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Over A Barrel

by on Jan.26, 2013, under Crime, Culture, History, Recreation, Weapons

However you interpret it, the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. With the British violations of civil rights before and during the American Revolution still fresh in the minds of the citizens of the new country, certain rights were amended to the Constitution to ensure that they wouldn't be subject to the same tyranny from their own new government. gunfetus Some consider it to be a birthright. Kids have fond memories of their first hunting or assault rifle.


Entire families participate in shooting activities.


Gun owners in the US don't all hunt or keep firearms for self-protection. Shooting is a recognized sport, and there are a number of shooting events in the Olympics. There are training programs to teach kids safety and marksmanship. 200323586-001 Some of the programs are sponsored by the government. paleskids-ak47 What it really comes down to is that it's no different than any other sport or potentially dangerous recreational activity. Motorcycle riders, skydivers, ATV's... as a society we recognize that people are entitled to engage in risky behavior if they choose, and we expect them to pay the consequences if they exceed their boundaries.


  shootingsfun68 On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring 500. Many of the victims were children. It was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil up to then. No guns were involved. Not a single shot was fired. okc-bombing_3
All of the materials used to build the bomb were legally obtained. Nobody deemed it practical or reasonable to make it illegal to buy diesel fuel, fertilizer, or rent a truck.
The twin towers of the World Trade Center were brought down by terrorists armed with box cutters. The government's reaction was to curtail rights to privacy and freedom for law-abiding citizens. We've had to learn to live with warrantless wiretaps, "extraordinary rendition", and "Homeland Security", an Orwellian sounding organization that could have come out of the Nazi or Soviet states. The TSA performs intrusive searches and infants and the disabled, while letting Richard Reid board with bombs in his shoes, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab take flight with an underwear bomb.
At one time we were certain we knew what constituted an assault weapon. The most important distinguishing feature was automatic fire. But Congress believes that adding an adjustable buttstock or pistol grip, which make the weapon more manageable, or a shroud to protect your hand from the heat of the barrel, or a flash hider to help you maintain your night vision make your hunting rifle into an assault rifle. None of these additions change the fundamental way the rifle shoots but Congress believes that making them illegal will save lives.
Here's a stock Saiga AK Sporter rifle. It's made by Izhmash Arms, the premiere manufacturer of AK-47's in Russia.
And here's the same rifle dressed for prom. It looks like something you'd see in Call of Duty, but outside of esthetics, it's the exact same rifle. Under the current proposals, the sport style rifle might remain legal, while the tactical model wouldn't.
Mass killings didn't come with the invention of the assault rifle. A determined killer will find the means. The deadliest school killing in US history was in 1927, at an elementary school in Bath, Michigan. A school board member named Andrew Kehoe, wired the building with dynamite.
The school exploded at 8:45 a.m. on May 18, 1927. It was determined later that a short circuit prevented the ignition of 500 pounds of dynamite and a few sacks of gunpowder, otherwise there would have been more damage.
After the initial blast, Kehoe loaded his truck with additional explosives and drove to the school. Thirty minutes after the initial attack, while conversing with the superintendent, he detonated the truck bomb, killing himself, the superintendent, and a few others. Kehoe’s actions killed 45 people, 38 of whom were children.
In Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook School killer Adam Lanza used an AR-15, a semi-automatic replica of the military M16 assault rifle to kill 26 people, including 22 kids. Firearm opponents want to limit the number of rounds a magazine can hold to 10, 7, or even 5.
Adam Lanza had 30-round magazines, It was reported that all of the magazines recovered contained at least 15 rounds. Even if they were fully loaded initially, smaller magazines wouldn't have reduced the carnage.
A school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland resulted in the deaths of 16 five and six year old children, along with their teacher. Shortly after 9 a.m. on March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton, a 43-year-old former Scout leader, burst into the gymnasium of a primary school in the tranquil Scottish town and started shooting.
There was a huge public reaction in Scotland, and a highly successful public campaign against gun ownership. The change in UK public sentiment regarding firearms began nine years earlier in Hungerford, Berkshire when 27-year-old Michael Ryan decided to have a day out in Savernake Forest. He took along two rifles, including a fully automatic AK-47, and a pistol. As he neared the entrance to the forest, he shot Sue Godfrey just as she was putting her children in the car to leave.
By the end of his rampage, he had shot and killed 16 people, wounded several others, killed his mother, set her house on fire, and ultimately killed himself.
Within a year and a half of the Dunblane massacre, UK lawmakers had passed a ban on the private ownership of all handguns in mainland Britain, giving the country some of the toughest anti-gun legislation in the world.
Although sport shooters were angry, England doesn't have the same kind of gun culture as the United States and many thousands of weapons were voluntarily surrendered after each of those incidents. All small-bore pistols, including the .22 caliber, were included in the ban, along with rifles used by target shooters. Penalties for anyone found in possession of illegal firearms range from heavy fines to prison terms of up to 10 years.
How effectively would such a ban work in the United States? At the time of the UK ban, there were about 200,000 registered handguns in England, most owned by sport shooters. It's estimated that there are over 270,000,000 modern weapons in circulation in the United States.
In Antoine de Saint Exupéry's Le Petit Prince, the young hero encounters a king, who rules over his tiny planet. He tolerates no disobedience, and insists that his authority must be respected. pp-king

"I should like to see a sunset . . . Do me that kindness . . . Order the sun to set . . ."

"If I ordered a general to fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a tragic drama, or to change himself into a sea bird, and if the general did not carry out the order that he had received, which one of us would be in the wrong?" the king demanded. "The general, or myself?"

"You," said the little prince firmly.

"Exactly. One must require from each one the duty which each one can perform," the king went on. "Accepted authority rests first of all on reason. If you ordered your people to go and throw themselves into the sea, they would rise up in revolution. I have the right to require obedience because my orders are reasonable."

"Then my sunset?" the little prince reminded him: for he never forgot a question once he had asked it.

"You shall have your sunset. I shall command it. But, according to my science of government, I shall wait until conditions are favorable."

"When will that be?" inquired the little prince.

"Hum! Hum!" replied the king; and before saying anything else he consulted a bulky almanac. "Hum! Hum! That will be about--about--that will be this evening about twenty minutes to eight. And you will see how well I am obeyed!"

How would gun owners in the United States react? Some gun buyback operations have gotten hundreds of weapons off the streets.


But many of the weapons aren't operational or complete anyway, and nobody believes that criminals brought their weapons for disposal.


Even if the government were to prohibit ownership of firearms, they are likely to discover more disobedience and less respect for authority than they would like. Our impression of the British in the US is that they politely queue for buses, and always mind the gap in the Underground. They respect law and order. And they have strict laws against private gun ownership. Simon Berni was renovating his uncle's house in the village of Dinas Powys, near Cardiff, when he encountered a false wall. berni1 After breaking it open, he discovered some items wrapped in newspapers from March 1996, just a few days after the Dunblane massacre. berni5 There was a stash of more than 30 shotguns and pistols, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. berni2 They were all greased for storage and well-wrapped. berni4 One set of guns was found hidden in a space behind a wall heater. Another was discovered behind a drywall panel. berni3 Police believe that the guns were unregistered, and the owner hid them rather than turning them in when the strict new firearms laws took effect. berni7 He is thought to have died after concealing the firearms without having told anybody about them. berni8 Mr. Berni commented that he "was shocked because there weren't any bricks in the wall but a lot of shotgun barrels and hand guns. They obviously belonged to somebody who knew what they were doing as they were all greased and beautifully wrapped up in newspaper." dinas1 Police were called in to carry out a search with sniffer dogs to be sure they've found all the guns. dogs-guns
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