Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Monster Under the Bed is about to learn the difference between cover and concealment...

I gave my older daughter a copy of Larry Correia's excellent novel Monster Hunter International.  She immediately fell in love with The Abomination; a fully automatic, short-barreled shotgun that takes twenty-round magazines, has an under-barrel grenade launcher, and even sports a bayonet for opening cans of ravioli.  It fell upon me to explain that Abomination violated nearly every federal firearm law and that I could not add one to the gun safe.  I think the NRA just got another life member.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Was It Worth It?

Eighteen years ago today seventy-six people, including over twenty children, died over a few hundred bucks in unpaid transfer taxes that the victims weren't allowed to pay.

Two years later, the events of that day would drive another young man to murder 168 more people, also including children, in retaliation.  The Middle East does not have a monopoly on cycles of violence.

Now the BATFE has a new scandal to brag about.  This one involves a dead Border Patrol agent and a couple thousand guns intentionally given to narco-terrorists in the name of "gun control".  Well done, F-Troop, well done.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Silence is Golden

Contrary to popular belief, in most states in this country it is perfectly legal to own a “silencer”, more correctly known as a sound suppressor, for a firearm.  It can be a time consuming pain in the butt, but it’s not a crime.

Since 1934 sound suppressors have been part of the Title II registry, along with fully automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and strange firearms known as “Any Other Weapons”.  The guns for sale at your local gun store or sporting goods store are Title 1 weapons.

A Title II device requires the payment of a $200 transfer tax and registration with the BATFE each time it passes from one private party to another.  In 1934, $200 was an outrageous sum to add to the price of a $10 Maxim suppressor or a $5 Sears, Roebuck shotgun.  The obvious intent of the tax was to provide a de facto ban on the devices.  The process of applying for and receiving the tax stamp always takes several weeks and can take months. 

According to firearms history, suppressors were placed on the Title II registry during the Great Depression to prevent starving people from hunting game illegally.  Maybe so, but that logic no longer applies these days.  In some areas of this country deer and wild pigs are a menace to both people and conservation efforts.  We NEED to shoot more of them to bring the populations back down to sustainable levels.

In Scandinavia it is considered rude to hunt without a suppressor.  The muzzle blast from the rifle scares all of the game in the area and causes them to flee from the sound.  It also disturbs other people in the area.

Law enforcement is recognizing the value of suppressors when shots are fired in enclosed areas, such as room in a house.  If you discharge a centerfire weapon in an enclosed area, especially a rifle, you can expect to have permanent hearing loss afterwards.  Hearing loss is a common cause of medical retirement for law enforcement.

Contrary to Hollywood myth, it is difficult to completely silence a firearm.  It is impossible to silence a firearm that fires a bullet faster than about 1,150 feet per second, which includes almost all rifles and magnum handguns.  The sonic crack of the bullet in flight creates a very loud noise that is unaffected by the suppressor.    

A suppressor works on the same principle as a car’s muffler with much the same results.  A car running without a muffler is obnoxiously loud.  A car running with a muffler can still be heard but is not loud enough to cause distress.  Sound suppressors for firearms work exactly the same way.  You can almost always hear the gun being fired but the suppressed gun is much easier on the ears.

Between 1934 and 1968 any adult could walk into a hardware store and buy a handgun or a long-arm without any paperwork other than the sales receipt.  No federal paperwork or background checks were required.  These days, anyone selling firearms for retail must be licensed by the BATFE and must maintain a permanent log book of every sale.  Federal law also requires an electronic criminal background check on every sale.  Some states exempt buyers with concealed weapon licenses on the grounds that those individuals already have to pass criminal background checks.

I am proposing here that suppressors be moved to the Title 1 registry.  Each suppressor is already individually serial-numbered, just like a gun.  The same laws currently applied to gun sales can easily be applied to suppressors, allowing the law-abiding to buy a firearm safety device without having to pay a ridiculous tax and jump through bureaucratic hoops.  It makes sense both from a legal perspective and a safety perspective.  More suppressors equals less noise.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Well Worth The Wait

The long-long-long-awaited (since before Kurt Cobain blew his top) new Guns N' Roses album, "Chinese Democracy" appears to be nearing completion, as some preview cuts are now being released.  Good stuff.  Enjoy and bask in the days when music was music.