poll “Amid a Series of Mass Shootings in the U.S., Gun Policy Remains Deeply Divisive” that asks this and other questions.

In theory, they should be banned or heavily regulated.

The reality, they are something people will have to get used to living with. “Black Lives matter”, The “peaceful protests”, and the defund the police movement have pretty much killed any chance of regulating firearms. That’s ironic since the “Black Lives Matter” movement and defunding the police require having a strong system of firearms regulation to have even a shred of being successful.

That’s because people need to feel safe and secure, which is something I think most gun regulators miss. The belief that “no one needs a firearm like that” rings hollow when the police start disappearing from the streets. My “I Almost bought an AR” post was about this since the reportage if one was fortunate enough to be away from the action could cause some people to want to head to the nearest gun store and buy one.

I think some people are unaware of the situation in this country and how difficult it will be to persuade people they don’t need an assault rifle. Not to mention that I am beginning to believe most of the people on the regulation side are not really good at listening to the other side.

OK, despite what many people may think: I HAVE listened to the arguments. And examined them carefully. That goes for both sides.

Right now, the “gun grabbers” are losing the propaganda battle…badly. The result of which is that they are beginning to lose the battle.

They are also alienating people who should be on their side by living in a highly idealistic world, I still stick by my belief that:

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

The problem is that one can’t tolerate the “peaceful protests” and defunding the police, yet expect people to be willing to give up on what they see as their best defence.

They say that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged: we may see a lot of people become “conservative” in the coming days.

At this point in time, firearms regulation is going to be one of the last things that will happen.

America’s Gun

There isn’t a consensus on what exactly that firearm would be. I’ve learned more than I have ever cared to know about the AR-15 in the past month or so. The AR15 definitely qualifies since it was designed by an American, Eugene Stoner. Enough of them are out there in the US that any chance of an “assault rifle ban” would be really difficult. And that’s even with a buyback.

I feel the same way I do about the AR15 that I do about Margaret Thatcher: I don’t like either of them, but I respect what they are in relation to their respective country’s culture. The AR15 is probably more symbolic toward US culture than Margaret Thatcher will ever be to Britain’s.

It is a symbol of militarism since it was designed over 60 years ago for the US military, with variants  used by military forces worldwide. Part of its attraction is that it is the civilian version of the US military’s weapon. And its deadliness is one of its attractive features. It is proven in combat and mass shootings.

The AR15 platform allows for it to be built in a myriad of different ways. It is also fairly easy to build with various kits being sold; from complete upper and lower receiver assemblies to the parts for making a ghost gun. Although, ghost gun means a firearm made “80%” lower receiver and parts. It is the AR15’s ability to be built by anyone which should cause people to pause.

I personally would not want to invest the time and effort into making an actual ghost gun. Complete stripped lower receivers are also available, which is the lower receiver block without the parts. That allows someone to create their custom gun. It’s easy to customise a completed lower receiver as well. Just look up a video on how to do that mod to your gun.

And there are the AR15 pistols as well, which I am mentioning since there is the debate as to how often these weapons are used in crime:

Mass shootings involving rifles like the AR-15 can produce dozens of victims at one time, and combined with extensive media coverage of these events, many people have been led to believe that such rifles pose a significant threat to public safety.

However, such shootings are extremely rare, and a look at the FBI data informs us that homicide with these types of rifles represents an extremely small fraction of overall homicide violence. Banning or confiscating such firearms from the civilian population would likely produce little to no reduction in violent crime rates in America.

Given the amount of variations on the AR15, there are a fair amount of pistol versions. One manufacturer lists barrel lengths from 8 inches to 20 inches for their upper receiver assembly. An interesting riff on all this since Orlando, Florida, authorities revised their initial description of one of the weapons used in the June 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub. After initially describing it as an “AR-15-type assault rifle,” police said it was a different type of firearm, the Sig Sauer MCX.

One the the variants of the MCX is the Rattler SBR (short barrelled rifle)[1]. While SBRs are NFA weapons, it’s pretty easy to bang one up using the AR15 platform. I would also toss in that semi-auto pistols that accept high capacity magazines are banned in some places. Additionally, a submachinegun is a machinegun that fires pistol calibre ammunition. That means that submachineguns are basically pistols that can have a very high rate of fire.

But the main reason I would say that the AR15 is America’s gun is that it will probably never be regulated despite the carnage it is capable of causing. Despite the deadly shooting in Las Vegas to the 20 toddlers killed at Sandy Hook, these weapons are more than freely available to anyone who wants one. You can buy an 80% receiver with no background check to build whatever version of an AR15 you want.

That means that anyone who is adept with metalworking tools, or just adept with tools if it’s a polymer 80, can crank out a weapon intended for the battlefield.

That should cause you to pause and think no matter what your opinion of these weapons happens to be.

[1] Short barrelled rifles are another topic which I am not going to get into.

Lots of thoughts

I am really annoyed with the level of virtue signalling/pandering I’ve been seeing as the reaction to the riots. My particular gripe is with “Juneteenth” which was pretty much unknown until fairly recently, especially the last few days. This is true even amongst “people of colour”.

The fact it has eclipsed Odunde in Pennsylvania, let alone Philadelphia, is more than enough to demonstrate to me that recent attention has been pandering and not very sincere. I would be truly insulted if I were black at how this event has suddenly received attention. But I doubt it will be a thing in another news cycle.

Which gets me to the riots, which they were. The fact that the peaceful demonstrations turned violent should have led to a distancing from the violence. Instead we receive virtue signalling that the looting is somehow OK. Toss in that defunding/abolishing the police can even be considered, let alone discussed.

The riots have helped gun sales go through the roof. We can pretty much forget ever having an “assault rifle ban”. Any buyback would make the Covid-19 economic relief look like a drop in the bucket. It’s possible.

But so is becoming a billionaire by winning the lottery.

The “Gun Violence Protection” crowd is showing how out of touch they are with the current state of events. Case in point is something I saw from Everytown where they were talking about how the Gun Rights crowd talked about fighting tyrannical government. Of course it also tried to paint recent events as “peaceful protest” neglecting the curfews and lockdowns in many US cities.

I’ve been wanting to talk about option 2 for why a someone would need an assault rifle, which is the exact opposite of “tyrannical government”.  That is when your country has become a failed state.

A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly (see also fragile state and state collapse). A state can also fail if the government loses its legitimacy even if it is performing its functions properly. For a stable state it is necessary for the government to enjoy both effectiveness and legitimacy. Likewise, when a nation weakens and its standard of living declines, it introduces the possibility of total governmental collapse. The Fund for Peace characterizes a failed state as having the following characteristics:

  • Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
  • Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
  • Inability to provide public services
  • Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community

Common characteristics of a failing state include a central government so weak or ineffective that it has an inability to raise taxes or other support, and has little practical control over much of its territory and hence there is a non-provision of public services. When this happens, widespread corruption and criminality, the intervention of state and non-state actors, the appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations, sharp economic decline, and foreign military intervention can occur.

There were a few commenters who were pointing out the United States was a failed state prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, but the recent riots have shown that the US is indeed a failed state.

In that case, who is going to protect you?

I am not going to debate the wisdom of owning a firearm or other weapon during such a time. But I do understand why people would want them.

The virtue signalling crowd needs to step back and assess where the US happens to be at this point, because the US is not in good shape. And pandering to the mob is the wrong course of action.

I almost bought an AR Parts Kits!

Or the more I know about the H&K 416, the more I like the SIG516.

And saying that is not totally off the topic since I found that Brownells had a do it yourself HK416 set up. You would buy one of their completed lowers with 416 markings and then get their official parts kit. Still not a cheap purchase (also no longer available) [1], but there are a few options for buying an AR15:

  • You can buy a complete off the shelf AR15
  • You can buy a lower receiver in any of several forms: complete, stripped, or 80% . Then match it with the upper receiver of your choice
  • build a complete parts kit from scratch, which can be a “ghost gun” depending on if you add a serial number or not.

The upper is the more critical part in my opinion. That means that you could pair an outrageously expensive upper with an budget lower. That is a suggestion which will get lots of groans, but isn’t too outrageous in the current climate of AR scarcity.

The opinion seems to be mil spec is mil-spec, which is true for the cheaper lowers. There are some features which can up the price, such as ambidextrous knobbies and finish. Also, it’s kinda nice to have the fancy logo to go with the one on the fancy upper.

I have to admit to being inclined toward the completed lower since changing the grip on one of these is more involved than I care for. I am not keen on having to put the pieces together. This is especially true for anything that goes bang near my face. Putting together a complete upper with a complete lower is fine with me.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the expensive options are the way I would like to go. On the other hand, market forces are working against me. We have scarcity driving up the price.

If you can find one.

The gun violence prevention crowd blew it in the past few weeks by not calling for cooler heads. Now people are scared and gun sales have skyrocketed.Not to mention there are now way more “assault rifles” out there with people who will be reluctant to give them up.

 

Footnote:
[1] H&K MR556 upper receiver is US$1839, including free shipping! You can get the BRN-4 stripped receiver for US$299.99 or there is a complete receiver for auction at US$1,100. That means you could have part of an HK for around US$2100 (still gotta get the rest of the parts to complete the lower) or a whole one for US$2939 (unless someone ups the bids on you). Not cheap!

Go ahead, scumbag, make my day.

I’ve found that lower receiver assemblies can be bought in all sorts of interesting designs. Or if you get a blank, you can have it custom engraved.

The reason I titled this what I did is that some non-full auto receivers are marked with an, inactive, full-auto choice.

Not sure I want to have that if I get stopped by the cops. Sure, it can be disproven, but still why risk it?

I almost bought an AR Part III (Miscellaneous Thoughts)

So, do I get a package of ammunition to fight my way to the unit in the same way the Swiss do if I get an AR? 60 rounds doesn’t seem like a lot.
Swiss ammunition packageSwiss 3130953-v4-munition

 

 

 

 

 

Should I join a militia? Or is this just for individual defence?

Why am I in this position because of people who claim to want to have a peaceful society won’t renounce the use of violence?

I just heard that Minneapolis voted to defund the police last night. So much for gun control in the US.

I almost bought an AR Part II!

Well, we are being treated to an even BIGGER turn out to protest. Toss in that there is a threat of explosions at least at Philadelphia’s demonstrations.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

Anyway, the gun people should be laughing their asses off that the do-gooders are doing one of the best jobs to pump up gun sales. A few months back, it looked like there was a saturated market in Assault Rifles. Now demand for the suckers has driven up the price better than the executive order of 1989! Although Assault rifles and firearms tend to have a high rate of price fluctuation depending on the political climate.

That said, I did have a few options if I didn’t want to wait in a long line only to be disappointed at the slim pickings; even in the high end department.

Ghost or parts guns. Which is kind of a big category since you can have a parts gun from a upper receiver from one company and a lower from another. There are some SIG516 uppers out there which now are in the four figure range, after a period when Sig was practically giving them away (about US$450 range). Stick that on a lower receiver, Such as Palmetto State Armoury, which is a reasonable price. It has a serial number which means it isn’t a real “ghost gun”.

The other advantage is that putting together a complete upper from one company and a complete lower from another is still like putting together an assembled firearm. Unlike a ghost gun which is a bunch of parts and sound like way more work than I want to be bothered with. Toss in that I wouldn’t trust a gun I built from scratch since I’m not a trained gunsmith. Any “advantages” to a “ghost gun” are far outweighed by the possibility of it blowing up in my face.

Bottom line, I would buy an H&K MR556 or a SIG516 right now, but it is real hard to do.

Once again, the market place helps to control firearms.

I almost bought an AR.

I guess the H&K MR556 or SIG516 are AR-15 variants.

So, number one deterrent was price. The SIG is the less expensive of the two, but still in the four figure range. We are talking a price of US$ 1400+. Ouch. Toss in that I am leaning toward the H&K compared to the Sig.

And that’s the price if you can find one.

Assault Rifles and guns in general are a hot commodity these days. For good reason given the chaos of the past week. Some people have seen it on TV. Other people have lived it.

And people want to protect themselves. And what better way than with a weapon that was designed for the battlefield and proven in mass shootings across the country. Las Vegas was a good advertisement. The chaos of the past week are the perfect advertisement for a weapon like this.

I may not like it, but it is hard to say that people shouldn’t be able to own these weapons when the cities are under siege. That makes me different from a lot of people on the left, but I am also much more pragmatic than a lot of people on the left.FireShot Capture 012 - Why are some US police forces equipped like military units_ - World n_ - www.theguardian.com

Those are the ones who are moaning about the militarisation of the police, like this article in the Guardian. But it misses something that this post is pointing out. Civilians can buy the 5.56 Assault Rifle with no problem. Shouldn’t the cops be as well armed as the civilians if they are going to keep the peace?

Toss in there is a movement to defund the police:

Defunding, said activist Jeralynn Blueford, is the logical response from leaders in this moment of unprecedented unrest. “If police had been serious about reform and policy change, then guess what? People would not be this angry.”

What The Fuck? Serious What the Fuck?

3d25106b37We have seen chaos and looting in US cities over the past week. Gun stores have lines that wrap around the block as people scramble to buy weapons to defend their homes.

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

It’s the image in this Tommy Gun ad from the days when they were freely available.  The ability to protect your home against marauding bands of evil doers.

And the do gooders (I can’t really say the left since there are some of us who get what needs to be done) who would defund the police and try to make assault rifles illegal. The argument that “no one needs one of these in a civilian world” rings hollow these days.

The chaos of the past week ISN’T the civilian world and toleration of those who are destroying US cities is wrong. It’s turning the “silence is consent” argument back at them. Even worse, it’s not silence, but outright appeasement.

Black Lives Matters lost any relevance the moment the fires and violence broke out. They could have salvaged their effort if they stood down and denounced the violence. But allowing violence on either side is wrong.

I don’t really like that I have to accept that assault rifles are an undeniable fact of US life, but there needs to be some feeling of safety and security until people stand down: especially the rioters and looters. Violence isn’t the answer. Especially if you are not the body authorised by law to keep the peace. Breaking the law really isn’t the answer.

There are options other than violence and chaos, however, there is a misguided belief that is what is necessary. That is costing the Black Lives Matters its legitimacy even amongst the people it claims to represent.

Because the people buying guns aren’t just white.