Gun talk


The target, an AR-15 Sporter carbine/Wikimedia Commons

No public policy debate in the U.S. today involves more simple ignorance than the discussion of gun control, a fact presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke sadly underlined Thursday during the Democrat presidential debate.

Unless you’re living in a cave, you’ve surely read or heard his proclamation that “we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore.”

Then, having ignored the problem in getting past the U.S.Constitution’s Second Amendment view on the right to bear arms, O’Rourke turned his back on the First Amendment and labeled as “a death threat” a Tweet from a Republican legislator in his home state of Texas saying this: “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”

You’d have to be delusional to actually believe that O’Rourke feared that comment by state Rep. Briscoe Cain meant Cain planned to go hunting for a Democrat presidential candidate. But accusing Cain of being a potential assassin was a brilliant move by O’Rourke to sidetrack the discussion from the substance of his earlier comments focused on a number of erroneous ideas including the claim that the two, semi-automatic rifles he mentioned fire a unique “high-impact, high-velocity round (that) when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body.”

The shredder claim was the sort of big-city, liberal fear-mongering destined to be met by equal and opposite fear-mongering from rural and rural-aligned conservatives who painted O’Rourke’s comments as the beginning of a national, no-knock, smash-your-doors down War on Guns in the image of the War on Drugs.

And we all know how well the War on Drugs has worked out. But let’s ignore that and simply talk guns.

Rightly or wrongly, too, let’s accept that O’Rourke’s intentions here are good, that he isn’t just engaged in political pandering, that he really wants to save lives and stop body-shredding bullets, and let’s proceed from there with the understanding that in any discussion facts matter.

Killing power

The AR-15 fires a .22 caliber bullet from either the 5.56mm NATO or .223 Remington cartridge. The classic AK-47 fires a .30-caliber cartridge (the 7.62X39mm aka .30 Russian short) or, in newer versions, a .22-caliber Russian round, the 5.45 X 39mm.

The military in both countries adopted .22-caliber rounds not for their killing power but for their weight savings. The 5.56mm NATO cartridge weighs about half of its predecessor, the 7.62mm NATO. A soldier could thus carry twice as much ammo.

When the 5.56 was introduced, it’s killing capacity was questioned, and it has been questioned even more since. The U.S. military is now experimenting with a larger, more powerful 6.8mm round because the 5.56mm doesn’t, as Popular Mechanics reported, “cut it against modern body armor, particularly that worn by Russian Army troops.”

A former military medic writing at the firearm website “The Truth About Guns” says this about the 5.56 mm.

“In my experience, the standard NATO combat round pokes 5.56mm holes in both bones and flesh, shattering nothing. It creates minimal bleeding. I know people say it tumbles and yaws, but that isn’t my experience at all. I saw it poke tiny holes in humans and rarely induced hemorrhaging sufficient to cause unconsciousness or uncompensated shock, which is the only result that matters.

“On the flip side, having a patient who was shot by a 7.62X51 NATO or larger round was a rarity. Dead people aren’t patients….For me, what I learned is, when it comes to combat, shoot the heaviest rifle round I can, shoot at what I can hit, and then shoot it again if I can.”

Combat medics who’ve treated bullet wounds know much more about how bullets perform than a former Texas congressman who grew up in comfort before being sent away to a prep school in Virginia and then attending the Ivy League’s Columbia University. There is nothing in O’Rourke’s biography to indicate he knows a buttstock from muzzle brake.

Thus he would not know that for maximum killing power at range, a Remington 750 Woodmaster or Browning BAR Mark III in .308-caliber is deadlier than any 5.56 mm. Both of those rifles are standard sporting arms that can be easily fitted with quick-change, 10-round magazines.

Likewise, he wouldn’t understand that if someone really wanted to do damage in close quarters, the venerable Remington 870 pump shotgun now comes in a “tactical,” clip-fed version with quick-change, six-round clips. The U.S. military still favors shotguns for close-range combat.

If O’Rourke’s idea is to end mass shootings, as he suggested it is, simply getting rid of AR-15s and the AK-47s, doesn’t do much. They’re less deadly than other weapons and, even more importantly, they are not very often used for homicides.

Fifty-five rifles of all types, some fraction of them semi-automatics of which AR-15s and AK-47s are an even smaller fraction, were used in U.S. mass shootings from 1982 to 2019, according to Statista. 

Over the same period, more than three times as many handguns and shotguns were used in such shootings. Handguns alone were involved in two and half times as many mass shootings as rifle of all types.

If a politician really wants to do something about not just mass shootings but firearm deaths in the U.S. in general, the data clearly says the attention-grabbing statement should be “we’re going to take your revolver, your semi-automatic handgun. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore.”


Handwaving freakoutery

Because as B.J. Campbell, a data analyst who regularly crunches numbers before writing about firearms, has observed, “if your goal is to murder, the handgun is the obvious choice, and that’s born out in the homicide numbers.”

Handguns were used in 7,032 homicides in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Handguns accounted for about 70 percent of all firearms deaths and probably more, given that the second-largest category of deaths was for “other guns or types not stated.”

There have been no, high-profile mass shootings in the U.S. involving so-called assault rifles where the type of weapon remained unknown. And mass shootings are but a subset of the 403 homicides involving rifles in general.

So to boil this down: Handguns are known to have accounted for 7,032 violent deaths in 2017, and rifles of all types – not just the two rifles mentioned by Beto – accounted for 403 deaths.

The 403 rifle deaths – some portion of which were committed with AR-15s or AK-47s – trail 467 homicides by blunt object (hammer, club,etc.), 696 by fists and feet, and 1,591 by knife and cutting weapon as Campbell notes at his website, Handwaving Freakoutery, where he has observed that “magically evaporating all the rifles would likely just push most of these numbers into the ‘handgun’ umbrella, saving very few lives. Presuming magical gun evaporation were possible of course, which it isn’t.”

Campbell also takes on those doctors who have suggested semi-automatic rifles are somehow deadlier than other firearms and points out that in the real world the opposite has proven true. The Virginia Tech shooter murdered 30 people and wounded 17 using a pair of handguns.

“Using pistols, the VT shooter killed almost twice as many people as at Parkland. He killed half again as many people as Sandy Hook, and the Sandy Hook victims were literally children. Little kids. This idea doctors have that AR-15s make mass shooting incidents magically more deadly than pistols is fundamentally, scientifically, and self-evidently wrong. It is a lie,” he wrote.

“I understand why they think it. They think it because they see one patient on a gurney, and not a building full of wounded and dying people laying there for tens of minutes waiting for emergency response to arrive. They think it because the 30 dead ones at Virginia Tech didn’t even make it into ER. They think it because they’ve never loaded up a backpack full of mags.”

The essence of Campbell’s argument is that the number of people a mass shooter can kill is limited mainly by how much ammunition can be carried. It is the same reason why the U.S. and Russian militaries switched to lighter, less powerful cartridges. See the discussion of military cartridges above.

Ignorance or fear-mongering?

O’Rourke is either unaware of the data or he was dog-whistling suburban women and others who live in fear of a random shooter. A poll conducted for the Thomson Reuters news service in August found 59 percent of Americans believe “random acts of violence such as mass shootings (committed by Americans on American soil)” pose the greatest threat to the citizenry. 

The emotion is all out of whack with reality. The homicide rate in the U.S. t5.

oday – approximately 5.3 per 100,000 – is about half of what it was at its peak of 10.2 per 100,000 in 1980. And mass shootings are a tiny, tiny part of homicides. calculated the “lifetime risk of dying in a mass shooting is around 1 in 110,154 — about the same chance of dying from a dog attack or legal execution.”

You are approximately 307 times more likely to be killed by a firearm in a non-mass shooting, and that figure is skewed by the firearm death rate among African Americans, primarily in the country’s urban ghettoes.

White Americans die in homicides at a rate of 2.67 per 100,000. Unfortunately, the story is not the same for all U.S. citizens. The national rate for black Americans is 18.67 per 100,000 and in some states, such as Missouri, it has climbed as high as 46.24 per 100,000.

The staggering, nation-leading death rate in Missouri is focused on the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City, St. Louis Public Radio reported. 

ABC News in early September compiled a list of “at least 19 deadly mass shootings in the US so far in 2019.” Two of those shootings took place in the St. Louis area.

“A brawl inside a St. Louis home reportedly led to a gun battle where five victims in their 20s and 30s were shot, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,” ABC reported of one.

“Of those, three victims were found dead at the scene and the fourth died later as a result of their injuries, the newspaper reported.

“Initial reports suggested that the four deceased men were related.”

The shooting made the news in few places outside of the immediate St. Louis area. The Associated Press circulated a five-paragraph story after the men were identified. St. Louis police described a “gun battle” between people who knew each other – something far from a random, mass shooting.

The other shooting was much the same, only that time five people died. These were the country’s “normal” mass shootings. Not the kind of mass shootings that throw the country into panic.

Scaring people

Healthline noted that today’s omnipresent media with its worldwide reach inflates dangers, but “even without the influence of the media, we are not always very good at knowing what is most dangerous in our environment.”

That might be an understatement given the data. Here’s one simple reality to consider:

If you want to do something dangerous, sit on your ass. An American Cancer Society study found that sitting for more than six hours per day increases your risk of death by 19 percent over sitting for less than three hours per day.

If that isn’t enough, consider what Shawn Radcliffe wrote at Healthline:

“There are many more likely ways to die than in a mass shooting.

“Heart disease and cancer are at the top – the risk of dying is 1 in 7. And even dying in a motor vehicle crash is higher – 1 in 113.”

Thus your chances of dying in that motor-vehicle crash are about 975 times greater than your chances of dying in a mass shooting involving any weapon and grow to somewhere around 2000 times greater in a mass shooting involving an AR-15, AK-47 or any copy of those weapons given how few are involved in mass shootings.

Motor vehicles are the country’s most underrated danger. The chances are you will fall victim to your bad driving or someone will kill you with a car or truck are real, and the chances you will be killed in a mass shooting are, well, about as great as the chances you will be charged with murder, judged guilty by a U.S. jury, sentenced to death by a judge, and eventually executed.

So what are the odds an attention-seeking politician will declare “we’re going to take away your F-150, your Toyota RAV4. We’re not going to allow it to be used against you or a fellow American anymore.”

And what are the chances of a random group of Americans – Democrat or Republican -cheering and clapping that remark.

The people who cheered O’Rourke’s gun grab are no doubt well-intentioned whether O’Rourke is or not. But good intentions have a horrible history of leading public policy into bad outcomes.

Prohibition was built on good intentions. The Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam War were born of good intentions. Good intentions led to the overuse of DDT which damaged ecosystems across North America.

One can make a long list of good intentions that made a mess of things. Data and well-thought-out ideas should lead this country’s discussion of how to lower the firearm death rate, not good intentions.

And the first focus should be on doing something about those economically depressed areas, whether black or white, where homicide rates are in the triple digits.













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109 replies »

  1. Came across this lil gem.
    “Just last month (Augist), 53 Americans died in mass shootings…while 40,000 died from obesity.”
    Priorities fellas, priorities…

  2. Time for all good Americans to recognize what’s going on. These repeated attacks on the 1 st amendment the second amendment and family values are not by accident. The enimies of the people have recognized to defeat America it must be done from within. The global cabal are using the media , silicone valley , free trade and the far left as a tool to divide America. It’s a call to metaphorical arms . Vote out anyone who attack s the first or the second . Our cherished bill of rights so many sacrificed for that help define America and keep it whole . It’s time to unite . There is no left there is no right there is only Americans . A house divided can not stand . We are being split on purpose. Anyone who spotlights race or twists facts to spotlight division is either a tool or an active participant. Do not be a tool and fall into the trap of him versus me . Pull together for the future greatness of mankind. The future of humanity depends on America to stand strong together. We are on a cliff . Their is an information war attempting to dilute facts , American history, degrade families and slowly brain wash us into weakness and divisions untill we voluntarily put the shackles on . Do not be divided do not be muzzled,do not be misled by media propaganda Stand on the solid ground of facts and logic during this stormy time . Pull together. Historical facts and current statistics fully support the right to bear arms . Gun restricted areas are an open door to criminals. Look at Baltimore, Chicago, Mexico ect . Nazi citizens were disarmed, China citizens were disarmed, Russian peasants were disarmed,.the list goes on . Make your choice. Freedom or subjection and slavery . When truth and free speech becomes criminal and a thing to be imprisioned or blacklisted for ,it’s a last call for freedom. See what the future holds , Fight back . Vote or move into public office. Diversity is a strength. Live and let live it’s the American way. Pull together.

      • Brian , yes that’s a political operative at work. Very nasty. This is why almost no decent person is willing to go into public service. Who would want to be lied about and have your reputation smeared unjustly ?. The operative knows even if the smears don’t stick ( which it will for the uninformed and misled) it will put fear into anyone of moral fortitude who is considering themselves as a Supreme Court nominee. This is truly an attack on the future of America and it’s social fabric. (alinsky tactics ?) Far more dangerous than a physical battle as it’s subversion of information and the truth. Trump is right – some form of lawsuit is in order . Definitely a change in current laws to defeat bought and paid slander . These very bad actors are twisting the truth to make a trap for fools and knaves . Do not deal in lies.

      • Opinion, father of a Parkland victim:
        “Responding to a recent video featuring 2020 Democratic candidates promoting tighter gun control as a safety precaution in schools, Pollack said it made him “ill.”

        “My daughter paid the ultimate sacrifice because of those Democratic policies and I’ve been hurt by the Democrats more than anybody in this country — and I hold them responsible,” Pollack said.

        Pollack met with President Trump five times, he explained, and applauded the President’s initiation of a federal school safety commission to investigate what steps need to be taken to ensure safety in schools across the country.”

  3. So here’s an interesting thing to consider. In this thread I saw some argument about wether.223 round does internal damage of significance. An army doctor says it doesn’t and may not break bones . Others say it does and leaves a wound channel . I saw Beto rourke “claiming” the surgeon and doctor he spoke with said it shredded their insides . A weapon of war . Obviously a horrible picture. Now what those three different opinions says to me is they are all correct. What people don’t realize is each occurrence described a different type of .223 bullet . Many military forces use full metal jacket armor piercing. Which only leaves tiny holes and zips through . In 1960 I know a brown bear that was shot multiple times with 30/06 military ammunition full metal jacket armor piercing. Small holes no stopping power no expansion the bear kept charging and almost killed the guy on his porch untill he put a standard 22 round behind its ear point blank with the bear in his face . 30/06 should have floored the bear with shot placement but full metal jacket no expansion similar to army doctor description. Now I’ve hunted caribou a lot with standard soft tip .223 rounds usually I get results of very little meat damage with a very mild wound channel sometimes not so much . If it hits a bone significant damage . “ hunting rounds “ description matches what other hunters expierence. I consider it a very poor hunting choice due to chances of wounded animal being able to escape even when hit in vitals. Now the third observation from the alleged surgeon orourke spoke to . Two possibilities for it . Illegal manipulation of bullet tips / cross hatch for expansion which I believe is illegal for war / geneva conventions “ haven’t confirmed,might also be illegal on the street . Causes massive bullet expansion for maximum damage against humans . In hunting wild game it serves no purpose as heavy hides hair cause epansion prematurely and inadequate penetration. Also inaccurate except up close. The other possibility’s are hollow points, ( never seen in .223 but might be available) also ballistic tips are highly plausible. I had a foolish hunter I was guiding who used ballistic tips on a sheep at long range . Totally shredded the animals insides and shattered the bullet shredding a large area . Yet matches doctors description. So my thought is this explains the multiple different opinions on .223 ammo . Again I say follow the facts and solve the problems with science within our existing overly adequate laws . Do not foolishly mess with the constitutional freedoms. Utilize Mental health support and fix our economy which keeps people out of desperation and allows one parent to financially be able to stay at home if they wish to make sure kids are raised correctly. Fix the fed ,fix nafta ,fix worldwide trade ,fix immigration , legalize illicit drugs , reduce chemicals in environment , change the culture of prescription drug reliance and this will help our society to reduce the trend of gun , general murder and suicide violence. What’s a definition of insanity? Keep doing the same thing over and over yet expect different results.

    • On a side note I saw a.223 soft nosed bullet from a semi auto mini 14 ( basically an ar-15 ) kill a large brown bear while facing front on when fired into his chest in rapid succession tap tap tap tap from aprx . 10-15 yards . So it sure as heck can Be a functional rifle for self defense and hunting. Just not first choice. Even trajectory is pretty poor after aprx 300 yards . That was a DLP bear in the dark and was turned in . Large full grown boar .

    • Despite being a jacketed round, because it’s smaller, lighter, and faster than than say the AK-47 projectile, the 5.56mm tends to yaw faster once it hits tissue. The shearing forces on the bullet once it is traveling at 90 degrees through the tissue often tears the bullet into pieces, thus creating multiple smaller projectiles and increasing the chances of all of the bullet parts remaining in the target, and hence dissipating more energy. So, basically small wound channel going in, large coming out. Of course it will shatter bone. It will blow your brain out the back of your head to.
      While I hate the 5.56 rd, what I hate most about the M4 is it jams all the time from the slightest amount of dirt. All this AR talk is just Marxist Democrats wanting to minimize their risk during their takeover of power. The majority of them know nothing about guns and the ones that do, do not like the thought of a high cap drum mag or standard 30/40 rounders.

    • Absolutely, Opinion!

      The type of bullet sitting on a round makes them different things.

      Plus, when we talk about bullet performance, we’re assuming it has a certain velocity. At closer & further distances than it was intended for, we’ll see different results.

      Any bullet can tumble, once it’s going too slow. Too close, and it’s likely to disintegrate and make a big mess.

      So sure, “All of the above” is the correct answer.

  4. Come on, snowflakes? We begin this piece by Beto Orourke belting out a comment that everyone knows is not to be taken seriously, and we take it as somehow the party platform. But Mr Texas Congressman was just joking. Let’s be honest, he was trying to make a splash, get traffic, do you think he is going to be the nominee? Get that passed Congress? This is all NRA, fundraiser bullshit. Remember Obama was going to take your guns? And the whole 5.56 is I that bad argument is silly. How many armies use pistols? Look why we are facts and statistics, here is a fact, the GOP has completely hamstrung the ATF and prevented the CDC from studying gun deaths so we can have real data and find real solutions.

  5. Steve Stine, concluding:

    It seems that the military industrialized complex wants to wound more soldiers and civilians than end global conflict…
    After all if the conflicts were ended, then who would arms dealers sell to?

    Conflicts, Steve – and the ability to win them – are part of Nature.

    • Well Ted,
      Modern humans have benefited greatly from technology and therefore spend a comparatively small amount of their time looking for food and shelter than other organisms in Nature.
      The negative aspect of all this technology (including weapons) is that modern humans are bored with life in a sense and many look for adventure which the military, cartels and gangs are quick to promise new recruits.
      “From brutal civil wars in Africa to vicious drug-cartel rivalries in Mexico, violence around the world has one thing in common: vast quantities of hand-held weapons such as Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Nearly a billion small arms are scattered across the globe, about three-quarters of them in civilian hands.”
      My point on the promotion of conflict today to retain small arms sales is that there are many more advanced ways to resolve these conflicts with our adversaries.
      The last video I watched with Oliver Stone interviewing President Putin….
      Putin said: “The conflicts of the future will not be won on the battlefield, but in Cyberspace.”
      This will not help the 200 year old small arms manufacturering businesses in the U.S. any longer…unless they can continue to sell their arms to the civilian markets.
      This is part of the reason that so many assault weapons are marketed to civilians these days.

      • Steve, society was far more violent, before either/both modern technology or corporations. Seriously; overly-controlled though it may be, today’s society is far safer & saner than in centuries & millennia past.

        At the time of our Revolutionary War, the late Age of Enlightenment, homicide ran at 30 per 100,000 per year. That’s 10 times, 1,000% what we experience today. Medieval society was massively militarized from top to bottom – even the Church was militaristic

        You wanna talk boredom? Yeah-huh, life on the ol’ Family Farm was BORing. That’s the #1 reason why we have mega-cities today … not jobs, or poverty, but the tedium. [A few folks can address the boredom, thrive in the quiet of the hinterlands, but the great bulk of the population (and there is a silver lining here!) doesn’t.]

        To be sure, Steve, I’m with you on the sentimental, human level. Oh yeah. Even though I am a natural Sci-Tech person, I resent the hell of out the intrusion & dominance of ‘effin technology’. I am deeply suspicious of the motives & aims of the Corporate-Banking-Government “complex”. President’s Eisenhower’s jaw would bounce off his chest, at the BS going on today. imo.

        Your energy & drive & commitment are all admirable … but you need to bring a healthy little dose of cynicism to your research. Too often, you cite & quote obvious & avoidable rubbish. Tattoo on the inside of your forehead, The Internet is forever.

        Take the Gatling Gun. It was insignificant during the Civil War. At the time, it was 200 rpm, not 600 rpm. And it was virtually useless; poor reliability, lousy accuracy, a badly exposed operator. But really, it’s downfall was the belching cloud of black-powder smoke that rendered the crew completely blind within a couple seconds.

        Only after the arrival of smokeless powder, decades later, would rapid-fire weapons become important. It was smokeless, actually, that allowed the rifle to become an “assault weapon”.

      • Ted,
        I guess we can agree to disagree on this one…
        Your statement:
        “Steve, society was far more violent, before either/both modern technology or corporations.”
        I know it was brutal in some circles, but we never saw 225,000 “Casualties” with 2 bombs until Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
        Today the Neo-Cons cause more death and destruction with sanctions and blockades more than with M16’s and M60’s…
        “Critics of US policy in Iraq claim that sanctions have killed more than a million people, many of them children.”
        (The Nation)
        The Vietnam era of jungle warefare is over…
        The banksters have more options than War.

      • Steve,

        It’s cute that you think it’s neo-cons causing worldwide death totals to rise so much. Do some research man, the neo-con death total isn’t even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the death total. Seriously do some research, don’t just read left wing nonsense and the copy and paste it.

      • Steve Stine proposes,

        I guess we can agree to disagree on this one…
        Your statement:
        “Steve, society was far more violent, before either/both modern technology or corporations.”

        It is, I would agree (reluctantly & under protest), marginally possible to disagree on whether slavery was onerous (any more than the burdens of non-slaves), or whether women benefited as much as they were hampered by being chattel.

        In the same vein, some even propose/rationalize that events of mid-20th C. Europe, in which some people did something, were a failure that should be shared by the wider community of nations & peoples, not something for which certain countries, nationalities, or even a particular Political Party in charge, should be Named & Blamed.

        I disagree with all three of those perspectives, but I admit that they are matters of (bizarre, imo) interpretation.

        However, it is not a matter of opinion that slavery and chattel existed, or that the Holocaust happened.

        Likewise, it’s not a matter of opinion to doubt/question that earlier societies were actually more violent, dangerous and homicidal; it’s a matter of straight-up denial.

  6. Jim Inak,

    Militia or Army? There’s a difference.

    But the kind of regulation, and big clue why it was needed (of a force made up of ‘occasional’ citizen-soldiers, is found immediately (and meaningfully) following the 2nd.

    The 3rd Amendment reads:

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Regulations are Laws; the use of the term “free [S]tate” allows State’s Rights to enter the picture, according to some, but not others (who point to Article 1).

    • Ted , I really appreciate your ability to clarify and analyze. Getting to the meaning of things and expressing it accurately is imperative in this era . I should have recognized the importance of English writing and thinking when I was younger. Your gift of writing and comprehension is incredibly valuable.

  7. Question for citizens who want gun control- Did slaves or plantation owners have freedom of choice as to firearms? Do you want to be a slave? Would slaves have been able to free themselves with guns? Did Russian peasants or Russian government have freedom of choice on firearms ? Do you want to be a Russian peasant? Would it effect weather they got rounded up and sent to Siberia? That’s just tip of iceberg. Do you want control and choice in your life or do you want to be in a slaves/peasants shoes? Anyone thought about what would happen if America was invaded if every American owned an ar 15 ? The invasion would be stopped. Grass roots mental health help and an improved economy with tighter families is 99% of the answer to the crazies as well as inner city violence – correlation between poverty and gun violence . Gun control has failed miserably in all other countries. A smart man learns from others mistakes. Stop listening to the delusional crap fed to you on mainstream media . Gun deaths by ar 15 are minimum and would just be replaced with another weapon. Don’t be mind dead tools and voluntarily put your hands into shackles. One more step .


    • “I don’t even want to hear” anymore from you until you can make a comment without acting like a name-calling fourth grader or Donald Trump, Robertoe. Guns kill far more people than “suicide bombers” and you know it.

  9. Most rifles and many pistols, including most so-called hunting rifles, were designed by the military, for military roles. Popular Remington civilian deer-rifles are slightly modified World War I & II assault rifles … just as the AR-15 is a civilian adaptation of the Vietnam era M-16 light/infantry machine gun.

    It is solid modern military philosophy that it is preferable to wound enemy soldiers, than to kill them. The enemy must devote far more resources to their wounded, than to their dead. Then, there is a favorable ethical/moral consideration. Lastly, while it may sound trite, injured enemy soldiers who heal then go home to marry and raise families … buy our agricultural, industrial and consumer products. Check out the benefits that not-destroying and then helping Japan has conferred on the US. (The West made mistakes in the handling of Germany, following WWI (which arguably led to WWII) … which were likewise not repeated the second time – to our lasting benefit.)

    The assault rifle category was created in the late 19th C, the type-specimen being the legendary 8mm (.323) Mauser of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II of Germany. Our answer to the Mauser was the lighter but equally legendary (.308) 30.06.

    Bullets of .22 diameter inherently have a higher frontal area to weight ratio (Physics/Math/Geometry 101), causing them to slow down substantially faster than bullets of larger (.30) caliber. Plus their lighter weight increases stabilization problems. In a carbine, tactical arms, this is no biggie, because these are short-range applications.

    But … see Paragraph #2 – those .22 bullets do a better job of turning enemy combatants into expensive patients … and ultimately, valuable customers.

    Today, we are bringing a range of electronics and digital methods to bear on the enhancement of traditional rifles & rounds. Assisted aiming & target-acquisition methods mean that the bullets we carry into the field can be much more effective; mean that average soldiers can perform more like highly-trained snipers; and can do so at much higher firing rates.

    Hi-tech will enhance both .22 and .30 bullets & rifles, but with the more efficient use of bullets, the heavier & bulkier but more-powerful & longer-range *true* assault rifle cartridges & applications could now well advance, relative to their .22 johnny-come-lately competition.

    • Ted, what is an “assault weapon” again? I am trying to follow you. I mean, isn’t it true a knife, a hammer, a broken bottle would all be considered an “assault weapon”? As for as todays enemy who “must” remove their wounded, I disagree with you. Also, todays enemy wounded get better at the hands of the US taxpayer and then return back to the battlefield, as is the case of the Gitmo swine. You paint an outdated, romantic view of the battlefield.

      • Bryan,

        A thrown rock is a common tactical weapon; it is a missile, and it follows a ballistic trajectory, However, that doesn’t make it a tactical ballistic missile, such as the Scud.

        An assault is a particular military operation, having particular meaning, done a certain way (like a “retreat”, or “charge”). Rifles were adapted for the assault role, as they evolved to their modern form during the later 1800s (and the Assault was tweaked to take advantage of them).

        Around and following WWII, assault practices shifted to make use of what are basically (short, lower power, reduce-range) semi-auto carbines, instead of full-power rifles. This newer assault, though, is often already ‘covered’ as a separate tactical operation; for example as jungle-tactics in Vietnam, or current (‘door-to-door’) urban-warfare tactics in Middle Eastern cities.

        Ever since the Mauser & Springfield days, basic firearms have been a tweak-show.

        What you refer to as a “battlefield”, in connection with Gitmo, conventional “corporate” military calls irregular or asymmetrical action. Organizations like Al Qaeda or ISIS … are guerillas. They are warriors, but not soldiers. They specifically AVOID direct or conventional engagement … just as the American Revolutionary forces took cover behind trees and rock fences, avoiding the massed volley operation of the rank & formation Red Coat rifle companies.

        Red Coat tactics were driven by the very low rate of fire of their muzzle loaders, and commonly poor accuracy (coupled often with poor visibility from the copious smoke). Bow-and-arrow forces could & did overwhelm dispersed and even massed Red Coats, because an archer can reload & fire several times while the muzzle loader is fiddling with his elaborate weapon.

        So it is with the “modern assault rifle” … which are actually substantially inferior to the original item, but shoot faster, are more mobile, and for which the warrior can carry more arrows. Bullets.

        Muzzle loaders, though, soon became cartridge loaders, and that was the end of the bow-and-arrow.

      • Ted,
        I think you got it right when you said:
        “Around and following WWII, assault practices shifted to make use of what are basically (short, lower power, reduce-range) semi-auto carbines, instead of full-power rifles.”
        Reading the book “Devil’s Guard” which tells of tactics used by a Nazi battalion displaced by the end of WWII…we can see the carnage left by flame throwers and belt fed high power machine guns.
        This carnage was first seen in the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg when the North rolled out the first Gatlin Guns and mowed down over 1/3 of Lee’s Army.
        The musket small arms were nothing compared to the 600 rounds a minute pumped out by the Gatlin Gun which left 6,000 dead among 60,000 casualties in several days of battle.
        It seems that the military industrialized complex wants to wound more soldiers and civilians than end global conflict…
        After all if the conflicts were ended, then who would arms dealers sell to?

      • Ted, if I am punching you in the face that is “assault”. If I am on too of you pounding your face with a rock that is “assault” with a daedly weapon. So, when one ises the reference “assault weapon or assault rife” it proves to me they are young, drink the Kool-Aid, and are part of the Millennial generation. They base their opinions on feelings. Hint, a shotgun is an “assault” weapon.

      • Steve Stine, Gatlinburgs were never used at Gettysburg. The Sharps carbine was. A HUGE difference. Nice try though.

      • Bryan, as to your comprehension of assault I agree as does the dictionary. Assault has to do with a specific action. Either violent or even not violent. It’s a description. So yes you are totally correct. Now a thought about “ tactical weapons “ we now face the potential of tanks and robots . I say the definition of arms is very broad and the constitution clearly did not limit them . In fact it went on to clarify rights are not limited by the designers and they are reserved for states or citizens. To me that clearly says I have a right to bear a bazooka or hand held missle launcher or bring it to bear against the enimies of our constitution and freedoms. Obviously that’s my opinion but with teds clarification of the difference between army and militia it says to me the right to bear arms is very very broad and shall not be infringed. Just saying. The lefty’s should be happy we arnt clamoring for our right to bear tanks and canon !

      • Agree Ooinion. That was my point. People throw around the term “assault weapon” because it gets the left all riled up and has “ring” to it. They clearly do not know what they are talking about, hence our elected Bozo’s spouting that “we need to ban automatic rifles”. Stupid nonsense like that. The framers intended the Right of the people to defend themselves against an oppressive government. In this case, a government run by Leftists. By “tanks and bazookas” if necessary.

      • So, Bryan, you sound confident that, if you acquire a tank or a bazooka, that you will be able to defend yourself against a squad of well-trained Army Rangers or a submarine with cruise missiles? Good luck. My “opinion” is that you should get some therapy because your lack or understanding of what is going on in this country seems to be only exceeded by your paranoia.

      • You know exactly what weapons people are talking about and are hiding behind arguments that people have been making at the same time kids are being gunned down at their school desks and good Christian and Jewish people are being massacred in their places of worship amd country music fans are being shot to pieces at a concert, etc. You sound like a guy who would make fun of someone who would call an automobile a “car” because it’s not definite enough for you. You are not helping solve a real problem this country has that could be helped with some simple legislation designed to prevent insane people or felons from purchasing a gun which would not affect you in any way; unless you are a crazy person or a felon.

    • In my experience, the standard NATO combat round pokes 5.56mm holes in both bones and flesh, shattering nothing. It creates minimal bleeding. I know people say it tumbles and yaws, but that isn’t my experience at all. I saw it poke tiny holes in humans and rarely induced hemorrhaging sufficient to cause unconsciousness or uncompensated shock, which is the only result that matters.

      • Leo, I concede a bit on your assertation of the 5.56 rd. As I personally have witnessed an AQI shot twice in the chest before the M4 Jammed and he was able to return fire with an AK rd striking the retreating good guy. It is a terrible combat round, especially close combat. All this talk from liberals and their stupid “weapons of war” nonsense should just be ignored and laughed at.
        But, to say the 5.56 rd will not shatter bone is completly false..I have seen numerous bones shattered. Completly shattered. Now compare this to the 30.06.
        Average FPS: 3148
        Average Energy: 1254

    • you realize you just made B.J. Campbell’s argument for why it is impossible to have a reasonable discussion about gun control, right?

      you’ve made an emotional appeal at the individual level, but we can’t do anything at the individual level. it’s the amoeba problem of human adaptability. you push the problem in one place, it pops out somewhere else.

      we eliminate guns and some nut job kills almost twice as many kids with a bomb:

      but ignore that because that’s not the real point i’m trying to make. the real point is that anything we do works at the population level, not the individual level. so let’s say that in the interest of making the country “safer,” we eliminate all rifles, and let’s accept (thought there is no reason to believe this would happen) that no murderer will use a handgun, a shotgun, a bomb, a motor vehicle, a knife, a club, poison, a shoelace, a shovel or anything else as a murder weapon.

      the FBI statistics record 403 rifle deaths in 2017, the last year with complete data. there were 15,129 homicides that year. so banning all rifles would reduce the homicide rate by 2.7 percent, which drops the national death rate from 5.3 per 100,000 to 5.16 per 100,000, a change barely noticeable in the annual variance in rate.

      the rate for White Americans, for whom the threat in the U.S. is starkly different than for Black Americans, falls from 2.67 per 100,000 to 2.60 per 100,000 – a change lost in the annual variance in rate.

      so basically the ban does little to nothing but make some people feel good. so do you want to tell some guy in Anatuvuk Pass whose suddenly finds it a whole lot harder to feed himself and his family on caribou because rifles have been banned that it’s all good because somebody feels better?

      legislating by the standard of what makes people feel good doesn’t sound like a good idea too me. the Salem witch trials made everyone but a handful of witches feel good. Prohibition, arguably our greatest national mess next to the Civil War, was approved by voters with similar good intentions.

      isn’t it better to legislate by reason than by emotion?

      • So, Craig, your idea of a “reasonable discussion about gun control” is to go off on some theoretical idea of banning “rifles????” No one is proposing banning “rifles” but more than 70% of the population in the US is now saying they want SOME control of the weapons used primarily for mass killings as well as, probably, fueling the testosterone of guys who get off on shooting them at gun ranges. Is that worth the price of dead people lying in massive amounts of blood? I sold three handguns to a guy on the street a couple of years ago, two of them semi-automatics. I was not required to ask if he was permitted to have a gun in his possession and would not have been responsible even if he told me he planned to use them to kill people. I could, and would, have said “I thought he was joking.” How is this sane public policy?

      • you need to go back and read again. i didn’t go off on some theoretical idea of banning rifles. i pointed out the difficulty of defining what semi-automatic rifles qualify as “assault rifles,” and the size of the problem.

        i pointed out how small the number of rifle deaths overall to illustrate the difficulty in effecting any real change with an AR ban. removing ALL rifles lowers the homicide rate by 2.7 percent. a ban on ARs – if one could figure out how to separate them from other semi-automatics – lowers the rate by some smaller percentage.

        but even at 2.7 percent, we only go from 5.3 per 100,000 in 2017 to 5.16. the rate has varied from 4.6 in 1962 to a peak of 10.2 in 1980 back down to 4.8 in 2010. it regularly varies by more than 2.7 percent year to year.

        so here’s the simple question: if a total rifle ban would do essentially nothing to the rate what would a ban on a subset of rifles do? and if it does nothing, is it worth the cost of enforcement?

        which brings up the bigger question: does anyone want to do something about the real problems driving homicides in the U.S. or just enact feel-good legislation?

      • Craig,

        Anymore, almost all legislation is nothing more than feel-good legislation for one group or another. How many laws and rules and regulations are there from the city to the borough or to the county, to the state, to the region, to the nationwide, to the hemisphere, to the worldwide levels. We’ve gone beyond common sense laws to simply passing laws to shut people up, even if the law does nothing. Just like a ban on AR’s would do nothing because those set upon destruction would just use a different weapon.

      • reasonable discussion. I think Campbell’s statement I quoted to be false. I was not being emotional. I have not seen anyone shot by a 5.56 but I am pretty sure bones can be shattered . I could not find the autopsies of the Sandy Hook victims other than homicide listed as cause of death. Dr. H. Wayne Carver, the state of Connecticut’s Chief Medical Examiner stated”The bullets are designed in such a fashion the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in,” Carver said. He described the wounds as a “very devastating set of injuries.”
        Even Bryan concedes they shatter bones. Do you really think this bullet only poked tiny holes in the Sandy Hook students? Or aren’t children humans. There is some emotion for you Craig.

      • Leo: a .223 can certainly shatter bone, and it would certainly be easier to shatter small bones than big bones. i have never seen anywhere a description of what sort of rounds were used in the Sandy Hook shooting, which would also play a role.

        and it might not have made a difference because it was reported that most of the children (possibly all) were shot multiple times and many at close range. that would appear to indicate the wounded were executed.

        from the medical examiner’s description, it would sound as if the shooter was using bullets designed to expand as common in hunting circles but outlawed in war. those bullets can cause devastating wounds in some situations and go right through tissue in others, which might explain why most of the children were shot multiple times.

        and if the shooter was going around executing the wounded, of course, the energy of a bullet is greatest at the muzzle. that breaks any bone and makes the discussion of weapon type largely irrelevant. the handguns the shooter carried would have been just as effective, possibly more so, in that situation.

        the evidence would also indicate the shooter could have done this killing as well with his semi-auto handguns as happened at Virginia Tech where the shooter managed to kill 33 adults (7 more unfortunate humans than at Sandy Hook) with a pair of handguns.

        guns can be used to kill people. so can a lot of other things. that isn’t the question. the question is how to regulate to protect the useful uses and diminish as much as possible the criminal uses.

        in that regard, in some ways, ARs might be safer than handguns. it’s pretty easy to spot someone lugging one around. handguns are much easier to conceal, which probably also explains why they are used in so many more mass shootings.

        so why are we talking about ARs, which i happen to dislike and don’t own. just for the record. i do, however, think it’s the height of foolishness to legislate for outliers. it changes little other than to impose more burdens on the innocent.

        we license and restrict motor vehicle drivers. that works for people who care about laws. a sizeable percentage – 20 to 30 percent – apparently don’t. a reported 8,400 people die each year in accidents caused by unlicensed drivers, usually because those people go on driving after having their licenses taken away.

        that’s 20 times the number of people killed by all rifles, a subset of which are ARs. i don’t have the numbers of dead under age 18, but i’d expect it’s way higher than the AR deaths in school shootings. but we don’t talk about this because cars and trucks don’t scare us. they’re ordinary.

        hell, if you want to kill somebody, use your car and claim it an accident. you will almost surely be allowed to walk away.

        we worry about ARs because they look scary. they creep me out. i admit it. i don’t, however, see that as good reason to legislate. if government started banning all things that creep people out, there wouldn’t be much left of democracy.

        i see no easy solutions here, but i do see one thing that could help. constant vigilance by all of us on those we know. in many of these mass shooting cases, someone knew the shooter was behaving in troubling ways but didn’t say anything.

  10. I never imagined such a beautiful universe.
    We are the luckiest organic organisms in the cosmic universe! P E A C E P L E A S E. Lets enjoy it while it lasts…

    • Chris,
      I feel U brother…
      But let’s be honest our country has been held down in International Armed Conflict for the last 20 years.
      Most Americans can not even name the 9 countries that “Coalition” forces haved bombed in the last year?
      As the U.S. Military expands a permanent base in Africa we are sure to see expanded theaters of Warfare.
      Maybe we should examine the root of the word PEACE to begin with?
      “The Pax Romana was said to be a peaceful time of prosperity in Rome. But was all of it really peaceful? No, although Rome wasn’t fighting any wars, they still had internal struggle as an empire”
      ( Wikipedia)
      The Romans also reached that “semi-peaceful” era because all of their opponents laid in Ruins…
      Seems like the history of Empire is truly etched in Stone.

  11. I never got into guns the way some people do. Started with Benjamin .177 pump air gun hunting rabbits or grouse.
    At 17, Sam McDowell helped me buy a Marlin centennial .22. Soon after, David Dixon sold me a .270 which has killed exactly one moose. That model was same as my dad’s so he approved of the purchase.
    At 21, I traded a well used Ford Bronco for a Clint model .44 (for bear insurance) and $500
    I still have Granny’s pump action .22 and a .32 semi-auto from WW2 (name starts with an H).
    Recently bought a CO2 .177 pistol. Jury still out on it for grouse.

    • good for snowshoe hares, Chris. not so good for grouse. i fed myself for some time with a pump-up .177 pistol after i first arrived in Alaska in ’73. thankfully the Interior snowshoe hare cycle was high. i ate so many hares that when i see one now my stomach just turns over. maybe it would be different if i’d know more about Asian and Mexican cuisine in those days, but all i knew was salt and pepper.

  12. Sorry, Craig but I lost interest as soon as you stated that Beto “feared” the comment from the Republican who said he had his weapon “ready” for him. Piss poor work from a guy with your experience as a journalist. THAT assumption on your part was unprofessional but your second assumption was ridiculous and that would be that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct since it flies in the face of acceptable (by you I assume) and reasonable restrictions on gun ownership in this country. Either that or you think criminals, and the insane should be able to own a gun. Do you?

    • Jim Inak , Beto o rourke is on public record as filing a complaint with the fbi over what he perceived as a threat and clearly feared the other politician who posted his ar was ready . So therefore it wasn’t an assumption you were quick to slander and to damn lazy to do your research. Uninformed people like you are going to be the death of our nation.

      • The fact is that neither you nor Craig Medred know what Beto O’Rourke was feeling. When someone on facebook told me “Someone should send you a pipe bomb” because he doesnt’ like my opinion of our current President. I reported this to the FBI but I did not at the time, and still don’t, “fear” a pipe bomb. You cannot know what someone is feeling and, unless they tell you what it is, making that assumption is silly for you and totally unprofessional for a reporter like Medred.

      • Jim: i think you need to read more carefully. i never said i knew what Beto was thinking. what i wrote was this:

        “You’d have to be delusional to actually believe that O’Rourke feared that comment by state Rep. Briscoe Cain meant Cain planned to go hunting for a Democrat presidential candidate.”

        that is a suggestion, not an assumption, that Beto COULD have reported it because he was fearful. i would hope that is the case. i don’t want to think of yet another presidential candidate as a simple panderer.

      • The point I continue to try to make here and which you are not getting is that simply reporting a death threat is NOT confirmation that a person felt “fear.” Someone threatened me with a “pipe bomb” on facebook and I reported it to the FBI. I didn’t then, and still don’t, feel any “fear” over it. It would be like me saying that your posts indicate that you are a total paranoid schizophrenic. It might be a valid assumption and it might not be. I just don’t make assumptions like that and Craig Medred should not have either. Simple “fear-mongering” is what that is.

      • ok. i concede i gave Beto the benefit of the doubt. i’m hoping he did it because he was fearful.

        i will continue to hope that because otherwise it’s just shameless grandstanding. the words do not constitute a death threat.

      • Jim inak , hmm jim your argument is factual but illogical and doesn’t follow in parallel with o rourke statements . Yes I have no idea what o rourke was feeling. So you are telling me that orourke possibly reported the guy to the fbi for some other reason than fear ? You are truly splitting hairs. O rourke explicitly said you are why people shouldn’t own ar-15 . To my understanding of “English” threat has connotations of fear/ danger from aggression or incidental danger . O rourke statement clearly says fear or danger was involved with that other politicians ownership of the ar -15 . So either orourke was lying and fear mongering about his concern of the other politician statement and was trying to silence free speech and the 2nd amendment or he actually was in a fearful state . They both involved fear or fear mongering . Your choice. So you are wrong. Fear was involved at some level.

    • Well Jim, who is an insane person? To Democrats if you voted for our way of life, our Constitution, and an elected President Trump you are “insane”. To me Democrats have proven themselves insane on daily basis. I for sure want to protect myself from insane Democrat loons. So, be careful what you wish for.

    • Jim Inak,

      Beto O’Rourke isn’t talking about taking guns from criminals or the insane, but instead is targeting millions of healthy gun owners with spotless records. If he wants his proposal to be received as “reasonable”, he has a ways to go.

      Maybe my first-choice word is “sacrosanct” … but yeah that’ll do as a rough approximation. “Shall not be Infringed” doesn’t encourage free-wheeling creativity.

      O’Rourke either had a ‘credible fear’, or he filed a false report.

    • ok, Jim. Beto called a vague statement containing no hint of hostile action a “death threat.”

      i’ve had death threats. that Tweet does not look like what they sound like. “come and get it” isn’t a death threat. it’s defensive posturing.

      if Beto doesn’t know the difference, i feel sorry for him. not to mention that his reaction just Trumpifies him. it’s a cheap dog-whistle designed to play to the emotions of a certain constituency.

      and now, since you “lost interest,” at the second paragraph, i suggest you go back and read the rest of the commentary (or read it for comprehension) before concluding what assumptions i might make about anything.

      • Okay, Craig, please tell us what your level of “fear” was with some of those death threats? If it was while you wrote for the ADN I don’t remember you ever mentioning “fear” and it certainly didn’t prevent you from continuing to write what you thought. This was one politician threatening another and the one threatened, rightfully, reported it. You are diverting from my point. And I DID read past that second paragraph but, as I said, you had lost me by then.

      • Jim: my level of fear was great enough that some precautionary measures were taken. the threats were, significantly greater than “come and get it” whatever that might mean. one of the threats was actually relayed to me by someone in law enforcement who apparently thought i might be in some danger.

        so you don’t think Beto fearful? OK. what then his motive for reporting a vague “come and get it” comment to the FBI as a “death threat?”

  13. We took machine guns away from people so taking a specific gun is not unreasonable or against the second amendment. All gun purchases should require a safety class and background check. That’s what being part of a militia is about. Well trained/qualified as well as well armed. Kid dies of vaping and regs galore. Mass shooting? Nothing.

    • Matt Kinney , you are incorrect no one took machine guns away from law abiding Americans. Any American willing to purchase an expensive atf permit and keep paperwork on ownership of machine gun and not sell without proper permits as well as keeping nose clean as far as felonies ect May purchase a machine gun built before a certain date . Ted Cruz foolishly said he couldn’t buy one . But anyone with funds and clean nose may do so. Now please explain your statement when you said it’s legal to restrict gun ownership? The second clearly states shall not be infringed. Please explain yourself. Also explain how you can even remotely equate cigarette products with gun ownership. Though constitution did say the feds do not have power to restrict such rights for that . Only states. Please explain . So I agree with you to some degree. Anyone who is dumb enough to vape should be allowed to do so . Unlesss the state of residence in claims the right to regulate.

      • But, Opinion, the truth is that ANYONE in the US can buy almost ANY kind of weapon without ANY kind of background check or questions regarding the person’s sanity or intent and the seller is not liable for ANYTHING that happens with it. THAT is insane..

      • Jim, not true. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a United States system for determining if prospective firearms or explosives buyers’ name and birth year match those of a person who is not eligible to buy. … Some states require background checks for firearm transfers.
        Jim, seems just about anybody can buy a truck or a car. How about 110mph rocket crossing the center line? Of course driving a car isn’t a RIGHT like owning a firearm. Thank God I already own enough..Scary to know people like you are out there.

      • My point is that ANYONE, criminal, crazy person, or you can legally purchase ANY kind of firearm in most areas of the United States. What is wrong with putting some restrictions on this? Your comparison to automobile ownership is silly. If we applied the same standards of drivers training and mandatory insurance to firearms, how would that “infringe” on our rights to own firearms? When anyone sells a registered vehicle anywhere in the US, I do believe they are required to report the buyers name to the state DMV aren’t they? Try again.
        P.S. I’d bet I own more guns than you do too by the way. I have never had “enough” of them.

    • Matt, did you forget the 2nd is a RIGHT bestowed by God, unlike vaping? Now, you may disagree, but who the hell cares?

      • A right bestowed by GOD? Hilarious. It’s a piece of paper, the constitution. “Gun” is not in bible but “love” is …if you slant toward a religious connection to gun ownership.

        What about mandatory gun safety training before purchasing a gun? You must take a safety class, go to range and get qualified. Then and only then can you own a gun. Unless you served military and got qualified. Isn’t that being responsible adults with guns? not “infringment,”

      • Matt, who are you to decide whether I can own a gun or not? Who are you to decide what language I can speak? I mean who decides what training, safety class, or distance to the range. Do I have to hit 3 out of 5 shots in a 3″ circle at 5 yards or 10? What if I fail? Again, this liberal argument will OBVIOUSLY NOT stop ceiminals from obtaining guns or the inner city csrnage. Oh, you are more concerned with the occassional nut out of 350,000,000 people. Silly me.
        Listen, as for that “piece of paper”, hundreds of thousands of men died for that piece of paper to allow YOU to live in peace. Show some respect. You sound like an elitist, spoiled, Millennial twit. How easy you are willing to hand your Rights over is disturbing.

    • Matt Kinney,

      Your machine-gun example would work better if “a” named model of fully-auto weapon were banned, like say the .50 BAR. Instead, all machine guns are special-license (although actually, not banned).

      The militia in the 2nd text isn’t a standing force. It’s a response the Free State can make … and which relies on a pool of civilians who are already armed & able.

      The 2nd doesn’t create or establish a militia … it acknowledges that sometimes one must be assembled.

      • Jim: I’d suggest a reading of “Washington’s Spies” or a watching of “Turn,” the Netflix series based on the book. heck of a good series.

        it’s irrelevant to talk about the late1700s. almost everyone was armed in some way and the country was overrun with killers. the Founding Fathers were borderline anarchists, and the homicide rate was more than 30 per 100,000.

        Americans from those times would likely laugh at the idea that anyone now thinks they SHOULDN’T be armed and judge us either or delusional for being concerned about a white homicide rate of 2.7 per 100,000.

    • Matt: we didn’t actually take machine guns away from people. we strictly licensed them. but they were also an easy regulatory matter. the line between automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons is clear.

      there is no way to delineate between semi-automatic rifles. the only realistic thing would be to ban them all, but since they represent only a percentage of the 403 murders committed by rifles banning them is unlikely to result in a significant statistical change in the national homicide rate even if, and it’s a big if, the ban didn’t lead someone intent on murder to simply find a new weapon.

      the data would indicate that by banning ALL rifles, against assuming murders wouldn’t just shift to another weapon, we could lower the death rate from 5.3 per 100,000 to 5.17 per 100,000. that change is barely visible in the annual fluctuation.

      the ban would lower your risk as a white guy from 2.67 per 100,000 to 2.60. that change is basically invisible in the annual fluctuation.

      so at a population level we’re talking about a costly to enforce ban on assault weapons exactly why? wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about some ways to actually help fix the problem and push down U.S. homicide rates?

  14. The problem with the AR15 is that an American company Colt holds the patent to it and pumps them out into the homeland at record levels.
    If it was a foreign importer like say the UZI, then we might see a ban like we did in 1989 when George Bush Sr. banned the importing of UZI’s after they were the mass shooting favorite years ago…
    “The Bush administration moved July 7 to ban imports of assault weapons, making permanent the temporary ban it imposed March 15…
    Stern said Uzi sales have come to “the millions of dollars” since 1980…
    Law enforcement groups and advocates of gun control hailed the government’s announcement. They point out that the compact Uzi has become the weapon of choice for drug dealers and inner-city gangs.”
    Many think only Liberals care about gun control but looking at Bush Sr’s ban in the late 1980’s we can see that this is an historic bipartisan issue.
    “Now Israel’s modern firearm is the Tavor assault rifle, manufactured by Israel Weapon Industries, which is now making its latest Tavor 7 model available in the United States.”
    ( Wikipedia)
    And for all you caliber snobs out there..
    FYI the new Israeli assault rifle is in 7.62 NATO round…not 5.56.

    • The Bush’s are no different than the Biden’s. Estabkishment “swamp monsters”. The “AR” is NOT a fav amongst the drug thugs or “mass shooters” as you call them. They prefered the TEC-9.
      Look at the FAILED Democrat gun policies in NY, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, L.A., Atlanta, etc..UTTER FAILURES. You always speak of a failed War on Drugs, how about a DEMOCRAT FAILED WAR ON GUN CONTROL?

      • Bryan,
        The Tec 9 is a prime example of a U.S. made “assault weapon” that was manufactured in America (Miami) during the exactly same years that the UZI was banned from import to this country?
        This is a prime example of NRA (domestic manufacturing lobbyists) fighting to produce a similar weapon that causes the same results…mass shootings accross America.
        Arguing that Bush Sr. was not really Republican just makes you sound silly…did you forget of the first Gulf War already and his “neo con” partner in war crimes Cheney who rapidly privatized the Military along with every other major branch of government?
        You might be more honest to say that today Trump is so far in bed with AIPAC that he would never ban Israeli made assault weapons…that much I would agree with.
        I would also agree that Biden will also Kow Tow to the Israeli gun manufacturers if voted in office…
        None of this takes away from the fact Bush senior did the right thing (under Bipartisan support) and banned the UZI’s from import during the late 1980’s…manly because any gun smith can easily convert a semi automatic UZI to fully automatic…the same thing we are now seeing occur with AR15’s across America (remember the Las Vegas shooting? )
        “As put it, “the AR-15 is kind of the gun-dweeb’s version of Linux: All kinds of modifications can be made to it.” … But there’s another change that’s more problematic: For a few hundred dollars, you can convert the semi-automatic AR-15 into a rifle that can simulate automatic fire.”
        America’s “UZI” of the 21st Century!

      • Steve, blah, blah, blah, “Trump’s a racist, Cheney is a war criminal”. Such silly nonsense that discredits any argument you have.
        Another problem is you mislead and throw out the term “mass shootings” all the time when in reality you are refering to preventable gang violence in Democrat controlled chitholes.
        As for the AR platform, who cares what can be added to it? It certainly wouldnt be my first choice as a gang banger or shooter. I’d just take a truck bomb and level a neighborhood like they do daily in the Middle East..Oh wait, they had their guns taken away. If you haven’t broken the law why do I care what you put on your AR? Law abiding citizens are not killers. “Innocent until proven guilty”. Do not like it, to bad.

      • Bryan,
        As for your comment:
        “Law abiding citizens are not killers.”
        That Is pure bullshit!
        Look at ALL the Mass Shootings in the last 40 years and you will see that the HUGE majority of them were committed by citizens who had NO prior convictions in their criminal records.
        And guess what?
        The current weapon of choice (along with AR 15 variants) is also an IMPORT…
        The Glock handgun from Austria.
        “A list of mass shootings between April 1999 and January 2013 prepared for lawmakers in Connecticut showed that rifles were used in 10 incidents and shotguns in 10 others, while handguns were used in 42.
        Glock brand pistols turned up in nine of those cases…
        Originally designed for the Austrian army following World War II by company founder Gaston Glock, the Glock 17 entered American police service in the mid-1980s…
        Sportsman’s Warehouse, the Tucson store where Loughner bought his Glock, advertises on its website that “compact and subcompact Glock pistol model magazines can be loaded with a convincing number of rounds—i.e.… up to 33 rounds…
        Enhanced lethality, that’s what we are talking about. 
        Lethality increases when you have larger bullets, more ammunition and the guns are easier to operate. 
        That’s the contribution Glock and others have brought to America.”

      • it’s a big leap from “no prior convictions” to “law-abiding citizen.” just sayin’.

        and you might want to take a serious look at those mass shootings involving handguns. you might find a significant number of the dead are involved in a certain kind of business.

      • Steve, I love my Glocks thank ya very much. Have more then I need I am sure. Walthers are pretty sweet as well.

      • Bryan,
        Glad U found a few U like…I cannot deny that the G20 is one hell of a weapon (and not the coalition that meets at the U.N.)…
        On a side note it appears that Bush 1 with Cheney as Secretary of Defense was spot on in his assessment on Iraq back in the early 90’s…
        Wonder why (or who) changed their minds by end of the century?
        “To occupy Iraq would shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us, and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero,” Bush later said.
        “It would have taken us way beyond the imprimatur of international law, … assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war.”
        There you have it in Bush Sr’s own words…
        “Beyond the imprimatur of international law”
        “It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq,” he said.
        Here we are over 15 years after the 2003 invasion and we still have forces there?
        “Quagmire…beyond the imprimatur of international law”
        Too bad G.W. wanted to “one up” his daddy…he and Cheney should have heeded his advice.

      • Steve, I hope you will go to this link and read every word. Then when you jear me say the Bush’s are no diff than the Biden’s you will understand. Also, it will help you detox from the whole “Bush/Cheney war criminal” thing. But, Saddam did have WMD.. No disputing that. You will also see you are a sucka for the Lamestream media.

    • Bush was not a real Republican . He was the party of bush / Rockefeller/ Clinton / obama . Basically party of keep all other citizens in the dark and working for slave wages / confuse and control the masses for their own benefit. Create never ending wars and provide enimies to polarize the populace . Bunch of criminals that truly should be in prison . Look what they did to create a corrupt fbi and doj ect . the bush Saudi connection that created 9/11 . Notice uaf engineering division of university recent report that refutes official narrative that fire brought down trade buildings . The engineer study explicitly puts the fingers on building wide explosives. Thank you bush and Saudis . Ex intelligence director. The global warming push is just a diversion to divide and conquer. The attack on the 2nd amendment and the repeated attacks and dissolution of the first amendment is truly an attack on our republic that works to push the nation of free men into a nation of slaves . Do not let them take any guns whatsoever. Vote anyone out of office who even remotely suggests such an action. Then bring assange , Snowden , and Chelsea Manning together and give them the nations highest medal for sacrifice and effort to keep America free and make the world a better place .

    • Steve Stine said:

      The problem with the AR15 is that an American company Colt holds the patent to it…

      No … top of the AR-15 style rifle Wikipedia article, the patent expired back in 1977. Colt only controls use of the AR-15 name.

      Criminal elements liked the Uzi, because it’s fairly easy to conceal. The AR-15, otoh, is too big to serve the same role for them. The two weapons went to different schools together.

  15. The Military/Government really knows how to waste money. 6.8 mm is inferior in every respect to the 6.5 mm bullet. No “studies” needed. The Swedes figured it out over a hundred years ago.

    • Marlin savage, what makes you say that ? Details please? From all the research I see the bullet weight mass – length , materials, powder type/ quantity and brass size ratios is what matters more than any specific diameter. As well as the action mechanism,rifling twist ,barel length and kick to total rifle weight. So please elaborate on why you would say such a thing? As far as I see different calibers / rifles all have their place of exceptionalism .

  16. Craig’s article is awesome. Science and facts ! So Beto rourks statement “ hell yes we are going to take your ar -15 “ could also be considered a murder threat . Technically it’s equal or greater to ar 15 is ready for you . People died to form our constitution. The Bill of rights wasn’t given lightly. O rourke knows 100% that certain people would fight back and die . If you know the result of something illegal you propose is death by gunfire then technically you are making a murder threat on a primitive level . That’s what o rourke did . Therefore o rourke made the first threat / statement. He made it against all gun owners and good Americans. From the first signor of the constitution to the last American standing. He threatened the freedoms and future lives and happiness of our families. By the way I don’t even own an a r 15 but I stand with the people who do . The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Something Thomas pain said . Aprx- We can all hang together or we will all hang apart .

    • Opinion, when it comes to murder and killing, etc. the Left doesn’t care. They have killed and murdered millions. “The ends justify the means”. Venezuela is a typical example. Disarm the people and walla. The problem is that the Left is incapable of unstanding their “system” always ends in failure. Plus, they actually celebrate the killing of babies and now they advocate cannibalism to save the planet.
      To think that these lunatic, Leftist Democrats gain traction is beyond the pale. These maggots “ruling” over me? NOT!!!

      • I agree with you on a certain level but dehumanizing them is the wrong path. There is far to much of that going on . When you dehumanize a whole group who opposes you the truth and your own honor has been tarnished. Irregardless of whether you are in the right . It takes you into the dehumanized zone . In short it hurts yourself more than hurts them . We should show a good example and treat them with respect both in thought and language. ( though I hear you loud and clear ) sadly the left has historically been the party of slavery, killing Abe Lincoln and others as well as millions of preterm murders . They work so hard to brainwash people to think being taken care of is better than freedom

      • I disagree with your opinion Opinion. Of course Id dehunanize Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Idi Amin, etc.. Do I give the faithful followers of the Nazi, Soviet, Communist Parties a pass because they are a “group”? Nonsense. Today the Democrat Party are collectively insane. Just look at who they collectively chosen to run for President. It is no longer a “one person this or that”. They are a violent mob. All of them.

      • Bryan, I can understand your feelings on the subject of leftists. The problem is you are falling into the trap of us versus them . You weaken the nation when you divide it in half along party lines . You also deny the facts that there are myriad degrees of leftism . Some leftists do not believe in abortion. Some leftists strongly believe in 2 Nd ammendment rights . Why put those folks on wrong side of the fence ? Get them on our side and bring them to the party of facts and accuracy. To do anything else endangers the great cause of our nation. Freedom , intellectual growth and happiness. Great military leaders said know your enimies. Without truly understanding them and the problems they represent you will eventually fail . Not to mention to treat another person as anything less then human negates your own greatness. But I totally agree with your feelings in an abstract way . We have to be better than that . We need to be the party of accuracy and truth . Not leftist (feelings) though they have their place just not in politics. Feelings can make us do great superhuman feats . Push us beyond what’s comfortable. When the chips are down getting in touch with feelings can drive a person into other realms of physical and mental abilities during ultra hard efforts.

      • Opinion, when I hear “feelings”, I think of Marianne Williamson. I don’t lime thinking of Marianne Williamson. I see fat Oprah’s face.

      • Bryan that’s funny but not nice . Marianne doesn’t hardly register. Though she did tell the truth about right wingers being nicer to her than leftists. Pretty telling. Must have been pretty nasty leftists. The whole debate process through the left wing media organizations is corrupt and worthy of doj investigation. Especially after what was done for crooked Hilary and crazy Burnie . Tulsi gabbard is only Democrat worth a second look . They treated her horrible. Bunch of fake backstabbing criminals . Put em all in jail . You could go to a homeless camp and find better humans ,doesn’t surprise me though, it would embarrass anyone with self respect to be included in the Dnc line up . Only one who even deserves a minute of debate Time is Tulsi she must have a tough stomach to stand near the slime DNC drudged up . criminals , liars or both .

      • Opinion, I am on the same page as you with this whole thread. Republicans and Dems are both pushing the moderate portions of their parties away with calls of racism, political extremism and religious tie-ins. Pandering to the extremes of the parties is a death sentence to civility in our country. It’s happening on the right and the left. Right wing blurbs like Bryan’s make me want to vote left, however, half of the times when I talk with a liberal, I get told I’m a racist, capitalist pig, which pushes my defensive instinct to go back to the right. Oh well, where’s this years Ross Perot?! Don’t the Aussies have a kangaroo that they can vote for in every election? I think that I’m going to vote for that guy (or Sheila) next go around.

      • Jack , I agree . My question is why is this extreme division being pushed . Is it random occurrence or is some big money interest with damaging motives pulling the strings . Somehow money needs removed from politics. This may require a major investigation then legislation . Rational people appear to Being sidelined . Is because they don’t push up ratings ? Or they don’t cator to evil interests ? What’s going on ?

    • Beta boy O’dork is just another liar like Biden, Harris, Warren, Booker, Yang, etc..Real group of losers. Why anybody would give-up their guns with idiots like these ruining our government if beyond me. A “government buyback” when you never sold me my gun in the first place. Ya right!!!

      • You don’t really want to get in a debate over who is a bigger liar between Warren, O’Rourke, and Donald Trump do you, Bryan? Your blatant hypocrisy is on full display here. If lying is bad and a reason you don’t like someone, why is Trump so dear to you? And can you please tell me what lies Warren and O’Rourke have told? She DOES have Indian blood and he DOES have Hispanic blood so move on from that stupid argument and give me something meaningful if you can. Thanks.

  17. “and let’s proceed from there with the understanding that in any discussion facts matter” I’m not so sure that is the case anymore. Evidence suggests that for many facts do not matter.

  18. Solid article, Craig. When I watched that debate (which really illustrated what a terrible field this is) and the part where Beto started manufacturing the passion, I figured the “Hell yes I’m coming for your guns!” line was going to be used in a lot of conservative attack ads. Not only is he stupid and ignorant on the issue, putting it out there in such draconian terms was a dreadful political miscalculation that will haunt whoever the eventual nominee is in the general election.

  19. Like I am going to listen to an Irishman, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, posing as a phony Hispanic? His dad said “look son, if you are going to make it in this border town you need to become more “Hispanic”. Another fraud like that phony Indian Warren. To think people vote for those frauds and do not care they are frauds.
    Also, haven’t these same dangerous Leftists killed over 100 million people the last century alone?
    Democrats are all about control. Gun confiscation is just another tool in their quest. To a sane mind they appear mental, when in reality they are diabolical.

    • On a side note, I hate everything about that scary “black” gun. It really is a piece of junk in most aspects. Will it kill you, no question, but this is all just another cog in the Leftists conquering toolbox.
      Anybody here care to explain the Democrat term “assault weapon”? Like, what is one for starters?

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