'This Man Needed the Firepower of Assault Weapons'

Yesterday I noted that a local police chief claimed Michael McLendon, the Alabama man who killed 10 people on Tuesday, was armed with a machine gun. According to the Alabama State Police, he actually had two semiautomatic rifles, an SKS and an AR-15-style model produced by Bushmaster, plus a shotgun and a .38-caliber handgun. To no one's surprise, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence latched onto those details as an argument for reviving the federal "assault weapon" ban:

McLendon fired more than 200 rounds from his military-style semiautomatic assault weapons....Assault weapons were banned under federal law until four years ago....

"This man needed the firepower of assault weapons to execute his plan of mass carnage. Alabama, and our nation, must take action to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.

It's not clear what Helmke means by "firepower." The AR-15 fires a small (.223-caliber) cartridge, and the SKS fires an intermediate (.30-caliber) cartridge. The guns identified as "assault weapons" are chosen based on their "military-style" appearance, not the size of their ammunition, and many large-caliber guns were not covered by the federal ban. Maybe Helmke is really talking about magazine capacity, since the federal "assault weapon" law also banned magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. But this has nothing to do with "assault weapons" per se; many guns that don't fall into that arbitrary category accept large-capacity magazines. In any case, since McLendon had multiple guns and multiple magazines (some of them taped together for extra-speedy reloading), depriving him of big magazines probably would not have made much difference. As for "mak[ing] it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons," all weapons are dangerous (which is what makes them weapons), and it is virtually impossible, by definition, to identify seemingly harmless people who will one day go on murderous rampages for no apparent reason. 

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  • Spoonman||

    Gun-grabbers don't care about reason.

  • SpongePaul||

    I would much rather be hit with a .223 round than a round from a 45 or a 9mm. the small millitary rounds are less lethal. it is the reason that the armed forces use the m-16. aka approx a .308 rifle FMJ bullets. they are small and fast and cut through without much extra damage. even in war thee are rules.

  • ||

    The small bullets still kill, they just don't splat as much (unless you use hollow points).

    Not that the gun-grabbing is justified, of course.

  • ||

    It's not clear what Helmke means by "firepower."

    What's clear is Helmke doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. If I really wanted to do some damage I'd go off with a Garand or a BAR, seeing as they fire a .30-06 with twice the energy of a .223. But it's all moot anyway, any serious rifle cartridge does a lot of damage.

    I'm surprised the chief's vest saved him, because .223 or 7.62x39 will go right through one normally.

  • ||

    It wouldn't be a very good tradeoff, SpongePaul.

    For starters, the higher velocity of the .223 bullet means it's carrying far more kinetic energy than the slower pistol bullet. Which explains why most states will allow big-game hunting with .223 rifles, but not with 9 mm or even .45 ACP pistols.

    In addition, the .223 is quite deadly at close ranges. The high velocity and the light bullet ensures that even an FMJ round will fragment when it hits a relatively hard surface such as your skin within 50 yards or so. Very messy on internal organs.

  • ||

    the small millitary rounds are less lethal. it is the reason that the armed forces use the m-16.

    Please keep in mind that I am a gun owner and shooting freak, but this is not true. The military uses those rounds because they punch through stuff, not because they are less lethal. The rules come in to play in that they are not allowed to be issued hollow point rounds, only FMJ.

  • ||

    "I'm surprised the chief's vest saved him, because .223 or 7.62x39 will go right through one normally."

    Another good point I forgot to make: Most Class II and Class III vests can stop a 9 mm or a .45 ACP round. Neither one offers reliable protection against a .223 or a 7.62X39mm (The Eeeevil AK round).

  • Warty||

    I would never call .223 (5.56mm) a small cartridge. The bullet's diameter is only .22, but its muzzle velocity from a normal 20-inch barrelled AR is ~3000 fps, which causes horrific wounding due to pressure, fragmentation of the bullet, etc.

    Let's have a pedantic and nerdy discussion about wounding potential of various cartridges. Here's a page based on the indispensable Dr. Fackler's work. He was of the opinion that the 7.62x39mm that the SKS fires was less damaging to tissue than the

  • Warty||

    Fuck, I SugarFreed.

    5.56mm that ARs shoot, since the 7.62 has less of a tendency to fragment, and tends to just pass through the body causing minimal damage.

    Of course, this is highly dependent on the ammunition used. The M855 62 grain bullets that the military uses nowadays have an annoying tendency to not fragment at all (read Blackhawk Down), and hollowpoint bullets mushroom hideously and cause nasty wounds.

  • ||

    You need the ceramic inserts to stop rifle rounds, correct?

  • Warty||

    Yeah, the ceramic plates will reliably stop 7.62, but I don't know about 5.56 or 5.45. Probably. Lots of guys have been saved in Iraq by them.

  • ||

    m-16. aka approx a .308 rifle FMJ bullets.

    M-16 fires a 5.56 not a .308, There are AR weapons configured to fire .308. And I certainly would not want to be hit with a .308 over a 45 or 9mm at any range. That being said, all this assault weapon non-sense is about aesthetics anyway and doesn't change the lethality of the weapons. If they wanted to make the streets safer they would enable law abiding citizens to carry and defend themselves. Gun crazed murderers don't get very far when people can fire back.

  • ||

    "You need the ceramic inserts to stop rifle rounds, correct?"

    Yep, and from what I understand they're quite heavy. But they will reliably stop a 7.62 NATO round (7.62X51mm, as opposed to the shorter AK round).

    I think the rating for rifle vests is Level IV.

  • Send in the troops||

    "U.S. Army soldiers from Ft. Rucker patrol the downtown area of Samson, Alabama after a shooting spree March 10, 2009. At least 10 people including the suspected gunman and his mother were killed in the shooting spree and car chase in southern Alabama on Tuesday, authorities said."http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/searchpopup?picId=8590289

    A picture is worth a thousand words

  • Rimfax||

    Does the SKS even allow a clip larger than 10 rounds? Was it even covered by the assault weapon ban? As I recall, the feed system of the SKS is particularly odd, but I must admit that I don't really know what I'm talking about.

    I doubt that this guy's AR-15 was covered by the assault weapons ban either. I think that the ban just prohibited the pistol grip and the bayonet lugs, not the weapon in general.

  • Warty||

    I would much rather be hit with a .223 round than a round from a 45 or a 9mm. the small millitary rounds are less lethal.

    No you fucking wouldn't.

  • ||

    "I would much rather be hit with a .223 round than a round from a 45 or a 9mm"

    Spoken as a person with NO firearms knowledge or experience.

    Be my guest.

  • Gage||

    When it comes to shooting people, nothing tops a shotgun.

  • ||

    Rimfax:

    You can buy 50-round "banana clips" for the SKS, and I think there is a kit that will allow you to use detachable mags in the SKS; since I don't own one (tragic boating accident, you know) I'm not sure.

    Even then, the standard SKS with a regular stock and the fixed 10-round mag wasn't considered to be an "assault weapon" in the 1994 anyway.

  • ||

    SKS has fixed 10-round mag. Load it fast with stripper clips of 10, or one by one with loose rounds.

    The AWB singled out Chinese SKS models but was more lenient on Russian & East Bloc versions. At least that is my recollection.

  • ||

    "I doubt that this guy's AR-15 was covered by the assault weapons ban either. I think that the ban just prohibited the pistol grip and the bayonet lugs, not the weapon in general."

    Again, the voice of ignorance. ALL AR-15 s were prohibited by the ban (pistol grip + detachable magazine).

  • Warty||

    As I recall, the feed system of the SKS is particularly odd

    Nothing odd about it, it's just a non-detachable box magazine. Play with an M1 Garand if you want to see an odd example of the type. Mind your thumb.

  • ||

    The military uses those rounds because they punch through stuff, not because they are less lethal.

    I think a big part of the transition to .223 rounds from .308 was a combination of (a) they are much lighter, allowing infantry to carry larger loads into combat and (b) they kick less, making them easier for troops to shoot.

    I wouldn't expect any vest that can stop a .308 to fail to stop a .223, BTW, although I wouldn't be surprised if the converse were true. But I'm not an expert.

  • ||

    Wow, this went thread straight in gun geek pudwhacking, with no detours at all.

    The kid in Germany whacked 15 people with a 9mm Beretta handgun. VaTech was 32 dead with a 9mm Glock (he had a .22 handgun, too, but I don't know if anyone was actually killed with it). So this demented hillbilly with his "assault weapons" couldn't match the work of two young men with common handguns. So what was proved this week about the extra danger from "assault weapons" again?

  • ||

    OldRedJoe:

    Sorry, but you're wrong. The 1994 ban prohibited rifles with detachable mags and TWO of the following features:

    Bayonet lugs, pistol grips, grenade launchers, folding/telescoping stocks, and flash suppressors/threaded barrels.

    There was great weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth among the gun-grabbers when the makers of AR-15s figured out all they needed to do was remove the bayonet lugs and flash suppressors on their rifles and viola! they were legal again.

  • Warty||

    Again, the voice of ignorance. ALL AR-15 s were prohibited by the ban (pistol grip + detachable magazine).

    Fucking christ, am I the only one who knows his shit? Rifles were banned if they had more than 2 evil features. To comply, manufacturers got rid of all evil features except the detachable mag and pistol grip. Pre- and post-ban ARs can have flash hiders, bayonet lugs, etc.

  • ||

    You can buy larger box magazines for the SKS; you can convert it to detachable magazines (which I think I may just do to mine so that it's more fun like an AK-47); it comes with a 10-round box mag.

  • ||

    So what was proved this week about the extra danger from "assault weapons" again?

    That they wither the taints of gun-grabbers, that's what.

  • Warty||

    I think I may just do to mine so that it's more fun like an AK-47

    You might as well have it gold-plated while you're at it, you big silly goose.

  • ||

    RC, you are the voice of reason (well, at least comparatively, in this thread).

  • TofuSushi||

    Whi would need one of these guns? Susan was right yesterday. Nobody needs guns like these, especially with grenade launchers.

  • ||

    .223 lethality

    A .223 round is particularly devastating to tissue, not from muzzle velocity, not from fragmentation, but from unstability. On striking, the round tumbles end over end, gouging out a disproportionately large wound.

    At least that's what I read way back when the Army was considering replacing the M14 with the AR-15 (M15).

  • ObiJohn||

    The '94 Assault Weapon Ban wouldn't have made a difference... except that the shooter would not have had a flash hider on his AR, and would have had a thumbhole stock on his AK. You could buy AR-15s, or AKs, they just had cosmetic alterations.

    But all of this is besides the point. The shooter was not insane (he knew what he was doing, and he knew it was wrong/against the law). He was a rational human being who had made a decision, and given that he'd chosen to ignore the law on murder, what makes anyone think he'd follow a gun control law?

    No assault weapon ban would have stopped this guy. He could have used a Remington 870 pump shotgun, a K-Mart special for $250, that would have been just as effective. Or, a Winchester 94 .30-30 rifle (the evolution of the original assault weapon). Or a Ruger Mini-14. Or... you get the picture. In short, the availability of guns didn't cause this.

    According to news reports, the shooter was extremely angry to the point of having a 'revenge list.' Kind of hard to stop a person who wants to kill others so much that he doesn't mind dying himself, as we've learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, and earlier in the Pacific during WWII, or against the Moros in the Phillippines in the early 1900s, or....

    Rather than focusing on what type of gun was used, the interesting question here (and the one that, if answered, might actually do some good) is what made this person so angry that he wanted to kill his entire family and many others? And what kind of family environment breeds a person who wants to kill that family? Those are the hard, critical questions, so we won't ask those. Instead we'll just blame it on guns.

  • ||

    If I remember correctly there were five things that made a rifle illegal: pistol grip, detachable mag, bayonet lug, telescoping butt-stock, and flash suppressor. A rifle could have any two and be legal. Most everybody went for the detachable mag and pistol grip. When I bought an AR-15 a while back I made sure it had all five.

  • goy||

    Has anyone yet discovered what psychotropic pharmaceutical prescription McLendon was taking?

  • Warty||

    Charlie, that depends on the bullet. It seems that's true for 55 grain bullets, but not for 62. It's claimed to be especially true for Russian 5.45mm too.

  • ||

    The grenade launcher is integral to the Yugo SKS, you twit. And it adds nothing useful to the gun now, since commie grenades (or ANY grenades) are not available to any average Joe--they are NFA Destructive Devices.

    God almighty, ignorance must truly be bliss since it is so obviously cherished by many.

  • ||

    >>It's claimed to be especially true for Russian 5.45mm too.

  • Send in the troops||

    What I'd like to know, is why is Jacob Sullum writing something that is "To no one's surprise"?

    And why are all of you writing about calibers?

    The thing that surprises the shit out of me is the lack of state side media attention to the fucking troops being sent in.

    "U.S. Army soldiers from Ft. Ruker guard a home with five bodies inside as investigators search for clues in Samson, Alabama, March 11, 2009." http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/articleslideshow?articleId=USTRE52A01D20090312&channelName=newsOne#a=15

    Doesn't that give any of you pause to be concerned?

  • ||

    Extra bit o'irony. The combination of the executive order barring importation of certain weapons under Clinton with the AWB meant that there were a finite number of options available to consumers. Two of these were SKSs, which are common low rent deer guns, and the AR15. The unintended consequence of the former AWB and import restriction was to make the AR platform the most robust in the world. It was one rifle that became the go to for all American consumers, so market forces drove innovations: custom long and short barrels, sighting rails, CQB style optics, rail systems to mount a variety of goodies, super lightweight models like the Carbon 15, and on and on. They AR became capable of serving as every rifle that had been banned, and then some.

  • ||

    "It's claimed to be especially true for Russian 5.45mm too"

    Still the best bargain on the market!

  • ||

    You might as well have it gold-plated while you're at it, you big silly goose.

    I love my SKS. It's like a part of me. And I'm going to make it part of you.

  • ||

    The SKS uses a non-detachable ten round magazine--it is NOT an "assault rifle", and was not subject to any bans. Putting a detachable magazine on one without substantial modification is a criminal offense, not that criminals obey the law.

  • ||

    The ignorance of the writer and commenters about firearms/ammunition is hilarious. I'm agnostic about 'gun control' but I'm very experienced (scout sniper, machinegunner in Iraq and Afganistan). This ignorance is just as bad on the pro-gun side as with the anti-gunners.

  • ||

    One of the odd things I found when looking for info on the topic of bullet effectiveness is how much is really unknown about a bullet's "stopping power."

    Minus direct hits to vital central nervous system areas (spine, brain, etc.), there's no physical reason why a bullet which will cause you to lose consciousness in 15 seconds should keep you from fighting back during those 15 seconds. Obviously in a firefight, 15 seconds is an eternity.

    So one guy can fight through a direct hit to the heart and get off a bunch more shots of his own, while another guy can get grazed in the leg and be able to do nothing except fall to the ground and clutch his leg. And these reactions appear to have very little to do with the actual energy transfer of the bullets involved.

    Obviously, energy transfer has a lot to do with the eventual _lethality_ of a shot. But for most defensive uses, that's irrelevant even in war (a badly wounded soldier is potentially more costly to an opposing force than a dead one). I couldn't actually find much on what factors actually do cause an attacker to cease attacking, with only a lot of speculation and anecdotal evidence. Obviously it's a tough area with which to experiment on humans.

  • Scottie||

    Just my $0.02 worth - every shooting I've looked into, from the Texas Towers shooting to the present day, had one thing in common.

    Though the ages and backgrounds of the shooters varied, they were all either on, had been on, or had just come off of, psychotropic medications.

    These medications now carry "black box" warnings, and many countries are taking a long second look at them.

    Apparently the most dangerous time frame for someone taking these medications is when they come off of them - especially if they do so without the input of a doctor.

    It apparently causes suicidal/homocidal tendencies.

    At this point I'd be willing to bet that such a history of medication may have had something to do with this guy not being able to become a police officer.

    If this is the case, it brings a couple of other interesting points up.

    IF the shooter were on such medications, this means the shooter was under psychatric/psychological care.

    If this is the case, under federal law the shooter could not legally purchase or possess the weapons he had.

    IF that's the case, then laws did not stop this killings, and it's stupid to think additional laws would change that fact.

    IF the shooter were on such medications, it also suggests that perhaps the medical/psychiatric care being given in this nation is more a culprit than an inanimate tool such as a weapon.

  • Warty||

    Epi, why don't you move to a real state so you can get some real guns? SKSs are for stupid rednecks and gangbangers.

    I'm agnostic about 'gun control' but I'm very experienced (scout sniper, machinegunner in Iraq and Afganistan).

    Would you like a cookie?

  • Dave W.||

    1. One silver lining is that this massacre happened in Alabama, so the gunnuts can't use the traditional defense that it is "too soon" to talk about gun law implications.

    2. Of course, we are seeing the traditional dodge -- detour into gunarcanum. Where bee the Geekster? Don't he, like, live for this stuff?

    3. To get this back to the issue. 4a says guns for a well-regulated militia. For sensible reasons, we no longer require a "militia." To some extent the Constitution should be living document and effectively dropping "militia," is a good example. OTOH, dropping the word "well-regulated": (i) is not a good idea; and (ii) has not been done. I get the linguistic argument for dropping "well-regulated," to wit: "'well-regulated' modified 'militia,' and when dropping the object of the modifier you should also drop the modifier. Regardless, this is silly in the context of expounding a Constitution. "Well-regulated militia" was in their for a (pretty clear) policy reason, and while the policy objective no longer maps well onto the militia part (because of widespread intervening changes in custom and practice), the "well-regulated" part remains an excellent, concise and still-contemporarily-relevant expression of the intial policy concern that the Framers had. Discuss. Bonus credits for using the today's pass-phrase: "RCD LEARNS!"
    should

  • ||

    Semi-automatic weapons or not, this guy still didn't match, much less top, the number of people killed (14) and injured (32) by Charles Whitman in 1966. Whitman's primary weapon? A plain old Remington bolt-action hunting rifle in 6mm Remington caliber.

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

  • Scottie||

    Just another comment, the SKS came in many flavors of the decades, some had integral grenade launchers, some had special sights, and at least one of those did indeed have a detachable box magazine. I think it was called a "paratrooper" version at the time though it looked more to me like a commercial effort than an actual military item.

  • ||

    Epi, why don't you move to a real state so you can get some real guns? SKSs are for stupid rednecks and gangbangers.

    I am moving soon. I'll buy an AK after I move.

    But I really do like my SKS.

  • ||

    Dave, we all know that it was the HFCS that made this guy go nuts.

  • Warty||

    Fuck yourself, Dave W. Your posts are ponderous and your band is boring. You suck.

  • ||

    Wow. They called in the Army? Those aren't Nat'l Guard uniforms are they?

    That's kinda, what do they call it? Illegal!! Posse Comitatus and all that.

    Yeah, that should give us pause!

  • Scottie||

    Note to Dave W., the term "well regulated" at the time the 2nd Amendment was written meant well trained, not regulated by a government entity and this viewpoint of the language has been accepted in Heller vs DC.

  • ||

    Doesn't that give any of you pause to be concerned?

    Yes.

  • Send in the troops||

    jt,

    thanks

  • ||

    The .223 is the same bullet used in the M-16. When used in a military setting the Geneva convention requires NO HOLLOW POINT. Only Full Metal Jacket FMJ.

    Actually the mil idea behind shooting would rather see a WOUNDED soldier rather than a dead one. A Wounded one requires more attention and depletion of resources of the enemy. 1 wounded can tie up 5 helpers. 1 Dead ties up - 1 dead.

    But here is the bitch about this thinking...this is designed around WESTERN MORAL thought. Now when you are around these Islamic asshats...that thinking is not applied. You need to just plain kill as many as possible and stop them from breeding if possible. They actually believe that religious crap and will eventually either kill you if you allow them into your country, or you will have to do the same to them.

    Pick one.

  • ||

    To engage in a bit of the gun geekery, Voros is absolutely on point from my perspective. It is amazing how invested people get in a specific caliber for all there is very little evidence anyone can hang their hat on. As far as rifles go, effectiveness at range is a real difference we can measure. For handguns, once you get above .380 and are using quality ammo to quality ammo comparisons, there's no evidence for measurable performance differences in that 15 seconds (or whatever critical time period we want to talk about). The effect is even murkier when you consider that nobody is just putting one round on target. Shoot what ya like.

  • ||

    " "This man needed the firepower of assault weapons to execute his plan of mass carnage "....How many people did Timothy Mcveigh kill with diesel fuel, fertiliser ,and a rental truck. None of which require a background check or a waiting period and are readily available. This despite the fact that murder is still against the law.

    Dave W. | March 12, 2009, 3:12pm | #

    the "well-regulated" part ....does not mean what you think it does.
    " gun law implications"...has exactly what to do with this, or any other violent crime?

  • Warty||

    I think I found some footage of Epi shooting.

  • ||

    "Actually the mil idea behind shooting would rather see a WOUNDED soldier rather than a dead one. A Wounded one requires more attention and depletion of resources of the enemy. 1 wounded can tie up 5 helpers. 1 Dead ties up - 1 dead."

    My god, the things people can believe!

  • ||

    All rifle rounds are unstable in tissue (~ 1000 times more dense than air). All rifle rounds will fragment if they go fast enough. Even FMJ rounds will expand if they are still going fast when they switch to the stable back-end-first configuration. The back end isn't covered with the jacket.

    For the 5.56 FMJ round the fragmentation threshold is about 2500 feet per second. The .308 round is about 2800 feet per second at the muzzle.

    LTC Roosevelt of the 1st Volunteer Cavary said of the 7mm Mauser rounds used by the Spanish, if the brain, heart or spine was not hit, the soldiers recovered, amazingly quickly.

  • Andrew||

    @Episiarch & @Captain Holly:

    AR15 using civilian rounds won't penetrate a Class III police vest. There are .223 rounds which could, but they're not available to civilians, only to police and military.

  • ||

    RE: Posse Comitatus.

    Apparently, there's a school of thought that says that the US federal military may, in fact, be used domestically in times of large-scale emergency. I think that in the past couple of years, US Army units have been training for use by Homeland Security. Not sure if this applies to troops in Alabama.

    This seems like a line we want to tread on carefully, though. What made the Alabama authorities think this was a situation where the Army had to be called in? Is the Alabama Guard that thin due to Iraq/Afghanistan?

  • ||

    Hate to get to technical, but the 1994 AWM SPECIFICALLY outlawed certain types of weapons by NAME- not just characteristics:

    SEE 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a) (30):

    The term "semiautomatic assault weapon" means--

    (A) any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as--

    (i) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models);

    (ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;

    (iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC-70);

    (iv) Colt AR-15; .......

    So I guess WARTY is NOT the only guy who 'knows this stuff' Opps.

  • ||

    I always ask what medication these people are on.

    Watch, this guy will have Zoloft of something similar.

    I have a theory about this. As a matter of "evolution" I would posit that human kind as "selected" so that major cognitive defects (i.e., nucking futz syndrome, most especially clinical depression) are accompanied by a lack of an ability to FUNCTION.

    That is to say, two tribes on opposite sides of the river:

    One tribe has mutated genetically so that people who become depressed, suicidal and murderous are unable to function, they lay in bed, they wail, they pull out their own hair, they self mutilate and upon being discovered screaming nonsense in a puddle of their own offal, they are dispatched or restrained by their compatriots.

    The other tribe has not evolved such dysfunction to accompany murderous depression induced impulses. This tribe's crazy people kill and kill often, and BOTH they and innocents die in the process.

    The first tribe will be more likely to pass along its genes. The second will be less so.

    Now here we are a few thousand years later, and we use pharmacological means to HELP people who are screwed in the head to function (or to feign functionality). If it turns out that this guy was severely depressed and on meds, I have to wonder if the meds are what permitted him to function well enough to plan and carry out his murderous rampage. I also have to wonder whether, without the meds, he would have simply suck started a shotgun and put himself out of all of our misery.

    Food for thought.

  • ||

    Warty, these are the people I shoot with.

  • ChuckAtPodunkOutpost||

    Dave W

    The Constitution cannot be a living document. It is a foundation. As such, it needs to be static.

    A foundation can be modified to meet changing needs. The Constitution has an amendment process for the same reason. If the times really justify a change, an amendment should be a RELATIVELY easy affair. But if a proposed change cannot survive the hoop-jumping required for an amendment, how can it be justifiable?

  • Send in the troops||

    jt,

    "Is the Alabama Guard that thin due to Iraq/Afghanistan?"

    Is the Guard needed for a lone gunman?

    If so, then the Guard is needed for reports of a man with a gun.

  • Gonzo||

    OldRed:

    The listed rifles were banned, but the "and clones" section was held unconstitutionally vague (in an Ohio case, if memory serves). The idea was that a consumer at a store who buys a Rock River target rifle would not necessarily know that it was a clone of the Colt AR-15. Therefore the Colts were banned and clones wound up getting through the cracks if they had less two or less of the flagged cosmetic features. A girlfriend of mine bought a Bushmaster rifle in 2001. It had no flash hider and no bayonet lug and the collapsible stock was welded or pinned so that it did not function as such. Therefore the rifle had only two of the target costmetic features -- a detachable magazine and a pistol grip -- and not being a "COLT" AR-15, it was legal.

  • ||

    I have a converted SKS with a 30-round banana magazine. There are lots of them around.

  • Send in the troops||

    Andrew,

    "AR15 using civilian rounds won't penetrate a Class III police vest. There are .223 rounds which could, but they're not available to civilians, only to police and military."

    And of course to someone who loads his own.

  • Warty||

    Old Red, they outlawed certain models by name. That didn't stop other manufacturers from selling almost-identical weapons under different names. Check a Bushmaster catalog from 2002 or so, and you'll notice that they're not selling anything called "AR-15".

    Don't get snippy just because you don't know what you're talking about.

  • ||

    Remove trigger group by depressing catch behind trigger guard
    remove 10 round magazine
    replace trigger group
    Insert long toungue of 30 round mag in to recess vacated by 10 round
    rotate into place until magazine catch locks.

    SKS is now way more fun to shoot.

    The high capacity mag is well nigh impossible to insert if bolt is closed.

    Can be loaded with the 10 round stripper clip

    Total conversion time is 1 minute if you don't fumble much

  • TofuSushi||

    goy,

    I always suspected that McLendon was on something when he wrote "American Pie" but have never heard anything definitive on that.

  • ||

    RE: "Is the Guard needed for a lone gunman?"

    Well, assuming that the situation is known to be a "lone gunman," then the answer is probably, no. I don't have anything but assumptions here, but it seems possible that the authorities did not actually know that they were only dealing with one gunman when they called in the Army.

    To me, this seems like a more important issue than the types of firearms carried by a deranged killer. And I think troops within the borders and gun control are going to intersect a lot during the Obama Administration:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/63800.html

  • ||

    Re the .223
    This round is many times more deadly than a .45 or 9mm based on basic physics : E=mc2
    The velocity of the bullet (c) is what does the damage - additionally the .223 is designed to tumble on impact , causing terrible wounds.
    Don't be deceived by the FMJ!

  • ||

    Warty, these are the people I shoot with.

    You were the one getting blown up at the end?

  • Scottie||

    BTW, for anyone who's interested there appears to be a strong federal financial incentive for school systems to "diagnose", or at least push parents, into labeling children with any of a number of psychological "conditions".

    Basically, the school system ends up getting more money for the "special" efforts needed with all of these diagnosed kids.

    Interestingly enough, the pharmaceutical industry (which provides financial support for these studies) has studies proving the efficacy of their drug on a number of these "conditions".

    The result is, a LOT of kids end up taking medications from an extremely young age - and personally I question whether many of them should have ever been on those drugs in the first place.

    Years later, the now adult decides to go off the meds they spent the past decade or two taking and then you have the medical side effects kick in of going off of the meds.

    As noted before, these side effects include homocidal/suicidal thoughts, and it's regardless of whether the original diagnosis was accurate or not.

    So, whether the kid needed to be on the meds in the first place doesn't matter. We now have a generation or so of kids who have grown up taking them practically their entire lives and we had better figure out a way to deal with it.

    Screaming for more gun control laws ain't gonna change that fact, and indeed only leaves the rest of us more defenseless when these now grown individuals snap.

  • ||

    Scottie: you have the cart before the horse. It isn't the pills. It's the people who they are prescribed to. Owning a sportscar doesn't cause people to drive fast. But people inclined to drive fast are much more likely to buy sportscars. I am not trying to insult people who take these pills. But the actuarial data is irrefutable.

    Re: 5.56mm lethality...

    Geneva Conventions don't mention hollowpoints. The agreement in question was the Hague Conferences, and they didn't mention "hollowpoints" either. All they mentioned were bullets designed to cause undue suffering, or some such language. And hollowpoints ARE legal for use by the military. "Open Tip Match" is the term.

    The original 55gr fmj bullet was ass-heavy, and tended to tumble when it hit a body. The stress of tumbling often caused the bullet to fracture at the cannelure, generating 2 or 3 large separate fragments which created separate wound channels.

    the 62gr "ss109" bullet is longer, better balanced front/back and spins faster due to different rifling twist, making it much more stable in flight and less likely to tumble. No cannelure either, i think. this bullet has better armor piercing capabilities, but does a poor job of transferring energy to its target. We adopted this bullet when the soviets started issuing armor to their troops.

    When heavy match hollowpoint ammo is used, the .223 cartridge has an excellent record of one-shot stops. That's based on empirical data, detailed in Marshall & Sanow's book (2nd one).

    5.45mm russian is a hybrid design, with a separate steel penetrator that is supposed to separate from the rest of the bullet if it hits something armored. Look it up; the cross-section diagram is interesting.

  • ||

    You were the one getting blown up at the end?

    Yes.

  • Warty||

    E=mc2
    The velocity of the bullet (c)/i>

    Who was your physics teacher? I want to shank him with a Bic pen.

  • Scottie||

    Regarding the effectiveness of the .223/5.56mm round, it seems to have effectively sent many jihadis to meet their maker.

    The thing to remember about the round is that it does need a certain velocity to perform correctly. If it doesn't hit that velocity threshhold, it may just poke a .22 caliber hole straight through.

    That original velocity requirement is handily attained in a full length 20" barrel, but may be problematic to achieve in a 14.5" barrel.

    At any rate, on contact with flesh, the bullet will tumble and break apart into lacerating fragments creating horrific wound channels while still abiding by the written word of the Hague (not Geneva) Convention that prohibits use of expanding bullets against a uniformed enemy.

  • Warty||

    Damn, I suck at tags today.

  • SpongePaul||

    mea culpa, i was mistaken

  • ||

    Re the .223
    This round is many times more deadly than a .45 or 9mm based on basic physics : E=mc2

    Holy crap! I want me some .223 that zings out of the barrel at relativistic speeds! Even at 62 grains, you have to respect 2.98X10^8 m/s at the muzzle.

    "Private! You missed that target! Drop, give me 20, and explain yo' self!"

    "Sir! Yes, sir! The target had a different inertial reference frame, and due to lorenz contraction ..."

  • ||

    To get this back to the issue. 4a says guns for a well-regulated militia.

    Second Amendment, not Fourth. Moron.


    For sensible reasons, we no longer require a "militia."
    And what sensible reasons are those? Is the world a less dangerous place? Has crime stopped happening?

    To some extent the Constitution should be living document and effectively dropping "militia," is a good example. OTOH, dropping the word "well-regulated": (i) is not a good idea;

    So your idea of a good Constitution is one that's interpreted to mean what you want. Thanks but no thanks.

    "Well-regulated militia" was in their for a (pretty clear) policy reason, and while the policy objective no longer maps well onto the militia part (because of widespread intervening changes in custom and practice), the "well-regulated" part remains an excellent, concise and still-contemporarily-relevant expression of the intial policy concern that the Framers had.

    I'm amazed at how much ignorance and idiocy you manage to fit into a single paragraph. "Well regulated" did not refer to a bureaucracy or a set of rules. When the Framers wrote the Constitution "well regulated" meant "in good working order".

    You don't understand guns, you don't understand the Constitution and you don't understand freedom. You contribute nothing useful to the debate.

  • Scottie||

    gunplumber,

    No, I didn't miss the point. Re-read what I wrote.

    There are a LOT of kids who were prescribed these medications simply as an easy means of control for the parents, and a means of additional funding for school systems.

    A lot of these former kids are now adults.

    As the pschologists themselves will admit if you press them on it, a change of behaviour due to ingesting these little pills does not confirm a diagnosis that resulted in prescribing the pills in the first place.

    Easier analogy, you don't have to be an alcholic to get drunk - and you don't have to actually have something wrong with you for the pills in question to modify your behaviour.

    The problem is you now have at least a generation of kids who were raised on a pill a day who are now adults, with no authority figure to force them to stay on medications.

    These medications are known to have the side effect of suicidal/homocidal thoughts if the one prescribed the pills just decides to go off of their meds.

    BTW, I'm not attempting to "understand" the shooters who were on these meds - I'm attempting to point out the only reason I've found as to why such mass shootings didn't occur in decades prior to the availability of these types of medications.

  • ||

    "To some extent the Constitution should be living document"

    In other words, the extent you decide, right?

    Obviously, the 2nd amendment applied to muzzle loaders and fowling pieces, and the found fathers never considered "assault weapons."

    They never considered the internet, battlefield video reporting, or blogging, either, but I guess that's where the "living document" argument stops. Funny how all those people who consider the 2nd amendment archaic think the 1st is just fine, despite the change in technology on that front.

  • Darren||

    1) Colt doesn't sell an "AR-15", they sell the "Sporter" in various sub-models. In any event, OldRedJoe, you could still by "Post-Ban" AR-15 style rifles after the AWB.

    2) Fackler says the magic number for 5.56x45mm is 2400 fps, below this the round won't fragment and you get the equivalent of a long-range screwdriver stabbing plus temporary cavity effects, which really only apply to some solid organs (liver, spleen). A 5.56mm to a long bone = shattered long bone. There is no soft armor that will stop a 5.56mm, maybe if it went through something first & lost velocity. A 5.56mm at 1300 fps is equivalent to a .22LR round -- e.g., low-energy.

    3) Anyone who thinks they'd rather be shot with a "little" 5.56mm over a 9mm or .45 needs to review the "Miami Massacre", which taught the FBI to not bring pistols to a rifle fight.

  • ||

    For sensible reasons, we no longer require a "militia."

    In the dictionaries that existed at the time the Bill of Rights was written, the term "militia" was defined as: every able-bodied man from age 18 to 40. Clearly, feminists, liberals and jealous beta-males would like to get rid of the real men. But this just goes to show how ignorant anti-gun advocates are when they construct their arguments.

    Scottie, I did not mean to pick on you. But I wanted to be clear that pills don't make people into killers. Allow me to offer a different theory for why mess shootings are a relatively recent phenomenon.

    It's a perfect storm of factors: a decline in society's values & the willingness to express them ("passing judgement"); a trend of hands-off, no-judgements parenting that creates amoral kids who don't fear consequences for bad behavior; weak, undisciplined education system; a medical establishment that treats mental illness as a pharmaceutical issue instead of a mental one; raising the bar for having people committed so high that it allows severely troubled people to go untreated; gun-phobia which keeps most kids away from guns (and from learning proper respect for them)during their formative years.

    It's not one factor. It's all of them working together.

    My dad is 60. His junior high school had a rifle range in the basement; kids brought their rifles to school and kept them in their lockers to go hunting after school. No shootings. No threats of shootings.

    Texas? Alabama? Nope.

    Westport, Connecticut.

  • Susie||

    If they wanted to make the streets safer they would enable law abiding citizens to carry and defend themselves. Gun crazed murderers don't get very far when people can fire back.

    Perhaps they would not get as far, but there would be many more accidents and in aggregate we would probably be less safe.

  • ||

    "waaaa, waaaa, I'm a whiny stupid baby and since George Washington didn't have an AK-47, the Second Amendment is no longer valid! Waaaaa, my diaper is full!"

    Bob Owens: Why are civilian ammunition sales so high presently? Because we have anti-patriotic men and women in positions of power extending all the way into the Oval Office itself that see civilian arms usage as a threat to their goals and somehow think that the Founding Fathers intended the Second Amendment to protect the rights of Americans to own arms, but not the ammunition needed to make those arms functional. Somehow I suspect journalists who so readily parrot that argument would be greatly alarmed if they were informed of entirely parallel restrictions to their First Amendment rights.

    Perhaps they should be required to only spread ideas using quill and parchment; after all, that's what the Founders had. They couldn't have imagined high-speed modern printing presses, television, radio, or the Internet's instant global reach.

    Or perhaps they would eagerly submit to having a federal background check before being allowed to own an iPhone, BlackBerry, typewriter, computer, printer, or word-processing program, and would agree to the imposition of a 500-character limit on the amount of text they can type or words they can say before a government alert is triggered.

    After all, if the pen is truly mightier than the sword, shouldn't the dissemination of potentially inflammatory thought be regulated more tightly than mere ammunition?

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/us-ammo-shortage-dont-blame-mexican-cartels/

  • ||

    As I recall, the Ban only banned the sale of NEW weapons. Used weapons that are taken care of can last many years. The shotgun I got dove with last year was an 1899 Montgomery Ward purchase of my Great Grandfather's.

  • Brett Stevens||

    What? Those are high velocity rounds in big magazines in weapons designed for war, not hunting. Hell yeah they helped him carry out a massacre.

    However, that's not the point. Every society has unhinged people; not all at the same rate. America seems to produce a lot of murder-suicides. Maybe we should focus on that instead of stopping the use of guns we need for other purposes as well, like defending ourselves from the ATF?

  • ||

    Susie replies to an advocate of concealed carry: "Perhaps they would not get as far, but there would be many more accidents and in aggregate we would probably be less safe."

    Wrong. You are guessing. Your guesses are not sufficient proof to take away my rights. Get that through your skull. I don't have the right to take away your choice to have an abortion, and you don't have the right to take away my Second Amendment rights.

    Firearms accidents are at the lowest recorded level since records started being kept (1930s/1940s I think). Safe storage and safety training laws work.

    The FACTS of gun laws are documented and irrefutable:

    The Assault Weapons Ban was the law of the land from 1994 until 2004. Its enactment caused no decrease in crimes using "assault weapons", and its expiration caused no increase in such crimes.

    No effect at all. The FBI crime statistics say so. The DOJ statistics say so.

    All clear now, Susie?

  • Scottie||

    Gunplumber,

    I'll have to disagree with you, as the basic premise of my point was that the ingestion of these psychotropic medications does in fact alter a person's view of and interaction with reality.

    That's why they ingest them in the first place!

    Yes, there are always going to be crazy berserkers out there, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

    There have been stressful and anarchic times in our own nation's past history - but you didn't have these kinds of murderous rampages.

    Something has changed since about the midpoint of the 20th century, and I hold that a large part of understanding the equation lies in understanding how overmedicating a population will over time result in the kinds of otherwise inexplicable actions we now witness.

    An altered view of reality, I would further argue, is a pre-requisite to murdering an 18 month old infant, as was the case in AL.

    I still suspect we're going to find out this individual was on medication - or had just stopped taking it recently.

  • Scottie||

    Susie,

    Every state that enacted concealed carry had to deal with the doomsayers such as yourself predicting blood in the streets and the wild west all over again.

    It never happened in a single state that enacted concealed carry, and in fact the crime rates went down.

    When it comes to believing hyperbole and hysterics or believing facts, I'll take facts every time.

  • dfd||

    Just my $0.02 worth - every shooting I've looked into, from the Texas Towers shooting to the present day, had one thing in common.

    Though the ages and backgrounds of the shooters varied, they were all either on, had been on, or had just come off of, psychotropic medications.


    First, it's no surprise that someone disturbed or detached or crazy enough to kill a bunch of people would have at some point fallen under the care of some psychiatric medication. So your anecdotal observation is easily explained without your theory of causation.

    Second, literally millions of people over that time have been on those same medications and 99.9999...% of them did not become homicidal.

    Third, going back to your anecdotal claim that all the mass shooters you've found had this in common, do you really know that? Are you sure that none of the mass killings have been by someone who had not been on any medication? Easy claim to make, but not such an easy claim to accept at face value.

    Same goes for your claim that this kind of thing didn't happen before modern medications. Are you so sure of that? Even if so, there are simply more people now and certainly the ability to bring these things to your attention are far greater than they were in the past. Beyond that, a lot more has changed in modern society besides medication so even if there truly are many more now it is hardly srtong evidence for your theory.

    Sorry but given the other reasonable explanations and the fact that hardly anyone on these medications becomes homicidal your theory just isn't supported by the evidence cited.

  • ||

    You guys have it all wrong.

    I have met Paul Helmke, he's not stupid or uninformed, he's actually a nice guy. He is also EMPLOYED.

    He was a popular Republican Mayor in Fort Wayne, IN. When he was done as Mayor, he ran for the Senate, but was defeated by Evan Bayh, who had just finished up his two terms as Governer. Paul then ran in the primary against our Congressman, Mark Souder, but lost again. Finally he took the job with the Brady Campaign, there weren't many Republicans who were willing to take the job, as it is hard to get nominated in the GOP for anything after taking the gun control gig.

    Paul is just trying to make a living, he needs to keep the donations rolling in to pay his salary. The money mostly comes from anti 2nd amendment libs, and it's not like Paul is going to influence any conversative types or anything. So what, an out of work Republican is making a living off a bunch of Democrats, good for him.

    The irony, which I'm sure that Paul is aware of, is that Reagan, Brady, a secret service agent and a policeman were shot by an identified crazy guy with a six shot .22 revolver, purchased from a pawn shop. Talk about firepower!

    John Hinckley Jr. had been prescribed a medication that was contra-indicated for his condition. The drug prevented him from being able to surpress nutty impulses, like shooting the President to impress Jodie Foster.

    Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Most people could buy Farrah Faucett, but Jodie Foster?. She was a relative unknown at the time, Farrah had the Speedo poster and was a Charlie's angel.

    I am all for keeping weapons out of the hands of people who would pass over Farrah Faucett in her prime, but I don't think that there is any deeper lesson to be learned from the Reagan assassination attempt.

  • Scottie||

    dfd,

    I did do the research, and yes every shooter I researched had in fact been on psychotropic medications.

    Did I ever say that all of these people on such medications would go berserk? No.

    But I do point out that even the pharmaceutical industry admits that suicidal/homocidal thoughts are a KNOWN side effect of these medications.

    Can it get any clearer than that?

    As for saying it "never" happened prior to this, no I didn't say that. I did point out that there is obviously a problem and it seems to have started at about the same time as these medications started to become widely available.

    You dismiss the theory out of hand without addressing the root premise.

  • Dave W.||

    1. I think some of the gunnut cru is missing my point about Constitution as a living document. What I am arguing is that the word "militia" was never mere verbal surplussage (none of the words of the Constitution are regraded as that), but that the Supreme Court was wise to jettison the "militia" requirement in Heller for living document type reasons (which is exactly what they did). That is a pro-gunnut view, not an anti-gunnut view. No need to fight me on this part, folks. we both don't see 2a as a "collective right." that is what is called "common ground." No need to go all McLendon on me over that.

    2. To address Scottie's point about "well-regulated" meaning "well-trained," I am going to call upon out friend the Commerce Clause. Anyone, anyone? That's riiiiiight:

    " The Congress shall have power . . . To regulate commerce with foreign nations

    Congress was supposed to get in there and drill that commerce, teach commerce to march and to keep boots polished, to break stride on bridges, to discipline commerce not to run away in the face of enemy fire. Uhhh, no, gunnuts. Regulated means regulated. Training is a form of (often verbal) regulation, but regulation was never limited to training, especially when living document type concerns lead us to (as we should) drop "militia" out of the equation. the crabbed Scottie reading of regulation washes away with the "militia" requirement, carried by the same sweeping tide of societal change.

    3. Don't forget to catch my internet teevee show, gunnuts:

    http://blip.tv/file/1728670/

  • Mike K||

    One reason for the .223 calibre is the change to full automatic fire in the Army after Korea. It was determined in WWII that long range marksmanship, which had been the standard since the Civil War introduced the rifle as a military weapon, was not as useful in modern war. Most targets (enemy) were at 100 yards and the training changed from bullseye targets (like those I fired at 1959) to pop up silhouettes and the rifles went to full auto. The M 14 showed that nobody could control a rifle at full auto with the .30 calibre round. The Germans had shown that assault rifles were a better option for infantry and the Russians got the AK 47 from that concept. The StG 44 looks a lot like an AK 47.

    We gave up on the M 14 because of the control issues plus the weight of ammo and went to the AR 15 for Vietnam. The .223 has no more "stopping power" than the 30-06. It's just lighter and the recoil on full auto is tolerable.

  • </||

    SpongePaul | March 12, 2009, 2:13pm | #
    I would much rather be hit with a .223 round than a round from a 45 or a 9mm. the small millitary rounds are less lethal. it is the reason that the armed forces use the m-16. aka approx a .308 rifle FMJ bullets. they are small and fast and cut through without much extra damage. even in war thee are rules.



    Idiot

  • wingnutx||

    I doubt that this guy's AR-15 was covered by the assault weapons ban either. I think that the ban just prohibited the pistol grip and the bayonet lugs, not the weapon in general.

    True. I bought an AR-15 during the ban, and it simply came without a bayonet lug or a flash suppressor.

  • ||

    Firepower?

    General Merritt Edson, USMC :"One hundred rounds does not constitute firepower. One hit constitutes firepower."

    It is not the tool but the person using it.

  • ||

    Rather a .223 than a 9mm or .45? Of course, the Geneva Convention prohibits the use of exploding or expanding slugs, therefore all military rounds for use against human targets, are full metal jacket, not because these rounds are more lethal, but because they are not. That is why the .50 cal Barrent sniper rifle is an "anti-equipment" weapon, not anti-personnel. I suspect that a few enemy troops have been chunked by a .50 cal, but just on accident.

    The FMJ restriction was a misguided attempt at making war more humane. The convention is still followed because modern military strategy is that it is better to wound the enemy than to kill him. A wounded man requires a great deal more of the enemies' resources and is more likely to demoralise them.

    That said, I have a steel spinner target way out behind my house that I use to plink at with .22s. A friend brought over a .223 one day and we took several shots at the target. we missed several times, so we went out to paint it orange so that we could see it better. When we reached the target, we found that we had not missed. It left perfect 1/4" holes burned thru, WITHOUT SPINNING the target. Hot knife thru butter type of thing.

  • IsolatedIncedent||

    The Brady people need to look at these things as "isolated incidents." It works for the authorities so it should work for the people. Right?

  • ||

    Andrew, it's not my intention to start a full-fledged gun nerd war with you, but this statement

    "AR15 using civilian rounds won't penetrate a Class III police vest. There are .223 rounds which could, but they're not available to civilians, only to police and military."

    is incorrect.

    First off, DOJ Level III protection only is rated against "heavy" pistol calibers -- .357 Mag and up. A soft-point civilian .223 would likely go right through it.

    And as for military ammo, the XM193 5.56 mm from Federal ammunition and the ubiquitous (up until the recent round of panic buying, that is) Winchester "White Box" Q3131A 5.56 mm that are avialable at your local sporting goods stores are no different than the M193 ammo the military uses.

    In addition, AFAIK you can still legally buy M855 ball ammo with the partial steel core.

  • ||

    Holy crap! I want me some .223 that zings out of the barrel at relativistic speeds! Even at 62 grains, you have to respect 2.98X10^8 m/s at the muzzle.

    I think you're gonna need a butt pad. For both butts. At a minimum.

  • ||

    " Supreme Court was wise to jettison the "militia" requirement in Heller "...there never was a militia requirement, never. Nothing in the Constitution, nor in the letters and papers of it's authors ever indicated a "requirement" regarding militias. That position was a fabrication of the anti-constitutionalists and nothing more. It wasn't jettisoned because there was nothing to jettison. The "collective rights" meme was fabricated out of whole cloth based on the incompleteness of the miller decision. That the "collective rights" baloney lasted as long as it did is not an indication of the strength of the argument but the lack of a challenge at the Supreme court level and nothing more.

    "I am going to call upon out friend the Commerce Clause."...Call all you want ,but you are trying to use the word in two very different situations with two very different definitions. Attempting to comingle different usages does not make them similar, let alone identical.

    "the same sweeping tide of societal change."...typical constitutional revisionist, use whatever claptrap you can contrive, to redefine, to your benefit, any right as you see fit. Totally ignoring that Heller indicated that the individual right was and is just that, with or without the militia component. The militia was mentioned as a reason, but not the only, for the right of the people to keep and bear arms ,and it is not ,as decided in Heller, a limiting or restricting factor.

  • ||

    Local news has reported both that the chief was saved by his vest and that he was wounded in the shoulder. I am wondering if one of these is false?

  • ||

    I used to have a Winchester model 70 in 7mm rem. mag. A friend reloaded a "few" rounds that had a muzzle velocity of around 3600 fps. They were tipped with bullets that had a full copper jacket with a little hole at the tip like tiny little hollow points. I don't know what they were, but they were devastating to whatever they hit. And damned accurate out to about 500 yards.

  • ||

    """Local news has reported both that the chief was saved by his vest and that he was wounded in the shoulder. I am wondering if one of these is false?"""

    Hit by more than one round?

  • Steve||

    Just for reference sake - California pretty much has an identical assault weapons ban to the original '94 ban...and here is the difference

    Illegal

    Add stupid grip and 10 round magazine...

    Legal

  • ||

    T V, don't know for sure. I live about 25 miles from where this happened. There are so many news people trying to get out the latest stuff first. Couple that with the rumor mill working at hyper speed and there are many many seemingly conflicting stories.

  • Scottie||

    Regarding the officer being struck and injured but "saved" by his bullet resistant vest, this is not a contradiction.

    At point blank range, I've been told by people who would know that a .223 WILL penetrate a standard police issue type vest.

    However, a bullet loses velocity and therefore energy the farther it travels.

    With a lightweight projectile - such as is used in the .223 - the loss of energy can be relatively steep when compared to something like a .308 Winchester or 30.06.

    This situation could simply be a case of the the officer being far enough away when shot that the bullet had lost a substantial portion of energy and therefore didn't penetrate his vest, or it could be the type of ammo that was used (frangible type, for instance) - or it could be one of those events that can only be explained by sheer luck.

  • joated||

    Didn't the ban prevent the manufacture of new large capacity magazines but allow the sale and possession of those made prior to the enactment of the ban?

  • Dave W.||

    The word "militia" is there in 2a, Edward Lunny. The Framers put it in for a reason, and it is clear the reason was to limit the scope of the 2a right.

    This idea that "militia" meant nothing right from day one is a gunnut fantasy. It is one way to tell a gun rights advocate from a gunnut.

  • ||

    Please quote the definition of "militia" from a dictionary that was in use at the time that the Bill of Rights was written. Not today's version, the edition that was in use back then.

    Or stop telling me what it was or was not intended to mean.

    Your choice.

  • ||

    Dave, I've been extremely busy lately, which is why I haven't chimed in on this thread.

    Suffice it to say, you still don't know rat shit from Rice Krispies when it comes to firearms, your perception is overblown when it comes to the likelihood that the average gun owner will ever cause harm to anyone, and you're still a mouth-breathing crotch droppling with a shitty band.

    Peace Out,
    ->MG

  • JB||

    I say we ban politicians since we know those fuckers are murderous.

  • Scottie||

    Regarding Dave W'.s assertion that "well regulated" meant government regulations on personal use of arms, I guess this genius hasn't actually read Heller vs DC.

    One of the amica that was filed in support of DC was by some linguists who attempted to convince the court of Dave W's very assertion - and the court completely rejected their argument.

    Dave is arguing a point that was placed before the highest court in the land, and failed.

  • Dave W.||

    Here is how the analysis works:

    The Framers put the word "militia" in there because they wanted the right to bear arms to be preserved to the extent neccessary to achieve the objectives that a militia achieved in 1776, to wit, public safety by private individuals.

    Over a period of time after 1776, militias stopped being the primary way (or even one of the primary ways) that the objective of public safety by private individuals was achieved. If the Constitution were subject to a highly static form of interpretation, then this societal change would have required a rewrite. However, smart judges over time have realized that we can preserve originalist intent, even when the actual words they used stop making sense. To some extent, this saves having to continually amend the Constitution so that it makes sense. It is a big part of the reason why, notwithstanding the expectations of some Framers, we don't need a new Constitution every 50 years.

    So, the Heller court did the smart and by-now-expected thing, which is to say that they held that a "militia" is no longer required, but the objective of preserving public safety by private individuals (which objective the Framers tokenized with the word "militia") is still important and is a still an operative limitation on 4a. For example, we still can't own bazookas. Because that would be inconsistent with the public safety objective that the Framers were ultimately concerned about within the confines of their late-1700s vernacular and patterns of thought.

    Did the "Constitutional meaning" of "well-regulated" change? I would say no. Kind of like other phrases in the Constitution like "thirty-five years old" or "trial by jury" have not changed. Not EVERYTHING has changed the way the role of militias has.

    However, even if you don't buy what I am arguing in the prev para, it still stands to reason that "well-regulated" implied a form of rigorous control, and that Originalist objective still survives along with the originalist objective that the right to bear arms be consonant with the objective of preserving public safety by private individuals.

    The idea that "well-regulated militia" is, or should be, regarded as a simple nullity is a gunnut fantasy, the same way that their gun represents the fantasy of a well-formed and operational male sex organ.

  • ||

    FWIW, the shooter had been, for a short time, hired as a member of the local police force as well as the U.S. Marines. He was released from the police academy for failing a hysical and from the marines for falsifying a document.

  • Scottie||

    Dave W.,

    Again, epic failure.

    There was a far more fundamental reason for inclusion of the 2nd amendment, and it wasn't public safety as you erroneously claim.

    Generally speaking, "public safety" was the responsibility of the states - not the federal government.

    It is silly to argue that a federal document would be addressing issues of "public safety" within the various states when that was not a power delegated to the federal government at the time of it's creation.

  • Scottie||

    BTW, another comment, then at least for a while I have far more important things to do than continue to rehash Dave's failed arguments.

    I don't know of any serious gun owner who has studied the matter that considers the "militia" to be a "nullity" as you put it.

    Most that I know are actually quite serious about the "militia", and are also quite serious regarding their efforts to ensure that said militia is "well regulated".....

    But I'm sure their meaning of those words are not exactly what you had in mind.

  • Scottie||

    Hehehe...ok, just one more then I really gotta go take care of some more important matters.

    The following quote goes far in understanding Dave's *issues* surrounding guns in general....and besides, he brought up the phallic claim.

    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." ("General Introduction to Psychoanalysis," Sigmund Freud)

  • ||

    A year or two ago, a young man stormed into a local medical clinic armed with a handgun and an assault rifle, taking hostages. The situation was resolved and he was taken into custody.

    The assailant was an active duty member of the national guard. The weapons he used were issued to him by the U.S. government for his military service. The weapons used in this crime were in his possession within the strictest of anti gun interpretation of the constitution. Yet they were still used in a crime. How can that be possible?

  • ||

    Dave W.

    You are indulging in Constitutional fantasies. While you are explaining the thoughts of the Framers, you are making it up as you go along.

    The Framers didn't decide to put anything into the 2nd amendment, actually they trimmed a great deal out. The original text of the 2nd amendment that was proposed was verbatum right out of Pennsylvania's Constitution, which predated the Federal version by many years. The Penn. version of the right was very wordy and contained several justifications such as personal security, and of course, the need for a militia.

    The entire US Constitution is a remarkable exercise in brevity, in the case of the 2nd amendment, the framers chopped it down to a single sentence. For the sake of brevity, only one of the many justifications was used as a preample, As SCOTUS found, the militia preamble was in no way intented as an limit on the operative phrase "the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED",

    The militia was simply one of many justifications that were recognised by everyone in the early days of our country. The right to keep and bear arms was very important to the colonial Americans because the English people in theory had the right to arms, but the government had eroded the right away until the guarantee was meaningless, Americans had no intention of that happening here, there is no mystery concerning what the Framers intented.

    BTW, the commerce clause has nothing to do with foreign trade.

  • peter jackson||

    Who cares about the lethality of this weapon vs. that weapon. The fact is the claims being made against "assault weapons" are spurious. They are based on nothing. We've had an assault weapons ban, and no measurable reduction in gun crime can be attributed to it.

    That being said, Swiss 7.5x55 RAWKS

    yours/
    peter.

  • heh2k||

    There is so much misinformation on this thread, it's sad. I thought this was an intellectual forum where people don't assert stuff their buddy told them as fact. There is unfortunately a lot of ignorance, even among gun owners. Many false "facts" get passed around. Now, ianal but I have spent many, many hours reading laws and the history of firearms.

    5.56 was chosen, among other reasons, because you can carry more rounds for the same weight, while still having enough lethality. Not because it "only wounds" which is bullshit. It also is a lighter rifle than an M14 or M1 Garand, but more lethal and more accurate than a .30 carbine. It also has much less recoil than full rifle rounds.

    The greatest wounding effect of 5.56 is due to fragmentation, but it doesn't happen reliable with military rounds. It happens when the bullets yaws (as all rear-heavy spitzler bullets eventually do, in soft tissue) and the thin jacket tears, usually at the weakened cannelure.

    It is the Hague convention, not the Genenva, that restricted bullet types. HOWEVER, the US never signed it, tho does generally follow it. Hollow point (open-tip match) bullets ARE used sometimes, for their greater long range accuracy.

    Shot placement matters more than the ammo type.

    People on psych meds or those seeing a psych are not restricted from owning guns, at least in VA, and I don't believe anywhere else. People who have been _involuntarily_ committed are denied, but you can petition the court to have your rights restored.

    Guns laws are very tricky and vary a lot, state to state. Most cops don't even understand them fully, and I don't claim to either. Before you travel with a gun, or make any modification to it, do a lot of research or you could be looking at serious federal prison time. A botched trigger job can get you 10 years.

  • ||

    Hey squishpaul,

    .223 bullets tumble and bounce and break up through the victim. . . thats the point of them. They are meant to wound. A wounded man is more of a hindrance to the enemy than one thats totally dead. 9mm or .45 dont do that, plus they would never make it through today's Kevlar.

  • ||

    In the Heller decision, before the Supreme Court would get into any interpretation of Militia or well regulated etc. They had to decide which of the two statements that make up the 2nd amendment, was the primary propose of Congress. Was the intent to empower a militia or to guarantee the right to bear arms?

    Those who favored a restrictive reading, would argue the the militia statement was the more important, and that arms right was limited by this purpose. Those who favored a more general right to bear arms argued that the militia statement was simply prefuctory to the operative statement of the right.

    The first view falls on it's face for a few reasons. The unamended Constitution already gave Congress the authority to provide for national security, there was no need to pass an amendment if the militia was the concern, they could do that by statute. 2nd, who would the amendment be aimed at?, there was no other authority that could prevent the militias except Congress.
    The other interpretation was excepted by the court, Congress meant to protect an individual right to bear arms, and the Militia phrase was simply a prelude to defining the right. This view is supported by the fact that Congress was working on the bill of rights, limiting the power of government over individuals. The militia statement simply listed one of several justifications with the others being unenumerated.

  • ||

    Military ammo is small caliber and jacketed; it's designed to *wound* more than to kill, because a wounded soldier is more of a drain on the enemy than a dead one. A body can be ignored; a wounded comrade must be offered aid and if the brass forbid the soldiers from doing that, it torpedoes morale.

    Arguably, military weapons are marginally LESS scary than some hunting rounds designed to take down 600-pound elk or 1000-pound grizzlies with one round.

    Of course, as someone said earlier, those who want to deprive us of our firearms aren't doing it to save lives; they're doing it to prevent us from being able to defend ourselves, to make us dependent on government for protection, and utterly vulnerable to government if they choose to come after us.

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