By ART CHANCE
The Left is in full song for gun control and especially “assault weapons” bans, even though the best definition for an assault weapon they can come up with is “ugly black gun.”
I thought of attaching a picture of myself holding my cute little “Apache Black” Remington Nylon 66 or my Ruger Mini-14, but I decided that pictures of oneself holding a gun on the internet probably aren’t safe in today’s world.
But to the point. The Nylon 66 has a shiny black plastic stock, thus the nylon, and it’s decorated with. a Southwest Indian-looking motif, and a shiny chrome barrel and mechanism. It’s cute.
The Mini-14 is blued steel and wood. It isn’t glossy and has no fancy checkering or engraving. It has an ominous magazine attached to it. That is the thing those who don’t know about firearms call a clip. You can get a Mini-14 magazine that holds from the three-round original to the common 10- or 20-round magazines to the insane 100-round drum magazines.
Some facts: That cute little Nylon 66 has a 17-round magazine and is semi-automatic; one pull of the trigger, one round from the weapon. The Nylon 66’s tube magazine is harder and slower to change than the snap-in magazines of the Ruger, but if you want to, you could have additional magazines. The Nylon 66 fires a .22 caliber round and there are truly lethal versions of that round. At the distances involved in most mass shootings (Las Vegas being a strange exception we may never know the truth about), the .22 long rifle cartridge in the Nylon 66 is every bit as lethal as the .223 that the Mini-14 feeds.
The Mini-14 looks like a small version of the U.S. battle rifle, the M-14. The M-14 was, in fact, the post WWII U.S, Battle Rifle; .308 caliber and select fire including full automatic fire. The U.S. sought a replacement because the .308 ammunition was very heavy and caused supply difficulties, and the recoil of the .308 round in automatic fire mode caused many a soldier to lose control of the weapon.
Afghanistan and Iraq veterans joke about the “Haji 360,” which was what happened when an untrained man lost control of an AK-47, less powerful than a M-14, and spun around killing or wounding his comrades.
The U.S. answer in the early 1960s was the AR-15. AR doesn’t stand for assault rifle but rather for Armalite Rifle, for the company that designed and initially produced it. It used the much physically smaller and lighter .223 round. A .223 is like the .22 that you might have shot squirrels or birds when you were a kid, but with a souped-up engine; it has a lot more powder behind it. The .223 has a muzzle velocity, the speed at which the bullet leaves the barrel, at 2,500 to over 3,000 feet per second.
I have one, and it is the hardest to fire accurately of any weapon I own. The round leaves the barrel supersonically and has a nasty crack, especially if you have a flash suppressor; it is really hard not to flinch. Obviously the Dayton shooter who used an AR-15 knew this. That is why he was wearing hearing protection.
A .22 Long Rifle has a muzzle velocity of 1200 or so to close to 2000, but at the distances common in mass shootings that is a distinction without a difference. If you’re hit in a vital area with either, you die. If you’re hit in a less vital area and don’t get quick medical attention, you die but more slowly.
Sociopathic young males choose the AR-15 because of its macho image. Mafia hit-men choose the .22 pistol with a sub-sonic round because it is quiet.
The real issue here is not the abundance of guns in the U.S. but the abundance of sociopathic young males.
I grew up with boys who by today’s standards would be considered wild animals, and we all had guns. Hell, we had fights with BB guns. Despite what our mothers told us, nobody ever got an eye put out, but we got some pretty good welts.
There are a lot more sociopathic young males in the US today than there were in my time. Teachers don’t have paddles and fathers don’t use belts on them.
Almost all the mass shooters in the past couple of decades have been males under 30. It is a safe bet that they have never been directed, corrected, or disciplined in their life. They had no idea that there might be consequences for killing a few dozen people.
Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon.