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How Background Checks and an 'Assault Weapon' Ban Failed in San Bernardino

Two of President Obama's favorite gun control solutions did not prevent this week's massacre.

Impact GunsImpact GunsThe Washington Post reports that the four guns used in the San Bernardino massacre "were all purchased legally from federally licensed firearms dealers," which means the buyers passed background checks. As usual, in other words, President Obama's knee-jerk response to mass shootings—"universal background checks"—makes no sense.

Federal officials say Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the massacre's perpetrators, bought the two 9mm pistols used in the attack, a Springfield and a Llama, from gun shops in San Diego and Corona. That means he passed background checks, which indicates he did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record. An acquaintance of Farook's bought the two AR-15-style rifles used in the attack, a DPMS A-15 and a Smith & Wesson M&P15, also at gun shops in San Diego and Corona.

The fact that the rifles were legally purchased in California exposes the fatuousness of another gun policy that Obama favors: a federal ban on so-called assault weapons. California has one of the country's strictest "assault weapon" bans, but somehow it did not forbid the sale of rifles that have been widely described in the press as "assault weapons" (or even "assault rifles," which falsely suggests they were capable of automatic fire). How is that possible?

The DPMS A-15 and Smith & Wesson M&P15 both come in "California legal" versions, which means they have "bullet buttons" that require the insertion of a loose round (or some other tool) to detach the magazine. With that feature, the magazine is not considered "detachable," which is part of the state's "assault weapon" definition.

Gun controllers tend to view bullet buttons as a sneaky end run around California's "assault weapon" ban. Huffington Post reporter Daniel Marans calls the bullet-button option a "technical loophole." Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), complains that gun manufacturers are "cynically exploiting an inadvertent limitation" of the law. But bullet buttons are explicitly allowed by California Department of Justice regulations, which say "'detachable magazine' means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required." The DOJ adds that "a bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool."

Since rifles with bullet buttons do not have what California considers detachable magazines, they can include military-style features that would otherwise be forbidden, such as folding stocks, pistol grips, or flash suppressors. "Assault weapon" is an arbitrary, legally defined category, so the fact that California does not consider these rifles to be "assault weapons" means they aren't "assault weapons." It makes no sense to complain that California's "assault weapon" ban misses some "assault weapons," which are whatever legislators say they are. Nor does it make sense to complain about design changes, such as bullet buttons, aimed at complying with the law. Gun manufacturers that produce "California legal" guns are doing precisely what the state has told them to do.

Sugarmann tells the Post, "The gun industry is expert at marketing military-bred weapons with a wink and a nod, and they're constantly working to skirt the law, as we've seen in California." That complaint is pretty rich coming from Sugarmann, who in the 1988 VPC report "Assault Weapons and Accessories in America" argued that "the weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons." Targeting so-called assault weapons was always about emphasizing "menacing looks" in the hope of confusing the public, and to this day leading supporters of laws like California's misrepresent the firearms they want to ban. That includes Obama, who describes these semiautomatic rifles as "fully automatic...weapons of war," and Hillary Clinton, who conflates them with "machine guns." 

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  • sarcasmic||

    BAN SCARY-LOOKING GUNS!!!1!!!!

  • Swiss Servator||

    THEY ATTACKED WITH ASSAULT MACHINE CANNONS OF WAR!

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    500 round clips, Assault and Rescue Canons, 50 meter bullets, Machine Gun Bazookas, G Gundams...

    ...all the 'fraidiest a-feardiest mongering you can muster!

  • LarryA||

    It's really because they're black, isn't it. #blackgunsmatter

  • Tionico||

    nice one, Larry!

  • Win Bear||

    Actually, it's the non-scary looking guns that are already banned: it is illegal to manufacture guns that don't look like guns.

  • Princess Trigger||

    So, so many loopholes.
    When will that stop looping?

  • pan fried wylie||

    when i < 0?

  • Chip Woodier||

    Bwahaha! Nerd

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    Outstanding.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    The measures were neither capable of, or designed to, prevent shootings. The only purpose is to protect the monopoly on force.

  • Road Warrior||

    And to check off the box of "Look, I did something!"

  • Ben Bradley||

    I always assumed the purpose was for politicians to grandstand and crow about how they've protected the children.

  • Tionico||

    and to collect revenue (fines) from they who are impetuous enough to "violate" the law and then happen to get caught. "LOOK we put ONE MORE gun criminal behind bars, Mommy!!! Ain't it grand?" Meanwhile, nothing changes "out there" except the good guys can't have effective weapons in the places where they are most needed.. in their hands, anywhere "out there" where they might be able to stop an attack like this.

  • Tionico||

    one of two major reasons I will not move back to California........

  • SugarFree||

    If he had just been deported in the first place then it wouldn't matter what gun he bought.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Exactly. Everyone who commits a crime, or will commit a crime, or looks like someone who committed a crime should be kicked out of the country so we can all feel safe.

  • Rich||

  • Mindyourbusiness||

    Damn...I expected a pic of Hillary.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    We'll be listening to earnest, emphatic reasons why internment camps for Those People are a common sense, minimally intrusive security measure any day now.

    And people who know - KNOW - that a month ago, they themselves would have been the othered, dehumanized demographic will applaud with a depressing lack of irony.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Doesn't it make as much sense to ban people that look like terrorists as to ban things that look like machine guns?

  • blcartwright||

    The Dems are all over this on Social media, trying to prove how the Koch-bots love guns more than keeping us safe from terrorists.

  • Eman||

    i don't have any idea who the koch brothers are. im guessing, just based on the people who hate them, that they're fine, but the enemy of your enemy isnt necessarily your friend or whatever. im also not really a jealous person so their wealth doesn't arouse any emotion at all in me

  • plusafdotcom||

    Google Koch Brothers (pronounced 'koke', btw...)
    They're wealthy conservatives who are hated by liberals because...
    They're wealthy conservatives.

    In NC, they're well-known.

  • Tionico||

    anyone who holds that twisted frame of mind is part of the problem. Once one READS that pesky Second and comprehends that the responsibility for "the security of a free state" rests... NOT upon government, law enforcement, military, but solidly upon the shoulders of... THE PEOPLE, Once that realisation is made, then it follows logically that, in order for THE PEOPLE to carry out that responsibility for "the security of a free state", THE PEOPLE must be the ones to freely possess, have, use, carry about with them, the most suitable tool to use toward that end. And the SCOTUS has proclaimed that the common handgun IS that tool, and is needed for that purpose. Therefor, we who love guns and have them ARE very much concerned about keeping ourselves, and everyone else, safe from terrorists... and other things that go BUMP or BANG in the night.

  • Tionico||

    in my state, ten percent of the population have paid the (illegal) fee and jumped through the (illegal) hoops to buy the Mother May I Card that "allows" us to carry concealed upon our persons a loaded handgun. We can legally carry them almost everywhere. And most of us do. Further, it is clearly spelled out in our laws that anyone who can lawfully be in possession of a handgun can openly carry that handgun, loaded, upon our person in all those same places.. that is, nearly everywhere. Some do.
    I seem to remember quite the crowd being at that party... several hundred? By averages, here, one in ten of the attendees COULD have been carrying a loaded concealed handgun on their persons at that party. A few more COULD have carried openly (Christmas Cowboy? Sheriff in stetson hat with red ribbon?) Suppose half, for whatever reason, decided not to. Reduce the likely number of armed to one in twenty. MOST who go through the (illegal) hoops and get the Mother May I Card will also assure they know how to properly, safely, and accuratel USE that tool.
    Imagine, now, how differently that party would have turned out had those armed people DONE something about it.. such as, shoot back at the perps? Would 35 or so have been shot? Nope. Maybe two or perhaps four.... AND the perps.
    But that sort of outcome does not make the kinyun happy, nor the mainstream press. But I think America would like it better than this sort of story.

  • pan fried wylie||

    "The tax prep industry is expert at blah blah blah and they're constantly working to skirt the tax code."

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    "When will these assholes stop complying with regulations so we can finally rob fine them?

  • Rich||

    It makes no sense to complain that California's "assault weapon" ban misses some "assault weapons," which are whatever legislators say they are.

    Oh, come on, Jacob -- "sense" is whatever legislators say it is.

  • wareagle||

    I love that term, assault weapon. ANY weapon can be an assault weapon. It's like "semi automatic" and the pretense that this means something sinister.

  • Not okay||

    The term semi-automatic I think is thrown around because they figure many people don't know what it means. I'm not sure the reporters know what it means.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The reporters don't care what it means.

    Their only concern is that they might make a slip up in faithfully regurgitating the leftist talking points on the matter.

    That is really their only concern on any subject.

  • dchang0||

    Yeah, the "automatic" part of "semi-automatic" still achieves their goal of scaring the public.

    Firearms manufacturers need to come up with another technically-accurate yet innocuous-sounding term for it in the same way that more gun owners need to use the term Modern Sporting Rifle instead of AR or AK...

    Maybe "single-cycle-discharge-operated" will work better than "semi-automatic." Discharge evokes thoughts of pus or vaginal infections, not Scarface's "Say hello to my leetle friend..."

  • notJoe||

    "Gas feed mechanism"???

  • Glide||

    You know who else liked gas feed mechanisms?

  • ||

    Craig Breedlove?

  • Mindyourbusiness||

    Le Petomaine?

  • LarryA||

    "self-loading"

  • Tionico||

    "auto loading" has been around for about a century, and works fine. It does not sound any scarier than "automatic transmission" to the ignorati, but perfectly describes the type of firearm to anyone who knows much about them.

  • LV||

    I don't think the reporters know which end of the gun is the dangerous part, much less anything else.

  • Tionico||

    yeah, that sentatrix from the same nutty state where this happened thinks the fore-stock handgrip is "the shoulder thing that goes up". Most gun grabbers simply demonstrate terminal cases of oral diarhoeia.

  • blcartwright||

    People make a point to say "semi-automatic handgun" like that's some special deadly type. Haven't all handguns since the invention of the revolver been semi-automatic? (one bullet fired for each pull of the trigger, automatic reload)

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    There are machine pistols, such as the Glock 18 or the Micro-Uzi, that are fully automatic. There are also single-shot and bolt action pistols, which are usually used for target shooting.

    The term semi-automatic came into being because "automatic" can describe both semi- and full-autos, so we needed to be able to distinguish between that will fire only once when you pull the trigger, and those that will continue firing so long as you hold the trigger down.

    Also, revolvers aren't considered to be automatics. The term means that the reload is accomplished via a means other than the user applying direct force to the firearm. With a revolver, when you pull the trigger, you cock the hammer and rotate the cylinder, so you are affecting the reload (if it's a double action; if it's single action you rotate the cylinder when you cock the hammer, and pulling the trigger just drops the hammer). With an automatic, the reload is accomplished via forces exerted on the firearm by firing the cartridge, usually either through recoil or through expanding gasses.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    *I should say most revolvers. There are a few automatic revolvers, such as the Mateba Auto Revolver, but they are few and far between.

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    I can see it now:

    "The gunman's weapon contained what is known as a 'receiver,' a highly specialized device found in guns such as those used by ISIS to massacre tens of thousands of defenseless civilians."

  • Toast88||

    Reporters ABSOLUTELY DO NOT know what it means. They know nothing about guns.

    I work for local TV in a large market and had to school my coworkers a few days ago that semi-automatic does not mean you pull down the trigger once and multiple bullets come out. That would be a machine gun, which is outlawed.

    They're convinced these scary looking black guns with pistol grips shoot multiple bullets with one trigger pull. They have no idea that the vast majority of them are far less deadly than your typical hunting rifle.

  • Tionico||

    Here in Washington, after a felon in violation of his parole borrowed a revolver from a relative and killed four cops on break in a coffee shop, the rabid progressive senator from Seattle (Kline) filed a bill to outlaw "assault weapons" in this state. He was the head of the committee to review that bill of his. I watched the proceedings. I knew that another senator, also on that committee, was an avid shooter. She, the state NRA coordinator, and the state head of an antigun group promiting the bill, (Ralph Fascitelli) went to a local gun range, they put a Ruger 10/.22 into his hands, he fired it several times, enjoyed it, then they took that rifle out of his hands, put it on a table behind them, with one screwdriver and less then three minutes, changed the stock to an AR type, handed the gun back to him, he fired it again, agreed nothing but consmetics had changed. They then explained to him how that second "package" would be made illegal with this new bill, but the first would remain legal. He seemed surprised... then testified before the Senate committee how "dangerous" the to-be-banned guns are, and how easy it is to convert semi automatic to full automatic..... the bill never made it out of committee, but this revealed for all to see the "thnking" of the gun grabbers, and their intent to use taquiiya or anyting else to disarm us.

  • Tionico||

    The funniest thing about that Senate hearing is that, after Ralph got done lying in front of the Senate Committee, he left the room, went out into the hallway to leave the Legislative building, and nearly fell dead of a fit of apoplexia.... he was, with his very own eyes, several hundred citizens lining the halls, and in a couple of "overflow rooms" all there to protest that bill.... and about half of them carrying handguns openly on their hips. He (fresh from the Least Coast) had never seen such a thing. And NO ONE was DOING anything about it!!! Oh the horror!!!! He, near panicked, strode up to one of the Washington State Patrol members and began berating him for failing to DO anything about this travesty.. THEY GOTS GUNNNNS... right there on their hips!!!!! The officer shrugged his shouldera and said "its legal, they know it, and I know it. No one is any threat here. Stop making such a scene, you are disturbing the peace here. Everything is just fine."

    "Pore lil' fella" Got his sorrty self skeert.

    But, sadly, he survived, to go on and lie in front of committees, the full Senate, and other august assemblies of notables..... promiting his anti gun meme, well funded from some big anti gun bigwig who thinks its his business to disarm the nation, and is spending lots of his money to do it. And Ralph Fascist Telly likes it. We don't, however....

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Thanks for the info !

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    Given that this incident has now given rise to the term "assault-style clothing"...which is being parroted by the press while actually managing to keep straight faces...I've stopped expecting even the pretense of substance and intelligence from the press and gun-control advocates.

  • LV||

    Okay, so then the question is OBVIOUSLY: "Assault style boxers or briefs?"

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    Okay, so then the question is OBVIOUSLY: "Assault style boxers or briefs?"

    Either one, so long as they're high-capacity....if you know what I mean. :::rim-shot:::

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    My boxers occasionally feature a forward pistol grip.

  • Tionico||

    depends.......

  • Eman||

    i mean if people don't want it...

  • ||

    FWIW, my son was acquitted (after two years of legal torture and wallet-emptying) of possession of an assault rifle when the prosecution's expert witnesses couldn't agree on the definition of what the terms used in the law actually meant and thus whether his rifle fit the definition.

    The judge's opinion dismissing the case was not kind to the prosecutor.

    I'm sure that any new legislation will be written better so that terms like "the thing which goes up and down" will be clear to the jury.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Congratulations on the win. However Pyrrhic it may have been, at least he's not a felon and not locked up.

    It's amazing how poorly written, vague, and confusing most statutes and regulations are. Even more amazing that such vague, poorly written stuff has the power to throw you into a cage, and possibly take your life.

  • SFC B||

    I dunno, avoiding a felony weapons conviction seems like the sort of thing that, even if expensive, is an unqualified win. Nothing Pyrrhic in avoiding being a convicted felon.

  • kbolino||

    If I was his son, that gun would be out of my possession with a paper trail the day I got out of court. The Pyrrhic part of the victory lies in the fact that there's nothing stopping him from being harassed in the future, especially if the issue reaches a higher court or the legislature decides to "close the loophole".

  • Gray Ghost||

    Well, I was referring to the often-substantial cost of legal counsel, bail bondsmen, expert testimony, etc... Not unknown to lose one's house and possessions, not to mention your job, due to the cost and time incarcerated during one of these witch-hunts.

    Cue Percy Foreman's quote, when asked why his fee to defend a Galveston heiress accused of murder was $2 million, "Because she had $2 million."

    Still better than being a felon, (but what if the prosecutor had offered a misdemeanor deal with little or no jail time?) It's a hell of a choice our justice system offers those who are unfortunate enough to get caught in its maw.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I would never ask the police to return the weapon to me.

  • Tionico||

    I would DEMAND it... then immediately move out of that stinking state. WITH the gun.

  • Eman||

    being open for interpretation is the point

  • Tionico||

    Ever heard the saying "the process IS the punishment"? They did not get their conviction, but they ran the guy through two years of hell for having the stones to stand against them and not wilt by signing the plea deal.

    I'd be filing suit for false arrest, and demand ALL my costs be reimbursed by the State, and for harrassment. I'd also sue to over turn the vague, conflicting, unenforceable law he alldgedly violated

  • wareagle||

    Jacob, why do you think facts matter? And why are you trying to spoil Obama's narrative?

  • Not okay||

    Even if you were to buy the standard issue military M4 there's not much reason to think it's any more dangerous than a hunting rifle. The characteristics of an assault rifle are not based on it super deadliness. A larger round would be more deadly, and firing on burst has limited applicability and can be counterproductive. The M4 is light, capable of firing somewhat accurate at distance, and has a small round to allow a lot to be carried without excessive weight or storage.

    These things are useful when covering large distances away from a place where ammo is readily available. When shooting up a building stateside it wouldn't be my first choice. Banning these weapons makes no difference whatsoever in the danger to anyone.

  • Ben Bradley||

    Few hunting rifles are semiautomatic, and even fewer have high capacity magazines or the ability to accept a detachable mag. Those factors are by far the most "advantageous" for a mass shooter.

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    There's no such thing as a "hunting" rifle. There are bolt action rifles, semi-auto, and select fire rifles, but not hunting rifles.

    And the claim that there aren't many semi-auto "hunting rifles" is horse shit.

    Ever seen the kind of rifle most used for coyote hunting?

  • brady949||

    People hunt coyotes?

  • ||

    'Hunt', as in, 'find where they live and kill them', not 'hunt' as in 'pursue them as a wild food source'.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    They're easy to find. Just look for the empty "ACME" boxes at the curb on trash day.

  • Bubba Jones||

    People shoot coyotes with AR-15s.

    Because that's about as large an animal as one should shoot with an AR-15.

    It isn't cool to say you "hunt" prairie dogs.

    There's a reason many AR-15 variants are sold as "varmint rifles."

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    Because that's about as large an animal as one should shoot with an AR-15.

    Sorry, but you're wrong.. You're confusing a weapon platform with the characteristics of the ammunition it chambers. Even forgetting the fact that AR-pattern rifles are available chambered for a variety of different cartridges, even the common .223/5.56 variant is perfectly suitable to hunting medium-sized game like whitetail deer and feral hogs (and have become quite popular for that purpose) provided you select a controlled-expansion round designed for that purpose and keep your shots within a reasonable range (which also goes for hunting using ANY round). There are quite a few commercially available rounds that fit that bill, and many of us handload our own.

    You've obviously never seen the insides of deer or hog hit in the boiler room with a .224" (the actual diameter of the .223/5.56 projectile) bullet like a 70 gr Barnes TSX, a 64 gr Winchester Power Point, et al. Let's just say that the effects are....devastating.

  • blcartwright||

    Well, some types (such as semi-auto) may be banned for hunting by a particular state, there for makiing it "not a hunting rifle"

  • Tionico||

    most states impose a limit of five rounds loaded into the rifle for game hunting. That is why five round mags are common on hunting rifles... and available for the AR style MSR's. Some states also ban using any cartridge of less than .25 inch bore.. which includes the .223 and 5.56 rounds most commonly fired from the AR platform rifles. In areas where the deer are larger, they've found too many poorly placed shots failed to disable the deer, who then wanders off and dies hours or days later, thus wasting that animal instead of harvesting it. Most states with such bans allow the .243 and the 6.5 x 55 (Swede) for taking deer, but NOT the .223/5.56 chambered rifles.

    And it does not matter what sort of action/barrel might be on the rifle. The Ruger Mini 14 is just as illegal as the AR 15 if it is chambered for the .223/5.56. Even the CZ bolt action repeater in the .223/5.56 cannot be used for deer hunting in those states. Its not the action or style of the rifle, its the round.
    Now, rebarrral that "black and ugly" rifle to 7.62 x 51, or .243, or 6.5mm, and go get your deer.

  • GregMax||

    My guns are none of your business. Let's register religious participation. Let's establish a registry of abortions, one for sex partners . . . hey, how about letting mental health information be open to the public? How about stop and search?

    No rational person believes that "guns" are the significant problem. They are an emotional dog-whistle for ignorant liberal talking points and discussion of them only deflects (big surprise) from the core issues.

    There is also no such thing as a "semi-automatic" weapon. That's like being semi-pregnant or semi-smart. Automatic weapons fire repeatedly with a single sustained depression of the firing mechanism. Bolt action and single shot weapons require the user to reload manually. All other firearms - revolvers included - simply position another round in the line of fire after the shot (or before the next firing).

  • dchang0||

    The statists are well on their way to doing all of those things.

    See France's current overreach--they're talking seriously about registering Muslims, and they are doing stop and search tres beacoup.

    Every crisis a chance to extend control further and further into our lives. Someday they'll be taxing our mitochondria for being energy producers.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I think women should be required to disclose their abortion count on twitter and tinder. This is valuable information to prospective partners. I won't judge your preference for a high or low count.

  • Win Bear||

    Bethany: I don't mean to sound ungrateful... but what are you doing hanging around?
    Jay: We're here to pick up chicks.
    Bethany: Excuse me?
    Jay: We figure an abortion clinic is a good place to meet loose women. Why else would they be there unless they like to fuck?

  • Win Bear||

    Let's establish a registry of abortions, one for sex partners . . . hey, how about letting mental health information be open to the public?

    That's basically already happening under Obamacare (mental health information is open to the government, not the public). In addition, your financial transactions go to that new financial "protection" office. All of that for the purpose of "helping" you, of course.

  • Tionico||

    and that last charactersitic/capability described is most often labelled "semi automatic" it is also called, equivalently, "suto loading" or "self loading".

  • kbolino||

    No, the most advantageous factor for a mass shooter is that no one is shooting back.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    ^ This....a thousand times, this. As I often like to remind people, the record for deadliest school shooting still belongs to Henry Cho, who was armed with two ordinary pistols (a 9mm Glock 19 & a .22 cal. Walther P22) and a sack of 17 standard magazines for those guns. Using these relatively low-powered arms (no "assault weapons" involved) Cho was able to fire over 170 rounds, murdering 32 people and wounding 17 others, at VA Tech. Why? Being a "gun free zone", no one on the scene - other than Cho - was armed. Because of his defenseless victims' inability to offer effective resistance he was able to stroll the halls emptying magazine after magazine, and reloading at his leisure.

    BTW...even Adam Lanza's ZOMG-hi-capacity-military-assault-clips weren't a factor, as he removed and discarded them well before even using up all the rounds in them (the so-called "tactical reload"). Given that AND the 5 minutes he spent shooting, smaller magazines *forcing* frequent reloads wouldn't have made a bit of difference.

  • ||

    "No, the most advantageous factor for a mass shooter is that no one is shooting back."

    Fuck, that no one is even SHOVING back is a cause for alarm. That almost no one is distrubed by the abject, baseless, and invitiating cowardice of the victims of many attacks is even more disappointing. It's insane to blame the victim for being killed because he stating some truth that made the shooter uncomfortable, and even insaner to totally discount the evil propagated by failure of victims to even faggingly attempt any forceful repulsion of violent attacks.

  • ||

    And fuck man I don't fault somebody for the use of force in self-defense or for the failure to use force in self-defense so much as I damn him for that his decision is entirely reactionary and associative and not based on actual thought or principles.

  • ||

    Even if you were to buy the standard issue military M4 there's not much reason to think...

    Which is no reason to continue talking without thinking.

    Seriously, you come to the right conclusion in your last sentence; it's the old 'Riddle of Steel'. However, your prattling about external and terminal ballistics in between seems... under informed.

  • Vapourwear||

    "Exploiting a loophole" just means "complying with the letter of a law I don't like".

  • Ron||

    is it even a loophole if it is not mentioned?

  • Ron||

    In The U.S. everything is legal until written as otherwise. There answered my own question

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Isn't "Penumbra" just SCOTUSese for "Loophole"?

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    "Penumbra" is actually the brand of bustier that was manufactured for Ginsberg and O'Connor in the '80s; no one has ever seen it, save for Antoninio, but I heard they really offer great support for tits.

  • Copernicus would chip||

    "An acquaintance of Farook's bought the two AR-15-style rifles used in the attack"

    This is the only sentence that really got my attention. Did I miss something the last couple of days?
    Anybody know who this "acquaintance" is?
    Seems like that would be a person of interest.

  • Ron||

    the state will now use this as a reason to enact draconian laws like in Washington where you can't loan a gun to friend even when you are right next to him/her without a ffl transfer and background check.

  • junyo||

    Umm, they're basically already there:
    https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/pubfaqs#14

    Unless he stole them, this acquaintance is likely in for a world of hurt.

  • Tionico||

    but the lead perp DID pass the background checks. AND waiting periods. If he passed for the handguns, he would have passed for the black and uglies. No diffrence,.

    But yes, the poor sap (jihadi master?) who purchased those two new from the FFL's has some splainin to do. And I've no doubt BATF and FBI are on his trail. Probably know who he is by now, and a most recent location. My guess is warrants already issued, and they'll make their move when they can. My next guess is he is no longer IN California.

  • Krabappel||

    So what you're saying is that the same people mocking conservatives for sending useless thoughts and prayer are no different than those proposing useless gun control laws that wouldn't have prevented this, or likely, any other future mass shooting from happening?

    It's also interesting how they waffle back and forth between "common sense gun control measures" and "yes we want to take all the guns away".

  • Ben Bradley||

    We have the same idiocy from the father of that woman who was killed during a news interview in Virginia. Yesterday he released a video saying that "thoughts and prayers won't bring back my daughter", then calling for stricter gun laws (as if those would bring back his daughter).

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE USELESS, BUT MAGICAL WRITINGS IN BOOKS OF LAW THAT ARE APPROVED BY THE LIGHTBRINGER WILL DO SOMETHING!!

  • __Will__||

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS.

    A large caliber hunting rifle with wooden stocks and no scary looking features would be much deadlier in a close range firefight against unarmed persons. Hell, a shotgun would likely do more damage than an AR in close quarters.

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    Yes and no. Each individual shot will do far more damage. But most of those large caliber weapons are also bolt action which would severely limit their capabilities at medium range and closer. Ask the Russians.

  • The Grinch||

    Most larger caliber guns are bolt actions but there are several readily available exceptions including the FAL, the AR-10, and the G3.

  • Akira||

    Not to mention the ARs in .50 Beowulf.

  • Bubba Jones||

    These are heavy and expensive by comparison to a 5.56.

  • spqr2008||

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute. If you train enough with a bolt action, you could easily kill 14 people in a short amount of time, with a clip of 4 bullets.

  • Tionico||

    I watched a guy with w Remington 700 bolt action rifle, his handloaded rounds too long to fit down into the magazine (integrral, not removable) so he had to hand place every round into the receiver. In less than two minutes, from standing/offhand position, sling being the only "support", he placed ten rounds into the centre mass of a human sized target at 100 yards. Next, in 55 seconds, transitioning from unloaded standing/offhand to a sitting position, he fired eight (out of a maximum of ten for this stage) rounds, again hitting centre mass at 200 yards. His next trick was, transitioining from standing/offhand to prone (laying down), he again fired ten rounds, each one hitting centre mass on targets at 300 yards. Again, hand placing each round into the receiver then closing the bolt and firing. Lastly, from prone, he placed ten rounds, each in centre mass, at targets at 400 yards....... THAT man knew very well what he is about. His standard Remington bolt action "hunting rifle" , hand fed each round, was astoundingly accurate AND fast.

    It ain't the arrow, its the Indian. And what an "Indian" this chap is....

  • Ron||

    shot guns are more dangerous, in close quarters. I recently debated between purchasing a shotgun or an AR I went with the one more likely to be outlawed.

  • derpules||

    only one?

  • ||

    A large caliber hunting rifle with wooden stocks and no scary looking features would be much deadlier in a close range firefight against unarmed persons.

    *Deadliest* gun in a **firefight** against ***unarmed*** persons?

    Some or all of these words do not mean what you think they mean.

  • ||

    Just ask Dick Cheney's hunting partners, oh wait he was just "peppered."

  • Ben Bradley||

    I'm floored by the fact that Cali hasn't closed the "bullet button" loophole after all these years. If it really was just a legislative oversight, why can't they just amend the law? Don't the Dems control every part of the legislature in addition to the governorship? I doubt many Cali politicians fear the NRA, etc.

  • Ron||

    don't give them ideas

  • Ron||

    don't give them ideas

  • ||

    If it really was just a legislative oversight, why can't they just amend the law?

    FTFA: "'detachable magazine' means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required." The DOJ adds that "a bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool."

    That doesn't sound like an oversight or a loophole to me, it sounds deliberate. Not that it makes one shred of a difference.

  • derpules||

    They could try to ban rifles, but then they'd have to deal with AR/AK pistols (basically just an AR/AK without the stock). Really the best they could do is try to ban all semi-automatic rifles. But they know that if they did that, their precious gun control legislation would be eaten alive by SCOTUS, so they're left nibbling around the corners. Next up, "ASSAULT SCOPES!"

  • spqr2008||

    Ohhhh... Then we can have the Assault Scopes trial, with a bunch of monkeys on the side of fascism.

  • James Smith||

    It was not a loophole. It was a purposeful, negotiated agreement on a limitation of the law to specifically allow bullet buttons.

  • Bgoptmst||

    This is by and large an education issue. They have framed the argument in such an unreasonable manner that it's too late to back and retro define things well.

    I live in SoCal and have lots of non-gun friends and this is my opinion based off of discussions with them.

  • Win Bear||

    They need to leave enough "loopholes" in there in order to have something to blame when their laws aren't working.

  • circleglider||

    The only way that California could close the fixed/detachable magazine “loophole” would be to ban all firearms with detachable magazines. Such legislation passed last year (SB 374, limited to semi-automatic firearms) but was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown as “too far-reaching.”

    Brown's veto was wise, as it was very unlikely that SB 374 could have survived a court challenge. Banning all semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines would have been contrary to a central holding of the Supreme Court's Heller opinion, because it would “amount to a prohibition on an entire class of ‘arms’ that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense.”

    The original author and co-sponsor of SB 374, former California State Sen. Leland Yee, was arrested in March 2014 on federal public corruption and gun trafficking(!) charges. On July 1, 2015, Yee pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony racketeering count in relation to money laundering, public corruption and bribery. He is currently awaiting sentencing and faces unto twenty years in prison.

  • Tionico||

    they tried, about two years ago. Never learned whether they managed to pass it. I sort of remembver they figured they could not outlaw those already in possession by the general population, and admitted it would be nearly impossible for LE in the field to determine when each gun was manufactured (before/after the NEW new law was enacted), thus whether it complied or not. I've also seen that there have been kits offered that transform a non-compliant rifle to conforming..... and its not hard to imagine a reverse process being avaialble as well. I got the idea they just figured they'd messed up the first time, and since it has not been much of an issue, they'd let it ride as is. Kamala Harris had a hissy fit, though, which was good to learn. She's SUCH a spoilt brat.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Who bought them? Well, that would apparently be some dirtbag that worked for the cops....

    http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe

    Morning Joe 12/3/15 Fiorina: This is an unspeakable tragedy

    Go to 5:10 for that bit of interesting news....

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    I suspect that Fiorina is confused by the M&P15;. I heard a talking head ominously reporting that M&P stands for Military and Police. Most likely agitprop and Fiorina fell for it.

  • Akira||

    "I heard a talking head ominously reporting that M&P stands for Military and Police."

    "Guys! The gun company named it the "military & police" as a marketing gimmick; that totally means that it's super dangerous and only suitable for military and police! Just like the name!! SCIENCE!!"

    /liberal media

  • Tionico||

    His statistics lie, and he buys it. Look at the graphs on Australia's guns and gun deaths. THE NUMBERS WERE ALREADY DROPPING!!! The curve on that graph was already heading downward, and continued to drop at the same rate after the confiscation went in. It continues down at the same rate for some more years. If all the bars were red or blue, no one could look at the numbers and tell wen the ban went into affect.

    Then, his BIG blooper.. he talked about the purchase of the AR's used in the shooting.... he declared 'they did a work around" Untrue... those two guns purchased in San Diego and Corona could have been purchased by any other resident of California for the same price. The purchasers only bought what was commonly and openly available, and complied with all laws in place at the time. OK, so we can overlook that little faux pas...

  • Tionico||

    but this one: he made some claim about converting to fully automatic..... which was NOT DONE!!!! WHY do these dweebs insist on lying, and WHY do MSNBC let them? That moderator should have been all up in this guy's face about his twisted statistics. Didja see where he pointed to the WORDS "US" on the line graph of gun deaths (as totals not as percentages of population)? He looked where US was placed, and called thet 12. But look where the DOT is, the data point.. its at TEN.

    Then he goes back down the line and "demonstrates" how fewer guns in those countries result in fewer deaths... in abolute numbers. If the US have ten times the population of, say France, of COURSE there weill be ten times as many incidents. Lets look at gun deaths per 100K people, compare with guns per 100K. The US begins to look a LOT different

    Think it was Sam Clemmons famously declared "there's lies, damn lies, and statistics". This guy used "statistics" to lie. Too bad MSNBC refuse to call him on it. Agena, anyone?

  • bacchys||

    Assault weapons bans are what we get when the ignorant listen to immoral hacks.

    Another term for "skirting the law" is "obeying the law."

  • uunderstand||

    . . . when the ignorant listen to immoral hacks.

    So, about 2/3 of the population then.

  • jester||

    It was the CDC that failed. We're talking mass shooting epidemic! It's a disease, people. A disease!!!

  • Krabappel||

    Gun violence is a disease in the same way that obesity is a disease.

  • Akira||

    Hmm... I don't see "gun violence" in the ICD-9-CM... I must have an outdated version! Fuck!

  • cbpelto||

    RE: The AR Magazines

    I've not seen any information on what capacity magazines were being used by these perps. Anyone know and can provide a link?

  • Gray Ghost||

    Per this, the cops haven't said:

    Burguan, San Bernardino’s police chief, did not specify how large the magazines found on the scene were. But a spokesperson for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office says that a typical large AR-15 magazine holds 30 rounds. That’s 20 more than allowed under a state law enacted in 2000, though possession of older magazines that exceeded the limit is still okay.

    There are pictures floating around of their gear. Looks like metallic 30 rd mags to me, but I'm not a big AR guy.

  • derpules||

    Yup, vanilla 30rd mags. Nothing special. Why did the perps have loose ammo at all? Even with the clips it would be easier to just buy more mags and have them loaded up and ready to go.

  • cbpelto||

    RE: Full Automatic

    It's a waste of ammo.

  • derpules||

    unless you're moving tactically from cover to cover in Afghanistan.

  • Bgoptmst||

    This. Full-auto is great for suppressing fire, and massing fires for superiority, IOT to fix'no flank.

  • Galactic Chipper Cdr Lytton||

    f President Obama's favorite gun control solutions did not prevent this week's massacre.

    And that's what they want. They really don't care about preventing violence. If common sense gun grabbing doesn't work, the solution is moar and moar according to them, not doing something different. The gun grabbers cannot be reasoned or bargained with.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I also love that media keeps referring to these as "high-powered". .223/5.56 is not "high-powered". It's a varmit round. Sure it's lethel as is a .22 but high powered it is not.

  • ||

    Meh, as long as they aren't using it to describe sub-sonic ammunition, I'm okay with this.

    I've known people to use it synonymously with super-sonic or centerfire. Also, considering most of the people I know personally that insist on identifying the .223 (and similar) as distinct from other 'high-powered' rounds aren't ever really able to give specifics in terms of velocity, operating pressure, or kinetic energy (etc.) and tend to carry a distinct nostalgia for specific rifles/eras/calibers, I'm willing to die on other hills.

  • Akira||

    My view is that talking about cartridges in terms of "high power" and "low power" is indefinite. Sure, everyone can agree that a .22LR is pretty low power, and that a .50 BMG is pretty high power, but everything else is up for debate.

    As far as I know, no industry group or shooting sports association has set definite parameters for "high powered", "low powered", "intermediate", etc.

  • Gray Ghost||

    NRA Highpower, section 3 of the rulebook for High Power Rifle: 3.2, ...Ammunition no larger than .35 caliber.... 3.3 NRA Match Rifle—A center fire rifle with metallic sights and a magazine capable of holding not less than 5 rounds.
    3.17 Ammunition---No bullet diameter larger than .308 inch (7.62mm) will be used for NRA High Power Rifle competition except for rifles used under Rule 3.2.

    Basically, Highpower in this context refers to any centerfire ammunition below .35, and practically, either 30-06, .308 Winchester/7.62 x 51 NATO, or 5.56 x 45 NATO.

    Interestingly, it looks like .338 WinMag or .338 Lapua Magnum might be good to go. Good way to make friends on the firing line, albeit see Rule 3.16.1 Compensators and Muzzle Brakes—The use of compensators or muzzle brakes is prohibited. Ouch.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Distinguished from Smallbore, which is nearly always .22 LR. Air rifles are something else entirely.

  • Akira||

    Fair enough; I was wrong.

  • ||

    NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION
    Official Rules for High Power Rifle Matches

    These rules establish uniform standards for NRA sanctioned high power
    rifle competition. Where alternatives are shown, the least restrictive conditions
    apply unless the tournament program sets forth limitations. The rules do
    not apply to High Power Sporting Rifle, Silhouette or International Shooting
    Union type competition. They supersede all earlier editions and remain in
    effect until specifically superseded.

    Tournament sponsors may not alter these rules. If sponsors require additional
    rules for special conditions, the additions must be fully set forth in
    the program for the competition concerned.

    Saved by the fine print! Your .50 BMG is a "sporting rifle" (Not that I would consider the NFL as be-all-end-all as to what is/isn't a football.)!

  • blcartwright||

    Everyone knows a "22" is just a varmint gun, but a "223" must be high powered - it is a bigger number!

  • Tionico||

    funny thing is, many states ban the use of .223/5.56 rifles (of any action or description) for hunting deer or anything larger. Too low-powered. Need a .243 or 6.5 x 55 round for taking deer.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    You guys don't realize then when he's calling for universal background checks, he really does mean the entire universe.

  • Akira||

    "Let me be clear - we can't keep our children safe from these weapons of war if criminals can simply go to the next galaxy and buy a machine gun with no background check! We have to take action now to close this intergalactic loophole in our gun laws." - Barack Obama

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    This year alone eleventy trillion Americans have died due to black market trans-dimensional arms traders.

    /prog statistics

  • ||

    trans-dimensional arms traders

    So, 3D printers, right? Trans-dimensional lithography does sound more... mad scientist.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Unlicensed assault printers.

  • Tionico||

    Yes, indeed.. assaulting the limits placed upon our liberty daily, on a desktop near you.

    Gotta love it. Make a law, someone else makes a machine that makes the law moot.

  • Win Bear||

    And he also means checking your entire past and future light cone!

  • Jima||

    I'm sorry, I don't understand the hooplah about gun control laws being the ONE TRUE SOLUTION to these incidents. Isn't it already illegal to walk into a room full of civilians and start randomly killing people? With a gun/axe/sword/rock/sharp stick/etc? What is the magical power imbued into "gun control laws" that fixes that oversight? It's so freaking obvious, I cannot fathom how idiot liberals can be so certain that just one more perfect law will save everyone. It's such obvious bullshit, it defies credulity to make the claim. Presumably the people calling for these laws feed and clothe themselves on a daily basis. How does this obvious vacuum of reason form in people's heads? Gun control advocates make me laugh.

  • Old.Mexican||

    Re: Jima,

    Isn't it already illegal to walk into a room full of civilians and start randomly killing people?


    Marxians want to make it even more illegal.

    What is the magical power imbued into "gun control laws" that fixes that oversight?


    Guns are icky.

    Also, since guns can be used successfully by a people to defend itself from tyrannical rule, Marxians are ipso facto against them. That's how it works. You can't impose your pet social engineering projects if your target population is armed and unwilling.

  • Jima||

    Three reasons why you should own guns:
    1. Shooting is a lot of fun, and is a potentially lifesaving skill. Both for defense and acquisition of food via hunting.
    2. Armed self defense is superior to a cell call when faced with an immediate threat.
    3. Politicians fear an armed and proficient populace.

    That's all I need. #3 is all most people should need in order to support gun ownership.

  • Jima||

    Perhaps fear is the wrong term in number 3, maybe respect would be more appropriate, but both work...

  • Tionico||

    fear is a healthy respect based upon high probability of an undesirable outcome

  • Tionico||

    as in "the housebreaker, upon seeing the red (or green, works as well) light describing a small circle on his chest, surrendered to a healthy fear for his life and made a well informed decision to abandon his plan to bust into that particular occupied dwelling with an apparently armed and equipped occupant seemingly prepared to place a small rapidly travelling bit of some heavy metal precisely where that green dot is now resting.".

  • Tionico||

    Go and ask George... yes, George Three, the Kid King of England. HE found out the hard way.

  • Win Bear||

    I'm sorry, I don't understand the hooplah about gun control laws being the ONE TRUE SOLUTION to these incidents

    It's the knee-jerk solution adopted by proto-totalitarian European governments, so of course, American progressives favor it. Didn't you know that Europe is heaven on earth, and we should aspire to their level of greatness???

  • Akira||

    (1/2)

    Has anyone ever asked an anti-gunner why it is that gun confiscation is treated like some kind of wackjob conspiracy theory? There are three points I've always wanted to bring up:

    1. The premise behind the often-touted "assault weapon bans" is that certain firearms are too dangerous for civilians to own, and Obama et. al. constantly make comments such as "nobody needs to own one of these" and "these belong on the battlefield, not on our streets". This suggests that they view civilian ownership of AKs and ARs as a problem that needs to be solved through force of law.

    2. Even if the "assault weapons" ban doesn't provide for confiscation, isn't it a form of passive confiscation to prohibit any more purchases? If they banned registration of new voters but allowed those currently registered to continue voting, nobody would dispute that the right to vote has been severely infringed upon. If they said that no more gay marriages would be allowed but current gay marriages could remain valid, the gay rights crowd would have a shitfit (rightfully so) over this. But how can someone say that legal gun ownership is not being attacked when a law like the "assault weapons" ban is in place?

  • Akira||

    (2/2)

    3. If nobody wants to take our guns away - as they say - why do Obama and other anti-gun politicians express admiration for Australia and England, where gun confiscation actually occurred? Everyone would call bullshit on me if I said, "I don't want to infringe on the rights of gay people, but I think we can learn a lot from Saudi Arabia on this. They've done a great job balancing gay rights with the rights of everyone else, and we should look to them for an example."

    I've wanted to really press them on this point, but the only devoted liberals I'm in contact with are my family, and I'd rather not start a political debate at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Has anyone gotten an answer for these questions?

  • Dallas H.||

    There are no answers to these questions. If you ask you'll get straw men and moving goal posts.

    As has been said many times in the past, you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.

    So, you can ask, you'll get some runaround, and then maybe some name calling or complaint about needing to "do something" before they storm away complaining they can't debate with someone that gets their talking points from the NRA.

  • Win Bear||

    3. If nobody wants to take our guns away - as they say - why do Obama and other anti-gun politicians express admiration for Australia and England, where gun confiscation actually occurred?

    They don't want to take them away, they want everybody to see their wisdom and comply voluntarily. Guns will only be taken away from those unreasonable people who disagree with them, but those people obviously don't count!

    Seriously, though, pointing to Europe just makes them sound educated and superior, and it gives the appearance of having some justification for whatever policy they are advocating. I don't think most American politicians have the slightest idea of what actually is going on "in Europe". Furthermore, given that Europe has everything from socialist to arch-conservative Christian governments, and entire nations that range from abject poverty to billionaire enclaves, whatever policy you want to justify, you can find an example for in Europe.

    Of course, that last point is something conservatives might pick up on. For example, parts of Europe have pretty restrictive abortion laws, and many countries in Europe do not have gay marriage.

  • kbolino||

    Has anyone ever asked an anti-gunner why it is that gun confiscation is treated like some kind of wackjob conspiracy theory?

    It's really simple: they know they can't say it out loud. The people whose votes they need don't agree with full confiscation. If they get caught saying they want full confiscation, they lose elections. So they invent all this rhetorical bullshit and then scream bloody murder when you call them out on it.

    If they thought they could get it and stay in power, then it would suddenly go from being "some kind of whackjob conspiracy theory" to the number 1 item on their agenda. As we've seen lately, even abortion is less important to them than building the case against guns.

  • kbolino||

    As to your questions, these are the answers I've gotten:

    1. Exactly. "Civilians" should not have "military weapons". If some skulls have to be cracked, well at least they're dirty gun-toting skulls. ["civilian" and "military weapons" are in scare quotes because the definitions are nebulous at best and based upon raw emotional nonsense]

    2. Yes, but that's fine because there is no right to own guns. The 2A says only the military has a right to own guns. And maybe the police. [sometimes this answer will be not 5 minutes detached from ranting about the military and/or police being horrible]

    3. Everybody knows that what Australia and England did works. They have become gun-free safe havens and everybody knows this. The NRA is lying and bribing our politicians because they love watching people die. [there is no stock answer on Saudi Arabia, as it lies at the intersection of their contradictory grievances and so the opinion will vary based upon mood and current events]

  • ||

    Yeah because people should be forbid to have unapproved objects or thoughts. I mean, that's the basis of the witch trials, isn't it? And what's more American than that?

  • Tionico||

    I'd say right back to the kinyun "If nobody needs to own one, then fine. Take them away from all government employees first. And if these belong on the battlefield and not on our streets, stop making our streets into battlefields.".

  • ranrod||

    ATF Says Weapons Used in San Bernardino Shooting Were Illegal in California | PJ Media

    The media proudly reports that the firearms were purchased legally. They are trying to create the narrative that the current gun laws allowed this to happen. They want you to know: "Hey, this was all legally done. We need more laws to stop this from happening again."
    But not so fast. It may be true that these guns were purchased legally, but they were not used legally and in fact, they were modified in violation of the California firearms laws, says the ATF.

    While they were originally sold legally, with magazine locking devices commonly known as bullet buttons, the rifles were subsequently altered in different ways to make them more powerful, according to Meredith Davis, a special agent with the ATF.

    The Smith & Wesson rifle was changed in an attempt to enable it fire in fully automatic mode, while the DPMS weapon was modified to use a large-capacity magazine, she said.

    Those alterations made the weapons unlawful under California’s ban on assault weapons, which bans guns with magazines that can detach for quick reloading.

    The state legally allows the sale and ownership of assault weapons that have fixed magazines.

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/2015/12/

  • ranrod||

    https // pjmedia.com/ trending/2015/12/4/ atf- says- weapons- used- in- san- bernardino- shooting- were- illegal- in- california

  • XM||

    Apparently they modified the guns to shoot in full automatic mode after they purchased them legally.

    They had training.

  • LarryA||

    The Smith & Wesson rifle was changed in an attempt to enable it fire in fully automatic mode, (emphasis added)

    I would hazard to guess they filed the sear that holds the hammer while the trigger is squeezed. That will cause the hammer to follow the bolt as it closes, and the rifle may shoot two or three shots at a time, but then you have to pull the bolt back, ejecting the good cartridge that failed to fire. If the hammer falls too fast and the cartridge goes off before the bolt fully locks, you stand a high chance of destroying the gun, and getting injured in the process.

    If I'm correct they were stupid, not trained.

  • Empress Trudy||

    As opposed to a semiautomatic .308 w a 10 shot mag? Because that's a deer gun.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    As opposed to a semiautomatic .308 w a 10 shot mag? Because that's a deer gun.

    So I can't shoot hogs, elk, etc with one? :-(

  • Tionico||

    most states limit mag capacity for hunting to five rounds max. That is why we can buy five round mags for AR type rifles.

  • Mark6||

    Waiting for a reporter to remind Obama about his snide chastising of Republicans for worrying about unvetted Middle Eastern women entering the country.

  • patskelley||

    If I were inclined to be a terrorist (which I am not) and wanted to obtain weapons and ammunition in a state with tough gun laws such as California I'd take a look at the 840 mile long coast line and figure nobody bothers tourists or fishing boats...and go from there.
    Of course we all could stand vigil along the coast line. The average shoulder width of a human being is 18 inches - so I'll give everyone a 2 foot span. So, if the USA has a total coastline of 94,122 miles, which we could totally monitor gun traffic by lining up 248,482,080 good citizens to stand watch. Of course they would have to take shifts so the total jobs generated by such a feat would make the unemployment bean counters absolutely giddy.

  • Rockabilly||

    We just need a new law that the criminals, terrorists, and the crazed will follow.

  • Danl1240||

    So California law failed to prevent this massacre because it wasn't comprehensive enough? That's the point of this article, right?

  • Akira||

    Exactly! The only law comprehensive enough is to ban all firearms (under penalty of death for violation) and give the government absolute authority to spy on you and search your home whenever they want.

    But if you believe that anyone wants to take your guns away, you're a tinfoil hat-wearing lunatic.

    /prog

  • Danl1240||

    Hmm. Kind of an odd point for an article on Reason.com to make. It's also hard to parse. 0/10 would not read again.

  • Alan@.4||

    No matter what the double-talking political types might claim,. the term "assault weapon" is devoid of meaning. As for "assault rifles", a technical term bandied about by the ignorant and by liars, refers to SELECTIVE FIRE ARMS, CHAMBERED FOR INTERMEDIATE CARTRIDGES, end of story. The latest California shooters utilized pistols and semi-automatic rifles, LEGALLY purchased, background checks and California baloney having been complied with.

    As for the vaunted background check,and it's alleged virtues,the following is germane. I live in PA., and have held a state issued Concealed Carry Permit or License, call it whatever you like, for a hellish long time. Some years back, I opted to purchase a 45 caliber pistol, a Kimber to be specific. Went through the entire routine, and my purchase was disallowed. On appeal, after screwing around got a couple of months, the PSP, Pa State Police decided that I was a fine fellow, I could have told the idiots that had they asked, and allowed the purchase. So much for the vaunted "background check", and it's alleged virtues.

    In conclusion,the anti gun/anti gun rights, anti constitutional rights types will continue to beat their drums, to sing the same old sad songs. Turns out that they are selling ice cubes to Eskimos, a polite way of saying that they are liars, whose schpiel should be rejected out of hand..

  • Alan@.4||

    Re a passing question, I know a bit about small arms and the ammunition therefore, which leaves me wondering as to what the hell might be the "bullet button" mentioned in the above article, and I assume in California law.

  • LarryA||

    As opposed to the semiautos in civilized states, which have a magazine release you press with your thumb to let the magazine fall out, in California you are required to have a magazine release that requires a "tool" to operate. The bullet button's "tool" is the pointy end of a cartridge.

  • johnnymars||

    Another false flag to soften up the sheeple for Israeli-prodded war with Iran and Syria?

  • LifeStrategies||

    But San Bernardino was a gun free zone - meaning that no one there had a gun to defend themselves against the attackers at the San Bernardino party massacre. So even California's very strict gun laws would have allowed someone to have a gun, no one did.

    Yet more evidence that only when you are able to defend you and your loved ones against violent criminals - or terrorists, will you have a far better chance of surviving. As President Obama's own CDC report so inconveniently found (and which is probably why it seems to have largely been supressed):

    "Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns [i.e. when a gun was used to defend the crime victim] found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies."

    So ensure you can defend yourself against violent criminals, see www.universalgunownership.net/CDC

  • Tionico||

    Calirofnia law prohibts even those with the scarce hard to get Mother May I Cards to carry inside any government building. The venue for this bash just happens to be a state owned/operated building, thus no law abiding person would violate the law and carry his personal defense weapon into that building.

    Truth: all that law did was assure no one inside that building had a weapon with which to defend hiumself. It did NOT stop the perps from ignoring the law and bringing in their tools for the killing in spite of the law. Thus, the perps were reasonably assured they would have no signficant or meaningful opposition. They carried out their self-assigned (really?) mission and left. The only thing the attendees at that party could do was cower in fear and wet their pants. It proved far too iineffective for the 35 or so who were hit.

    The saddest part about this is that San Bernardino's excellent sheriff has, on multiple occasions, publically declared "we cannot be everywhere, and cannot respond to al calls quickly enough to make a difference. PLEAE arm yourselves, and take the responsibility for your own safety seriously. We are happy to issue the carry permits to all who are not disqualified. Please come and apply, we will help you, Statewise, less than one quarter of one percent of California's nine million residents have gotten their Mother May I Cards. In my state.. one in ten have that Card. FOrty times the "concentration". And a FAR lower crime rate.

  • Ann in L.A.||

    There is a heads-I-win/tails-you-lose element I can't help but notice.

    Heads I win: the perps already jumped through all the hoops, so making people jump through the hoops is useless.

    Tails you lose: the perps broke existing law with their guns anyway, so making people jump through the hoops is useless.

    Gun controllers have little ammunition to argue with. It still comes down to burdening the law abiding, while not doing anything about criminals and terrorists.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Their fellow criminals and terrorists...

  • Tionico||

    It was not California.s hideously opporessive gun control laws that failed: they worked perfectly. They did not prohibit the sale of specific models of firearm their Department of Justice has agreed may be sold to non-restricted persons in California. they worked perfectly, those gun control laws.

    What laws did NOT work are those that could/should have controlled they who controlled the guns once purchased. A VERY thorough examination of the origins and history of that woman he married, the one under a fictitious name, the one for whom he travelled to Saudi Arabia to marry.

    Gun laws also worked perfectly to disarm every attendee at that party EXCEPT those intent upon doing harm with the firearms they should not have had with them there. ALL the other attendeed abode by the law, thus were helpless to cower in the corner and wet their pants as these murders plied their trade, knowing well none would be armed to contest them.

  • Tionico||

    Personally, I'd have either not attended that party because of the disarmament requirement placed by the venue, or I'd have carried anyway. Concealed is concealed, right? No one would ever know... until/unless the freaks start shooting. At that point its a choice between revealing what I've been doing all along, and shooting back at the perps, or cowering in the corner with the rest, as likely to be wetting my own pants as not. When its all over and the perps are dead or in custody, the coppers will want to know WHO SHOT BACK? I coud "come clean" or stay quiet.... and hope everyone else does as well. BUT, from what I know of LE in that area, I am certain anyone doing that would never be prosecuted in that county for carrying where they should not per the law. And if I were charged, I'd have to hope that a jury of my true peers would acquit in about ten seconds. What is right and good can, and still does, trump law.

  • Hyperbolical (wadair)||

    It seems that there is a subconscious fear in the minds of progressives as well as conservatives. For the former it is that conservatives will violently resist their enlightened policies. For the latter it is that the government will treat them the same way it did the Confederates, Indians, Mexicans, and Japanese, etc.. Both are correct in their fear.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Steven Pinker describes Malay berserkers--mohammedans--in "How the Mind Works," and reports that their cultural milieu makes being alive way less important than how other people will think of them as they chill at the morgue or rot in jail. Social metaphysics and altruism are the dominant values edging out a happy, flourishing life as the standard of value. Here, again, these mystical berserkers are programmed much like their christian enemies, who imagine that only superstition can enable one to discriminate between bad and good, right and wrong--once again, based on someone else's opinion--that of an invisible spirit rather than persons other than oneself. Running amok and murdering is not the "free" exercise of anything other than crime.

  • Hyperbolical (wadair)||

    Again you show your ignorance of religion. Jews attribute their law to Moses, who was inspired by that "invisible spirit". Christians attribute their "law" to Jesus of Nazareth--again inspired by that invisible spirit. That inspiration, BTW is little different from the team spirit that sports teams attribute their wins to. Most all the inspiration (notice the root word here) that humans experience is invisible. Just because something is invisible doesn't mean that it's not real. Air is invisible. Besides, who are you to say whether another person's inspiration is real or not?

  • ||

    Again you show your ignorance and stupidity. Christian tradition emphasises the supremacy of the conscience, the inevitable subjectivity of value, and the fact that the right and the good arise from the character of man as a rational, moral being, and are not arbitrary rules handed down from the demiurge. This was all laid out clear as fuck in Athanasius' CONTRA GENTES and represents the main stalk of Christian tradition. Countless others have gone into it in various ways since then, but not, so far as I've seen, as plainly.

  • Abe Froman||

    Just exactly what is the NSA doing with the billions, and billions, and billions of taxpayers dollars they're handed if they can't stop something as obvious as this? Who needs the NSA and the utter waste of taxpayer money they represent? Get rid of the agency! Let taxpayers keep a few dribs and drabs of the money they go out every day to earn.

  • LiveNLetLive||

    These guns were acquired by the mass murderers using an illegal strawman purchase to defeat the back ground checks. This "paper" crime is not pursued by law enforcement due to top cops and Vice President Biden because it just is not worth the resources.
    If back ground checks are not worth this defense of their integrity, what are they good for?

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