Gun Violence, Part 2  

New2Midlo 52M  
758 posts
3/29/2021 7:02 pm

Last Read:
6/12/2021 7:51 am

Gun Violence, Part 2

Welcome bac..this one promises be quite the roller coaster ride, with a serious plot twist, so please buckle in and secure all loose items.

We'll begin Part 2 with...

The Evil Black Rifle
Yes, it's been called that by those who want ban the AR-15. The AR-15 is the civilian variant of the M-16 and is semiautomatic, with one round fired with each press of the trigger, versus the full auto. Because full auto is all but impossible to control, most M-16's are now built with semi auto and round burst fire capability. I own a number of AR-15's and find them be a blast shoot, no pun intended. They're ultimately configurable make a bullet hoser, for use in USPSA 3 Gun competition, or because they're inherently accurate, set them up for long distance accuracy. Just yesterday, I was shooting one of mine at 0 yards and grouping the bullets in area the size of a quarter. What makes the AR so much fun is also what makes it so effective for inflicting mass casualties. Inside a certain distance from your target, you can point a rifle instead of having aim it, there are magazines available with capacities up 60 rounds, and each round delivers times more muzzle energy than one from a 9mm pistol (assuming standard 556 NATO ammunition). Worth noting is that because it's a design, not a brand or trade name, there is no such thing as an 'AR- style rifle'; it's either an AR-15 or not in the same way an engine is either a V8 or not. Something to help you be a bit smarter than the talking heads on the news.
It might surprise you to learn the AR-15 has been available to civilians since the 1960's. However, it was largely overlooked by enthusiasts for its first thirty on the market. It wasn't a good hunting gun and a rifle for personal defense was ludicrous. That remained the case until 1994, when its popularity skyrocketed. What took place to cause such a shift? Quite simple actually; the AR-15, along with the AK-47, were banned. Note: skipping detail on the AK platform because it enjoys a fraction of the AR's popularity.

The crime bill / assault weapons ban of 1994 was partially geared toward taking<b> military </font></b>style rifles off the market and prohibited rifles containing more than a few key traits from being manufactured or imported. It also prohibited the manufacture or import of magazines with a capacity greater than rounds. Rifle manufacturers got around the ban by removing the traits of lesser importance (i.e. bayonet lug and flash hider) and continued production, shipping guns with round magazines. The author of the crime bill screamed that manufacturers were gaming the system. The manufacturers responded that they were complying with the law and that they had staff keep employed. The AR- suddenly received a great deal of attention and demand. Nothing makes people want something more than when the government says they can't have it. I was friends with a guy who owned a gun shop at the time, who told me there were tons of people coming in, many first time gun owners, to the last pre-ban AR's and even the post-ban versions, for that exact reason.

It should be no surprise the bill didn't accomplish anything except drive up prices for pre-ban equipment, and had zero effect on crimes committed with guns. Because anything made prior to the 1994 ratification could still be owned and sold, you could still get capacity mags (although they became $70 instead of 15$) and watered down AR's were just as capable as pre-ban versions. Not to mention manufacturers went bonkers building as much inventory as possible before the ban went into effect. Word was that Glock was using their entire allocation of import dollars to send container after container of high capacity magazines, in order to get as many as possible in the deadline.

The crime bill had a provision to sunset after , unless it was renewed, which it wasn't. By 2004, there was a great deal of pent up demand for the rifle that everyone suddenly wanted and production ramped up accordingly. When I bought my first AR during the time of the crime bill, there were or four manufacturers who offered them; now that number is closer forty, if not higher. There's a whole cottage industry around parts build your own AR-15, which is I did on the ones I currently own. That also means tens of thousands of jobs now rely on the AR-. At this point, it's worth returning the Jones mass shooting database, either confirm or refute timing of AR-'s rise in popularity. Indeed, despite being available for decades, the first mass shooting where the weapon was an AR didn't occur until 2006.

It's about now you should be asking yourself what idiot wrote the bill that made the AR-15 so popular. He's the same idiot calling ban them now, then Senator now President Joe Biden. That's right, Joe Biden is responsible for the AR-15's popularity. Show of hands; who didn't see that one coming? Regardless, he's arguably the last person on earth suited formulate a plan to gun violence.

Clearly a ban on new production wouldn't work any better than it did the last time, particularly when a massive supply of existing guns exists, but what if it was taken a step further? What if it suddenly became illegal to possess such rifles? The term 'complete failure' comes to mind. First, it would be contested in court, winding up in front of the Supreme Court (with a conservative majority), who would strike it down for violating the Second Amendment. If you remember bump stocks from the Vegas Strip shooting, you may be alarmed to learn a court recently overturned the ban on those. But what if it was upheld? Such a law would be completely unenforceable for a few reasons. First, those you must rely on to enforce the law oppose such a ban too. In response to the potential assault weapons ban in Virginia, dozens of chief law enforcement officers declared they wouldn't enforce it. There's no reason to believe a nationwide ban wouldn't receive the same widespread support. Second, no one in their right mind will turn in their guns. Would you blindly hand over something you invested so much and time into? As a benchmark, I'm probably about average for most law abiding AR owners and I've got just shy of $k invested. I predict there will be an amazing rash of boating accidents, where everyone's guns fell overboard, in a thousand feet of water. Tragic. Or they'd flat not comply (or worse). Third, there would still be the DIY crowd making 80% guns (long topic on itself, but feel free to read up on your own) and replenishing the supply.

It all reminds of a conversation I had with a Dutch colleague, while driving through a sketchy area of Rotterdam. He indicated there were a lot of shootings in that area. I pointed out that guns were all but impossible get not only in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. He responded, 'yeah, but criminals will always get their hands on guns.'

It all reminds of a conversation I had with a Dutch colleague, while driving through a sketchy area of Rotterdam. He indicated there were a lot of shootings in that area. I pointed out that guns were all but impossible get not only in the Netherlands, throughout Europe. He responded, 'yeah, but criminals will always get their hands on guns.'

Before I wrap up on the evil black rifle, I'd like address a few other challenges gun owners have gotten relative owning AR-15's. First is the ever popular 'why do you need such a thing?' The answer is I don't need it, but as a law abiding citizen, I'm allowed . Why do you need an $8 cup of coffee in the morning instead of a much lower performance version? My second favorite is 'civilians shouldn't have weapons of war'. Newsflash, 75% of guns on the market began as weapons of war. That Colt 45 that everyone loves was designed be used as by soldiers as their sidearm, when going war. Finally, there's the ever popular 'that gun was designed kill'. Again, that applies 95% of the guns out there, either through use in defending your family or humanely hunt an animal. No, we won't venture down that rabbit hole.

So, should the AR-15 (and other<b> military </font></b>style rifles) really be banned? I get it - mass shootings are ugly, traumatic, and more frequently involve and are carried out with<b> military </font></b>style rifles. However much of a shock the system, the fact is they're statistically insignificant and banning them is nothing greater than a knee jerk reaction. For additional context, there were 60% more murders in Chicago (where you can't legally buy a gun) last year than mass shooting victims in the past DECADE. Not mention FBI statistics say that 70% of homicides involving firearms are carried out with handguns, not<b> military </font></b>style rifles or rifles period. Banning AR-15's / AK-47 rifles based upon 0.6% of all shootings will make the left all feel good about themselves and tell everyone how they've made America a safer place. Except for the reasons above, mass shooters will keep on using the rifles.

Speaking of Chicago and shooting related deaths, Kina Collins of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence was recently interviewed by NPR. She took issue with the President's laser focus on mass shootings and an assault weapons ban. "That's not what we're dealing with in communities that deal with everyday gun violence," she said. "We're dealing with hand guns. We're dealing with straw purchases, we're dealing with illegal guns floating across the borders into states. That's what we're dealing with."

So what can be done to decrease the number of firearm related deaths? First, I think rather than focusing on what trigger is being pulled, attention should be focused why the trigger's being pulled in the first place. Anyone with half a brain should be able to make that distinction. Having half a brain myself, that's what I'll focus on. First, I think that more and more people live solitary lives without support structures and succumb to mental illness leaving them feel hopeless or that the world is against them. On a side note, why is it the greater a boring loser someone is, the more they're convinced the government is spying on them? But people feel less included and more disenfranchised as time goes by. However, I also think too many people have been raised to be self absorbed little snowflakes that don't understand the word 'resilience'. So many murders are to 'get back at someone' for shit that is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Being disrespected is part of life; get over it. Your significant other dumped you for your best friend? Get over it and bang his mother, not shoot both of them, you moron. How many of us were bullied as , but the thought of killing anyone over such transgressions never crossed our minds? My dad grew up in a rural area. Almost every guy had a rifle or shotgun in their car, at school, because they all went hunting after. If you had a beef with someone, it was settled with fists after school; no one ever grabbed a gun over whatever it was.
Finally, there are those who want their fifteen minutes of fame and are willing to kill to get it. Finally finally, shitty parenting has a great deal of impact, beyond raising snow flakes. perfect examples of how decent parenting would have prevented mass shootings - Sandy Hook wouldn't have happened if the shooter's mother had half a brain and not tried connect her mentally ill through shooting. (He shot her and took the guns) The Columbine shooters were a couple of complete sociopaths that had exhibited plenty of warning signs ahead of that shooting. Where the fuck were their parents?

Make no mistake, I'm completely behind universal background checks and other reasonable measures to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. Universal should be emphasized here, because not all states perform their checks in the same manner. NICS is the FBI's national background check system and, from what I've been able to uncover, queries their terror watchlist on each inquiry. However, only 36 states currently use NICS, the remainder either carrying out checks at the state level or using some sort of hybrid model. As someone pointed out, the Boulder shooter was on an FBI terror watchlist, yet still received approval to purchase his firearm. Colorado isn't one of the 36, instead using their own homegrown system. Had CO been a NICS state, the approval likely would have been denied, preventing another mass shooting. Again, universal background checks are a good thing, are effective, and that's a no brainer.

But other actions have to be taken to decrease gun violence or we never address the root cause. Banning weapons, aside from it not working, sends the message 'we've given up on our society'. We need to begin taking better care of each other or things will only get worse; gun violence will be the least of our concerns.

Random comment that didn't have a home, but worth including:
You can't legally make your AR a fully automatic weapon without a full background check, waiting close to a year, and spending $30 You can make it full auto illegally in an afternoon without much effort. There are devices on the market that simulate full auto, such as binary triggers, that fire a round not only when you pull the trigger, but also when you release it. And let's not forget the bump stock that became famous after the Las Vegas Strip massacre. Personally, I have an issue with these workarounds; no one's fooling anyone with them. However, at what point do you draw the line? That's a question I continue to ask myself.

New2Midlo 52M  
1065 posts
3/29/2021 7:03 pm

Who doesn't love some good irony?

hardguy0051 70M
492 posts
3/29/2021 8:24 pm

I disagree with you on the Universal Background Check. Without a national gun registry, it will be ignored, and a national gun registry is a non-starter.

New2Midlo replies on 3/30/2021 8:52 am:
Universal Background checks already exist, to some degree, in the form of the NICS system. Getting every state on it would provide a significant benefit. This gun owner wouldn't mind waiting a day or two, if it were due to a more thorough background check. Although, that's how long they're taking anyway, with gun sales through the roof since the start of the pandemic.

Again, as a gun owner, I see the benefits of a National Gun Registry, but wouldn't necessarily be thrilled that the government knows where to grab guns, should a ban someday come to fruition.

pagancountrygirl 64F
6403 posts
3/29/2021 9:54 pm

'yeah, but criminals will always get their hands on guns.'
Very true and it doesn't matter what type of gun laws there are, the criminals will find a way to arm themselves. Also, the argument of "guns kill people" that is so often used as justification to remove gun ownership is not true. It's people who kill people...and they don't have to have guns to do it.

Hmmmm....I know I left that wand around here somewhere!

New2Midlo replies on 3/30/2021 8:55 am:
People kill people but guns make it a great deal easier and faster. No such thing as a drive by knifing. Guns are also less personal and allow the shooter to walk away before the full extent of their actions become evident. Killing someone with a knife (which I've chosen as the most likely alternative to a firearm) is tough work and very personal.

lindoboy100 59M  
23968 posts
3/30/2021 1:04 am

Ah McMid, another good read, well done sir. Some of the stats are quite staggering.

One curiosity with regard to gun-ownership for me is why are there more weapons per head of population in Canada than in the US, yet there's a fraction of the gun crime and casualties? My own view is the fear culture which seems to prevail in the US and which seems to be promoted by large corporations.

In the UK it's almost impossible to own a gun legally. Shotguns, with appropriate and in-depth background checks are permitted under private ownership with appropriate secure storage etc, but guns, rifles of any description are usually only owned by gun clubs and the like, or by large hunting estates in remote areas. I'm not claiming that the UK is without gun crime, I agree that criminals will always find a way. But the incidence of shootings is very low. It's probably just as well that guns are heavily controlled over here when you look at the knife crime in some of our urban centres.

My fundamental issue with gun ownership is, basically, why? If it's for recreational use, why not join a club? The 'why have a coffee in the morning' argument doesn't stack up for me. My concern always is that scenario where you're driving along quietly in your car, you have cause rightly or wrongly to beep your horn at another driver. That person then pulls out a gun and shoots you because he/she got out of bed the wrong side that day. It makes no sense to me.

Having said all that, thank you for your well reasoned discussion in favour of it. There are several facts in your posts which I was previously unaware of, very informative.

New2Midlo replies on 3/30/2021 11:49 am:
Thanks very much for the kind words.

According to the Small Arms Survey, a university associated non-profit in Geneva, the US has three times the gun ownership, per capita than Canada, which is next closest among developed countries. What's interesting is that only 40% of the US population owns guns or admits to it. Not that someone who isn't allowed to have one is going to check the 'yes' box in that survey or even participate. FWIW, the ownership rate is most definitely over 40% since the pandemic. In any case, it seems most gun owners have more than one of them.

Regarding ownership itself and why not join a club, it's easier to address the latter. Murica is a wide open country and in some areas, there are many places to shoot within a small radius. That includes personal property. That makes having your guns kept at or owned by a club quite impractical.

It may be best to answer your other questions and provide some insight into gun owners and gun culture in a separate post.

positively4you 72F  
4575 posts
3/30/2021 5:46 am

Gun ownership. The big conundrum. Notice how “those” people preach to us we should not own a gun are protected by armed men and women. The rich, the famous, the politicians, the “elite”, the government. If I am out in public and some crazy is shooting, my favorite person is the armed man next to me taking him out, saving my life. Traveling with the males in my family, I know they can protect me if possible and they will.

lindoboy100 59M  
23968 posts
3/30/2021 3:11 pm

And thanks for a reasonable and well reasoned reply.

I had always understood that Canada was slightly ahead of the US in gun ownership. Not entirely sure where I read that now. But thanks for putting me right.

I understand what you say about club membership, and I can quite easily envisage myself enjoying the act of target practice, and even hunting for food. I can also see why someone would gather a reasonable collection of weapons - I have a daft number of fishing rods, most of which I never use. But the whole concept of carrying a weapon, concealed or openly, for protection just seems so alien. No doubt that's because we're so insulated from it in the UK.

I'm looking forward to reading your next post, I'll be interested to hear your views on gun ownership and the fear culture. Someone also posted recently on gun ownership and suicide rates. All good reading, I'll see if I can find it.

hardguy0051 70M
492 posts
3/31/2021 7:58 pm

I think our definitions of "Universal Background Check" differ. As I understand it, it means ALL transfers, retail and private, must be approved by the government, either state or NICS. Unless you have a FFL, you cannot access NICS, so an agreeable FFL must do the check for you, and you will be charged a fee for his time.

Since Washington state voters approved UBS, our Hunters' Ed program is in chaos and our Women on Target classes are on hold because handing a gun from student to teacher is considered a 'transfer' and a violation if an UBC isn't conducted.

New2Midlo replies on 4/1/2021 7:31 am:
Our definitions of UBC's are the same; what differs is that Washington State's law extends to physical transfers of guns versus the purchase of them. A friend of mine mentioned such moves were in the works and I brushed him off, because no one could be that level of sitting, rocking in their feces, retarded. Clearly, I was wrong. Even more retarded is that relatives can throw guns back and forth all they want, without background checks. Also underpants on head stupid is that you can transfer a gun to a minor for education purposes, but not adults.

According to the statute, there's no reason I can see for classes to be put on hold. RCW says the rule doesn't apply 'under circumstances in which the transferee and the firearm remain in the presence of the transferor'. In other words, if I hand my gun to an instructor, and he doesn't walk away with it, no harm, no foul.

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