Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ignorance

I hate to dwell on this kind of thing but...

From the LAT:

"One, of course, is the change in the potency of weaponry. Before 1966, the best weapons available to most would-be killers were pistols, rifles, maybe a shotgun. That is no longer the case; today, semiautomatics are all too easily accessible."

The (semiautomatic) gun below is made by Kimber, but it is of a design commonly known as a "1911".

Because that is the year when John Moses Browning invented it.

From then to the recent adaptation of the (less powerful) Beretta, it was the US service pistol, available everywhere.



(Also, "potency" has NOTHING to do with whether a weapon is "semiautomatic". A semiauto pistol can be a .22; a Smith and Wesson .500 is considerably more potent!)

If you want to argue against firearms you'd best at least do your research. I have never seen so much misinformation than in recent anti- gun pieces, from TV to the New Yorker. Apparently if one believes something fervently facts don't matter.

And while we are kicking this around, read Tam on the alleged "availability" of firearms, a constant irritant to those of us old enough to remember a world before 1968:

"I've said it before and I'm going to say it again: Never in the history of our republic have guns been more difficult to purchase. Prior to 1968 they could be purchased through the mail. Between 1968 and 1993, all you needed to do was sign a form, in pink crayon if you felt like it, saying you weren't a junkie, commie spy, or crazy, and you took your gun home with no questions asked. The background check didn't appear until the passage of the Brady Law in 1993.

"Name a mass shooting that occurred before 1968. How many between 1969 and 1993? How about 1994 and beyond? Folks, whatever the causative variable is here, it is not the ease of purchasing a firearm."

As she says, liars or just ignorant? I think mostly the second. But if these writers refuse to acknowledge their mistakes--??


Update: more lazy misinformation.

Update #2: Dave Kopel replies to criticism with some interesting statistics.

4 comments:

Jerry said...

And of course the two biggest mass murders in our history didn't involve firearms at all, but box cutters, planes and a truck of fertilizer. More potent still.

BTW, nice gat.

Steve Bodio said...

Scrimshaw of a 17th- century Japanese goshawk out of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, by the artisans at Raj Singh's Eagle Grips.

rvman said...

During the Tower spree at UT, the shooter was slowed down by a constant stream of fire being directed at him by civilians - including, memorably, one English professor who burned through several boxes of ammo firing his deer rifle from his office window. The three who charged the tower and took the guy down in the end were two cops and a deputised civilian.

Anonymous said...

Minor quibble - Whitman's shooting spree at UT happened in 1966, so there is at least one mass murder prior to 1968.

I don't have any problem keeping guns out of the hands of persons deemed dangerous to themselves and the community and mandated to therapy. Someone like Cho *should* have difficulty buying a gun, but if you are determined to commit slaughter it will happen whether it is by mowing them down with a gun or by mowing them down with a car driven into a crowd...
Annie Fitt

PS I love this site!