Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun laws probably to be strengthened

By Donald Sensing

Pretty much every commentator left, right and anywhere else, expects that the next Congress will take up firearms legislation and that existing gun control laws will be made stronger is some way. Note well that it doesn't mean the laws will be made better or more effective, just changed. Since to Congress, change equals progress, they will giddily announce a new Age of Aquarius and butterflies and unicorns has been born.

Anyway, White House spokesman Jay Carney says that the president does endorse specific new or renewed gun restrictions.

In addition to the proposed prohibition on assault weapons, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president would back legislation that closed so-called gun show loopholes and cracked down on high-capacity ammunition clips. Progressives have long targeted gun shows, saying weapon sales at such events did not require the same background and identification checks as purchases made at stores.
Okay, let's take a look at "assault weapons." I mean literally take a look:

Under the previous ban on assault guns (1994-2004), this rifle meets the legal definition of an assault rifle:

And this does not:

Yet functionally, they are exactly the same. Each is a .22-caliber, semiautomatic, magazine-fed rifle made by Mossberg. The top is the Model 715 and the bottom is Model 702. The barrels, bolt and magazine wells for each are identical to the other. The ammunition and effective range for both are identical. The 715 is illustrated with a 25-round magazine that also fits without modification into the 702 at bottom, like this:

What is the difference, then, between the two guns? None that affects the function:
  • I guess the 715 looks scarier than the 702. 
  • The 715 is about $150 more (suckers!) 
  • The 715 has a carrying handle, but that's a matter of convenience to haul it around and has nothing to do with its lethality. 
  • Identical scopes may be fitted to each. 
  • The 715 has a "quad-rail forend," extending around the barrel from the breech to the front sight. Various accessories may be mounted on the rails, such as a flashlight or laser sight. This may, under some conditions, marginally improve the 715's accuracy over the 702, but not much, and has nothing to do with making the rifle itself deadlier when fired. 
  • The stock on the 715 is adjustable in length, but not by much. It is not a folding stock.
The White House wants to ban the top gun and leave the bottom one alone. There is no difference between them that affects function, mechanical rate of fire, range, ammunition or lethality. 

But wait, you say: what about banning "high-capacity" magazines? The 702's included magazine holds 10 rounds. Let's compute times for each gun to shoot 100 rounds. The triggers for both (being identical) can easily be pulled five times per second. Actual trigger-pulling time for each rifle to 100 rounds is therefore 20 seconds (okay, technically 19.8, but we'll round off). 

It takes a shooter three seconds to swap out magazines in a hurry. To shoot 100 rounds with the 715 requires three magazine swaps, or nine seconds of changeout time. Shooting 100 rounds with the 702 requires nine changeouts, or 27 seconds, 18 seconds more. 

Total shooting times:
  • 715 - 29 seconds
  • 702 - 47 seconds
Now, in a gunfight, 18 seconds can be a long time, but you're only getting them three seconds at a time. I don't say they don't matter, but I do say they don't matter as much as gun controllers think. The so-called "high-capacity" magazine ban is eyewash; like almost all gun-control laws, it is intended to give the appearance of doing something when  it does not.

After all, there are literally millions of 10-plus capacity mags already "in the wild," so to speak. What would the administration do about them?

Another example:

This is the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle. It fires 5.56mm NATO-standard ammunition, basically the same as the .223-caliber rounds Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook school. The Mini-14 Ranch has an internal fixed-magazine capacity of five rounds. Under both the expired and proposed renewed "assault weapons ban," this rifle's sale and use would not be affected. It may also be purchased with a 20-round magazine. There is also a "Mini-30" variant that fires 7.62mm ammunition.

This is the Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle:

All the shooting parts are exactly the same as the Ranch rifle, it just looks scarier. It would fall under purview of the proposed renewed ban. It has a 20-round detachable magazine, pistol grip, flash suppressor and a folding stock. It fires the same ammunition as the unbanned Ranch to the same effective range at the same mechanical rate of fire.

So suppose the ban does get renewed, I absolutely guarantee that Ruger or an aftermarket maker will produce a 10-round magazine for the Ranch. So what will have been accomplished for "gun control?" Nothing. It will all be eyewash.

So how silly was the old ban, and how silly will be its renewal? Bob Owens reviews the sorry legacy of the 1994 ban and offers these two illustrations.

This was a banned "assault weapon:"

This was a permitted rifle that was not an "assault weapon:"

What will our politicians do? The same thing they've been doing all along - create more problems that cost more money and solve no issues. And then campaign on the result.

Update: This from Business Insider:

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