Archive for the ‘US gun violence “debate”’ 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.

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.

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.

Reality versus gun rights

It’s really fun watching people defend the rioters and looters in the current situation. I’m going to use Pennsylvania law, but there is Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55: Riot, Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses, which means that the destruction and looting caused by the rioters is illegal.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Trashing stores and stealing the contents is not a political act, but a criminal one.

Let’s add in that not only is it a criminal act, but it is actual violence. As I said to one person being able to understand the rioters would also mean that you understand why people are protesting the Covid-19 lockdowns with guns. As they say, they may not agree with the method, but they understand the frustration.

Actually, I find the armed protesters less of a threat than I do an out of control mob who are actually engaged in violent acts. Arson is a major cause of loss of life and injury in commercial properties. Strangely, the people who somehow find that the rioting and looting are justified have an issue with people exercising their right to self-defence.

Rioting, looting, arson, and the other illegal acts mentioned in Title 18, the crimes code, and specifically Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55, are just that crimes and illegal. On the other hand someone does have the right to self-defence if they have a reasonable belief that are in danger of death or serious bodily injury. Which happens to be a very real threat if you are in the sights of rioters.

One person said, “couldn’t you get out of their way, or leave town?” Is that a fair question if you get the lockdown order and AREN’T allowed to leave? Someone in that situation is pretty much stuck.

Which gets to the gun rights type’s question: “shouldn’t the person be allowed to defend themselves?” To which “Fuck, yeah!” seems to be the most sensible answer. And if the best weapon happens to be something semi-auto that can accept a large capacity magazine: then they should indeed be allowed to have such a weapon.

Which is why I titled this the way I did.

The person who somehow feels that the violence is “justified” or “understandable” should also be able to accept that people have a right to protect themselves. And the right which is lawful is the one of self-protection.

Not rioting.

Or as Donald Trump said: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

While I don’t like Trump or the underlying events which led to the protests, the movement to violence has changed the game to a no win situation. And the people who are going to be the big losers are the ones the protests were supposed to help.

Likewise, I have made it clear that I don’t support “gun rights” or believe it to be a real thing, but if people are going to condone violence, then they need to accept that the cycle of violence will continue.

And isn’t ending the violence what the protests were trying to do?

You can condemn the violence, yet still support the underlying cause. If anything, it makes far more sense to condemn the violence instead of allowing the cycle of violence to keep rolling on.

Gun Control Irony

Yeah, yeah. I try not to post this stuff on my blog, but this one is pretty important.  It was posted on Penigma, but I want my other post to get a few more views before this shows up again on that blog.

On the other hand, this needs to get out there.  That said:

It would be really ironic if instead of all the mass shootings the US has suffered (my condolences to the victims and their families of those), that the incident that caused people to realise the US needs gun control is an out of control suburban mother fighting over a notebook in a suburban Wal-Mart.

No, pulling a gun in this situation is not self-defence by any stretch of the imagination.  No one was fearing death or serious bodily injury which would justify even the threat of deadly force.

The woman pulling the gun is committing Felony Assault under Michigan law, Section 750.82.

The offense of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), is also known as Felonious Assault in Michigan. ADW is felony which is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. ADW is a crime which involves an assault with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or any other instrumentality which is fashioned or used as a weapon (car, club, bottle) which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. A criminal charge or conviction does not require actual physical contact or an injury. The offense is considered complete upon placing another in fear of an assault by a person who possesses a deadly weapon

Michigan law requires that the defendant “must have honestly and reasonably believed that he or she was in danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted” in order to use deadly force.  Additionally, the defendant “may only use as much force as he or she thinks is necessary at the time to protect himself or herself.”

While a person may believe he or she had acted in self-defense, the police, prosecutor, judge and jury may disagree.

No shots need to be fired for her to be found guilty.

I’m not sure how the “pro-gun” crowd can defend this action.  I know responsible gun owners don’t, but it’s time they stepped up to the plate and admitted this shit happens too often with the relaxing of concealed carry law for it to be condoned.

It’s time to give Presser v Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886) yet another plug.

One of the many failings of the Heller-McDonald bullshit is that those cases were not cases of first impression, but that post is coming in the future.

See also:

What Does Brandishing Mean? And Why You Should Never Do It…

The Physics Of Mass Killing

Excellent article on how firearms technology enables mass killing which takes it beyond the “cosmetic features” talk.  I strongly suggest that anyone involved in this issue read this article.

The Physics Of Mass Killing.

One trivial criticism the P228 comes with a 13 round magazine, but accepts larger.