Gun Nomenclature And The Media

When it comes to guns, the media is so ignorant. We have all seen the various “Journalist Guide to Firearms Identification” cartoons where every gun is either an AK-47 or a Glock such as the one below.

Thanks to a reporter named John Barna of the Gloucester County (NJ) Times I may have an alternative. Reporting on the sentencing of a felon in possession of a firearm, here is how the firearm in question was identified.

On July 10, 2010, Burks knowingly possessed a 9mm Springfield Armory model XD-9 Sub-Compact Luger pistol, with a 16-round, high-capacity magazine, at a McDonald’s restaurant in Camden. Burks was found with the pistol during an arrest on unrelated weapons charges. Burks had previous felony convictions at the time.

I am still trying to wrap my head around a polymer Luger P.08 much less a sub-compact one made by Springfield Armory in Croatia.

I have a modest suggestion for Mr. Barna and everyone else in the media. The next time you decide to write about a gun as part of a story – even a mere 3-paragraph story – go to the NSSF website and read the “Writer’s Guide to Firearms and Ammunition.” It will keep you from sounding stupid.

Two Years In Her Majesty’s Prisons For….An Air Rifle?

In the country formerly known as Great Britain, Karl Blennerhassett, 29, of Up Holland, West Lancashire was sentenced to two years in prison for having four air rifles and bullets without the “proper licenses”. Mr. Blennerhassett is a collector of antique firearms which he legally possessed.

These four pellet guns were found when police raided his apartment last December along with 140 other antique firearms.

Blennerhassett admitted possessing one air rifle without a certificate, which was just over the permitted velocity limit, and was convicted by a jury of illegally possessing three others which had been modified, and two charges of possessing a bullet.

‘Each of these three rifles are deemed specially dangerous under the legislation,’ said Judge Mark Brown.

‘Each was of high specification in that each had been fitted with a sound moderator and telescopic sight. Each had been modified and modified in a very professional way.’

The judge accepted that Blennerhassett had not modified the weapons himself but he did not accept that he had not known they were modified.

Specially dangerous? I guess he means that it could put your eye out – and do it quietly. Judge Brown then goes on to ask the prosecutor to ask the Home Office to consider legislation for antique firearms as he is concerned about them.

Judge Brown then told Mr. Blennerhassett as he was sentenced that “The control and regulation of firearms is an extremely important matter in relation to maintaining public safety.”

Public safety or control of the populace? I think we know the answer to that given that criminals and gangs in the UK seem to obtain firearms now more readily than ever before. It is only the non-criminal class who are impacted by these laws.

Why One Should Not Depend On Aging Rock Stars For The Facts

The Irish rock group U2 played a series of concerts last week in Mexico City. The band’s leader Bono made news when he said that most murders in Mexico are committed with automatic firearms smuggled in from the United States. From the band’s website:

‘I want you to send a message of love along the border to the good and the great people of the United States of America.’ announced Bono, during ‘Pride’ at the third show in Mexico tonight. ‘ I want you to send a message to people of conscience.

‘Ask them to answer the question. Why is it that all we hear on the news is how drugs are smuggled through Mexico to the United States ?

‘And we don’t hear about all the automatic weapons that are being smuggled into Mexico from the United States. Nine thousand registered arms dealers on the other side of the border. Nine thousand.

‘Most of the murders committed here are from weapons sold in the United States of America.

In the video embedded below (which I have also posted on YouTube), you can listen to the comments made by Bono and the change in lyrics he made to their song Pride (In the Name of Love).

Arthur Chrenkoff writing for Pajamas Media says Bono makes good music but uses bad numbers.

I can’t exactly blame you. You have probably heard the “statistic” that 90 percent of guns used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the United States from Hillary Clinton herself. Or Senator Dianne Feinstein. Or maybe even from William Hoover, assistant director for field operations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. After all, if anyone knows, the ATF should, right?

The problem is, as with many other factoids which gain a life of their own and enter the general circulation through media and internet, this is simply not true.

Thanks to the NSSF, we have this graphic showing that for 2008 – the latest year for which figures are available – only 12% of firearms seized in Mexico came from the United States. Of course, with all the firearms that went to Mexico due to Project Gunwalker, the numbers could be higher in later years.

The bottom line is that we’d be a lot better off if rock stars, actors, and other assorted glitterati stuck to music or acting or just looking pretty and save us from having to hear their pronouncements about matters on which they know nothing.

Did Someone Put Something in the Water at the Washington Post

On Sunday, the Washington Post ran a story on Raymond Woollard who is challenging Maryland’s concealed carry law. Today, they have a story entitled “Gun-toting soccer moms a scary thought in D.C. area, but not out west”. Did someone spike the water cooler in the Post’s newsroom?

The story is well worth reading and is remarkable for its relatively non-judgmental attitude towards firearms and firearm owners.

H/T Instapundit.

Guns in Video Games

The Firearm Blog has a guest post by Pascal Eggert on designing guns for video games.

Since the Complementary Spouse’s nephews play Halo 3 professionally on Teams Instinct and Status Quo, I found this quite interesting. Having watched their tournaments both in person and on-line, I always thought the guns were almost right. However, for a gunny, almost right just grates.

Pascal addresses that here:

I think about stuff like this a lot and have come to the conclusion that the one thing that is even worse than wrong visual representations of real guns in games are horribly designed fictional guns. In this area a lack of understanding of firearms gets easily multiplied and if you thought an AK47 is a magic device in the first place your sci-fi AK7000 will be a magic device so random it will not convince even the stupidest player. Yes, in the realm of fantasy you can invent whatever you want and find an explanation for any technical problem, but there are still the laws of physics that should be considered. Unfortunately most sci-fi guns are so bad that people just stopped caring about them with no questions asked

First Impressions of the NRA Annual Meeting

We attended the NRA Annual Meeting this past weekend in Charlotte. When the Complementary Spouse asked what I wanted for my birthday, I said I wanted her to go with me to Charlotte. Being the good woman that she is, she agreed.
Even though this was my first NRA show, I had an idea of what to expect in the Charlotte Convention Center since I had attended the 1996 SHOT Show in Dallas. I was working for a knife company then and helped to work their booth.
My first impression is that the NRA show was smaller but friendlier. There were less “booth babes” than at a SHOT Show which given the family-oriented composition of the crowd was probably a smart thing. The vendors seemed more willing to take the time to explain their products than I expected. That was nice feature of the show.
We were met in Charlotte by the Complementary Spouse’s brother Larry and two of his sons. The boys were more interested in the Bushmaster ACR, the FN SCAR, and the Barrett Model 82A1 than anything else. Larry and I were more interested in the higher end 1911’s, the exquisite wood of the Dakota Arms rifles, and other stuff of that ilk. Blame Call of Duty Modern Warfare and other video games!
The Complementary Spouse is not of the Gun Culture. Her father did collect guns and she has shot skeet with her late dad many years ago. The one thing that really stood out for her is how polite everyone was. You saw Mom and Pop Kettle, bikers, servicemen, cops, hippies, old people, young kids, etc. People didn’t jostle in line, they held doors for one another, they said “excuse me” and “please”, and they were just nice to one another. When you have more than 70,000 people in one place this is a rare thing. Robert Heinlein was right – an armed society is a polite society – even when you aren’t allowed to carry your arms like in Charlotte.