Getting It Wrong.

One problem that many of us who want to make arguments about guns have with those on the other side of the argument is that they don’t know what they are talking about. It is very difficult to make arguments if the other side doesn’t have a clue. By and large, that includes the media, who have an obligation to at least get the facts straight. All too frequently, they do not. Here, from the Week Magazine, is a case in point.

Let of delve into pile of distortions and falsehoods, shall we. I will add my comments in italics after the paragraphs

What defines an assault rifle?

Assault rifles, often called AR-15-style weapons, have been used in many mass shootings, including the recent massacre of 10 Black people in a Buffalo supermarket and the slaughter of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. These weapons are identifiable by three features: They’re semiautomatic, meaning they can be repeatedly fired with the squeeze of the trigger; they have detachable magazines for easy reloading; and they have components, such as a pistol grip, that allow shooters to fire continuously with their rifle trained on the target. The AR-15 is the civilian counterpart of the U.S. military’s M16, which has a shorter barrel and can fire three-round bursts with one pull of the trigger. These marvels of engineering are stunningly efficient and easy to use, earning the title “America’s Rifle” from the National Rifle Association and the nickname the “iPhone of firearms.” 

First of all, the term AR-15 has absolutely nothing to do with Assault Rifle. Assault rifle comes from the German term Sturmgewar, coined for a rifle called the SG44 in 1944 to gain the approval of Hitler. The SG44 defined the class of military rifles intended to bridge the gap between a full cartridge rifle, usually around .30 inches or 8mm in diameter with a necked cartridge and a submachine gun, which used pistol cartridge Assault rifles are fully automatic, something that an AR15 is not. pistol grips and detachable magazines have been part of firearms for a hundred years or more. The features that made the AR-15 unique were the use of aluminum and plastic to make the rifle very light. The components of the rifle are also flexible and can be changed to meet the user’s needs, whether a folding stock or a different barrel length. Ar15s are easy to use, but so are any of a number of other firearms.

Why the term AR-15?

AR-15 was originally named for the gunmaker ArmaLite and trademarked by Colt after it bought the manufacturing rights to the weapon. But the patent is long expired, and about 500 gunmakers sell similarly designed weapons. There were about 400,000 assault weapons in circulation when a federal ban on them was passed in 1994, but sales exploded when the law expired a decade later. Today, there are about 20 million AR-15s in the U.S. One in five gun purchases is now an assault weapon. 

Again, An Ar-15 is not an assault weapon. Also, the ban was ineffective and when the ban was imposed, it was vague and essentially toothless. I really doubt that one in five gun purchases is an automatic rifle, considering the hoops that you have to go through to purchase one. This is an outright fabrication.

How deadly are they?

The AR-15 was engineered to cause “maximum wound effect,” as one of its designers put it. It fires needle-nosed bullets that travel three times faster than handgun rounds and fragment when slamming into flesh, causing enormous damage. Features such as second-hand grips and thumb-hole stocks make the weapon easy to aim and hold with both hands while firing dozens of rounds with little recoil. “It’s the perfect killing machine,” says Dr. Peter Rhee, a former Navy trauma surgeon. A study of mass shootings from 2000 to 2017 found that killers who used assault rifles caused 97 percent more deaths and wounded 81 percent more victims than those who used handguns. 

This is a tying together facts to distort the argument. At the time the AR15 was being designed the Army was looking to potentially increase the number of enemy wounded rather than deaths because dealing with wounded absorbed resources from an enemy. The 5.56mm bullet is actually less deadly than a full size rifle cartridge. As for the “needle tip,” Obviously the writer has never actually seen a bullet. No bullet comes to a sharp tip because a sharp tip can cause aerodynamic instability and the bullet to tumble. All bullet fragment when hitting something hard and the jacketed Spitzer bullet will actually retain its shape longer than a pistol bullet. A rifle bullet does have more energy. Rifles are in general easier to hold and shoot than pistols, simply because they are larger. As for mass shooting statistics, I’m not quite sure how to interpret this. Frankly it seems to be an apples and oranges comparison. As far as I know there are more deaths from rifles because mass shooter use rifles rather than handguns.

How did assault rifles originate?

Adolf Hitler coined the term Sturmgewehr — “storm weapon” — to describe a new gun with a shorter barrel than the standard Nazi rifle, making it easier to control because it kicked less. The Soviets followed with the AK-47. When American troops encountered Viet Cong troops armed with AKs, they decided to go against conventional military thinking and try the new, American-made AR-15, which used unusually light .223 caliber rounds (the same caliber used by the Uvalde shooter). The results were astonishing. The AR-15 mutilated enemy soldiers, leaving many looking as though they had simply “exploded,” a military report said. 

See above for what Sturmgewehr actually means. Again, the less powerful cartridge was intended to make the weapon easier to control and bridge the gap between a submachine gun and the k96 rifle as well as making a rifle that could be made from stamping that was cheaper than the typical battle rifle. The M16 was adopted first by the airforce because it was lightweight and then by the army, because the m14, which was derived from the M1 Garand was too much to handle at full auto and became inaccurate. If the writer had looked into the history of the M16 in Vietnam, he would not have used the term “astonishing.” The M16 had a very rocky road after it was adopted.

What makes them so lethal?

Unlike a heavier handgun bullet, which punctures the body like a nail, a high-velocity round from an AR-15 delivers a payload of kinetic energy that radiates outward from the wound, obliterating organs, pulverizing bones, and causing massive bleeding. It can leave a jagged exit wound the diameter of a soda can. When radiologist Heather Sher examined a teenage victim of the 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, she says she found that one organ looked like “an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer.” The victim could not be saved. After the Uvalde shooting, DNA samples were needed to help identify victims, many of whom were left unrecognizable by horrific wounds. 

I doubt that the writer has actually seen how various bullets behave when passing through a body. There are ample slow motion videos of bullets passing through ballistics gelatin There are so many variables that can change the physics of a would that I’m not going to list them all. On the other hand, wound left by multiple gunshots are not pretty. Nor are the wound left by bombs, being run over by a car or being sliced by a machete, all of which have been used in mass slayings in the past. Restricting one tool does not address the problem. The fact is that the reason the mass shootings happen over and over is that, for various reasons, the authorities ignore warning signs. That happened at Uvalde and it happens in most of the mass shooting events.

The problem isn’t the gun. The gun is just a tool and there are others. Somebody determined to kill will find a means to do so. What was missing a Uvalde and the rest of the mass shootings was somebody able to shoot back. All a ban will do is give the killers more defenseless people to slaughter. As for this, I wish that people would stop using distortions and things out of context to make an argument.

Larry Corriea has a solution for the mass shootings at schools. Arm teachers.

An Opinion on Gun Control, repost

The gun controllers don’t like that sort of solution because it gives agency to people that the gun controllers don’t believe should have agency. So they emphasize the evils of inanimate objects to frighten people into giving up their inalienable rights supposedly looking for security. That is an old game and the people who want to take the guns from the people know it well. They have been playing the game for a long time. Dangerous gangsters use Tommy guns on other dangerous gangsters? A tax on Tommy guns for citizens who might want one for their own. After all, who needs a machine gun? On and on the arguments go, cutting the liberties of the people, one cut at a time. This time, it’s assault weapons. Then it will be handguns and rifles, followed by everything else. It doesn’t stop with guns either.

The problem is that the people that want to disarm the rest of us don’t want us to have any way of stopping the mad killers. That’s because they would like to be mass killers themselves, but don’t have the guts to be suicidal. So instead, they get government jobs. Here’s Larry again with a case in point:

If the Congressman had actually believed that resistance was futile, he wouldn’t care if people owned guns. The simple fact that resistance is not futile is what makes these people afraid, of us and what we might do. That is a good thing. There is a small district in Vienna. In 1913, three men lived in that district. They talked politics and plotted revolution. They were Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Consider what that coffee house crowd did, mostly because they knew that there would be no resistance. Remember that when somebody is asking to take guns away.

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