Columnist got it mostly right.


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Open Carry
May 12, 2003, 07:48 PM
As hoaxes go, Carbon County man is a piker

Paul Carpenter
From The Morning Call -- May 2, 2003
www.mcall.com (http://www.mcall.com/news/columnists/all-5hoaxes-amay02,0,1121216.column?coll=all%2Dnews%2Dcol)

Just as a glorious new career in martial skills education is about to begin, somebody has to go and burst the bubble.

Based on my vast military expertise, I recently decided to create the Dolph Lundgren School of Paramilitary Killer Survival Dragoon Raiders.

For only a few grand, you could benefit from courses to be held at various Ku Klux Klan training camps in or near the Lehigh Valley. A sampling:

How to blow up bridges, schools, enemy tanks, hospitals, etc. with nothing but lawn clippings and the ingredients of a box of Cocoa Puffs.

How to survive in the bleakest desert or in an Amazon jungle with nothing but a TV remote control device.

How to kill armed adversaries with just a rolled-up newspaper. (It has to be The Morning Call, of course.)

Actually, I never specialized in such things when I was in the military, but my real Air Force jobs (nuclear weapons technician and base newspaper editor) may not be appropriate for soldier-of-fortune commercial applications.

That is why I empathized with Robert Williams Jr., even though it was the story about him that ruined my hopes for the Dolph Lundgren School.

As reported the other day, Williams, of Mahoning Township in Carbon County, pleaded guilty in New York state to disorderly conduct charges relating to his highfalutin tales about teaching urban warfare to soldiers at an Army post.

He was fined $370 and also was suspended from Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y.

The roof fell in after Williams told the Oneonta Daily Star newspaper about his exploits and posed with what he said was his M-4 assault rifle.

''It's the hardest thing in the world, as a soldier, to send people off to combat when you are not going,'' he was quoted saying of the soldiers he trained at Fort Drum for urban warfare in Iraq.

Local police were not keen on having an assault rifle in town, it seems, and the tall tale unraveled. Army officials said Williams never trained anyone at Fort Drum, called him ''a punk,'' and said he got an administrative discharge (given for medical problems, etc.) from the Army.

Say what you will, nobody can accuse Williams of a lack of imagination. And before we bash him too severely for hatching a hoax, let's consider a key element in his story.

Note that his bubble burst because of one thing — a news story that indicated Williams had an assault rifle.

He did not. An assault rifle has ''selective'' fire, meaning it can be switched from semi-automatic, where one round is fired for each pull of the trigger, to a fully automatic machine gun that rat-a-tat-tats as long as the trigger is held.

Williams, the story said, had a Bushmaster, which is semiautomatic, as are common police pistols and countless other legal civilian guns. A Bushmaster has no fully automatic capability; it's an assault rifle only in the dreams of a Dolph Lundgren wanna-be.

So what was all this fuss you heard about assault weapons during the Clinton administration? What was that assault rifle ban passed by Congress in 1994? Is that not what protects us from such guns?

No, all that hoopla in 1994 was a hoax, far more sinister than anything Williams could have concocted. The 1994 law did not ban assault weapons; it applied to cosmetic features that could make semiautomatic guns look like assault rifles.

Assault rifles were already illegal for civilians. They have been banned since the 1930s, and everybody in Congress knew it. All the orchestrated mendacity about ''assault rifles'' was purely for political and semantic reasons — to sell constitutionally questionable gun control measures by attaching buzzwords to them.

When it comes to hoaxes, our esteemed politicians make Williams look like a piker.

paul.carpenter@mcall.com

610-820-6176

Email paul.carpenter@mcall.com

Copyright © 2003, The Morning Call

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Standing Wolf
May 12, 2003, 09:25 PM
Assault rifles were already illegal for civilians. They have been banned since the 1930s, and everybody in Congress knew it.

Not quite true. I've met several owners of fully automatic rifles.

Backwoods
May 12, 2003, 10:41 PM
Standing Wolf,

I know you're right, almost everyone here knows you're right. Myself, I'm just tickled that the writer got so LITTLE wrong! And maybe he knows better too and just didn't think the sheeple would comprehend the nuances of the truth.

:)

Don in Ohio

D.W. Drang
May 13, 2003, 12:37 PM
Note also that in much of the country full-auto IS banned for civillian possesson--one reason I give LSW for moving in with Jeannie and Nanaimo Barr is "But honey! Idaho is a Class III state!" (She remains unconvinced, something about our cats and their cats and jobs, that and they haven't invited us...)

TheLastBoyScout
May 13, 2003, 02:40 PM
Note also that in much of the country full-auto IS banned for civillian possesson--

Yes, but PA, where the article was written and intended to be read, is a Class-III state.

Monkeyleg
May 13, 2003, 06:03 PM
It's true that most people don't know that full-auto's are legal. I think we ought to keep it that way, or somebody will start clammering to ban those too.

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