March 12, 2009

The Serial Liars of the Brady Campaign

I saw via Reason that the ever opportunistic Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence jumped at the chance to once again use a tragedy for political gain. The Brady Campaign, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is the Westboro Baptist Church of the gun confiscation movement.

Never missing a chance to fabricate, obfuscate, or twist the truth, they begin with a whopper in their opening paragraph (my bold below):

Alabama killer Michael McLendon fired more than 200 rounds from his military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. He lived in a state that has pathetically weak guns laws: In the Brady Campaign’s recent state scorecards, Alabama earned a score of 15 out of 100. Assault weapons were banned under federal law until four years ago.

This statement is a monsterous lie.

The 1994 Assault Weapon ban that our über-intelligent Vice President liked to take the credit for authoring banned by name less than two dozen firearms, and attempted to ban others by making rifles or pistols with detachable magazines and two or more cosmetic features—pistol grips, flash hiders, bayonet lugs and other features that had no effect on accuracy or rate fire—illegal.

What effect did this law have on the legal sale or possession of these "evil" weapons the Brady Campaign and so many gullible Congressmen and Senators rushed into law?

It increased the popularity of these firearms. Yes, you read that correctly.

Legal sales of these kinds of firearms grew during the so-called ban. Manufacturers of some rifles, for example, removed flash hiders and bayonet lugs, and put these same firearms into the hands of eager customers the very day the "ban" took effect, and every day of the ten years afterward until it expired. Manufacturers of banned pistols made similar modifications, and had similar results. It might also be noted that an entire new class of concealable handguns was the direct but hilariously unintended consequence of this law, but that is a tale for another time.

There firearms were constantly and quite legally available during the time this impotent law was in effect. Manufacturers specializing in these kinds of firearms actually expanded during this time period, and competitions dedicating to shooting them greatly increased. Brady's claim that assault weapons were banned until the law expired four years ago is patently absurd.

McLendon shot complete strangers, women, children, dogs and his own mother before taking his own life. He had an SKS assault rifle, a Bushmaster assault rifle and a 38 caliber handgun.

Neither an SKS nor a Bushmaster is an assault rifle, but that has never kept Westboro Gun Banners Brady from making the claim over and over again. An assault weapon, by proper military definition, must be selective-fire, fitted with a selector that enables the shooter to fire either single shots or a burst for each trigger pull. None of the guns in the assault weapons ban was actually an assault weapon, which I guess is appropriate, as they weren't actually banned, either.

Because of thoroughly dishonest groups like Brady and unethical men like Helmke, the term "assault weapon" has evolved into a political term that can be applied to almost any semi-automatic firearm, even though using it thus is factually incorrect.

Alabama has the fifth-highest gun death rate in America, including the third-highest rate of gun homicide.

"This man needed the firepower of assault weapons to execute his plan of mass carnage. Alabama, and our nation, must take action to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.

The "firepower" of these weapons— or rather, the lack of it—may be directly responsible for the fact that two or more law enforcement officers who confront the gunman are alive today.

The Bushmaster rifle the murderer carried fires an intermediate caliber .223 Remington cartridge with a lightweight, high-velocity bullet generally considered to small and weak to use on deer-sized targets, and is instead typically used on much smaller game. The officers that he shot were protected in large part because the lightweight bullets fired were easily slowed, stopped, or deflected by their police cars, resulting in officers that were mildly wounded instead of being more seriously wounded or killed. If the shooter had used any one of many popular big game hunting cartridges...

The simple fact of the matter is that this deranged and vengeful man could have carried out his murderous assault with the shotgun he also had in his vehicle (the one that Brady curiously forgot to mention) and could have caused as much damage and loss of life as he did, or worse.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 12, 2009 10:32 PM
This statement is a monsterous lie.

Monstrous lie.

The elitist bastards won't be able to find "monsterous" in their dictionaries.

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich Renko at March 12, 2009 11:45 PM

The Brady people also failed to note that it required individuals with firearms to confront this killer. Logic dictates that if the average citizens had been carrying weapons, the loss of life could have been drastically reduced.

Stories such as this will only increase as the world continues down the path of insanity. The Brady campaign's goal is to make everyone a victim by denying us the ability of self-defense. I, for one, refuse to be a victim.

Posted by: Just Askin' at March 12, 2009 11:46 PM

I have a MA in English, Ivan. That means I never make spelling mistakes, I just my "authority" an an advanced practitioner to create alternative spellings. ;-)

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 13, 2009 08:01 AM

I bought my first AR-15 during the "Assault Weapons Ban." It was rendered "safe" because the law required that it not have a bayonet lug. When the ban ended I replaced the front sight with one that does have a bayonet lug. America beware, this firearm is now more lethal than ever!

Posted by: Esteve at March 13, 2009 08:26 AM

Yes, indeed. There are so many crimes commited at bayonet point.

Posted by: jay stevens at March 13, 2009 09:09 AM

Wonder why the Brady group didn't mention the simultaneous murders in Germany, which has gun laws that are the Brady Campaign's wet dream?

I bet explosives are illegal, but that didn't stop the OK City bombing. It's the perpetrator, not his choice of weapons, nor can you prevent every bad thing in the world from happening through legislation.

Posted by: Jim at March 13, 2009 09:31 AM

Creative spelling? I need to remember that.

My SKS with the aftermarket synthetic stock, muzzle brake/flash suppressor, 30 round magazine is so awesome just showing a picture of it has been known to make muggers wet their pants and run off squealing like little girls.

Posted by: 1sttofight at March 13, 2009 10:08 AM

CY. Minor correction to your above.

"An assault weapon, by proper military definition, must be selective-fire, fitted with a selector that enables the shooter to fire either single shots or a burst for each trigger pull."

That would be assault rifle. Not assault weapon. Assault weapon was the fake name made up by antis to describe a semiautomatic firearm that looks like an assault rifle.

Posted by: Matt at March 13, 2009 11:43 AM

Thank god he didn't have an M-1!

Posted by: Da Possum at March 13, 2009 04:32 PM

"...intermediate caliber .223 Remington cartridge..."

I would characterize the .223 about the smallest caliber and power center-fire cartridge available. 'Smallest' as in bottom 10%.

As a sportsman, it's charm is virtually no recoil, inherit accuracy, and sufficient power to take out chipmunks and prairie dogs with a single, center of body mass hit.

As a soldier, I would say it's charm is that it really annoys the jihadis and keeps their heads down when fed through a M-249.

Posted by: Druid at March 13, 2009 10:48 PM

"As a sportsman, it's charm is virtually no recoil, inherit accuracy, and sufficient power to take out chipmunks and prairie dogs with a single, center of body mass hit."

Intermediate between the muzzle energies of a pistol round and a full power round.

.45 ACP 559 joules

5.56x45mm muzzle energy, 1,767 joules

7.62x51 3552 Joules.

But we all know that energy does not automatically equate to lethality.

For everyone's edification.

Small arms: (U.S. Military definition)
Any firearm that uses a projectile that is smaller than 20mm. The NATO definition says "All crew-portable direct fire weapons of a caliber less than 50mm and will include a secondary capability to defeat light armor and helicopters."

A handgun is a firearm designed to be held in the hand when used.

The different class of handguns are- Single shot pistol, Revolver, Semi-automatic pistol, Machine pistol.

Single shot pistol:
Single shot pistols are firearms that hold only a single round of ammunition, and must be reloaded after each shot.

A revolver is a repeating firearm that consists of multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. As the user cocks the hammer, the cylinder revolves to align the next round with the barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name.

Semi-automatic pistol:
A semi-automatic pistol is a type of handgun that can be fired in semi-automatic mode, firing one cartridge for each pull of the trigger.

Machine pistol:
A machine pistol is a handgun-style, magazine-fed and self-loading firear, capable of fully automatic or burst fire, and normally chambered for pistol cartridges. A machine pistol is not a submachine gun, however the line is a hard one to draw sometimes.

Now onto rifles.

Single-shot rifle:
Self explanatory. Further questions see single shot pistol.

Repeating rifle:
A repeating rifle is a single barreled rifle containing multiple rounds of ammunition. These rounds are loaded from a magazine by means of a manual or automatic mechanism, and the action that reloads the rifle also typically re-cocks the firing action. The term repeating rifle is most often applied to weapons in which the next cartridge is loaded by a manual action, as opposed to Semi-automatic rifle, in which the force of one shot is used to load the next.

Semi-automatic rifle:
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of rifle that fires a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled, without the need manually to operate a bolt, lever, pump or other firing or loading mechanism.

Sniper Rifle:
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a rifle used to ensure accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than small arms. Additionally, for a rifle to be classified as a sniper rifle, not only does it have to be used to snipe, it must fire no more than 1MOA. For this reason, the M82, and M107 series rifles are not sniper rifles, they are designated SASR (Special Application Scoped Rifle). So by this definition, your heavy barreled sub MOA deer rifle is not a sniper rifle.

Assault weapon:
This is neither an accurate or real definition. If you are describing a rifle that looks like a military rifle, then it is either a military reproduction, or simply a semi-automatic rifle.

Assault rifle:
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle or carbine firing ammunition with muzzle energies intermediate between those typical of pistol and high-powered rifle ammunition. There is much dissent when speaking about these firearms. The reason they were defined as assault rifles is because by their design and by using an intermediate caliber, they were intended for use during the assault phase of the attack, or counter assault phase of the defense. This does not mean that they were not or are not used during other phases, just that was what they were primarily designed for. Hence the name, assault rifle.

Battle Rifle:
A Battle Rifle or Main Battle Rifle is a full-size select fire rifle or semi-automatic rifle that fires a high-power rifle cartridge, and is used in military service.

Ok, now we come into a little bit of grey area. The Machine gun.

There are several different classes of Machine gun, so we will hit them all individually. But first the general requirements for a firearm to be called a Machine gun.

Machine Gun:
A machine gun is a fully-automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rifle cartridges in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute.

Sub-machine gun:
A submachine gun (SMG) is a firearm that combines the automatic fire of a machine gun with the cartridge of a pistol, and is usually between the two in weight and size.

Light Machine Gun:
A light machine gun or LMG is a machine gun that is generally lighter than other machine guns of the same period, and is usually designed to be carried by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant. For an LMG to be considered a true LMG it like the assault rifle must fire a cartridge that is intermediate between a pistol cartrige and high powered rifle cartridge. However, this term now includes Fully automatic firearms that fire full powered rifle cartridges because of the total weight of the firearm.

Medium Machine Gun:
A medium machine gun or MMG, is a crew-served and man portable weapon, that is belt-fed, firing a full-power rifle cartridge and typically weighs from 15 to 40 pounds.

Heavy Machine Gun:
A heavy machine gun refers to either a larger-caliber, high-power machine gun or one of the smaller, medium-caliber (rifle caliber) machine guns meant for prolonged firing from heavy mounts, less mobile, or static positions. For example. The water cooled .30 cal would be a Heavy Machine gun as it is less portable than air cooled variants.

The minigun is a multi-barrel machine gun with a high rate of fire (several thousand rounds per minute), employing Gatling-style rotating barrels and an external power source. The Mini-gun fires either an intermediate or full powered rifle cartridge.

Gatling gun:
Is essentially a mini-gun, but instead of a modern external power source, is powered by a hand crank. A Gatling gun is not a machine gun as it does not reload itself under its own power.

We could go over the types of cannons and chain guns. But I do not think it is necessary at this point.

Posted by: Matt at March 14, 2009 09:10 AM

Unfortunately, far too many people are far too ignorant regarding firearms and the Brady campaign has nothing to lose by saying whatever the hell they want to say.

Assault weapons? Whatever they want them to be. Cop-killer bullets? They know 'em when they see 'em. Plastic pistols that can't be seen on X-rays? Yup, they exist people! "50 cal" war guns? Who needs that kind of firepower? Right-to-carry? Leads to carnage!

If we aren't fighting back, we're part of the problem. Write, join, do something.

Posted by: DoorHold at March 16, 2009 12:42 AM