Sunday, February 26, 2017

Incoherence in court rulings

According to the 4th Circuit:

Actual military rifles used by actual armies in actual wars are not banned.

Case in point: M-1 Garand

Rifles resembling military rifles which have never been used by actual armies in actual wars can be banned.

Case in point: AR-15

The 4th Circuit ruled that the AR-15 was "like" the military M-16 and therefore not subject to protection under the Second Amendment.  They didn't extend that ruling to the M-1 Garand which actually was a military rifle, or the Winchester 1917, or the Enfield 1903, or the Sharps or Spencer carbines, or the ... well, you get it.  The only one that it is OK to ban is the one that has never been used by the military.

To clarify for those of you not familiar with guns, the M-1 Garand is a semi-automatic rifle which is reloaded using what is called an "en bloc clip".  It is a clip that holds six eight (thanks notClauswitz for the correction) rounds and is shoved into the top of the rifle.  Takes seconds to reload.  Semi-automatic means pull the trigger once, the rifle fires one bullet and is ready to fire the next time you pull the trigger.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle which is reloaded using what is called a "magazine".  It is a container that holds multiple rounds (depending on the size of the magazine) and is shoved into the bottom of the rifle.  Takes seconds to reload.  Semi-automatic in this case has the exact same meaning as it did in the previous paragraph.

So if you are not a gun person you might be confused as to why one is bad and one is good.  Well, if you are a gun person you might be equally confused.  The AR-15, however, can be make scary looking by adding accessories.  Do the accessories make the gun more deadly?  Nope.  Examples of things that make this rifle banned in some states include muzzle brake (designed to keep the rifle from having as much felt recoil), barrel shroud (that's the tubular thing around the barrel towards the front designed to keep you from burning yourself on the hot barrel since the stock on these rifles is not full length like the Garand), adjustable buttstock (designed to allow you to set the length of the rifle to whatever is most comfortable to you, the user), and pistol grip (designed to allow you to hold the rifle more securely while firing).  Oh, and aforementioned detachable magazine which, other than the availability of larger sizes is not much different than the en-bloc clip.

Can you take your Garand and put a modern military looking stock and all sorts of cool accessories on it?  Sure.

Does that change how it shoots, what it shoots, or how deadly it is?  Not in the slightest.  It now has an adjustable buttstock, a pistol grip, and a barrel shroud.  Is it banned as an assault weapon? Probably not because the en-bloc clip is not currently considered a detachable magazine even by legislators who get their panties in a bunch about "weapons of war".  Enough people put this stock on their rifles, however, and stand by for the hysteria.

Oh, and don't forget, less than 4% of all firearm homicides are carried out with any kind of rifle at all, let alone these "weapons of mass destruction" that you are always hearing about.   Almost three times as many people are killed by "hands, fists, feet, etc" under the "personal weapons" class.  This is not about safety, it is not about crime, it is about an irrational hatred of letting people possess the means of their own defense. 


Anonymous said...

Just more evidence of the weakness on depending on judges to tell us what the laws are. Legislators write the laws. They should have exclusive mandate to tell us what they mean. It is obvious that most judges looking at any case with political ramifications will go for the political outcome they want and then cludge together some barely related previous cases to support their position.

The simple fact is, all firearms pretty much do the same thing and therefore should be treated equally under the law. Some arms do specific tasks better than others but that does not erase their underlying function. All weapons are potentially "weapons of war" if that is all you can get. If WW2 War Department could have made AR15's, they would have bought them by the tens of millions and distributed them to all our allies too.

heresolong said...


NotClauswitz said...

The Garand actually holds eight rounds, at least my two do.:-)

heresolong said...

I stand corrected. My collection is lacking. A Grand, that is, not two extra rounds.

Cameron x said...

I always liked media describing the AR as "high powered". My first thought is, "you're not familiar with the Garand, are you?"