University of Texas suicide - Really an AK-47?


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essayons21
September 29, 2010, 10:15 PM
Every news report I have been able to find has identified the weapon used in this incident as an AK-47.

From ABC:

Police confirmed Tooley was carrying an AK-47, a military-grade combat rifle.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/shots-fired-university-texas-austin-cops-hunt-gunman/story?id=11744405

So the Austin police are saying the weapon was a true FA AK?

Another report, from the school paper which interviews witnesses, repeatedly describes the gun as an AK.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/content/ut-student-kills-self-after-firing-ak-47-21st-street

I have also seen numerous television media reports which describe it as a "fully automatic AK-47."

So did this guy actually use a FA in a crime? Was it registered or illegally converted? Or is this yet another, particularly egregious example of the Journalists Guide to Firearms Identification (http://blog.robballen.com/2009/09/08/p3717-because-im-nothing-if-not-helpful.post)

As per the moderator's direction, this is not to discuss the news story of some wacko offing himself, I'm trying to ascertain if a FA weapon was actually used in the commission of a crime, and if not to develop a plan of action to remedy the serial ignorance shown by members of the media towards firearms.

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hirundo82
September 29, 2010, 10:22 PM
The media description that stands out in my mind was them describing his rifle as a "semiautomatic machine gun." :rolleyes:

Ramman911
September 29, 2010, 10:23 PM
Journalists Guide to Firearms Identification.... LOL that link is priceless, but sadly enough rings so true. Sounds like when our local news folks call a 9mm handgun an "assault rifle" on more than one occasion.

TexasRifleman
September 29, 2010, 10:27 PM
In fairness many vendors advertise semi auto models as "AK-47" even though we know they are not.

Here's a random website (first one that came up in Google) selling a Century M70 underfolder but the vendor calls it an "AK-47". Hard to ask the media to be super accurate when gun sellers don't even know the difference.

http://www.topgunsupply.com/yugo-m70-ak-47-underfolder-7.62x39-30-round.html

If, for example, some reporter decided to actually do some fact checking and used Google, this would be the first thing he saw. He might very well say "heck, they sell them surely they know the name, and it says AK-47".

Zundfolge
September 29, 2010, 10:28 PM
I'm trying to ascertain if a FA weapon was actually used in the commission of a crime...

I doubt it. If it was a FA AK the media would be in apoplectic fits about the "Machine Gun Toting Mad Man"

essayons21
September 29, 2010, 10:34 PM
In fairness many vendors advertise semi auto models as "AK-47" even though we know they are not.

Its really not the description of it as an AK-47 or AK-47 variant that bothers me, its the seemingly deliberate blurring of the line between fully automatic and semi.

The quote from ABC is curious, either the police described the weapon as such, or its something the reporter added in. If it was the police, shame on them, they should know better, if it was the reporter, also shame, but in this day and age it seems almost deliberate.

This story has gotten my attention more than others, because usually I can find a news outlet that gives a mostly accurate description (usually semi-automatic assualt rifle etc.) but every story I can find describes the rifle as a "military AK-47" or an "automatic assault rifle," both of which would accurately be full auto weapons.

TexasRifleman
September 29, 2010, 10:38 PM
Again, playing devil's advocate here, the ABC quote just says :

Police confirmed Tooley was carrying an AK-47, a military-grade combat rifle.

Doesn't actually say full auto. Again, if I as an ignorant reporter Google AK47 and hit the link above, then read the wikipedia article on AK-47 I might very well assume that it's "a military-grade combat rifle".

All this certainly may be intentional I guess but it seems just as likely to be plain old ignorance.

And, again playing the other side for a moment, if you randomly asked people outside the gun community to explain the difference between "automatic" and "semi-automatic" you'd likely get more blank looks than correct answers.

alohachris
September 29, 2010, 10:39 PM
So what's the proper nomenclature?

I know an AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of an M16/M4. So what do you call a Kalashnikov pattern semiautomatic?

TexasRifleman
September 29, 2010, 10:41 PM
So what do you call a Kalashnikov pattern semiautomatic?

The Yugo's are "M70". The Romanians are "WASR-10" etc. Kalishnikov never made a factory civilian semi only like Colt did with the AR-15 so there really isn't a generic term for the semi only models, which is why AK-47 keeps getting used.

Not really a conspiracy, just people who don't know any better. That's why I say it's certainly possible this is a media bias but there is strong evidence to suggest they simply hit Google and use what they find.

I used to notice the same thing with airline crashes, everything for a while was a "747" or a "Cessna" and rarely anything else during initial reports.

Geronimo45
September 29, 2010, 10:43 PM
90% chance it's a WASR.

Onmilo
September 29, 2010, 10:43 PM
Bugarians call them an SL-8, Egyptians call theirs a MISR Sporting rifle.
Chinese called them MAK90,,,,,
I like semi automatic sport-pleasure rifle.

Hanzo581
September 29, 2010, 10:49 PM
I can go on a hundred gun sites and buy an semi-auto labeled "AK-47", it's just what they are commonly called. I really cannot blame them for calling the semi-auto version an AK-47.

SharpsDressedMan
September 29, 2010, 10:55 PM
With all due respect, does full or semi make a difference? Guy has gun, guy is an idiot. Once in awhile, someone with a gun goes goofy. It is one of the reasons the rest of us have guns....................

essayons21
September 29, 2010, 11:15 PM
With all due respect, does full or semi make a difference? Guy has gun, guy is an idiot. Once in awhile, someone with a gun goes goofy. It is one of the reasons the rest of us have guns....................

It certainly makes a difference for the continued legal ownership of true machine guns.

Look at the origin of some of the restrictive gun laws in the UK, Australia, Germany, even in this country. One crazy wacko with a gun combined with a media and political frenzy has passed some of the absolute worse gun laws in existence.

And I'm legitimately curious if this guy may have actually obtained a FA AK-47, since that is what has been reported.

NOLAEMT
September 29, 2010, 11:42 PM
frankly I wish we could capitalize on the media's ignorance of the difference.

If they don't know the difference between semi and full auto, perhaps we have some small chance of getting the MG registry reopened.

(I'm not saying we should capitalize on this tragedy,just to clarify)

Cactus Jack Arizona
September 29, 2010, 11:57 PM
To members of the MSM, any gun is an AK-47 until proven otherwise. This isn't an accident. They do this on purpose to demonize a wonderful firearm. The more fear they can monger about the AK-47, the more likely they will eventually get them banned.

What I find interesting most of all, is talking with some of the staunch NRA members at the gun shows who are adamantly against the Ak-47 being a legalized firearm. :eek: I just don't get it. :confused:

General Geoff
September 30, 2010, 12:09 AM
I just wonder it's actually an AK-pattern rifle at all...

Sam1911
September 30, 2010, 07:35 AM
I just wonder it's actually an AK-pattern rifle at all... Yes, it would be pretty interesting if it ISN'T, considering that I believe every news story on the event has said that it IS.

But, considering that the Kalashnikov family of carbines is the most common firearm pattern in the world, and that the semi-auto versions of it are getting to the top of the heap as the most common rifle in America, I couldn't possibly be surprised if he did indeed use one to kill himself.

As others have pointed out, except for those few of us who use more exact model designations, most gun owners, dealers, and even manufacturers, describe them generically as "AKs" or "AK-47s" so getting all wrapped around the axle because the media does too is a bit absurd. Why would we hold them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves?

To claim that "military grade combat rifle" is a falsehood is also wrong, as all but a very scant few of these guns are made from the parts left over from demilled military guns. It doesn't mean they are magical or extra deadly, but they are "military grade" without a doubt.

And, while the FA -vs.- semi question is also food for some discussion, it really only would be if he had actually spent the $15,000+, file the Form 4 and wait most of a year, to buy a registered Transferrable TitleII AKM and used that to end his life. That seems ridiculously unlikely.

And ... to a degree, so what if he did? Does one public suicide really harm our (distant) chances for revisiting the Hughes amendment? What would that make, 2 crimes with legally owned registered MGs since 1934?

And, maybe he drilled an extra hole and swapped in some "naughty bits," making an illegal unregistered MG. So? That's not hard, and it isn't all that uncommon, either. Again, the only person he harmed was himself, and he only needed one shot to do it. I don't see the uproar.

I'd say there's about a 90% chance that he used a $350 WASR that he bought at the local gun shop or from a pal, and the "AK-47" identification is perfectly acceptable. On the same level as referring to a Ford Focus as a "late model economy car."

ArmedBear
September 30, 2010, 08:31 AM
What is striking to me is that the guy walked onto a huge campus with a Kalashnikov, and ended up strolling all the way into the library, where he went in and hung out about as long as he wanted, firing shots.

Security is not about luck, and the luck that this guy's intent was only to shoot himself was all that saved anyone that day. Had he intended to murder people, he had free reign.

This case is a POSTER case for campus carry by permit holders! It proves that campuses don't do a damned thing to keep people safe from attacks. This guy didn't have a small handgun stashed in a pocket, either. He had a Kalashnikov!

If a guy can stroll onto a campus, and hang out in the library, shooting a rifle (don't care what kind) without anyone stopping him, then don't we have the RIGHT to at least have a fighting chance at defending ourselves, when we are on a college campus?

ny32182
September 30, 2010, 08:57 AM
"AK" is a fine description as far as I'm concerned; swapping a couple trigger parts doesn't change what it is.

The worst news article I read on the subject was about how great the university response was, and how they learned the VT lesson and were right on the ball with the response, blah, blah.... where as every other news article quoted witnesses saying he had ample opportunity to kill many other people, and didn't. If that is true, the response, no matter how quick, wasn't really much of a factor, was it?

ArmedBear
September 30, 2010, 09:08 AM
Response? What response? After he'd shot himself, they told everyone to lock their doors?!?

They just got lucky he didn't shoot anyone else. The only thing that prevented a bloodbath was that he didn't point the gun at anyone when he pulled the trigger (repeatedly).

Double Naught Spy
September 30, 2010, 09:26 AM
I have also seen numerous television media reports which describe it as a "fully automatic AK-47."
Well, your two links do not report the gun as "fully automatic." So I googled the shooter's name and the words of "full" and "automatic" and failed to find any news reports stating the gun was fully automatic. There were a lot of comments made by readers/viewers about the gun being fully automatic, but nothing reported by the media.

Given the numbers of television and radio news shows that post text of their shows online, can you find any that show they referred to the gun as fully automatic?

Now I did see several that stated specifically that it was "automatic." That is a 100% accurate description. Just like my 1911 is an automatic pistol, the gun used at UT was an automatic. "Automatic' refers to autoloading. That is not a blurring of the difference between semi and full auto. It is a properly accurate description.

And I'm legitimately curious if this guy may have actually obtained a FA AK-47, since that is what has been reported.

Show us the reports where the media is stating that the gun is fully automatic and let's go from there. So far, you have made the claim, but not backed it up with anything.

SharpsDressedMan
September 30, 2010, 09:47 AM
As far as the public is concerned, it is all "semantics". When an AK weapon is referred to by the press, it is an "AK-47" because they don't know any better. They don't care, and will never care, if it was originally full auto, legally registered, an auto converted from a semi-auto, a true AK-47 (milled receiver), or AKM (stamped receiver), or some pre-ban, post ban, or AK derivative sporting rifle. The GENERAL PUBLIC will not care if it is a misnomer, and really an SKS, or a rifle with a fixed 10 round magazine or 100 round drum. The fact that an idiot used something loosely referred to as an "assault weapon", or to the uninformed, the generic term "AK-47" (which to most reporters, is the same thing), the effect is the same. Man with gun shoots someone, shoot self, etc. As far as ownership of legal full autos, you are almost never (I LIKE that phrase...it is about as stupid as most news reports about AK-47's:D) going to hear about LEGAL machinegun ownership, as most beauracracies don't want you to KNOW about such things. And whether a legal or illegally possessed full auto was used, well, it isn't the first time. Gang bangers have been using converted, illegal full autos for scores of years. Don't fret none over a current occurance of "AK-47 mania" where the bad guy kills himself with verry little damage to others. With the over-time saturation of incidents, and the numbness that we all get from seeing and hearing about such things too much, we will all forget about it in a few days.

bhk
September 30, 2010, 10:02 AM
We, as shooters, are partially responsible for this blurring of semi-automatic and automatic firearms. We frequently call our semis 'autos.' When talking with our friends or fellow posters, we ask questions like 'Do you prefer revolvers or automatics?' Or we make comments like 'shooting rabbits is a ball with a good .22 auto rifle.'

We know the difference, of course. But with our sloppy nomenclature, how can we blame non shooters for often doing the same? Now, the press calling a semi-auto a 'fully automatic weapon' is a totally different story.

Sam1911
September 30, 2010, 10:21 AM
But with our sloppy nomenclatureIt isn't sloppy nomenclature so much as that the physical distinctions are pretty small. These guns are automatics, auto-loaders, self-loaders, etc -- it all means the same thing. The only difference is whether there is a disconnecter involved at every shot.

That and an obscure and ill-conceived law from back in 1934.

I have a hard time getting upset with the media for not comprehending a distinction that is so small as to be almost meaningless -- except by weight of the legal issues we've piled around it to no good end.

Flynt
September 30, 2010, 10:23 AM
http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/ut-shooting-reignites-debate-over-guns-on-campus-943346.html?cxtype=rss_ece_frontpage

I hope this link works. It's for part of the coverage by the Austin American-Statesman that ran Wednesday. It contains a sidebar description of a generic AK-47, and distinguishes between the fact that some weapons are auto and some semi. It says Austin police would not provide details on the shooter's weapon.

To those who see conspiracies behind every tree, get a life. Our passion is just not important to most people. The media don't spend untold hours developing sinister terms to use; they don't care that much. You need to get out more. Every field, every discipline, has specialized nomeclature, and while it's important to members of the group or profession, it's not common venacular and will never be. I wince when I see polyethylene pipe described as "plastic pipe," because the two are completely different, but I don't think it's because a reporter is out to get me.

Sam1911
September 30, 2010, 10:28 AM
It contains a sidebar description of a generic AK-47 ...I'm upset and offended that they labeled the image of the round as a "7.62x39 mm bullet." I think it might be signs of a conspiracy to get handloading supplies restricted by implying that ... :rolleyes:

[Gilda Radner]Never mind![/Gilda Radner] :)

MIgunguy
September 30, 2010, 01:07 PM
Isn't polyethylene a type of plastic? (seriously)

If it was a folding stock AK-style gun maybe he could have stuffed it into a large duffle type "book" bag. Maybe is was an "AK" type pistol?

UpTheIrons
September 30, 2010, 02:15 PM
If I can find the video, I'll link it, but I did see a report yesterday that said he had an "AK-47, similar to this one" while the video showed an underfolder Yugo.

Was his an underfolder? We haven't been told, but since he was walking around campus with it in the open (which is not illegal in Texas - unwise, but not illegal), it likely wasn't.

UpTheIrons
September 30, 2010, 03:37 PM
Response? What response? After he'd shot himself, they told everyone to lock their doors?!?

They just got lucky he didn't shoot anyone else. The only thing that prevented a bloodbath was that he didn't point the gun at anyone when he pulled the trigger (repeatedly).

Actually, they were on his tail when he shot himself, according to the reports I heard. Of course, he wandered around campus for a good long time before the shooting started, and I don't know why his presence wasn't called in earlier.

Double Naught Spy
September 30, 2010, 07:55 PM
So no actual links to reports of it being fully automatic?

benEzra
September 30, 2010, 08:19 PM
To claim that "military grade combat rifle" is a falsehood is also wrong, as all but a very scant few of these guns are made from the parts left over from demilled military guns. It doesn't mean they are magical or extra deadly, but they are "military grade" without a doubt.
Except that functionally, they completely and utterly lack the select-fire capability that was the military AK-47's entire raison d'etre (allowing a single platform to perform the function of a rifle or a submachinegun, at the flick of a switch).

You can call a non-automatic civilian AK whatever you want, but it is not, in fact, military grade; as far as I am aware, no military on this planet uses a 7.62x39mm AK/AKM-pattern rifle that is incapable of select fire. Semiauto-only AK derivatives are exclusively civilian weapons, having the rifle functionality but not the subgun functionality. A civilian can certainly own an actual military-grade AK-47 (and a few lucky souls do), but you have to do so on a Form 4.

It isn't sloppy nomenclature so much as that the physical distinctions are pretty small. These guns are automatics, auto-loaders, self-loaders, etc -- it all means the same thing. The only difference is whether there is a disconnecter involved at every shot.
The distinction between firing once and only once when the trigger is pulled, and firing ten rounds a second until the magazine is empty when the trigger is pulled, is not insignificant. Agree or disagree with the NFA, it is a bright-line distinction that is indeed easy to comprehend, even by people who know next to nothing about guns.

So no actual links to reports of it being fully automatic?
None that I'm aware of, other than abysmally sloppy reporting. He didn't fire all that many rounds, it seems, either.

gearhead
September 30, 2010, 08:27 PM
All the initial reports referred to it as automatic, but they seem to have been edited as more info became available.

walker944
September 30, 2010, 09:21 PM
In my mind, there are AK-47 clones, and AR-15 clones. However, it's common place to hear them simply referred to as AK-47s and AR-15s. I'm not averse to that. I know the difference, so do you. I'm not going to get myself worked up over it!!

orionengnr
September 30, 2010, 09:22 PM
This case is a POSTER case for campus carry by permit holders!
And it has helped bring the issue back into the news here in TX.
Here's hoping...

lwknight
September 30, 2010, 10:22 PM
At least they just said it was a AK-47. The last time something wa in the news it was a "High Power " AK-47.
I never saw a low power AK-47.

TNT in Round Rock
September 30, 2010, 11:43 PM
Okay I can't resist .. especially after the newspaper showed a 7.62mm "bullet" and where the "bullets" go .... enjoy :-> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2sAFHBptJE

Sam1911
October 1, 2010, 12:09 AM
You can call a non-automatic civilian AK whatever you want, but it is not, in fact, military grade;
"Grade" to me denotes "quality" as in, meeting the material specifications of, and production qualities of. I would absolutely say that an AKM parts kit cut from a select-fire rifle in or intended for military service and then assembled on a new receiver of identical form and make-up as the original -- with the exception of one hole, one lever, and one spring -- is still military grade. Not a military carbine, but still of the same quality, form, origin, etc. as the military carbines.

If Ontario or Buck was to make an M9 bayonet on the same assembly line, of the same materials, but make it 1" shorter than what the military asks for, I'd still call it "military grade" though not an actual military knife.

If it is EXACTLY the same, why bother to say "military grade" at all? Just say "a military carbine." What purpose does that modifying word "grade" serve then if not to illustrate the similarities that remain in spite of some substantive difference?

The distinction between firing once and only once when the trigger is pulled, and firing ten rounds a second until the magazine is empty when the trigger is pulled, is not insignificant. Really? I guess I just don't agree. Almost all of these guns are far more useful in their primary (semi-auto) mode, so gaining or losing the secondary ("full"-auto) function seems relatively insignificant when examining the totality/capability of the gun as a weapon with a certain purpose.

Agree or disagree with the NFA, it is a bright-line distinction that is indeed easy to comprehend, even by people who know next to nothing about guns.On the face of it, yes. The NFA makes a strong distinction. I think that, absent the tremendous legal weight applied by that bad old law, we wouldn't recognize such a huge difference between a semi-auto carbine and an assault rifle. IMHO.

Of course, the ATF has done an awful lot to blur the definition far beyond a literal reading of the law as well. I don't see a bright-line distinction any more when the actual FUNCTION of the item no longer matters as much as other factors that agency chooses to use to define a "machine gun."

(It no longer matters if the gun does fire fully automatically. If the gun could have a different bolt or sear installed so that it would fire that way, it is a machine gun. If it could be with relative ease altered into some non-stock form that might go full-auto, it is a machine gun. If you could go buy an auxiliary lever and install it in a little hole in the reciever to make it fire multiple shots with one pull of the trigger, it is a machine gun. If it once WAS a functional machine gun, but the structures that held the auto fire-control parts within the gun have all been ground away so the gun could NEVER be used like that again -- it is STILL a machine gun. Heck...for a while a shoe string was a machine gun. Don't tell me it's a "brite-line distinction!" ;))

benEzra
October 1, 2010, 03:36 PM
"Grade" to me denotes "quality" as in, meeting the material specifications of, and production qualities of. I would absolutely say that an AKM parts kit cut from a select-fire rifle in or intended for military service and then assembled on a new receiver of identical form and make-up as the original -- with the exception of one hole, one lever, and one spring -- is still military grade. Not a military carbine, but still of the same quality, form, origin, etc. as the military carbines.
A lot of civilian AK's are made with mostly military-grade components, yes, so one could certainly say that a particular AK had mostly military-grade components. But the civilian AK as an assembled unit, with its civilian-only receiver and fire control, is not IMO military grade, as it flunks a Tier One requirement of every single military that has ever adopted them---that it be capable of select-fire.

If it is EXACTLY the same, why bother to say "military grade" at all? Just say "a military carbine." What purpose does that modifying word "grade" serve then if not to illustrate the similarities that remain in spite of some substantive difference?
Because the the Brady Campaign---the ones most responsible for the characterization of civilian semiautos as "military grade" in the mainstream media, IMO---found that referring to non-automatic civilian semiautos as "military weapons" and "weapons of war" was trivially easy to rebut, so they seem to have been shifting of late toward the more slippery term "military grade", intended to connote the same thing while being more amenable to rebuttal-dodging.

http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/mass-produced-mayhem.pdf

http://www.vpc.org/graphics/creditcardarmies.pdf

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Abradycampaign.org+%22military+grade%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=site:bradycampaign.org+%22military+grade%22&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=hj6&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=iv&filter=0&fp=84f34ab5383c7ee9

Really? I guess I just don't agree. Almost all of these guns are far more useful in their primary (semi-auto) mode, so gaining or losing the secondary ("full"-auto) function seems relatively insignificant when examining the totality/capability of the gun as a weapon with a certain purpose.
More useful for civilian purposes, certainly. More useful for an American military that is highly concerned about avoiding civilian/friendly casualties, possibly. For a conscript-based military that spends much less time on training the tip of the spear than we do and has been historically unconcerned with friendly/noncombatant casualties, particularly in Stalingrad-type room-to-room urban combat, perhaps not.

Remember, the AK was designed to allow a single weapon to replace the PPSh up close and a Mosin-Nagant at a distance, and the experience that shaped its design was a largely zero to fifty yard fight (with occasional longer shots) against a well-equipped professional army in urban environments best described as apocalyptic, without the benefit of either illuminated sights or weapon lights. The Russians felt that select-fire was important to that mission, and they were probably correct.

The case could be made that for most military purposes for *our* military, with modern small-unit doctrine and modern optics/lights/NVGs, a civilian-style semiauto-only 7.62x39 AK would work just as well. But given that up to this point no military on this planet has ever fielded one, I think it is entirely fair to point out that a semiauto AK is just as civilian as a Ruger Mini Thirty, from which it is functionally indistinguishable.

Now, if you want to call a civilian-market SKS in milspec configuration, a milspec Dragunov, a made-to-milspec M24/M40 reproduction, etc. "military grade", I'd have no problem with that, because the civilian-market version is functionally the same as the military model. But that's not true of the AK or the AR-15, or the FN PS90, or of other civilian-only derivatives of military weapons.

On the face of it, yes. The NFA makes a strong distinction...I don't see a bright-line distinction any more when the actual FUNCTION of the item no longer matters as much as other factors that agency chooses to use to define a "machine gun."
You do have a point with regard to the legal definition of "machinegun" under the NFA, but IMO there is still a bright line as far as function goes (either a gun can fire automatically or it cannot).

The Expert
October 1, 2010, 03:50 PM
Any Kalashnikov style gun is now an AK-47. The term has transcended it's application to the original configuration.

Griping over it is a lot like nitpicking people who hand you a sheet of paper and say, "Please get me a Xerox of this." and point you to the Cannon photocopier. Another example would be allowing yourself to become irritated in any way (if irritated isn't the word you want to use) if someone refers to a facial tissue as a "Kleenex" when they actually have Puffs on hand.

Now when they start saying silling things like "semiautomatic machine gun" they are just being ignorant. Of course, if you had their job and were on the spot on the camera, not familiar with firearms, your mind might go fishing for the term "semiautomatic assault rifle" and come up with "semiautomatic machine gun". It's not really fair to the reporter to hold them to a standard that is not possible for the uninformed to keep.

TexasRifleman
October 1, 2010, 06:07 PM
So for those who were asking in the thread in Tech Support why this kind of thread wasn't generally acceptable, I am wondering what the thoughts are now.

Since the media reports have all but ceased, and no real information has come out of LE, we're all speculating STILL all these days later about the type of gun used and whether or not the media misled anyone, intentionally or otherwise. The thread has now become a discussion about 1) What "military grade" means, and 2) What an AK-47 is.

So, did this thread do any good? Did it advance ownership of firearms? Did it do anything to help the pro gun cause? Or did it do what they usually do, give a reason for idle speculation with no actual progress made?

After all that I'm curious, do people find this thread to serve a useful purpose and 'on topic' for THR?

Just wondering honestly. There were a lot of comments about moderators locking these out of spite or being control freaks etc. So, this one stayed... was it useful?

essayons21
October 1, 2010, 07:08 PM
Well if we are going to gripe about poor firearms coverage in the media (which the NRA and local RKBA organizations do quite often), it is beneficial to hash out our internal arguments ahead of time.

Yes, no new information has come out, but some of the discussion regarding proper nomenclature of firearms in the media has been enlightening.

There were a lot of comments about moderators locking these out of spite or being control freaks etc.

While not privy to any PMs you may have received, those sorts of comments have been far and few between, even in the thread you mentioned. In fact, the majority of responses in that thread were supportive of the overall performance of the moderators on this forum (including mine).

Sam1911
October 1, 2010, 07:08 PM
Well, I've enjoyed benEzra's and my conversation. Interesting food for thought regarding the semantic issues surrounding the concept of the style of weapon ... though I'd have to admit it wasn't precisely topical.

Otherwise, I think we've perhaps faced as a group the fact that the "OMG, It's an AK-47!!!" media hyperbole is probably not either as inflammatory, nor as generally untrue as it seemed to be in prior decades -- and that is, to me, an interesting discussion as well, as I used to rage against such things and now seem to be holding up the other end of the argument.

As you point out, though. We STILL don't know -- fer sher -- what the guy used. The most likely idea seems to be an M-70 underfolder, but even that is speculative.

benEzra
October 1, 2010, 07:35 PM
Any Kalashnikov style gun is now an AK-47. The term has transcended it's application to the original configuration.
I disagree. Among those who don't know much about guns, that has probably always been the case. But I think "AK" is used generically by gunnies way, way more than "AK-47" is, particularly since a lot of civilian AK's are AKM's, AK-74 derivatives, and so on. I myself tend to describe my SAR-1 as an "AK" to most people, unless I am talking to someone who knows what a SAR-1 is.

As you point out, though. We STILL don't know -- fer sher -- what the guy used.
Yup...case in point...

http://blueridgearmory.com/images/ak15.png

Sam1911
October 1, 2010, 07:46 PM
That shouldn't be funny, should it?

Dulvarian
October 3, 2010, 12:22 AM
Well, I think it just illustrates the point that a lot of people don't know their firearms from a hole in the ground. And that includes people that should know better, or at the very least, should know that they need to educate themselves. I think that in our pursuit of the 2nd Amendment, we sometimes forget that the other freedoms from the Bill of Rights are quite skewed.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It doesn't say anywhere in there that the press should report with that freedom the whole truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth. Just like fact that most of us don't need a FA anything. I'm not saying that I wouldn't like a select fire trigger on my SIG556 (although I don't really want to spend that much on ammo...) but I don't have a true need for one.

Everyone points out all kinds of impediments to the 2nd Amendment, especially places like here. Abuse of the 1st Amendment does more harm to our nation than any number of ill-fated and poorly thought out/executed "crimes involving guns".

A better approach would be for those among the populace who know better to post comments on the posted 'interwebz' articles and simply comment as to the factual accuracy of the report. And the police in and around NOLA have done a lot worse than misname/classify a firearm. I think that it is just as much a civic duty to shoot down poor journalism (pun intended) as it is to vote, or for some, to wear a uniform.

Did I learn anything? I learned that a lot of people that should be looking at things the same way are in fact not doing so. Personally, I learned that perhaps I should be more careful when I am speaking of firearms. I use the term 'auto' when referring to a semi-automatic, simply because it is shorter. It is slang, and could be considered contrary to the proper education and informing of the general non- or anti-firearms person who might be listening. When referring to a fully automatic firearm, I use the term "full auto". Since I don't plan on paying the gubment 15k to experience the privilege of owning one, I do find that portion of the discussion is arbitrary to me, personally.

I am also rather surprised at how touchy a lot of people seem on the semantics, especially among firearms enthusiasts. Thanks mods for letting this one go a bit.

SpeedAKL
October 3, 2010, 06:16 PM
I've never gotten too wrapped-up in firearm nomenclature like that. A Kalashnikov-pattern rifle or carbine, full-auto or semi-, is fine being called an AK in my book since everyone knows what that represents and since the specific rifle can be called a multitude of things given its source country. Even many gun guys can't tell the difference between a Yugo M-Series, Hungarian AMD-65, Polish Tantal, Bulgarian SSA, Iraqi Tabuk, Chinese MAK-90, etc etc etc, so I don't see the problem with calling them AKs since they all share the same basic design. It's similar to everyone calling Stoner-pattern rifles AR-15s or ARs even though the AR-15 is technically a a Colt firearm.

We just need to be specific when pointing out FA versus SA.

Sam1911
October 3, 2010, 06:45 PM
When referring to a fully automatic firearm, I use the term "full auto". Since I don't plan on paying the gubment 15k to experience the privilege of owning one,

Just for clarity... you wouldn't pay the government $15,000. You'd pay the government $200 even -- no matter what the value/cost of the gun.

You certainly could pay the current owner of the gun you want to buy $15,000, or $3,500, or $143,000 -- or whatever the going rate for that specific gun might be -- for the privileged of taking it off his hands.

armoredman
October 3, 2010, 07:39 PM
its the seemingly deliberate blurring of the line between fully automatic and semi.
No seeming about it, it is deliberate.

Sam1911
October 3, 2010, 08:20 PM
No seeming about it, it is deliberate.

What I'm uncomfortable with is that WE who should know better make such a clamor for the media to make this a "brite-line" distinction (to use benEzra's term) -- thereby agreeing to the dire significance of those differences.

Sure, machine guns are scary to some members of the public. But we tend to rage and holler that THESE guns appearing in the news (in the hands of murderers and psychopaths) aren't machine guns so the public shouldn't be so alarmed.

Which is a bit more than tacit agreement that machine guns are a dangerous public menace.

It's a deal with the devil. We make such a fuss about how these aren't machine guns and thereby are ignoring -- and I'd say hammering nails in the coffin of -- our argument that machine guns pose no more threat to the public than do any other firearms.

In the vanishingly small chance that any members of the public are really appeased by the "relax, that gun he killed people/himself with was just a 'regular' gun, not a dangerous machine gun," line, then we're trading that minescule gain for the regrettable loss of credibility when it comes time to fight Hughes and the rest of the NFA, and we try to say, "Oh... uh, never mind."

hso
October 3, 2010, 10:57 PM
If we here use "AK-47" for semi AK variants then why would we expect anything else from others. Just search the term in Rifle Country and you'll get tons of hits from our own members "good/best AK47", "AK47 vs. AR15/SKS/chocolate cake" and on and on. :rolleyes:

It is just a little disingenuous for us to decry the use of the term in the media when we're as guilty of it.:banghead:

mustang_steve
October 3, 2010, 11:16 PM
It'd be nice if we could go back in time and call the semi-auto an AKS-47 (S for sporter), but we're not able to do that.

It would be nice to see what was used however, likely an ak-pistol of some kind.

Either way, it's hard to make a solid opinion without all the facts....besides that this person obviously had issues that should have been dealt with a while ago.

Sport45
October 4, 2010, 12:11 AM
With all due respect, does full or semi make a difference? Guy has gun, guy is an idiot. Once in awhile, someone with a gun goes goofy.

I sometimes think it would be better if the idiot with the gun DID have FA. He'd be out of ammo much sooner and he would have wasted most of it.

MinnMooney
October 4, 2010, 12:28 AM
I'm sorry to have to admit that I'm about as ignorant on the "AK-47" naming mistakes as the reporters. I have always thought that there were fully-auto AK's and semi-auto AK's but after reading this thread, I see the error of my thinking.

I guess that the saying isn't quite true... "You can't teach an old dog any new tricks". Well, I'm an old dog and I just learned something new. :neener:

W.E.G.
October 4, 2010, 01:00 AM
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/humor/journalists-guide-to-firearms-identification.jpg

Double Naught Spy
October 4, 2010, 09:08 AM
When an AK weapon is referred to by the press, it is an "AK-47" because they don't know any better.

I don't see why folks are coming down so hard on the media in this case about calling the rifle an AK-47. The police specifically stated that the rifle was an AK-47 in several interviews and it was noted in the OP specifically.

Police confirmed Tooley was carrying an AK-47

I watched some of the updates and the press conference. "AK-47" was stated several times by the police. What was reported was accurate based on the "facts" provided to them. When they show footage of the police calling the gun an AK-47 or providing a quote from the cops calling it an AK-47, do you think they should then call it something else?

We are soooo worried about the press getting this right, and yet even when they reported accurately the information provided to them by the proper sources, we still think they are in error and that they should have known better and ergo should have reported something else.

Given that the cops have the gun and not the press, there is no reason to disparage the press over calling the gun an AK-47. The reporting was accurate.

As hso said,
If we here use "AK-47" for semi AK variants then why would we expect anything else from others. Just search the term in Rifle Country and you'll get tons of hits from our own members "good/best AK47", "AK47 vs. AR15/SKS/chocolate cake" and on and on.

It is just a little disingenuous for us to decry the use of the term in the media when we're as guilty of it.

The NRA seems quite comfortable with calling AK-47 pattern guns in semi automatic AK-47s. Why isn't anyone shouting about how the NRA is deliberately blurring the line between semi-auto and fully-auto guns?

Ayoob calls semi-auto versions of the AK-47, "AK-47"
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob116.html

Since he writes articles, does that make him the "media" now?

Flynt
October 6, 2010, 11:36 AM
Just wondering honestly. There were a lot of comments about moderators locking these out of spite or being control freaks etc. So, this one stayed... was it useful?


Useful, but not in the way it was originally intended. I learned a little more about the way the human mind works. The thread started out with a number of comments from conspiracy theorists, who seemed determined to use nomenclature issues as more evidence of a massive semantic conspiracy. Fortunately that rabbit trail played out.

Next the thread seemed to settle into a debate about "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" when it comes to nomenclature and its use by the general public and media. Keep in mind that the same reporters who cover gun incidents may also be expected to write about the city council and a new experimental surgical procedure at the local medical school. They're usually not going to go into every situation with a detailed body of knowledge about that field. We're getting a little obsessive, here, folks.

gunham
October 6, 2010, 12:07 PM
I am not ignoring the Media's ignorance on AK-47's but there are full auto AK-47's coming across our southern border every night. And the Media Does ignore that fact.

Sam1911
October 6, 2010, 01:36 PM
I am not ignoring the Media's ignorance on AK-47's but there are full auto AK-47's coming across our southern border every night. And the Media Does ignore that fact.

Oh...I thought they were all going the other way? If we're sending over the boarder 90% of the guns in Mexico (or whatever number is being reported), what are they sending some back our way for?


;)

Just goes to show, you can't believe anything your hear, read, or see.

30mag
October 6, 2010, 01:46 PM
You see, I don't know what to think. The police ID'd the rifle as an AK-47, but it's not as simple as AR-15 vs. M16. There isn't really a civilian designation for the AK-47 rifles. Often though, the media will refer to them as AK-47-style assault rifles or some such nonfact.

http://www.kvue.com/home/UT-Gunman-was-carrying-AK-47-103965048.html

Ironic link is ironic.
Also, she says AK47s come with fixed steel stocks?

GEM
October 6, 2010, 02:26 PM
If someone is against the ownership of semi-auto military derivative guns, then this argument in the choir isn't going to change their view.

If you argue that it was misidentifed as FA but really was semi - and thus less dangerous - is that going to convert someone? Nope.

30mag
October 6, 2010, 04:55 PM
The only point I'm trying to make is that they don't have a dang clue what they're talking about. The statements reporters make about any firearm is typically incorrect.

S&Wfan
October 6, 2010, 11:50 PM
They use "AK47" generically in the same way they refer to rowdy drunk women in a bar as "ladies."

That being said . . . I knew exactly what the press was reporting, even if it isn't accurate on this matter most of the time, and I'll bet you all did too!

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