Firearms Myth #9: Gun Owners Do Not Care About Safety

not gun safety

***This is showing the opposite of gun safety. Never point the barrel of a gun at yourself, or anything you do not intend to shoot, whether the gun is loaded or not***

In the heat of political debates, and media propaganda personifying guns, its easy for some anti-gun activists to think that gun owners do not care about safety. It is important to remember that we all are just human, and in most cases, no one on either side wants people to be harmed by firearms. Also, those who are looking to hurt people are probably not the ones who protest at Washington D.C., write letters to their congress men and women, and do research on the subject,  but instead just go out and do it anyway.

In a previous post, “Firearms Myth #4: Gun Owners Are Criminals”, I analyzed the reasons why it is gun owners best interests to abide by the law. These same reasons apply to why gun owners care about safety-it is in their best interest to do so. If gun owners did not practice safe firearm handling and usage, the government would start to crack down more on gun laws, which no respectful gun owner wants because you already need to be extremely law abiding in the status quo in order to own a firearm. Furthermore, if gun owners do not practice, teach, and advocate safe gun usage, their own safety is at risk at well. No one wants to go to a shooting range or hunting ground where people do not show safety and respect for firearms because it would be extremely dangerous for them.

NRA Logo

Although some people think that this organization is part of the illuminati, hates babies, and is just comprised of neo-confederates who want guns at any cost, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is one of, if not the biggest supporters of firearms safety. The NRA holds thousands of safety classes a year all across the United States, in multiple categories of gun safety for men and women alike. According to its training website, the NRA has “…more than 97,000 instructors and range safety officers, more than 5,700 coaches, and more than 1,800 training counselors”. The NRA puts a lot of money towards safety training because again, it reflects the benevolence of law abiding gun owners.

Just to show you that gun owners care about safety, here is an iraqveteran8888 video on gun safety. Enjoy, and remember that above all else, safety is the most important gun issue!

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Firearms Myth #8: “High Capacity Magazines” Need to Be Banned (Part II)

Now that I have shown why “high capacity” magazines are actually just standard capacity, I am going to demonstrate why banning actual high capacity magazines is not necessary. 

In my last blog post, I revealed how current magazines are made as an industry standard because they are at the point of maximum efficiency. Therefore, if you add more rounds to a magazine then it will be less efficient than the standard capacity magazine. So why do politicians and anti-gun activists want to ban “high capacity” magazines? It is because they asserted that high capacity magazines can be used to kill more people if a criminal wanted to use them in a mass shooting. I will use the same example, everyone’s favorite gun, the AR-15 to reveal that right away, there a couple of flaws with this theory:

AR-15 mag   45 round mag      50 round drum      AR 15 round drum

30 Rounds                  45 Rounds                      50 Rounds                          100 Rounds

1. At 30 rounds, AR-15 magazines are operating at standard capacity and the maximum point of efficiency, meaning that there is the best trade off advantages of balancing the weight and volume of the magazines with the accuracy and output of the firearm. As aforementioned, if something is operating at maximum efficiency, then adding anything to it will make it less efficient. Henceforth, using an AR-15 magazine with a capacity of 45, 50, or 100 rounds (the industry produced high capacity magazines) will be less effective than using an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine. To prove this, one just needs to look at one of the world’s leaders in efficiency- The United States Armed Forces. The U.S. Armed forces use a variety of firearms that are chambered in the same caliber as the AR-15 (They only use the 5.56 x 45 NATO round opposed to the .223 Remington round some AR-15’s are chambered in, but they are extremely similar.). Some of the firearms that the branches of the U.S. Armed forces use are M-16’s (essentially fully automatic versions of the AR-15), M-4’s ( essentially fully automatic carbine versions of the AR-15), and other variants of the M-16 and M-4 such as the HK416. These firearms are similar to the AR-15, and have many of the same parts and use the same exact magazines of the AR-15, except these firearms function differently in terms of cycle rate and rate of fire. So, at what capacity does the U.S. Armed Forces use for these firearms? You probably guessed correctly at 30 rounds. Now the question that comes into play is “if they have access to magazines with a higher capacity than 30 rounds, why don’t they use them? Again this is because of efficiency. The Armed Forces knows that increasing the capacity for these firearms will not increase their effectiveness, so they go without them. Thinking logically, would a criminal who is less trained and capable than a soldier be able to an AR-15 with a high capacity magazine more effective than they can? I would like to see a good argument that can support that idea.

2. Actual high capacity magazines are not reliable, and extremely expensive compared to standard capacity magazines (Another reason why the armed forces does not adopt them). High capacity magazines in general are infamous for misfeeding, double feeding, jamming, and malfunctioning in general. From what I have found, the only exception to this is a company called xproducts that recently started manufacturing high capacity magazines that actually function correctly. That being said, look at the price of these magazines compared to the price of standard 30 round magazines, and to other high capacity magazines.

x15 drum mag X15 skeletonizedAn xproducts x15 magazine that holds 50 rounds of .223 Remington costs $245.00! If you want one of their skelonized high capacity magazines in order to cut down some of the weight, it will cost you $310.00! However, you can find a standard 30 round magazine from the best AR-15 magazine producer, Magpul, that costs just $12.99! You can find other 30 round magazines for even cheaper at $9.99, and I am sure there are even cheaper ones, as finding these took me less than a minute to do.

As you can see, accessibility to these high capacity magazines is far more limited than 30 round magazines because the price is about 20 times more expensive than a standard capacity magazine. Even so, it would be more efficient to use a standard capacity magazine rather than a hi capacity one. Hopefully this will inform you enough to form an accurate opinion on this issue.

Firearms Myth #8: “High Capacity Magazines” Need to Be Banned (Part I)

Clear AR 15 magequal sign AR 15 round drum  question mark

Starting around 2012, there have been major attacks on “high capacity magazines” . Citizens and politicians alike have been calling for these ambiguously mentioned “high capacity magazines” to be banned.  First of all, what is the definition of “high capacity”? Is it anything above 10 rounds, as is the magazine capacity limit in California? Is it 21 rounds, like in many other parts of he country?

30 round mag ban

The way the government has gone about this so far is a “one-size-fits-all” solution to a more complex problem. The issue with states such as California banning magazines ha have a capacity of more than 10 rounds for all guns is that it does not take into account the difference in function and purpose for every type of firearm. My last post on all guns not being equal shows some of the distinctions between certain types of firearms.

diminishing marginal product

That being said, firearms are designed for maximum efficiency of their purpose. We can use economics to show why most magazines that are said to be “high capacity” are actually standard capacity. Take a well known favorite, the AR-15 for example. Many politicians and media personnel claim that it has a “high capacity magazine” that needs to be banned. The Ar-15 holds 30 rounds, which would be considered high capacity for a handgun or shotgun, but not for a semi-automatic rifle. The purpose of the 5.56 x 45 NATO (or the .223 Remington depending on the specific model) round that AR-15’s are chambered in is designed for light recoil, medium range shooting with decent penetration. This makes the 5.56 x 45 NATO round smaller and lighter than most rifle cartridges, which means that a magazine fitted for it can hold more rounds in less space than another type of rifle magazine. Gun manufacturers look to maximize the efficient point between weight load and bullet output when they design guns because otherwise, the gun has potential to be more efficient. If you look at diminishing marginal product in microeconomics, you can compare increasing the input of workers to the added weight and volume of each bullet, and the additional output of products to the additional amount of bullets that can be fired without reloading. If you increase the number of workers at a factory, to a certain point you will increase the number of products you produce, but the more workers you add will mean that each additional worker will be less efficient. Thus, each additional worker will be producing less and less until production output is lower than if you had less workers. This is because as you add more workers, ceteris parabus, workers will start getting in the way of one another, will have to start sharing supplies, and would be wasting time waiting to do things instead of actually working. This will lower the output of production compared to if you had less workers who can do their job smoothly. For the example of the AR-15, increasing the number and thus the weight and volume of cartridges, will increase the output of bullets being able to be fired with ought changing magazines. However, that weight and volume have the negative affects of less stability while aiming, less maneuverability, slower target acquisition, and increased loss of stamina, just to name a few. So, to be efficient, gun manufacturers must make the capacity of the magazine to the point where the costs of weight and volume are equal to the benefits of firing more bullets without reloading. For the AR-15, that equilibrium happens to be at 30 rounds. That is the capacity that the AR-15 was designed with, and is the industry standard for that firearm, and similar ones chambered in the 5.56 x 45 NATO round. Therefore, high capacity, in most cases for the AR-15 would be any that hold more than 30 rounds.

Firearms Myth #7: All Guns Are Created Equally

flintlock pistol    equal sign     m240    question mark

A lot of times, the media and politicians conflate different types of guns together, or just talk about guns as whole even when what they say does not apply to all guns, such as “AR-15 machine gun” or “AR-15 assault shotgun” or “sniper handgun”, and so on. Every gun is unique and has its own special features that make it into what it is. Furthermore, firearms have distinct classifications for the purpose of grouping similar firearms together in order to create norms surrounding that classification (or to make laws in the government’s case). Here are a few different classifications of firearms:

remington 870 Saiga12

shotshell shotgun shells

Kel Tec KSG double barrel shotgun

Shotguns:

  •  Long guns
  • Typically with an 18″ barrel that shoot shells filled with loads of varying sizes and amounts of lead projectiles.
  • Different types of shotguns include: pump action, break action, semi automatic, and sometimes bolt action.
  • Typically very short range, can reach medium range with certain types of buckshot or slugs.

m14     AR 50

Rifles:

  • Long guns
  • Typically between 16-21″ barrels that
  • Fire larger, long range cartridges.
  • Different types of rifles include bolt action, semi automatic, and sometimes break action.
  • Generally medium size and weight.
  • Long Range.

1911    tec 9     Colt peacemaker

Handguns:

  • Handheld compact firearms that fire smaller rounds.
  • Most handguns are revolvers (single action or double action), hammer operated (double and/or single action) and striker firer action.
  • Short Range.

m249 SAW RPK

Light Machine Guns:

  • Large capacity, high rate of fire guns with large calibers designed for suppressive fire.
  • The different types of light machine guns are typically closed bolt or open bolt designed.
  • They are generally very large, bulky, and heavy.
  • Medium Range.

Kriss_Vector p90

Sub Machine Guns:

  • Compact, extremely high rate of fire guns that are designed for close quarters combat, conceal-ability and personal defense.
  • These are also usually open or closed bolt.
  • Generally small and very light and fire either handgun rounds or shortened rifle rounds.
  • Short Range.

Bushmaster ACR FN fs2000

Assault Rifles:

  • Essentially are the same as rifles but are fully automatic and more ergonomic.
  • They also are more common as carbines (have a barrel shorter than 16″).
  • Generally medium size and weight.
  • Medium Range.

Given this information, hopefully it is easy to see that not all guns are the same. This is the reason why conflation of all firearms is inaccurate, and trying to make laws that apply to all firearms will not be effective.

Firearms Myth #6: Politicians Are Competent to Make Gun Laws

joe biden

You may have seen politicians and various media personnel being mocked for their lack of knowledge on firearms. I can respect a politician who is anti-gun, but if someone has a job to make laws about firearms that will affect an entire country, then I will hold him or her responsible for not being knowledgable on the subject. How can someone fairly evaluate an issue on which to make legislation on if they have no idea what they are even talking about? A lot of times, politicians make laws that did something completely different from what they thought it would simply because they simply do no not know the basic operation, classification or parts of firearms. After the horribly tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama appointed Joe Biden as the head of the Gun Control Task Force, a very important position in the overall operation of gun control. However, should he be put into this position?

joe-biden-shotgun

Many politicians have said, well, foolish things about firearms in the past. Lets be honest: Mr. Joseph Biden, the Vice President of our very great United States has said some very foolish things in general, but also about firearms as well. Probably the best example of this is the whole “buy a shotgun” comment that he made during his interview with the editor of Parent’s Magazine where he was answering subscriber questions. He was asked if banning certain types of guns and magazines would make gun owners more vulnerable to criminals because they would not be able to defend themselves. His response was mostly a lack there of, but it also included some very ignorant and dangerous advice such as: “I said Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony there, put that double barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whatever’s coming in is not coming out. You don’t need an AR-15. Its harder to aim, its harder to use, and in fact you don’t need thirty rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!” Let us analyze what Joe Biden is saying here. He wants people to blindly fire 12 gauge shotgun loads at any noise that people hear outside their home. This is an incredulously irresponsible and dangerous use of a firearm, and it violates at least two of the most important firearm safety rule: do not ever point or aim a firearm at something you do not intend to shoot, and always be completely sure of your target and what lies behind it. These rules are set up to avoid people from getting hurt by misuses of firearms, but how can you safely fire at ambiguous noises that you are not sure of the source? This kind of firearms advocation will lead to innocent people being hurt if anyone follows it. Also, we should remember that the interview where Joe Biden made this statement was in response to a massacre, with the intended purpose of less people being hurt by firearms. I am sorry Joe Biden, but you do not have the competency to accomplish that.

Also, just to take another jab at the media in accordance with gun politics, Joe Biden claims that a shotgun is easier to aim and use than an AR-15, so then why does everyone fear AR-15’s so much? Ar-15s are the main focus of the media, as well as the government bans it seems. People attack its characteristics of “high capacity magazines” (which I will discuss in a later post), and aesthetics such as collapsable stocks, forward handgrips, picatinny rail mounts, and different types of optics. If shotguns are easier to use, then shouldn’t the focus be on banning them since in the politicians’ eyes, shotguns would be easier to use to carry out mass shootings?

I know that this is only looking at one politician who clearly is not fit to enact gun legislation, but there are plenty of others, including many Republican politicians who have no business making gun laws. Joe Biden should be considered as an important part of gun legislation, as Obama appointed him as head of the gun control task force. As a result, this is what he has to offer…

dianne-feinstein

For the sake of keeping this post somewhat short, I will not talk about other politicians here, but I recommend looking up some of the things that Senator Dianne Feinstein has done, or tried to do. I promise that you will not be disappointed with the foolishness of it.

Firearms Myth #5: Gun Restrictions Will Prevent Gun Crimes

willy wonka gun control

As I stated in my last post, criminals are the people who are committing gun crimes, not ordinary gun owners. That being said, of someone is planning to commit a crime with a gun, they will obtain it through illegal means because its easier, cheaper, and will not have the gun registered to them. So, what will happen if gun laws got stricter?

Since criminals are the ones who commit gun crimes with illegally obtained firearms, what is to stop them from doing the same thing because now there is a limit on magazine capacities? Criminals by definition do not follow the law, so putting more restrictions on the legal means of purchasing firearms, or on the accessories that people can put on guns will not deter criminals because they are already breaking more severe laws. Instead, all this does is decrease the number of law biding citizens that can protect themselves against malicious people who will have guns no matter what. This video does a very good job explaining why restrictions on accessories such as magazines will not create a functional difference when people use firearms to hurt people. If you go to 9:19 in the video, you will see how restricting attachments and accessories to firearms does not change the functionality or lethality of the firearm.

Which campus Now the question is will disarming the public result in less gun crime? Well first, this leaves the citizens completely vulnerable against any perpetrator who does have a gun. Second, will people be less likely to commit crimes if they know for a fact that their victims will be unarmed? It is highly unlikely. Clearly someone will have a higher chance of pulling a crime off successfully if they are armed and the citizens around them are not. That is just inviting in people to commit crimes.

gun-Free zone

Lastly, lets see if gun restrictions have any effect on crime in the real world. There are two very good test cases for this, being Australia and Great Britain, both of which have banned firearms almost entirely. According to Baker and McPhredran, correspondents to the Research Unit of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, since the gun ban and buy backs, there was no evidence of a measurable effect on crime. According to Robert Wainwright, even though there has been a decline in homicides since the ban in 1996, that decline is consistent with the steady decline of homicides since long before 1996. Also, there has been a rise in abductions involving firearms and an increase in attempted murder involving firearms. That being said, clearly Australia and America have completely different cultures and political climates that which means that gun restrictions will not have the same effects. However, if you look at the gun culture in America, we have been some of the biggest pioneers in firearms since the nineteenth century. Our country is also built on freedom, and we have developed into a hegemonic culture with a strong stance on self defense. So, if anything, gun restrictions would have less of a positive effect in America due to our heavy tie into gun culture. Although Austrailia is different, their country hasn’t been as tied to gun culture, and there was not too much of a protest when the gun bans took place, showing that gun culture is a lot more prevalent in America. Henceforth, I do not believe that gun restrictions will be as effective in America, even though the restrictions in Australia proved to be somewhat worse.

Firearms Myth #4: Gun Owners are Criminals

father_and_son_silhouette equal sign criminal      question mark

Whether or not you agree with gun ownership, to essentialize gun owners as criminals is not only ignorant, but also a logical fallacy.  Those who purchase or possess firearms through illegal means are not gun owners; they are criminals. Only those who legally obtain and use firearms are gun owners.

When you think about it, why would someone go through the legal processes of buying a firearm if they are planning on committing a crime with it? Buying a firearm legally is a long, expensive process that is easily be circumvented by people looking to use firearms illegally. To purchase a firearm legally, one must go into a gun store, with many witnesses and cameras, then go through at least one background check, pay for the heavy taxes and government stamps on firearms, then have the dealer register the firearm to him or her, and then in some states such as California, go through a ten day waiting period. So, if someone was intending to use a gun to commit a crime, why would they go through that long, expensive process just to get a gun that will be traced back to them if they do anything illegal? The answer is that they simply do not. Criminals are not that foolish that they would make a blatant evidence trail leading right to them. Therefor, it would make no sense for criminals or potential criminals to use legal firearms. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2010, only 1.5% of firearms transfers or permits were denied, showing that the 98.5% of people who go through the legal system to buy guns are law biding citizens who are competent and eligible to own firearms.

gun dealer

Now, some people might argue that background checks and registration are not required in most states and therefor most firearm sales occur without it. However, it is actually in the firearm dealer’s best interest to perform background checks and register firearms to people. First of all, realistically, relatively no one wants a shooting to occur, and they will take steps to prevent that if they can, especially if they are a firearms dealer. Even if you think that is not true and that firearms dealers only want to maximize their profits so they will sell guns to people without background checks or registration, you need to look at the bigger picture. Would a firearms dealer want to take full liability of a firearm they sold to a random person, and risk losing their F.F.L. (Federal Firearms License) and shutting down the entire business because they can net a $300 off an AR-15 that they sold to a person without a background check or registration? Of course not. When an F.F.L. dealer purchases firearms to sell to people, the guns are automatically registered to the store. If they do not register the firearm to the person they sell it to, the gun will be traced back to the store if any illegal activity occurs with the gun. The ATF is extremely strict on who they give F.F.L.’s to, and is very adamant about looking into cases where unregistered firearms are used in shootings. Firearm dealers are very aware of this, as the ATF wants them to be, so they have the incentives to do backgrounds and registration this way the entire business does not hold liability for what people do with their firearms. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 3,000 Federal, State, and Local agencies perform background checks for multiple dealers.