Rifle or “Assault Weapon”?

As we near the 2016 Election day, I am sad to report that the stupid is surfacing in force on the interwebs.

I’ve had enough run ins with people defending the criminal Clinton’s “I respect the Second Amendment, but…” garbage, which inevitably leads to them trying to convince… someone (I’m not sure who because I’ve forgotten more about firearms and firearms law than they will ever know) that “Assault Weapons are bad mmmkay?”

Look, there is no easy or simple way to say this other than: you’re a buffoon if you believe that an “Assault Weapon” is a thing other than a code word for “guns that look scary, but are no different than other guns that don’t.”

Harsh? Maybe, but anti civil rights gun grabbers seem to have a hard time with the truth.

Look, let me give you an example of why you look like a complete and utter moron when you parrot the “Assault Weapons are too dangerous…” type of drivel that the gun grabbers have been feeding you for 30 years.

This is a basic AR15:


Super scary assault weapon baby killing murder machine, complete with “shoulder thing that goes up”

Caliber: 5.56 Nato/.223 Remington
Action: Gas operated magazine fed semi-automatic
Cyclic Rate: 800 rounds per minute 
Effective Rate of Fire (RoF): 12-15 rounds per minute 
Semi-automatic Rate of Fire (RoF): 45 rounds per minute
Factory Magazine Capacity: 10-32 round magazine (depending on model configuration)


Now this is a Ruger Mini-14:


Wood stock, hunting rifle (this one is actually a Ranch Rifle model)

Caliber: 5.56 Nato/.223 Remington
Action: Gas operated magazine fed semi-automatic
Cyclic Rate: 750 rounds per minute
Effective Rate of Fire (RoF): 12-15 rounds per minute
Semi-automatic Rate of Fire (RoF): 45 rounds per minute
Factory Magazine Capacity: 5-30 round magazine (depending on model configuration)

Now let’s talk about that for a moment.

Cyclic Rate is a technical measurement, showing a theoretical maximum rate of fire. The Cyclic Rate for both of these rifles is kind of a lie, because neither of those rifles are fully automatic, and the Cyclic Rate is measured in fully automatic fire with an “unlimited magazine” (these are special testing devices that use a machine to continually feed ammunition into the rifle, and they’re about the size of a large desk). The Cyclic Rate for both of these rifles was measured on their fully automatic variants (the AR15 used the M16A2 info and the Mini-14 used the AC-556 info). As applied to these rifles the Cyclic Rate is simply the measurement of how fast the action can cycle in one minute under ideal test conditions on average.

The Effective Rate of Fire is the rate that these rifles can sustain firing without mechanical malfunction or meltdown over an extended period of time (I believe the testing criteria is one hour of sustained fire).

Semi-automatic Rate of Fire is measured by wildly pulling the trigger as fast as possible, without any kind of aiming, while changing factory capacity magazines as needed. This is nowhere near real world effective rates of fire when requiring aiming.

Factory Magazine Capacity is the quantity of cartridges that can be held in the magazines that ship from the factory. Both are available from the factory with 30 round magazines, both are available from the factory with 10 round magazines.

Effective Rate of Fire is the key performance metric when evaluating the capabilities of a weapon for use in fighting.

Functionally these are the same weapon. Functionally they are identical other than the mechanical design of the action.

The Ar15 is often called a “weapon of war” by the gun grabbers, but this is simply not true. The Ar15 is not issued to any of our 2,000,000+ military personnel.

Still feel like “Assault Weapons” are evil and rifles are ok?

These are also Ruger Mini-14 rifles:

These are functionally the same rifle.

These are functionally the same rifle, cosmetic changes make three of those “assault weapons” in California.

This is also a Ruger Mini-14:

tacticool-miniSame exact rifle as above with cosmetic changes only.

You’re basically saying that I am not allowed to paint my car, or put aftermarket accessories on it that you don’t like.

And this is also an AR15:

California compliant "featureless" AR15

California compliant “featureless” AR15, 100% legal despite California having an enforced “Assault Weapons” ban for more than 25 years.

When you advocate banning “assault weapons” you are saying one of two things:

  1. I don’t like scary black guns, so ban those despite them being mechanically identical to ones I’m ok with. Or..
  2. I don’t know anything about guns other than we need to ban them all, but I’m too much of a coward to just come out and say it, and also I think gun owners are too stupid to realize what my actual goal is.

I assure you, us gun owners are not stupid, and we will not entertain your silly antics. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.




California SB 249: Yee wants to ban your guns now

Just fly it like this at the capitol already

I’ve covered SB 249 before, on August 7th, SB 249 was amended by Leland Yee to include the following:

This bill would define "detachable magazine" for this purpose to
mean any ammunition feeding device that can be removed from the
firearm without disassembly of the firearm action, and to include a
magazine that may be detached from the firearm by depressing a button
on the firearm either with the finger or by use of a tool or a

This is extremely bad news for California gun owners for several reasons. Here is an excerpt from CAL-FFL’s letter to the California State Senate Appropriations Committee regarding SB 249:

In its current form, SB 249 represents perhaps the single largest unconstitutional government taking inCalifornia history. Substantiating this is the national firearms industry association, National ShootingSports Foundation, which estimates that approximately 19% of all firearms sold are AR-15 platformmodern sporting firearms. NSSF’s 19% figure does not account for those hundreds of thousands of AK,FAL, HK, Saiga, FN, and other platform firearms legally sold and possessed in California over the pastdecade. (These modern semi-automatic firearms are some of, if not the most, common firearms in theUnited States, and, especially, in technology-hungry California.) It is virtually impossible to visit anysporting range or training facility in California without seeing one – and more likely, many – variations of these popular sporting and defensive arms. California gun stores’ shelves are literally filled with thesefirearms, which remain in exceedingly high demand. Likewise, tens of thousands of firearms SB 249seeks to ban are in the inventories of firearms distributors and at manufacturers’ shipping docks. Mostcertainly, these will be sold into California before SB 249 goes into effect, further exacerbating thetakings issue and increasing the cost burden to California taxpayers.According to data acquired from the California Department of Justice, over 2 million long guntransactions took place in the 10-year period between 2001 and 2011. In that same period, more than 1.8million unique handgun transactions occurred. Importantly, California law allows an unlimited number of long guns to be transferred under each transaction, while each handgun transaction represents a discretehandgun transfer. Given this, and especially considering the incredible number of bare “off-list” receiversand entirely home-built firearms (constructed from e.g. incompletely-manufactured materials that arefabricated using common shop tools) that have been assembled over the past decade into fully-functionalmaglocked firearms, Cal-FFL’s analysis informs that at least 394,000 legal maglocked off-list firearmswith SB 23 features exist in the state today. Our member Prince 50 Designs (the manufacturer of theBullet Button device itself and one of the major firearms accessory vendors in the state) has alone soldenough maglocking devices to equip hundreds of thousands of California firearms. To say that 1 millionfirearms (and their owners) could be negatively impacted by SB 249 may very well be an understatement.We conservatively estimate that the State of California’s cost exposure for SB 249 is, at the very least,$400 Million, with more realistic estimates for property takings claims, legal expenses, impact to locallaw enforcement, and court costs exceeding $1.5 Billion.

If SB 249 were to be passed into law, the State would be demanding that you either:

  1. Surrender any firearms you may own that fit the new definition of an “Assault Weapon” in California.
  2. Sell the firearm out of state.
  3. Destroy the firearm.

This fits neatly with Yee’s goals of disarming the populace of California (Yee’s chief of staff Adam Keigwin advocates banning shotguns and bolt action rifles on twitter).

Also of note in this iteration of the bill are the other Senators who have joined as cosponsors of this bill:

  • Principal coauthor:  Senator Steinberg
  • Coauthor:   Senator De León
  • Coauthor:   Senator Hancock
  • Coauthor:   Senator Portantino
  • Coauthor:   Senator Feuer

This is pretty much the usual suspects lineup of California gungrabber politicians.

What they do not realize is that “featureless” builds of the same rifles (just without the named features as listed in SB 249) would still be perfectly legal. What’s more, these rifles can be used with standard capacity (what the gun grabbers call “high capacity”) magazines. Without magazine locks.

All this law does is penalize and steal personal property from law abiding gun owners who are not as well educated as some of us.

Another nice feature of SB 249 is that it has absolutely no provision for education or informing the public that their rifles that were legally purchased are now a felony under California law (should SB 249 pass).

I would mention the lack of exemption from SB 249 for Law Enforcement, but I think that’s just funny, and I sincerely hope that if this terrible legislation is passed into law that it remains omitted. Maybe if the police have to work under the same restrictions as us plebes we can finally get some traction to repeal some of these onerous and just plain silly gun laws.

I strongly urge California gun owners to get involved in the fight against SB 249.

I also urge you to stay involved in the fight to fix California’s terrible gun laws by donating to organizations that are actively working to change California’s gun laws for the better such as the Calguns Foundation or the Second Amendment Foundation.


Why firearms sales surge after shootings

As I knew would happen, firearms sales have risen after the July 20th spree shooting in Aurora Colorado.

The Associated Press likes to sensationalize things and declare that it’s due to fear, but that’s not the only reason, nor is it even the main reason. Of course fear will be the source of some of those increased sales, it is only a natural human reaction to want to defend oneself in the wake of such a horrible tragedy being splashed across every newpaper and news show in the nation.

One of the reasons is that incidents like this provide a catalyst. They are the final data point that pushes people who were previously considering buying a firearm to actually go do it. That’s not fear, it is simply another facet of the myriad reasons that people in this country purchase firearms every day.

Once of the commentators derisively stated that the surge is due to “ignorant gun owners being afraid that people were going to want to take their guns, just proving their ignorance.”

I’ve heard this drivel before.

I want to talk about that, the historical precedence of firearms laws being passed after shootings.

Of course as with every shooting that receives attention from the national media in the US, there are the inevitable calls for more laws to prevent these incidents. We’ve got the usual lineup of suspects, calling for banning “assault weapons” (rifles that are black and have plastic rather than wood), restricting the quantity of ammunition that a person can buy (which is just silly), and of course everyone’s perennial favorite; ban the “high capacity clips that make it possible to spray an endless stream of bullets”.

Each piece of major gun control legislation in the United States has been the result of a shooting (or several) that sparked public outrage, the four biggest being The Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (which thankfully was allowed to sunset in 2004 by Congress), the (subverted by the Hughes Amendment) Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, The Gun Control Act of 1968, and the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Gun owners will generally agree that those four laws have had the most severe impact on firearms ownership in the United States (individual States have some big ones of their own, but these four impact everyone).

The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA)


The National Firearms Act (“NFA”), enacted on June 26, 1934, is an Act of Congress that, in general, imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer ($200, the transfer tax for “AOW” weapons was reduced to $5 in 1938, however the manufacture tax remained at $200) of certain firearms and mandates the registration of those firearms.

All transfers of ownership of registered NFA firearms must be done through the federal NFA registry.

The NFA also requires that transport of NFA firearms across state lines by the owner must be reported to the ATF.

The following shootings are widely believed to have been directly responsible for the passage of the NFA:

Why lawful gun owners don’t like it:

At first glance the NFA doesn’t seem so onerous, until you stop to consider that in 1934 $5 is roughly the equivalent of $85 today. This meant that to purchase any weapon governed by the NFA the $200 tax (which is roughly the modern equivalent of $3400) placed those firearms well out of the reach of a vast majority of the population of the US. Even today the $200 transfer tax puts a not insignificant burden on any lawful gun owner desiring to purchase a weapon governed by the NFA (I make good money and $200 is quite a bit to me).

The NFA also required the registration of all firearms, making the mere possession of an unregistered firearm a Federal Crime. The registration requirement for firearms not specifically governed by the NFA was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1968.

But the NFA does not prevent criminals from obtaining these firearms. Interestingly enough it was not intended to. The intent of the NFA’s authors was to prevent private ownership or transfer of all effective self defense firearms by everyone except the rich who could afford the tax. This intent was thwarted by the removal of pistols from the list of firearms governed by the NFA shortly before its passage.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA’68)


The Gun Control Act of 1968 had three primary features:

Creating and defining categories of “prohibited persons” who could not legally own firearms.

Establishing the FFL system, requiring firearms not transferred between private citizens to be through a Federally Licensed dealer.

Establishing import restrictions of foreign manufactured firearms (creating and implementing the “sporting purpose” test which barred the importation of military surplus rifles and implemented a “points” system for the import of foreign manufactured handguns).

The following shootings are widely believed to have been directly responsible for the passage of the GCA:

Why lawful gun owners don’t like it:

GCA ’68 was the first instance of the Federal government banning firearms. Prior to GCA ’68 there were no Federal laws that banned firearms, with the NFA of 1934 being the only Federal law to regulate firearms. Some of the people that this law prohibits from purchasing firearms should not be barred from owning an effective means of self defense, let alone barred for life with no recourse.

The ban on the import of certain foreign manufactured firearms because they “serve no sporting purpose” is arbitrary, and entirely too vague. The whole law generally sets a bad precedent.

And yet again, we have a law that does not prevent criminals from getting their hands on these weapons. While the GCA may make it illegal for certain criminals to possess firearms, it does nothing to prevent it.

The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA)


The Firearm Owners Protection Act is legislation that was designed to protect gun owners from abuse, however it also contains a ban on the sale of fully automatic firearms (the Hughes Amendment).

The following shootings are widely believed to have been directly responsible for the passage of FOPA:

The 1986 Miami Shootout was BIG news at the time and had far reaching implications in the Law Enforcement community, the largest of which were the switch to semiautomatic pistols from revolvers and the FBI moving to the 10mm cartridge, which eventually became the .40S&W cartridge.

Why lawful gun owners don’t like it:

The inclusion of the Hughes Amendment was a controversy in it’s own right. There is video proof that this Amendment was never actually passed. Aside from the whole issue of laws being passed that were not actually, you know, voted on, legally owned fully automatic firearms just aren’t used in crimes:

Since 1934, there appear to have been at least two homicides committed with legally owned automatic weapons.

One was a murder committed by a law enforcement officer (as opposed to a civilian). On September 15th, 1988, a 13-year veteran of the Dayton, Ohio police department, Patrolman Roger Waller, then 32, used his fully automatic MAC-11 .380 caliber submachine gun to kill a police informant, 52-year-old Lawrence Hileman.

Patrolman Waller pleaded guilty in 1990, and he and an accomplice were sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The 1986 ‘ban’ on sales of new machine guns does not apply to purchases by law enforcement or government agencies.

The other homicide, possibly involving a legally owned machine gun, occurred on September 14, 1992, also in Ohio.


Since 1934?

One of which was committed by a person who is still not prohibited from buying fully automatic weapons after the law banning their sale?

The banning of the sale of fully automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986 is unreasonable restriction on the freedoms of lawful gun owners. Even illegally owned fully automatic firearms are not used in violent crime frequently. It’s a red herring simply because most people who are not shooters cannot understand why anyone would need a fully automatic firearm. I’ll tell you why; they are fun as hell to shoot.

And if criminals are not using these weapons to commit crimes, we have yet another instance of a gun control law that only prevents lawful gun owners from lawfully owning guns.

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (AWB)


The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) (or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act) was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a federal law in the United States that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms, so called “assault weapons”.

There was no legal definition of “assault weapons” in the U.S. prior to the law’s enactment.

The law also banned the sale or manufacture of new firearm magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

The following shootings are widely believed to have been directly responsible for the passage of the AWB:

Now I clearly remember the 101 California Street Shooting, and watching California Senator Diane Feinstein foam at the mouth to get the AWB in place. Then came the Long Island Rail shootings, and what had been a California initiative became a massive national push, and eventually Federal Law.

Why lawful gun owners don’t like it:

Let’s start with the complete and utter arbitrariness of it. The firearms that were banned were done so because they looked scary, not because they were any more dangerous than any other firearm. An AR-15 (banned by the AWB) is functionally identical to a Mini-14 (not banned by the AWB). I can fire 30 rounds into a target just as fast using two 15 round magazines (banned by the AWB) as I can using three 10 round magazines (not banned by the AWB).

Banning rifles with barrel shrouds? That’s a safety feature. It is simply the infringement of gun rights by people who are ignorant of what the things they are banning actually are.

Did the AWB prevent or reduce crime? Let’s look at the research from the people who pushed for the law:

The United States Department of Justice National Institute of Justice found should the ban be renewed, its effects on gun violence would likely be small, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement, because assault weapons are rarely used in gun crimes.

In 2001, Koper and Roth of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania, published a peer-reviewed paper called The Impact of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban on Gun Violence Outcomes: An Assessment of Multiple Outcome Measures and Some Lessons for Policy Evaluation. They found that:

“The ban may have contributed to a reduction in gun homicides, but a statistical power analysis of our model indicated that any likely effects from the ban will be very difficult to detect statistically for several more years. We found no evidence of reductions in multiple-victim gun homicides or multiple-gunshot wound victimizations. The findings should be treated cautiously due to the methodological difficulties of making a short-term assessment of the ban and because the ban’s long-term effects could differ from the short-term influences revealed by this study.”

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence examined the impact of the Assault Weapons Ban in its 2004 report, On Target: The Impact of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Act. Examining 1.4 million guns involved in crime, it determined that since the law was enacted, “assault weapons have made up only 1.61% of the guns ATF has traced to crime — a drop of 66% from the pre-ban rate.”

I’d like to point out that the 66% drop that the Brady Center claims there is disingenuous: there was no legal definition of an “assault weapon” prior to the passage of the AWB, and statistics on them were not collected.


So yes, gun owners tend to buy guns they want after shootings, because we are capable of logical and rational examination of historical precedent, and concluding that there is a reasonable chance that some ignoramus will manage to whip up enough fear in the general populace to get a law passed that would prevent us from owning it.

That’s not fear, nor is it ignorance; that is critical reasoning.

California SB 249: I have no idea what a magazine lock is, but we must ban them!

A couple of weeks ago, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco ran a bit on the “bullet button” (correctly known as a magazine lock), and how it allows Californians to “circumvent” the state’s (full retard) Assault Weapons Ban.

Now, one man has decided that we must ban this terrible menace. Even if he doesn’t know what exactly it is.

California Senate Bill 249 purports to ban magazine locks in California, but what it actually does is… something else entirely.

I’m not even going to try to translate what the intent of this law is, here is the summary from the actual legislation:

This bill would, commencing July 1, 2013, and with certain exceptions, prohibit any person from importing, making, selling, loaning, transferring, or possessing any conversion kit, as defined, designed to convert certain firearms with a fixed magazine into firearms with the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and other features making the firearm an assault weapon and would make violations subject to criminal penalties.

What? This is already illegal.

As far as I can puzzle out (because “conversion kit” is not defined anywhere in the legislation), this bill would apparently make it double super illegaller to manufacture an “Assault Weapon” in California.

Maybe we need some context here.

So San Francisco CBS affiliate runs a story on the “bullet button” (which is a brand name), and Yee gets his panties in a bunch. He responds by “introducing” legislature to ban… something. Here is a quote from the good “senator”:

“It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that is just so crystal clear, there is no debate, no discussion,” said Yee.

Ok, I’m going to take major issue with that statement, but I’ll wait while he finishes:

“What I am proposing is to essentially prevent any mechanism that would allow the conversion of an assault weapon into a way that you can fire these magazines upon magazines without effort,” he said.

So, while he has just clearly demonstrated that he has no idea what a magazine lock is or does, we must ban… something.

Here’s a little history on the magazine lock:

In 1999 California passed a bill (SB 23) known as the “Assault Weapon Control Act”, which basically attempts to ban a class of firearms based on look. because it is a law, it attempts to define these firearms based on features, since banning by name (as had been done in 1989 with the Roberti-Roos “Assault Weapon Ban”) was injuncted by the courts. This led to a quagmire for California gun owners, who had to figure out if their firearms fit one of the convoluted definitions of a banned “Assault Weapon” in California.

So an enterprising California gun owner invented the “Bullet Button” magazine lock, which would allow certain firearms to comply with California’s convoluted Assault Weapons legislation. Basically this device alters the magazine release so that the firearm will accept a magazine, but to release the magazine you must use a tool (which could be the tip of a bullet on some models). This alters the rifle from having the “ability to accept a detachable magazine” to being a firearm with a “fixed magazine” which  is defined in California Law as requiring a tool to remove.

This contraption was invented to comply with California’s asinine firearms laws.

The California Department Of Justice has to date refused to issue a bulletin to the state’s 58 District Attorneys stating that this device makes the rifles compliant with California law, and legal. The CalGuns Foundation has filed a motion with the courts for this very thing, and it has so far been denied. However, as part of that case the California Department Of Justice has stated on paper and on record that an AR with a magazine release and magazine capable of holding 10 rounds or less is perfectly legal.

Yet, “senator” Yee seems to think that these devices allow one to “fire these magazines upon magazines without effort”, which is just plain wrong.

Now to his earlier gem of a quote.

“It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that is just so crystal clear, there is no debate, no discussion,” said Yee.

I don’t know what country Yee thinks he’s in, but this is America jack. It is most certainly not important that individuals in California be barred these weapons, and for you to claim that no debate or discussion is allowed simply demonstrates that you do not understand the laws or customs of the country you are representing.

That statement alone should motivate people to vote this sorry excuse for a man out of office. You don’t get to dictate to us, you are nothing but a servant.

Now the CBS affiliate that ran the news story which “started” all of this is claiming that Yee has introduced SB249 because of the story they ran. I hate to disappoint you misguided liberals, but Yee introduced this legislation in February of 2011. It’s been voted on and rejected twice.

It’s a terribly written piece of legislation. The only thing it seems to do is create a situation where the state or local DA can declare your firearm a “public nuisance” and then confiscate and destroy it. It also creates a situation where you can be sued in a civil court by the state or DA for $300 for the first “conversion kit” and $100 per additional “conversion kit” rather than being charged criminally.

So it’s all about money then? Well that’s not altogether surprising, it usually is.

While I don’t see this “law” being passed any time soon (at least in its current form), or really doing anything if it is, the CalGuns Foundation has already set their sights on it should it be passed into law. If you’re a gun owner in California, and are unhappy with the firearms laws or potential firearms laws in this state, make a donation to the Second Amendment Foundation, or the CalGuns Foundation, they are the ones working to change things for you.

Oh, it’s definitely possible.

I keep finding people on the internet debating if this is possible: Man drops dumbbell on bullet, shoots self.

Ok, dammit this is embarrassing, but I can say with the authority of first hand experience that this could definitely happen.

If you’re feeling particularly suicidal, you too can replicate this phenomenon (don’t do it, this is one of the most stupid things I’ve ever done).

When I was about 13 (I can’t remember exactly how old I was, it’s been too many years ago now), I decided it would be a good idea to put a .22lr round on the garage floor and whack it with a hammer.

To be fair, the garage door was open, and there was about 5 miles of untouched field on the other side of the street (all houses now, but it was my shooting range back then).

I don’t really know what possessed me to do this, it just seemed like the thing to do on a hot summer afternoon.

So I put the bullet down pointing across the street, told my two friends (who both thought this was a banner idea and were cheering me on in the name of SCIENCE I’m sure) to stay behind me, and gave the rim a good whack with a 16oz Estwing framing hammer (which I still own).

It fired. The bullet struck the field across the street throwing up a nice puff of dust, the point of impact was probably 60-80 feet away, and the time from when I hit the round with the hammer to the impact of the bullet was virtually instantaneous (so I’d assume it was moving at a pretty good clip).

The casing was still sitting right near where it started out, only one side was blown out.

The missing pieces of that case were embedded in the fingers of my right hand. At the time I thought they’d hit my hand and just torn the skin as they blew past. Fast forward about 8 years to a wrist injury at work, and a very curious doctor asking me how I got metal embedded in the fingers of my right hand. It took me a minute to put two and two together, but the doctor agreed that is most likely exactly what the metal on the xray was, and not to worry about it if it had never bothered me as my body would eventually either break it down or reject it (since it had been like 8 years he thought it would just stay there and be broken down).

I don’t know if it’s still there (haven’t had to have my hand xray’d in the last 10 years), but I do most certainly know that you can indeed cause a .22lr round to “fire” with enough force to break human skin by hitting the rim with something heavy at the right angle, assuming that the round is sitting on something solid (I’m thinking that a dumbbell dropped onto a carpeted floor with a thin pad would just about cover it).

God I feel stupid every time I have to explain to someone why this story is fully plausible.

Logical Fallacies: Nearly 30,000 people per year die as a result of gun violence in the United States

Most recently I saw this line parroted by Jesse Jackson in an op-ed “piece” he wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times, but I’ve been seeing and hearing this talking point for at least 10 years now.

Let me just get this out of the way: the 30,000/year number is complete crap.

I have no idea where they get these numbers, but I know where I can get some accurate numbers. Let’s take a quick look at Expanded Homicide Data Table 8 from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2010 shall we?

Here’s the data for 2010:

Total Homicides – 12,996, Total firearm homicides – 8,775

…and for 2009:

Total Homicides – 13,752, Total firearm homicides – 9,199

…and for 2008:

Total Homicides – 14,224, Total firearm homicides – 9,528

…and for 2007:

Total Homicides – 14,916, Total firearm homicides -10,129

…and for 2006:

Total Homicides – 15,087, Total firearm homicides -10,225

And in chart form:

If we take a quick peek at Expanded Homicide Data Table 7 from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2005, we see:


Total Homicides – 14,860, Total firearm homicides – 10,100


Total Homicides – 14,210, Total firearm homicides – 9,385


Total Homicides – 14,465, Total firearm homicides – 9,659


Total Homicides – 14,263, Total firearm homicides – 9,528


Total Homicides – 14,061, Total firearm homicides – 8,890

And in chart form:

Interesting, so in the last ten years, there has not been a single year when the total number of people murdered in the US was more than 15,087. That’s about half of what the anti’s are claiming, and that’s the sum total of all homicides in the US. One important thing to note here is that I am only looking at homicides. I am not counting suicides (which to be blunt, I couldn’t care less about. If someone is gonna off themselves they’re gonna use whatever is at hand, just look at the suicide rate in Japan where guns are completely banned), or accidental deaths. This is consistent with the “gun violence” part of the statement, accidents and suicide are not violence.

When we look at only firearm homicides, there has not been a single year since at least 2001 when the total was higher than 10,225; just a hair over 1/3 the number quoted so often by the anti’s.

What’s even more interesting is when you look at the age groups. We hear all the time how many “children” are gunned down in the US. In 2010, there were 632 people under the age of 18 killed with firearms.

Now, not included in the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics for Homicides are the following:

I find it fascinating how easily one can find accurate data to backup or debunk statistics online.

So I just have to wonder, where are these people getting the 30,000 number?

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380: How to legally obtain one in California

Much of my blog traffic is the result of this post. The crux of the issue that that you can own one of these in California, you can even buy one from a private party sale legally, but common wisdom around here is that you cannot buy one from an FFL as this gun is not on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale (commonly referred to as the Safe Handgun Roster). This is not exactly true.

Before I get into this any further, please understand that I am not a lawyer, and this should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult a licensed attorney to answer any questions you have about this topic.

In 2005 California Senate Bill 269 was passed into law effective January 1, 2006. SB 269 amended the California Penal Code Section 12133 to read as follows:

(a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a
single-action revolver that has at least a 5-cartridge capacity with
a barrel length of not less than three inches, and meets any of the
following specifications:
   (1) Was originally manufactured prior to 1900 and is a curio or
relic, as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of
Federal Regulations.
   (2) Has an overall length measured parallel to the barrel of at
least 7 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are
   (3) Has an overall length measured parallel to the barrel of at
least 7 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are
assembled and that is currently approved for importation into the
United States pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (3) of
subsection (d) of Section 925 of Title 18 of the United States Code.
   (b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a
single-shot pistol with a barrel length of not less than six inches
and that has an overall length of at least 10 1/2 inches when the
handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled.

Here is a link to the Information Bulletin (PDF warning) on this from the California DoJ.

So what this means is that you can legally have an FFL alter any pistol not on the California Roster to be a “single shot” pistol before you initiate the transfer. It is also perfectly legal for you (or a gunsmith) to convert the firearm back to its factory configuration once you have taken possession of it. Not all FFL’s will do these kinds of transfers.

This leads to a kind of WTF? moment when you realize that the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale is a complete sham, and does nothing but overcomplicate the process of purchasing your desired handgun. In my opinion, firearms manufacturers should file a class action lawsuit against California over this. Seems like racketeering to me.

So how does this actually work? Let’s say you want to buy a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 in California. The process will go something like this:

  • You locate a dealer willing to do an SSE (Single Shot Exemption) Transfer.
  • The dealer will alter the firearm to be single shot compliant under California PC 12133 (they install a 9-10″ barrel and a “zero shot magazine”, which is basically a magazine altered to prevent any ammunition from being loaded into it).
  • You purchase the Single Shot Compliant pistol, as you would purchase any other firearm in California.
  • Once you take possession of the Single Shot Compliant pistol, you can legally reinstall the factory barrel and use a standard magazine.

Most dealers that will do SSE Transfers have trade in packages where you can trade them the parts of the gun that you purchased in the Single Shot Compliant pistol for the OEM equipment, but not all do. You should discuss the specifics of how this works with your FFL before initiating the purchase.

In practice this means that you can buy pretty much any pistol that you could buy anywhere else in the country (with rare exception), you’ll just probably have to pay a little bit more for it than someone who lives in a State without retarded gun laws.

Thus the answer to the question “Is the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 California legal?” is most assuredly yes.

As is pretty much any other pistol.

One often wonders if the people that pass these laws have any idea of what they actually do.

Magazine Capacity: Reducing it is only an inconvenience to the good guys

It’s like clockwork really, some whackjob goes on a shooting spree, and virtually the next day we have a new proposal to enact yet another law that is supposed to prevent that type of crime.

I’m just gonna throw this out there: we do not have a single law that prevents crime. Not one. What we have are a bunch of laws that punish crime. After the fact.

Rape is illegal, I’m not thinking that there is a single state in the US where rape is legal, so that’s at least 51 laws against rape (if there is only one per state, and just one at the federal level. I’m aware that in reality, there are far more than 51 laws against rape), yet consider the statistics offered by Rape Trauma Services (rapetraumaservices.org):

1.3 women (ages 18 and over) in the United States are forcibly raped each minute. That translates to 78 per hour, 1871 per day, or 683,000 per year.

Now that is a horrible statistic. But it pretty well illustrates that laws do not prevent crime.

But that’s not my point (that’s just part of my point). My point is that firearm magazine capacity is not the problem to begin with.

Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign (or whatever they are calling themselves these days in an attempt to hide the fact that their organization is failing miserably at their stated goals), recently decried that:

In Tuscon, the shooter fired 32 bullets in only 16 seconds.

As if that is the problem. But it doesn’t stop there. The Brady Campaign attempts to state that the only reason that this whackjob was able to do this was because he had a high capacity magazine. Of course, this is in the interest of banning high capacity magazines by extolling that we must pass HR 308, recently introduced by Carolyn McCarthy D(ranged)-NY, which would ban any firearm magazine holding more than 10 rounds.

Which brings me to a guy named Joe Huffman. Joe is a gun blogger (http://blog.joehuffman.org), and his response to this claim by the Brady Campaign was to make a short video of his own, where he shoots approximately 35 rounds in approximately 16 seconds. While hitting a target at 15 yards. At age 55. Being sleep deprived. Having donated a pint of blood an hour prior. And having to clear a malfunction while shooting.

If we give him just a hair under 17 seconds the round count goes up to 40, all on target.

Oh, and he is using only 10 round reduced capacity magazines.

Here is the video.

And he’s not the only one. There are several youtube videos of other shooters who can accurately dispense shots from 10 round magazines just as quickly as they can from 33 round magazines. I can do it.

Which begs the question; if that’s the case, why do we need high capacity magazines anyway?

And I have an answer; convenience as a law abiding citizen.

Look, let’s not mince words here: criminals don’t need full capacity magazines, or even high capacity magazines. I wouldn’t either, if I were planning on going on a shooting spree.

Full capacity magazines (or even high capacity magazines – there is a difference) are really only useful for home defense or concealed carry (for self defense). I look at it like this:

I carry a 9mm pistol with a standard magazine capacity of either 17 or 15 rounds (depending on which pistol I’m carrying that day). I’ve already got to conceal a steel and plastic brick on my person, and it’s not as easy as some people seem to think, when you have to do it all day, every day.

I also carry either one or two spare magazines on my person, depending on what I’m wearing. Why? Because an empty gun is a club, and not really even a terribly effective club. In recent years the instances of multiple attacker assaults have risen. I also know that sometimes shit happens. If you’re in a fight for your life, in a place and time not of your choosing, it is entirely conceivable that you might do something dumb. Like accidentally depress the magazine release on your pistol while wrestling with an attacker.

But that’s irrelevant. The fact is that I carry somewhere between 30-50 rounds of ammunition for my CCW gun in either two or three magazines. If I’m limited to 10 round magazines, that means I need to carry between 3 and 5 magazines. One in the gun, and between 2 and 4 more concealed somewhere on my person.

Could you carry a full size pistol and four spare magazines fully concealed all day every day for a week in 105 degree weather? Would you want to?

It would be like ridiculously hard to do that in the summer time here (where it regularly gets over 105 degrees for weeks at a time). But I can carry 30-35 rounds while wearing shorts and a tee shirt; one magazine in the gun, and one in a hip pocket.

But that is all dictated by mission. My mission is simple; carry what I think I might reasonably need to go out into the world, do what I need to do, and get me and my family home alive should something really terrible happen, while keeping all firearms related items fully concealed from public view.

If on the other hand, my mission were to go out and kill a bunch of people, I know I only need to keep concealment until I am ready to start shooting. Which is also true for Lawful CCW folk, however the difference is that someone bent on a shooting spree knows for a fact that they only need to basically get where they are going to start the shooting. The lawful CCW people assume that (with any luck) they will not be shooting at all that day.

If I’m not worried about keeping concealed all day, I’ll just wear a jacket with enough bulk to give superficial concealment to whatever I feel I need to carry. If I get caught, so what, I’ll just start shooting.

But this is the reality of the issue. The gun control supporters don’t want the average person to think about this issue in these terms, because when they do it becomes readily obvious that banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds doesn’t to a damn thing to prevent crime. All it does is make it really inconvenient for the good guys to carry a decent load of ammunition.

Fortunately for me, when California passed a law restricting magazine capacity to 10 rounds in 1999, I had the foresight to purchase full capacity magazines for all the guns I might want to own in the future. I spent ~$2500 on them, and have spent a couple hundred dollars cleaning and maintaining them since then. So unlike someone who is just growing up, or just getting into shooting, I have the option of choosing to use full capacity magazines. This is a horrible state of affairs. But it does illustrate a secondary part of why reducing magazine capacity is useless: there are already too many out there.

If criminals want them, they’ll get them.

Unfortunately I did not buy any M14 magazines back in 1999. But today, I would really like to buy an M14. So if I do, I will not be able to own magazines for it that hold more than 10 rounds (unless I move out of commiefornia).

But that is only because I am a law abiding citizen. If I were a criminal, well I’d just drive to another state and buy some at a gun show (or from a gun shop, or another criminal who I knew that lived in another state), and then drive back. And since I’m at it, I’ll get a bunch of full capacity mags for guns that my criminal friends might have, and charge them enough for them to pay for my whole trip, my mags, and turn a tidy profit while I’m at it (if you think this doesn’t happen, you’re lying to yourself).

Again, this is the reality of the situation. But the pro gun control people in this state don’t want you thinking about the issue in terms of reality, because then… well you see where this is going.