People are increasingly buying more lethal guns, and arming themselves for purposes of protection rather than for hunting or recreation, new research shows.There's no doubt that people are buying "more lethal" guns, if one defines the term of "over .22 caliber".
And doubtless, many are purchasing firearms for no other purpose than protection of property, self and family. Also doubtless, the "Bad Guys" are also acquiring (read: stealing) Big Guns.
By the way, these firearms include AR15 variants .. which are usually, after all, .223 caliber.
But the AR15 (et al) have a SPECIAL entry; they are scary looking!
The lead for the artical focuses on "more lethal guns" and "for purposes of protection rather than for hunting or recreation".
I submit that the author has insufficient experience or knowledge of current "Action Shooting Sports" to be competent to defend his statement.
In The First Place:... there is nothing wrong with buying guns for protection. The American society itself has become more lethal without the "guns" entering into the equation.
"Drugs" and "Gangs" are the driving factors of the increased violence.
Look at the published statistics ... you virtually can't surf the net without finding a website which address these two words. Usually, they're used in the same sentence. The reason is, 90% of gun crimes ("gun violence") are committed by gangs and 90% of the assailants AND victims are gang members, or innocents who are caught in the crossfire.
This isn't a "GUN" problem; it's a "SOCIETY" problem.
The answer to THAT problem is going to be very, very expensive. Somebody needs to define the answer (see below), and more somebodys have to pay for it.
And the middle-class has to make that 5-year old Chevy last for another year.
The cops are always a minute farther away than they need to be, to be useful
And the Upper Class isn't directly affected by Crime In The Streets; they hire their guns.
In The Second Place:This isn't about a congressman being shot in the ass on a baseball field.
This is about crime in the streets, home invasion; about old white people being attacked in public for no better reason than the rage of a young black man who can't make an honest living, and he blames it on the white man.
And he's probably right; he just chose the wrong old white man. That guy in the wheelchair never had a vote in Congress.
Congress doesn't have a solution:Well, they do have one solution; they have introduced a bill to allow congressmen to carry a personal firearm any time, any place (except in certain governmental venues, and on airplanes".
They didn't do this to find a solution for YOUR benefit. They did it because they're running scared and the pusillanimous pussies are going to protect themselves and their loved ones.
(Note: THEIR SPOUSES are not covered under the terms of this bill, which indicative of .... something.)
"Okay, Job Well Done. It's Miller Time, and I'm buying down at Hamilton House" (or whatever the current senatorial watering hole is named.)
Essentially, Congress has shown that they don't consider GUNS to be the problem.
As far as they're concerned, the problem is they ... personally ... don't have ENOUGH guns!
(So they're making them available to those members of their own gang. Sound familiar?)
In The Third Place: HUNTINGThe article (remember where we started out?) mentioned this: buying more lethal guns, and arming themselves for purposes of protection rather than for hunting or recreation
Most people are not aware that a HUGE number of firearms are being purchased for exactly those reasons. For example, the AR15 is legal for hunting critters up to DEER size in most states now so everyone of those AR15's might be purchased for hunting.
And the AR15 is not generally considered a "more lethal firearm" when compared to those customarily used for hunting such as the 12 gauge shotgun, the .30-06 rifle, and the less-frequently used ,but increasingly popular chosen handgun for hunting. the .44 Magnum pistol.
(SEE PERSONAL OPINION, BELOW)
In The Fourth Place: COMPETITIONMost people are entirely unaware that there are three styles of competition shooting which may or may not involve the acquisition of "more lethal guns" in pursuit of achieving either a competitive advantage, or qualifying to use the chosen caliber at all.
There are three (at least)
Although I assure you that many of these ladies and gentlemen could shoot your socks off and you wouldn't even realize you were bare-footed until you felt the gravel between your toes.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE CRUX OF THE STORY:
IPSC and USPSAThe real thing when it comes to "MORE LETHAL GUNS".
IPSC stands for the International Practical Shooter's Confederation, and USPSA is the American Region .. United States Practical Shooter's Association.
USPSA is the original Association for the sport; IPSC is International body. Because many IPSC member regions have national firearms restrictions which are not recognized by Americans, not all IPSC competition rules are relevant to USPSA competitions.The rules are than you must be using a pistol with a caliber of 9mm or larger. For the metric-confused (us Americans), that's .38 caliber. Which is, we assume, a "More Lethal Gun"
I have never participated in an international (IPSC) competition. Their target designs are different (USPSA targets have been accused of being "Silhouettes of Human Beings" which is illegal in some countries.)
A VARIATION ON THE USPSA THEME!
IDPA: (International Defensive Pistol Association)
IDPA generally requires targets be engaged from behind cover.
IDPA doesn't consider firearms with a caliber smaller than 9mm to be "DEFENSIVE".
IDPA has requirements including (shooting behind cover) and (not dropping magazines with ammo still in them) and (pistol must be carried "concealed" at the start of the stage).
You know, Defensive stuff.
Other than that, and with a few important exceptions, the rules are much like IPSC/USPSA.
ANOTHER VARIATION ON THE USPSA THEME!
SPEED STEEL: (CF: Steel Challenge)
You shoot only steel plates. You are penalized for every target you do not hit. Targets will not fall when hit; they are painted between shooters so the number of targets "marked" by impact of each shooter's bullet can be scored. You are judged based on the time you take to complete each of several turns, and your score is the time you time to complete she shooting problem. Misses are penalized.
Speed Steel is different from IPSC/USPSA and IDPA in that no cardboard targets are presented, and your score is only the total amount of time you take to complete three iterations of each stage.
The competitor with the fastest accumulated time wins each stage.
Speed Steel has a special division for competitors using .22 caliber pistols; they are not required to holster before starting each 'run' on a stage. None of the other sports mentioned have this allowance for "Less Than Lethal" calibers.
There are variations in all these latter sports based on equipment, defined only to make competition more equitable between competitors with difference firearm definitions.
Tip of the hat to variations such as cowboy action and quick-draw competitions. There are more!
It should be obvious to the reader that "More Lethal Calibers" have become a large part of competitive shooting in recent years. Only one of the four"Action" firearm sports cited allow "Less Lethal" (eg: .22 caliber) weapons to be used.
And as these action shooting sport become increasingly popular with each passing year, more shooters will become interested, and more citizens will be purchasing "More Lethal" firearms to address their new favorite shooting sport.
What's their attraction?These sports allow their owners to learn safe shooting skills, become acquainted with the manual-at-arms of each individual firearm, and at the same time meet new friends who are sportsmen with similar interests. You can say much the same for a pickup game at your neighborhood baseball game .. except hopefully without the INCOMING gunfire.
SO if it seems to the ignorami press that "People are increasingly buying more lethal guns, and arming themselves for purposes of protection rather than for hunting or recreation, new research shows ", it's possible that a great number of the purchase of "More Lethal Guns" has been driven by the dramatic expansion of choices between the various exciting and rewarding Shooting Sports.
In other words: people are buying guns so they can play "Gun Games".
Don't laugh, fellows ... if you get hooked on the challenge and the chance to meet new friends with similar interests in the shooting sports, you too may find yourself comparing the size of your magazines.
AS PROMISED: A PERSONAL OPINION:
The AR16 in .223 caliber, was a mouse gun. It's the worst "battle rifle" our country *a bunch of frigging mealy mouthed Congressmen* has ever foisted upon our servicemen, and as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant with 1969-1970 service in RVN I consider myself qualified to make this judgement.
When I was assigned a platoon, I went to the depot and got an M79 Grenade Launcher for myself and a whole lot of grenades rounds, including Parachute Flare and Starfire rounds (to illuminate and mark a night-battle scene), High Explosive/Shrapnel (to bring area-fire upon the enemy until Mortars and Artillery fire could be adjusted), and "Beehive", or "Cannister" rounds, for immediate personal defense.
Plus, of course, a 1911A1 pistol as a "Personal" backup weapon. (That was the best they had.)
I also found two M14's (.308 Caliber) for our Point Men, who were most likely to make First Contact with "The Enemy". Also: 100 rounds of ammunition each, and a bunch of magazines and web gear to carry them. They were glad to get them; they had been carrying "Mouse Guns" until then.
(The rest of the platoon were stuck with AR16s .. there were no more M14's left in the entire division, and they had to "special order" the ammunition and magazines, carriers, etc.)
"No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice too great. Duty First!"
Our unofficial Platoon motto was:
"Give me a Real Gun and Let CHARLEY make the sacrifice! "
Damn right I'm going to find the deadliest weapon to protect myself.
And the best I can find for everyone walking in front of me.
Anybody who makes a lesser choice has nobody to blame.