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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Justice & Public Safety » Gun Control & RKBA (Group) » Pistol grips on long guns... » Reply #238

Response to ellisonz (Reply #236)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:07 AM

238. If you're trying to make a point, maybe you should try sticking to it

Who cares what we call it, we all know what we're talking about <...>

Evidently, it mattered to you what we call it, because otherwise there would have been no reason for you to assert (in your post #175):
Here's the crux of the matter: we're not talking about rifles; we're talking about assault weapons.

And that is the crux of the matter, but only in the sense that "assault weapon" is a bullshit term, which in practice covers certain models or even configurations of firearm but not others, and makes the distinction almost entirely on the basis of cosmetic/ergonomics features alone. I hope benEzra doesn't mind if I borrow his photo:

With the wooden stock, this rifle is not a so-called "assault weapon."
With the rigid black stock, this rifle is an "assault weapon" in California.
With the folding stock, this rifle would have become an "assault weapon" for the purposes of the 1994 federal AWB.
Both in practical and legal terms, we're talking about the same firearm. Swapping out the furniture doesn't alter the ballistics or rate of fire.

More importantly, as others have pointed out or alluded in this thread, the Ruger Mini-series does not differ from AR and AK variants in any way that pertains to the proffered justifications for bans on so-called "assault weapons." They all accept detachable magazines, which means they can accept mags that hold more than 10 rounds, in .223 Remington or 7.62x39mm, and can go through the contents of those magazines as rapidly as the shooter can pull the trigger. The practical differences between the Ruger Mini-series and the "evil black rifles" is that AK variants are a lot cheaper, and that ARs were (until recently) more accurate, and that you could change calibers by installing a different upper receiver, which is cheaper than buying an entire new rifle (which you would have to do with a Ruger Mini). But no legislation pertaining to "assault weapons" ever addressed price, accuracy or modularity, so those distinctions are moot.

If you want to being up "'military' based usages," there isn't a governmental armed force in the world that has ever used a semi-auto-only variant of an assault rifle or sub-machine gun, mainly because they can get the selective-fire (i.e. full-auto-capable) versions. To get granular, by this I mean any weapon capable of being fired from the shoulder which fires a round with less kinetic energy than that possessed by a 7.62x51mm NATO round (.308 Win); the whole idea behind such weapons is that, at short range, they overcome lack of lethality inherent in the round by enabling the operator to put a bunch of them into the target in a very short amount of time.

That said, it behooves me to note that there are law enforcement agencies that issue "assault weapons" to their officers, from the (London) Metropolitan Police Service, which issues semi-auto-only H&K MP5s to officers at Heathrow airport to every police force in the United States that issues semi-auto-only AR variants as "patrol rifles." Now there's a funny thing: when legislators like Carolyn McCarthy and Chuck Schumer argue in favor of a renewed ban on "assault weapons," arguing that the only thing they're good for is mowing down large numbers of innocents, they invariably incorporate an exemption for law enforcement into the legislation they're pushing. Why is that? Do, in their minds, the police have legitimate need for weapons that are only good for mowing down large numbers of innocents? Or might it be that they tacitly acknowledge that there is a legitimate application for so-called "assault weapons" for a civilian (and cops are civilians, don't let them tell you otherwise) who needs to engage a small number of lightly armed opponents (as opposed to a heavily armed enemy who shows up in company or battalion strength)?

<...> please tell me why someone should be allowed to own half-a-dozen handguns with little oversight.

Handguns? I thought this thread was about pistol grips on long guns. You can hardly complain about pistols on the basis that they come with pistol grips, can you?

Anyway, if a person is deemed trustworthy in possession of one or two firearms, why should he (or she) not be trusted with as many as he damn well likes? Human anatomy being what it is, you can only wield two handguns or one long gun at a time anyway. The shooters at post office in Edmond, OK in 1986 or the Luby's in Killeen, TX in 1991 or Virginia Tech in 2007 wouldn't have been more lethal if they'd have three or more handguns on their respective persons, as opposed to the two each did have. And given that persons who run amok overwhelmingly choose locations to do so where everyone is almost certain to be unarmed anyway (e.g. schools, malls, anywhere in Europe, Japan or China outside a police station, etc.), they could probably rack up a similar body count with a single firearm (given enough pre-loaded magazines for it).

I'm presuming that there will always be a criminal demand for firearms at home and abroad, based on the judgment that criminality is a social fact.

Well, your previous assertions do not indicate that your reasoning incorporates that presumption. If you truly understand and accept that the criminal demand for firearms, and their use in criminal activity, exists independently of the number of firearms in government and particularly in private ownership in any given society, you must--if you're intellectually honest and have a grasp of basic economics--accept that a criminal demand for guns will be met by a supply from somewhere. In spite of the presence of extremely stringent firearms laws, the criminal element in both Jamaica and Japan can acquire firearms if and when they want them, and in both cases, they're getting them from overseas (given the North Korean government's involvement in criminal activities, I would be in no way surprised if they weren't more than happy to run guns to the Yakuza in exchange for hard currency). But as opposed to Jamaican gangs, the yakuza are far more reticent to kill people, and especially to do so using firearms, not least because Japanese culture looks down on firearms (with a large dose of "Not Invented Here" syndrome combined with bullshido).

The fact is that criminals worldwide tend to prefer handguns, not least because many criminals who carry firearms do so for the purpose of self-protection against other criminals (particularly competitors) or to intimidate unarmed victims, and in those circumstances portability and concealability weigh heavier than lethality; in other words, better to have a handgun on your person than an AK variant in your car or at home. If we look at the UK, going by the notion that availability should dictate the type of firearms used, British criminals should primarily be using double-barreled shotguns and bolt-action rifles, since those are the only firearms one can legally own. Instead, the primary weapons used for criminal purposes are handguns and sub-machine guns. Yes, sub-machine guns; the number of people murdered with automatic weapons in the UK exceeds the number killed in the US, not only in relative but also in absolute numbers. The reason is simple: sub-machine guns are no more expensive to make than handguns, and being quite compact, they're almost as easy to smuggle, which means that, on the black market, they shouldn't cost much more than a smuggled handgun while providing way more firepower. And when the penalty for illegally possessing a handgun is no heavier than for possessing an automatic weapon, why not go with the SMG?

Yeah, hey, imagine that: criminals not only don't follow gun laws, they find find ways to break them that the legislators hadn't thought of. Who could've guessed?

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