"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." -Martin Luther

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Gun Control: Assault Weapons

www.cnsnews.com: "Democrat Targets .50 Caliber Revolver for Nationwide Ban" Feb17, 2003

Gun Lethality Article

These two articles set the stage for me to geek out and laugh. I really got a kick out of them both. The first is just funny to me. The second discusses physics, one of my favorite subjects. The second article does go into some graphic detail of what bullets do to the human body, so be warned.
There are lots of questions about the government's role in controlling guns. Let's try to keep it within the spere of the government, though. Man should not ever need to kill man, but this doesn't mean a government is being peaceful by taking guns away from all the citizens, leaving only the outlaws with them.
Some people think a better course is to classify weapons as "Assault weapons" and "non-assault weapons". Ban the former from all citizens, and then you have weapons useful for self-defense, but not so much so for...killing people. I'm already getting tickled.
"'It's hard for me to rationalize any need or purpose' for the 500 Magnum, said Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) 'I think guns are made to kill people, that's my opinion.'"
What Representative Davis is getting at is that this weapon, a short range, .50 caliber revolver, is uneccessary, especially for hunting, for which it is advertised, and will only be used to kill people. My response, sober out of respect for our governmental authorities, but only because of that, is that all guns are made to kill things. Of course they are. Why else would you make them? That is their "need and purpose."
Or is it?
In the second article, a truly stunning statement is made.
The fact is that armies have learned they don't need or even want weapons to kill enemy soldiers

"On the battlefield," the article continues, "putting enemy soldiers out of the fight works just as well as killing them, and it has added benefits. The enemy must use resources to carry away and treat injured soldiers, and our own army can carry more bullets to put more enemy soldiers out of commission since the bullets are smaller and lighter than more lethal bullets."
Wow! This, apparently, is why the army has been downsizing its ammunition. From the .45 handgun of the world wars to the 9mm caliber now standard in the US army. From the .30 caliber of the M-1 to the 5.56X45 mm M-16 and M-4. For comparison accross the different caliber scales in use, note that the M-16 has an alternate .223 ammunition, compared to the .30 caliber.
These bullets, the article says, are designed, with the help of high airspeed given by the assault rifle, to penetrate through a target. They are not designed to spread or fragment inside, or deliver a heavy punch to the target. They cause small holes and bleeding. Because of their light weight, more can be carried per magazine and per soldier, and kick from firing is lower, increasing accuracy.
So, non-assault weapon handguns...are more likely to kill someone (at least at close range) than an M-16, presuming you are firing both weapons semi-automatic (one shot per trigger pull). Yes, since all versions of the M-16 have burst or fully automatic modes, they could be used more effectively than a pistol against multiple targets. But the idea that, because a weapon is big, powerful, and shoots a lot of bullets, is more dangerous than a handgun, is not correct.
Of course, the handgun in question in the first article is not a military weapon firing automatically with small caliber ammunition. It is a hunting weapon firing single shots with massive .50 caliber ammunition. Personally, I think it would be a great personal defense weapon. It is hard to conceal. All the better, if I am a peace loving citizen, I don't mind if a criminal knows I have a really big gun. It is big and loud. This is called fear factor. Its bullets are designed to cause massive wounds, and deliver a huge punch to the victim. Thing about firing an arrow through the water for M-16 bullets, and about a belly flop for the .50. That's an exxagerated example of what happens to human bodies. So, chances are, if I hit a criminal, he will most likely die, or, at the very least, be put out of commission from pain, or, if not that, knocked cold, or, if not that, knocked down. It carries only five bullets. Typically, criminals must deal with lots of targets. Citizens firing in self defense typically don't.
Just some thoughts. And I'm still laughing.

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