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Thread: The Gun Thread About Guns And Gun Related Gunnery

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: Location, Location
    I get the distinct impression that you completely missed the point catbarf was making.

    catbarf, you may need to elaborate because US laws concerning assault weapons are probably not something that people outside the US are familiar with.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicker View Post
    Ah yes, the you got the technical language wrong so you can't participate in this debate argument.

    It's not about it being black and scary looking, it's about the ability of certain firearm designs and modifications to deliver more lead into more bodies faster than others. Faster, might I suggest, than any sane person in a civilised society should reasonable require.

    It's the difference between a single shot, bolt action and a fucking semi-demi-quasi-automatic.

    Bang! Click-click...clicik click... Bang! vs Brrrrrrrrrtttttttttt!!!!!

    Did I get the technical language right?

    And here we are again with the gun enthusiasts refusing to contribute anything meaningful to a discussion about public safety, because Muh Gunz!
    Yeah, uh, I don't think he was mocking a lack of technical knowledge as you seem to have interpreted, rather the terms of 'assault weapon' legislation.

    Basically, assault weapon laws in the US define 'assault weapons' as semi-automatic weapons able to accept detachable magazines and having a certain number (depending on which state, 0-2) of banned characteristics, derisively called 'scary features' as they have no real functional impact on the weapon but are associated with popular imagery of military weapons. These features include protruding pistol grips, barrel shrouds (enclosures which surround the barrel, to prevent the shooter from burning themselves), threaded muzzles (to accept accessories), bayonet lugs, folding or collapsing stocks, or grenade launchers (because... something, I guess).

    In practice what this means is that there is a laundry list of characteristics with have negligible impact on the performance of a weapon, but distinguish whether it's an ordinary rifle or an assault weapon.

    For example:



    These are Ruger Mini-14s with various configurations from the factory. Under the assault weapon laws currently in states like Connecticut and New York, the bottom-left and all three in the right column are assault weapons. The top three in the left column are not.

    These rifles are all functionally identical to the AR-15. Same caliber, same mechanism, same magazine capacities, same everything. In states that have enacted assault weapons laws or more specific efforts to ban AR-15s as a response to the negative publicity surrounding them, many shooters have purchased Mini-14s and other rifles which provide the same functional capability, but in a completely legal non-assault-weapon package. Others choose to purchase 'New York legal' AR-15s:



    Gone are the threaded muzzle, pistol grip, and collapsing stock. Same rifle. Same operation. Different accessories.

    The Department of Justice did a study on the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban when it expired in 2004. They concluded that the ban itself had little effect on crime, as the specific terms were easily circumvented, and the majority of firearms did not fit the 'assault weapon' category to begin with. In the years since that ban, firearms design has shifted towards modularity, making it easier to create compliant configurations, and a whole market has sprung up around toeing the line.

    So, in short: They banned features which were aesthetically associated with military weapons (ie 'black and scary') but which had little to no effect on lethality or suitability for a mass shooting and were easily bypassed. And now that it's even easier to bypass, this is the kind of legislation that they want to bring back, for... some reason. A lot of people think it's like you said, that an assault weapon is something functionally different and more lethal than an ordinary rifle, but in practice this isn't the case.

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    That sounds simply idiotic. Why would you classify guns based on cosmetic features instead of caliber, fire rate, etc? Nobody needs ineffective gun laws like that. But surely there are weapons and ammunition that have no business being in civilian hands? And surely nobody needs dozens of guns outside of collectors?

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    1980s American TV and movies were full of guns, heavily armed cocaine traffickers, paramilitaries, terrorists, etc. They especially glamorized high capacity automatic rifles, Uzis, etc.

    Also during the 1980s, drug traffickers started arming themselves more and more, and when the crack epidemic hit hard in the late 1980s, murder rates spiked up, and support for gun control spiked up with it. The assault weapons ban was popular because it banned guns that looked like the ones that all the bad guys were using on TV. It was never anything more than a feel-good sort of measure. Automatic weapon sales had already been banned earlier, along with semi-automatic versions of certain weapons e.g. Uzis.

    I think we tend to spend way too much time worrying about military-looking rifles when gun deaths are mostly suicides and the vast majority of gun homicides are committed with plain old handguns: https://www.statista.com/statistics/...y-weapon-used/

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    But surely there are weapons and ammunition that have no business being in civilian hands?
    Yeah, that was the purpose of the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA), the first major gun control effort in this country and still in effect today.

    Anything with a caliber over half an inch is a Destructive Device. Anything that is an explosive or fires explosives is also a Destructive Device. Rifles or shotguns under a certain length are considered Short Barreled Rifles or Short Barreled Shotguns. Any very compact weapon with a stabilizing foregrip is an Any Other Weapon. Anything capable of firing more than one projectile per trigger pull is a Machine Gun. Anything that reduces the report of a weapon is a Silencer.

    All of these can be legally owned, but it requires paying a tax stamp (typically $200) and filing a multi-page application to the ATF, with wait times of anywhere from a few weeks to over a year, to manufacture or purchase. I know it probably sounds ridiculous that anyone can buy a machine gun or grenade launcher, but the process has done a surprisingly good job of keeping legally registered NFA items away from misuse- for example, in the entire history of the NFA, legally registered machine guns have only ever twice been used to commit felonies. One was a dirty cop executing an informant with a department-issued weapon, the other was eventually ruled self-defense. Seems to work pretty well.

    The problem with trying to regulate further than that is that when it comes to semi-automatic firearms there really isn't any quantifiable functional difference between a hunting weapon, a self-defense weapon, and a weapon of war. They all use the same mechanics, calibers, and fire rates (full auto excepted, that makes a NFA-restricted machine gun). California took the approach of banning detachable magazines, but the gun community found this restriction easy to work around, and compliant firearms were still easily illegally modified back (this is what the San Bernardino shooters did). Some states, and Canada, have a 'banned list' of specific models that are not allowed, but this doesn't work at all. Canadian shooters can't have AK-47s, for example, but they can have Vz-58s. Same caliber, same fire rate, same magazines blah blah pretty much the same gun.

    I can't over-stress how messy it gets when these regulations are targeted at specific features. Just take the National Firearms Act I described. While it has done a good job of regulating explosives, anti-tank guns, and machine guns, there's a currently a market for firearms that circumvent its Short Barreled Rifle definitions, because the writers of the NFA couldn't have anticipated the modularity of modern firearms. These weapons meet the legal definition of a pistol, then use devices for stabilization that the ATF does not consider shoulder stocks. This is an SBR because it's a rifle with a barrel under 16" long, requiring the $200 tax stamp and multi-month application to build. This is legally a pistol, because that thing on the back is intended as an arm brace rather than a shoulder stock, so it can have a short barrel without being NFA-restricted. But because it's legally a pistol, if the owner puts a vertical foregrip on it like the one on the SBR, it would be considered 'remanufactured' to be fired with two hands and then it's an illegal unregistered Any Other Weapon. But you can still put an angled foregrip on it, because ATF doesn't consider that a proper foregrip. But wait, if it's over 26" in overall length, then it's just a firearm, neither a rifle nor a pistol under federal law, and it can have a barrel under 16" and a vertical foregrip if you so desire- but no stock, because that will remanufacture it into a rifle. Clear as mud? I'd consider myself fairly knowledgeable about gun laws but even I have trouble keeping it straight.

    Both the UK and Australia took the sledgehammer solution of banning semi-automatic firearms altogether, which I would say is about the only practical way to do it. But now culture rears its ugly head- good luck convincing America to turn in their self-defense weapons, which are overwhelmingly semi-automatic, as well as the large number of sporting/hunting firearms that are also semi-automatic. In addition to the Glocks and the AR-15s, we're talking Olympic target pistols, classic hunting rifles, and some of the most popular skeet shooting and birding shotguns, so there's going to be a lot of collateral. Unlike assault weapons bans, this isn't something you can spin to the public as banning only weapons of war with no legitimate purpose.

    Supposing we could pull that off and actually get compliance (in New York, just registration of just assault weapons had a 4% compliance rate), I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that it would immediately reduce the lethality of mass shootings. But for the overwhelming majority of homicides that are gang-related and committed with handguns, the use of a cheap semi-automatic versus a cheap revolver makes no difference, they both go bang every time you pull the trigger. And then our gun industry would go into malicious compliance mode, and it would be only a matter of time before you see technically-not-semi-automatic revolvers with quick-swap technically-not-detachable high-capacity technically-not-magazines cylinders.

    Anyways: Originally the NFA was supposed to include handguns, and in that light the laws on SBRs and SBSs make a lot more sense, since the intent was to heavily regulate all concealable firearms. That provision was dropped due to public outcry and strong opposition in Congress. If we wanted to address the firearms primarily used in homicide, as heywood noted, handguns are the place to look, and I'd much sooner support simply adding handguns to the NFA than enact more schemes of ineffective nitpicking. It'd be easier to sell to the public than a blanket ban on semi-autos, would have the same impact on the overwhelming majority of gun crime, and there are some bones you could throw to the hardline gun community that could get even them to go along with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    And surely nobody needs dozens of guns outside of collectors?
    That's a little tautological, isn't it? Some people buy just one gun for self-defense or hunting or sport, some buy several that all do different things, and those that buy more than that are pretty overwhelmingly collectors because at that point there's not much practical reason. I think I know what you're getting at, that if someone is buying lots of guns but isn't a collector then there's something fishy going on, but I don't think it has any real-world relevance. The Las Vegas shooting is the only major incident I'm aware of where the shooter had a large number of firearms available, and even then it's not clear whether he actually used more than one or two.
    Last edited by catbarf; 26th Jan 2018 at 12:06.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    This is why a gun license makes sense -- if you need a gun suitable for hunting, then you apply for a gun suitable for hunting, etc. Also, that way people would have to pay attention to how they are keeping their guns, as getting a new gun is not a simple matter of walking down to the store and buying one.

    And reducing the number of guns available to people is not necessarily to make it more difficult for terrorists and mass shooters. The idea is to make guns have a status more than just a commodity or an ordinary tool.

    I wager these would also reduce accidents, as there would be less chance of weapons lying around where kids, thieves, etc can reach them, if people would have to treat their guns responsibly.
    Last edited by Starker; 26th Jan 2018 at 13:22.

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I'm OK with gun owner licensing under two conditions:

    1. Licensing has to be "shall issue". That means that as long as an individual meets the statutory requirements for obtaining a license, they are granted a license. They don't have to provide a justification, and no discretion is involved. We'll sort out what factors might disqualify someone from owning a firearm through legislation, and if necessary the Constitutionality of the legislation will be tested in courts.

    2. If licenses are to be granted by the states, they should be reciprocally honored by other states. So hypothetically speaking, if I was issued a firearm license in Vermont, and I travel with a gun across the border into New York, I should be treated the same as if I had been issued a license by New York.

    I don't think that limiting the number of guns you can own will have any appreciable effect on the rate of gun deaths. In my experience, the people I know who own a lot of guns are the best stewards of their guns. They tend to be serious about their shooting or hunting hobby, they're responsible, and they have a lot of money invested in their guns so they don't want them stolen or damaged. The people I worry about are the ones who own a single handgun for personal protection and keep it loaded in their bedside drawer.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Also, that way people would have to pay attention to how they are keeping their guns(...)

    I wager these would also reduce accidents, as there would be less chance of weapons lying around where kids, thieves, etc can reach them, if people would have to treat their guns responsibly.
    For that I favor the direct solution of implementing greater liability for stolen firearms, possibly but not necessarily including safe storage laws. Tocky brought up the (valid) point that safe storage often precludes quick access, but with biometric safes becoming cheap it's pretty easy to store a weapon in a manner such that you can retrieve it with a fingerprint or, if the batteries fail, with a key. I haven't spoken too much with other gun owners to gauge whether that would be acceptable, but I think at the very least, having some liability for firearms which are stolen as a direct consequence of their not being properly secured makes sense.

    At the moment you can carelessly leave a gun in plain sight in your car, have it stolen and used to kill someone, and not only face no repercussions, but get your gun back if the police seize it. Change that and maybe people will stop being so stupid about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    The idea is to make guns have a status more than just a commodity or an ordinary tool.
    Just to make sure I understand- do you just mean something along the lines of 'people should treat guns more seriously and responsibly than they treat screwdrivers and other tools', or something else?

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicker View Post
    It's not about it being black and scary looking, it's about the ability of certain firearm designs and modifications to deliver more lead into more bodies faster than others. Faster, might I suggest, than any sane person in a civilised society should reasonable require.
    That was my point, yes. Perhaps I shouldn't take the piss in a somewhat serious thread?

    My understanding of previous attempts to control gun ownership and use in the USA was that it could be reasonably accurately summerised by the pictures in catbarf's post above. There's a bit more to it than that obviously and being 5000 miles away from it my knowledge on the details of it is approximately none at all but I think a situation where you can have two different but functionally versions of the same gun and the one that's banned is the one that looks "scary" is something worth mocking.

    And here we are again with the gun enthusiasts refusing to contribute anything meaningful to a discussion about public safety, because Muh Gunz!
    I think you must have me confused with someone else, I'm not a gun enthusiast so much as opposed to banning things for the sake of being seen to do something.

    Were sufficient number of people to vote for Steve's Mostly Benevolent Dictatorship the US would get gun regulation roughly equivalent to the licensing of shotgun ownership in the UK (specifically England/Wales, firearms is one of the areas that the UK isn't entirely U).
    If you want one you fill in a form that says who you are, what you want, that you're not a dangerous lunatic and you promise to keep it safe. The local firearms officer comes round and checks you've got somewhere safe to keep it and that you understand the responsibilities that come with gun ownership and then you get your licence and you can buy your gun(s).
    I think the restrictions on what you can own here are excessive but I do agree with the general principles if not the specific details.

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    I don't think that limiting the number of guns you can own will have any appreciable effect on the rate of gun deaths. In my experience, the people I know who own a lot of guns are the best stewards of their guns. They tend to be serious about their shooting or hunting hobby, they're responsible, and they have a lot of money invested in their guns so they don't want them stolen or damaged. The people I worry about are the ones who own a single handgun for personal protection and keep it loaded in their bedside drawer.
    I'm sure the people you know are all upstanding citizens, but I'm sure there are also just as many who would keep a gun in their car and all kinds of unsafe places. The people I would worry about are the ones who lose a gun and then just go on and buy another without even reporting it lost or stolen.

    Also, if there's no effort to limit guns, the amount of guns will only keep increasing, as they are not exactly easily perishable goods. And that means the guns might not stay in the hands of responsible owners.

    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Just to make sure I understand- do you just mean something along the lines of 'people should treat guns more seriously and responsibly than they treat screwdrivers and other tools', or something else?
    Yes, not like it's a toy. For example, I've heard that some people shoot firearms in the air at New Year's and on the Independence Day, which just boggles my mind.
    Last edited by Starker; 26th Jan 2018 at 18:16.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: Location, Location
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Yes, not like it's a toy. For example, I've heard some people shoot firearms in the air at New Year's and on the Independence Day, which just boggles my mind.
    Can semi-confirm this. The neighbors across the street from me have handguns and an AR-15 that they take out to pour some rounds into a big oak tree in their front yard. Quite solidly illegal, but police are so busy responding to all the other idiots in my city on those nights that my neighbors are done having their fun by the time a cruiser rolls up.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: not there again!
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Canadian shooters can't have AK-47s, for example, but they can have Vz-58s. Same caliber, same fire rate, same magazines blah blah pretty much the same gun.
    Minor nitpick: they are not 'pretty much the same gun'. They resemble each other visually and they have the same caliber, as they were both designed around the 7.62x39 mm cartridge, but that's it. You can't swap the magazines.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Portreath Cornwall UK
    This reflects my feelings in light of the latest atrocity in the USA


  14. #89
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Guns don't kill people, rappers do.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    News Thump, a spoof news site has a couple of takes on this:

    Authorities say Nikolas Cruz killed at least 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, but would not have been able to do so if more schoolgoers had been armed. NRA spokesperson Wayne LaPierre said that those in the school would have been unharmed had some inside just opened fire first.

    "The Liberal media would have you believe that we should try and prevent our children from defending themselves using guns, landmines and grenades,Ē said a White House spokesperson. "Weíve worked incredibly hard with to make it incredibly straightforward to get a gun, so more people should take advantage of their availability."
    And from another angle:

    Some people will make knee-jerk assumptions on why this tragic event occurred for political purposes, but I would ask you all not to lose sight of the fact that these children were gathered in a convenient place of learning. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and now Parkland Florida. Education is at the root of all these tragedies.

    High-powered assault rifles donít kill children, schools do.

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Florida. Seems like another responsible gun owner experienced an off-range discharge of his sporting arms.

    While there was some loss of life and limb, these sacrifices are necessary to fill The Cup Of Freedom! We are all grateful that nobody's Second Amendment rights were or will be infringed.

    The lesson here is that America needs to pray harder. God Bless the NRA.

  17. #92
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    What we need is Gawd back in schools. If only we could replace our curriculum of actual fact learning with a five day Sunday school then things would go back to the old days when nobody ever did anything wrong because he was always smiting folks.

  18. #93
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I'm stealing that, ffox. It's too good not to.

  19. #94
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Portreath Cornwall UK

  20. #95
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    For the record, Snopes fact-checked (is that a word) the figure of 18 school shootings. It's technically true but it's kind of misleading to say 18 as if they were all mass murders. There were a couple of suicides, some accidental firings, one in a school that had been closed for a few months, one where the shooter was outside the school, etc.

    Edit. I meant to say before but forgot. I very much appreciated catbarf's gun education efforts earlier in the thread - enlightening and useful.

  21. #96
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Medlar View Post
    Call me cynical, but the most likely outcome I see is another round of nothing happening, with the second-most-likely being a new assault weapons ban (probably after Democrats win the upcoming midterms), like the one that had already been in effect for five years when the event they're memorializing occurred. Everything I've been seeing coming from elected representatives on both sides has been a retread of the usual soundbites and proposals.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickie View Post
    For the record, Snopes fact-checked (is that a word) the figure of 18 school shootings. It's technically true but it's kind of misleading to say 18 as if they were all mass murders. There were a couple of suicides, some accidental firings, one in a school that had been closed for a few months, one where the shooter was outside the school, etc.
    Something similar frequently happens with 'mass shootings'. The Everytown project originally defined them as any event where a firearm was involved and four or more people were injured (not even necessarily by the firearm, and including the shooter), under which definition the overwhelming majority of 'mass shootings' are not what the public thinks of as mass shootings.

    While it's deliberately deceptive, I can see why they do it. Mainstream America doesn't seem to care about suicides, negligent discharges, or gang shootouts. But take same events and add them to the tallies of 'school shootings' or 'mass shootings', the common terms for the only high-profile gun-related events that America seems to care about, and then people take them more seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickie View Post
    Edit. I meant to say before but forgot. I very much appreciated catbarf's gun education efforts earlier in the thread - enlightening and useful.
    Well, thanks, I'm glad somebody finds it useful.

  22. #97
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    That sounds simply idiotic. Why would you classify guns based on cosmetic features instead of caliber, fire rate, etc? Nobody needs ineffective gun laws like that. But surely there are weapons and ammunition that have no business being in civilian hands? And surely nobody needs dozens of guns outside of collectors?
    And as stated they have been taken out of the picture for some time now. As for the number of guns a person owns. It's called "The Bill of Rights" not "Needs". The distinction is clear.

  23. #98
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    As in, the right to have any gun?

  24. #99
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    As in, the right to have any gun?
    If you're going to be willfully obtuse, there's no need for me to comment further. Good day.

  25. #100
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn

    The Gun Thread About Guns And Gun Related Gunnery

    I donít think Starker was trying to be wilfully obtuse. I think it was a genuine attempt to clarify what your previous post is meant to say. His question could have possibly been worded differently, but I can understand why he asked it; personally, I donít think your initial post is all that clear either. Would you mind clarifying, please?

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