Kopel On a Roll
Dave Kopel is on a roll today over at the Volokh Conspiracy.
First, he, contrasts statements by Jim and Sarah Brady in their recent WaPo
puff piece interview with positions they've supported in the past.
Next, in honor of his namesake university's foray into the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament, Kopel looks at George Mason's contributions to the right to keep and bear arms.
Finally, Kopel examines what may be coming for concealed carry and "Stand your ground" legislation, now the Nebraska has enacted 'shall issue' concealed carry.
Alas, Poor Carnival
Gullyborg announces the 53rd and final edition of the Carnival of Cordite.
Marine Corps Infantry Automatic Rifle Proposal
This one somehow seems to have come in largely under the radar. Or maybe this thing died quietly and that's why I haven't heard about it.
Back in Fedbruary, I posted about the Army's solicitation for a new carbine and LMG. You can also find posts on the topic at Murdoc Online here and here Somehow, both of us missed the fact that the Marines had also put out a solicitation for what they're calling a Non-Developmental, 5.56mm, Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) -and the put out the request in mid-July of last year. This DefenseReview.com article from March 27 of this year pimps the Ultimax 100 Mk4 for the Marines' request.
What's interesting is the differences between the two requests. The Army makes no weight requirement; the Marines want a max weight of 10.5 lbs. The Army states requirements for mean rounds between failures, the Marines don't.
There also one huge, glaring difference: the Army's proposed LMG is belt fed. The Marines state a requirement for a 100 round drum, with compatibility with current 30 round M16 magazines. I'm not sure of the reason for the differing requirements. Have the Marines been experiencing problems with the belt-feed on the M249 that the Army has not? The only thing I can possibly think of is that I have seen pictures from Iraq of Army vehicles with M249s being used as a pintle-mounted vehicle weapon, where the increased capacity of the 200 round belt is more useful. I haven't seen any comparable photos of Marine vehicles.
One random thought on a possible reason for drum mags vs belt fed: I've seen speculation that one reason the Marines are holding off on looking for a replacement for the M16A4 is the possibility of the 5.56 round being replaced. The two primary candidates for this, at least according to the cognoscenti of the firearms press and internet gun discussion boards, are the 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel.
One of the detractions I've heard on the 6.5 Grendel is that with its shorter, fatter case, it would have greater trouble being linked for belt-feed than would the longer, thinner cased 6.8 SPC.
Given that the Marines have historically emphasized marksmanship and long range shooting, and that the 6.5 Grendel performs much better at longer ranges than the 6.8 SPC, I wonder if it's possible that the Marines are rooting for the adoption of the 6.5 Grendel to replace the 5.56?
Sane Thoughts on the "Immigration Debate"
This is the most sane thing I've seen, from Murdoc:
But "immigration" is not the issue. This debate is not about immigration. This debate is about people who are not supposed to be here demanding the same rights and consideration that those who belong here get, and they're upset that they might be treated like criminals simply because they intentionally broke the law.
I've got more to say, but it'll have to wait.
Armed Robbery and When to Resist
One of the things those of use who carry a concealed firearm spend a good bit of thinking about is "If I'm caught up in Situation X, at what point do I draw and try to shoot the bad guy[s?" Gun forums like THR and TFL have sub-forums with many threads on the topic. Some of the most interesting discussions center on what to do if you're not directly threatened, like if you were in the local Stop-N-Rob when some mutant pulls a gun on the cashier.
With that in mind, some of you can probably imagine some of what was running through my mind while I watched Inside Man. What would I have done, or at what point would I have drawn and started firing, if I had been inside that bank? (The movie takes place in the victim disarmament and criminal empowerment zone of New York City, but for purposes of this discussion we'll assume I'm in a jurisdiction that still treats the people who live and work there as citizens rather than subjects.)
[WARNING-MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
Note: in all situations there are 4 bad guys, 3 with AKs and one, the leader, with a revolver.
The first point at which I might have considered drawing is when the robbery crew first pulled out their guns. Biggest advantage to the CCWing citizen here is that the robbers are mostly concentrating on the security guards as the most likely threat. Also, most of the people in the bank are screaming and trying to get as far away from the gunmen as possible, creating a good bit of distraction.
Disadvantage here is that during the initial stage of the takeover is when the gunmen are most alert, looking to establish their dominance, and keyed up to smack down any sigh of resistance.
Other considerations: to this point, the gunmen hadn't fired a shot, so establishing the 'imminent threat' might be a bit more difficult.
Tactics: draw, shoot the gunman most closely oriented in my direction and work through the progession from highest threat to lowest (based on proximity and orientation), two rounds in each target.
The second opportunity came when the bad guys collected all of the hostages keys and cell phones. At this point, in my mind it would have been obvious that they were doing everthing they could to eliminate any threats from the inside. Chances of my weapon being discovered have just gone way up, meaning my chances of getting shot for hiding it are going up with it.
The biggest advantage here is that one of the AK carrying gunman (woman, actually) had slung her weapon across her back so she could hold the bag that the phones were being put into. One other thing I noticed at this point: all of the AK carrying gunmen had the safeties engaged-and the AK safety isn't the quickest and easiest thing to disengage. Further, although the gunmen had moved the hostages into a fairly confined area, they were all at one end of the room, with the exception of the one collecting keys and phones. This makes target transition quicker and simplifies the background problem.
Disadvantage: The confined space. As soon as the gun comes out, the other hostages are going to panic, which means they will get very unpredictable, complicating both targeting and background.
Tactics: hold out my phone and keys like everyone else. When the collector gets to me, drop them in the bag, then step in and shove her to the ground. Draw and engage the other gunmen, starting with the leader-his revolver doesn't have a safety, and thus will be much quicker to bring into action than the AKs. Save the collector for last, and if I'm quick enough, I might not have to shoot her at all.
Final opportunity: when the gunmen told everyone to strip to their underwear. At this point, you've got two options-inform the gunmen that you're armed but don't want to shoot them, surrender your weapon and hope they don't shoot you, or draw and start firing.
Advantages: not a lot, except that now all of the gunmen are again at one end of the room, and the safeties were still engaged on the AKs.
Disadvantages: if I were a gunman, this is the point at which I would expect resistance from anyone who might have a CCW, because they'd know discovery was imminent. So they're going to be extra watchful.
Tactics: again, hit the leader first, because his revolver is going to be quicker to action than the AKs with the safeties on.
So those are my thoughts. Anyone else who's seen the movie have any thoughts?
Unrelated, 'You might be a gun nut' thought: at one point, one of the gunmen charges his AK. The thought that immediately went through my head was, "That didn't sound right...it didn't sound like he chambered a round." And I was right...but I won't say exactly why.
Note to the WA State Legislature
THIS is how you get tough with pedophiles.
South Carolina approves seeking death for pedophiles
Under the proposed law, persons convicted a second time for child rape could receive the death penalty.
Personally, I'm in favor of the death penalty for the first conviction of rape or forcible sodomy of a child.
The Usual Media Hystrionics & Ignorance
While not as hysterical as a DiFi or Brady Center press release, media coverage of this weekends mass shooting in Seattle has contained it's fair share of fear mongering and ignorance of the law with regards to guns and ammunition.
First up, the Seattle P-I:
The gunman arrived on Capitol Hill prepared for war with an unwitting enemy, armed with the pistol-grip shotgun and semiautomatic handgun he used in his murderous rampage and a Bushmaster assault rifle that sat unused in his truck.
Actually, from most of the accounts I've read/seen/heard, he first went to the rave, then the afterparty, hung out for a while, then left, went to his truck, spray painted the word "NOW" around the neighborhood, then walked into the house and started shooting. Not like any kind of preparation for "war," or mass murder I've ever heard of.And since when does having a rifle, pistol, and shotgun and a basic load of ammunition constitute being "prepared for war?" Seattle is frequently mentioned as a potentional terrorist target, in addition to being in constant peril of a major earthquake and having weapons and ammunition nearby, in case of such an event and any possible resutling civil disorder is considered to be prudent preparation by many.
Continuing from the same article:
Police also were tracing the firearms to determine where the gunman got them and how he was able to purchase so many rounds of ammunition without attracting attention.
Last I checked, there were no federal or state laws, at least in Washington state or Montana, limiting how much ammunition a person may purchase, or requiring that any purchases of greater than a certain number of rounds be reported. If there were, most people would probably get reported every time they bought .22 LR ammunition, which is usually sold in boxes of 500 rounds. The last time I went to a gunshow, I bought over 1200 rounds of rifle ammo, and I don't recall filling out any forms.
He [Seattle PD spokeman Sean Whitcomb] described the gunman's weaponry as an arsenal .
Mr. Whitcomb obviously either doesn't know much about guns and people who shoot them for fun, or else he's just trying to scare people. Most shooters I know have at least 10 guns and a few thousand rounds sitting around at any given time. Heck, I've got 300 rounds in an ammo can in my trunk right now.
Now, on to an opinion piece from the Seattle Times:
A 28-year-old man, armed beyond comprehension, rattled our city with an early-morning act of murderous rage that left six young people dead, plus the shooter, Kyle Huff, who police say also shot himself.
In the search for deep meaning, there may not be much beyond the notion that an unstable person had access to a frightening quantity of guns and ammuntion. Deeply troubled people should not be able to acquire such a huge arsenal of guns and ammunition.
"Armed beyond comprehension?" He had a semiautomatic rifle, which he left in his truck, a shotgun, and a pistol. Maybe the Times editorial staff should ask the Seattle PD what weaponry they carry in their patrol cars-in many jurisdictions, an AR style rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol are exactly what a patrol officer would have in his car and on his person.
"Frightening quantity of guns and ammunition." Again, the editorial staff obviously doesn't know many people who collect guns and/or shoot them for fun. Three guns and a few hundred rounds is really a pretty small amount.
Then, that last sentence: "Deeply troubled people should not be able to acquire such a huge arsenal of guns and ammunition."
So, is the Times obliquely calling for a mandatory mental health screening before a citizen is allowed to purchase arms and ammunition? The shooter, Kyle Huff, exhibited no signs of any sort of mental illness prior to opening fire. Hadn't done anything terribly out of the ordinary (note for Seattle-oids: in rural parts of the world, getting drunk and shooting at a statue of a moose, or road signs, isn't exactly abnormal behavior) that would have provided any clue to what he was about to do. Therefore, the only conclusion I can draw from this sentence is that the Times' editors are calling for mandatory mental health screenings. Which I find interesting, since they seem to be opposed to mandatory citizenship screenings when it comes to voting.
My best guess? Kyle Huff went to the rave, and the later party, with no ill intent. During the party sequence, he knowingly or unknowingly ingested some combination of drugs and/or alcohol which eventually led him to start shooting. Tragic? Surely. Preventable? Not likely. If he hadn't had the guns, he just as easily could have walked into the house with an axe, or a can of gasoline and a book of matches, and wrought similar havoc.
Carnival of Cordite #52 has arrived at Resistance is Futile!
Part One is a one year retrospective, including a picture of the Mrs.
See Part Two for your usually collection of gun related goodness.