Salon, what did I just read?

Image internet search and the fact I like dogs

Youuuuu might be a gun nut if . . .

Oh, this should be good. The analytical and well reasoned opinion of Lucian K. Truscott IV on “gun nuts” vs reasonable “gun owners”

I consider myself a reasonable fellow. Proceed, Lucian.

Woe be unto the innocent bystander, or even the less-than-innocent liberal wuss Salon columnist, if you raise your hand and say something . . . anything . . . about guns and gun ownership. Boy, are the gun nuts ever ready for you!

Well if what you say has some holes in the logic I feel an obligation to note that, sir. The more ludicrous and unreasonable the more we must insist you pump the brakes.

The first thing they accuse you of is wanting to ban guns, all guns. You want to take their guns away! Or the government does.

That’s been true for decades and the government would be the enforcement method. Apple and Amazon certainly aren’t going to go taking products from customers.

Or somebody does. I mean, look at the reaction of the NRA to something as sane as the recent ban on bump stocks

The bump stock ban was the NRA’s idea.

, which take an “ordinary” (if such a thing can be called ordinary) semiautomatic assault rifle and turn it into a fully-automatic weapon.

No it doesn’t. The Obama administration ATF could not justify removing them as an approved device because mechanically they make it easier to fire faster (not consistently or accurately) but still just semiautomatic. Your finger is also capable of working the trigger quickly. The bump stock is a gimmick device.

You’d think they were coming to take guns away from gun owners, when in fact, it’s an utterly defensible ban on a device that converts a legal gun into an illegal weapon of mass destruction.

Did we not just cover the fact that they were legal and were not found to constitute building a machine gun? It didn’t make them illegal or weapons of mass destruction, unless there’s H-bomb edition bump stock somewhere that made it past the proliferation bans?

I want to chalk this up to hyperbole but you seem genuine, if entirely inaccurate.

The shooter in Las Vegas had bump stocks on nearly all of the 24 guns that were found in his room at the Mandalay Bay hotel after he killed 58 concert-goers and wounded over 400. Bump stocks are what enabled him to fire more than 1,000 rounds down on the crowd across the street from his hotel room.

Okay… Hard facts time.

A semi-wealthy Vegas regular decides he’s going out in a blaze of infamy. Bought a bunch of guns, bump stocks, and a window view of a packed concert venue, one that he had thoroughly scouted. Some of this should be ringing bells in long distance ambush tactics.

No, we have no motive beyond him deciding to do this. What truly terrifies us is that this is beyond our power to stop. It is. We can investigate. We can respond to threats and information about threats. We can perform our due diligence but preventing a violent attack, with certainty, in a free society (or any society) is impossible.

No rule would have prevented this attack, nor complicated it particularly, and segments of society cannot accept that. So they blissfully choose not to. A faux righteous anger towards anyone so brazen as to highlight the glaring flaws in the “common sense” utopiavision solutions to deadly serious problems is also common.

This was act was choice, a devastating one that the security present were not prepared to respond to. In a perfect world they wouldn’t need to consider such an atrocity. In a perfect world there wouldn’t need to be security, period.

Second hard fact: Nobody but the SME’s want to admit it but the bump stock use probably saved lives. Unwieldy and unaimed automatic fire is not effective.

Note: The concert crowd was over 300 meters away

The density of the crowd contributed most to the effectiveness of the attack and death/injury figure. The long roaring rips of unstable bump stock assisted fire could not be individually targeted. The crowd’s occupied area itself was the target.

A single equipped counter sniper police officer with a rifle could have accurately broken the attack at the ranges involved. A small team of them even more quickly. These wouldn’t have to be officers of a SWAT training standard either, just aware of the situation and recently drilled to deal with a long ambush. This is a drill I ran with Marines for years, especially as we worked for up for an Afghanistan deployment (cancelled). Its adaptation to the security and LEO’s at a venue isn’t rocket science.

A hunting rifle could have produced a higher lethality figure. It would do so with fewer rounds fired as hunting ammo has greater wounding potential at distance. More powerful rounds designed to stop medium and large game, like bears, elk, and moose at distance.

If you listen to the NRA, you would think that banning bump-stocks is the first step on a slippery slope to disarming America.

Again, it was the NRA’s idea. It absolutely is the “slippery slope” because it won’t work. Therefore the next time a mass casualty event occurs we will have to ban more firearms because it didn’t work.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the ONLY meaningful ban arithmetically would be a total ban and confiscation of firearms. It could never be effective enough to justify. Bataclan Theatre, France.

It’s bullshit, of course, as are many of the so-called “arguments” you get from gun nuts. I heard from one lunatic last week who used the old automobile straw man: cars kill, so what are you saying, we should ban cars, too? Wow. You got me there.

We do, actually. Automobiles contribute to far more funerals and injuries than rifles do. Automobiles can even be used as both assault weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

168 Dead, 680 injured. 324 buildings damaged. Method of attack: Rental Truck and Chemistry. Motive for attack: Ruby Ridge and Waco,TX. Civilian deaths at Government Agency hands

Then they go after you for mis-using, or mis-interpreting gun language.

Definitions, specificity, and attention to detail are vitally important in the process of forming effective laws, procedures, and responses. You being an ignoramus is absolutely a reason to ignore you.

How much your opinion matters is directly correlative to how deep your understanding actually is on a topic. You have demonstrated no reason for your opinion to matter, Mr. Truscott.

Define an “assault weapon!” AR-15 style rifles aren’t “assault weapons” because they don’t have “select fire.”

Correct. Assault weapon is a misnomer. An assault rifle, by definition, is a select fire rifle in an intermediate chambering.

On and on they go, down the rabbit hole of military-macho-gun-speak.

Nomenclature. A topic a West Point graduate should be familiar with.

One recent “review” in Tactical Life Magazine of something called the CMMG MkG Banshee AR Pistol described it as having such features as “Radial-Delayed blowback operating system . . . ambidextrous charging handles, sling plates and safeties as well as Tailhook Mod 2 arm braces from Gear Head Works . . . a five-inch, 4140 chrome-moly barrel with .578×28-tpi muzzle threading for devices like suppressors, and a knurled thread protector . . . a full-length top rail, M-LOK slots on the sides and a hand stop on the bottom.” My goodness! You would think that would be enough stuff for any self-respecting assault weapon! But no! There is more! “CMMG then installs a mil-spec-style single-stage trigger as well as a Magpul MOE pistol grip.”

This.. he’s talking about this. A typical PCC.

Whew. I wouldn’t have an assault weapon with anything less. Have a look at this thing. I’m sure the gun nuts will weigh in, assuring us that this is a fine weapon for hunting small game, or self-defense, or target shooting or whatever. But really…this?

You have no idea what you just said, no clue. Everything you copied from Tactical Life you mean to portray as terrifying, overpowered, and with murderous intent. Projectionism, probably. Not a single thing in that descriptive paragraph registered in your head as a functional device.

If I say, “use of the accelerator or gas pedal has been directly linked to nearly all traffic fatalities and injuries”, I am 100% correct. But the terms accelerator or gas pedal put the image of a device in your mind, not some nebulous mass carnage cause. 34,439 deaths (2016), 2,177,000 injured, 5,065,000 damage incidents, by the way

That list is just parts. Parts.

From top to bottom in that apparently terrifying paragraph:

  • Radial Delayed Blowback: the method of assuring the chamber stays safely sealed that also makes the gun safer to control and more comfortable to shoot
  • Ambidextrous CH: Left and right hand friendly
  • Sling Plate: Left and right hand friendly for a sling
  • Safety: Left and right hand friendly safety switch
  • Tailhook Mod 2 Brace: The brand/type of a pistol part on a pistol, a popular one. Aids in safe control of the gun.
  • 5″ Barrel: 5 inches of pistol barrel. Slightly shorter than a Glock 34.
  • 4140 Chrome-moly barrel: The grade of steel used in the barrel, a common one. Listing the grade is done mostly because everyone else does it and it adds validity and accountability to the product.
  • Knurled Thread protector: little screw on thing that protects the barrel’s threads because threads can become damaged easily.
  • Full length top rail: You put sights here
  • M-LOK rail: Magpul designed attachment method handguard. Like LEGO or K’NEX
  • Mil-spec trigger: Trigger with a break weight of between 6-9 lbs of pressure. Least expensive, most common, mass produced trigger for AR style firearms.

This is what this amounts to: what items are or are not in this firearm and what material.

Culminating on feigned or genuine terror/outrage on the trigger is quite strange… I honestly rather it be feigned because genuine reaches a level of ignorance that validates every poor lost second lieutenant stereotype, especially from an academy grad.

I don’t care what they say. That’s not a civilian weapon.

Yes it is. The military has very little use for a weapon like this, and B&T won that contract. This won’t be widely issued either, niche PSD use only.

B&T’s contract winner for the SCW contract, the APC9K

That’s a weapon designed for use by the military to kill human beings.

Not for the military, but yes guns are lethal when they cause lethal trauma to a body. Weapons are, by definition, built to project force. Lethal force.

The thing costs $1,249.95. It is, of course, sold on the open market to any civilian who walks in with the scratch to buy one.

After a Federal background check and complying with all state regulations regarding pistol purchase to include licensure, registration, and waiting periods. Or is checked thoroughly by the ATF under the regulations of the National Firearms Act for an SBR, waiting the better part of a year to be cleared for the purchase, then must ask the permission of that agency to move the weapon.

The people who buy weapons like this are, strictly speaking, gun nuts.

I prefer to identify as a cashew cannonade, thank you.

Their sense of embarrassment when the way gun nuts talk about these things in gun magazines and on-line forums is obvious to all outsiders, though. All that worshiping at the altar of descriptions of killing power. Car nuts use similar language in car magazines when they talk about the capabilities of sports cars, talking about limited slip differentials and how many G’s it pulled on the skid pad. It’s vaguely adolescent and a little embarrassing when it’s pulled out of context, and I read the car magazines and love cars and I’ve indulged in that stuff since, yes, I was an adolescent . . . and I still do.


But car nuts aren’t gushing over a machine designed for killing. Gun nuts are. And that’s the essential difference, isn’t it? To talk about the efficacy of guns is to talk about how good they are at killing.

And yet the car, despite not being a weapon, is the far more lethal instrument by body count. Imagine if someone deliberately used one as a weapon?!

2016, Nice France, 86 Dead 434 Injured.

Oh, but trucks aren’t built to kill. So the staggering body count deliberately wracked up by one doesn’t count? It’s higher than Vegas, by the way. An attack on another crowded event.

That’s what they’re doing when they advertise the things and review them in gun magazines. They’re essentially bragging about what wonderful killing machines they are. In the context of the military, that’s a useful thing to know. If you’re in the military, and you’re going to use a gun like the MkG Banshee AR Pistol, or any of the other assault weapons for that matter, you should care about how good they do their job, because you’re going to use them in situations where someone may be shooting at you, and you want to shoot back as efficiently and accurately as you can so you don’t get killed.

“…you should care about how good they do their job, because you’re going to use them in situations where someone may be shooting at you, and you want to shoot back as efficiently and accurately as you can so you don’t get killed.”

That! There! Lucian, you nailed it!

But less than one percent of our population is in the military.

Sad fact, but that is what a professional military results in with a nation our size.

The rest of us are civilians, and these things are being marketed and sold to civilians.

Have civilians never been shot at? Never been in mortal danger of life ending violence? Remember that thing you just said?

They use of the term “tactical” to yank at the heartstrings of arm-chair warriors, to make them feel like they’re buying something big and powerful. “Tactical” is a purely macho word. It’s used to appeal to gun nuts. Sadly, it seems to be working.

Tactical: Calculated, planned, strategic, prudent, politic, diplomatic, shrewd, judicious, cunning. -Relating to or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific end.

Yes tactical is a term associated closely with the military, the military use tactics to complete its missions. You are not required to be a serving member to use tactics though, that isn’t a rule.

The simple fact about people who buy and own guns is that they are buying a device that can be used to project power at a significant distance away from themselves. That’s what guns do.

Yes, that is entirely the point. It also means physical size, health, and relative strength are not the de facto determinant factors in a potentially deadly attack. Women, the elderly, physically disabled persons, outnumbered persons, now all have a force equalization option.

Even a pistol can be used to hit something or someone across a room, or across a street, or outside of your house when you’re inside.

Yep and remember that this is a pistol, or a pistol force equivalent. It has exactly the terminal ballistic energy and lethality a 5″ 9mm pistol generates. It even uses the same magazines as the Glock pistols. It’s just far easier to control and shoot accurately with, little things that happen to be important when your life’s on the line.

They talk all the time about the “stopping power” of guns.

That is a dated marketing troupe, terminal ballistics is a multifaceted topic dependant on a myriad of factors so it was oversimplified into the term “stopping power”.

And that’s it in a nutshell. A gun stops things. It can be used to stop an intruder from entering your house.

Defensive use of force. A fundamental human right.

Unfortunately, guns are used every day not only to stop burglaries or other kinds of crimes, they are used to stop arguments, or marriages, or in the cases of Parkland and Las Vegas and New Zealand and Sandy Hook and Pittsburgh and so many other places, guns are used to stop the lives of people the shooters simply don’t like, or to make “political” statements, or to satisfy some dark unknowable craving.

1,138,534 – Estimated number of defensive gun uses in the U.S. annually based on CDC data. The 20 additional studies referenced in the paper by Kleck range from 600,000 to 6.1 Million uses. The most recent listed (2017, Pew Research) put the number at 2.6 Million.

Firearm Homicide in 2016: 14,415, CDC data.

The purpose of a gun is not to craft a clever rebuttal to win an argument.

No, its purpose is to survive a lethal fight.

It’s to end that argument right now and for good.

No, its purpose is to survive a lethal fight.

A gun isn’t designed to achieve the divorce a court can grant to end a marriage. A gun can be used to end that marriage right this minute by killing a spouse, and guns are used for that purpose all the time.

Spousal Homicide, Family Violence Statistics, DOJ (2002): 787

81% Female victim, 19% Male victim.

Spouses as a percentage of annual homicides with any reported relationship between perpetrator and victim: 8.6% Note: 9,102 of 16,204 total murders (2002) had a listed perpetrator/victim relationship established, the others had no relationship reported.

It is 1,446 times more likely for a gun to be used defensively than as a lethal divorce alternative.

Guns can be fired at paper targets on a shooting range, of course, but they are designed to kill, and they do just that more than 30,000 times a year in homicides and suicides and mass shootings and accidents every single year.

In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries (23.2 injuries per 100,000 persons),[5][6] and 33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms” (10.6 deaths per 100,000 persons).[7] These deaths included 21,175 suicides,[7] 11,208 homicides,[8] 505 deaths due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms use with “undetermined intent”.[7] -Gun Violence in the US, Wikipedia Summary
-Total deaths and injuries combined: 107,141

It is 10 times more likely that a firearm is used for defense, as “rare” as that is, than homicide, suicide, injury, or accident combined. This number includes the deaths and injuries caused during defensive use which, by rights, should be excluded.

Oh and did we gloss over the fact that rifles, of which of “Assault Weapons” is a subset, are a single digit percentage contributor to homicides?

  • 2012 Weapon – Rifle: 298 Knife: 1,604
  • 2013 Weapon – Rifle: 285 Knife: 1,490
  • 2014 Weapon – Rifle: 258 Knife: 1,595

Rifles as percentage of total homicides

  • 2012: 2.3%
  • 2013: 2.3%
  • 2014: 2.1%

So even as you try to narratively invalidate the shooting sports by giving them a sentence on what you can do with a gun, “of course”. You conveniently overlook the fact that defensive gun use is far more prevalent and other lawful uses are magnitudes more common than defensive use.

Highlighting the fact that a weapon is, in fact, a weapon and therefore it can be used to kill is just reiterating the entire point of defensively having a weapon, that it can kill if you need it to. Sometimes that’s the remaining option.

That firearms, like tools throughout history, are at times used for wrongful and harmful intent is a tragic consequence of always having a segment of the population that will self justify lethal force to accomplish their ends. Whether that end is gain, gratification, terror, or retribution doesn’t much matter at the time the event.

What will matter in that moment is your ability and capacity to do something about it.

Of course, gun nuts scream and yell all the time that they need their guns for “self-defense.”

1,138,534… incidents of “self defense” per year.

That’s the argument the Supreme Court bought in District of Columbia v. Heller, which specifically allowed guns to be kept loaded and ready for use in people’s homes. The pro-gun lobby made the argument that you need a loaded, unlocked gun to defend yourself, and the Supreme Court agreed and located that right in the Second Amendment to the Constitution when for more than 200 years, that right had not been recognized in that manner before.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” “The right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Self evident truth, my friend.

According to an analysis of figures from the National Crime Victimization Survey quoted by NPR, Americans protected themselves with a gun during the commission of a crime 0.9 percent of crimes from 2007 to 2011. So there is evidence that guns have been used by gun owners to defend themselves and their property. But it’s not the reason so many people in this country own guns.

It’s not?

Seems like it is.

There are an estimated 393 million guns in the United States, according to the Washington Post. There are more guns than people in this country.

I’ve seen estimates as high as 610 million actually. I wonder what the person to knife ratio is?

I am a gun owner.

This does not validate your opinion with any sort of expertise, sir.

My guns are locked away in a storage locker right now. I own a 12 gauge Remington pump-action shotgun, a .32 revolver, a .38 revolver, a .22 bolt action rifle I inherited from my grandmother, and a .177 bolt action rifle my brother gave me. I’ve never owned a semiautomatic weapon. Not even one. The last one I shot was an M-14 in the Army in 1965.


I come from a military family.

This doesn’t mean anything validating either. Holding two military MOS’s myself I can attest and would in any court and to God Almighty that Veteran status does not, confer expertise with firearms. It grants a closer and more professional exposure to handling and characteristics, but not expertise. The military does not require expertise, it requires proficiency. The Armament Corps, one of my MOS’s, are much more likely to be subject matter experts yet even within those ranks expertise isn’t required so long as you can follow a maintenance manual.

You would think a family of Army officers would have owned a lot of guns.

No, not in my experience.

You’d be wrong. My father owned the 12 gauge pump-action shotgun I inherited from him and the .45 caliber Army-issue Colt pistol he inherited from his father. My grandfather, a four-star general, owned two guns: the .45 pistol he gave to my father in 1951 when he left for the war in Korea, and the German Luger taken from Field Marshal Albert Kesslering, commander of Nazi forces against whom grandpa had campaigned the Fifth Army in Italy.  

That’s it.

Cool. Especially Kesslering’s pistol. Still not validating expertise.

I was raised to understand that guns are designed and manufactured to kill.

So was I.

I was trained in the Army on multiple guns, and I was trained to use them to kill.

Mission of the Marine Rifle Squad: Locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver or repel enemy assault by fire and close combat. 0311, Infantry Rifleman. I can play that card too.

That’s what they are for. Killing. Guns like the assault rifles used by the Las Vegas shooter, or the shooter in Parkland, or Sandy Hook, or Pittsburgh, or New Zealand, are civilian guns that are designed to kill more people faster.

I thought they were military guns? That was the argument a few paragraphs ago.

That’s what the gun nuts don’t want to admit. These military-style

Back to military!

weapons may be legal, but they are high powered,

A nonsense argument coming from you. That Banshee you maligned earlier has a fraction of the power of your 12 gauge pump. The terminal ballistics will be exactly those of a 5″ barreled 9mm handgun of any sort.

rapid-firing, efficient killing machines.

If you want to own one of these things, you’re a gun nut, not a gun owner. There’s a difference.

Timothy McVeigh must’ve been a rental truck and chemistry nut

Thank you, Lucian. Your invalid opinion is noted and properly filed.

Now then, I’m going to go build an AR because reading this filled me with a spite for ignorance and bombastic attitudes.

Ahh. Feeling better already. Aero and Daniel Defense combo via Operation Parts
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. 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.