Setting people straight...a minor rant


May 15, 2003, 11:52 AM
So, just a few minutes ago, I'm crusing The High Road, and one of my co-workers asked me what I am looking at. When I explained it was a website dealing with firearms, and the politics involved in firearm ownership, he says this:

'Oh yeah, did you hear that soon machine guns will be legal again?'


At this point I kind of went off...not yelling or anything, but just doing a data dump on the guy, about how the Assault Weapons ban had no affect on full auto-weapons. And how the original definition of an Assault Weapon was a weapon with select fire capability. And how Machine Guns are STILL legal if you feel like paying the $200 tax, and waiting a year to get the paperwork approved, and can then afford the gun itself.

Then I took a breath, and he said:

'I don't know...the paper said it would make AK-47's legal again.'

So, here is my rant. How do we fight this? Up until a month ago, my wife thought the same thing! Our biggest problem with the sheeple is that most of them read the paper, and think that the Assault Weapon's ban is keeping machine guns out of the hands of children! They don't realize that the Assault Weapons ban is nothing but cosmetics.

It kind of stinks that the media can paint such a false picture for millions of people at a time, but the only way we can get our point across is like I did, one person at a time...

I think tonight, I am going to sit down and write a letter to the editor of some local papers...who knows, maybe one of them will make it through the censors and actually wind up in the paper, where someone might read it by accident.

Still fighting the good fight.


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Oleg Volk
May 15, 2003, 11:56 AM
Calm down, put on a smile and feed your co-worker the same data in small portions over time. Explain that news writers often have not the least clue of the topic they cover, be it medical technologies, art history or guns. Make sure you come off as sane, calm but concerned citizen.

Mike Irwin
May 15, 2003, 11:58 AM
Tell me about it.

I just had a talk on the elevator with a very peculiar coworker. He's a liberal semi-anti-gunner who owns guns.

He had NO clue what the 1994 law did, and I didn't have enough time to thoroughly educate him.

He's a really nice guy, and I like him a lot, but the typical liberal Democrat attitude REALLY rankles.

May 15, 2003, 12:18 PM
Just relax.

It is not just the media, with all the news coverage on the AK47 (the war) one would think that every ak fires in full auto mode. Just explain, in plain english, what the differences are. I think most people (lay people that is, who are not into firearms) would welcome the information.

May 15, 2003, 01:30 PM

Don't lose your cool. Explain the differences between the guns. Hit the highlights of the political issues surrounding the ban. Point him in the direction of some unbiased information. Offer to help him with the parts he doesn't understand.

And if he bases his responses on "I saw it in the paper" again. Engage him in a discussion of the NY Times scandal. :D

May 15, 2003, 01:34 PM
For example, we can point out the diff between the full house military M-16 and the emasculated civilian AR (ahem) XM-15, because although they look similiar, they have different names, and demonstrably different functionality.

As for AK-47, UZIs, and what not, we're gonna get in trouble, because there is no way to rapidly and reliably explain that they're not the fully automatic versions to a layman.

And while we're at it, let's avoid the term "sporterized", because that only feeds the notion that sports are the only legitimate reason for civilians to own firearms.

I happen to own a number of mil type firearms, which I happen to use in sports, but the #1 reason I own them is for the use I never want to put them to.

May 15, 2003, 01:37 PM
Maybe we need some Oleg-type posters showing the features that are banned, and comparison with a postban weapon?

I used pictures from Oly Arm's website to show my parents the difference between postban and preban (I didnt mention that I was using an M16 picture as the preban, and they didnt notice the autosear hole) and how my AR only had one "evil" feature so it was legal to possess (I also used a pic of an M16 fire control group to show my rifle wasnt a machine gun).


May 15, 2003, 01:38 PM
You know, this is a really good question.

I am thinking that a non-gun group related web site would be perfect for a situation like this. A cross linked, non-political fact sheet defining all the commonly used firearm terms. After all, responses like this don't demonstrate any kind of political leanings, given how and where they come up. They do demonstrate ignorance, which is fixable via education.

Hmmmm, I might have to start putting something like this together.

May 15, 2003, 01:39 PM
You best defense is the personal one. If you had taken that guy to the range previously, he'd probably have asked you what's up with this 1994 thing. Then you'd have a chance to set him straight.

May 15, 2003, 01:41 PM
And if he bases his responses on "I saw it in the paper" again. Engage him in a discussion of the NY Times scandal. Oh, I like that one!!!

Jesse H
May 15, 2003, 02:12 PM
The discussion I had with an anti-gunny yesterday left me a little bit frustrated. Then I thought, "hey, I should just piss off him and others like him and go buy an AR or AK."

I think that's my next purchase.

May 15, 2003, 02:26 PM
I would like to show a layperson a remington 7400 and explain how it automatically chambers another round upon firing and waits for you to pull the trigger again to fire and reload. Then pull out an AR-15 to identify for them that it functions exactly the same way, but its is LABELED an assault weapon due to cosmetics.

Maybe if their spastic emotion generator calmed down for a milisecond their brain could successfully bridge the small gap that the antis have cleaved in their logic process.

May 15, 2003, 02:30 PM
You can't change the fact that most people are idiots. Just smile and say "I never did mind the little things."

May 15, 2003, 02:32 PM
People believe the news on this sort of thing. But they shouldn't.

Back in '94 when the Clinton Gun Ban was being debated, Tom Brokaw, NBC News, ran video footage of a real AK firing in full auto while he did a voice-over about placing restrictions on semi-auto firearms. NBC/Brokaw got a lot of complaints about this "visual lie" and while acknowledging the error, did not issue a correction.

And then, a couple of weeks later, Brokaw/NBC News did the same thing again.

People actually remember and believe in this stuff . . . after all, if it wasn't true, they couldn't say it, right? And believing "our" news reporters are liars is uncomfortable for some . . . they'd have to question more of what they hear, and that takes effort.

May 15, 2003, 05:38 PM
Now that Schumer, Feinstein, et al file the AWB expansion bill, I've noticed a slight change in the popular language used to describe firearms.

Used to be eeeevil assault weapons were the boogie man. "Assault weapon" is a meaningless term suitable to be defined as just about anything the writer deemed appropriate.

Seems now I've hear more about "semi-automatic weapons", "military style weapons", and "machine guns" than ever before. I am under the impression lapdog writers are now introducing new terms into the debate.

Now that VPC has confused the meaning of certain terms they now appear to be introducing new terms which have little known but specific technical meanings understandable to a small number of people. These terms will be introduced into the popular media and definitions will be changed over time. By the time its over with I predict any technicallly correct semi-automatic firearm (long or short) will be considered as military. VPC et al will then move in to restrict access to military weapons by peasants. All this can be accomplished under the doctrine of individual rights in interpreting the second amendment.

This is a game we will never win until we control media outlets. Get used to it.

Standing Wolf
May 15, 2003, 06:07 PM
How do we fight this?

Simple ignorance can always be overcome with simple facts.

Anti-Second Amendment bigotry, like racial hatred, is too deep, dark, and ugly to respond to reason.

Carlos Cabeza
May 15, 2003, 06:38 PM
I needed to explain the same thing to an older female aquaintance yesterday. I mentioned being an RKBA supporter and that the AWB was due to sunset in sept. '04. She mistakenly jumped in and said "AND PUT MACHINE GUNS IN THE HANDS OF VIOLENT CRIMINALS AND CHILDREN !" :rolleyes: It took me a few minutes to explain the subtle differences and how the media portrays the weapons falsely. Luckily, she is a staunch republican and I didn't have to get too aggressive in correcting her interpretations of the media hype. I only mentioned it to her because I know she has a circle of soccer mom friends that I would like for her to correct if possible. Back in '94 she accused me of being an NRA supporter and was "disgusted with me". I didn't try to change her mind then because I wasn't equipped with the information to refute her claims.

It may be difficult for some but I suggest everyone who knows someone who has the wrong impressions to try to correct them, without offending the person and in a gentle but fact based manner.

May 15, 2003, 06:47 PM
Anti-Second Amendment bigotry, like racial hatred, is too deep, dark, and ugly to respond to reason.

Perhaps I could take them to court for discrimination? :cool:

May 15, 2003, 07:08 PM
I would have told him that machine guns have always been legal, although I don't agree with the hoops you have to jump through to get one. I would also explain that an AK47 is a select fire weapon and thus is a machine gun covered by the NFA of 1934. What we own is a semi-auto copy with a different name (mine was called an AKS). I may be wrong, but the only real, legal, AK47s in this country have been battlefield bring backs that have been registered through amnesty. The semi-auto copies are not AK47s and even the manufacturers don't call them AK47s.

May 17, 2003, 04:50 PM
I saw this in the San Jose Mercury News last Tuesday, ticked me off so much I wanted to write in, but this is the Murky News, after all. At least the NY times fires dishonest journalists when it finds them... (It's just the first part of the article, online version demands registration to view the full article, but it continues on in pretty much the same vein...)

Source: Mercury News Wire Services
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, a foe of gun-control legislation, predicted Tuesday that the GOP-controlled chamber would allow the federal ban on assault weapons to lapse, although President Bush supports its extension.''The votes in the House are not there'' to renew the ban, DeLay said.The ban on the import and manufacture of AK-47s and 18 other combat-style semiautomatic weapons was enacted in 1994 during the Clinton administration and is scheduled to ...

I guess 'semi-automatic only copy of the AK-47' is too long, and 'combat-style' sounds more professional, albeit less accurate than 'scary-looking'...


May 17, 2003, 05:10 PM
Explain top people that Machine guns have been registered and restricted since 1934, and the purchase of new ones was made illegal in 1986.

Yes, you can own a machine gun in the US, but there are hoops to jump through.

1. The machine gun in question has to be made before 1986

2. You have to live in a state that allows it.

3. You have to go through an extensive background check (pretty much as much of a BG check as someone who wishes to get a license to sell firearms).

4. You have to wait and wait and wait for the BATFe to grant you the privilege of owning a machine gun

5. You have to pay $200 to the BATFe

6. Machine guns that are transferable are very expensive (cheapest MG I've ever seen was still several grand ... point out that an M16 will cost you about $5k and an MP5 will cost you between $10k and $15k).

The AWB doesn't ban machine guns it only bans guns that look like machine guns.

I actually won an argument with an idiot over the AWB back when it passed by telling the guy that the AWB is the equivalent of banning spoilers and numbers/stripes and other decals on cars because race-cars are not street legal.

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