On the “Modified” Buffalo Shooter’s Rifle

Zhang Jie/Xinhua News Agency/Newscom via Reason

Quick summary, folks.

In Buffalo, New York, a racist commie shithead took an AR-15 and killed 10 people in a predominantly black neighborhood market. The internet is now in typical full meltdown mode trying to pick whether he was on politco red team or politco blue team, and also whether or not guns caused it all. Headlines this morning are asking, “How many more mass murders will use this assault rifle?” provide context to reasoned and well informed this conversation is going.

Because if we didn’t have enough of a political firestorm over the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court opinion leak we simply needed to add the other hot button political item into the social fires too.

There was also an attack in California at a church I will be referencing but it appears that, while racially motivated (Chinese on Taiwanese), a doctor in the congregation saved the lives of everyone else by delaying the assailant. He was the only casualty as far as I am aware, the congregation was able to hogtie the shooter thanks to his quick actions.

There, you are caught up.

Media Commentary

A rifle that could be seen as “compliant” displayed in the Sandy Hook lawsuit. It is only annoyingly less functional than “assault weapons”

The media is going hard on this since they can absolutely shamelessly play on the fact Payton Gendron was a racist pile of shit (ala Dylann Roof style). The California attack will get less play since the puddle like depth of American socio-economic world consciousness would short circuit trying to realize why different groups of Asians hate each other.

If I recall correctly, the alleged New York shooter attributed manifesto mentions Roof. I could point something out about New York and California gun laws… but I’ll leave that as the passive aggressive reminder it can simply be.

What is breaking my mind, body, and soul is the deep dive from every ignorant journalist who wants some of those juicy hate clicks on this issue. Typing and talking about Gendron’s “Arsenal” and how he “Modified” his rifle to be more lethal…

This kid bought a basic Bushmaster AR-15 (sorry about your luck, again, Bushmaster) and a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun, and he had a Savage Axis hunting rifle from a couple years ago. Oh, and a sling and some ammunition.

He had the three most basic guns of firearm ownership he could legally buy from a store. Which he did, passed the background checks. Clearly those red flag laws working a-ok since Gendron was another “known” individual too, apparently.

The “arsenal” consisted of a basic budget hunting rifle, a basic pump shotgun, and a boring basic production grade AR-15 rifle. It even appears the AR-15 was NY State compliant, with the fixed stocks and muzzle device requirements that the State of New York mandates, except for its “deadly” modification.

It constitutes the most basic “I read a few reviews online and these were alright” arsenal ever assembled and the term is merely designed to get those who do not think critically to fear people who have what the media is stating is an unreasonable amount of firearms and ammunition.

New Flash: A motivated enough killer with any firearm and any ammunition is a problem. It could be a .22 pistol with a single ten round magazine and we could still see a horrific casualty count.

Now to that “modification” they keep mentioning.

It was a standard capacity magazine and a regular magazine catch. Two $9 items that there are hundreds of millions of in circulations. These items, whose prohibition is laughed at and mocked publically continuously, are what differentiate a “safe” rifle from an “assault weapon” in New York. Recall that New York went out of their way to try and crush the life and career of a US Soldier over magazines (and those magazines were issued, not purchased), but they could not stop an 18 year old from circumventing the prohibition and acquiring them. Or from acquiring and installing the normal TDP magazine catch, since that is a legal part as long as you don’t have a *gasp* pistol grip also.

The “bans” are single ply toilet paper trying to hold back and clean up after explosive gut wrenching diarrhea. They aren’t up to the task. They never were. We aren’t even close to treating the sources of the problem, but politicians insist if we just change up the toilet paper a little more, and mandate everyone use 12 squares of it minimum, and fine or jail anyone who goes off brand, we will solve the diarrhea.

We still have yet to perfect pre-crime, we can’t exactly ask “Are you or do you intend to become a racist piece of shit mass murderer?” on a Form 4473 and then have NICS pick it up. Gendron passed the checks. Gendron did not have an entered disqualifying legal history.

Apparently this rifle cost $960. Add a sling and some rounds and the illicit “modifications” of magazines and you’re probably looking at $1,100 or $1,200 bucks. This is a shocking amount to absolutely nobody who remotely touches this industry, to anyone who has made a purchase in the last two or three years, or to anyone realistically looking at making a purchase of a quality firearm in this space. But it is being touted publicly as abnormal.

These numbers, the costs, the amount of firearms, and the word “arsenal” keep being tossed around to deliberately provoke people who do not know, and that the media knows will not be bothered to critically think through, the information they are being presented and how it scales to normalcy. They have no concept of gun ownership normal, so anything

The problem is not sneaky entrepreneurs who sell accessories; it’s legislators who ban guns based on functionally unimportant features. They do this for the same reason Biden just banned (but didn’t actually ban) “ghost guns” with the updates to frame and receiver definitions. They get to pretend they are doing something and then blame the pro-2A lobby for being obstructionist when their terrible idea to fix the problem didn’t work.

As long as we keep treating evil like it originates from the proximity of the ability to harm someone, but only in a way the politicos say is scary and not other way, we never make progress on this.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.