The Cops That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Chicago police and their proposed, unworkable gun ban

When a rash of gun murders takes place, it makes sense for the police to do one of two things: renew tactics that have been effective in the past at curbing homicides, or embrace ideas that have not been tried before.

But those options don't appeal to Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis. What he proposes is a crackdown on assault weapons.

I'm tempted to say this is the moral equivalent of a placebo—a sugar pill that is irrelevant to the malady at hand. But that would be unfair. Placebos, after all, sometimes have a positive effect. Assault weapons bans, not so much.

If there are too many guns in Chicago, it's not because of any statutory oversight. The city has long outlawed the sale and possession of handguns. It also forbids assault weapons. If prohibition were the answer, no one would be asking the question.

The recent spate of killings gives a misleading impression. Since the peak years of the early 1990s, the number of murders in Chicago has fallen by more than half. In the first three months of this year, homicides were down by 1.1 percent. No one would describe the current murder rate as acceptable, but the city has made huge progress.

It has done so despite the alleged problem cited by Weis, which is the availability of guns, and particularly one type of gun. "There are just too many weapons here," he declared at a Sunday news conference. "Why in the world do we allow citizens to own assault rifles?"

Actually, in Chicago "we" don't allow citizens to own assault rifles. Elsewhere they are allowed for the same reason other firearms are permitted. The gun Weis villainized is a type of semiautomatic that has a fearsome military appearance but is functionally identical to many legal sporting arms.

And its bark is worse than its bite. As of March 31, there had been 87 homicides in the city. When I asked the Chicago Police Department how many of the murders are known to have involved assault rifles, the answer came back: one.

As it happens, we already have ample experience with laws against these guns. From 1994 to 2004, their manufacture and sale were banned under federal law. Yet the number of murders committed with rifles and shotguns began falling in 1991, three years before the law was enacted.

It's true that gun homicides also fell while the law was in effect. Does that prove the value of the ban? Not exactly, since stabbing deaths fell even faster, as did murders involving crowbars, baseball bats and other blunt objects. Obviously other factors were behind the improvement.

The irrelevance of the law was plain to see. In 2004, Tom Diaz, an official of the pro-gun control Violence Policy Center, said, "If the existing assault weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference" in curbing gun violence.

No surprise there. Anyone with criminal intent had plenty of deadly options at hand. The so-called assault weapons, contrary to what you might assume, were no more powerful or lethal than other, unbanned guns.

Not only that, but criminals, the people most likely to commit violent crimes, were completely unaffected by the ban—for the simple reason that they are not allowed to buy or own guns of any kind.

As Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck notes, most criminals arm themselves by stealing guns or buying guns stolen by someone else. So new restrictions don't make much difference to them. The federal ban was a classic illustration of how gun control works. Law-abiding people who rarely misuse their guns were deprived of options. Ex-cons went on as before.

Why wouldn't a gun ban dry up the supply of firearms available to criminals? Three reasons: There are more than 200 million guns in private hands. They have a very long useful life. And it doesn't take many to supply the nation's bad guys with all the ordnance they need.

Gun control hasn't worked as a remedy for crime. So what makes anyone think the answer is more gun control?

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  • ||

    I'd really like to know how many of these are drug crimes.Turf wars between dealers are a result of prohibition just like the 1920's and 30's.As for assault weapons.Their less powerful than the rifles used to hunt deer in these parts.

  • ||

    I would be interested in seeing what kinds of assault rifles are actually used in crimes. Most modern weapons are 5.56 - which is to say, .22. Sure, a .22 will kill a man, but as you say, that's not a very powerful round.

  • ||

    It's a matter of charge at that point. 5.56 goes 3,100 ft/s with 1309 ft lbs of force versus a .22 at 1430 ft/s and 141 ft lbs (wikipedia).

    Minor difference there.

    Also, most street rifles aren't all that modern. An AK-47 for example a 7.62 round and a Mac-10 uses 9mm.

  • VM||

    But, hay, what about the tomahawk ban? oh - that caused a bunch of casinos to sprout up...

    srsly - there are serious issues that are out there and hiding behind the usual, irrelevant gun debate helps both sides: the one side can say, "we're doing something" and the other doesn't have to say "we don't care as long as it's in the SW part of the city..."

    in other words - it's not about "assault rifles" (whatever the hell those are). it cuts deeply across the usual sets of problems.

    sheesh.

  • ||

    Wikipedia also says a Mac-10 can use .45 rounds. I can't imagine that would work out well for the shooter. And yes, I know it isn't an assault rifle.

  • ||

    Functionally no different, huh? You try running away from a full clip, Mr. Smarty-Pants Libertarian.

  • Other Matt||

    Wikipedia also says a Mac-10 can use .45 rounds. I can't imagine that would work out well for the shooter. And yes, I know it isn't an assault rifle.

    MAC 10 was made in both 45 and 9mm. I don't know why you think it would would not work out well for the shooter, at least any more or less than a 9mm would. Either way it's basically uncontrollable and a cheap firearm, not what I'd want to have in a firefight if something else was available.

    I have a couple AR's, a couple more which are 223's but not AR's, about a dozen shotguns, about half with extended magazine capacity, somewhere around 20 handguns of various calibers from 9mm to 40 to 45 to 10mm (all of which would qualify as "machine guns" under DC's rules, go read 'em for a hoot, and I'm including the extended mag shotguns in that "all" also), a couple of WWII era guns including an M1Carbine, and one lever action Marlin big bore 45-70 which has been modified to 457WWM, but the basic technology of it is like 100 years old or so. Of all those, guess which one I would least like to be shot by?

    All this "assault weapon" stuff is ridiculous. It's pandering in a joe-like frenzy of moronic mental masturbation to think that they make any difference.

    You try running away from a full clip

    MAGAZINE, dammit, a "clip" is used to charge (or "load") the magazine, but it is not a magazine. A magazine is used to hold cartridges (or "rounds," not "bullets", as that's only part of a cartridge) in a way that the bolt can strip them and load them into the chamber.

  • ||

    I like Other Matt! I thought I had too many weapons, but damn man! You go boy!

    Anyway... Ingram also made something easily confused with the Mac 10... it was called either the Mac 9 or Mac 11. Slightly smaller than the Mac 10 and fired .380 ACP - at an incredibly high cyclical rate; like 1100 or 1300 RPS.

    Fun with guns! (Haven't fired my new Ruger Mini-30 yet. The 20 round clips are ready, and the 30 rounders are "in the mail", along with some tracers to sprinkle in the MAGAZINES for visual effect.)

    CB

  • Episiarch||

    Damn, Other Matt has more guns than me. I have to get cracking.

    This Chicago shit is just like NYC. "Oh noes gunz!" distracts people from the fact that the cops and politicians are totally corrupt, the drug war causes tons of crime, and you're going to have crime and violence when you have millions of people crammed together in a small area.

    In the UK, they've taken this tactic to new heights. First guns are evil, so they they ban handguns and severely restrict long guns. Crime rises, so they target knives. Crime rises, so they start focusing on idiotic things like Airsoft guns, swords(!), and anything that can be used as a weapon.

    It's a joke, but people fall for it.

  • ||

    RPM... RPS... whatever.

    CB

  • ||

    Other Matt,

    I was under the impression a .45 had quite a bit more kickback than the 9mm round?

    Also, how do you italics.

  • Episiarch||

    A .45 does have a fair kick; I have never shot a Thompson but I understand they start climbing instantly. Still, shooting a full-auto anything that doesn't mount to your shoulder is going to become uncontrollable instantly, except for maybe a .22.

    There's a reason military M-16's no longer have a full auto setting.

  • ||

    A proposal was made some time ago that gun education should be taught in schools the same way as sex ed is.

    Given the success of sex ed I'm not sure. But, seriously, given that gun crime and just plain misuse actually are problems a pretty good case can be made that these problems might be better dealt with if kids had some accurate infornation about them. Perhaps in the same way as we expect problems of teen sex to be mitigated by accurate infornation about sex.

    But keep in mind that the gun ed proposed was simply teaching children about the functionality and appearance of guns. That is what different guns were called what they looked like and how they worked, with special emphasis on safety and what children should do if they find one.

    In other words pretty much the same way sex ed is taught. Nobody was suggesting that kids be required to use or even handle guns any more than anyone (except maybe outsider kooks) ever suggested that actually having intercourse was a necesary part of a sex ed class.

    The arguments that gun-ban freaks came up with sounded just about the same as those that religious prudes come up with for sex ed.

    Funny thing, huh? Sex prudes think you teach kids about guns and they'll want to have sex* but you need to teach kids about drugs so they won't want to use drugs. Gun prudes think you teach kids about guns and they'll want to use guns but you need to teach kids about sex so they'll be more responsible about sex.

    Go figure.

    Of course some of us think that children need all sorts of age appropriate information to make responsible decisions and to grow into responsible adults.

    *Like they need anything at all for that.

  • ||

    I suspect that police have such a hard-on for "assault rifles" not because they think they are a major driver of crime, but because they are a threat to the police.

    There is very little difference to me between getting robbed with a 9mm pistol and a semi-automatic rifle. Here you go, I don't want any trouble, can I have my license, please?

    But if you are a cop, and you've got a 9mm glock on your hip and an AR-15 in the trunk, there is a huge difference between a bank robber with a pistol and one with a semi-automatic rifle.

  • ||

    A proposal was made some time ago that gun education should be taught in schools the same way as sex ed is.

    I think it already is. Abstinence only.

  • Guy Montag||

    Other Matt,

    Thank you for the educational rant that I was about to launch into :)

    Clip? UGH!

    Thanks again.

  • matt||

    Isaac,

    In the mid '90s when I was in middle school, we still did have gun education in my midwestern state. The teacher brought in a number of rifles and shotguns and demonstrated basic gun safety. Then we all took a field trip to the shooting range and plinked with .22s. We were about 12, and all of the kids did well. I'm not sure if they do that anymore, but it strikes me as a reasonable idea for many school districts.

    Also, this led to a funny event when a parent in the drop-off line spotted a man carrying several rifles into the side door of the school and called 911...

  • Other Matt||

    Other Matt,

    I was under the impression a .45 had quite a bit more kickback than the 9mm round?

    Also, how do you italics.


    JJ-HTML tags. The 45 has a bit of recoil, but with something like a MAC 10 the recoil is secondary to cheapness to me. The basic problem is lack of sight length, so they're innacurate, and cheaply made, which causes problems with repeatability. Meaning, you can't hit anything at any distance beyond 10 yards with any accuracy. I'd much prefer accurate fire, which is why I'd like something higher quality and more accurate if it came to it.

    I suspect that police have such a hard-on for "assault rifles" not because they think they are a major driver of crime, but because they are a threat to the police.

    joe, your ignorance is showing again, thanks for living up to expectations.

    The frequency which police are killed or maimed with long guns is very small, this "danger to officers" is a canard, and a lie, and the people that spout it know they're lying but do it anyway (and now you do...gee...well, sometimes people do live up to expectations). Criminals may own them, but they don't acutally use them in any statstically significant way. The bigger problem is handguns, simply because they're concealable. The criminals use 38's a lot, because they don't throw shells so there's little evidence, and they're relatively inexpensive. So, presenting a criminal with a fully auto M16 backed up by a 50 AE desert eagle is a flat out lie designed to appeal to people's predjudices.

    Then again, you'd know all about appealing to predjudices, right joe? Being a racist self hating small insecure little "bitch slapping" pain in the butt you be, right?

    The very term "assualt rifle" is NOT what is being discussed here, though. That term has a very precise definition, which is a rifle capable of fully automatic fire or at least burst fire (currently, the M16 and variations such as the M4 use a three round burst, nto that you'd do any research before repeating falsehoods or anything). What is being discussed here is "assault WEAPON", where unethical joe-like people are on record knowlingly breeding confusion. The term "asault WEAPON" is not only nonsensical, as any "weapon" used against another with no justifiable reason is by definition an "assualt" weapon, it is imprecise as it's based on cosmetic features, if you look at the federal ban, or location of manufacture, or manufacturer (MD, CA) or magazine capacity (NJ, NY, DC, and but they call them "Machine Guns"), in other words NOTHING that has anything to do with function.

    Have you ever fired a rifle, joe? Of any type? Or touched one? Or are you one of those ignorant sluts that have no clue as to actual function but are all for telling people why they're bad anyway?

  • Guy Montag||

    I was under the impression a .45 had quite a bit more kickback than the 9mm round?

    Depends on the weapon you are firing it from. You can put enough stuff in a full-auto 12 GA shotgun to give an apparent recoil of close to zero.

    The old M-3 "grease gun" was .45 cal. with a very slow cycle rate and, IIRC, it would climb pretty good on you. Last time I fired one was nearly 29 years ago. It had pretty much nothing to reduce apparent recoil.

    BTW, the 9mm is known as the BRAVO channel round in places where real ammo is spoken :)

  • Other Matt||

    Damn, Other Matt has more guns than me. I have to get cracking.

    Ep-Yeah, I know, and I just sold about 15 handguns too, so I'm feeling light. I do very much want to get one of those Ruger Alaskans in 454 Casull, though, so perhaps we can talk ;)

  • Other Matt||

    BTW, the 9mm is known as the BRAVO channel round in places where real ammo is spoken :)

    Actually, a very good comment I heard from a guy that has spent a lot of time in the "Blood Diamond" areas of the word was that if you do your job, it doesn't much matter what it is, a 9mm or 40 or 45 or 10mm or whatever. All those who get all caught up in caliber are entertaining themselves, to be sure, but arent' doing any type of serious study of actual terminal ballistics based on real events.

  • ||

    The frequency which...

    See, there's your problem; you think the police base their officer-protection protocols on frequency. They don't - they base them on the worse-case scenario.

    That's why they put handcuffs on people with suspended licenses and outstanding parking tickets - not because such people would frequently attack police while being driven to the station, but because they could.

    I'm showing my ignorance by noting that police establish a wide margin of safety for themselves when dealing with the public? Uh, ok, d00d.

    Being a racist self hating small insecure little "bitch slapping" pain in the butt I love how easy it is to get to you. You're like a toy.

    The very term "assualt rifle" is NOT what is being discussed here, though.

    Uh, as a matter of fact, it is. Did you RTFA?

    That term has a very precise definition, which is...

    Which is why I put the term in quotes, you twit. I guess you missed that, too.

  • Tom Walls||

    I once got to fire an Ingram Mac 6 owned by a Class III dealer friend of mine. This was sort of a mini-Thompson, with wood stock and foregrip etc. It was .45 and had a very slow cyclic rate.

    He also had a freaking Sturmgewehr 44. He told me he'd sell it for $800 plus transfer tax. This was 1985-86; those things go for $15-30K now. I think he lost his license due to some paperwork violations and then became a cable guy.

    A company in Germany makes a semi-auto reproduction of this venerated WWII assault rifle for civilian use. It's not available in the US because the ATF says it fails the "sporting purpose" test. So Canadians and Germans, with all their gun control, can own a highly collectible gun that we can't. Phooey!

  • ||

    But, hey, since owning firearms is your hobby, that makes you an expert on what the police think about guns.

    Or something.

    Quick, call me a racist a swear a lot!

  • Episiarch||

    He also had a freaking Sturmgewehr 44. He told me he'd sell it for $800 plus transfer tax.

    You didn't buy it?!?!?!?

  • Other Matt||

    I'm showing my ignorance by noting that police establish a wide margin of safety for themselves when dealing with the public? Uh, ok, d00d.

    Look, there he goes! Make a bullshit statement and run like hell when it's called bullshit.

    You're amazing, joe.

    I love how easy it is to get to you. You're like a toy.

    No, joe, you don't get to me, I'm making a statement as to your lack of intelligent and social belief structure, though I will admit to embellishing it in the same tone as your fuckwitted insulting of others.

    Damn, Other Matt has more guns than me. I have to get cracking.

    Ep-one other thing for full disclosure, I am an instructor, so a lot of the aforementioned inventory has a lot to do with having different grip sizes, grip angles, etc, when dealing with people to help them find what works. Therefore, don't think that it's just me accumulating stuff for the sake of it, I get money for having them available. It's not just collecting for collecting sake.

    But, hey, since owning firearms is your hobby, that makes you an expert on what the police think about guns.

    Someone teaches police how to shoot, joe, and a lot of times it's not other police, at least at advanced levels. Don't make the assumption that gun owners are "hobby" types and that you're just fooling with someone's "hobby".

    Quick, call me a racist a swear a lot!

    You're a self hating racist, joe, feel better now or are you going to start cutting again?

  • TallDave||

    Gun control hasn't worked as a remedy for crime. So what makes anyone think the answer is more gun control?

    No one really believes this is the answer to anything. But they have to look busy for Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, and "gun control" makes good PR, esp. as the media is more than happy to play along in their little kabuki dance.

    We're not surprised anymore. It's the People's Republic of Chicago, after all.

  • ||

    So, basically, no response to any points, some chest pounding, and an accusation of racism.

    I guess that's that then. You don't wanna try to back up your point that police AREN'T more concerned about "assault rifles" than other guns because they are more dangerous for the police?

    I didn't think so. It's really a nonsensical argument, and if you didn't lose your head so easily whenever you see my name, I doubt you would have tried to make it.

    Miller time.

  • TallDave||

    I have a couple AR's, a couple more which are 223's but not AR's, about a dozen shotguns, about half with extended magazine capacity, somewhere around 20 handguns of various calibers from 9mm to 40 to 45 to 10mm (all of which would qualify as "machine guns" under DC's rules, go read 'em for a hoot, and I'm including the extended mag shotguns in that "all" also), a couple of WWII era guns including an M1Carbine, and one lever action Marlin big bore 45-70 which has been modified to 457WWM, but the basic technology of it is like 100 years old or so.

    Nice.

  • Other Matt||

    TallDave-It goes deeper than that. My comment's on joe's racist viewpoints stem from the fact that I made a casual comment that the roots of gun control are racist and it was too bad that Obama had bought into that viewpoint. As a result, joe called ME racist, and went spiralling downward into a froth of white hating bullshit, to the extent that I was shocked to later learn that this ignorant ass was himself, white, but small, so small man's disease is apparantly part of the picture also.

    "Gun Control" is keeping power away from the "wrong" people, it's sold by demonizing people who fit with sterotypes of unsavory people. Cho was mentally unbalanced, but he passed a Brady Check and probably could have passed anything as he had no record. It was a tragic event that resulted from mental illness combined with a lack of community for him. Unfortunately, instead of looking at why teens feel so disconnected of late, people think that an inantimate object is an evil talisman or something. There hast to be SOME reason, something, it couldn't just be that the guy was crazy, or evil. "Guns" is one of those one word word pictures which conjures up a whole raft of stuff behind it.

    Most people don't know, for instance, that the real plan at Columbine was to set off bombs made from propane tanks. The guns were the backup. Fortunately, the bombs failed, but had they gone off many more would have been killed.

    As a result, someone should be calling for something to be done about these bombs. Yet, I see no call for registration for purchase of propane tanks, as it's much harder to associate with someone's negative stereotype of either an urban minority gang banger type, or a rural inbred hick type.

  • ||

    Oh, look, you even keep the link handy.

    Soooooo cute.

    I love how large I loom in your mind.

  • Other Matt||

    So, basically, no response to any points, some chest pounding, and an accusation of racism.

    I guess that's that then. You don't wanna try to back up your point that police AREN'T more concerned about "assault rifles" than other guns because they are more dangerous for the police?


    joe...you looking in a mirror?

    I said they are not more dangerous for police, the incidence is statistically insignificant, they're not easy to hide, and don't account for large concern. I have to go to a meeting here, but if you'd like I'll trot out all the statistics which I'm sure you've seen but ignore for the sake of trolling.

    I'd be willing to do so, but in the meantime, for the third time, what is your experience with firearms? Do you understand them, having used them, or not?

  • Other Matt||

    I love how large I loom in your mind.

    And I love how you don't answer the question.

  • TallDave||

    Matt,

    the roots of gun control are racist

    Interesting link. It's tragic we simultaneously insist that the law-abiding minorities can't arm themselves while creating a huge black market that causes mass violence from criminal enterprises that arm themselves despite any laws we pass.

    As a result, joe called ME racist, and went spiralling downward into a froth of white hating bullshit,

    LOL Well that's pretty typical for joe. Just part of his charm.

    That said, he's probably right about why police want to crack down on assault weapons -- but of course, that makes little sense in the context of reducing murders of non-police in which assault rifles play almost no role.

    See the flawed logic here? Civilians die, therefore we need to reduce the threat to police.

  • ||

    Joe,in your response your comparing people that are arrested to law abiding people who own a certain type of weapon.Me having a AK in my home is no threat to a police officer.Unless they storm in unannounced without cause.In truth,I prefer my 20 gauge semi-auto with 1 oz sabot deer slugs.

  • ||

    No, I'm looking at your comments for a point or an argument, and you can't make any.

    I said they are not more dangerous for police, the incidence is statistically insignificant, they're not easy to hide, and don't account for large concern.

    And thus comopletely ignored my actual argument - that the police base their officer-protection protocols on the worst-case scenario and not statistics.

    Oh, and I've shot firearms a few times. Not as much fun as hiking or baseball. Not that this has anything to do with my point, your lack of a counter-point, the Chicago PD's policy, or anything other than your desire to use culture-war crap to hide how poorly you're doing in this argument.

  • ||

    Michael Pack,

    Joe,in your response your comparing people that are arrested to law abiding people who own a certain type of weapon.

    No I'm not. I'm describing my impression, based on twenty years of their public statements, of what police unions and chiefs think about "assult rifles."

  • TallDave||

    You know, re that link, I have to wonder what would happen to gun control if we started applying EEOC logic to it.

    "Well, let's see, whites in rural areas are allowed to have guns, while blacks who tend to be in urban areas are not."

    Maybe we can start a lawsuit based on the Equal Protection clause. Of course, they've already thrown out the Second Amendment, so they won't care.

  • Chicago Police||

    We need to crack down on tactical nuclear weapons!!

    What do you mean, there are no incidents of nuclear weapons being used in murders in Chicago?? Don't you know we plan for the worst-case scenarios?!

  • ||

    Michael Pack,

    YOU having a certain type of weapon in your home doesn't endanger the police, but I don't think that's what police nationwide are worried about.

    They're worried about the armed confrontation between a bank robber and cop who responds to an alarm. In a situation like that, it is more dangerous for the police to be facing someone with a semi-automatic rifle with a big old magazine than someone with a hand gun.

    This is my point; they're not thinking about the actual effect of having those guns available for legal purchase on crime rates or murder rates. They're thinking about themselves, and the portion of their job that involves fighting armed criminals. They want to be able to outgun them. The argument the Chief makes in the article is, in my opinion, a pretext.

  • ||

    Joe,yes you are.Many of our laws lately have been based on worst case[terrorism,drugs,DUI,ect] and we see how that has worked.Our laws cannot and should never be base on that premise.

  • Episiarch||

    It's funny--everybody is correct. As joe says, the cops are all for disarmament because a) they want to remove even the tiniest threat to themselves, and b) it adds to their status in the city (they are basically the only people who can have handguns).

    It's also a total load of shit, as Dave and Matt point out.

    Everyone wins...or loses, if they live in Chicago.

  • ||

    Michael,

    So, basically, YOU can make a statement about the Chicago PD's mindset, and not have it be a statement "comparing people that are arrested to law abiding people who own a certain type of weapon," but when I make exactly the statement, you JUST KNOW that I was actually expressing an opinion making that comparison.

    For I am JOE, the embodiment of every argument you've ever heard from a liberal, so you can just project those arguments onto me, even as you agree with and endorse the words that actually appear on the screen under my name.

    It's ok. I get this a lot.

  • ||

    According to this graph from the FBI,, in the last ten years, more cops were killed with 9mm pistols than for all rifle calibers combined

    All this noise about assault rifles is a bunch of crap.

  • ||

    I won't be here for the response, but...

    joe - you say "...based on twenty years of their public statements, of what police unions and chiefs think about assult rifles."

    Do you believe that public policy should be based on what police chiefs and police unions care about? Are you also in favor of basing public policy on what, say, airline pilots care about? What about computer programmers?

    I am one of the latter. Should there be laws made to support MY wishes? (Oh please please please!)

    Just curious. Trying to keep the discussion civil.

    CB

  • Guy Montag||

    No one really believes this is the answer to anything.

    For the Leftists, it is the answer to almost everything. The rest will be covered by higher taxes on "the rich", forced birth control for "the USAians", an end to industrialization and a stop to single family housing.

    You see, they want us to be 'free'.

  • ||

    In Chicago I'm certain drug prohibition,like alcohol before,cause much of the carnage.In order to divert attention from the drug war they blame a inanimate object.We can have people finding a good DUI attorney,they might win.We can't have people owning guns,police may be in danger.The Bill of Rights is becoming irrelevant.

  • ||

    Mediageek - interesting that MOST law enforcement officers seem to have been killed with .40 S&W... standard police issue these days. It would be nice to know, of THAT number, how many were killed with their own weapon.

    CB

  • ||

    Cracker's Boy,

    Do you believe that public policy should be based on what police chiefs and police unions care about?

    No, my statement was descriptive, not prescriptive. Since, as people point out, "assault rifles" and their bans have such an imperceptible effect on crime- and murder-rates, and since they have so little to do with the murders being committed in Chicago, I find it implausible that the chief's statement reflects the actual motivation for this proposal.

    According to this graph from the FBI,, in the last ten years, more cops were killed with 9mm pistols than for all rifle calibers combined And more people die from falls in the bathtub than from shark bites, so bathtubs are more dangerous than sharks.

    I wonder, how many times will I have to repeat my argument, that this proposal has nothing to do with statistics, before people stop quoting statistics as if they rebut it?

    I'm setting the over-under at 20.

  • robc||

    police unions and chiefs

    There is the problem. You are listening to the wrong guys. I know 2nd hand (from a state trooper friend of mine) what the worst case scenario really is - a drunk, insane redneck from E. Kentucky who has been shooting his whole life and has an accurate weapon and a suicide wish.

    You know how cops say they hope they never have to kill a guy? My friend had to do it within his first month or so on the job after his partner got shot. Fortunately, the shooter was the only one to die.

  • MK2||

    Those wussy Chicago cops are afraid of assault rifles! Fucking wimps!

  • ||

    Joe is probably right. The cops are trying to protect themselves. Isn't that the reoccuring theme in many of Radley's articles. They do everything to protect themselves including protection from imaginary items in the hands of law abiding citizens. Their tactic dejour is pre-emptive protection, doing whatever they feel they need to do to a citizen to protect themselves.

    It may be flawed logic as TallDave says but that's never stopped them.

  • ||

    Jeebus, robc, his first month?

    Cripes, I'm glad I'm not a cop. No matter how justifed and necessary, can you imagine going home and eating dinner after that?

    How was work today, honey?

    Gimme a drink.

  • Tom Walls||

    I wasn't old enough. :)

    > He also had a freaking Sturmgewehr 44. He told me he'd sell it for $800 plus transfer tax.

    You didn't buy it?!?!?!?

  • Egosumabbas||

    Anybody else live in Chicago? It seems that gun violence has increasingly made the front page news a lot, the local news, and my wife even got an anonymous email forward! And a lot of the reporting was sensational (ZOMG! AK-47's!) It just seems a little too damn convenient. I don't think it would be much of a stretch that there's a conspiracy to clamp down even STRONGER gun control in Chicago. As it stands right now it's almost impossible to own ANY kind of firearm here--even hunting rifles need to be registered at the nearest police station upon purchase. And I'm pretty sure you can't just waltz into a police station toting a gun either. It's no wonder that poor people here just give up and buy a gun illegally to defend their family or business.

  • T||

    Speaking of statistics, did anyone catch the odd one at the end of the article?

    There are more than two million guns in private hands.

    I hope he means in Chicago alone. Last number I saw had the US at a 9:10 ratio of guns to people, and I think it was low, based on the methodology.

  • ||

    """Mediageek - interesting that MOST law enforcement officers seem to have been killed with .40 S&W... standard police issue these days. It would be nice to know, of THAT number, how many were killed with their own weapon."""

    More cops die from suicide than by murder.

  • robc||

    joe,

    The statistics quoters do have a point -

    Worst case scenarios at WHAT SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL.

    Are we talking 2-sigma, 6-sigma, or 20-sigma?

    The worst case scenario at a really high level of improbability is that while responding to a bank robbery a meteor crashes into their police car killing them instantly. That is worse than facing an automatic weapon.

    Thus, we need to consider the probability level to see if the worst case scenario argument even makes sense.

    So, the first question we need to ask is, what is the acceptable level of risk for a police officer?

    It should be lower than a soldier but higher than a computer programmer. Then determine what is the worst case that is at all probable for that risk level.

    BTW, Bridge has a similar ruling for rules violations (I will probably get the wording wrong), the victims get the best score that was likely, the violators get the worst score that was "at all probable". That is generally defined as "about a 10% chance".

  • robc||

    joe,

    I think it may have even been his first week. But Im not sure.

    AFAIK, he hasnt ever had to pull his gun again. (Well, Im sure its been pulled, but I dont think he has fired on duty again, and its been over 10 years)

  • ||

    I have a couple AR's, a couple more which are 223's but not AR's, about a dozen shotguns, about half with extended magazine capacity, somewhere around 20 handguns of various calibers from 9mm to 40 to 45 to 10mm (all of which would qualify as "machine guns" under DC's rules, go read 'em for a hoot, and I'm including the extended mag shotguns in that "all" also), a couple of WWII era guns including an M1Carbine, and one lever action Marlin big bore 45-70 which has been modified to 457WWM, but the basic technology of it is like 100 years old or so.

    Where I come from, we have a term for such a collection: "a good start".

  • ||

    No I'm not. I'm describing my impression, based on twenty years of their public statements, of what police unions and chiefs think about "assult rifles."

    Here is Chicago, where King Richard II is vehemetly anti-gun, it is widely assumed that the police chief's anti gun statements are a requirement for them to retain the position.

    If they don't toe Daley's anti-gun line, they will no longer hold a job.

  • ||

    I just talked to my sister, a proud member of the Illinois State Police, and I asked what kind of gun she feared the most in the hands of a criminal.

    Her response: small, concealable pistols.

    Coming in at a distant second, was a sniper rifle in the hands of someone trained to use it (she's not talking about an assualt rifle with a scope, she is talking about a true, long range, sniper rifle).

    She also had this to say "Those who use guns illegally already possess them illegally. Tougher enforcement of the laws would be better than more laws".

    Strange how no one in Chicago is proposing this in light of the recent murder spree.

  • TallDave||

    They're worried about the armed confrontation between a bank robber and cop who responds to an alarm.

    Well, why don't they pass laws against robbing banks then? Surely once bank robbery is illegal, no one will rob banks anymore, and the problem will be solved.

    it is widely assumed that the police chief's anti gun statements are a requirement for them to retain the position.

    Yeah, it's all just politics.

  • ||


    Strange how no one in Chicago is proposing this in light of the recent murder spree.



    Especially given how onerous the gun laws in Illinois already are. In order to even buy ammunition, you have to present a Firearms Owner ID card. (FOID).

  • ||

    robc,

    Worst case scenarios at WHAT SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL.

    I'd say, roughly the same significance level that leads them to handcuff 40 year old women they pull over and arrest for driving with a suspended license.

    That is worse than facing an automatic weapon. Were I an Other Matt-level dick, I point out that we're not talking about automatic weapons. And probably call you a racist. But I'm not, and your word choice has nothing to do with the validity of your argument.

    Thus, we need to consider the probability level to see if the worst case scenario argument even makes sense.

    I think the problem comes in more at the other end; if you don't put any weight at all on the value "people should be able to choose for themselves what guns to own," then even the slightest reduction in risk to police officers can be said to be worthwhile.

  • Jennifer||

    See, there's your problem; you think the police base their officer-protection protocols on frequency. They don't - they base them on the worse-case scenario. That's why they put handcuffs on people with suspended licenses and outstanding parking tickets - not because such people would frequently attack police while being driven to the station, but because they could.

    So rights afforded law-abiding citizens should be withheld based upon the worst-case scenario of what a criminal could do? Wow. Remember after 9/11 when, among other potential threats the government was frothing about, they were talking about the possibility that terrorists might use small radio-controlled toy airplanes to drop biological weapons onto cities?

    Maybe these toy planes should be banned, too. Not because terrorists frequently use remote-controlled toys to deliver bioweapon payloads, but because they could.

  • ||

    That's an interesting point about Daley, Lurker Kurt.

    Still, the national FOP and the chiefs' trade group came out in favor of the AWB, so I don't think that the local politics in Chi-town can explain it all.

  • ||

    A friend of mine had a Mac-10; the thing looked like a zip gun some seventh-grader made in shop class. I'm not sure you could hit a four by eight sheet of plywood six times out of ten with it from twenty feet away. It appeared to be essentially a handheld flashbang device, for frightening the bejesus out of everyone within a hundred yards.

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    Descriptive vs. prescriptive.

    Thx.

  • Jennifer||

    In retrospect, maybe the TSA should bring back the ban on tweezers, nail clippers and other tiny metal objects on planes. Not that people frequently use 2-inch-long metal nail files to hijack planes, but they could. Maybe.

  • Jennifer||

    Descriptive vs. prescriptive.

    Exactly. Prescribing bans based on descriptions of what might happen if a really really bad guy with a great imagination were to misuse these rights.

  • ||

    Thanks Joe.

    I hadn't thought about the FOP. Here is Daley Land, we usually just hear what the CPD chiefs say.

  • ||

    Especially given how onerous the gun laws in Illinois already are. In order to even buy ammunition, you have to present a Firearms Owner ID card. (FOID).

    I own four guns and I don't really have a problem with the FOID card (maybe because I have lived in Illinois all of my life), but that is the limit of 'sensible' gun regulation that I can stand.

    NO MORE REGULATION OF THE LAW ABIDING!!

    Let's have more prosecution of those who break the law!!

  • ||

    A firearm ban will not work for the exact same reason a drug ban and alcohol ban didn't work...

    When [insert object of choice] is banned, criminals organisations will simply start producing it...

    So what will our elected official come up with next? A ban on milling machine and lathe?

  • robc||

    we're not talking about automatic weapons.

    Typo. Really, I meant to type assault and between my brains and hand it came out automatic. Maybe my hands were off home row.

  • ||

    Prescribing bans based on descriptions of what might happen if a really really bad guy with a great imagination were to misuse these rights.

    I see, Jennifer.

    It wasn't clear from your original comment, when you quoted me, who you were attributing that prescriptive idea to.

  • ||

    I figured as much, robc.

  • robc||

    joe,

    even the slightest reduction in risk to police officers can be said to be worthwhile.

    Why havent the chiefs called for the meteor shield then? Clearly, they are applying some standard of reasonable probability. And, since they are applying some standard, it makes sense to look at the numbers to see if they are applying the right standard.

  • ||

    So what will our elected official come up with next? A ban on milling machine and lathe?

    You can have my Bridgeport when you....

  • ||

    Gun control hasn't worked as a remedy for crime. So what makes anyone think the answer is more gun control?

    Replace gun control with War on Drugs Liberty. Same mindset.

  • Guy Montag||

    For some reason these discussions get filled with people who don't know anything about guns or gun laws, but they insist on spewing their emotions as if the laws needed to match their emotions.

    Looking forward to the obligatory: "gun show loophole", "assault weapon", "Saturday Sight Special" and "Armor Piercing Bullet" comments.

    I am always reminded of a former coworker, who insisted he was a "gun guy", and asked me if I had registered my then-new pump shotgun, whenever this topic comes up.

  • ||

    robc,

    Why havent the chiefs called for the meteor shield then?

    Because there haven't actually been any police killed or harmed by meteors. As opposed to police being killed or wounded in shootouts with better-armed criminals. The infamous LA bank robbery, for example, where the robbers had actual assault rifles and body armour, and the police responded with their sidearms and shotguns. I think that was a watershed moment for police.

  • ||

    Shorter Guy Montag:

    I don't have an argument or counter-argument, but I don't like them people, so they're wrong.

  • Guy Montag||

    robc,

    Automatic weapons rock! So do full auto! Actually, full auto rock more of you do not properly mount them . . .

  • ||

    Because there haven't actually been any police killed or harmed by meteors. As opposed to police being killed or wounded in shootouts with better-armed criminals. The infamous LA bank robbery, for example, where the robbers had actual assault rifles and body armour, and the police responded with their sidearms and shotguns. I think that was a watershed moment for police.



    Ah, yes, the North Hollywood bank shootout, where two criminals armed with weapons that are illegal to possess under both Federal and California law is a perfect example for why law abiding gun owners should be disarmed.

  • Guy Montag||

    (temporary suspension of my joe rule)

    joe,

    Why should I have to argue with a retard who thinks you have to register pump shotguns in VA? Especially after he lied about knowing anything about guns?

    FWIW, I did ask him just exactly where he expected me to "register" my shotgun and he started acting like the entire nation was DC/Manhattan/Chicago.

    So, the shorter version is, I don't argue with people who just wish to argue from ignorance and that is why I normally ignore you.

  • ||

    Nobody makes you do anything, Guy.

    Still nothing on my point? Didn't think so.

    As you make perfectly clear, the only opinion you have on the matter is that only people you like should venture an opinion.

    Your hobby makes you an expert on the cops' opinion on gun control, how, exactly?

  • ||

    Why should I have to argue with a retard...

    So you can know what it feels like to win an argument?

  • ||

    Your hobby makes you an expert on the cops' opinion on gun control, how, exactly?



    When ten seconds of Googling reveals that the police who agitate for restricting a constitutionally-guaranteed civil right are full of shit, your argument kind of falls apart.

  • robc||

    Because there haven't actually been any police killed or harmed by meteors.

    Why should that matter?

    I used to do nuke reactor safety work. We considered lots of scenarios that have never actually happened. If they are actually arguing a "worst case scenario" argument, as you said, that has to include the worst case that is imaginable, not the worst case that is already happened.

  • ||

    When ten seconds of Googling reveals that the police who agitate for restricting a constitutionally-guaranteed civil right are full of shit, your argument kind of falls apart.

    No, THEIR argument falls apart.

    Would you like me to actually post the definitions of descriptive and prescriptive, son?

  • ||

    A Ford tri-motor never could have knocked down the Trade Center; we should ban all large passenger jets. Just to look like we're doing something be safe.

  • ||

    When ten seconds of Googling reveals that the police who agitate for restricting a constitutionally-guaranteed civil right are full of shit... then questions about who engages in shooting as a hobby remain irrelevant.

    Other Matt's litele outburst, as always, was lame culture war crap that has nothing to do with the argument, and you can't admit that because of GO TEAM RED. Sad.

  • T||

    Because there haven't actually been any police killed or harmed by meteors. As opposed to police being killed or wounded in shootouts with better-armed criminals. The infamous LA bank robbery, for example, where the robbers had actual assault rifles and body armour, and the police responded with their sidearms and shotguns. I think that was a watershed moment for police.

    Yeah, it was a watershed moment all right. It exposed the almost complete lack of firearms training and proficiency most cops have. The rest of us looked at that and said "Wow, the pigs in Cali can't hit the broad side of a barn."

    I'll also note there has yet to be a repeat of that shootout anywhere in the country. Basing your risk estimation off the likelihood of an event that has occurred exactly once is probably going to give a different answer than "OMG Ban everything because of officer safety."

    Officer safety, BTW, is the cop version of "for the children".

  • ||

    robc,

    Why should that matter? When discussing the mindset of the police, it matters a great deal, because that impression is, once again, based on the perception of their safety in the worst-case-scenario situation, and not on statistical analysis of what situations are most common.

    When discussing the merits of the proposal, as you say, the existence of individual anecdotes are as completely irrelevant as whether I personally prefer target shooting to rock climbing.

  • ||

    No, THEIR argument falls apart.



    Joe, if it's their argument, and it's bullshit, why would you insist on posting and speaking in the defense of such arguments here?

    And then you follow up with disparaging comments about how people who are gun owners, shooters, and know and associate with law enforcement officers as just "hobbyists."

  • ||

    T,

    Wow, you really don't know what you're talking about.

    In fact, the police scored several direct hits on the shooters with their sidearms, but becasue they were wearing body armor, it didn't do any good.

  • ||

    mediageek,

    I defy you to find a single statement I've made defending the argument.

    Had I posted under a different handle, it would never have occured to you that my comments were anything but a refutation of the cops' public-safety argument.

    Please, stop arguing with the liberal in your head. If you wish to respond to my comments, try responding to my comments.

  • ||

    And then you follow up with disparaging comments about how people who are gun owners, shooters, and know and associate with law enforcement officers as just "hobbyists."

    Yup, GO TEAM RED horseshit. Pity how it always overwhelms the discussion of ideas on these threads.

    Boo hoo, you've "disparaged" my people! What are you, the Al Sharpton of gun owners?

    Some people can't get through the day without a nice hit of victimology.

  • ||

    Officer safety, BTW, is the cop version of "for the children".



    Interestingly, in this list of the top ten most dangerous jobs being a police officer doesn't even rank.

    A Google search reveals that the death rate (from all sources, not just guns) for cops is 14 per 100,000.

    While that may be higher than sitting in a cubicle typing away at a computer, it's hardly a justification for restricting the civil rights of every lawful American citizen.

    I mean, that FBI graph I posted a link to earlier showed only 521 gun deaths for police officers for the last ten years.

  • Chromepulse||

    Hey Joe, how many cops were killed exactly in that North Hollywood shootout?

  • ||

    Joe, all I did was point out that your attempt to discredit shooters, as if they don't know what they're talking about, as "hobbyists" is both disingenuous and wrong-headed.

    All I did was identify your tactic.

  • ||

    I mean, that FBI graph I posted a link to earlier showed only 521 gun deaths for police officers for the last ten years.

    Does it say how many of those were self-inflicted? Or are those a separate category?

  • ||

    PB-

    It says that it's a chart of "Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed with Firearms" and then broken down by caliber and type of weapon, eg, pistol, rifle, shotgun.

    So I assume it excludes suicides.

  • ||

    Also, did I mention that I really like to use commas?

  • ||

    Yes, "my attempt to discredit shooters."

    They one you can't find.

    Oh, now "hobbyist" isn't a PC word. What would like, geek, "Shootist-American?" "Americans of Caliber?"

    All I did was identify your tactic. All you did was make up an argument for me because you know I'm a Democrat, and you don't read very well.

  • JimmyChanga||

    Isaac Bartram | April 24, 2008, 8:54am |
    A proposal was made some time ago that gun education should be taught in schools the same way as sex ed is



    I'm for it if it will stop these kids from shooting each other in the back seat.

  • ||

    I don't know, Chromepulse. I don't think any. Why don't you look it up, if you're curious.

    I mean, since owning firearms isn't my hobby, I must be wrong about that news report, too. Because it involved guns, ya see.

  • ||

    All you did was make up an argument for me because you know I'm a Democrat, and you don't read very well.



    Given how often you shift goal posts in arguments, I don't see why my "making an argument up for you" would upset you so.

  • Naga Sadow||

    As long as they don't ban my IFV, I'm good with the assualt weapons ban. Got a Soviet-era BMP from Crazy Abdul. Price was so low, he must be crazy!

  • ||

    Thanks, mediageek.

    And, as for the comma thing, you're not, as far as I can discern, alone.

  • ||

    It looks like Joe's mom forgot to lock the medicine cabinet before she left for work.

  • ||

    Given how often you shift goal posts in arguments, I don't see why my "making an argument up for you" would upset you so.

    Some of us are constrained by honesty.

    Good Lord, you are a dick. You could have just acknowledged that you read something into my argument that wasn't there. Maybe even drawn a conclusion about your propensity to do so.

    But that's just not how you roll, is it?

  • ||

    Anyway, all done.

    Nobody has an actual problem with my argument, but I am teh Democrat, so now the thread is down to the level they always go to: imaginary statements read into my comments, personal attacks, and dick-waving about my hobbies rendering me incapable of understanding things that bear no relationship to the mechanics of firearms.

    It really does go to show how much discourse on this topic is driven by GO TEAM RED bullshit.

  • wicks cherrycoke||

    Mr. Chapman writes:

    "Why wouldn't a gun ban dry up the supply of firearms available to criminals? Three reasons: There are more than 200 million guns in private hands. They have a very long useful life. And it doesn't take many to supply the nation's bad guys with all the ordnance they need."

    He could also have added: see how the banning of drugs dries up their supply.

  • ||

    Good Lord, you are a dick. You could have just acknowledged that you read something into my argument that wasn't there. Maybe even drawn a conclusion about your propensity to do so.



    And, perhaps, if this was something that only happened once in a while, you'd have a point. However, I've noticed that it's a bit of a trend with your posts, and I'm certainly not the only one who has this problem of misreading your posts.

    Perhaps the root of the cause lies a little closer to home?

  • ||

    You're right, you read what you want to see into my statements much more than "once in a while."

    You fucked up, geek. Not me. There is not a single word I have written that could plausibly be interpretted the way you did.

    You even admit you made the mistake, but somehow, it's still my fault.

    Whatev.

  • ||

    Joe, I apologize if I hurt your feelings. It wasn't my intention to misrepresent what you said.

    As I stated before, I'm not the only person who's had this problem. Plenty of others who've commented on what you've had to say seem to have the same problem. If we're consistently misrepresenting what you have to say, perhaps it's not that we're deliberately trying to antagonize you, but that you're having problems clearly communicating your ideas.

  • Guy Montag||

    mediageek,

    Well you know this, but not seeing why you bother arguing with someone who just makes things up from a hysterical emotional perspective.

    Especially one who thinks fantasy/imagined gun registration is a discussion winning position when talking about Virginia.

    Then again, if it is the sport you like, have at it :)

  • ||

    If we're consistently misrepresenting what you have to say, perhaps it's not that we're deliberately trying to antagonize you, but that you're having problems clearly communicating your ideas.

    You are a brave one mediageek - suggesting joe might be communication challenged... or idea challenged.

    There's no way joe will accept that he is the common denominator.

    He so knows it cannot be him. It can be "proven" (insert links as appropriate joe) that everyone else consistently misrepresents what he says. And it's all "driven by GO TEAM RED bullshit." And only because he is joe "teh Democrat". If he used any other name, his crap er.. facts would be accepted.

    It must be his mother in the story of the proud parent watching her son in the parade with the marching band. She points to him, playing the triangle, and turns to the person next to her and says, "Oh look, everyone is out of step except my little joey."

  • ||

    mediageek,

    I looked over my comments, and my idea was communicated perfectly clearly.

    Yes, this keeps happening. There are a great many of you who operate from prejudice and read a pro-gun control position into my statements, when I make a neutral statement, as I did here.

    Similarly, there are a great many people who read pro-regulation statements into thoreau's posts about economic matters.

    I'm not going to put a disclaimer on anything I write. I'm just going to write it. If people insist that there's a communis' under the bed, that's their problem.

  • ||

    If he used any other name, his crap er.. facts would be accepted.

    As demonstrated by the fact that at least two other posters explicity agreed with an echoed my statement, and not a single reply was made to them that read anyting into what they wrote.

    We don't have to guess at this; we know I am correct here. People without my name who posted near-identical posts were not subject to this misreading.

  • Juanita Broaddrick||

    The only thing funnier or more ridiculous than this proposed law are the misinformation and "gun experts" in this thread.

    Although I do feel safer knowing that most of you are lying about owning guns, so that's something, I guess.

  • thoreau||

    Guys, I'm with joe here. He wasn't defending any policies, he was saying "Cops are in favor of this because they aren't thinking about statistics. They're focused on rare but worst case scenarios."

    If anybody else had said "The cops aren't thinking about the statistics, just the rare events" you'd all be nodding.

  • LarryA||

    and one lever action Marlin big bore 45-70 which has been modified to 457WWM, but the basic technology of it is like 100 years old or so.

    Older, actually. The lever-action Spencer was designed in 1860. All of the firearm actions, including "modern" semiautos, were designed before 1900. It's an AK-47 because that's the year, 1947, that the Russian army adopted it.

    I suspect that police have such a hard-on for "assault rifles" not because they think they are a major driver of crime, but because they are a threat to the police.

    The police "hard-on" for "assault rifles" I have noted, particularly back when I worked in a gun shop, had nothing to do with keeping them away from other people. Every self-respecting cop had to have at least a couple.

    No I'm not. I'm describing my impression, based on twenty years of their public statements, of what police unions and chiefs think about "assault rifles."

    I work for a domestic violence/sexual assault agency where we interact with lots of LEOs. We also have a batterers program staffed by moonlighting LEOs and probation officers. The LEOs also send me students for my moonlight job, teaching people to shoot. (Particularly the Texas concealed handgun class.) So I talk to street cops. Their overwhelming response is that "police unions and chiefs" speak for the politicians above them, not the street cops below them.

    You know, re that link, I have to wonder what would happen to gun control if we started applying EEOC logic to it. "Well, let's see, whites in rural areas are allowed to have guns, while blacks who tend to be in urban areas are not."

    Forget urban/rural. Look at the blatantly racist result of the New York City gun registration scheme.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The city also prohibits murder. And that prohibition isn't working either.

    All a prohibition is going to do is be another law to throw at someone who DOES get caught by the police. But it won't make a bit of difference in how effective the police are at catching myrderers in the first place.

  • ||

    "Why wouldn't a gun ban dry up the supply of firearms available to criminals? Three reasons: There are more than 200 million guns in private hands. They have a very long useful life. And it doesn't take many to supply the nation's bad guys with all the ordnance they need."
    I would be very cautious about throwing this around. This can easily be construed as a call to destroy all guns in "private hands" to prevent them from falling into criminal ones (eg. Formerly Great Britain).

  • robc||

    joe,

    When discussing the mindset of the police, it matters a great deal, because that impression is, once again, based on the perception of their safety in the worst-case-scenario situation, and not on statistical analysis of what situations are most common.

    You are completely missing my point. My point is IF, as you say, they are arguing a worst-case-scenario situation, THEN, they should be arguing for protection against the worst case scenario. Since they arent (and meteor strike is a worster case), then we have to ask why. Why? Because they are throwing out statistically unlikely scenarios (a meteor strike is pretty damn unlikely). So, we are both in agreement at this point (or should be) that they arent just arguing worst case, but worst case with some statistical significance. At this point, and only at this point, can we now take statistics into play. What the statistics say I will leave to others, but since they arent making the worst case argument, but instead, the worst case argument with probability above X, the statistics do matter.

  • Guy Montag||

    Looking forward to the obligatory: "gun show loophole", "assault weapon", "Saturday Sight Special" and "Armor Piercing Bullet" comments.

    Must have poisoned the thread. Come on Lefties, I know you got it in ya! Perhaps later tonight after you are back from a long day of protesting 'corporate greed'?

  • robc||

    thoreau,

    Cops are in favor of this because they aren't thinking about statistics. They're focused on rare but worst case scenarios.

    That is joe's argument. It is easy to understand. And it is wrong, as Ive shown. They are focusing on statistics, by throwing out slightly rarer and worster scenarios.

  • thoreau||

    My point is IF, as you say, they are arguing a worst-case-scenario situation, THEN, they should be arguing for protection against the worst case scenario. Since they arent (and meteor strike is a worster case), then we have to ask why. Why?



    OK, perhaps joe should have said something other than "Worst case scenario." Maybe a better description would be "Worst anecdote scenario." As soon as they get one or two anecdotes (or even urban legends) of "This one guy who arrested a soccer mom for going 2 miles over the speed limit and then she went ballistic and assaulted him" they handcuff everybody. As soon as there's one case of a criminal with a rifle, rifles are on the bad list.

    LarryA makes the point that the cops on the beat are less upset over the anecdotes than the higher-ups who echo the politicians. Anybody who has worked for any organization of any size greater than a small independent store should be completely unsurprised that management would focus on rare things that the people on the ground know aren't a big deal.

  • robc||

    OK, perhaps joe should have said something other than "Worst case scenario." Maybe a better description would be "Worst anecdote scenario."

    Thanks, Ill take that as agreement with me. I was arguing a subtle, but important, point. Important because once its accepted, then the question is, why are they considering things that rare? Thats when the politics over practicality becomes obvious. Its not over police safety that the union/chiefs are proposing this, but over political doctrine, that they are hiding behind police safety.

    Now off to start the urban legend about the cop getting smushed by the meteor on the way to the scene of a crime. If the earth is saved in 2023 by the "cop protecting" meteor shield, you will know who to think.

  • robc||

    THANK!

    think, thank, whatever.

  • Other Matt||

    Forget urban/rural. Look at the blatantly racist result of the New York City gun registration scheme.

    Damn, now joe will have to call you a racist too, for pointing out that gun control is oriented disproportionately at minorities.

    Seems I don't need statistics, the question has been addressed, though I haven't seen joe's firearm expertise yet.

    Older, actually. The lever-action Spencer was designed in 1860. All of the firearm actions, including "modern" semiautos, were designed before 1900. It's an AK-47 because that's the year, 1947, that the Russian army adopted it.

    Yeah, but Marlin did some tweaks beyond the original, so I was being generous ;)

  • Other Matt||

    Other Matt's litele outburst, as always, was lame culture war crap that has nothing to do with the argument, and you can't admit that because of GO TEAM RED. Sad.

    joe, you assuming fuckwit, who said I had anything to do with "TEAM" anything? I don't vote party lines, you assume people attack you because of you being a capital D "Democrat", perhaps it's just that you're a capital "A" Asshole.

    Ah, yes, the North Hollywood bank shootout, where two criminals armed with weapons that are illegal to possess under both Federal and California law is a perfect example for why law abiding gun owners should be disarmed.

    Don't forget MG, the problem was not what the criminals had, it's what the police did not have due to people who didn't want the police to have rifles, and to wait for SWAT. Kind of like "sit down and shut up, let the experts do it, you guys are not competent", which is unfortunately all too typical.

  • TallDave||

    People without my name who posted near-identical posts were not subject to this misreading.

    I can't help but LOL at this. Poor persecuted joe, who never argues against strawmen of his own making.

    Reap as you've sown, buddy.

  • ||

    I don't have a particular problem with issuing cops a rifle as well as a shotgun and pistol.

    What I do have a problem with is issuing cops one particular weapon, and then turning around and prohibiting me from owning the same thing.

  • Other Matt||

    I don't have a particular problem with issuing cops a rifle as well as a shotgun and pistol.

    What I do have a problem with is issuing cops one particular weapon, and then turning around and prohibiting me from owning the same thing.


    Agreed, every police officer should have training on a pistol, shotgun, and rifle. I don't believe the should have automatic rifles, as in police work there should be no reason to have them.

    The problem with rifle, which is similar to pistol, is that they don't train with them as actually breaking out the firearms is really a very small part of the job of a policeman or policewoman. As with anything, if you don't train, it's pretty much worthless.

  • Other Matt||

    Reap as you've sown, buddy.

    Careful, he'll bitch slap you and you'll be pwned.

  • ||

    robc,

    You are seriously making the assertion that the statistical probability of a cop facing someone with a semiautomatic rifle is only "slightly rarer" than getting struck by a meterite? Not only that, but that they perceive it to be only slightly rarer?

    I don't think I've been missing your point. I think I've been overestimating your reasonableness.

    And, of course, the child can't help himself.

    First, the outburst: joe, you assuming fuckwit,

    Then the laughably stupid argument, who said I had anything to do with "TEAM" anything? You, genius, when you asked (and continue to ask) about "expertise" in firearms, as if it had anything to do with the question at hand. You are laying down "do you own guns?" as a necessary qualification for understanding the mindset of police, when it is completely irrelevant. You are doing this, of course, because the "wrong sort" of people aren't allowed, in your sad, bitter little world, to discuss anything that touches on your hobby, no matter how tangential the workings of firearms may be to the question.

  • ||

    Other Matt, dear, genius.

    Could you please walk us through the reasoning that explains why one must have extensive experience at shooting sports in order to understand the concerns of police officers in urban areas regarding semi-automatic rifles?

    Let's see if you can manage to do so without hysterical accusations of racism and adult language, mm-kay?

  • ||

    The problem with rifle, which is similar to pistol, is that they don't train with them as actually breaking out the firearms is really a very small part of the job of a policeman or policewoman. As with anything, if you don't train, it's pretty much worthless.



    It's always going to be an issue of software, not hardware. This is something that the anti-rights crowd has never been able to grasp.

    In my experience, cops tend to either be absolutely abysmal shots, or they tend to be above average. The ones that are above average actually seek out training and practice on their own time.

    Speaking of which, this weekend is going to frikkin' rock. I've got a multi gun match on Saturday, and a shotgun only match on Sunday.

    sooooo excited.

  • ||

    Engaging in firefights with bad guys is an extremely rare phenomenon, so much so that time spent practicing combat shooting with a rifle would, for something like 99% of police officers, be a net-loss for their safety and that of the community, vs. spending equal time and resources walking a beat, learning a language, or practicing CPR.

    And yet, we pay for police partially because of the one-in-a-million chance.

    One answer to this has been to have SWAT teams - you don't train your regular cops for that sort of thing, but you have some available just in case. Of course, we've seen the problem with that in way too many Radley Balko posts.

    It's a thorny issue.

  • ||

    Could you please walk us through the reasoning that explains why one must have extensive experience at shooting sports in order to understand the concerns of police officers in urban areas regarding semi-automatic rifles?



    Well, as a start, people who shoot and compete with these sorts of firearms are able to distinguish between the actual capabilities of such a firearm and the hysterical rantings of those who seek to prohibit people like me from owning them.

    Most of the time, whenever I've seen a representative of the police going on about these weapons, it's plainly obvious they don't even have a basic grasp of function, ballistics, or even gun safety.

    Also, it is useful to point out that many of the innovations in firearms being issued or training techniques being taught were developed and tested by competitive shooters first, and only adopted by cops and military later.

  • ||

    Well, as a start, people who shoot and compete with these sorts of firearms are able to distinguish between the actual capabilities of such a firearm and the hysterical rantings of those who seek to prohibit people like me from owning them.

    And this is relevant to the question of what motivates the Chicago police, how?

    Congratulations, you (think you) know more about the capabilities of a semi-automatic firearm than the Chicago police. This is necessary for understanding their motivation, how?

    Also, it is useful to point out that many of the innovations in firearms being issued or training techniques being taught were developed and tested by competitive shooters first, and only adopted by cops and military later.

    Useful, for what?

    I think we know the answer to that - for advancing your preferred politics. That was not, actually, the question.

  • Other Matt||

    Could you please walk us through the reasoning that explains why one must have extensive experience at shooting sports in order to understand the concerns of police officers in urban areas regarding semi-automatic rifles?

    Because you're parroting propaganda that has no basis in fact, and I was trying to determine if you knew you were lying or were just stupid. The Brady organization has continually misrepresented the opinion of "Law Enforcement" for years, knowingly so, which is intellectually dishonest and what you are engaging in here. If you had familiarity with firearms, you'd understand why it's complete bullshit. You don't, so don't claim you understand anything to do with them, you don't.


    , genius, when you asked (and continue to ask) about "expertise" in firearms, as if it had anything to do with the question at hand. You are laying down "do you own guns?"

    I have never, ever, ever said I'm a proponent of "Team" anything, joe, which is why you're an assuming fuckwit. You assume that I'm a racist, because you're unable to see beyond your own racism and claim I've made racist statements in posts. I haven't. You assume I'm a member of some "Team" because you are, you complain about being singled out due to your "Team" affiliation, yet you wrongfully disparage others for being members of a "Team" despite that they have expressed no particular affiliation for any. I haven't.

    Hence, you're a moron, who projects themselves on everyone else and whines about it. So, project yourself being bitch slapped and pwned and shut up.

    Speaking of which, this weekend is going to frikkin' rock. I've got a multi gun match on Saturday, and a shotgun only match on Sunday.

    Cool, having multiple teenagers with weekend events and only one of which drives, I'm unable to play as much as I'd like, so I'm jealous. I'm assuming IPSC? Of course, if you use an AR style rifle, or anything else that's black metal on plastic, you're doing the impossible, engaging in a sporting use of an "assault weapon".

  • Other Matt||

    One answer to this has been to have SWAT teams - you don't train your regular cops for that sort of thing, but you have some available just in case. Of course, we've seen the problem with that in way too many Radley Balko posts.

    Speaking of your cutsie little Saturday Night Live references, do you recall "JANE, YOU IGNORANT SLUT!"?

    Regular cops DO train for such things, joe, we see them all the time. They train typically on their own rather than as part of a group, but more times at the expense of the employer than at their own expense. MG is correct, much of what they do train is developed during the impossible "sporting use" of competition shooting. Competition is competition, life and death fights are life and death, but there is value in the competition approach in finding new things.

    See, on the one hand you're pointing out CA, which could have easily been stopped (and eventually was) by police with a rifle. Instead, they had to wait for SWAT, and people died.

    On the other hand, you're saying there's no need to train police for that one in a million, but that one in a million is the very basis of your argument.

    You're slipping joe, make it a challenge to see your moronic flips at least.

  • ||

    Because you're parroting propaganda that has no basis in fact

    Really? Could you tell us where?

    I was unaware that "police are more concerned with their safety than the public's" was propaganda with no basis in fact.

    The Brady organization... doesn't make the argument that "assault weapon" restrictions don't make the public safer, or that police are only looking out for themselves when they advocate for such bans.

    If you had familiarity with firearms, you'd understand why it's complete bullshit. What's "it" here? See, that's your (and many others') problem; you've imagined this "it" that I'm supposed to have argued, and spent a great deal of spittle-flecked time arguing against an argument no one's made, while addressing it to me.

    You assume I'm a member of some "Team" because you are, you complain about being singled out due to your "Team" affiliation, yet you wrongfully disparage others for being members of a "Team" despite that they have expressed no particular affiliation for any. Your usual projection kicking up, I see. I've not "assigned" you to any team, except the one you yourself keep assigning yourself too - passionate gun owners, opponents of gun control. You, on the other hand, have imagined all sorts of positions for me (for example, feeling the need to explain to me that these aren't actually assault rifles, despite the fact that I've been using scare quotes to make exactly that point myself), to the point that you still fail to grasp the points I've actually made, purely because I'm - what is it again? - a self-hating, white-hating, racist liberal?

    BTW, you didn't answer the question: why is knowing a great deal about the mechanical aspects of firearms necessary to understand whether the Chicago police are motivated by self-preservation in their efforts to ban "assault rifles?"

  • ||

    Oh, for the love of...is English not your first language?

    "One answer is solution X, where you do Y..." You don't understand that this is laying out a possible scenario, and not a description of what all police departments do?

    You would do well to get over your emotionalism, Other Matt. It greatly intrudes on your comprehension, and your ability to formulate an argument.

    On the other hand, you're saying there's no need to train police for that one in a million, but that one in a million is the very basis of your argument.

    Yes, it's almost as if I'm looking at different facets of the question, and pointing out where there are tradeoffs and costs. To a flat mind like yours, I'm sure all of this graininess looks quite foolish.

  • ||

    And you still haven't answered the question.

  • ||

    And this is relevant to the question of what motivates the Chicago police, how?



    Because anti-rights people often mis-represent the capabilities of such firearms. Also, people who shoot and own guns are much more intimately familiar with the legal requirements for owning a firearm and the often burdensome legal hoops one must jump through as a shooter.


    Congratulations, you (think you) know more about the capabilities of a semi-automatic firearm than the Chicago police. This is necessary for understanding their motivation, how?



    Again, given the blatant misrepresentation by the police; in this case, calling for a crack down on so-called "assault weapons" despite the fact that they're already illegal to possess in Chicago and, by Chapman's reporting, only one instance of such a weapon* being used in a murder, it seems transparently obvious to me that this is far more about politics than it is about crime prevention.

    Especially given the fact that gun bans have little or no actual positive effect at reducing violent crime.

    *Would the victim be any less dead had s/he been shot with another gun?

  • robc||

    joe,

    You are seriously making the assertion that the statistical probability of a cop facing someone with a semiautomatic rifle is only "slightly rarer" than getting struck by a meterite? Not only that, but that they perceive it to be only slightly rarer?

    Engaging in firefights with bad guys is an extremely rare phenomenon, so much so that time spent practicing combat shooting with a rifle would, for something like 99% of police officers, be a net-loss for their safety and that of the community, vs. spending equal time and resources walking a beat, learning a language, or practicing CPR.

    And yet, we pay for police partially because of the one-in-a-million chance.


    A couple of your quotes, lets look at it.

    1. First, Im going to assume you typoed assualt to semiautomatic like I did assault to automatic.

    2. Looking at your 2nd quote, firefights are extremely rare, firefights with "assault" weapons are much rare, lets take your 1-in-a-million as the right number. Yes, 1/1M is only slightly less rare that 0*/1M. To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, its one higher.

    3. I think 1 in a million is actually too high a number. How many arrests per year? How many firefights involving "assault" weapons?

    4. I have no idea how these people perceive risk. It is well covered phenomena that people dont analyze risk well. Its yet another good reason to look at the numbers before making a decision. "We have two anecdotes ever? Well, lets not make any calls based on that crap then."


    *Its not really zero, just a very, very, very small number.

  • Other Matt||

    joe-"The sky is red!"
    Other Matt-"No, it's blue. You're a disrespectful fuckwit too, btw, so piss off."
    MG-"Yeah, it's blue"
    joe-"I'm saying that someone else said it's red!"
    Other Matt-"Nope, still blue, and you're still a jerk."
    Various others-"Kinda looks blue here too".
    MG-"Definitely looks blue here too"
    joe-"Dammit, I'm saying someone said the sky is red, even though I know it isn't that isn't the point, I'm saying someone said it was!!Don't you hear me!! I'm here so the engineers don't have to deal with the clients!! I have PEOPLE skills!!"
    Other Matt-"Nope, still blue. Wait! No,sorry, still blue."

    Sky is still blue, joe, regardless if you quote someone saying it's red. Shut up and go pwn yourself.

  • ||

    BTW, you didn't answer the question: why is knowing a great deal about the mechanical aspects of firearms necessary to understand whether the Chicago police are motivated by self-preservation in their efforts to ban "assault rifles?"



    Because often times, anti-rights people represent these weapons as being somehow more deadly than other weapons when this is demonstrably not the case. Run a compare and contrast between the relative levels of energy in your average "assault rifle" vs. that of your average hunting rifle, and it becomes plainly obvious which sort of cartridge is likely to possess a higher level of lethality.

    On top of that, I don't understand why the police have such a bug up their butt about rifles when they're so unlikely to be used in a crime due to the fact that they generally cost much more than a handgun, the ammunition is typically more expensive, and they're nearly impossible to conceal.

  • ||

    I think medigeek acknowledges the intellectual failure here, without acknowledging it:

    And this is relevant to the question of what motivates the Chicago police, how?

    Because anti-rights people often mis-represent the capabilities of such firearms


    Does anybody think that "Because anti-gun people" whatever whatever is an answer to the question "How does knowledge of firearms help understand whether the Chicogo PD are concerned with public safety vs. their own safety in pushing for this law."

    When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Other Matt and mediageek had this great tool ready, just the right tool for the job to refute an argument like, say, "Assault rifles can spray lots of bullets. Through walls and stuff. And that happens a lot." And when that argument wasn't forthcoming, they just went ahead and threw it at a completely different argument, to which it doesn't apply.

    Right here, he writes it seems transparently obvious to me that this is far more about politics than it is about crime prevention. No one has argued that this is about crime prevention, mediageek. In fact, what you have done is deploy this argument to refute my statement that the Chicago PD's proposal has NOTHING TO DO WITH CRIME PREVENTION.

  • ||

    robc,

    Yes, 1/1M is only slightly less rare that 0*/1M.

    Actually, 1 in a million is 1000x more common than 1 in a billion. There has never been a police officer killed by a meteorite. There have been police officers killed by rifles. It would be most unreasonable to conclude that the two events are of roughly-equal probability.

  • ||

    I like the way Other Matt doesn't even care whether I actually made a descriptive vs. prescriptive statement.

    His tender ears may not hear that there are police officers who think that "assault weapons" bans are a good idea and why, even if only as a second party description.

    "This guy thinks the sky is red" is precisely the same thing as "I think the sky is red."

    Oh, and you still haven't answered the question. Because, of course, you can't. Your argument makes no sense, you just jumped the gun and started arguing against a phantom.

    Let this be a lesson to you.

  • ||

    BTW, you didn't answer the question: why is knowing a great deal about the mechanical aspects of firearms necessary to understand whether the Chicago police are motivated by self-preservation in their efforts to ban "assault rifles?"

    Joe, it makes sense to know the mechanical aspects of the weapons involved to realize if the concerns of the Chicago Police make sense. In my estimation, considering the unwieldy nature of long weapons, banning "assault" weapons is just a foot-in-the-door tactic to go against handgun ownership. I do not believe the concerns of the Chicago Police are warranted, especially when considering that they usually go against "softer targets" in order to improve their statistics: small time drug users, prostitutes, vagrants, the homeless, traffic rule violators... it is very few times they will actively find and detain truly dangerous criminals, especially if we take into consideration that police get paid no matter what they do (they are still bureaucrats, enticed by the same types of incentives other bureaucrats have).

    I do not trust their motives - I normally do not go wrong when applying Mob Theory when it comes to government agencies, meaning I look at them as if they were mobsters, and seldom am I wrong: Kidnapping ("Child Services"), Protection Services, Extortion, Racketeering... their activities do not deviate much from the activities of mobsters and hoodlums. So, thinking that gun banning is actually part of a Protection Racket, their actions (the police departments) in that direction make much more sense, than thinking they want to ban guns to protect us.

  • robc||

    joe,

    whether the Chicogo PD are concerned with public safety vs. their own safety in pushing for this law.

    3 possibilities, not just 2.

    1. public safety (I think we are all in agreement, this isnt the reason)

    2. cops safety (what you are arguing, I think)

    3. political opportunism (ding ding ding, the real winner)

    If it was #2 and not #3, this wouldnt be an issue, but it doesnt really affect their safety at all. Which is why the cops on the street arent worried about it.

  • ||

    Useful, for what?

    I think we know the answer to that - for advancing your preferred politics. That was not, actually, the question.



    Well, off the top of my head, the implementation of rifles chambered in .50 BMG was not something the military developed. Starting in the 1970's competitive shooters began experimenting with custom rifles chambered in .50 BMG.

    Also, the military issuing rifles with telescopic scopes instead of iron sights was a development that came out of competitive shooting. In fact, I've been told by at least one representative of an optics company that they consider competitive shooters to be the beta testers of their new scope designs before they ever approach the military with a new product.

    But I guess that counts as advancing a political cause...

  • ||

    In fact, what you have done is deploy this argument to refute my statement that the Chicago PD's proposal has NOTHING TO DO WITH CRIME PREVENTION.



    Then perhaps you'd care to educate us as to what the Chicago PD's proposal is supposed to be addressing?

  • robc||

    It would be most unreasonable to conclude that the two events are of roughly-equal probability.

    I didnt assume they were roughly-equal. One is very rare, the other has many more verys on it.

    The ratio is, of course, huge. The difference is tiny.

    Total danger = events (arrests) * prob of bad event (firefight with assault rifles) * cost of bad event (avg # of cop deaths per firefight)

    TD for the rifles is damn tiny
    TD for meteors is zero

    yeah, Im sticking with slightly less rare. Or, if you prefer, slightly more danger.

  • robc||

    Im out until later, a golf course is calling my name.

  • ||

    Francesco Torres,

    I agree that a situation where there are criminals blasting away with rifles is, indeed, a rarity for the police. But one evaluates risk along two axes - frequency, and severity.

    Police who find themselves outgunned in such a situation, however rare, are very, very screwed. Given what we know about law enforcement and security - the woman with the suspended license getting cuffed and stuck in a car, only after the officer who stopped her receives backup - I'm not so quick to dismiss the idea that this represents the standard over-response to risk.

  • concerned observer||

    gun control works in europe and it could work here if the wingnuts weren't bent on opposing it.

  • ||

    Remember, the movement towards placing AR-15s in cruisers began after the North Hollywood shootout. Ditto the provision of body armor, and the proliferation of SWAT teams.

    So we do know that the fear of being outgunned has, in fact, motivated the police to take actions, regardless of how low the probability of such an event actually is.

    They really do worry about this stuff.

  • ||

    gun control works in europe and it could work here if the wingnuts weren't bent on opposing it.



    Those "wingnuts" spent more on shooting gear last year than golfers. In fact, the money spent on shooting and hunting related equipment was the second highest category of sporting goods, second only to exercise machines.

    Shooting is utterly mainstream.

  • TallDave||

    The problem in North Hollywood was more the body armor than the assault weapons.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout

    And no one was killed in the incident but the robbers.

    Some critics argue that public policy changes and laws should be based on actual trends in crime, rather than misleading statistical outliers.

    Heh.

  • ||

    If it was just ideological wingnuts, observer, you might be right.

    But we're talking about an awful lot of ordinary people, doing things that are ordinary in our society.

    You start banning stuff like that - whether we're talking about beer, or weed, or moving somewhere else to get a better job - and not only is the effort going to fail, but it's going to promote black markets, and contempt for the rule of law among a large segment of the population.

    If our society was like Europe's (which is a big generalization, btw. Switzerland and France are not Ireland and Sweden when it comes to these things), we'd have gun control already. We don't, because this is a very different society.

  • T||

    joe,

    You have demonstrated, repeatedly and at length, your almost complete ignorance of firearms. Don't go tossing around terms like "Wow, you really don't know what you're talking about" because it almost certainly will come back on you.

    I've watched that video more times than I care to remember. The robbers were significantly unprotected in several areas that could have, if the cops had any marksmanship skills at all, been targeted in an attempt to take them down. The fact that none of the cops there had the skill or the werewithal to realize this and respond accordingly speaks volumes about the level of training or the lack thereof. The cops were also incapable of reacting in a coordinated fashion which helped lessen their effectiveness. Again, this is a training issue.

    All the points about how more time should be spent on other activities that are more useful in day to day terms also directly contradicts the idea that cops are concerned about rare but serious events. If they were that concerned about rare but serious events, they would train to deal with them. As an example, the facility where I work has 250 employees and has been open for 18 years. We've had, in that time, two heart attacks on site. Yet we still have people go through CPR training every year. It's a rare but serious event, so we train for it. On the other hand, shootings are a rare but serious event for cops, but they train far less than they should given the severity and relative risk of the event. They don't train seriously, so I'm forced to conclude their concern about officer safety is a front for some other motivation. What that motivation may be is unknown to me, but I can speculate.

  • T||

    TallDave,

    From the wikipedia article:

    Disproportionate attention has been paid to the claimed inadequacy of police weapons rather than the demonstrable inadequacy of their techniques

    So at least somebody agrees with me, although joe will be along shortly to tell me why I'm wrong.

    And, joe, I couldn't agree with you more on this statement:

    You start banning stuff like that - whether we're talking about beer, or weed, or moving somewhere else to get a better job - and not only is the effort going to fail, but it's going to promote black markets, and contempt for the rule of law among a large segment of the population.

  • Guy Montag||

    Those "wingnuts" spent more on shooting gear last year than golfers.

    I can back that up. I did not spend a nickle on golfers last year!

  • Other Matt||

    Oh, and you still haven't answered the question. Because, of course, you can't. Your argument makes no sense, you just jumped the gun and started arguing against a phantom.


    Or perhaps I'm laughing my ass off as to how you accuse everyone else of your actions? Nah, couldn't be, that would mean you are the fuckwit we know you to be.


    Let this be a lesson to you


    You really are pathetic. Does this mean you consider me pwnd?

  • ||

    T,

    You have demonstrated, repeatedly and at length, your almost complete ignorance of firearms. Ohnoes! Now I shall have to weep at me shame.

    OK, done.

    Don't you think that the fact that the police were under automatic weapons fire, as opposed to a lack of training or marksmanship, is a better explanation for why they weren't lining up precise head shots?

    All the points about how more time should be spent on other activities that are more useful in day to day terms also directly contradicts the idea that cops are concerned about rare but serious events.

    No, not really. It would only contradict that point if you assume 1) a perfect or near-perfect evaluation of risk on the part of the cops and 2) the police putting emphasis on public safety over their safety. The CPR, for example, doesn't make the cops any safer.

  • ||

    Yes, Other Matt, you have been about as thoroughly pwned as one can be on this thread.

    Still haven't answered the question. Tosser.

    Try to think more about the ideas, less about your grievances and grudges, and maybe you'll hold your own better next time.

  • Other Matt||

    Try to think more about the ideas, less about your grievances and grudges, and maybe you'll hold your own better next time.

    joe, you're still a fuckwit, sorry. Has nothing whatsoever to do with me, you're showing it all. You're projecting about every piece of shit baggage you can muster on other people.

    It really is rather pitiful.

  • T||

    joe,

    Now I shall have to weep at me shame.

    Instead, try educating yourself. It's less messy and potentially far more useful.

    Don't you think that the fact that the police were under automatic weapons fire, as opposed to a lack of training or marksmanship, is a better explanation for why they weren't lining up precise head shots?

    No, I don't. You had two shooters who cannot physically fire 360 degrees at all times. If they aren't firing directly at you, you return fire. It's a pretty simple concept. I also don't say head shots. Start pumping somebody's legs full of 12 gauge buckshot and I guarantee they will a) quit walking around and b) bleed out. This takes only slightly more skill than shooting them in the chest.

    No, not really. It would only contradict that point if you assume 1) a perfect or near-perfect evaluation of risk on the part of the cops and 2) the police putting emphasis on public safety over their safety. The CPR, for example, doesn't make the cops any safer.

    I don't assume either. In fact, as I get older I assume the cops treat public safety as a distant second to their safety. If the cops were spending more time on rare but risky events, they might be plausible. They're barely spending enough time to learn how their guns work, and what the laws of the state are. Most fail spectacularly at both when tested.

    If the risk of a North Hollywod style shootout with assault weapons is so great and/or so severe if it happens, why aren't the cops training to deal with it? They aren't, so I have to conclude their stated reason for banning assault weapons (to protect officers) is bullshit.

  • ||

    The law will work for its real purpose, which is to keep someone in political power, not to prevent homicide.

  • ||

    Since the NoHo shootout is coming around in these comments, again ...

    'Twas surreal ... pinned down in the Sears across Laurel Canyon Blvd from the Bank of America where it all started ... watching the shootout work its way down the street on a bank of televisions inside the store ... with many of us shouting "Shoot 'em in the head! Shoot 'em in the head!" ... watching as police got the rifles they needed to do just that (and still failed to do) from the sporting goods store at the end of the block (!) ... and, finally, watching as the last felon was captured mere days before his family members sued the police department for "causing" his death.

    It was clear to those of us huddled in the Sears television department that a ban on "assault weapons" had not stopped the criminals from getting them ... and we were also quite perplexed as to why the police did not have them in their trunks, just as they did have their shotguns.

    It seemed logical to all of us there on that day that, in order to prepare for a somewhat less than worst-case scenario, it would be prudent for cops to have "assault weapons" immediately available to them. That they did not speaks less to the efficacy of the law and more to the bad planning on their part.

  • ||

    In other words ...

    I don't give a crap about banning "assault weapons" or not. The freakin' police should have BAZOOKAS and RPGs and all of that crap, so that when the call comes in ... "Guys with automatic rifles robbing bank" ... they pack the appropriate firepower and kick the shit out of them. Case closed.

  • Chris||

    Late to the party again...

    Okay, Joe, you said, "I suspect that police have such a hard-on for "assault rifles" not because they think they are a major driver of crime, but because they are a threat to the police." Correct so far?

    First, I'm not sure that your contention about the police is accurate. I recently took a class with several police officers from the DC/NoVA area, and all of them were enthusiastic about the private ownership of semi-automatic and automatic rifles. Other police officers I've spoken with in other circumstances have expressed similar views (I make a point of bringing this subject up.)

    Also on that note, if the police are concerned about "assault rifles" being used on them, there are some obvious measures that they can take to minimize that particular threat, such as issuing rifle-rated body armor for patrol use. The fact that few (if any) police departments have taken such steps seems to indicate that they don't consider the proliferation of "assault weapons" to be a major threat. The statistics on officer fatalities quoted elsewhere in this thread also seem to back up my perception.

    So, Joe, I guess my question for you is twofold: Do you really have any evidence other than a gut feeling that police officers have a "hard-on" for "assault weapons?" And if so, do you think that such a belief is reasonable, considering the applicable statistics?

  • Paul||

    "Why in the world do we allow citizens to own assault rifles?"



    In light of our governments actions over the last ten years, does this question really need to be asked?

  • Nobody Important||

    As it happens, we already have ample experience with laws against these guns ["assault weapons"]. From 1994 to 2004, their manufacture and sale were banned under federal law.



    Jeebus. As late as I am to this thread, nobody has pointed out this error from the original article?

    The sale of such guns, as long as they were manufactured before the ban, was not outlawed.

  • Nike Dunk SB High||

    is good

  • قبلة الوداع||

    THANK U

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