Essay by Yankee Papa (all rights reserved)
Someone asks you, “Why would anyone want an “assault rifle…?”
The hysteria over “assault rifles” has swept a large segment of the population. A senseless tragedy has been used by a hostile Administration as a propaganda “Reichstag Fire…”
The constant drumbeat plays on the worst fears of those with no training or experience in handling firearms. Back in the 1970s a well known advice columnist beat the drum… advising readers that their children could “order bazookas from mail order catalogs…” I’m sure that letters were sent to her advising that mail order of any modern firearms stopped in 1968… But like the rest of her ilk, she did not let the facts deter her campaign.
Of course, with few exceptions, private American citizens do not own “assault rifles…” An assault rifle is a military weapon of intermediate caliber that is designed to fire on full auto by the use of a selector switch. But the campaign of fear and loathing is designed to convince the uninformed that “If it looks scary, it must be an “assault weapon…”
Above is an ad for a Ruger@ 10-22 plinker in its standard form. Obviously the ad company was ignorant as they have it listed as a “semi-automatic shotgun…” Still… harmless looking. But the next ad is for a kit to make the 10-22 look like a German MG-42 machine gun. No alteration has been made to the rifle’s function or rate of fire… it is simply an elaborate (and purely cosmetic) stock.
But now, in the eyes of those who stoke the fires of the witch hunt… and the hysterical… it is obviously an “assault weapon…” Any firearm with a bayonet lug automatically becomes an “assault weapon” (used in drive-by bayonetings no doubt…)
Sometimes the media refers to “high powered assault weapons…” A 30.06 is a high powered rifle… an M-16 is an assault rifle (firing a round smaller than full-sized, but larger than pistol size)… but by definition (and practical use) high powered assault rifles are of no use… they can’t be controlled in the full auto mode. The M-14 full-auto version was a failure.
A Browning Automatic Rifle can handle full auto, but its weight and size and caliber takes it far out of the assault rifle category… and into the realm of light machine guns and essentially out of the hands of most citizens.
If most soldiers insist on referring to any metal fragments coming from an explosion as “shrapnel” (actual shrapnel is a specific type of load), I suppose that it is too much for the uninformed to care about the difference between an AR-15 and an M-16.
Back in the late ’60s the anti-gun movement ranted that it was only against “Saturday night specials” (like “assault weapons” sometimes loosely defined…) In essence, inexpensive handguns… (all that a poor family could afford for home defense.) Endless promises were made that the movement would never go after peoples’ “long guns…”
Using Soviet style negotiations, (“What’s ours is ours, what’s yours is negotiable…”) they have spent generations chipping away at firearm ownership. They are no longer interested in debate… there is nothing to debate… they are right and those who do not agree are demented or evil.
Millions of gun owners are portrayed as hicks who keep “assault weapons” to “Kill Commies for Christ…” or “Mutants after the balloon goes up…” That is, when of course, they are not planning to gun down countless school children.
The witch hunters do not want the mobs educated… and the hysterical refuse to listen to the facts (innocence is no defense…) But there are some out there who are not hysterical… who think that there is room for “compromise…” They are the ones who are the target of a “Fabian campaign…” They will listen… up to a point.
So… one of these people asks you, “Why would anyone want an assault rifle?”… you have a brief window of opportunity. Getting technical is not the best way to start… even when they understand the difference between an AR-15 and an M-16… the former is still an “assault rifle” to them.
Going into the 2nd Amendment is likely to cause their eyes to glaze over. Yes, that is a massive part of the argument, but it is unlikely to be a good opening move. The Founding Fathers used the term “The States” when they meant powers reserved to the States and “The People” when they meant the People. The ownership of 2nd Amendment weapons by those who choose to own them might be one definition of the difference between a “Citizen” and a “Subject…”
But the 2nd Amendment has been deliberately construed to mean “The right of the Government to bear arms shall not be infringed…” and applying the right to the People is actively demonized… Unless you are in a long and casual scholarly debate… the 2nd Amendment is not your best opening move.
From the early 1980s until 1995, I ran a modest “newsletter…” Friends from various places would send me articles and cartoons and poems. From time to time I would print up and mail collections to these people. By late 1995 most of us were on the web and items of interest could be sent to all interested in a matter of minutes. The newsletter ceased to exist.
But the last edition had a story that has refused to go away… gangs infiltrating the police. Above is the article printed in 1995… I also made mention of gang members in the military. If you read the article you will see that not only Constitutional considerations hampered the Chicago Police Department in preventing this infiltration… but the Police Union itself.
Between 1992 and 1995 “…at least 15 police officers have been charged with crimes, forced to resign or investigated for membership in a street gang…” Those numbers have only gone up. The Police Union position was: “The union has a responsibility to defend the right of officers to associate with anyone they want…”
Most large police departments have a “phone only” policy… Prowler breaks a window on your car, the police give you a report number and you pass it on to your insurance company. But Chicago, which has the largest number of gang members in America (more below) has decided that the above crimes can be handled over the phone… Many perps who are in fact caught by the police are caught within minutes of the report… The gangs don’t have to sweat that any more…
The city of the Robocop film where the police largely just protect themselves is nearing reality. Chicago is the poster child… In 2012, Chicago recorded 506 homicides.. most gang related. Where is the outrage… the hysteria? All that is said is that “Gun control will keep guns out of the hands of gangs…”
“The Latin Kings have over 25,000 members in the city of Chicago alone and have organized chapters in over 41 states and several Latin American and European countries, including: Mexico, Spain, Dominican Republic, Canada, Italy, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Brazil, United Kingdom and others.
Large cities have a vested interest in denying that gangs exist… or that they are any kind of a major threat. Mayors in most large cities can’t think farther than the next election… and they don’t want the electorate to demand action that is both complex and expensive… Police chiefs know that if they want to keep their jobs, they won’t contradict the mayor.
The Seattle Police Department had a chance to nip the gang movement in the bud in the 1980s… but the official policy was that “there are no gangs… just wannabees…” Meanwhile hard core gang recruiters from California were setting up very real gangs in Seattle. Google the list of street gangs in Seattle and you will be shocked by the number. For an even bigger shock, look at the number of gangs on the Navajo reservation alone…
Some mayors try to pretend that most gangs are just another type of “neighborhood association” and are a “positive force…” Having taken that position… cracking down on them causes outcries of “racism” from radical politicians.
And of course… the infiltration problem: LAWENFORCER goes on to state:
Again, the military is mentioned. Just as police chiefs know better than to say that “the emperor has no clothes…” generals play down the problem. It is not that “armies” of soldiers belonging to gangs will overrun the country… it is rather that weapons and tactics training… and access to serious weaponry to equip their gangs… National Guard units have had some of the biggest problems…
The FBI’s 2007 report on gang membership in the military stated that the military’s recruit screening process is ineffective, and allows gang members/extremists to enter the military. The report listed at least eight instances in the previous three years in which gang members had obtained military weapons for their own use.
The Administration and the witch hunters play up a relative handful (in a population of 300 million) ghastly incidents. But the threat of gangs in America is the elephant in the room that they refuse to talk about (except to imply that if law abiding citizens did not have weapons, the gangs would not…) In fact some sources of gang information are drying up.
Criminal street gangs are responsible for the majority of violent crimes within the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs, according to a 2009 report by the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, or NDIC.
The street gangs have learned what the bikers did before them, and the Mafia before them… If you are swimming in money, you can hire $1200. an hour lawyers. For many crimes they can get you off… for others they can plea bargain you way down. If all else fails, they can get you out on bail for a very long time… or if remanded… cause endless delays… (until maybe some witnesses vanish and others have memory problems…) An honest citizen brought up on a “technical” violation or in error gets to face the full weight of government funded prosecution.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Gulag Archipelago) talked of how as an artillery officer in the Red Army in WWII he wrote a letter to a relative complaining of Stalin’s wasting of soldier’s lives. The NKVD showed up and arrested him.
On the train heading to Siberia there were many soldiers in his situation… there were also many thugs… Normally the soldiers could have wiped the floor with the thugs… but the thugs had home made weapons… if they were caught with them the guards would simply take the weapons away and give the thugs a beating… “After all… they’re criminals… how do you expect them to behave…?” But since the soldiers were *not* criminals they fell into the category of *political prisoner*… and a “political prisoner” with a weapon equals… a terrorist. If the soldiers had so much as a club they would either be shot or have their sentences increased.
It is no use telling the witch hunters or the hysterical that “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns…” The hysterical don’t believe that for a second… and the witch hunters don’t care. They can’t or won’t go after the countless thousands of gang members who are guilty of a felony simply by owning a firearm… which their first felony conviction prohibited… (a feeble effort at some of the right wing crazies… but only if they are without massive financial resources for high-priced “mouthpieces…”)
But like the NKVD guards, they would lead the charge against any honest citizen for the slightest violation… technical or otherwise… on even the slightest suspicion. Standard drill is that if they target you, your firearms will be confiscated and even if absolutely vindicated you may spend years trying to get them back… if ever.
In the early days of this administration, one of their departments prepared a report about terrorist groups… Seemed to obsess on “domestic terrorists” Not so much gangs… but returning combat veterans. The paper leaked, veterans organizations howled and the administration immediately distanced itself… but the tone was set. It is not the returning gang members from Iraq and Afghanistan who are the potential terrorists…
Meanwhile… the good old days of a single burglar who preferred an empty house is giving way in many places to home invasions by numbers of well armed (and legally sheltered) criminals. As their firepower increases… the move is on to reduce the firepower of millions of honest citizens…(and to eventually disarm them completely…this is not paranoia… it is the often stated goal of most anti-gun organizations to have a “utopia” where only the police and military have firearms…)
Mexico has both the “right to bear arms” and laws that make it impossible for citizens to have legal arms of most types… A .38 pistol here, a single barrel shotgun there… not much compared to what the drug gangs imports from the BATF, the U.S. and other foreign countries.
While many Mexicans have more than what the law allows, they know that (unless they are rich and powerful) that the government will crush them if they show up in public with banned weapons. At the end of this posting I have attached an item on Mexican gun control laws.
Of major interest to me was that some of the poor Mexicans are finding it impossible to live with the drug gangs… and though miserably armed, have tried to restore law and order… Their courage is of a most desparate sort. I have posted the links immediately below:
Mexican drug cartels operate on both sides of the border. For now they try to keep a much lower profile on this side… though there are many killings and kidnappings… they try to “keep it in the family…”… for now…
So, if someone asks you why anyone would want an “assault weapon” you might give a brief summary of some of the above… Have facts and links written down if you are “called” on your statements.
Remember that you are law abiding citizens… do not make wild statements or comments about “my cold dead hand…” to those who think that maybe “compromise” is a good idea… but are willing to hear you out.
Keep your politics out of it except where specific to the issue. Many Democratic Congressmen oppose the witch hunt (if only because they come from “gun” parts of the country…) and some Republicans favor punishing law abiding gun owners. Much of the media loves to interview frightened people about gun control… and then tries to locate the most ignorant inbred yokel to give an “opposing view…”
You might be the only gun owner that this person knows… They are likely to judge all gun owners by how you comport yourself…