TGA Podcast: Episode 301

TGA Podcast: Episode 301

This week, I offer my list of the 11 worst quotes from public figures regarding the politicisation of the Sandy Hook killings. Also on the show, we contemplate the future, how justice in America has two tiers, and what are some of the causes of these types of mass murders.

Comments (11)

  • avatar

    Richard

    A carbine is a short barrel rifle, nothing more. So the M4 is essentially a shorter barrel M16. It’s not ‘more powerful’ in any way. It fires the same round (5.56x45mm) and it does so at a lower muzzle velocity. The civilian version of this is the AR-15.

    In terms of a powerful killing machine, this weapon is not. In fact the 5.56 round is known for it’s a ability to wound, not kill (which is more ideal in war, as it causes the wounded guy’s buddies to have to care for him.) It ‘tumbles’ inside a person ripping more flesh than, say, a 7.62 from an AK which tends to just go right through a person.

    I’m all for reasonable gun control, I think Canada does it well, but let’s not spread misinformation. It doesn’t help anyone. It just makes it easier for the opposition to dismiss you as an ignoramus. (Not that you are Jake, I’m just sayin.) I know not everyone is as infatuated with guns as some of us are, but you gotta know some of the basics if you wanna have this debate.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    Yeah, gonna have to politely disagree with you there, Richard. Anyone trying to argue that the purpose of the M4 is to wound is insane. Besides, I would love to hear from a gun nut trying to make the same argument you were making (mainly that this weapon is intended to wound rather than kill). I don’t think knowing the specifics about each gun is really a requirement to know that these categories of guns should not be available to the general public.

  • avatar

    Richard

    I didn’t say the purpose was to wound, but rather than the 5.56 is known for its ability to. When ArmaLite was making the M16 I’m sure they weren’t looking to create a weapon, and a bullet, that wounds, it just so happened that the bullet tends to do what it does. As with any bullet that travels past the speed needed to pierce flesh and break bone, a shot to the head or heart will be fatal most of the time. Lethality depends as much on where you hit the guy as what you hit him with. The point, however, is that assault rifles, the boogiemen in all this it seems, are simply not the most powerful killing machines out there. Effective, perhaps, but most powerful definitely not. Their ability to kill comes not from the rounds they fire, but rather the fact that they are semi and/or full auto, have detachable magazines which can be quickly reloaded, are easy to hold and easy to shoot.

    Most hunting rifles fire much larger rounds than assault rifles, (7.62mm and above) but they’re bolt-action. Most hold half a dozen rounds or so, and have no detachable magazine. One shot in the chest from that is much more likely to kill you than an M4, for example, but if you only have the 6 or so rounds to work with. You could fire off 60 rounds in a matter of seconds with an M4, but with a bolt-action, it would take you two minutes or more, half of the time would be spent reloading.

    So you have situations, like in Canada, where the Mosin-Nagant rifle, for example, is legal, and non-restricted, but the AR-15, while legal, is restricted, with all the laws that come with that. The former fires a 7.62x54mm round, which is larger, heavier and hence more powerful, but the gun itself is nonetheless not as big of a risk as the AR-15.

    Maybe I’m just telling you things here that you already know, maybe not. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most people don’t know this stuff, and yet they nonetheless have a strong opinion on it. You don’t accept a creationist arguing about evolution if he doesn’t understand it, so why is the gun control debate any different?

    Some guns should be banned, of course. Every reasonable person understands this. Unless you know the specifics about what makes any given gun dangerous, however, then your criteria for what should be banned will be a joke. Saying you want to ban ‘assault rifles’ is fine and dandy except there is no real definition for what an assault rifle is. Plenty of guns straddle the arbitrary lines between one type of gun and another. In a lot of cases, they’re specifically designed to do so.

    So my contention is that we should stop worrying about labels and worry about specifics. Barrel length, barrel diameter, action (automatic vs bolt action etc), magazine capacity, open bolt vs closed bolt, among others. And unless you know guns then what I just listed there is gibberish. And if it is gibberish then your opinion on the matter is worth less than you’d like it to be.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    I think the same argument is made against atheists who may not be 100% familiar with the Bible. The minutia of assault weapons is really just a smoke screen. Any weapon with semi or fully automatic mechanisms, or any gun that has a magazine of more than 5 rounds, should be restricted. Simple as that.

  • avatar

    Richard

    “Any weapon with semi or fully automatic mechanisms, or any gun that has a magazine of more than 5 rounds, should be restricted.”

    With that I don’t disagree. After all it fits very nicely with what I said in my last paragraph. You just set out a criteria of two specific points: action and magazine capacity. All that’s left to do is expand upon what ‘restricted’ means and I dare say we shall be in full agreement. There are, of course, other criteria which could be set out as well, which I’ve mentioned before, but this is a start.

    And so that I’m as clear as I can possibly be, the issue I have with an ‘assault weapons’ ban is the following. Unless you have a detailed and very specific definition for what an assault weapon is, then putting it forward is pointless, at best. Which is why I say being ignorant about the subject matter is unacceptable. You don’t have to know how to field strip a rifle and put it back together again, that’s asking way too much, (I probably couldn’t do that myself) but you have to know what semi automatic means, and how that’s different from full automatic, if you want to restrict or ban it, that is. If you don’t care one way or another about the legality of guns, then by all means stay ignorant. (I’m using the general ‘you’ here, I’m not talking about you specifically.)

    You have a perfectly valid case about wanting to restricts the right to own an M4 (or whatever the civilian version may be). There is no need to start talking about it being ‘more powerful’ than something else. There is no need to make it seem like ‘carbine’ means something other than short barrel rifle. As someone who knows a thing or two about guns, it doesn’t help your case to do this, in fact it hurts it.

    So ya… if you wanna get into the nitty-gritty about M4 vs M16 and why one is better than the other, then fine, but you gotta know your shit first. If not, if you don’t care, if ‘the minutia is a smoke screen,’ then the next time someone asks you what an M4 is then just say you don’t really know. That’s all I’m saying.

  • avatar

    Richard

    Oh, and in response to James Grigsby:

    Guns don’t cost $5000. You can get them for a couple hundred, even less if you can find a good deal. And as for psychiatric verification, I’m not sure about that. Anything you say to a psychiatrist is confidential, so I’m not sure how to respect you privacy while still giving the necessary information were you to be denied. I’m sure something could be worked out, though, perhaps a visit or two as part of the requirements of getting a firearms license. But a yearly re-validation is overkill in my opinion.

  • avatar

    James Grigsby

    @Richard you are probably right about the 1 year verification and confidentiality. So I had a thought a federally issued liscence from a physchologist that allows you to purchase a gun. It could have a 5 year expiration and to get it reliscend at that point. That way all you have to do is go to the gun store and flip out your liscence much like a young man or woman buying alcohol or cigarettes. I was just exaggerating about the 5k gun I have a 243 and 12 gauge I purchased for a couple hundred each.

  • avatar

    James Grigsby

    As for being denied the physiologist can tell you that in a letter or phone call to avoid confrontation

  • avatar

    Richard

    ^Sounds reasonable.

  • avatar

    Mike

    What a buzzkill! It’s like having sex with a hot chick and she turns into my mom halfway through. That’s what happened Jacob. You just turned into my mom lecturing me. I was warming up to the podcast and here you are politicizing Sandy Hook. I loved the Scientology stuff. Then I have to run into this. I was ready to start loving this website. Now it’s all gone. Because the pro and anti gun people can’t help themselves. Everyone has to think like them. It’s obnoxious and sick the way everyone has exploited this Sandy Hook for their own agenda. Dead kids as an opportunity to push an agenda. That’s what everyone did with this. It was manna from heaven for the chattering class, bloggers and podcasters. (and you don’t even believe in heaven)

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    Mike, if you think having an honest discussion about gun control is “politicizing”, then I certainly don’t need your fandom. I thought the show was a fair look at the debate, and I see nothing in your post other than “don’t lecture me about guns”. I think anyone living in a country which “boasts” 13k deaths every year from guns should listen more and talk less.

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