Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gun Misconceptions

Every time there is a mass shooting it seems to set off gun ignorance throughout the media. The media’s ignorance about guns is compounded in the general public.
The other day I had a relative, who’s husband has hunted his entire life, she who owns a defense gun and is licensed to carry, says to me about the AR-15, “We have to do something about these fast guns.”
The highest velocity data out there gives the velocity of a .223 factory loaded bullet under certain loads as 2750-4000 feet per second. I don’t think “slowing” down the bullet would help. I don’t think she meant “fast”…
I guess she meant automatic weapons which have been used in active shooter events in this country…like never. Maybe with Bonnie and Clyde.
This is someone who watches a lot of TV. And THAT is her problem. There is very little you can learn about guns from the news media or from Hollywood. There are some knowledgeable writers out there, but my guess is there is probably 1 in 1000 reporters that have real gun knowledge and less with experience.
I am pro-gun. But I don’t believe that someone who is not sure about guns or someone who does not agree with my opinion can have an intelligent discussion with me about guns without some knowledge. I’m not saying they need to be instructors or gunsmiths, or even “gun guys.” But how can I have an intelligent discussion about something I just have no experience with and even less knowledge about?
Don’t get your knowledge from someone ignorant of the subject. Don’t get it from polls or surveys, or statistics. I don’t want to sound a like a gun snob, but I would not discuss sewing with my wife, who is an exceptional seamstress, without having a little knowledge of what I’m talking about. I’d look like an idiot. When it comes to sewing I really AM an idiot.
This is what anti-gun people and the media look like when they try to give an intelligent argument for gun control and have no idea what they are talking about!
A while ago I had a co-worker of mine come to me completely frustrated. He had some gun training and carried a gun legally. His wife was so against guns, especially guns in their home, that this issue was affecting their marriage. He was frustrated and really wanted guns to not break up his marriage. He was going to sell his guns and forget about them rather than put his marriage in jeopardy. I told him I admired his devotion to his wife and his willingness to get rid of something important to him just to please his wife and have it not be an issue in his marriage. He was willing to sacrifice. That is commendable.
I told him to find time for me to give him and his wife a class. I started by not having a gun on the table. We sat down and I basically told them their story as I understood it. They agreed with my assessment of their situation. I then asked his wife what problems she had with guns.
The following is the misconceptions she had about guns, and what many people believe to be true about guns. This is because many people believe what the news tells them, even if the news is dead wrong. I don’t know why reporters and editors/producers are so OK with that type of integrity, but they seem to be.
Misconception #1: Guns are not safe.
This is a very general statement. When I asked what exactly she meant, she said guns kill or hurt people. I asked her if she had a power tool in her shed or a sharp knife in her kitchen. Of course everyone has these things. Having a gun is just as dangerous as everyday household items. Is it more dangerous to let a child play with a gun, or a knife? Both are equally dangerous in the wrong hands. Yet we don’t lock up our knives, power tools, or stoves even though our children can be hurt by them. I’m not suggesting not securing guns, I’m just suggesting that if you give kids proper training, and take away the taboo mystery of guns your kids will react the same as they do with other dangerous things in your house.
I have taught each of my kids, at an appropriate age, gun safety and gun handling. I did it often enough to where it was ingrained into them. I used to test them. I would get a new gun, one they had never seen before, and place it before them and tell them to make it safe. They would pick it up according to the safety rules and clear the weapon. They could do it almost every time. Once I had my son not be able to open a guns action to see the chamber because the safety wouldn’t let you open the breech without being off safe. But that is just knowledge of the gun. Once you know gun operation, it all has to do with the safety rules and handling.
I told this good wife that if we follow safety rules, every time a gun is handled, it will be safe.
I went over the rules with her and had her repeat some of them to me. Then I brought out a revolver. I showed her the basic operation of the gun and then told her to think of the rules, pick up the gun and ensure that it is safe. This she did. I then told her that guns don’t just “go off”. They are incorrectly handled and go off negligently. People are unsafe and dangerous, not the inanimate object.
There are no “accidental” discharges. There are, however, negligent discharges. Gun safety rules followed 100% of the time reduce negligent discharges to 0%.
Modern guns don’t “go off”. Without the trigger being touched, you can play hockey with a loaded gun and not worry. (Not a recommendation. That’s no way to treat a gun!)
Misconception #2: Automatic and Semi-automatic are the same.
An automatic weapon only needs to be loaded and then the trigger pressed for it to empty the magazine. A semi-automatic requires one trigger pull per round to shoot.
Automatic weapons are already heavily restricted. They are not used by very many criminals because they are not easy to come by. The average gun owner would not be able to afford an automatic. Not only that, an automatic goes through ammunition quickly. That can be expensive. Military weapons can be semi or fully automatic. Contrary to Hollywood and TV spraying bullets doesn’t do much but keep the enemies heads down. It’s very hard to control an automatic weapon and even harder to actually hit your intended target. Controlled fire is shooting that has a specific target. You can expend your ammunition with an automatic pretty quick. (700 to 970 rounds per minute for the M4A1)
Not too many people own, or shoot an automatic for the above reasons. The average gun owner is not licensed to buy an automatic and the average gun store isn’t licensed to sell them. They are very uncommon even in criminals and terrorists.
Misconception #3: Law enforcement are gun experts.
I asked my friend’s wife why she thought she trusted police with a gun. She said “Because they are the experts”.
Now I don’t want to be misunderstood. I like law enforcement (LE). I think this country has the best LE. I’ve shot with many from the LE community and many of them are excellent with a gun. Those that are serious about their shooting are usually good. It’s a low percentage of LE.
New York City police statistics show that simply hitting a target, let alone hitting it in a specific spot, is a difficult challenge. In 2006, in cases where police officers intentionally fired a gun at a person, they discharged 364 bullets and hit their target 103 times, for a hit rate of 28.3 percent, according to the department’s Firearms Discharge Report. They killed 13 people that year.

In 2005, officers fired 472 times in the same circumstances, hitting their mark 82 times, for a 17.4 percent hit rate. They shot and killed 9 people that year.

In all shootings — including those against people, animals and in suicides and other situations — New York City officers achieved a 34 percent accuracy rate (182 out of 540), and a 43 percent accuracy rate when the target ranged from zero to six feet away. Nearly half the shots they fired that year were within that distance.
Those that want to be good shooters usually do become good. But like anyone else, being good requires many hours and many rounds. Unfortunately, police budget constraints make this type of training unfeasible for most departments.
Misconception #4: Popular terms are not really correct terms.
The evil black gun, an AR-15, is really not evil. The AR in AR-15 does not stand for assault rifle. It stands for Armalite, the company that developed the shooting platform in the 50’s. Colt bought the trademark rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 in 1959. The term “AR-15” often is used to describe just about any type of conventional M4 or M-16 looking variant rifle. (M4’s and M-16’s are fully automatic)
A clip holds bullets and feeds them into a magazine. A magazine feeds bullets into the gun. There are a few exceptions to this. When they are interchanged you know you are dealing with someone who doesn’t know guns. It’s really not a big deal. But when someone uses correct terminology then I know that I’m dealing with someone with some knowledge.
Misconception #5: High capacity magazines kill too many people!
First, who decides what the definition of “high capacity” is? Law makers? Gun experts? The public? It seems that the media and lawmakers have come to a conclusion that over 10 rounds is too much.
After Columbine Colorado made laws that closed the “gunshow loophole”. I’m not quite sure what the gun show loophole is, but they tried to stop future mass shootings like Columbine. Never mind that those two clowns had 47 minutes unopposed in the Columbine school. Who needs large magazines when you have 47 minutes! Columbine did change how LE reacts to active shooters, which is good. The Colorado kneejerk laws didn’t seem to stop the Aurora shootings.
With very little practice you can change a magazine in about 4 seconds. That is relatively slow. I don’t know if that amount of time would make that much difference in an active shooter situation. If anyone has seen the 50’s-60’s series “The Rifleman” they would learn that a lever action rifle can fire rapidly. It holds 15 rounds and is tube fed. Limiting magazines to 10 rounds causes the active shooter to change magazines more often. It does nothing. I used to compete in crazy competitions when I was in the military. We did a shoot-off that we called “Bolt Thunder” every year. We would compete for time with bolt action rifles. It was very fun and a good challenge. It got to a point that our bolt action weapons were as fast as a semi-automatic. Tube fed, and lever action is as fast as any semi-automatic. It’s the reloading that takes a little longer.
I don’t know why educated, seemingly honest people would just believe the lies of the anti-gun and the ignorance of the media. But they do. I like the quote from a gun advocate:
“I’m not trying to convert you; I’m trying to educate you. If you’re going to be anti-gun after the fact, so be it, but do it with the requisite facts.” Colion Noir
Most Americans are not really anti-gun. Most have shot a gun or own one. They are not necessarily “gun guys”, but they are not anti either. Getting the correct information is essential.
I am a gun advocate. I think guns are an important part of our heritage. But I don’t fight with anti-gun people. What I try and do is educate people. Most of the time if someone is educated in gun truth, they won’t be anti-gun.
Semper Paratus
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