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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 04:09 PM
Number of posts: 11,973

Journal Archives

Because it's an "Evil Scary Gun Term", and "assault weapon" was already taken....

"Saturday Night Special" and "Riot Gun" didn't fit the context, "Sniper Rifle" didn't fit due to lack of optic, and "Bunker Buster" was too ridiculously hyperbolic to ever gain traction.

Around 75%-90% of murderers have prior arrest records,

depending on what data set you look at. The Chicago police department puts it at 87% of murderers had prior arrest records in Chicago, presumably not counting other jurisdictions.


The Federal BJS puts the nationwide number at 74%.


Keep in mind that "gang violence" typically refers to gang warfare, not to all criminal violence perpetrated by people affiliated with gangs.

Here are some more stats to keep in mind when discussing outlawing the most popular rifles in U.S. homes:

Murder, by State and Type of Weapon, 2014 (FBI)

Total murders...................... 11,961
Handguns............................ 5,562 (46.5%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,052 (17.2%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,610 (13.5%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,567 (13.1%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 660 (5.5%)
Shotguns.............................. 262 (2.2%)
Rifles................................ 248 (2.1%)

Rifles are consistently the least misused of all weapons, usually accounting for less than 300 of the nation's 12,000 murders annually.

How would you get the gun control lobby to sign up to that, or be constrained by it?

"* Ban accessories that serve no purpose other than to transform guns into weapons of mass slaughter, such as attachable drums that carry 100 rounds."

If you haven't noticed, the gun-control lobby is trying to ban common magazines between 11 and 30 rounds, not just 100-rounders or belt-feds. They are currently aiming for a 10-round limit, which is 2/3 of the capacity of mainstream rifles in the 1860's and 1870's.

"* Adopt rules that make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to obtain firearms."

Gun controllers are primarily enamored of laws that make it harder for noncriminals and the mentally competent to own firearms, it seems to me. No one wants criminals and the small subset of the mentally ill who are dangerous to own firearms, so there's potential common ground there. But if the gun control lobby isn't interested in finding that common ground, why should gun owners?

"* Outlaw the public display of weapons."

Define "public display".

"* Allow the concealed carry of guns using the “shall issue” standard."

Restricting licensed concealed carry to elites or those granted special political favors is like priority #3 of the gun control lobby, behind "assault weapon"/magazine bans and transfer bans. When that changes, let me know.

"* Stop trying to ban scary-looking add-ons that primarily protect the shooter, but don’t make the gun more dangerous to others."

When the gun control lobby agrees to this, let me know. Right now, banning guns based on such features is consistently their top legislative priority.

"* Forget attacks on the “armor-piercing bullets.”"

Acknowledging that AP ammo is already banned in all calibers that matter would be a good starting point, but as the recent M855 debacle shows, the gun controllers aren't even remotely interested in acknowledging that fact.

"* Abandon efforts to outlaw “assault weapons”—a politically loaded phrase with a mishmash of meanings that pretty much amount to nothing. "

Such rationality would be nice, but as you can see from this and other threads, banning modern-looking rifles is pretty much Priority One of the U.S. gun control lobby. If they want to show good faith in this regard, maybe they can start advocating for the repeal of the recently passed rifle bans in NY, CT, CA, and MA. The Massachusetts ban is particularly egregious, as Massachusetts had only 7 rifle murders out of 1,301 total murders 2007-2014.

Then don't own any.

But mentally competent adults with clean records have the right to choose for themselves, not only here in the USA, but also in Canada, Europe, and even the UK.

Repeating firearms have been mainstream since the 1830s for handguns and 1860s for rifles. There are about a third of a billion of them in U.S. homes, and we'll keep them, thanks.

It's definitely a good sport for a 15yo (I started shooting younger than that)

but as to defending herself, she doesn't have access to the gun safe (and can't, legally). It's about building life skills and confidence so that if someday she chooses to own guns herself, whether for sport or for defensive purposes, she is competent to do so. It will be her choice, but if she chooses not to, it won't be for reasons of ignorance and incompetence.

And if she chooses never to go on to shoot a full-power rifle or pistol and just sticks with the smallbores, that's fine. I took her this weekend because she wanted to go.

Of course market saturation applies.

"The concept of market saturation does not appear to apply to weapons sales regardless of caliber, rate of fire, barrel length, portability, concealment factor, or prominence"

Of course market saturation applies. But you are looking at the wrong criteria. And long guns already have greater market saturation than handguns; the difference in misuse boils down to the fact that you can't stick a 26"+ rifle in your waistband under a T-shirt. Long-gun misuse has actually declined considerably today compared to the 1970s.

It's not mass murders that drive rifle sales, though. It's the fact that every time there is a mass murder, journalists and prohibitionists demand that future rifle sales to the lawful and nonviolent be constrained. So if you have just come of age to own guns or have just never gotten around to buying that rifle you wanted, the politicians/media push people to hedge against the possibility of bans. Josh Sugarmann and Michael Bloomberg have together sold more rifles than any other two people in U.S. history, IMO.

As to the criteria you list, caliber is already constrained by law and practicality; anything .51 caliber or higher is banned unless exempted for "sporting purposes" (that's how .729-caliber 12-gauge shotguns are legal), and anything less than about .20 caliber is small to be practical under Federal rifling rules, so civilian caliber has been stuck between .22 and .50 for a century and will probably stay there.

Civilian rate of fire has been limited to one shot per trigger pull for nearly a century and will likely stay there.

Civilian barrel length for rifles is 16"-24", constrained on the low end by Federal law and on the high end by practicality.

Portability/concealment are inherent to the type of weapon, not to technology. Most handguns are concealable; rifles are not. Rifles and shotguns are still required to be at least 26" long with 16" barrels minimum; you might be able to make a rifle lighter with future materials, but you can't make a rifle disappear into a waistband or pocket.

I'm not sure what you mean by "prominence". The AR platform is the most common civilian rifle in U.S. homes, but does that make it "prominent"? If so, does that mean it should be banned, or that it should become the national standard? Not following you here.

My 15yo daughter shot a gun for the first time yesterday

at our local shooting range; she has prior experience with bows and airguns, but no firearms. I had her double up with good earplugs plus earmuffs, and started her on a .22LR revolver shooting CCI Quiets, then moved up to full power .22LR, then my .223 Rock River AR with a 2-6x scope. She had a good time and shot well, as did her friend and friend's mom who came along. The CCI Quiets wouldn't even knock down the steel plates on the rimfire range, so she switched to the regular .22LR after only a couple cylinders of the Quiet. Rifle targets were paper at 50 yards.

I am saving full-power rifles for later. She really likes the antique Mosin-Nagant in the safe (Finn M39), but that one is rather intimidating for a beginning shooter I think, so we're sticking with .22's only for now.

All civilian repeating firearms have the ability to kill a lot of people if misused.

Almost none of them actually are so used. Most gun deaths are single-shot incidents, and most gun homicides involve small, concealable, lowish-capacity handguns, almost always illegally possessed at the time of use.

In the state of Massachusetts (subject of the OP), there were over 1300 murders 2007-2014; all rifles combined accounted for only 7 of them, per the FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

Weight is a big issue now, but that was less of an criterion before body armor was general-issue.

The main reason the 5.56mm M16 displaced the 7.62x51mm M14 back in the day was the M14's inability to fire effectively in full auto; the M14 could do impressive full-auto mag dumps, but for practical purposes was semiauto-only.

In that particular venue, the Orlando shooter could have shot 103 people with a full-sized pistol,

a multitude of CA- and NY-legal non-"assault-weapon" carbines like the Mini-14, or a comp'd semiauto shotgun and speedloaders (UK legal, BTW), or a pump-action rifle like the Remington 7615. If all the above were banned, he could have used a detachable-magazine lever-action. And as a state-licensed armed security guard, he could have gotten a gun even if guns for "civilians" were completely banned and magically confiscated.

Banning modern-looking rifles does not, in any way, address mass murder. You are talking about outlawing guns in the USA that are considered suitable for civilian use in Canada and most of Europe, for pete's sake. It is about sticking it to people you despise, not saving lives.

I'll reiterate: 1300+ murders in Massachusetts in 8 years, and all rifles put together (including AR-15's) accounted for exactly seven of those. That is fewer than one murder year in the entire state, on average. Nationwide, rifles are involved in less than 300 murders annually out of 12,000+. Bans on civilian rifles are about sticking it to people you despise, not saving lives.
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