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Gun Control--When is there a limit?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    They can fire incendiary or armor-piercing projectiles at high velocity from a mile away with pinpoint accuracy. They weigh just 30-60 pounds and can be easily disassembled for a quick getaway in only 25 seconds. They are advertised by their manufacturers as being capable of bringing down low-flying aircraft as easily as bird hunting. They can be purchased by any schmo for as little as $1,250 at gun shows or even off the web. At issue is a fairly recent addition to the U.S. gun market, the .50 caliber sniper rifle. And if the NRA has its way, none of that will change. (a www.thenewrepublic.com link)

    The National Rifle Association's (NRA) arguments against restricting these guns are less than persuasive. "They're used for target shooting," said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. (CRPA), the NRA's official state association in California. The NRA also claimed, in an August 28, 2001, fact sheet, that ".50 caliber rifles are not used in crimes," ignoring cases of use by IRA snipers, drug runners, and cult members. In addition, they argued that the cost and size of these weapons make them unappealing for ordinary buyers, despite the gun's growing popularity among, well, ordinary individual buyers. "[T]hey're way too expensive and cumbersome for run-of-the-mill lowlifes," the fact sheet said.

    But others see .50 caliber sniper rifles as nothing less than a threat to national security.

    The military acknowledges the gun's specific threat to planes. As pointed out in the VPC report, several U.S. Army manuals warn against the risk of small-arms fire--such as that from a .50-caliber gun--against low-flying aircraft, citing heavy losses from ground fire in Korea and Vietnam. And experts say airliners' large sizes means they would be easier for snipers to hit and destroy than smaller, fast-flying planes. Airplanes waiting on the runway are also vulnerable. A 1995 report done for the Air Force by the Rand Corporation found that .50-caliber guns give "light forces a portable and quite deadly option against parked aircraft." In the November 2001 issue of Airman, the Air Force's official magazine, an article on anti-sniper efforts described planes parked on a fully protected U.S. airbase to be as vulnerable as "ducks on a pond" because .50-caliber guns could shoot from beyond most airbase perimeters.

    Is this weapon just the latest boogie man in our struggle against terrorism or does it pose such a significant threat that a legislative crackdown is warranted?

    My own feel is that I am PRO-gun ownership, but I am pretty much against anything like this or automatic machine guns like Uzi's AK, Colt, etc...
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Please.... Your average crook isn't going to buy a .50 calibre rifle to go hold up the local 7-11. And the other cases they mention (IRA, drug runners, etc.) aren't going to be purchasing their firearms at the local gun shop, either.
  3. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I think the fear of a fifty threatening airliners is overblown. They do not have the range to hit a flying plane except possilbly landing or taking off. Then you have to add that these fifty sniping rifles are not automatic weapons. Planes brought down by fifties in war time were receiving a stream of fifty caliber bullets, not one shot.

    Nevertheless, I agree Ethics, the prinicpal of accuracy can be learned with a 7.62 at 1000 yards as well as a .50 at 1500 so I tend to want to sacrifice the .50 so my other weapons can be left alone. Would be glad to give this up if I could get the detailed crap of the assualt weapons ban removed. Can have this, can't have this, can only have magazine of 10 rounds. Give me a break.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    No, it will be purchased by someone who has good intentions but the gun will eventually get to the person who has malicious intent.

    How do criminals get guns these days?
  5. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Exactly. So how is banning the law abiding citizen from obtaining them going to make a difference? Your crook is just going to get one from the black market.

    Banning guns from law abiding citizens does nothing in preventing anyone from obtaining a firearm, even the heavy duty weapons.
  6. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    A .50 cal. sniper rifle is really designed for one specific purpose: killing individuals at long range. Maybe John Lee Malvo could have used one, but it's highly unlikely that most criminals will even bother. $1250 will buy one hell of a lot of Saturday Night Specials.
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ok, let's go back some.

    How do guns get IN to the blackmarket?
  8. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Many many ways.. And as long as there are guns, they'll be on the black market. Many are stolen, many are sold, many are sold illegally.

    If you have the money, you can get just about anything, even military grade weapons. And as long as there are those that don't care where the weapon ends up, there'll be a black market for them.
  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Well, I guess that makes sense. The regular dealer/criminal would get his gun from the blackmarket as well then.

    Which would leave the regular citizen wide open.

    But let me ask you this then, why does a regular citizen need an Uzi or an AK for example, or something like this sniper rifle?
  10. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Varmint control.
  11. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Ethics, are we approaching this from the wrong angle. Until gun ownership is declared unprotected we should not worry about justifying every make of weapon. Getting into a discussion about every weapon is the tactic of gun banners. That is the way they claim valid diaglog when their only goal is take guns from all law abiding citizend. More laws will do nothing to take guns from those who ignore laws.
  12. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Collector, gun enthusiast, or sharp shooter could be reasons.

    I guess the flip side is, why should a regular citizen not be able to get these guns?

    I think it needs to be said again that "gun control" never ends up with the results that were intended. Just look at the latest news stories coming out of Europe about the failures. All "gun control" laws do is harm regular, law abiding citizens.
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Then we should be able to infuse lead in to the barrels for the gun collectors.

    And Shiny, I am not pushing for gun control, I am however, wondering why people would need an AK47 in their house.

    I am desperately trying to understand both sides to this issue.
  14. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    "...why does a regular citizen need an Uzi or an AK for example, or something like this sniper rifle?"

    "A well-regulated militia, being necessary....."

    I'm not one to think our government is going to create a dictatorship, at least not any time soon. But I'll be damned if I'll let it take away gun ownership from law-abiding citizens who, one day, if all goes wrong, may be required to resist their government in the only way remaining to them.

    Different times, no doubt, but imagine 13 British colonies where gun ownership was illegal....
  15. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

  16. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Ooooooooooooooooooo! I want one!
  17. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    LOL...they must be talking about the Barrett M82Ax series of weapons, manufactured in Tennessee, I think it is. (Or is it Kentucky?)

    Great weapon, but also the size of a freaking tank--they were used in Robocop when Boddicker and Co. went after Robo, those really big guns they were carrying around.

    As far is it being used by a common criminal, that would be pretty tough; try wrestling one of those things into a 7-11 for a stick-up.

    As far as hitting an airliner or, more realistically, a general aviation aircraft, there are lots of smaller-caliber weapons that could reach out and touch something, too. But again--I can't imagine a real-world application for a .50 caliber in civilian life.

    I'd say keep them out of circulation, so I can hold onto my SPAS without worrying about it.


  18. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  19. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    A flame-thrower and an RPG, huh? Too funny. Figures it would be in Arizona, the Militia State.

  20. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Ethics, I understand your question and I cannot answer it except to say that I agree with SteveNT. The framers of our country had just won a war against one of the superpowers of the 18th century world. They never could have accomplished this if gun owenership was restricted. Now I have enough military background in me to know that we are not going to arm every citizen with artillery and missile launchers or allow them to own fully armed F15 fighters. If a revolt ever happens again it can only be successful if the military refuses to kill the citizenry. That will only happen if the government's actions have become very objectionable and if we have continued to have an army of citizens.

    So the arming of the citizenry is not to imply they could ever fight a Marine divisision in a set piece battle. It is to imply that they could disrupt the functions of government enough for the government to fall of its own weight and corruption. To that end citizens should be allowed to own military grade rifles and pistols with military issue magazines. I can live without automatic weapons but cannot come up with an argument against those wanting to own an automatic capable rifle such as an M16. By the way, there is no difference between a M16 and an AK47 except for the demonization of the AK as it armed all those commies.

    And I would like to see a way to track arms and their sales and I understand those who insist on it. But show me a way where it won't be used to confiscate the guns as it was in Australia and in California before you sell me on any system. If any part of my first paragraph is accepted then it cannot be made easy to take the guns away from legal owners.

    So how do we stop objectionable actions by those with weapons? We strictly enforce the laws we have now. We make using a gun in a crime severely punishable with mandatory sentences. We make owning a gun illegal for anybody who commits a violent crime, who is a substance abuser, or commits crimes against property. And then we enforce those laws.

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