Dear Daily Caller,
I have some opinions regarding your website, but for right now, I’d like to address your recent article on why banning AR-15s is such a bad idea from a defense and ideological point of view. It’s a nice written article, generally level-headed, and seeks to point out the flaws in banning or even limiting certain firearms.
However, I would like to point out a few of the half-truths and outright lies you yourself have used in this article. If we’re going to have a debate, let’s get the facts straight.
[Misinformation] is not just coming from the usual anti-gun crowd, whom one would expect to lack knowledge about firearms and how they function, but also from supposedly knowledgeable gun owners and hunters, some of whom favor “reasonable” controls on firearms freedoms.
Okay, let’s get this straight. I have to know about cleaning barrels, disassembling firearms, and how to convert for different types of ammunition in order to have a debate about guns? Maybe if I wanted to debate gun quality, sure, but this debate is about what guns allow people to do. Trigger gets pulled. Bullet fires. Bullet does damage.
And if gun owners and hunters are actually saying they’d like more controls, isn’t that something to listen for? Or are we only supposed to pay attention to people when they agree with you? For example a majority of NRA members want background checks for gun purchases. I’m pretty sure those people know about guns.
Could I use another gun for self defense? Of course I could and the AR may not be the best firearm to use in all defensive situations. I could use a shotgun or a pistol, I could use a baseball bat or a knife, I could use a tennis racket, a golf club, my bare hands, or I could just try playing possum.
Good! We’re at least acknowledging that a firearm may not be the best weapon for the job. I like this so far. I’m sure the final few examples are sarcasm, but whatever.
It is not a question of what I use to defend myself but my right and desire to have the best possible tool for the job at my disposal. I want a semi-automatic rifle with an adequate capacity magazine for the same reason the police want them; to be able to quickly and accurately engage multiple assailants should the need arise.
Frankly, I’d think a good alarm system, iron bars, and heavy doors would be much better at preventing home invasion. Why react when you can prevent? Also, I don’t think you understand why police actually use the AR-15 and other weapons like it.
But I do.
During the 44-minute North Hollywood Shootout, police fired hundreds of 9mm and 12-gauge rounds at two armored assailants and didn’t do much damage. The perpetrators, on the other hand, had rifles, some of them AR-15s, which they modified to fire full auto.
SWAT itself was originally armed with revolvers and shotguns, but a 1974 encounter with the Symbionese Liberation Army changed things and semi-automatic rifles were introduced into SWAT’s arsenal.
Basically, these police departments were dealing with multiple, heavily armed, heavily armored assailants. Then again, maybe you really are worried someone could enter your home wearing tactical armor and wielding his or her own rifle. Okay, fine…
The AR is traditionally chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO (interchangeable with the .223 Remington caliber) cartridge. The U.S. Military has been using this round as their primary rifle caliber for 50 years, through many wars and other interventions. If it was not effective we would not still have it.
As with any firearm, the weight and type of bullet can be easily changed to deliver better performance and while not all loadings may be ideal for hunting, many are used on deer, feral hogs, coyote, and other game animals.
The AR-15 has ammunition designed to punch through body armor and is extremely long range. As you’ve said, the rifle can be converted to fire other, less-powerful ammunition, but if that is the case, why not use a weapon that is already chambered for some other load?
So far, the argument has been that the AR-15 can be used against multiple opponents and can be converted to fire other types of ammunition. Just how many people do you think are involved in home invasions? And if ammunition can be swapped for others to prevent over-penetration, why not use other weapons?
Some have argued that a 5.56mm AR is bad for home defense because the round will over penetrate and pass through walls, endangering other occupants or neighbors. Tell that to police SWAT team that are increasingly switching from 9mm (pistol caliber) sub-machineguns to 5.56mm ARs exactly because they over penetrate less than the 9mm especially with proper ammunition selection.
Police are switching to these high-powered rounds because they offer better performance against armored targets. I would also point out that 9mm hollow-points lack penetration and deal a heck of a lot of damage, maybe not as much as the 5.56mm, but certainly enough to stop someone who’s entered your home.
If over penetration is a serious concern then use a shotgun with bird shot. At close ranges this can be extremely effective. Others argue that a long gun is too unwieldy for home defense and going around corners. Ironically a shotgun has long been considered an ideal home defense firearm, not to mention that “hunting down” home intruders is not really advisable anyways. Better to barricade yourself and call the police.
I would think over-penetration is ALWAYS a concern, especially if there are others in the house. It’s why hollow-point rounds were invented. And you’re right. A long gun can be very unwieldy in a home environment, and a shotgun suffers from the same drawback.
But a shotgun lacks the over-penetration of the 5.56mm and has an extremely high intimidation factor. Shotguns are also quite cheaper to purchase than an AR-15, making them ideal for many budgets. So far, the argument seems to be, “I really like the AR-15, and it has a lot of drawbacks like the possibility of hitting innocent civilians, but I REALLY want an AR-15.”
Ignoring the fact that semi-automatic rifles are used to commit only a tiny fraction of all gun crimes and that gun crimes overall have been declining for the past 20 years, the AR and other similar rifles are no more dangerous than any other firearm. The AR is semi-automatic and fires once each time the trigger is depressed, like a double-action revolver, or any pistol, or many other rifles and shotguns.
It can also be easily modified for full-auto by any idiot with the right tools. A quick Google search yielded thousands of forum threads on the subject. While gun crimes have declined overall in the last 20 years, so has gun ownership. Less people own guns, but that group now owns MORE guns than before. And guns like the AR-15 are, as you yourself have pointed out, not the ideal ones for home defense, and their ammunition can be a danger not just to people in the house, but possibly people outside the home, too.
If you think the AR-15 is no more dangerous than other guns, I’d suggest you try a shootout while wielding a .38 revolver. Your opponent will have an AR-15. Let’s see which one’s more dangerous. Better yet, use a baseball bat because, as many of your side have said, those are just as dangerous.
If you believe that the AR is too dangerous to own then there is no rational limit to what firearms you will find too dangerous next. Politicians have attacked firearms as too dangerous because they are too small and easy to conceal, too cheap and easy for poor people to buy, too accurate and usable and sniper weapons, too powerful and usable against vehicles. The list of “too dangerous” can easily be expanded to cover most any firearm and making every firearm “too dangerous” is exactly the real agenda.
Ah, I see. The real problem is that you’re afraid if one gun is banned, then they can all be banned. I have bad news for you. Scalia of all people wrote an opinion which stated the Constitution itself grants the federal government the right to regulate certain weapons. There’s also the nasty bit in the Second Amendment about a militia being “well-regulated,” kind of like how Israel does it. And we do have certain weapons banned right now. You can’t own a grenade, a rocket launcher, or C4. Even if you had the money, you can’t own a tank with functional weaponry.
In what insane, parallel dimension, do you think guns will be banned in the US? I’ll assume your head is somewhere where you’re likely to run into your colon. Yes, certain guns become controversial, and yes, we’ve tried to pass legislation regarding guns, just like every other right and Amendment has had legislation to address loopholes and abuses.
The First Amendment even has restrictions. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded room if there’s no fire, you can’t incite a riot, and you can’t threaten the life of the president. These are not tyrannical forces conspiring to keep you disarmed. They’re regulations put into check to address changes in society and possible abuses we’ve seen since the Constitution was written.
I know, I know. You REALLY want an AR-15. However, by your own admission, there are other weapons that won’t cause as much collateral damage. The AR-15 suffers from over-penetration, something I would think is a SERIOUS concern to someone who believes himself to be a responsible gun owner, and can be modified for full auto.
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns help, though. The AR-15 is designed to be used against hardened targets in a combat zone. If you need thirty armor-piercing bullets to stop a home invader, you’re either a really bad shot or you are in way over your head. You might be fighting a pack of velociraptors or terminators. In that case, I suggest actually moving.
Today, President Obama is pushing for a wide range of new gun laws after Vice President Joe Biden had a series of meetings with everyone from the NRA to video game creators.
Speaking to family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook massacre and children who wrote letters to the White House expressing concern about gun violence, Mr. Obama outlined their findings and actions being proposed, stating he would use “whatever weight this office holds” to get it through.
“Because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try,” he said. “This is our first task as a society: Keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”
The president, who was accompanied by Vice President Biden onstage, outlined a series of steps both political and administrative he says would limit access to guns and certain types of ammunition, make mental health care more attainable, and increase federal funds for both research and law enforcement. Invoking the words of children who wrote to him in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook murders, he urged Americans to demand change from Congress — and “get them on the record” about their positions on his various proposals.
“This will not happen unless the American people demand it,” he said.
CBS News 01/16/2013
It includes 23 executive orders that Obama plans to address immediately, without the need for approval by Congress.
Among the specific proposals:
• Keeping guns out of the wrong hands. The White House is proposing “universal background checks” designed to get at private gun sales that are not covered by the current system, which applies to federally licensed dealers. The plan also includes four executive orders designed to remove barriers to information sharing among state and federal agencies.
• Restricting “weapons of war.” Obama’s plan calls for limiting ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds. The document notes that the Newtown killings and the July attack in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., involved the kinds of semi-automatic weapons that were targeted by the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The administration also wants to maintain the effort to ban armor-piercing bullets.
The president is also proposing harsher punishments for gun trafficking between states, as well as federal money to help cities pay for more police officers.
In addition, Obama nominated a new leader for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; his previous nominee has been held up for years.
• School safety. The plan proposes money to help local school districts hire 1,000 new school resource officers and school counselors.
• Mental health. The administration is proposing Project AWARE, which stands for Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education. It would be designed to reach some 750,00 people to identify mental illness early in young people and refer them for treatment.
DesMoines Register 01/16/2013
A state official in Oregon is vowing to fight back against any attempt by the federal government to impose new gun control laws. Fox New is running this story with ferver, however, the only other source available is from the local affiliate, where it was picked up.
Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden on Monday saying he and his deputies would not enforce – nor allow federal officials to enforce – any new federal firearms laws in his county, according to a copy of the letter posted on the Linn County Sheriff’s Office website.
“Politicians are attempting to exploit the deaths of innocent victims by advocating for laws that would prevent honest, law abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines,” Sheriff Tim Mueller wrote in the letter dated January 14, 2013. “Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, Oregon.
“In summary, it is the position of this Sheriff that I refuse to participate, or stand idly by, while my citizens are turned into criminals due to the unconstitutional actions of misguided politicians,” Mueller said. KBIO2.com 01/15/2013
A Wisconsin elementary school may once again serve as the venue for a local gun club’s annual gun show, drawing the ire of some locals in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The Indianhead Rifle & Pistol Club has hosted the two-day event at Spooner Elementary School for the past 20 years, according to the Spooner Advocate.
The move has sparked outrage by some on Facebook after the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Defending Indianhead Rifle & Pistol Club’s plan to host its gun show at Spooner Elementary, school board member Willie Kauffman said the annual event is a community gathering that benefits students through the club’s payment to the school, which has previously amounted to around $1,000, the Spooner Advocate reports.
Wisconsin state law prohibits firearms within 1,000 feet of a school, but makes an exception for gun shows organized by licensed dealers and manufacturers. Similar exceptions and legal loopholes that allow unlicensed dealers to sell firearms without running the background checks on buyers that are required of licensed dealers have allowed gun shows to thrive, prompting recent calls for reform.
As part of a new strategy, Facebook is testing out a new “feature” where users are charged to send messages to people who are not in their friends list. Currently, this is being beta tested on select users and costs $1.00.
Facebook claims this is to curb spam, even though you can still send the message to the users “other folder” which does not alert them and basically puts it into what Facebook deems a spam folder. The only way to see these messages is to go into your message box and click the “Other” folder, where Facebook takes the liberty of determining what is and isn’t important based on whether someone has paid.
They also have a new special, where you can pay $100.00 to send Mark Zuckerberg a message.
A spokesperson told Mashable that they are “are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam.” While spam filtering is a nice service, some high-profile users might want to be paid the $100.00 to read a fan’s email, rather than letting the social network pocket the proceeds.
The test came to a swift end after Mashable brought attention to it. It’s currently free to send Mark Zuckerberg a message, so feel free to hit him up. Just know you’re going to end up in his shadow inbox.
NEWTOWN, Conn. – Police Chief Michael Kehoe has a message for the White House: “Ban assault weapons, restrict those magazines that have so many bullets in them, shore up any loopholes in our criminal background checks,” he said in an exclusive interview with NBC News.
Few have a more personal connection to the issue than Kehoe: He was one of the first on the scene at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 after reports came in of a shooting. He says he’s still haunted by flashbacks of what he witnessed when he entered the school from the rear — the eerie silence in the hallways, the smell of burnt gunpowder and then the bodies of dead children on the floor of the classrooms.
“I was sickened. I was angry,” he said. “It was something I never could have imagined could have happened in any school in Newtown.”
“We never like to think we’re going to be outgunned in any situation we’re dealing with,” he said. “We do a good job of securing dynamite in our society. … (Assault rifles) are another form of dynamite. … I think they should ban them.” NBC News 01/14/2013
As the debate continues, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll out Wednesday, 51 percent still do not favor an assault weapons ban while 44 percent do. A CNN and USA Today – Gallup Poll show 95 percent and 92 percent, respectively, support background checks on gun buyers.
Recently, a much more subdued Ted Nugent compared guns rights activists to Rosa Parks, citing legal and seemingly peaceful actions to take a stand against gun control.
“There will come a time when the gun owners of America, the law-abiding gun owners of America, will be the Rosa Parks and we will sit down on the front seat of the bus, case closed.”
However, on the January 13 edition of WorldNetDaily he appears to have changed course as he has subsequently compared Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder lead the administration’s gun violence prevention efforts with asking serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer for child-rearing advice.
Nugent was speaking to Aaron Klein of New York WABC Radio’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio
“Obama’s dream already exists, and those are called gun-free zones, and that is where the most innocent lives are lost,” Nugent told Klein. “What kind of monster would want more of these? Because if you ask for more gun-free zones, if you further disarm innocent Americans, you are literally engineering slaughters.” WND 01/14/2013
There’s no mention of the Secret Service paying Mr. Nugent a visit this time, yet.
Self-professed “gun nut” Keith Ratliff, who was a YouTube channel producer for fellow gun enthusiasts, was found fatally shot in the head in his Carnesville, Ga., home on Jan. 3. Police are investigating the case as a homicide.
Ratliff was a producer of a very popular YouTube channel with more than 3.4 million subscribers and over 537 million video views. ‘Every one of you should be able to own an assault weapon of your choice,’ Ratliff posted last year on YouTube. Ratliff was a channel producer for the FPSRussia, one of the top 10 most popular channels on YouTube.
“When our forefathers were around all arms were military arms. Yet for you and I to possess military arms you’ve got to have a stack of paperwork. You’ve got to be a business. You’ve got to have a federal firearms license. You’ve got to have a retail stamp. You’ve got to have a special occupations stamp. You have to have the type 10 or 7 manufacturing stamp. You’ve got to be incorporated to protect yourself,” Ratliff said.
Ratliff continued, “You’ve got to have all that paperwork just to get started. That limits who can own true military assault arms. I can own them. Most of you can’t. That should be illegal. Every one of you should be able to own an assault weapon of your choice because that’s what the Second Amendment is about. It’s about owning weaponry to allow you to defend yourself from all enemies no matter where they rise from.” NYDailyNews 01/10/2013
Police found numerous weapons at the crime scene, according to WSB-TV. Some of the weapons were even manufactured by Ratliff himself. “He (Ratliff) did sustain a gunshot wound that was not self-inflicted,” Mike Ayers of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told FoxNews.com.
Investigators from many agencies — including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — are investigating, and the GBI said Friday that they are making progress in identifying the shooter.
Several guns were found at the scene, but none of them were used to shoot Ratliff, the GBI said in a news release.
A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into a rural California high school on Thursday, shot one student and fired at others and missed before a teacher and another staff member talked him into surrendering, officials said.
The teen victim was in critical but stable condition, and the suspect, whose pockets were stuffed with ammunition, was still being interrogated, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference Thursday evening.
The suspect used a shotgun that belonged to his brother and went to bed Wednesday night with a plan to shoot two fellow students, Youngblood said.
When the shots were fired, teacher Ryan Heber tried to get the more than two dozen students out a back door and engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, Youngblood said. Campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields responded to a call of shots fired and also began talking to the teen.
“They talked him into putting that shotgun down. He in fact told the teacher, ‘I don’t want to shoot you,’ and named the person that he wanted to shoot,” Youngblood said.
“The heroics of these two people goes without saying. … They could have just as easily … tried to get out of the classroom and left students, and they didn’t,” the sheriff said. “They knew not to let him leave the classroom with that shotgun.” ABC News 01/13/2013