that ugly "need" hydra

A few months ago, I happened to have a rather… interesting*… conversation with the warped and benighted mind behind the Twitter account of @1StopCity. A recurring theme in this particular conversation is that unless you have a particular "need" for something or to do something, you have absolutely no right to that thing or to do that thing, or, in his very own words, "Odds against you "needing" a gun negate your right to own one."

Oh, the places you could go with that kind of "logic". Obviously it is inherently and intrinsically incorrect – rights exist independent of any arbitrarily-defined concept of "need", and, furthermore, who is someone else to define what I need? – but let us examine its actual underpinnings for a moment.

In 2001, arguably our worst year for such things, 2926 people were killed due to terrorist’s actions, and at the time, there were 285,081,556 people living in the country. While not entirely accurate, one can therefore say you had about a 0.001026% chance of being killed by a terrorist or terrorist actions in 2001.

However, on the basis of that one-thousandth-of-a-percent chance, over the past 11 years, America has wasted in excess of sixty billion dollars (yes, with a "b") on a program that has never once caught a terrorist, has failed more times than we care to count, and is responsible for sexually assaulting and invading the privacy of millions of travelers a year… all in the names of "safety" and "security".

On the other hand, in 2001, 1,436,611 people were the victims of violent crimes – murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, so, again, while this is not entirely accurate, you can say you had about a 0.5039% chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

In other words, you were, more or less, five hundred times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than of terrorism.

So if the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread(TM) (and I am, admittedly, assuming 1StopCity would hold to that belief), then the notion of "self-defense" is a Totally Awesome and Earth-Shatteringly Necessary Thing, and, furthermore, the United States Government should subsidize it somewhere on the order of $30,000,000,000,000.

By my calculations, that works out to somewhere around one Glock 17, one middlingly-good AR-15, one tricked out Remington 870, and somewhere around 180,000 rounds of mixed ammunition for all three for every man, woman, and child in the country. I could live with that.

And this is why "gun control" extremists like 1StopCity have failed in the past, are failing today, and will invariably fail in the future – once you take apart their "logic" (and I use that term very loosely) and examine it for what it is, it dissolves like the Wicked Witch of the West swan-diving into the Pacific. Even looking past the disturbing and inherently flawed notion that you have no rights if he decides you do not "need" them, his position falls apart as soon as you consider it in light of actual, honest-to-God facts and figures, much less apply his "reasoning" to other concepts.

Of course, this is the same person who, in the same conversation, informed me that "There are no absolutes" so something tells me he would pull the standard anti-rights cultist tactic of wishing those facts away…

(* – "Interesting" because in response to the question, "would majority-approved slavery infringe on people’s rights?", his response was, and I quote, "As no one has any inherent rights, no, their rights wouldn’t be infringed. Would it be horrible? Yes."** This was the culmination of the above "you only have the rights the majority approves" conversation; at that point, I figured the discussion was over – how do you actually hold a conversation with someone with such a radically totalitarian position? – which is just as well, since he ended up blocking me for daring to have the gall to quote his own words back to him. Joe tried to continue the debate, but given that they were coming from such disparate starting points, it did not get far.

** – Speaking more specifically, this concept still befuddles me. If an action does not abridge a person’s rights, why or how could it be "horrible"? How do you determine the "horrible" nature of an action without some way of measuring – or even determining – if harm has been done to a person? After all, if a person has no right to be free of slavery, then slavery does not harm them, does it?)

a blackfeather for your cap

Long-time readers know I love my M1A SOCOM II to death, even though I do not get to shoot it nearly as often as I might like thanks to steadily-spiraling ammunition prices and a distinct lack of ranges comfortable with it going off on them. However, there are times – rare, but still times – that I wish I had gone with a more… mainstream design of that particular platform.

As those old and oh-so-shoddy-looking-back-on-them pictures show, the SOCOM II has that massive-assed rail cluster wrapped around the forearm of the rifle, and while the ventral rails do pop off fairly easily, the side and dorsal rails are part of the handguards, would require tools to remove, and would leave the upper part of the barrel exposed and might actually affect the operation of the rifle. What this basically means is that my aftermarket stock choices are severely limited… as in, you get one choice: VLTOR’s M1S Stock System, which makes a certain degree of sense, given that VLTOR came up with the CAS-14 rail system attached to the SOCOM II.

Image(6)

However, for those of you with less niche-marketed M1As and other M14-clones, there is a new contender on the market for your stock solutions, and from Canada at that: the Blackfeather "RS" Stock.

Not being intimately familiar with the inner workings of M1A stocks, I cannot really speak to how this would or would not improve your rifle in general. However, I can tell you that this stock provides you up to 10" of ventral rail space, 4" of rail space on each side, and the ability to use any non-beaver-tailed AR-15 pistol grip and pretty much any AR-15 stock you would care to, along with all-metal construction, a new (and arguably better) oprod guide, and a few other little bells and whistles here and there. Plus it looks pretty slick.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that installing this stock on an M1A platform in any state that still cares would run you afoul of an "Assault Weapon Ban" Ban on Evil-Looking Rifles, due to the addition of a pistol grip to the equation. Obviously this is a problem for the VLTOR solution as well (and, in fact, pretty much every other M1A stock replacement I have ever seen aside from the JAE-100, which was specifically designed for Kalifornistanian consumption), but it is one of those stupid little legal details that a person might not think about until it was too late.

Me, I just need to give up and finally buy a designated scout scope for my SOCOM II (or snag one of these specially-designed mounts, depending on what I want its ultimate application to be… hm…), but if you are looking for something to spruce up your plain-Jane M1A, this might fit the bill.

(Obligatory Middle Finger to the FTC: nothing at all was exchanged for this post; the proprietor of M14.ca simply dropped me a note, and being an M1A shooter (at least occasionally), I figured it was worth posting about. In other words, piss off.)

reclaiming the language

As a firearm owner and firm defender of our individual rights, one of the more aggravating things I stumble across on the cortex from time to time are Fudds proclaiming the demonic natures and other dangers of "evil black rifles" / "assault weapons" / etc., while simultaneously bitterly clinging to their wood-and-blued-steel bolt-action hunting rifles (aka "high-powered sniper rifles") and duck shotguns (aka "street-sweeping bullet hoses"). Obviously these narrow-minded individuals have never bothered to read a certain poem by a certain reverend, and when that decidedly-not-a-fallacy-for-reasons-that-will-soon-become-apparent slippery slope is pointed out to them… well, their reactions often remind one of those exhibited by full-blooded anti-rights cultists.

Well, my dear Fudds, this is what we were talking about:

How would a gun dealer define a sniper rifle?

The Shooting Edge, one of Calgary’s leading firearms dealers, lists the non-restricted, Czech-made CZ 750 Sniper on its website.

This reputable gun shop highlights the rifle’s effective range of just under half a mile and the fact that it was designed for "use by the elite military and law enforcement snipers".

It’s not a duck gun. Nevertheless, the CZ 750 Sniper will no longer be listed if the Harper government’s gun registry repeal bill passes.

(Emphasis added.)

In this specific case, we will forgive C4SR’s ignorance of firearms, as exhibited by his apparent thinking that any center-fire bolt-action rifle could be qualified as an effective "duck gun", and instead replace that phrase with "It’s not a hunting gun."

So what is a CZ 750?

cz750

Ceska zbrojovka’s page on the rifle makes it clear that is a bolt-action rifle chambered in .308 Winchester and complete with a 10-round removable magazine, weaver rail for optic-mounting, a muzzle brake, 26 inch barrel, adjustable trigger, and all of the other bells and whistles one would expect for a long-range tack-driver. Unfortunately, that webpage does not specify the rifle’s lineage, so we have to look elsewhere.

This The High Road thread, this SniperCentral thread, and this Wikipedia entry all seem to agree – the CZ750 is a very well dressed ("tarted up", according to some forum posters) CZ550, with very little – if anything at all – being done to the actual action, bolt, barrel, or anything else on the rifle.

So what is a CZ 550?

cz550

Only one of the most ordinary hunting rifles you have ever laid your eyes upon, and I would wager that with a competent, skilled, trained shooter behind the trigger, any of those CZ550s that have a similar barrel length and caliber as the CZ750 would be capable of similar performances and effective ranges.

In other words, those two rifles pictured above are functionally identical.

This is why water-carrying Fudds are so very annoying – "gun control" extremists like C4SR there will just keep finding new and more-frightening ways to redefine existing firearms until such time as all of them can be controlled, restricted, or limited into oblivion. Magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles become "assault weapons"; magazine-fed semi-automatic shotguns become "street-sweepers"; and here, right before our eyes, a rather generic bolt-action hunting rifle has been arbitrarily recategorized by an ignorant hoplophobe as a restriction-worthy "sniper rifle"*.

By way of answering his original question, in truth, a "sniper rifle" is precision, accurized rifle, chambered for a centerfire cartridge (typically one of the standard military ones), complete with a telescopic optic that allows the operator to engage human-sized targets at ranges beyond most small arms’ capacities.

So… what does that sound like to you? Darned near every gorramed "hunting" rifle in existence. Sure, maybe anti-rights cultists can claim that "military service" is what separates a "hunting" rifle from a "sniper" rifle. They could claim that… but they would be idiots – both the M24 and M40 sniper rifles are built from the actions of Remington 700s, probably the most prevalent hunting rifle in America, and police departments do not even bother renaming the 700 when they use it in the field.

So is it a "hunting" rifle or is it a "sniper" rifle? It does not matter; it is the intent of the user that determines whether the rifle will be used for hunting or sniping purposes, and intent is non-transferable .

I just wish the Fudds would realize that and stop being useful idiots for anti-rights cultists by buying into whatever new "scare words" are dreamed up for firearms – a gun is a gun, and, eventually, if those "gun control" extremists have their way, they will be coming for your gun, complete with all of the "scare words" they can come up with. How about we not let them get that far, eh?

[Update] John Hardin also has his own take on the famous poem, which turns out to be significantly more apt than my adaptation (at the bottom of the page). [/Update]

(* – Yes, the manufacturer and gun store call it a "CZ 750 Sniper" – that is purely a marketing gimmick, no more meaningful than saying a car has a "track-ready suspension", and they made no attempt to regulate the rifle based off that name. C4SR, on the other hand, did.)

quote of the day – caillin langmann

While this is not exactly what I have been saying for years, it does dovetail in nicely:

“No significant beneficial associations between firearms legislation and homicide or spousal homicide rates were found,” reads the abstract on the study, written by Caillin Langmann, a resident in the division of emergency medicine at McMaster University, and himself a vocal foe of gun-control measures who has argued instead for enhanced social programs to combat the causes of gun violence.

To be published in an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Interpersonal Violence, the study took Statistics Canada data on Canadian firearm homicides and compared them to three key pieces of Canadian firearms legislation.

The three pieces of legislation were the 1995 long-gun registry, a 1977 bill that imposed a requirement for criminal records checks and a 1991 bill that imposed mandatory safety training and a 28-day waiting period on firearms purchases.

(Emphasis added.)

Of course, in fairness, some folks have been saying exactly that for years.

By most major metrics available, "gun control" has proven to be an abject failure, both in America and abroad. Even by limiting the playing field to only self-serving, specific statistics (like "gun deaths"), "gun control" extremists still have a remarkably hard time demonstrating that their desired legislation results in anything better than a wash once you factor in the salutary benefits of having a lawfully-armed populace, and the problems that can arise from a lack of the same. And when you broaden your gaze to the elemental, individual rights at play, "gun control" becomes a titanic disaster.

It is also interesting to note that this study is being published in an official, middle-of-the-road, peer-reviewed journal – while the process has some serious flaws, it is also pretty much the only process available to us, and the anti-rights cultists have a frustrating (and logically fallacious) habit of ignoring anything if it was not reviewed, despite the fact that "not peer-reviewed" != "not accurate". Of course, "peer reviewed" does not necessarily equate to "accurate" either, but that is another story for another post…

As we have repeatedly touched on before, in the end, studies like this are completely meaningless, even when they support our case – our individual, Constitutionally-protected rights are not dependent upon the outcome of any law, study, sampling, or poll, nor can they be justly limited due to other people’s actions. However, this is yet another arrow in our quiver for when "gun control" extremists start bleating about how their laws will "help".

once again, registration lead to confiscation

Why, it seems like just a few days ago when I observed that registration of firearms invariably leads to their confiscation

Oh wait. It was only a few days ago.

At any rate, turns out I was right:

Several gun owners are refusing to surrender a semi-automatic rifle that was imported from China and bought legally before the RCMP retroactively declared it a prohibited weapon.

[…]

Firearms that have been allowed into the country are usually reclassified only by order of the federal cabinet, said Blair Hagen, a spokesman for the firearms association.
“It’s very unusual what the RCMP has done here,” Mr. Hagen said in a telephone interview. “As it appears, the reclassification was arbitrary.”
The RCMP, which is responsible for classifying firearms before they come into the country, suggests in the briefing note that outdated regulations are the reason that the Norinco Type 97A was incorrectly classified.

On the one hand, I am somewhat jealous of the Canuckistanians, for getting their hands (albeit briefly) on a firearm that will never grace our American shores. On the other hand, apparently their government has taken ours’ “if we drill out half the receiver, add a small truckload of new pieces, and generally bastardize the firearm, but can make it fully-automatic, it is obviously illegal” idiocy, and taken it to a whole new level – I wonder when the Mounties will be going around collecting pipe and sheet metal, given that I could, given the right tools and time, produce a fully-automatic firearm out of those. And people wonder why we pro-rights activists are so concerned about Andrew Traver’s inability to differentiate fully- and semi-automatic weapons?

On the gripping hand, registration lead to confiscation. Again. And exactly how many crimes has Canada’s long gun registration solved?

(Courtesy of A Geek With Guns.)