Floating Arms and a Gun

“Oh my God I’m just floating arms!!”

Seriously, why don’t you have legs in Left 4 Dead 2? Anyway, here’s the full episode of this week’s Games & Guns featuring special guest Rachel Jurado and CLOWN ZOMBIES!!

Gun Misinformation: Assault Rifles and Assault Weapons

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from interacting with gun control advocates it’s that they’re the most misinformed & ignorant people from across the political spectrum. Not only that but they don’t care that they’re misinformed & prefer to remain that way. So this post and my other upcoming posts aren’t for them. Instead I’m doing this to help inform those who are actually interested in being informed.

So, let’s start with one of the most talked about gun types in the country right now. Assault rifles and so-called “assault weapons”.

First off, the term “assault weapon” is essentially a made up term that doesn’t actually refer to any unique subset of guns based on function. Instead, the term is used by gun control advocates to try and ban gun accessories that have certain misidentified or ridiculously exaggerated functions.

For instance, here are a few of the accessories the Brady Campaign wants banned & the utterly ridiculous effects the clearly ignorant person who wrote their frequently asked questions section imagines they have:

A pistol grip which facilitates spray-fire from the hip without losing control. A pistol grip also facilitates one-handed shooting.

This is completely absurd on all levels. First off, you can’t “spray-fire” in any realistic sense with a semi-automatic rifle. Additionally, shooting with one hand or from the hip is the least accurate or useful way to use any gun.

A threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor which allows the shooter to remain concealed when shooting at night, an advantage in combat but unnecessary for hunting or sporting purposes. In addition, the flash suppressor is useful for providing stability during rapid fire.

Flash suppressors do only what the name implies: suppress the flash created when firing a round. They don’t “provide stability during rapid fire”. They are also not useful for the purposes of criminals or mass murderers and the Brady Campaign doesn’t produce a single example of anybody using a flash suppressor in the way they describe and I can’t find one either… probably because there aren’t any.

A threaded barrel designed to accommodate a silencer which allows an assassin to shoot without making noise.

While the entire list is filled with misinformation, this point is by far the most absurd. Silencers do not make guns silent. They simply suppress the amount of noise created by each shot fired. That’s why people in the gun community usually refer to them as suppressors instead of silencers. I encourage anybody interested in how loud a suppressed gun is to actually go to a range and hear it for yourself (if you can actually find one since current gun laws make them difficult to buy). You may not need ear protection depending on the suppressor and gun, but there will be no doubt a gun has been fired.

Honestly, the only way anybody could draw the conclusions written in this Brady Campaign document, especially about hip firing & silencers, is if their only contact with guns involves watching 80s action movies. Given that, I see no way to take these groups and their supporters seriously. At least until they stop spreading ridiculous misinformation.

So, an “assault weapon” isn’t a real subset of firearms based on function but rather a firearm that features some random subset of accessories unrelated to the way the firearm operates  However, an assault rifle is an actual term used to describe a specific subset of rifles originating in World War II. The first of this type of firearm was the German Sturmgewehr 44 which means “storm rifle” of the year 1944.

Assault rifles are firearms that combine the fully automatic feature of the sub-machine gun with rifle ammunition. If you remove either one of those features then the firearm is no longer an assault rifle. An assault rifle must be able to shoot rifle ammunition at a fully automatic rate of fire.

Therefore, a rifle only capable of semi-automatic fire is not an assault rifle. That means that the AR-15 commonly available for civilian purchase, which gun control advocates are mainly after and the kind I own, is not an assault rifle. In function it is no different from any other semi-automatic rifle.

Click here for the next post in my gun misinformation series.