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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: 12,029

Journal Archives


From the narrative in the news article---which may or may not be true---the boy was being used by one or more adults who robbed someone at fake-gunpoint and then (apparently) handed the BB gun to the 13-year-old to allay suspicion. *If* that's true, and one or more adults knowingly involved a 13-year-old boy as an accessory-after-the-fact to an armed robbery, then they would certainly not be deterred by more BB-gun rules. A law requiring training guns to be bright colors wouldn't have changed anything either, because anyone intending to commit a robbery would simply make it look real with a can of black spray paint. Nor would a total ban on BB guns and/or Airsoft guns (which are legal even in extreme gun-control states like England, Australia, and Japan, FWIW) have changed anything, since the adults in this story could just as well have used a water gun painted black, or a rubber training replica painted black.

The killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice for holding an Airsoft plastic-pellet gun a while back involved a 911 dispatcher who didn't pass all the information they had to the police (the dispatcher was told that Rice's "gun" was likely a toy, but didn't tell the responding officers), an Airsoft gun that had had the safety-orange muzzle portion painted black or removed to make it look more realistic, and a responding officer who had previously been deemed unfit for duty and shot the child two seconds after showing up. The killing of 22-year-old John Crawford in the sporting goods aisle of Walmart happened because someone else in the store made multiple false 911 calls, telling the police that Crawford was loading the rifle, aiming it at kids, and about to commit mass murder. Two people died because of those false calls, not because Mr. Crawford could legally buy a BB gun.

IMO, this is a primarily a police-training and use-of-force problem, not a fake-gun problem; people have also been wrongly killed for possessing real guns in legal ways, or even shot to death while unarmed. A few months ago, a gun owner and concealed carry license holder named Philando Castile was killed in front of his girlfriend while trying to comply with an officer's orders during a traffic stop; an innocent homeowner named Jose Guerena was shot 22 times in front of his family during a botched SWAT raid after one of the SWAT officers tripped and negligently fired a shot; a carry license holder named Eric Scott was killed a few years ago in the parking lot of a Costco while trying to obey police orders, etc. Nor does being unarmed save you; a 22-year-old New Yorker named Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times and killed several years ago for pulling his wallet out of his pocket in low light, and an unarmed bridegroom in New York City named Sean Bell was shot and killed the night before he was to have been marred, for trying to escape what he thought was an armed robbery (the "criminals" were actually undercover police dressed like gang members). There have even been infants and toddlers blown up by concussion grenades during SWAT raids on the wrong address.

There has been a movement to rein excessive police use of force for years, limit SWAT tactics to specialized situations, etc., and I think the movement toward body cameras for police and improved training standards is a good one that I hope will bear fruit. I do not think that criminalizing 100+ million BB and Airsoft gun owners would do any good at all, though.

The F-22 *could* be available for export. If the F-35 can be sold to Japan and other nations,

the F-22 certainly could be. That decision was purely political. Australia and Japan have both been clamoring for the F-22, and Japan is actually spending billions to try to built an approximation of it.

I dare say that if Japan were guaranteed the ability to buy the F-22, they'd foot to the bill to restart production themselves. It'd be cheaper than what they're doing now with their ATD-X/Shinshin program and the full-scale follow-on.

FWIW, it's not the critics who called the F-22 an overpriced POS that are now clamoring for it. The people clamoring for it now are the people the "overpriced POS-ers" shouted down in the last decade. Now that the assumptions underlying the F-22 cancellation have been falsified (development of near-peer long-range stealthy supercruising fighters by other nations decades before that was supposed to happen, the F-35 teething troubles and unsuitability for the air superiority role, etc.), many of the people who got the F-22 canceled are now regretting that decision.


As if they suddenly came to an epiphany, the United States Air Force brass is now admitting what many of us have been screaming about for so long: We didnít build nearly enough F-22s, and the F-35 cannot simply pick up the slack. So why arenít those who pushed so hard to cancel the F-22 program being held accountable?

That's the development cost amortized over only 187 airframes, plus unit production cost.

Actual unit production cost for the last 50 F-22's built was $137 million, which I *think* includes the engines, but I may be wrong. The unit production cost for the next (canceled) batch was supposed to be under $100 million per F-22, as I recall.

I don't believe the F-35 has actually gotten down to those numbers yet, and not if you amortize the development cost over the number of F-35's actually produced so far either (and keep in mind that some of the F-35's technology development was paid for by F-22 dollars). And remember to include the engine in the F-35 unit cost, which LockMart's figures don't do IIRC.

F-22 production *was* ended on the premise that the F-35 could also handle the air-superiority role.

In retrospect, that was a very, very ill-informed decision, based on now-falsified assumptions about when near-peers might deploy their own supercruising fifth-gen air superiority fighters The F-35 is a neat aircraft, but calling it the A-35 (or even F/A-35, with the emphasis on the A) would be more accurate; it is not and was never intended to be an air-superiority fighter, and the USAF now admits that. Capping F-22 production just as the production kinks had been worked out and the unit cost had fallen precipitously will likely go down as the worst decision Gates made during his tenure, and that's saying something.

The F-22 could certainly have been reconfigured for an A2G role like the F-15 was (prior to the F-15E, the F-15 was strictly an A2A platform); that wasn't the issue. It's that the F-35 was supposed to be a cheap, low-end, mass-produced, mostly-stealthy bomb truck with decent self-defense capability, so there was ostensibly no need to configure the F-22 as F/A. Now that the F-22 has been canceled, we will either be flying geriatric F-15's in the air superiority role, or else trying to make the F-35 fit that slot, because we don't have enough F-22's to cover our needs.

This isn't a toy; you may be thinking of plastic-pellet-shooting Airsoft guns,

which IIRC are required to have a brightly colored muzzle. The bows that are sold in the sporting-goods section aren't toys, either, and I think you have to be 18 to buy either. The toys are sold in the toy section, not Sporting Goods.

A BB gun isn't a toy; it's a low-pressure .177-caliber target airgun that can be safely used indoors or with a rudimentary backstop, but they are capable of causing injury if misused, or killing small animals. And they aren't marketed to young children; I suspect you have to be 18 to buy one in most places. There is also a difference in target market between a Daisy Red Ryder and a Daisy training clone of your S&W 9mm.

I grew up shooting BB guns, as are my own children. They are also an excellent training tool for adults, which is the whole point of the similarities to the actual firearm (for the one you posted); you can shoot one of these safely in a suburban back yard or even indoors with a pellet trap, whereas you can't do that with your 9mm.

Actual BB guns aren't toys. Airsoft plastic-pellet guns *can* be toys, but aren't always.

Given that the corporate media can't usually tell the difference between a BB gun and an Airsoft plastic-pellet-shooter (or doesn't know that there is even a distinction), who knows what the actual non-firearm was in this case.

BB guns are an excellent way to safely teach gun safety/responsibility and marksmanship, and are fun to plink with, but they do require a level of responsibility and degrees of supervision. And they can certainly be confused with real guns from a distance; I've seen both BB guns and Airsofts in "OMG LOOK AT THE ARSENALZ" police press releases.

Are you seriously proposing to ban BB guns, or is that a rhetorical question?

The NRA, the ACLU, and the state Democratic Party had better stand in the way of counterproductive nonsense like a BB gun ban, IMO.

That's pretty much what Carrie Nation said to people who liked to have wine with dinner.

I'm sure she felt as justified in forcing her beliefs on others at gunpoint as you do, since alcohol kills, oh, 200 times as many people annually as rifles do.

But the funny thing is, we can still buy alcohol, can't we? The zealots pushed for a ban, responsible drinkers didn't comply and pushed back, and the party that pushed the ban collapsed into the dustbin of history.

FWIW, I think it's a bit ironic that you have an AR-15 owner and avid target shooter as your avatar.

You'd be happier if rifles with straight stocks had been used instead? Or handguns?

The 2011 mass shooting at UtÝya, Norway, is the worst on record (77 total killed, of whom 69 were shot); the shooter used a Ruger Mini-14, another small-caliber non-automatic that wouldn't be affected by any ban on rifles with protruding handgrips, aka "assault weapons".


The fact is, rifle stock shape is absolutely irrelevant to lethality, a fact that seems to escape those who are obsessed with outlawing the least misused guns if the stock is too modern-looking.

And no, we'll keep them, thanks. You'd have an easier time outlawing hunting, since considerably fewer voters hunt than own "assault weapons".

A mass murder by a state-licensed security guard authorized to carry contractor-owned weapons

is a tough nut to crack. But requiring him to use a Ruger Mini-14 (or a Glock, for that matter) instead of a Sig Sauer would have changed absolutely nothing in that particular case. The rifle the murderer used fires no faster than any other civilian autoloader, and is on the low end of the lethality spectrum.

I'll also point out that France has had more mass-shooting deaths since 2008 than we have, all with illegally possessed weapons; France allows AR-15 ownership, but the terrorists didn't bother with civilian non-automatics and used smuggled-in military automatic weapons (and grenades) instead, which could be done here just as easily.

There are some things that could be done around the edges, mostly aimed at identifying radicalized individuals before they strike, discouraging radicalization, etc., though I oppose police-state measures like warrantless surveillance and secret blacklists. There may be some attainable common ground on background checks, too, though I think the gun control lobby has thoroughly burned those bridges now. But legislating handgrip shape, receiver/stock aesthetics, or magazine length accomplishes precisely nothing except to harass the lawful and nonviolent, diverts police resources away from more productive ends, and further deepens the police/community divide, IMO.
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