January 14, 2013
Gun Defense: Worldwide, Police Are Not Always Your Friends
During the recent and ongoing gun control debate, I've heard many people ask, "Wy does an average civilian need an assault weapon?"
I have a fundamental problem with this line of question: Why should we have to prove a "need" to demand our fundamental rights, or any one of them, which are guaranteed by, but predate the United States Constitution? But even with that caveat, here is a beautiful example of why we civilians do need access to so-called assault weapons.
For more than a decade, drug cartels and criminals have actually controlled a large part of the Mexican state of Guerrero (the state which contains the resort city of Acapulco); they have extorted, kidnapped, raped, and killed many thousands of people, as the government helplessly looked on. The police, the national guard, the Mexican marines are no help: They're outnumbered and outgunned, and they are corrupted by the very evil they're supposed to fight.
Fed up with the years of violence, townspeople in several Guerrero cities finally took up arms and made a stand:
Several hundred civilians have taken up arms in two towns in a southwestern Mexico state and are arresting people suspected of crimes and imposing a curfew, leading authorities to promise to reinforce security forces in the area....
People in the area said about 800 residents were participating in the armed groups acting as unofficial police. The vigilantes ordered a 10 p.m. curfew for the two towns and are looking for suspected criminals. Schools have suspended classes....
A man in a ski mask at one roadblock told reporters that townspeople had to act against criminals.
"They kill, extort, rape. You do not know if they are drug dealers, thugs, who want to grab everything," he said. "We want to return peace and tranquility to the entire population. Only the people can restore order." [Emphasis added -- SY]
Although more corrupt than the United States or Canada, Mexico is nevertheless a democratic country. Compared to other coutries under Communism, socialism, or other dictatorial regimes, it is relatively civilized. And they have much stricter gun control laws than any state of the United States. And yet, the law has not, cannot protect them. People are suffering from the extreme violence of organized criminals, drug lords, revolutionaries, and terrorists, despite living where the entire country is legally a "gun-free zone."
The anti-gun radicals in America may dismiss Mexico as "totally different" from the U.S.: Our police are more effective, our government is still under our control. But take a long look at Chicago, whose murder rate, at 19.4 per 100,000 is actually worse than Mexico's murder rate of 18 per 100,000.
In most firearm killings in Chicago, including of many minors, the criminal's weapon of choice is a hundgun. So why does a gun-control fanatic such as Pierce Morgan talk only about banning assault weapons, which are rarely used in crime and the primary purpose of which is not murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping, or even (despite its name) assault, but to defend against a large number of assailants -- as during the L.A. riots of 1992?
It's hard to resist concluding that Mr. Morgan is less interested in preventing the deaths of children and young adults in ordinary violent crimes in Chicago, and much more anxious to prevent the sort of self-defense uprisings, against a corrupt and compromised government, that we're now seeing in Guerrero.
I think the curtain concealing Mr. Morgan's statism is slipping.
Hatched by Sachi on this day, January 14, 2013, at the time of 7:37 PM
The following hissed in response by: Roy Lofquist
"I think the curtain concealing Mr. Morgan's statism is slipping."
I don't agree. Mr. Morgan is an attention seeking drama queen who is deathly afraid of having to get a real job.
The following hissed in response by: GW
I laugh whenever I hear the left condemn "assault weapons" because their sole use is "killing people." That is, in fact, the whole purpose of the 2nd Amendment - to be able to do bad things to bad people who threaten you with violence. Neither hunting, skeet shooting, nor any other use of weapons was discussed in the majority opinion by the Supreme Court in Heller.
Moreover, when you get down to it, "assault weapons" are nothing more than semi-automatic weapons, a technology that has been around for 125 years. And indeed, the AR15 itself has been around for almost 50 of those years. The Supreme Court in Heller clearly held that the 2nd Amendment protects a right to modern weapons. We haven't seen a challenge yet to a state assault weapons ban get to the Supreme Court, but if it does before the Court gets packed by Obama, assault weapons bans should be deemed unconstitutional.
All of that said, there are about 3.5 million AR15 class weapons in the U.S. They are popular for a number of reasons, one of which is that they make the most family friendly weapons for home defense.
The AR15 has several characteristics that make it an eminently practical weapon for self defense. One, it has virtually no recoil, thus making it something that most anyone of any level of strength can use to fire multiple shots with good accuracy. Two, while an AR15 fires a small caliber bullet - 5.56 - it does so with very high muzzle velocity, 3,110 feet per second. It's stopping power comes causing significant cavitation in the body. In other words, pinpoint accuracy isn't required.
By comparison, the M9 9mm handgun fires a larger bullet, but does so at 1,250 fps. Like virtually all pistols, it has a fairly significant recoil that a weaker individual might have trouble with. To reduce recoil, you have to go to smaller caliber weapons and smaller loads. The smaller the caliber and muzzle velocity, all other things being equal, the less effective will be the weapon when it comes to self defense against a determined attacker.
For some recent real world examples - in the last month, there have been two successful instances of home defense. There was the woman who hid with her children, then fired off six shots with a .38 at an attacker, hitting him at close range with 5 rounds. Then she was out of ammo. She and her children escaped unharmed, while the attacker walked away, eventually falling a few minutes later from blood loss. If she had missed with a few rounds or if there had been multiple attackers, the situation might not have had a happy ending.
In a second instance, a boy was at home with his younger sister when two men attempted a home invasion. The boy grabbed his father's AR15 and put two rounds into one of the attackers. The police arrived in time to clean up the attacker. The other ran but was soon caught.
Bottom line, banning the AR15 and its variants is banning perhaps the single most effective weapon for home defense. That is particularly true for women and teens. Keep that in mind as the left tries to disarm America in the wake of Sandy Hook.
The above hissed in response by: GW at January 16, 2013 3:37 AM
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