Friday, March 2, 2018

Reasons Why Banning AR15 Is Entirely Useless Idea

To begin, let us establish what an AR-15 is. The AR does not mean "assault rifle" or "automatic rifle" as many have come to believe. An AR-15 is a .223-caliber rifle originally manufactured by a company called Armalite. AR-15 simply means Armalite Rifle, model number 15. The basic design features have become ubiquitous to the point that many, many other rifles are incorrectly referred to as an AR-15. Companies such as Ruger, Bushmaster, and Daniels Defense produce weapons similar in appearance which are not in fact AR-15's. Also similar in appearance, and most often confused with, is the standard U.S. Army infantry rifle designated as the M-16, which was first introduced to combat during the Vietnam war. The M-16 is in fact an assault rifle, but is not available for general civilian use or purchase. The M-16 is a select-fire rifle. Meaning it can fire in semi-automatic mode, or one shot per trigger pull, like the the similar looking civilian rifle. The following two modes are not available on civilian rifles. Burst-mode will fire 3 rounds of ammunition for each trigger pull. This gives the ability to put several rounds on-target nearly instantaneously while also conserving ammo. And finally, we have the fully automatic mode, which makes for great scenes in action movies, but is not very practical in actual use. Simply holding the trigger down will allow rounds to be fired continuously until the magazine is empty. Simply "spraying lead" is not accurate for engaging multiple targets and rapidly depletes available ammo stores. But again, this is only available in rifles issued to military personnel and law-enforcement for the extremely rare occasion is might be useful. (Typically machineguns are used as suppression, so that other elements on your side can maneuver while enemies are forced to take cover. Full-auto may also be useful in "drilling" a hardened target or maybe engaging a larger target such as a car for example.) The ability to select-fire is the primary factor which differentiates an assault rifle from other combat and civilian rifles. Armalite sold their original model 15 design to Colt's Manufacturing Company in 1959. Subsequently, Colt went on to introduce the military grade rifle designated as the M-16 in 1964, and it was adopted as the official standard-issue rifle for the U.S. military in 1969. They also went on to refine and produce a semi-automatic civilian model called the Colt Armalite AR-15. Colt still retains the trademark to the AR-15 today, so other companies who manufacture similar rifles have to use their own model numbers for commercial sale. The AR-15 has been billed as "America's rifle" being the most popular and most adaptable rifle in American history. (Colt also manufactures what is arguably America's most popular handgun, the Model 1911 .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, which entered service for the U.S. military in the year 1911, but was largely phased out as the standard issue sidearm by the early 1990's in favor of the Beretta M9. Still, many elite special operations units continue to favor the 1911 to this day and it is still very popular in the civilian market as well.) Alternately to being viewed as America's rifle, many have come to revile the weapon due to inaccurate belief that it is an assault rifle, and due to its' perceived use in several high profile mass-shootings. The truth is that the AR-15 performs exactly the same way as so many other small caliber .223 civilian rifles which have a less menacing appearance, as so eloquently explained by Danny Farnsworth in the video appearing here, and on his Facebook page directly linked at his name.

So if it isn't the rifle that is actually so deadly, is must be the bullets it fires, right? Wrong. The .223-caliber round is actually one of the smallest available for a rifle. It was selected by the military specifically because it is less likely to kill an enemy outright, instead, only wounding him. (There are other reasons as well such as accuracy, rate of gravity decay, weight of carried ammo, etc.) Although it is true that the .223 rifle bullet has a very high velocity, which gives it power to penetrate light body armor, it leaves a very small hole and doesn't have very much "stopping power." For civilian use, .223-caliber rifles are typically used for hunting small game and are not generally considered to be practical even for deer hunting. While it may not make much sense to a lot of people that the military would use a "less deadly" bullet, it is actually a good battlefield tactic to wound your enemy rather than kill them outright. For example. Imagine you are a two-person patrol element that engages a 9-man enemy squad. If you score a kill shot, you will still have eight enemies firing at you. But if you only wound one of those opponents, suddenly it will take another 3 or 4 men out of the firefight as they tend to their wounded comrade and at least two to take him off the battlefield, leaving you now with only 4 to 6 enemies to deal with. Rinse and repeat. It is better to bleed out enemy resources than go in for the immediate direct kill when possible.

.223 vs .50 Beowulf
So what about so-called "assault" rifles with bigger bullets, like the AK-47? Well, again, even weapons similar in appearance to the Kalishnakov model 47, are not true military grade assault rifles. Civilian purchase and use is still limited to being semi-automatic only. The AK-47 fires a 7.62mm bullet, which is the same as a .30-caliber round. This bullet is still a lot smaller than let's say, the bullet fired by the Colt model 1911 semi-automatic pistol, which fires a .45-caliber bullet, that is to say it is nearly a half inch in diameter. That bullet has an enormous amount of stopping power, especially when combined with a semi-jacketed hollow point design. The jacket gives penetration power, while the hollow point flares as it penetrates the target, leaving an enormous hole. There are even bigger handguns such as the .50 caliber Desert Eagle, the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum, and even rarities in .55 or even .60 caliber. The picture shows the side by side comparison between the .223-caliber fired by the AR-15, and a .50-caliber Beowulf cartridge.

Let us consider now too, long guns that are not typically mislabeled as assault rifles, but rather seen for what they are, as weapons used for sport and home defense by your average American. As shown above, an AR-15 is the same as a more average looking rifle which fires the same exact bullet. We have mentioned that there are also more powerful rifles, such as the 7.62mm with the appearance of a Kalishnakov or other genuine assault rifle. There are other civilian rifles too though, that are less menacing in appearance but which are actually more deadly. One example is the Model 8 manufactured by Remington, and first introduced in the year 1900. The Model 8 is a semi-automatic rifle which come in a variety of calibers. The smallest round it fires is a .25-caliber, which is larger then the .223 fired by the AR-15. It fires other rounds on up to a .35-caliber including the .300 Savage rimless cartridge.

Model 8 by Remington

During this latest round of anti-gun hysteria, it has been brought up regularly that no one under 18 years of age should be allowed to buy a rifle. First, this seems absurd when you consider that at that age you are legally an adult, can operate far more deadly machinery such as motor vehicles, and can be sent off to war after being issued a select-fire/full-auto rifle. Would this age discrimination extend to the trusty old homestead shotgun as well? If so, then such a law would be entirely un-Constitutional as it would deny a tax-paying voting citizen of the right to keep and bear arms as well as the right to self-defense. It could also be easily circumvented by straw purchases.

But let's talk a little more about the shotgun for a moment. It is a long-gun, like a rifle, but they tend to operate a bit differently. When it comes to talk of banning rifles, or semi-automatic rifles, consider that a shotgun is neither of those and usually left out of the conversation. As American as apple pie, the trusty 12-gauge shotgun is an icon of home defense, hunting, sport shooting, law-enforcement and military, even rescue use. There is a very wide variety of ammo and can be loaded with specialty shot like less-than-lethal loads. In the past, farmers and ranchers would regularly load shotgun shells with rock salt, to run off trespassers with a painful but typically non-lethal burst. When it comes to tactical use though, the shotgun is well-suited to use inside of a building where the extended range that a rifle can achieve accurately is not necessary. Within a hundred yards, a shotgun is far more deadly. Effective range can be extended depending on your ammo. Most shotguns are pump-action, rather than semi-automatic. Which means that each time you discharge a shot, you have to pull the pump-lever to load another shell into the firing chamber. This is sometimes called "racking a load." It only takes a split second to do, and this loss of time is more than made up for by the stopping power of a shotgun. A slug shell is a single piece of lead or other metal that is fired from a shotgun. In comparison to the tiny .223 caliber of an AR-15, a slug shot is more than three times as large. When converted to imperial units, the 12-gauge slug is a stunning .72-caliber! A single shotgun shell can be loaded with a wide selection of pellet shot as well. This means for every shell discharged, a number of metal balls will be projected at one time. A 12-gauge can fire a triple-shot load. Three, beastly .60-caliber shots will be sent downrange for each shell fired. The most typical load of "buckshot" will send anywhere from 9 to 18 balls of metal, such as lead or tungsten, .330-inch in diameter each, hurtling downrange with a single pull of the trigger at one time. It is also sufficient to go through a car door. On the cusp between birdshot and buckshot rests an "F" load for a shotgun shell. Each pellet is slightly larger in diameter than the rounds fired by an AR-15. The AR-15 fires a 5.56mm (.223-caliber) bullet. A shotgun with an F load will fire at least 27 5.59mm pellets in a single burst. Comparatively, this is like emptying a 30-round magazine of an AR-15 all at once. Even a fully automatic M-16 can't achieve that. The "F" load is ideal for home defense as you can put a lot of lead on target at one time, but it doesn't have much penetrating power, so you are less likely to hit a family member in the next room with a shot through a wall. Shotgun loads are more accurate at shorter range than wildly firing with a fully-automatic machinegun. Both the choke and the load can be changed in order to achieve the desired spread and pattern of each burst fired from a single pull of a shotgun trigger. There are magnesium incendiary loads capable of burning right through heavy armor, heavy steel structural beams, and bullet-resistant windows. Standard incendiary loads such as Dragon's Breath, flashbang shells that must be the offspring of Thor himself, breaching loads that will blow armored and reinforced doors right off the hinges, and many many more specialty loads. And if you happen to be in the military or have a special Federal license, any of those loads can be used in the Earth shaking AA-12 full-auto machine-shotgun.

Now, let's have a look at school shootings, which is the topic that has set off the most recent anti-gun hysteria. The first recorded school shooting in what would soon become the United States was in Pennsylvania, when four Delaware American Indians entered a schoolhouse during Pontiac's War, shot the the schoolmaster dead, then killed 9 children with melee weapons. The first instance of an actual mass-murder shooting spree on school grounds happened in 1966 when Charles Whitman opened fire from a tower on the grounds at the Austin campus of Texas University. He was armed with a variety of pistols, rifles, knives and a sawed-off shotgun. It is important to note here that many civilians returned fire on Whitman from the ground, and a police officer even drove a student to his house in order to get his own rifle so that he could assist the the police and other civilians engaging Whitman. A number of civilians also stormed the tower with several being killed or permanently injured in the process. The death toll is counted at 17, including an unborn child, and another victim who did not die until 2001 as a result of injuries suffered in 1966. Although there were a number of school shootings after that, there wasn't another spree that killed more than ten people until the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The two shooters claimed 13 lives and exchanged fire with police before they both committed suicide. They used a variety of legal and illegal weapons, including d 99 explosive devices. The deadliest school shooting in the U.S. happened at Virginia Tech in 2007. The shooter used two standard unmodified pistols, one of which was a small .22-caliber typically used for varmint control or perhaps shooting squirrels and rabbits at short range. To date it is also the third deadliest spree shooting in the U.S. with 33 dead including the shooter. While any death is certainly tragic, it is important to frame this in some perspective here, when talking about how dangerous schools are, or the AR-15 rifle is and so forth. We must attempt to remove knee-jerk emotions here and apply sound reasoning instead.

Including the Texas massacre in 1966, 471 people have been killed as the result of criminal shootings in schools. It's a lot of people, without a doubt, and certainly tragic, but consider the fact that 3,477 people were killed in 2015 alone due to distracted driving. It is estimated that over 660,000 people are using their phones each day while driving, just during daylight hours alone. This means that cellphones are more deadly by far than any weapon that has ever been brought into a school, or for that matter, used in any mass murder at all in the U.S. We know that cars are dangerous though, and are one of the leading causes of accidental death with roughly 33,000 people being killed each year on our roadways. So let's compare the number of school-shooting fatalities to the very safest mode of travel, which is air-travel. Since the day Whitman opened fire on the Texas University campus, and excluding 9/11, there have been 2,583 fatalities involving airliners in the United States. Even without including private aircraft accidents, you are roughly five times more likely to be killed in a plane crash than in a school shooting. And we already know that your chances of being killed in a plane wreck are extremely low.

Accidents are accidents though, even when negligence is the root cause. So how do school shootings stack up against murder in general? In 2016 there were 15,070 murders in the U.S. Out of that, 374 were carried out with a rifle. Not AR-15's alone, but all rifles combined including single-action, bolt action or any other sort of rifle as well. You have a better chance of being beat to death by someone using their bare hands than by being shot dead with a rifle. You are also more than 4 times as likely to be stabbed to death, than be murdered with a rifle. Total number of murders with a rifle were 2.8% of all murders in 2016. That is about three-fourths the number or murders in one year with just a rifle, compared to total school shootings with any gun over an entire half century. So looking at these figures we see that school shootings, nor rifles of any kind, are anywhere close to being the social crisis that is being portrayed in the media. Again, as tragic as these events are, they are statistically insignificant.

As if all those numbers, facts, and reasoning weren't enough, here are some more amazing facts that make proposed gun-control measures utterly pointless other than simply being an imposition on our Constitutionally guaranteed liberty.

Take "garage guns" for instance. Home made improvised firearms constructed from scrap material and debris, or parts purchased at a hardware store, are perfectly legal. Even if they weren't, what is America going to do about it? Ban the Home Depot? China is the gun-control capital of the world, but has been unable to stop their dissident populations from building their own guns. In America, you can build your own guns legally. With the right tax stamps, it is even legal to make your own silencers and sawed-off shotguns.

You don't have the skill to build your own gun? No problem. While there is a major push right now to raise the minimum age to buy a rifle to 21, and even to ban the ubiquitous, small-caliber, semi-automatic AR-15, try not to get caught up in the media-induced hysteria. Machine guns, like the one pictured here, which were manufactured before 1986, may be purchased by anyone over 18 with a Federal class 2 license. To get a class 2 license you will have to pay a few hundred dollars in taxes and fees. You can also be exempt from providing your photograph and fingerprints, if you establish a living trust. Your local pawnbroker is likely to have one of these permits. With enough money you might be able to get your hands on one of these, legally. But the fun doesn't stop there.

Flamethrowers are also legal. There are no Federal laws regarding flamethrowers, and 40 out of 50 states have no laws whatsoever regarding them either. You can build one at home or you can buy one online for as little as $300.

Did he say thermite in that video? Why yes, he did. Thermite can be made at home with rust, and aluminum filings. Specific recipes are readily available online as well as the simple ingredients. Thermite burns at temperatures nearly as hot as the Sun. Aside from melting cars right through their engine blocks and gas tanks, this makes it useful for demolitions applications as it can easily burn through heavy load-bearing steel in a building. So, while most thermite varieties are not explosive, with a little engineering/architectural knowledge, anyone can really bring down the house without any bombs, planes, or boxcutters.

Speaking of bombs though, let's go out with a bang here. If you don't want to pay the few hundred bucks in government taxes for a class 2 permit to buy a fully automatic machinegun, and you are not enough of an engineer to bring down a building with thermite, there is the good old-fashioned big kaboom to get your message across. From the comfort of your couch you can order about $50 worth of tannerite which will get you this result.

Considering all of this, do you honestly believe that banning the AR-15 will have any practical, positive effect on public safety?