Saturday, February 9, 2008

Once and for all

In response to this garbage introduced last year which would re-authorize the deceptively named assault weapons ban, ironically named H.R. 1022, I have decided to post a few of the firearm myths that have been plaguing the internet for decades. This silly bill was introduced by Senator McCarthy (D-NY), who was later cornered by Tucker Carlson of MSNBC about the "barrel shroud" criteria in the bill. The senator grudgingly conceded she had no idea what it was, saying:

"I believe it is a shoulder thing that goes up."

In light of her ignorance of firearms and incompetence as an elected official, I will start with the barrel shroud. I reference Wikipedia in the attempt to use a neutral source. There is a wealth of information on various pro-gun websites. If you want real detailed information, I direct you to The Gun Zone.

H.R. 1022 defines a barrel shroud as:

(36) Barrel Shroud- The term `barrel shroud' means a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel of a firearm so that the shroud protects the user of the firearm from heat generated by the barrel,..

So by definition stated in this bill it is a safety device to protect the user from burns. Perfect! What great criteria to ban something! Humor aside, banning a barrel shroud will do nothing to prevent crime. A barrel shroud looks militant because it started out as a means to protect machine gunners from burning themselves on a hot barrel. It also facilitated cooling of the barrel by providing holes for air and increasing the surface area. They are not used much on modern machine guns because they have been replaced by handguards with forward grips as well as quick change barrels. Pictures here. Banning a barrel shroud from regular semi-automatic weapons is just a witch hunt.

The next item covered will be the very misunderstood pistol grip. The pistol grip strikes fear into the heart of moonbats, liberals, and soccer moms nation wide. The fear is driven by this absurd idea that it enables one to "spray fire" from the hip. First thing to address is not one modern army "spray fires" or "fires from the hip." This technique, called the "beruit offhand" by Marines, is completely ineffective and will ensure that the shooter gets zapped by trained marksman firing from the shoulder. Machine gunnery has changed since WWI in that thousands of massed troops no longer blindly run into your field of fire waving their colors and blowing a bugle. Firing long bursts in combat can cover a road or hallway, but professional Warfighters don't spray rounds in a random sweeping motion if they want to cover their buddies with effective fire.

A pistol grip serves many functions. It allows a shooter to keep the weapon aimed with one hand while using the support hand for other functions like calling 911 on a cellphone. It gives a stronger grip to keep the weapon from being snatched out of the user's hand. A pistol grip sometimes holds the magazine to allow the user to recharge the weapon during a stressful event. This is called the "hand finds hand" concept which works great. The fire controls are ergonomically placed to be manipulated by the user with his or her hand on the grip.

Most rifles and shotguns have a pistol grip of sorts; it just depends on how prominent it is. They do not make a firearm any more deadly than any other and to ban a gun because it has one is beyond stupid.

Next up is a bayonet lug. Seriously. Have you ever heard of someone being murdered in the U.S. by someone with a bayonet mounted on a rifle? I didn't think so. There have been plenty of innocent civilians murdered by their own government with mounted bayonets, but in our society it just doesn't happen. So why would someone neeeeeed to have a bayonet lug? First, you can take need and shove it. Free men and women don't live their lives confined within what beaurocrats think they need. Just for fun, here is a more in depth answer. In the U.S. there is a fascination with the service rifle in use by our military, past and present. There are millions of shooters who are hard working, tax paying, law abiding folks who shoot in service rifle events across the country. Service rifles have bayonet lugs. To ban them is to ban the sport. It won't stop the first criminal so what exactly is the purpose? That's right, nothing. Moving on.

Flash suppressor. Extremely misunderstood. A flash suppressor or flash hider as it is erroneously called, does not hide the muzzle flash at all. It only re-directs the flash. There are many reasons. It can help maintain the shooters night vision by directing the flash off to the sides instead of up into the shooters line of sight. The A2 birdcage flash suppressor on the M16 and many AR15's are closed on the bottom to keep the muzzle blast from kicking up dust and debris which could inhibit the shooters field of view. Sometimes they are used to keep the muzzle from rising while firing by venting gasses up. Flash suppressors will not help a madman intent on murdering people, but they are found on service rifles, which as we covered above are used by millions of non-violent people who like to shoot competitively.

If one really wants to limit muzzle flash, then register and buy a sound suppressor with the ATF. Or buy ammunition that lessens flash by using specially made propellant. Either way, legislating flash suppressors makes no sense.

Speaking of sound suppressors, many of them mount to the firearm by threading onto the barrel. So naturally this bill lists a threaded barrel as criteria to make a firearm an "assault weapon." Sound suppressors are a safety item that limits the hearing damage caused by the report of the shot. I don't have one yet, which is unfortunate, because I have severe hearing loss in my left ear due to over two decades of shooting rifles. In some European countries, suppressors are not even regulated. That's because it's a non-issue. In the U.S. they are legal as long as you pay a large tax and register them with the ATF which regulates them using the National Firearm Act (NFA).

Lawmakers and hollywood have managed to brand suppressors as something that only assassins would use, which is foolish, especially considering that gun ranges across the country are being shut down due to "noise pollution." Why would the mere mortal masses in the U.S. neeeeeed a sound suppressor? Once again, take need and shove it. If that isn't enough, then consider what would happen to a homeowner if they fire a gun at an intruder in their house. That's right; it would be the last thing either of them hear. Owning a piece of metal does not make someone violent. Banning something entirely useful to the citizens makes them a tyrant and a fool.

(iv) the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at a location outside of the pistol grip. This is one of the criteria for a pistol to be an "assault weapon." What jackass conjured up this turd? This has absolutely nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with an ignorant senator looking at a picture of a pistol and trying to find a militant feature to ban. Anyone who argues otherwise shouldn't be allowed to drive a car. Really.

Other things H.R. 1022 tries to ban:
Obsolete firearms like the "street sweeper." Sounds menacing doesn't it? But, but, if it's obsolete than what reason would it be added into this legislation? It looks menacing. That's it. It has nothing to do with public safety. Why should it not be included in this shit bill? Because many good citizens collect things like firearms, to include neat guns like the street sweeper.

(L) A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. Because Attorney Generals are such experts with firearms, no doubt. They are such upstanding individuals that they can burn the citizens of this country to death in a church without remorse and then imprison the handful of survivors. Great plan! Virtually all rifles and shotguns were designed for military use, so that doesn't make sense. And you can also take "sporting purposes" and shove that too. Firearms have lots of non sporting purposes that can be used by the free citizens of this great country.

The last thing I will talk about is how "assault weapon" is misleading. Any object used to harm a person is an "assault weapon" so the term is moot. Automatic weapons are already regulated by the ATF through the NFA. Semi-automatic firearms, which are the target of this ban, fire one cartridge for every trigger pull; they just look similar to automatic weapons. The use of automatic weapons and their potential are wildly overstated. Standard shoulder fired rifles that are select fire, that is, they are capable of semi-auto and automatic fire, are not effective at "mowing down" crowds of people. They are designed to place multiple rounds into one target at close range on automatic fire, and place single aimed rounds into a target at distance.

That's what I've got. I'll post more sometime. I hope this helps some misguided journalist in the future.
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