Gun Control

If You're Trying to Ban Guns, the Least You Could Do Is Learn the Basics

Sloppy thoughts, sloppy policies.


The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by writer Adam Weinstein in which he argues that Second Amendment advocates "use jargon to bully gun-control supporters." "While debating the merits of various gun control proposals," he contends, "Second Amendment enthusiasts often diminish, or outright dismiss their views if they use imprecise firearms terminology."

How dare Second Amendment advocates expect that those passionately arguing to limit their constitutional rights have some rudimentary knowledge of the devices they want to ban? To point out the constant glaring technical and policy "faux pas" of gun controllers is to engage in "gunsplaining," a bad-faith argument akin to intimidation.

"If you don't know what the 'AR' in AR-15 stands for, you don't get to talk," explains the sarcastic subhead on the piece. If you don't know what the "AR" in AR-15 stands for, you still get to talk. But if you want to ban or confiscate AR-15s and you haven't taken the time to learn what the "AR" stands for, then gun owners have every right to call you out.

Weinstein—and he's far from alone—bemoans the unfairness of gun controllers "being forced to sweat the finest taxonomic distinctions between our nation's unlimited variety of lethal weapons." This statement is illustrative of the emotionalism and hyperbole of the debate (the notion that there's an "unlimited variety" of firearms is absurd). But at the same time, it's an exaggeration of Second Amendment advocates' expectations.

As with any contemporary disputes over public policy, there will always be those who attempt to dismiss opponents who possess less expertise. It's certainly not unique to this debate. And, no, a person should not be excluded from a conversation simply for referring to a "bullet" rather than a "cartridge," or a "clip" rather than a "magazine."

Then again, much of gun control policy is driven by the mechanics of a firearm. So, while not knowing what a "barrel shroud" is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy, failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you're dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate.

Take, for instance, Michael Bloomberg.

In a debate imbued with emotion, gun control advocates rely on this ignorance. When then-President Barack Obama told a crowd that a mass shooter used a "fully automatic weapon," he wasn't concerned with the finest taxonomic distinctions of a gun; he was depending on the yawning obliviousness of a cheering crowd. When CNN featured an alleged gun expert explaining that the AR-15 he was about to fire was "full semi-automatic," he was making the functionality of the firearm sound scarier to those who are ignorant about guns.

"Jargon" is words and expressions that are difficult for a layman to understand or use. Rather than using jargon, Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with "high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines" or "jumbo clips," you're trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise. When you claim that we need to ban "gas-assisted receiver firearms," you're trying to make a semi-automatic weapon sound like a machine gun for a reason.

It's not always the mechanics either. When MSNBC's Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision, he's preying on policy ignorance that has little to do with gun culture. When MSNBC analyst Steve Schmidt goes on television and passionately tells an audience that it's more difficult to buy cough medicine than an "AK-47—or 50 of them," he's either lying or has absolutely no grasp of how gun policy works. Either way, he shouldn't be talking to grown-ups about firearms.

All these people use a moralistic fallacy, which is often predicated on the ignorance Weinstein rationalizes—not that it stops him from embracing the appeal to authority he condemns elsewhere.

For example, Weinstein takes Fox News personality Tomi Lahren to task for failing to mention that the family of Eugene Stoner, the AR-15's designer and champion, claimed in 2016 that Stoner would be "'horrified and sickened' to see his military rifle pattern become so common in civilian households and school shootings." You'll notice the conflation. Of course Stoner would be horrified that his gun was used in school shootings. But Weinstein fails to note that there's no evidence on the record of Stoner having been "horrified and sickened" by the notion of civilians owning his gun. Since he had been selling prototype AR-15s to civilians a decade before his military model was adopted by the United States, we have no reason to believe he would be.

Perhaps that kind of discussion spurns conversation in favor of condescension. But at least it's a debate that revolves around the veracity of facts, which is a lot more than I can say for the rest of the "gunsplaining" grievance.


NEXT: Government Wants Our Trust, but Where's the Accountability?

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  1. Gun nuts aren’t doing themselves any favors with their word policing on gun rights. I was in Jerusalem last summer and complained on fb about all the religious whack jobs wandering the streets with machine guns and someone replied, “Those aren’t machine guns, silly.” Well whatever the hell they are, they shouldn’t be wandering the streets with them (I guess trying to instigate Arab kids at bus stops to jump up and stab them with kitchen scissors) and I’m sure the Nazis said the same thing to their victims before they riddled them with bullets. It actually comes off as a sinister threat to people who don’t own guns. (Yes I just called Zionists Nazis. Welcome to the Reason comment boards in 3… 2….)

    1. It shows gun grabbers are stupid.

      Why would you want to give up your guns to stupid people. I won’t even let stupid people bag my groceries.

    2. I’ve been to Israel several times myself and I have to say I had the opposite reaction (and I’m not a “gun nut”). Whatever one thinks about open carry in the U.S., including those that open carry “because they can”, Israelis have a wholly different reason to be carrying.

      Once, I was on a tour and we were eating lunch at a restaurant when a bus full of children pulled up. When they got off the bus, a few of the adults had rifles slung on their shoulders. I don’t think it was for any other purpose than to protect the children in the case of a terrorist attack.

      1. That probably was the teachers. Which is instructive. When Israel had mass shootings at their schools, they armed the teachers. Mass shootings stopped. Shocking, I know.

        1. Citation for that? Genuine question.

        2. IIRC El Al had few hijacking attempts due to the armed plainclothes agents on board. Mass terror has less appeal when the actor gets shot before carrying out the mission.

      2. I’ve been to Israel several times myself and I have to say I had the opposite reaction (and I’m not a “gun nut”).

        I’m probably as closer to being a gun nut than not and, personally, I found the armed guards at Charles de Gaulle more unsettling than anywhere else. Maybe it was just happenstance, but everywhere else I’ve been, the security presence was either mostly invisible or a more passive/perimeter security (like an appliance or fixture). Only at CDG were uniformed armed guards milling about among the people for no apparent reason other than an apparent/overt display of force.

        1. The very act is an admission that the whole security screening exercise is theater.

          Why do they need long guns and/or submachine guns if everyone else is disarmed?

        2. Did you visit any major U.S. airport post 9/11?

          Uniformed military with M-16s. Well armed, recently indoctrinated into military life, punk assed kids with itchy trigger fingers make me nervous. No matter what country I’m in.

    3. Gun nuts

      FUCK YOU.


      1. Wow, what an intellectual argument.

        1. When someone tosses off a smear like “gun nut”, they don’t deserve anything more than a “fuck you” in response. Got a problem with that?


      2. I’m so impressed I am going to counter that with “Fuck You John C. Randolph and any and all gun grabbers.”

    4. I’m sure the Nazis said the same thing to their victims before they riddled them with bullets.

      Actually, no. The Nazis rather literally named them St?rmgewehr meaning ‘Storm Gun’ or ‘Assault Rifle’ and their ownership and use was restricted (selectively loosened actually) to the military, police, and party members.

      Calling them assault rifles and saying only police officers should carry them is literally behaving like Nazis.

    5. Does it hurt being that ignorant?
      Or is it just normal for a Progressive serf?

    6. If you’re calling for a ban on ‘machine guns’ and you a) don’t know what a machine gun is and b) that machine guns are already banned – you *should* be laughed at.

      1. And its not like we’re not consistent on this – Reason itself has been called out multiple times about misclassifying police-acquired APC’s as ‘tanks’ when they obviously are not.

        It doesn’t do *anyone* – even our allies – any good to overstate their case.

  2. Gunsplaining isn’t nearly as much of a problem as lawsplaining is. Under lawsplaining, there are mega-magazines with jumbo clip-loads of law-jargon which unload barrages of legal buzzwords and politically super-heated gasses, which attempt to persuade the listeners (us) that The Sacred Laws of Government Almighty will somehow miraculously translate the intent of the legislators, their brain waves and verbal ejaculations, etc., into gun-disabling miracles, which will apply only to the guns of “bad hombres” and the mentally ill, and not the guns of cops, hunters, soldiers, and good ol’ folks who just want to defend their homes.

    These miracles are eagerly awaited, despite the utter failures of Government Almighty to exercise the powers it already has, to enforce the laws already passed, that were just now on fullly-semiautomatic assault display in Florida!

    1. Excuse me, what I had meant to say was,

      “…that were just now on fullly-semiautomatic assault display in Florida, WITH added menacing-looking pistol grip and bayonet-mounting studs!

      1. and NEVER FORGET the ultra deadly “shoulder thing that goes up”

  3. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    All gun control is unconstitutionally illegal.

    1. The definitions of words are subject to change based on the emotions of excitable people.

      1. now you are beginning to sound like the Clinton He Unit…. whoever that “IS”…….

    2. “Gun control” being regulations that are unconstitutional.

      OTOH, regulations of guns that are acceptable (like various regulations of speech are), are just that.

      BTW, the 2nd Amendment wasn’t in place in 1789. Does it mean you don’t love it?

  4. Hey people. We need to ban football because the players can injure themselves while at bat. The player in the position of “Wide Receiver” is especially at risk, since that player – as the name clearly implies – receives home runs from a wide variety of rackets during the volley.

    That’s what it sounds like to us when people start talking about “assault rifles” and “barrel shrouds”. Words mean things. People who clearly don’t know what that meaning is and expecting to have a meaningful conversation with them are going to be as effective as the horses they use in water polo.

    1. Gun grabbers have gone full Calvin-Ball on us!!!

    2. Yeah, this isn’t new.

      It’s called a domain specific language and it’s used in all walks of life and in both directions. If your doctor came in and said your shin bone was out of whack, picked up a bat, and said he was going to have a crack at putting it back in line, even without a medical degree, you’d recoil in horror and/or realize that he wasn’t any sort of doctor of reasonable repute. Even among lay people ‘hand me the thingy’ doesn’t fly unless you’ve both clearly delineated what ‘the thingy’ is.

      Gun owners aren’t switching up names every other conversation, using terms that can’t be pronounced by English speakers, and generally trying to trick people. They have a lexicon that usually they themselves did not establish and, without which, they genuinely don’t understand what you are saying even though both sides understand all the terms used. Much the same way people who grew up boiling fish have to clarify what a fish boil is to people who have never boiled a fish much less taken part in a fish boil.

      1. You’re saying I can’t walk into an Italian restaurant and order pasta with a vegetable sauce with meat and the waiter won’t understand me?

  5. I see certain parallels between this and climate change. Aren’t fossil fuel restrictionists always criticizing the other side for not learning the basics about the issue?

    1. Yes, and they are correct! The ritualistic ceremonies (and their symbolic meanings) of Gaia-worship are complex, intensely felt, and cannot be fully comprehended unless you “feel the Spirit”. Unbelievers are inherently and by definition, are TOTALLY ignorant, and should NOT be listened to, by the True Believers!!! Else the True Believers might start to question their faith, and RUIN THE EARTH, not to mention also ruining their feelings of smug superiority!

      Have YOU been recycling your used toilet paper?!?! Do NOT go off and make the baby seals cry, by NOT recycling your used toilet paper!!!!!

      1. Actually, modern sewage treatment plants and even rudimentary septic tanks take care of the used toilet paper recycling matter for us.

    2. Yes, all the while using bogus statements loaded with pseudo-scientific jargon that have nothing to do with actual science or reason in order to spread FUD.

      It’s not an anomaly, it’s the essence of progressivism. One if the earliest examples of this is eugenics in the US. The Nazis (radical progressives) sprinkled their propaganda language with scientific sounding phrases.

      1. The Nazis, specifically Goebbels, learned from USA Progressives Bernays and Lippmann, who developed the methods of propaganda for Progressive Democrat President Wilson to justify segregating the federal government.

      2. Marx and Alinsky in action. READ them…. the gun banners are plying by both of those insane hucksters’ rules to take over and subvert a people or culture without using military force. The kinyun has read and studied both of these eedjits, as have I…. but HE is stupid and/or perverse enough to believe in them, and DO what they say. I, on the other hand, having understood them and their goals, have rejected them. But I recognise the rulebooks by which they are marching.

  6. They use fake science and scary sounding words for climate change, economics, education, gender issues, and healthcare. Why would you expect them to do anything different for guns?

    Progressivism is based on the false appearance of being rooted in science and reason.

  7. Defending gun pedantry is unwise. Pro-gun types often jump into gun pedantry mode before taking any notice of the probable level of gun experience they address. Because I defend the notion of gun controls, I get accused all the time of irrational fear of guns, and accused also of crippling ignorance about how they work. But I have owned ~ 12 guns at one time or another, sometimes as many as 4 at once. I have carried guns in the field for the purpose of killing game for far more hours than most gun enthusiasts have?also, probably more hours than most of them have spent on gun ranges. I have opened carried guns?even hitchhiked successfully while open carrying a rifle. And I have had the experience of being shot at, more than once.

    These facts I have not kept secret, but discussed in my comments. Doesn’t matter. Gun pedants don’t try to figure out who knows or doesn’t know about guns. They just don’t want to pay attention to anyone who disagrees with them. So anyone whose opinions they don’t like, they call ignorant.

    That makes pro-gun commentary seem more impulsive than it ought to be. It also portrays pro-gun advocates as hot-headed, and personally aggressive?more or less the opposite of the look they need if they want to convince bystanders that arming ever-more people is a good way to organize society. Trying to justify that is foolish.

    1. Defending gun pedantry is unwise.

      Not really, since gun control is often sold by convincing people that certain weapons are uniquely dangerous. Pointing out that no, AR-15s aren’t actually fully automatic, or a barrel shroud (a shoulder thing that goes up) doesn’t increase a weapon’s lethality isn’t really pedantry anyway

      1. For those who think certain types of guns are particularly dangerous, it is not pedantic at all to talk to them about barrel shrouds. It will convince many of them they are wrong. I’m not being snarky.

        1. Not anyone I’ve ever met.

          They see mass shooting and knee jerk into “ban them all” mode immediately because, in their minds. this is perfectly logical. Just take away guns and no more kids will be killed in school.

          I’ve even tried pointing out that I did openly take a 12 gauge to school when I was in high school so I could dove and pheasant hunting after school and that no one ever felt threatened by that.

          But, there is no reasoning with their linear, closed minded logic. Ban this ban that. Then there will be no trajedies other than “acts of God”.

    2. So, Stephen, do you ever attempt to correct any of the many factual errors that your fellow gun control advocates spout off?

      Sure, there are a few things such as the magazine vs clip issue that are less relevant. But when someone says that a .223 is some exceptionally powerful cartridge, they’re very very wrong — do you correct them?

      When someone calls a semi-automatic rifle “automatic”, do you explain to them that there is a very important functional difference between them, and there are millions of the one category, and very few of the other, in private hands?

      When someone advocates banning all semi-automatics while having no clue that this would include not just AR-15s, but millions of pistols and millions of perfectly ordinary (“hunting”) rifles, do you correct them?

      If not, then you’re just deflecting the fact that a very large percentage of gun control advocates just plain do not know what they are talking about. And there is no way to have a meaningful conversation if one side of the debate is so appallingly ignorant about important distinctions.

      1. a very large percentage of gun control advocates just plain do not know what they are talking about.

        True, but I think you may be giving the grabbers too much credit. Plenty of them are merely speaking from ignorance, but I suspect some do know what they’re talking about, but continue to make misleading and flat-out false statements anyway. I’d be willing to grant them a lot more good faith if not for the fact that their misstatements almost always serve to make things sound more scary and dangerous than they really are. When all of your “mistakes” are in the same direction, it’s difficult to believe they’re honest mistakes.

        That’s why I’m going to go right on “gunsplaining”. Since some of them are honestly ignorant, I’ll do my best to be civil and non-condescending, but I’m not going to stop. And I won’t pull any punches on those who are knowingly dishonest.

        1. Wizard, knowing dishonesty is always bad. Knowing what is dishonesty? That’s harder. To ease the way, you rely on noticing the systematic way the “errors” seem help your opponents. But what if reality turned out to be “more scary and dangerous” than you believe it to be? Wouldn’t that deliver the same systematic-looking result?but with you in the wrong instead of your opponents? Should they tax you with dishonesty? I suppose that some of them probably are, but I don’t think they should. The fact is that none of us has reliable information on the social costs of guns in society today?let alone on the costs of particular kinds of guns. Would you back a project to empower the Justice Department and the Centers for Disease Control to collaborate to compile and collate that information?

          1. Again, would you back a project to document the defensive uses of firearms? Would you back a project to document the social costs of media (social or otherwise)?

          2. social costs of guns

            Irrelevant in the context of 2A. Try again.

          3. “”Would you back a project to empower the Justice Department and the Centers for Disease Control to collaborate to compile and collate that information?””

            The CDC should stick with diseases.

            1. I would back having the CDC tabulate the social costs of progressivism.

          4. Have any of those kids from Parkland personally walked into a building and bought an AR-15 for $130.00″?

            Seriously doubt it as all are under 18.

            Do they personally know someone who has?

            Again seriously doubt it. And if they do, please refer me to this building as I have $390.00 burning a hole in my pocket.

            They are lying, regurgitating proggie propaganda and as such, I will continue to gunsplain to the ignorant little fuckers.

          5. Have any of those kids from Parkland personally walked into a building and bought an AR-15 for $130.00″?

            Seriously doubt it as all are under 18.

            Do they personally know someone who has?

            Again seriously doubt it. And if they do, please refer me to this building as I have $390.00 burning a hole in my pocket.

            They are lying, regurgitating proggie propaganda and as such, I will continue to gunsplain to the ignorant little fuckers.

        2. “their misstatements almost always serve to make things sound more scary and dangerous than they really are.”

          Imagine if your only experience with guns was seeing them in movies and video games. In those settings, guns ARE ‘more scary and and dangerous than they really are’. Many of the gun-grabbers aren’t being willfully dishonest when they describe guns, they are instead describing guns AS THEY PERCEIVE GUNS TO BE.

          1. “”Imagine if your only experience with guns was seeing them in movies and video games.””

            Add news and social media to that list.

            1. ^^^^This is true for the majority of citizens today.

              Even my family can quote scripture and verse as factual evidence for banning guns, based on what they’ve heard or read in the overall media. They don’t even stop to question stupid Youtube videos.

              Then again, once we saw the acceptance of “reality” TV and the Kardashians by the general public, should we be surprised?

        3. I think a lot of the ignorant ones are arguing in good faith, but they are simply repeating rhetoric. Surely Bloomberg and his crew know very well what banning semi-automatics would entail, and that is exactly what they want. The average gun-control advocate is just a delivery method for intentionally inflammatory arguments made by a handful of psychopathic policymakers.

      2. When talking about issues in general, the average person use loose language, and this includes many politicians. It is not limited to guns. There is some value in dealing with specific facts but at some point it gets not too useful. I guess it’s helpful that many supporters of gun regulations are gun owners themselves and are familiar with the product to some degree more than others. Finally, it is true that in political debates people who use loose language when pressed would obviously say there positions are more complete than they originally suggest. Thus, e.g., when pressed, those supporting a “limited” abortion procedure would support broad abortion limits.

      3. erb, I have indeed offered corrections frequently to folks who seemed to need them. I agree, many gun control advocates have been distracted by irrelevancies. As a gun control advocate myself, I see that as a weakness which needs correcting. I have no problem stepping in.

        But you and I disagree on some points. You consider the .223 issue too narrowly. It is indeed exceptionally powerful?for mass killings especially?regardless of comparative foot-pound statistics. It’s exceptional power comes from combining characteristics: light-recoil; light-weight; low expense; high velocity; excellent design for semi- or full-auto operation; and sufficient energy to kill out to hundreds of yards range. Dead is dead?.223 dead is just as dead as .308 dead. So on each criterion, the .223 matches or improves upon (mostly improves upon) the .308 as a tool for spree killers. For them, the .223 is indeed a more powerful mass killing tool than .308, or, quite likely, any other cartridge available. Although gun opponents might not quite understand, their generalization remains correct.

        You are also mistaken to emphasize a difference between semi-auto and full-auto. Previously, I would have conceded your point, but the Las Vegas shooting taught the nation that only a pedant would continue to insist on an important distinction. Full-auto capability turns out to be inherent in the AR-15 design, and available after trivial manipulations.

        1. Full-auto capability turns out to be inherent in the AR-15 design, and available after trivial manipulations.

          Now what were you saying about your expertise again?

          Your peael clutching may endear you to some but it doesn’t hide your lack of any rational arguments. By your standard of a “killing spree” a 9mm is far, far more lethal than a long arm, so let’s dispense with the hyperbole and just stick with the facts for a change. But I guess that would just be more pedantry.

        2. re: .223,

          Yes and no. The point that .223 is good out to hundreds of yards is true. And it’s also the reason that .223/AR-15 isn’t somehow particularly dangerous for these types of killings. Most of them are sufficiently close range that a 9mm is better according to the characteristics that you describe. Vegas is one of the rare examples where range actually mattered. In that case, the number of people injured shows the effect of his high rate-of-fire. But, the ratio of dead:injured shows that increased ROF at the cost of accuracy reduced the deaths. Also, I think it’s fair to say that using .308 may have decreased number of injured people, but probably increased number of deaths.

          Just to be clear, my point is that .223 isn’t some extraordinarily dangerous round. IMO, in the vast majority of these shootings, 9mm would be more effective. But, currently .223 is the main target for gun control because the anti-gun crowd finds it particularly scary. Magically getting rid of .223s wouldn’t magically eliminate mass shootings. I don’t think it would make a significant dent.

          1. Curt, you know who else thinks .223 is particularly scary? The U.S. military?and for the very reason that a lot of what they want it for looks more like a spree killing than like a bank heist.

            I do agree that just getting rid of .223 would probably not “eliminate mass shootings.” You want a “significant dent?” Get rid of the combination of .223 (or other light-recoil cartridges), semi-auto operation, and interchangeable magazines. Even if you left the pistols alone, you would get a result?no more Las Vegas events, anyway.

            By the way, are you suggesting the Las Vegas shooter could have efficiently managed a bump-stock-equipped .308? Or, alternatively, accurately targeted with deadly single shots more than 50 people at 500 yards (plus a notable vertical component)? No examples of those kinds of feats to show yet, right?

            1. Hmm is that why they keep experimenting with larger calibers? Maybe the .223 is TOO deadly. Yeah, that’s it.

              How many could he have killed with pipe bombs? The deadliest school event in 1927 killed 38 with a bomb. 29 killed with cleavers in China. OKC bombing killed how many again?

            2. The military has significant interest in ammo other than .223 and weapons other than M4/M16. That’s because they’re concerned about it’s limitations. Shooting at Russians attacking through the Fulda Gap is different from shooting down hallways in urban environments. The effective range (and light weight) were keys to choosing it. The ability to shoot people in close quarters wasn’t.

              Re: significant dent… that approach may have eliminated what happened in Vegas (although M1-Garand or a Winchester 94 would have been very effective), but that may have just translated to different tactics from the guy. I’m not sure that eliminating Vegas event is a significant dent. I don’t say that to be callous; just that if it never happened, I don’t think there’d be significantly fewer people who believe that there’s a problem that must be fixed.

              Re: if you leave pistols alone… I don’t think that’s a reasonable “if”. Small number of people would agree. Also line between rifle and pistol can be pretty fuzzy.

              1. re: pistols. my point may have been lost trying to stick to character limit. I think that a small number of people would be willing to concede to leaving pistols alone. Maybe for the sake of passing a law today, but then pistols would just be the next item on the to-do list.

                Also, a separate point about scary guns and scary ammo. In Jacob Sullum’s article from a few days ago, he noted that M1-Carbine and Mini-14 were specifically exempted from Feinstein’s latest bill. But, only when they have fixed stocks. I don’t see Springfield M1As specifically included or exempted, but most models would not qualify as an assault weapon. So, some semi-auto weapons with detachable magazines in .308 and .223 are still acceptable because they don’t look scary enough. It’s just so random.

            3. Re: Vegas… no, that’s not what I’m suggesting. To clarify a bit (and add some more)… A full-auto M16 would have been more accurate than bump-stock AR-15 (devices like bumpstocks don’t = full auto).

              My point about ROF vs accuracy was just that I believe (and have had arguments with others at H&R; I agree with some of their points) that firing on semi vs using bump stock would have significantly increased accuracy. Lots of his fire missed his target area because bumpstock limited his accuracy.

              My intended point when including .308 is that more of those injuries would have been fatalities with the more powerful round.

              But my larger overall point is that a discussion with someone like you is more constructive that with the ignorant people who need gunsplaining. We may not change each others mind, but at least your arguments are sufficiently rooted in reality to be worth serious consideration.

            4. “”Curt, you know who else thinks .223 is particularly scary? The U.S. military?”‘

              I’m curious who in the military thinks this. The Coast Guard?

            5. Actually the military has always had larger rounds like the 7.62 (.308). I should mention that the government (military more so than others) have always waited to see what the civilian world developed before adapting it to military usage. This includes parachutes, firearms, etc. The AR-15 was developed by civilians for civilians using the .223 round. The government came years later (over a decade IIRC) and requested an automatic version for the military, the M-16. Semiautomatic weapons have been around since the late 1800s although US civilian design and production started ~1905 with pistols first then rifles and shotguns. It wasn’t until decades later that the government started using semiautomatic firearms to replace bolt action rifles with the military as late as the 1980s still using revolvers.

          2. If he’d only used a bomb. More death. More caranage. No debate about the weapon of choice afterwards, only the cowardly acts of mad men.

        3. What did Steven Cho use to kill 33 people at Va Tech? A Glock 19 [9mm, 15 round magazine] and a Walther .22 [10 round magazine]. What did Alexis use to kill 12 government employees and contractors at the Washington Navy Yard? A Remington 870 12 gauge, 5 round tube magazine.

          So what is your point again? Mine is that virtually any caliber can be used in a killing spree. If I were a deranged psychopath which would I to choose as my preferred instrument of destruction? It’s hard to say, because they all accomplish the same end. So let’s ban a particular platform. or ammunition because a group of NY surgeons declares they are too inherently destructive. There, we DID something and now feel all better about it. So the next guy uses a shotgun; must be time to publish xrays of what a 1 1/8 ounce slug does to people and ban those too.

        4. It is indeed exceptionally powerful

          Actually, no. A .223 will put a hole in you. A standard deer round will blow your arm off.

        5. Some of what you say I’d agree with (“Dead is dead”) but your .223 comments in general are not convincing.

          For one illustration, why is it that a number of states disallow .223 for deer hunting? It’s not because it’s too powerful, it’s because it may be too weak to reliably kill. (And no, deer are not really harder to kill than humans.)

        6. bump stocks do NOT “convert” a semi auto gun into “full auto”. That is a leftist gun grabbing lie.

          Some skilled operators can use NOTHING, just work with the rhythm of the recoil as it fires, ejects, reloads, places in battery, closes bolt, then gets another tirigger pull to fire again. Shoestring rubber bands, a skilled finger, can all replicate that.

          BUT…. the one thing about bump stocks is that tjey can be raised up as a rallying cry by the antigunn folks, and put some weak kneed lemming types, unaccustomed to thinking a thing through, into flight mode at the thought that a fifty dollar device can “make” a fully automatic rifle out of a semi-automatic. So they arae a grat scape goat.

          One other detail consistently left out of this niche of the debate: bump stocks and their pseudo-replacements reduce the accuracy of the 5.56 cartridge firing rifle VERY SERIOUSLY. Ten carefully aimed shots taken together at normal firing cadence (about one every three seconds) will most times do far more damage than a hundred round drum magazine fired rapid fire with a bump stock.

      4. I’ll make mistakes and call it a “clip” myself sometimes, even when I know that’s wrong. It’s a smack myself on the forehead kind of thing.

        The one that gets me is people referring to rounds that fragment as “exploding” rounds. Sometimes the corrections really are fundamental to people’s misunderstanding. It’s not like you’re correcting their grammar. You’re helping them understand the issue.

        It’s like explaining to people that Bitcoin isn’t anonymous. If somebody’ thinking about piling into the stuff because they think it’s the future of money because it’s anonymous, you’re doing them a big favor by setting them straight.

        1. Oh please. Say it ain’t so! 🙂

      5. Yes, I ALWAYS correct these misunderstandings, in clear and concise language. Defining terms and getting at their meaning in this context IS important. Some terms are almost ambiguous, or are very close to terms with opposite meaning. “automatic”, “fully automatic” are similar, as it would seem. But how about “auto-loading”? To an ignorant one (as in “not informed), not “stupid”) that could easily be taken to mean the same thing as “fullly automatic” or simly “automatic”. Ask questions.. “what do YOU mean by that term?” What is the SIGNFICANCE of that term in view of performance in action? take time to listen… to their responses, but lead with your questioins. Once tey explain what THEY think” automatic” means, ask if they are certain. then if you can tell them what it really is. Then explain the funcitonal difference. Most times I’ve been able to do this, I get the most puzzled looks, then a soft downward toning “OOOOHHHhhhhhhhhh”.

    3. Defending gun pedantry is unwise.

      Defending gun ignorance even more so.

      Gun pedants don’t try to figure out who knows or doesn’t know about guns. They just don’t want to pay attention to anyone who disagrees with them. So anyone whose opinions they don’t like, they call ignorant.

      Given that gun homicides are far lower than they were 25 years ago, as are rates of violence in the same time frame, it’s on the gun control crowd to explain how banning certain types of firearms in certain types of configurations, without resorting to loaded terms like “assault rifle” (anyone can “assault” you just as easily with a lever action 30-06 or a basic Glock) to emotionally manipulate their audience.

    4. Concern troll is concerned. It is not pedantry to understand the subject you are talking about. If you want to take pride in being ignorant and blame those who are not for the trouble it causes you, have fun. Meanwhile, normal people will continue to expect you to know something about whatever subject you are bloviating.

      1. It’s not as if the distinction between automatic and semi-automatic, or most of the other things gun controllers often misunderstand or get wrong, are difficult concepts to grasp.

        1. Zeb, sure, mechanically the distinction is definable, however failure-prone the current defining legal distinction became after bump stocks. In terms of a spree killing, after bump stocks? Are you really sure you could define a clear-cut distinction? What makes you certain the Las Vegas shooter would have done notably more damage with a fully automatic military grade weapon?

          I suggest the distinctions you call easy may in fact prove too difficult for everyone?and will stay that way until uniform data about guns, shooters, and shooting victims can be collected, collated, and published. Would you back empowering and budgeting the Justice Department and the Centers for Disease control to collaborate on such a project?

          1. Would you back collection of statistical data on defensive uses of guns? For the children, of course.

            1. I think that data would be a critically important part of evaluating study results. If indeed defensive gun uses frequently prevent criminal violence, who wouldn’t want to know about it? And be able to weight it in the balance with whatever data suggest public harm from guns.

              That said, I hope you don’t suppose that current data on that topic have any validity at all.

              1. If you don’t think current data have any validity how are you so sure that gun control is the answer?

                1. Skippy, what you seem to be trying to do is attack the notion of finding out. People are getting pretty tired of playing that game.

                  1. Stevie, you seem convinced that we’re missing critical facts. In what area? So far all you’ve requested is some vague study. Are you claiming that existing gun death statistics are false? What is your basis for doing so? Again, if you think we don’t have adequate data, how are you able to advocate for gun control?

                    People are getting tired of the emotional appeals too.

                    1. But why? Emotional appeals have been defining laws for my entire lifetime.

                      I work in government. Everything we do is for the children, the elderly or the environment. That’s all for everyone’s good.

                      Just ask us!

              2. It would be interesting to see good data. But it’s not going to change the minds of anyone who believes that the right to be armed is actually an inalienable right.

                1. The “data” he is looking for is something with emotional appeal to push his case. Or are you claiming that gun shot deaths are widely suppressed in coroners’ reports, Steve?

                  1. Appeal to datasplaining?

          2. The fact that there might sometimes be tricky edge cases is irrelevant to what I’m saying. It’s technical jargon and if you are going to use it, you should use it correctly. Especially if you are a professional writer. It’s not difficult. How different kinds of weapons might make a mass murderer more efficient is a different discussion that also will work better if people know (and agree on) what the terms they are using mean.

            The CDC should stick to disease control. I find the mission creep there rather disturbing.

          3. What makes you certain the Las Vegas shooter would have done notably more damage with a fully automatic military grade weapon?

            Again, irrelevant. The point of 2A is to have military arms in the hands of civilians. And with regard to bump stocks, it is just a sleeve to hold a rifle that allows the rifle to bounce as it fires and cycles. It is mechanically simple and banning them will not stop anyone from getting them. Gun control is not only unconstitutional, it is ineffective.

            1. Just like TSA services in airports?

          4. Having used an AR platform with automatic while serving in the military as well as using them with semiautomatic as a civilian; I can easily say that full automatic fire is far less effective and far less efficient than semiautomatic aimed fire or even bolt action, lever action, or pump action aimed fire. Even the military has gone to 3 round burst instead of automatic fire. Even as far back as the late 1970s, the military was trained to use burst fire with automatic weapons. I also remember the German polizei, who carried automatic rifles, being trained to use 3 round bursts because of the weapon moving off target when one is fired on full automatic.

            I would also note there is no difference between an AR Platform semi-automatic or a so-called normal or hunting rifle in semiautomatic. IOW gun control proponents base their gun ban on cosmetic appearance of a firearm with no supporting data for their contention except fear of the scary looking weapon.

            1. Hunting for game above varmints, there is a difference: the catridge is more powerful.

          5. one datum I believe MUST be added to the rosters is whether the shooter had been, or was currently, taken SSRO and similar drugs, or had recently stopped taking them. WHICH shooters, which drug, what does, and for how long, and when stopped, if applicable.

    5. As other’s have said, it’s a matter of knowing or not-knowing what the hell you are talking about. When a person demonstrates ignorance of the most basic concepts of an issue, it’s reasonable not to value their opinion. But, yes… understanding what AR stands for or saying magazine vs. clip is generally pedantry. But it’s also a mistake that isn’t made by people who are informed on the topic.

      From the article, “So, while not knowing what a “barrel shroud” is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy, failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you’re dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate.” This may be true, but not knowing what a barrel shroud is *should* prevent someone from banning weapons that have a barrel shroud. The same concept applies for semi-auto weapons. The same concept applies for “devices that increase the rate of fire”.

      1. Knowing what AR means is not pedantry. Many people believe it stands for “assault rifle”. If you believe that, you should not be arguing about guns.

    6. Lathrop: It also portrays pro-gun advocates as hot-headed, and personally aggressive?more or less the opposite of the look they need if they want to convince bystanders that arming ever-more people is a good way to organize society

      They seem to be doing something right – perhaps by not listening to you and continuing to educate their fellow Americans?

      Gallup Poll: More Than Six in 10 Americans Say Guns Make Homes Safer

      The percentage of Americans who believe having a gun in the house makes it a safer place to be (63%) has nearly doubled since 2000, when about one in three agreed with this.
      Although there is a gender gap in the results for this question, majorities of both men (67%) and women (58%) believe having a gun improves home safety.
      About two-thirds of whites and Southerners endorse having a gun to improve home safety, as do majorities of nonwhites (56%) and residents of the other three regions.

      1. Thanks for the antique data Kevin. When I want to know about an issue, I never think I can do better than to survey Obama-era opinions to discover facts about today.

        1. Are you as concerned by the emotional appeals from gun control advocates like yourself? Somehow you don’t seem very disturbed when Mother Jones or Everytown intentionally lies. So much for the pearls.

          1. I watched Josh Sugarman boldly lie as he tstified before the Washington Stat Senate Judiciary Committee when thr “cure” for a four-victim ambush on polic officers whilst at coffee before their shift resulted in the listing of an “assault weapon ban” before the WA Senate. Sugarman lied when he declared that part of why they must be banned is that “they can be very easily and quickly be converted to full autmatic rifles”. Well, I suppose they can… IF the gun’s current owner has the full automatic lower receiver in hand… but what ol Joshie “forgot” is that it is THAT ONE PART that is serially numbered AND restricted. There the issue becomes not whether the conversion can be DONE, but HOW is one going to get hold of the serialised VERY restricted part (the “receiver”) in order to swap all the other bits onto the new full auto receiver. He also insisted the AR 15 rifle is a “high power” rifle.. another iie. These rifles are “so powerful” it is illegal to use them for the taking of deer in Washington. They cannot reliably make an effective kill on an animal the size of a deer. Thus in WA at least, the “Second Ammendment” is indeed NOT about hunting deer…..

        2. 3 years is “antique”? OK, then, how about you show us more recent data that changes the stats in Kevin’s link?

        3. Are you looking for the decades long data that firearm homicide has steadily declined in the USA while firearm sales have increased, IOW more firearms has led to less criminal firearm usage?

          Or perhaps you would like the data that shows the USA violent crime has steadily decreased at a rate far faster than the UK and Australia, who saw spikes in their data after enacting their firearm bans with a return to the same yearly decline that was occurring before the firearm ban?

          It is truly sad that you use decades old data to support your anti-2A gun control agenda while ignoring more recent data that supports the pro-2A agenda.

        4. “antique data”

          this is new. now, unless a survey was conducted in the current-month, its completely invalid. i will remember this the next time some leftist idiot tries using polls to support flimsy claims.

        5. Are you trolling? 4 years ago is too old for you? Shove off.

    7. Then if you “know guns” you shouldn’t be getting attacked, because you would know the terminology. But since you are, I’m guessing you either don’t know the terminology or are intentionally being obtuse to push your agenda.

      And yes, you do have an irrational fear of guns if you want gun control. That’s the only reason to push it.

    8. Is it pedantry to correct someone who claims that a handgun cannot defeat someone with a long arm because of the difference on muzzle velocity? I want to make sure I get this right from someone who clearly had all of the answers.

      1. Find Nick Melli, or somewhere near Portland, OR. When the Clackamas Towne Centre Mall shooting erupted, the perp was using an AR style rifle, had a gymn bag holding several hundreds of rounds, all prepped in magazines. He had shot two t death, wounded a third.. -Nick heard the shooting, RAN TOWARD it, drew his lawfully concealed handgun, drew down on the perp as he sought more victims, but held his fire because he did not twant to take the risk of missing or over penetrating and hitting someone in the background with the round intended for the shooter. Mr. Melli used a handgun, I believe a 9mm. The handgun was never fired. The perp noticed the man drawing down on him, turned and walked through the panicking crowds to a side hallway, where he did the bst thing he could have at that point.. he shot himself in the head. So, in that one incident, a nine mm outflanked an AR firing .223. Muzzle velocity never became an issue.

        Besides, at ranges of out to 400 yards or so, the difference between 1200 fps and 2400 fps would mean a WHOPPING difference in arrival time of…. ONE SECOND. So if the guy with the handgun was on target, the perp was not, the handgun round would reach the perp one second after he had squeezed the trigger. Shorten the distance to 100, yards, that difference shrinks to a quarter second. WHEN has any such attempt to end a mass shooting taken place at over a hundred yards?

        at that point in time, what difference would it make?

    9. The reason nobody believes your claims to knowledge and expertise are because every time you discuss the subject you say preposterously stupid things.

      Take, for example, your “fake but accurate” defense of media bedwetting over .223 ammunition, downthread. We’re getting hung up on the details, you say, when the .223 combines a bunch of features that make it attractive to spree killers. But you listed features it has in common with all modern ammunition (i.e., “excellent design for semi- or full-auto operation”) or all modern rifle ammunition (i.e., “high velocity” and “sufficient energy to kill out to hundreds of yards range”), features that it simply doesn’t possess at all (“low expense” — relative to what? Have you tried to buy any, recently?), and features that make it attractive to anybody, not merely spree killers (“light-recoil” and “light-weight”). News flash: popular ammunition is popular, even among malefactors.

      As if that wasn’t enough coneheaded stupidity for one afternoon, you then argued that because one mass shooter, under circumstances that guaranteed him a high body count regardless of his choice of weapons, used a spring-loaded contrivance that helped him pull the trigger of his semi-auto rifle faster, it’s pedantry to continue to emphasize the functionally- and legally-consequential distinction between semi-autos and machine guns.

      It’s impossible to believe that someone minimally educated about firearms can subscribe to such bullshit.

  8. The Stoner family statements are completed hypocrisy. Did they keep the money he made?

    After ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt, Eugene Stoner designed the AR-18 which was sold on the civilian market and never won a military contract (although the piston design was copied on many military rifles).

    1. How is it hypocrisy? If I made a new kind of sandwich and people started using it to choke other people, I would be pretty sad. That doesn’t mean I would regret making the sandwich.

      1. Would you be “‘horrified and sickened’ to see your sandwich become so common in civilian households…”?

        Or was your sandwich designed just for cops and soldiers?

        1. Call it a doughnut.

      2. Nobel Peace Prize?

    2. Did they keep the money he made?

      Would not keeping it prevent anything bad from happening?

  9. “Gun control” is aiming the darned thing carefully, and hitting what you’re aiming at, right?

    A legal mandate for adding aiming-assistance laser-sighting to all new guns would be good start, right? Can we all agree on that much? Or would such a law contain a lethal legal defect, in that it does not accommodate the blind, ooops, I mean, vision impaired?

    1. They must also come equipped with a range finder with some kind of scanning capability so that the target can be reconstructed. The reconstruction will then direct the bearer through audio. Only at this point can the gun be allowed to fire (we’ll make it illegal and then nobody will do it)

    2. Braille sights will be required under the ADA

      1. You will be require by law to say polo, any time a blind shooter says marco.

        1. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

    3. And here I thought that “gun control” was:
      1. Aim: Align your sight with the target.
      2. Control Your Breathing: Your breathing can move the firearm just enough to throw off your shot.
      When you’re ready to shoot, draw a deep breath and exhale about half of it.
      3. Hold Your Aim: Learning to hold the firearm steady is a challenge. Rather than attempting to eliminate all movement, concentrate on two actions.
      4. Squeeze the Trigger: Jerking the trigger or abruptly clenching the trigger hand can move the gun enough to cause a miss. To avoid these motions, hold the gun comfortably.
      5. Follow Through: After the bullet fires, be sure to continue the squeeze or follow-through to avoid jerking the gun before the bullet leaves the barrel.

  10. A problem is that, from the gun grabbers’ perspective, “the basics” is “guns are bad”.

    1. Well, except when they call 911.

      Guns are only bad when THEY don’t need them.

      1. And except when they want government force to impose their control on others.

      2. And even then, they change their tune when cops get caught doing something nefarious. Lefty politics are self-conflicting at every single turn.

    2. Imagine if your only experience with guns were those depicted in movies and video games. The guns depicted there aren’t really guns, more like magical death-dealing devices.

      1. Especially when they show a full automatic in action.

        All one has to do is squeeze the trigger on that M-16 and swing it around for 30 seconds and mow down swaths of the “enemy”.


        Don’t bother explaining that, besides the incredible inaccuracy of such a move that the 30 round magazine would be emptied in less than 3 seconds.

        Hollywierd never exagerates or lies.

  11. Hindi Love Shayari: This article is for all Lovers.

  12. “When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision”

    I do find misrepresenting court opinions bad but then this includes those who don’t understand Heller leaves open a lot of regulations, especially as applied by the lower courts since then & not overturned by the Supreme Court.

    Anyway, I think it’s fine to be concerned with basic knowledge here and specifics will be helpful. Reason is more consistent on this subject then others but to be clear that doesn’t just apply to guns. There are lots of subjects that is being talked about on the t.v. by generalists & we can point out how repeatedly there is misunderstanding.

    Gun regulation will be passed by legislatures with many gun owners among them & hopefully with input from experts in the field. So, I think some nuance will be provided. Thus, Dave Kopel supported a balanced Colorado approach:

    [“Colorado Consensus on Gun Laws,” National Review by Dave Kopel]

  13. People have a hard time comprehending that any “assault weapons” ban will necessarily be arbitrary in practice–because they know so little about guns.

    They imagine that banning the guns they want to ban will be easy to do in descriptive language, but when challenged, they can’t provide any examples of such language that won’t arbitrarily ban guns they don’t mean to ban–because they haven’t a clue.

    There was a guy at the Volokh Conspiracy the other day trying to solve this problem by banning guns that fire bullets over a specific velocity–thinking that would only impact “assault weapons”. Other people pointed out the problem of hunting Elk from 300+ yards away in Utah, that 9 mm rounds can reach hydrostatic shock velocities out of a handgun, that velocities can be a function of the hotness of the round itself rather than the gun, that he may have just criminalized Winchester ’94s and all rifle barrels, etc., etc., etc.

    1. Exactly. They see these guns and think “it can’t be that hard to ban this type! This looks scary, so it much work scary!” Then when you point out they are the same as other non-scary looking guns, they say “well we gotta start somewhere! there’s gotta be a way!” But they fail to understand there isn’t. Its either all semi-automatics or none. There is no in-between.

      1. this l=kind of stuipid thinking could get AR type rifles banned or restricted. What these eedjits don’t understand is that a Ruger Ranch Rifle of Mini 14 (or 30 for that matter) are every it as capable as an AR 15, can hold magazines of rhe same capacity, fire the same rounds, can fire at just about exactly the same rate, and cost is also siilar. The difference? One does not look “black and scary ugly”, the other looks like Dad’s old hunting rifle but shorter. No one would look twice at the Ranch or Mini 14/30. Bring out a Bushmaster, and the pantswetting crybabies will be calling Officer Odie to “come do something, there’s a man with a g g g GUNNN!!!

  14. I think part of the problem the left has with this is that they imagine gun owners to be uneducated neanderthals, who don’t know anything about physics, math, velocities, etc. Incidentally, the last time I visited Utah, we were in a bar with a bunch of rural “rednecks” who were all talking about the desirability and efficiencies of various solar options. Rural America knows all about solar because they actually use the stuff–something I doubt suburbanite greens ever even consider.

    There’s a disease that’s rampant in our society of people on the left who assume that because they don’t know anything, then other people must be even more ignorant. “I don’t know anything about guns, so these stupid rednecks must know even less” is the order of the day on the left. They won’t get a legitimate shot at swing voters in the Midwest until they figure it out.

    1. Does this apply to the various gun owners who have come out in support of some sort of ban here?

      1. Maybe not on this issue or in this thread.

        We had some impressive examples of that kind of thinking last night in the tariff thread. Listening to some of them, you might have thought that knowing something about what was said by our trade representatives and their counterparts in Canada and Mexico meant you were the most ignorant guy in the room.

        It’s all the same thing. Keep an eye out for it–that kid of thinking. I see it everywhere.

        “If I don’t know what you’re talking about, then you must be ignorant“.

      2. No, you’re just turncoats hoping to curry some favor with the kind of people who want to ban everything and love confiscation schemes.

      3. I have run into people that claimed to be gun owners, online, that thought all semi-automatics were “machine guns”, or that thought “assault rifles” were used in all mass shootings, etc.

        Whether they were lying or ignorant[1], hard to say.

        [1] Not mutually exclusive, of course….

        1. One time I went to DC and heard some FBI employee address an audience. This person told the entire audience that a semi-automatic firearm would fire multiple shots with one trigger pull. I would have felt better if the audience had shouted her down, but they listened like sheep and I guess, believed that.

          From the FBI. I had hoped they had more integrity.

    2. “they imagine gun owners to be uneducated neanderthals”

      Yeah, maybe. But also recall that only about 1/3 of Americans own guns, and this 1/3 is not uniformly distributed across the country. In liberal enclaves, it isn’t at all unusual to have a circle of friends where nobody owns a gun. So imagine if your ONLY experience with guns is in movies and video games. The guns depicted there aren’t really guns, but more like magic devices that instantly kill anything that they are aimed at. So when viewed from this lens, their desire to ban guns seems rational. Not that their position is right, just that it isn’t based in animus.

      1. A local politician who I really liked for his work in our county ran for a state legislature position. I voted for him in the Democratic primary, but the campaign got very nasty as we’re a moderate region, and he accepted nearly a million dollars in attack ads from Everytown.

        He lost in his own neighborhood. At the elementary school where all his kids had gone. I don’t know how one can take that much money from an organization as disreputable as Everytown and not expect to lose. I immediately suspected what you said about his enclave-that he didn’t have a wide diversity of acquaintances, so he didn’t have a pulse on the community. Further, many people are silent gun owners.

  15. Well, there’s two different types of arguments that I see from the “anti-gun” crowd.

    One is a desire to ban specific guns based on nonsense classifications, like “assault rifle”. For these people, yeah, they need to be educated on why it’s a bullshit classification. They could use some “gunsplaining”.

    But the other is a more general desire to “do something” about weapons that go beyond those “needed” for self-defense, whether they are AR-15’s or not. For this argument, “gunsplaining” is counter-productive and can be viewed as just demanding picayune detail for the sake of being argumentative. Because for this argument, the core issue isn’t really about the small details about particular guns, but a broader concern about the wisdom of the private ownership of guns beyond those needed for self-defense. The correct counter-argument, IMO, is not to get into pedantic details about guns, and not to shout SECOND AMENDMENT (because that is just an argument from authority, which won’t work especially on those disinclined to support the Heller interpretation of the 2A anyway), and not to shout BUT GOVERNMENT TYRANNY (because that just makes you sound like a nutter, regardless of the actual instances of tyranny that do exist), but to calmly explain that guns are tools and the way to cut down on the misuse of those tools is to make individuals who misuse those tools very clearly responsible for their actions, and not to take out the frustrations on the tools themselves.

    1. Propagandists see it differently. If my goal were to cause the US to surrender to the Soviet, images of a girl vaporized picking daisies would segue into politicians saying Jesus will take us bodily up to heaven if we die fighting the commie atheists. Then cue the “moderate” commentator asking whether Peace might not be a better idea. Then anyone pointing to KGB and NSDAP mass murders is handily depicted as an even worse thing. And so it goes… I no more believe the looters want to seize every gun than that they believed they could kill every jew. The idea is simply to make you abandon the defense of individual rights by making the initiation of force too expensive. The specifics are only a ploy to draw you into hairsplitting while the looters stick to glittering generalities in which only good government goons pack heat, like in East Germany and Russia.

    2. The problem with holding individuals responsible is that it doesn’t prevent future mass shootings. I’m not arguing against holding them responsible here but just pointing out the the goal being fewer mass shootings isn’t reached by jailing the perpetrators after the fact. And while I don’t have a huge issue with semi-automatics in general, it can be easily argued that it is the tool itself and we recognize that quite clearly with respect to other types of arms that are currently banned. We don’t let people stockpile sarin gas, for example. Gas is just a tool and it’s the misuse of that tool which is the problem, right? Or a tank, or missile, or a 50 cal machine gun. All that is really being discussed here is where to draw that line and whether we need to, once again, include semi-automatic rifles.

      Personally, I’d rather focus on magazine size and laws designed to inform the police and empower the temporary removal of guns if a person is judged a risk.

  16. full semi-automatic

    I could have gotten one in FULL semi-automatic?!?! I knew that salesman was shifty. //sarc

    1. I went down to my basement and converted mine to full semi auto; it’s quite simple: take a fine point Sharpie and print out “full” and the safety switch where is says “fire,” Or maybe yours has an image of a bullet. Same difference.

      1. Crap, don’t tell a liberal that.

      2. I’m curious if someone created a meme describing that as a method to convert, how much it would get passed around at true.

      3. I think the ink in a sharpie is carcinogenic. At least in California.

  17. If You’re Trying to Ban Guns, the Least You Could Do Is Learn the Basics

    But they won’t. The basics serve them no purpose. Acknowledging the basics destroys all of their arguments and reveals their end-game, which is total prohibition.

    Sloppy thoughts, sloppy policies.

    Aim small, miss small.

  18. Also, it’s important to point out that there is a strong majority against banning all guns in this country. For example, the percentage of people polled who say they want to ban handguns is consistently only about 30%. Which is good news.

    I think the reason is because most people can clearly see the connection between handgun ownership and personal self-defense, especially in more crime-ridden neighborhoods. The real question is when we discuss guns that go beyond handguns, like rifles and the like.

    1. There are many stats re the use of rifles and “long guns” generally in the use of homicides, and it is quite low [CDC and FBI Uniform Crime Statistics will verify that claim]. Banning them will make no measurable difference in outcome. Case in point. What did Cho use at Virginia Tech to kill 33 people?

      1. I agree with you. My point though is that I think the reason why there is strong consistent opposition to banning all guns, particularly handguns, but nevertheless there is majority support for banning “scary-looking guns”, is because it is easy to see a clear connection between handgun ownership and personal self-defense, but it is much harder to see that same connection with other types of guns.

        1. I think it also goes to the question of what “self-defense” is envisioned as. Using a rifle in my house to stop an intruder is more difficult than using a hand gun, for example; the hand gun is more maneuverable. If someone is worried about the government invading, they might value the rifle for its distance and accuracy.

    2. Tell me how many of that 30% want to also ban police handguns.

  19. agreed. I don’t care about this

    “As with any contemporary disputes over public policy, there will always be those who attempt to dismiss opponents who possess less expertise. It’s certainly not unique to this debate. And, no, a person should not be excluded from a conversation simply for referring to a “bullet” rather than a “cartridge,” or a “clip” rather than a “magazine.””

    But care very much about this

    “failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you’re dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate.”

  20. Vox (a “mainstream outlet” whose views Reason writers often cite as authoritative) writer says this on the Twitters:

    Zack Beauchamp Verified account @zackbeauchamp

    Saying you need to understand gun terminology to have opinions on gun policy is the equivalent of saying you need to understand the biology of a heroin overdose to have an opinion on the drug war

    1. Vox is neither “mainstream” nor “authoritative” and I’d like a citation to the claim that any regular Reason writers view them even as “credible” on anything more than statements of public opinion.

      As to the content of that quote, you may not need to fully understand the biological pathways of a heroin overdose but we certainly reserve the right to call your opinion uninformed when you can’t tell marijuana from herbal tea. And we have every right to question your motives when you willfully conflate the harms of LSD with non-prescription allergy medications.

      1. Vox is neither “mainstream” nor “authoritative” and I’d like a citation to the claim that any regular Reason writers view them even as “credible”

        See: Where soave’s link in his correction at the bottom goes

        CORRECTION: I initially described Benjamin as “alt-right sympathetic,” consistent with how mainstream news outlets have portrayed him. But upon further investigation, those reports seem misleading. Benjamin claims to stridently reject the alt-right and has quarreled with its members.

        If you want more, just follow PM links since 2014 or so for dozens of not-mocking-(but-probably-should-have-been) Vox-cites.

        p.s. I do not mean to insult your intelligence, but the “_______” around terms is often a hint of sarcasm. If i’d been more attentive to detail, i’d have also scare-quoted “news outlet” as well; something they’re obviously not. And probably a greater sin to be citing partisan opinion pieces as one’s sources of credible 3rd-party characterizations.

  21. . . . while not knowing what a “barrel shroud” is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy . . .

    Well, when the gun control policy you are pondering uses the existence of a barrel shroud as an indicator that that gun is unacceptably dangerous – if you don’t know what one is, then yeah, you should stop pondering right then and there until you know what its for.

    Otherwise you just sound like an idiot when you open your mouth to call for banning guns with them.

  22. There is bad language on both sides. David refers to the Kristallnacht legislators who militarize child-shooting police, ATF, DEA, CIA, FBI, ICE, IRS and PIGS as “gun control supporters.” This is as true as saying Germany’s national socialists were elected christian altruists who favored a eugenic approach to the elimination of selfishness.

  23. the point being.
    just like they DON’T ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.

  24. If the en banc decision in Kolbe v Hogan is demonstrative of “facts” that a court uses to ban a firearm in “common use,” then the same flawed reasoning could be used to ban any firearm or an iPhone. The second amendment is a fundamental right that preexisted the constitution. Scalia got it right in Heller. The right was enshrined in the constitution by the people to prevent future legislature or judge from deciding whether it is right worth keeping. The people gave themselves this right: the government is obligated to protect and defend that right along with all the others. Those who seek to deny that right are the same people who seek to limit the freedom of speech or of the press. We have a name for those people: traitors.

  25. The fantasy term, “Assault Weapon” was created by the Anti-Liberty Leftists and now is a part of our lexicon; Karl Marx would be proud. Anytime I encounter an Anti-2nd, change the ‘Bill of Rights’ Leftist, I ask about their hands-on firearm experience… I have yet to find even one of these so-called experts knowledgeable about Firearms (past their hype).

  26. Everyone knows that “AR” stands for “A Rifle”.

    1. I thought it was Arkansas. As in “ban AR style politicians.”

  27. How dare you gunsplain to me while I’m emoting? But you’d better know every one of the 14,387 non-traditional gender pronouns or you’re the most deplorable shitlord ever and anything you say can be dismissed out of hand!

  28. Pump action rifles and shotguns can be fired almost as fast as semi-auto’s can be. It also isn’t that difficult to convert many semi-auto’s to “straight pull repeaters” which will be faster than any bolt action. Both shotguns and center fire lever actions can be reloaded with a round chambered. Pistols using magazines can also be reloaded quite quickly, most with a round still chambered.

    Outlawing the AR-15’s and the AK-47’s (semi-auto version) would accomplish little. It is much easier to conceal a pistol, which is the common 9mm caliber can hold as much as 18 rounds which then can be replaced by a loaded 17 round magazine (Glock 17). There are also extension magazines such as was used to shoot Gabby Giffords in Arizona.

    I’d suggest that we first work at enforcing the laws we already have along with better security for the schools (controlled entry, video cameras, etc) would be the best solution to the problem.

  29. Only a gun-crazed enabler of mass murder would suggest the laws we have are sufficient when enforced and not want to create more laws for the police and populace to ignore!

  30. Fortunately, only a handful of die-hard leftists watch MSDNC…

  31. Anti-gun advocates who want to stop mass killings have to face reality:

    “Gun Control and Mass Killers”

    Join the links and delete the spaces.

  32. Not a paid product promoter, but the three guns that would be all I or most people would need to cover the broadest range of self defense situations without taking a massive investment in training and firearms upkeep:

    .22 S&W Model 317 Kit Gun You would be surprised how many trials I have sat through of folks killed with a .22.
    very light. Affordable ammo. Intuitive even for novices to use effectively.

    30-30 Marlin 464 or equivalent lever action carbine. Ballistics are slightly superior to AK-47 7.62×39 extremely reliable, easy maintenance, quick and intuitive to operate, cheap widely available ammo. Put a modern red dot sight on top and be the equal of anybody to 300 yds with aimed shots

    12 gauge Remington magazine-fed pump actions. These are new models of the reliable police standbys. The magazines allow them to be carried empty in a vehicle in compliance with local law but quickly loaded with a variety for rounds, to include pepper balls, rubber bullets, rock salt, bird shot, buck shot, and slugs that will penetrate doors and walls.

    1. All great guns but there may be better.

      A S&W revolver costs twice as much as a polymer wonder 9. And slower to reload. Rimfires also have more FTF than centerfire cartridges. Ammo is cheaper. And recoil less. And yes, S&W K-frame revolvers point like magic.

      Mossberg 464 or Marlin 336? I hunt with a pre-safety 336 and it does quite well. But I’d rather have an AR or AK for SD. Recoil operated chambering is quicker than lever. And reloading is much quicker. More shots until a reload. And ammo is about $.30 per cartridge (fmj stuff). I limit my shots with the .30-30 to 150 yards due to drop. But I’m hunting deer. And it would be hard to justify a SD shooting out that far or beyond.

      Shotguns are a decent choice if you aren’t in a confined area (like a small house). Recoil is substaintial from a 12 gauge.

  33. Recoil chambering is marginally quicker than lever. Reloading all at once is quicker with magazines, but tactical reloading to stay topped up is easier with the side-loading port jobs. Plus you never have to worry about a mag falling out, which I have had happen several times under stress. Really sucks.

    Back in early WWII before there were SEAL teams the Navy had special demotion and recon swim units that carried 30-30 Winchesters, because the lever actions could be flushed out, cycled, and readied for action faster after immersion in sand and mud than the semi-auto m1 carbine.

    To my mind the ideal CQB carbine is the Big Horn Model 89 500 S&W which holds 10 rds in the tube and one in the chamber. This gives you 3,500 ft lbs of energy per shot in a quick handling 7 lb platform.

    The gun is quite accurate to 250 yds but pricey. Also the recoil from 11 rds will beat you up. All the same, start two people out in a duel from 250 yds both wearing body armor, one with an AR-15 and one with a Model 89, the guy with the old school weapon will usually win.

    1. Thankfully two duelists wearing body armor at 250 yards is an atypical SD scenario.

      Changing mags is quicker than putting several rounds in a lower capacity tube. And if you empty a typical centerfire lever gun (6+1) the AR/AK semi-auto wielder still has 24 shots left (or 19 using the firearm you referenced).

      I can’t speak to the track record of an M-1 carbine in poor conditions but the AK is known for its reliability. I have read that some US special forces in Vietnam used “dropped” AKs due to the (initial) function problems of their service rifle.

      I prefer accurate hits on target quickly and big recoil makes that tougher. Your Kit Gun is IMO a better SD choice for many people than say a 10 mm or .44 mag.

      1. Two duelists wearing body armor at 250 yds is atypical SD scenario, but not at all atypical modern warfare, For handgun SD the big issues are always taking it along with you and simplicity, which is why a light weight revolver is best for anyone not totally intimidated by a DA trigger pull.

        In the horror world where I could have only one gun, it would probably be the Sig 10 mm with an Aimpoint CompM5 on top. One would look over-dressed in the summer but it could be concealed.

        1. I’d probably take an AR-10 in that scenario. Though I did take a moving moose at 245 yards with a bolt action .30-06 where all three hits could be covered by a fist. Took about two seconds.

          I’ve seen videos of people concealing AR pistols. But I doubt they do that for more than a few days. There is a popular YouTube gun channel that occasionally does gear checks of private citizens. Rarely if ever is there anything bigger than a 9mm and I’m not sure there’s ever been someone carrying a full size pistol. The J frame in one’s pocket is better than the 1911 left at home or in the glovebox.

          1. I guess the point is, almost all hand gun SD incidents are 5 yds or closer, most survivalist scenarios you can imagine will be 250 yds or closer. I once saw a clerk sell a woman who was being harassed (but had never owned a gun) an auto loading 26 inch barrel 12 gauge and a box of 3 inch mags.

            Most incidents where you can expect the authorities to arrive will be 10 shots or less. I would sell the woman a 9 mm Ruger revolver with crimson trace grips and I would load the moon clips for her, as she will probably never practice. I’d sell myself that new Kimber K6s in .357.

            In either case, the important thing is, if you have a reason to carry, commit to carry. Even around the house, keep it close.

            1. I agree with you on “super carry.”

              I had a 9mm Ruger LCR and traded it. The fifth shot wouldn’t always happen because the bullet jumped the (weak) semi-auto crimp. More than a few times with different ammo. I like the .39 +P version for new gun owners wanting something for SD. It is smaller and lighter.

              I like the K6. I might have one if they made it with an external hammer and SA ability.

              1. Have to be careful with ammo in 9mm revolvers. The best rounds are the new polycase rds of which Ruger has a line. Any really light bullet is better. I have a heavy Blackhawk convertible 9mm and it never has an ammo problem, probably due to the weight of the gun itself. This is the most accurate handgun I’ve ever owned and always goes to events where bragging might happen.

                I also have a tiny 9mm Texas-made derringer that was just about unshootable with standard lead ammo due to stout recoil and two-finger hold. With ARX bullets it is a dependable dream. This is a pocket pistol for the scenario where you are already wrestling with someone on the ground or about to be stabbed or some such.

  34. Let’s keep in mind that the 2nd Amendment does not confer a right to keep and bear arms. Rather, it attests our God-given right to keep and bear arms. The entire Bill of Rights was intended a bulwark against the Federal Government attempting to usurp such rights.

    1. 1) That is an interpretation and not necessarily true.
      2) The legal interpretation at this time is that it isn’t a boundless right but one that can be regulated and limited. We acknowledge that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give us the right to own a tank or a nuke, for example. And…
      3) The folks that wrote the 2nd Amendment probably didn’t conceive of what modern arms would look like.
      4) If you think a bunch of guys with pea-shooters can stop a Federal Government with planes, tanks, and guided missiles, I’ve got a bridge to sell…

      1. Why don’t you read Heller before making a fool of yourself. It addresses this “nukes” claim

        1) Wrong. The US is widely even among liberals viewed as a individual rights from 9take your pick) god/nature/pre-existing and the government’s rights derived form the people legal and civil liberties framework.
        2) see above
        3) the “folks” who wrote the Second Amendment clearly meant it to be man portable small arms equal to the type commonly carried by professional infantry. Professional infantry doesn’t typically carry nukes. Moreover your claim that the first amendment does not cover any writing not done with a quill is specious.
        4) Your claim that an armed populace is never a deterrent to tyranny has been disproven over and over.

  35. The gun-control supporters you describe decide things with their feelings, not information or facts. What AR stands for or how a gun works is irrelevant to them. It’s how they feel about the issue, and how the issue is presented to them is what dictates that, and it’s presented by the media using terms like “assault rifle,” “gun violence” and so on. That’s why words and terms are important to the left and they constantly are tweaking them in the media. They control emotions, and emotions are how they make decisions.

  36. What makes you certain the Las Vegas shooter would have done notably more damage with a fully automatic military grade weapon?

  37. Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with “high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines” or “jumbo clips,” you’re trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise.

    As long as we’re worried about fearmongering, I think using imprecise jargon is far, far lower on the scale than, say, claiming liberals want to take away *all* guns or that liberals want to erase the Second Amendment. Getting “round,” “bullet,” and “cartridge” all mixed up is a minor sin compared to the fearmongering we get from the anti-regulation crowd on this issue.

    And yeah, you absolutely can order 100-round magazines for the AR-15 online. I’m not sure if that counts as “rife” or not but they’re as simple to get as any other Amazon order. Just Google this: “100 round magazine for ar15”

    The practical difference between a stock AR-15 and an AR-15 with a bump stock or any other modification designed to make the weapon function as or like a fully automatic weapon is nil if bump stocks and instructions on how to modify the weapon are just a Google search away.

    Personally, I have no issues with semi-automatics as much as I do high capacity magazines (or clips). The advantage of a semi-automatic as a weapon of mass murder goes away if you can only insert 10 rounds at a time.

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  39. Let us realize the anti-gun crowd wants to ban personal ownership of firearms not just because they don’t want us to have them. They know they can’t rule an armed populace. The plan is that once the nation becomes dis-armed they can impose tyranny upon upon the citizens they already deplore and we won’t be able to oppose their oppressive governance. The very reason this nation revolted against King George to start with.

    Firearm ownership by law abiding citizens is the reason no other nation contemplates taking our country by force of arms because we are a freedom loving nation with the capacity of personal self defense. Our freedom is guaranteed and unassailable because of personal firearm ownership.

    Read these words of a Father of the American Revolution:

    Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence…. From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good… A free people ought to be armed.
    George Washington

  40. so the point of this is: if you don’t know every nuance of local flavor about every gun you have no right to even dare suggest we might want to ask if some people should not have access to some guns? sounds like you have drill sergeant envy; even if they get the ‘jargon’ correct you will still yell at them and say “this is my weapon this is my gun”

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