Archive for the ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ 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.

Assault weapons ban and Mexican drug gang guns

I have to admit to mixed feelings from reading a post at Mexico’s Drug War that rips the assault weapons ban and reinstating it to stop Mexican gang from acquiring firepower.

She states she isn’t a firearms expert, which gives me a bit of an advantage over her.

I have to agree her that the Assault Weapons Ban was pretty effete. Personally, I think assault weapons should be regulated as machineguns. Although, it is way too late for that to happen.

She also points out the availability of parts kits and building assault weapons with those kits. Good point for somebody who isn’t a firearms expert. Of course, one could just as well build a gun from scratch as use a parts kit.

Sylvia also has a great article on the The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S. where she says that presents a “misleading and inaccurate picture of the weapons trafficking problem that ultimately does a great disservice to the agencies that actively work southbound weapons trafficking issues.”

Sylvia points out “bottom line, between non-assault weapons, legal parts kits, and the straw purchase method, renewing the assault weapons ban – or enacting other types of gun control laws – would serve more as window dressing than an actual deterrent to the southbound flow of guns.”

I guess I have to agree with her: the Assault Wepons Ban needs to be much tougher. Although, I disagree about the blanket statement about other types of gun control as a deterrent. The weak laws that get on the books won’t stop dick, but registration, purchase limits and reporting stolen weapons do work as a deterrent.

But how likely is any form of gun control or serious assault weapons legislation to happen?