Poll question on guns

I am generally opposed to banning “assault rifles” for two reasons.

First, we had a 10-year ban starting in 1994, and the results were mixed, at best. That’s why the law was allowed to sunset.

Second, “assault rifle” is not a legal term, like the media-popular “weapon of war.” It is basically a rifle fitted with “cool” gimmicks — such as a pistol grip, tripod, flash suppresser, night vision score, and silencer. An estimated 20 million Americans own one.

In one respect, it is different than an ordinary hunting rifle. While the typical bullets used are of a small calibre (often .223), they are very high velocity. That is why they are so deadly, and cause so much damage when they strike a human.

My question is this: Might it make more sense to regulate the deadly velocity, rather than to fiddle with the “look” of a gun?

This is a serious topic. I am interested in serious replies. Jokes will not be appreciated.

16 thoughts on “Poll question on guns”

    we salute MEMORIAL DAY
    I can’t get technical here. I never concerned myself about the amount of grams you could pack into any cartidge or the sped that you delivered that bullet.
    From the beginning of time, man has improved on all technologies. Weapons are right up there. In Vietnam, we used everything from machetes to the biggest gun a guy could carry. Usually a .30 cal. Ground weapons were obviously larger.
    The point of all of this is weapons, when used for that particular purpose – killing, do just that. There was a shell that was considered inhumane. Basically, a shotgun shell was loaded with say ( for civilians) finishing nails. The projectiles would travel end over end, destroying everything in its path. Elephant grass was mowed down. People were mowed down – in pieces. I think that the U.N. banned the shell.
    Today, we fire a host of bullets or projectiles. Gone is the simple bullet that you use in target practice. These bullets basically explode on impact, Meaning, when they hit the target – a human, that body is riddled with fragments. Survival is doubtful. Loss of limb is probable.
    That’s the short version. Not much help.
    So why is this ammo available to modern civilian ? Why is body armor available to that same individual ?
    We agree on 2A. We agree on improving/updating the laws. We will probably agree on this as well.

  2. Stu,

    It might make a difference on the margin, but I expect that the 21 victims in Uvalde would be just as dead with slower bullets.

    1. Actually, Andrew, that might not be completely correct. The problem with the very high velocity bullet is that, once it enters the body, and before it exits, it “tumbles” through the flesh and organs, ripping and shredding everything in its path before exiting (and they don’t always exit). And the exit wound from a high velocity bullet, is especially devesting, leaving an area that can be 50-100 times larger/wider than the entry wound.

      This is why you hear emergency workers describe the victims of these type of carnage as “unrecognizable.” If the entry point is the head, there is nothing much left of a head to describe. If it’s an upper body wound, organs are found 10-20 feet or more from the victim,

      A lower velocity round causes much less damage, and there are many times when recovery from same is possible.

      There is sufficient proof of what I have described above in both medical and battlefield journals.

      High velocity ammo was designed to kill maximally on the battlefield. It just a shame the battlefield is, too many times, at our front doorsteps. So yes – your description above, which certainly has merit, just means we need to pay as much attention to available ammo availability as to the person on the other end of the muzzle.

      1. Stu, I got that these bullets are more lethal. I just don’t think it made a difference in this circumstance. From inside 30 feet, if the first bullet didn’t take the kid out, this deranged shooter would simply have shot them again.

  3. This is a tough issue. 2nd amendment must be considered. Mental health of all people possessing a firearm or assault weapon must be in compliance with current state and federal laws. My experience found murder is committed in a variety of ways, by baseball bat, knife, fists, antifreeze, strangulation and vehicles. However mass fatalities or spree killings can be reduced by limiting access of future purchases of AR-15 or similar weapons. However the horse has left the barn already, with hundreds of thousands of these weapons in legal and illegal possession of our citizens. Limiting purchases of ammunition may be one of many ideas that reduce spree or mass killings. Purchases of ammunition can be strictly monitored though use of a strict identification process. However we will continue to have straw purchases of ammo. Smart Guns with fingerprint identification can limit access to unauthorized users. However, the saying “if law abiding citizens have their firearms taken, only criminals will have guns.” Reduced amount of gunpowder in each bullet or cartridge may reduce the casualty rate. Law abiding citizens who are responsible gun owners must maintain their right to protect themselves and their family.

    1. Thank you for your response.
      There are 20 million AR-15 type weapons in private hands. The idea of regulating ammomhas been raised, along with levying a HEAVY tax on semi-automatics. Fingerprints would not have shooters, most of them who used their own guns.

      1. One other issue could reduce gun violence. Congress could make an exception to the HIPPA laws and mandate , hospitals, police, shrinks and social workers to report threats and deranged people to ATF. These actions could help, but the blowback from lawyers representing those labeled or diagnosed as a danger to society will be an immense challenge. Just an idea.

        1. I am under informed on this issue. I believe there IS a law requiring mental facilities to report to a federal data base. The Tines had a story a few years ago that many states ignore that law.
          Why that does not conflict with HIPPA I do not know.

  4. The deeper we try to probe into acceptable controls, the more confused becomes the issue. I remain completely flummoxed as to what can be done, absent complete confiscation.

  5. If the question is whether a deranged person with a firearm designed for a lower velocity projectile would kill less people? My opinion is sadly no.

    I am really grateful for your insight. These are important topics to discuss and will never be reasonably addressed on MSM. Thank you!

  6. Rifles, as you pointed out before, remain a tiny fraction (ie distraction) of firearm deaths.

    The focus needs to be on pistols, secured pistols in the home, and licensure/registration that verifies continuity of ownership on some manageable interval for pistols (every 3 years?). The black market is too robust as it is, gun shops should also be held accountable. When someone comes in and buys their 5th Glock 19, the shop should be responsible to do something about that. As has been well documented there are a small number of sellers that clearly turn a blind eye to blatant illegal activity happening one transaction outside of their establishment.

    1. This is why I support laws requiring owners to report “lost” or “stolen” guns. That is aimed at straw purchases. No penalty for the first “lost” gun. Maybe a fine for the second, after the third, you lose your right to own because you are a proven incompetent.

  7. Maybe a corollary would be to require strict licensing of body armor. The Buffalo mass shooter was actually hit by a bullet fired by the security guard, but it did not penetrate his body armor. Body armor negates the effectiveness of the proverbial “good guy with a gun” not to mention the ability of the cops to take down the shooter. There is no 2A right to body armor, so Congress can regulate under the commerce clause. Currently, federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from owning body armor–however no background checks are required to purchase it, which seems odd given the prohibition. Also, steeper sentencing is imposed when a person wears a vest while committing a violent or drug-trafficking federal crime. Many states have similar laws.

    So maybe a licensing procedure similar to the restrictions some states have for concealed carry (e.g. known or likely assassination targets, folks who have been subjected to credible threats or whose jobs include transporting large amounts of cash and the like) would be in order. It seems to me that unless one is planning to engage in a firefight, or has a reasonable likelihood of being hit by gunfire–say while hunting with a group (See Dick Cheney), there is no reason to acquire it.

    In general I doubt very much that there is a silver bullet (no pun intended) that will solve the problem of mass shootings in this country. So I would agree with you that an assault weapons ban is not a solution, but I think it may be part of the solution. A locked door doesn’t prevent burglary if your ground floor window is open. That doesn’t mean you should leave your door unlocked. I think we need a constellation of things, rather than go looking for a single panacea to fix the problem. Seems to me that your solution regarding ammo might work better in the presence of a assault weapons ban and other regulation by coming at the problem from multiple sides–more difficult to get the gun, more difficult to the ammo, more difficult to get the body armor. Lock the door and the windows and add some burglar bars. Still doesn’t guarantee someone won’t break in, but it reduces the chances.

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