June 21, 2004

Ammo For The AWB Renewal?

In Alabama 3 cops were shot & killed with an SKS.

First a fisking of the article & then some thoughts on what this means for us:

"The weapon used to kill three Birmingham police officers Thursday in Ensley was a powerful assault rifle originally used for military purposes."

The 7.62x39mm cartridge (which the SKS is chambered for) is ballistically slightly less powerful than the .30-30 Winchester cartridge that was developed in 1892. The use of the modifier "powerful" is misleading & downright inaccurate. Now I wouldn't say the SKS fires a wimpy cartridge, but I wouldn't say it's powerful unless I was speaking relatively. Compared to a typical handgun, then yes; the SKS is a powerful weapon. Compared to the typical rifle, the no - it's in the medium power range.

& the SKS is not an "assault rifle". as defined by that piece of bullshit the AWB of '94. It has (typically) a fixed 10 round magazine & is therefore immune from the provisions of the AWB unless it's feeding system is altered to the detachable magazine type. Then it's possible to make the SKS into an "illegal assault weapon" but you'd have to add other things to it such as a folding stock or a flash hider.

It is not an assault weapon if we go by the traditional definition: it is not capable of select fire. It's semi-auto only & the non-legal definition of assault weapon requires full-auto fire.

So this is the typical exaggaration despite the facts that we see from the press when they want to sell papers & policies.

"Police say the officers were shot with an SKS assault rifle, similar to an AK-47. The specific model was not available late Thursday. Police found the weapon in some bushes outside the house at 1619 18th St., where the shooting occurred."

Note the attempt at association with the AK-47.

"The SKS is a gas-powered, semi-automatic rifle that usually holds 10 rounds and was first used by the Soviet Union in the mid-1940s, according to www.hk94.com, an online resource for information about firearms. Semi-automatic means the weapon fires once with each pull of the trigger."

I am impressed that they pointed that out.

"Anyone could purchase it easily at many gun shops, according to Cecil Lee, manager of Aero Marine Outfitters in Trussville."

No, not anyone: they'd have to meet the federal standards for firearms ownership.

"Lee said that although a hunter might purchase the 9-pound gun for hunting, it's not the weapon of choice. 'It's not normally a super-accurate gun,' he said. 'It would fall vaguely under the category of assault rifle."

Mr. Lee is either extremely ignorant or a Fuddite. I'd wager both. Quisling is not an inappropriate description of Mr. Lee either.

An SKS is typically not a target rifle, but neither are the lever actions rifles which are chambered for the slightly more powerful (& I mean slightly) .30-30 Winchester. The typical deer hunter could do fine with an SKS under 200 yards, which is about all the range a 7.62x39 (or a .30-30 winchester) has for deer sized game. To say it's unsitable for hunting is to say that a lever action Winchester in .30-30 is unsuitable for hunting since both the rifles & their cartridges are similar. In effect I'm not saying Mr. Lee is wrong; a few million dead deer are.

& again, the SKS is as much an assault rifle as one of the Remington 7400's I'm sure he'd be willing to sell you. Either one could be modified to fall under the "assault weapons" ban's prhibitions, but as they're sold they're not "assault weapons".

"Lee's shop doesn't carry it because he doesn't consider it a sporting gun."

Mr. Lee's shop doesn't carry it because it usually retails for around $150. A lever action retails for around $350. I don't begrudge him trying to maximize his profits (after all that's why people go in business) but it's dishonest of him to try to attribute his motives to something principled. He can make a bigger sale off a lever action than an SKS even though the two are very similar in their limitations & capabilities.

But Mr. Lee has sold you out. He's collaborated with the enemy. He's damning a type of rifle based on its appearance & is lying about his reasons for doing so.

If you're in Alabama, please stop by Mr. Lee's shop & inform him of the money you're dying to spend on wares that he sells, but that you just can't bring yourself to give money to an anti-gunner in gunner's clothing.

"At least two of the officers killed Thursday were wearing standard protective armor that would be unable to stop bullets from the SKS, but Lee said there are vests designed to stop such powerful blasts."

That's because vests are rated to certain power levels. some vests will prevent penetration by a 7.62x39mm's projectile. I wouldn't want ot wear the damn thing all day but it'll do that. It won't stop a .30-05 Springfield. They make a vest that will stop one shot of .30-06 (& I mean only one) but again, it's not something I'd want to wear for more than a minute longer than necessary.

"It would probably shoot through two phone books,' Lee said. 'It's a rifle I would hope I wouldn't have to face."

Most handgun rounds will go through two phone books. paper isn't that dense & it takes a lot fo it to absord even a few hundred foot-pounds of kinetic energy. But suffice to say, Mr. Lee either is totally ignorant of the subject (which should make buying a firearm from him a less than warm & fuzzy experience) or he's knowingly betraying gun owners. Either way the result is the same.

"Phillip George, a K-9 patrolman with the Tarrant Police Department, said the vests most police officers wear wouldn't be able to fend off bullets powered by a rifle like the SKS. Tarrant police use Army-donated vests that hold two ceramic plates, but George said even those vests might not withstand a blast from an SKS.
Reinforced vests are more effective against such rifles, but are much too heavy to wear for extended periods, George said. He added that they also wouldn't be useful in a tactical situation because they restrict movement.
'The whole vest itself is probably close to 40 pounds,' he said about reinforced vests, adding that even standard vests are bulky at times."

Here's a post I did a while back on some misconceptions about bellet resistant vests. It's not that hard to understand the principles behind the vests as well as their limitations.

what is hard to understand is the implication that since a rifle will go through a vest rated to stop handgun cartridges then the rifle must be super powerful. The only thing I can compare it to is saying that since a stereo speaker can be heard through a hallway with opened doors then that speaker must be super powerful.

Now what this means for us is that DiFi & her minions will repeat this incident over & over again in an attempt to justify a renewal of the AWB. Yes, I know the SKS wouldn't be effected by a simple renewal. Yes I know that the officers would be just as dead if they'd have been shot with a lever action rifle in .30-30 winchester. But most people don't. & that's what they'll be counting on: the ignorance of the common person.

They'll attempt to use this to garner public sympathy for a renewal of the ban. 7 ya knwo what? It'll probably be effective at that. But that's to be expected.

What bothers me is that A: three cops were killed & B: the rfile used is not prohibited by the AWB.

Aside from the loss of human life apsects, the victims in this case represent a very loud voice in American politics. No police chief or police union rep will want to buck public opinion & oppose a renewal of a ban that touches on weapons similar in appearance to the one responsible for the death of three officers. If DiFi knows what she's doing she could use this to galvanize the various law enforcement organizations into her camp. Which in turn might be enough pressure to get Bush off his ass & activelly support the ban he passivley supports.

& because the SKS was not covered by the ban, look for an attempt to strengthen the ban. It will probably happen seperate from an attempt to renew the ban, unless Bush starts throwing his political weight around.

& for those of you who think the House will stop it cold, you're mistaken. deLay is opposed to the AWB, but Hastert sets the legislative agenda. He's the one who controls what gets voted on & what doesn't. & he's open to a vote.

According to GOA's ratings, there are enough anti-gun votes in the House to pass damned near any gun control bill. Just like the Senate, our only chance is to keep it from being voted on.

To make things even messier, Hastert is about to receive more pressure to let it come to a vote.

Get ready to dig in. I don't know when Difi will attempt to move her bill in the senate, but if I were here I'd be thinking now would be a good time. There's presure on Hastert to allow a vote in the House, & the police associations could be used to pressure Bush to start being active in his support of the AWB renewal.

I'll let you know when it happens, or as soon as I find out & can get to a keyboard. Just be ready to light up the phones.

Posted by Publicola at June 21, 2004 02:26 AM

You forgot to close out your strikeout tag. Its difficult to read.

Posted by: moparmike at June 21, 2004 02:55 AM

Thanks Mopar... corrected.

Posted by: Publicola at June 21, 2004 04:07 AM

Vests that will stop 7.62x39 rounds, like the IBA (Interceptor Body Armor) worn by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, are bulky, and not that comfy...but what I find annoying about that bit in the story is that the cop quoted admitted that his department had them, but the officers in question weren't wearing them, because they're too bulky and ucomfortable, and it was "only" a misdemeanor domestic violence warrant. Although, from what I read, the shooter wasn't the guy they were after, but a more heavily armed goblin who happened to be in the house.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian at June 21, 2004 09:32 AM

You see, the goblins have to use an officially sanctioned high power scary looking rifle for cop killing. Can you imagine the kind of reception they would get from their fellow hellbound wraiths, were it to come out that the cop killing was done with something unfashionable, like a lever action Bambi-shooter in .32 Special?

Posted by: triticale at June 21, 2004 08:20 PM

Good post.


Posted by: James R. Rummel at June 30, 2004 07:30 PM
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