Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Public Service Announcement: Know Your Guns Before Banning Them

So, with all of the (predictable) hubbub cropping up after the Connecticut school shooting about gun control, I couldn't help but notice that the same old tired rhetoric keeps getting thrown around that is just plain ignorant. I mean, the majority of the people whining about guns don't know a thing about them. You hear words like "semi-automatic", and "armor piercing hollowpoint", and "assault weapons". So, I have created a handy guide, of sorts, to point out some of these things.

I am by no means a gun enthusiast, nor do I own much in the way of weaponry. Most of my experience was in the military with weapons that, even I would admit, probably shouldn't be sold at Walmart.

Without further ado....

No Automatic

So, one of the biggies is that "semi automatic" weapons are just too deadly to be allowed "on the streets". Which is odd for several reasons. The first reason is that there are rarely shootouts between law-abiding citizens in the streets. I've been on a lot of streets and have never seen it. Gangs shoot each other on the streets, but they don't follow laws anyways.

The other reason this is strange is because, other than high-powered bolt action rifles and some shotguns, most any modern weapon is at the least a semi-automatic. Even a modern revolver is technically a semi-automatic weapon.

Arguably semi-automatic, but it gets the job done

All a semi-automatic weapon is, is a weapon that chambers the next round and readies the weapon for firing, without any other action from the shooter than pulling the trigger. "Semi" means, the trigger must be pulled for each shot. So, basically, a semi-automatic weapon, in today's era of weponry, is just a normal gun, like a pistol.

This is a semi-automatic weapon...like any old pistol.

To ban semi-automatic weapons, as I heard a couple idiots on the radio say is the "answer", would mean that you would have to physically load the next round before firing a weapon. Imagine...you are conceal carrying your 18th century musket rifle, and all of a sudden a bad guy shows up and points a gun at an old woman on the streets. And so you, being the hero that you are, whip out your musket and take a shot at the bad guy...but you only graze him. So he turns his gun towards you, very angry now. So, to take control of the situation, since you don't have a semi-automatic weapon, you:

1. Convince the bad guy to pause for about 30 seconds.
2. Add some powder to your musket, pouring it into the muzzle.
3. Pack a charge into the barrel and tamp it down tightly.
4. Cock back the firing arm, raise the rifle and aim.
5. Tell the bad guy "game on!", and then try and shoot him again.

Ok, yes, I know, modern bolt action rifles are also not automatic...but I wouldn't go up against a guy with a modern pistol with one if it was at close range.

Full Automatic

So that brings us to fully automatic weapons. For the most part, these are military weapons with a burst setting and a full auto setting. Full auto means you can hold the trigger down and the weapon will continuously fire until out of ammunition. These guns are pretty much illegal already, and even most criminals don't use them much because they are expensive and hard to get...but also, they aren't very good for killing people really. 

I know, that sounds silly. But as I learned in my various range master trainings, full auto is generally only good for making a lot of noise and keeping the enemy's' heads down. It is a suppression feature, not an auto kill feature like it is in video games. Most would-be killers and bad guys are generally only interested in taking heads off, not keeping them down. So it isn't worth it to get these things, especially when they run through ammo so fast. The only non-military people who really really want them, are generally people who like to turn old cars into swiss cheese replicas at recreational shoots. And so I fully support them being legal. I'm more afraid of good semi-automatics than full automatics myself.

"Assault" weapon

And then there are assault weapons. These are generally military-looking weapons that aren't really any more powerful than a good pistol. Depending on the type, they may be better with range or accuracy, but for the most part, their only "edge" over other semi-automatic weapons is that they are scary looking, because they look military. I recommend one for home defense, because you probably won't even have to shoot a bad guy with it. He'll be running when he sees it.

Armor-piercing Hollow Point Bullets

This seems to be something of a joke now...the armor piercing hollow point bullet, because as we all know a bullet without a point is best at penetrating things. That is why I use spoons to stab people with.

A hollow point bullet is really ideal for personal defense, even though it has a bad reputation among people who know absolutely nothing about guns and want to ban them. Hollow points do a lot of damage to the person they hit...but, and this is the important part...they are designed to not penetrate deeply. In other words, if you shoot a bad guy with a hollow point, it should hit him, mess him up inside, but not go through him and hit the poor old lady behind him. That's a good thing, because it lowers the risk of accidental casualties.

Could a hollow point pierce armor? Maybe? Depends on what the bullet is made of and what the target is. But hollow points are made for doing the opposite of penetration, so it's a nonsense thing that people claim hollow points can do.

So, there you go. Just a short little guide on some of the things people talk about in gun control "debates". For information on guns, use Google.

I mean, that's really all there is to it.

But Google wisely...


  1. Thanks, Keln. I'm not a big gun person myself. That was helpful.

  2. Btw, now that I'm the only protector in my home, would you recommend I learn how to use and get a gun? Which one?

    1. I would recommend you learn how to use one, then decide if you want to get one. Your comfort level should tell you the answer. I also recommend gun safety training for everyone at the earliest practical age, partly because I learned respect for weapons at an early age, and mostly because we don't want people learning about the potentially deadly effects of firearms by trial and error, do we?

  3. I would note some additional information for those who want to learn more about this matter. The "armor piercing" capability of ammunition is measured by degrees. Most people think this refers to "cop killer" type ammo, which may be full metal jacket bullets or other configurations meant to defeat bulletproof vests, etc... Some search of Bing on "Geneva Convention Bullets" might provide some insight, in that full metal jacket bullets are more likely to wound a soldier rather than killing him. This was meant to deplete the resources of the enemy, because it takes more people to care for an injured man than a dead one. The degrees of "armor piercing" can also go up to ammo with incendiary components, meaning that they can penetrate armor steel plate, i.e. tanks. What you said about hollow points is true, they are designed to expand, and do more internal damage, hence their popularity for hunting.

  4. Congrats, I am a Firearms Expert and you did a fine job of explaining things so a Liberal Media Elitist would understand them. Now if you can only get them to read it....

  5. Great presentation. I never had much interest in these things until it became apparent Obama wants to take away guns from us in defiance of the Second Amendment. My husband is an avid hunter and has been around guns all his life. He has been drilling into my head the very things you put together here. It's as if you two have the same notes! A few weeks ago I purchased my first gun, a Bersa .380, designed for concealed carry. I am taking a class in January to get a conceal carry permit. I am a cautious person by nature and will use proper gun protocols whenever I have it with me. The downside is that the govt. knows I have this and will try to take it away someday soon.