“Assault Weapons” Excite The Media Once Again

The fact that a very small number of perople attending public gatherings recently have been caught on camera carrying firearms, has driven many in the mainstream media to focus on “assault weapons” being brandished at political events.  One man was caught on camera in Phoeniz, Arizona by at least one national cable outlet with an AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder on a strap.  The media immediately — and incorrectly — highlighted this as an “assault rifle” being carried outside a building at which President Barack Obama was speaking.

While the national media may delight in highlighting such incidents, including mis-labeling semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 as “assault weapons,” there in fact is nothing illegal about a person openly carrying a firearm at many such public events in many states, including Arizona and Georgia.  If the firearms were fully automatic (as “assault rifles” by definition are), or were being carried by a person already “disabled” under federal law from possessing a firearm, or if there were local or state laws prohibiting such action, then it might warrant a passing reference in the news.  But simply carrying a firearm lawfully under federal and state law, should not be newsworthy.

For those worried about the safety of a president if someone carries a firearms outside a venue where he is speaking, they should consider that anyone openly carrying a firearm anywhere remotely near where a president is located, guarantees such a person will be closely watched by the Secret Service and local law enforcement.  Moreoever, any place at which a “protected person” such as the president is appearing, is very broadly demarcated by the Secret Service, and carrying a firearm inside such perimeter is a serious violation of federal law.

I’m not sure I understand why a person would openly tote a rifle or sidearm at a political rally of any sort, including one at which a president is speaking; other than to just make a point of some sort.  But if the media would simply let it be, and especially if they would stop labelling firearms that are not “assault weapons” as “assault weapons” simply to inflame viewers, we’d all be better off.  But somehow I doubt that will happen.

81 comments Add your comment

Mike Billips

August 21st, 2009
6:36 am

Enter your comments here

Eric

August 21st, 2009
6:44 am

I wish the media would take up the intrusiveness of spy cameras everywhere as equal cause for alarm!

Mike Billips

August 21st, 2009
6:46 am

It’s disingenous to claim that civilian, semi-automatic versions of military assault rifles are not a separate category of firearm than semi-automatic hunting rifles with internal, 3- to 5-round magazines. “Assault weapon” is a somewhat nebulous term that has been used to describe some pistols with large magazines, but in the case of the AR-15 or similar rifles, it’s apt. The functional distinction is the detachable, high-capacity magazine. Someone armed with a rifle that fires a relatively high-powered cartridge like the NATO 5.56mm, with 20 to 30 rounds available and rapid reload capability, is a considerably greater potential threat to life and limb than someone with a pistol. When I was in Iraq, we didn’t consider ourselves armed if we were carrying just an M9, since it won’t defeat soft body armor. A semi-auto AR-15, on the other hand, would be considered a real weapon, since trained troops rarely use full-auto fire with their personal rifles anyway.

John

August 21st, 2009
6:53 am

While I completely agree with Bob’s sentiments, carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, at a politcal rally in Georgia IS against the law as it would be a “public gathering” as vaguely defined by state law. This is a hold over from old Jim Crow laws that sought to disarm blacks. Remember gun control is not about guns, it’s about CONTROL.

Dillard

August 21st, 2009
7:44 am

Hey Bob, I know you’re really suprised that the media is excited about the guy carrying the AR-15 at the rally. Don’t you think though that the reason the guy was caayig teh AR-15 at the rally was to get the media excited? Or do you think he brought for protection from the gun toting liberals?

Yup

August 21st, 2009
7:48 am

Assault weapon? I think that’s just a scary term libs apply to anything they don’t like. I believe I would feel assaulted if shot with any weapon any number of times.
Hey, Mike B. where’s the round cutoff point? 3, 4, 10, 15, 18? How many bullets does it take for my weapon to be magically transformed into an “assault” weapon? The world may never know. By the way, thank you for your service!!

Robb

August 21st, 2009
7:50 am

Bob – of course it is newsworthy. Even in open carry states it is not all that common to see people openly carry. The laws often aren’t understood, even by the best of LEO’s in those states, so it is not uncommon to see people who open carry questioned by police.

I don’t remember ever seeing a rally that any of our presidents in recent memory have held where people showed carrying tactical weapons. Are they well within their rights? Of course. Is it the smartest way to protest? Probably not. The left already paints gun owners as a bunch of dangerous zealots. This just adds fuel to the fire.

dgroy

August 21st, 2009
7:51 am

It’s called “sensationalism” and it’s also part of the “liberal media’s” plan to disarm America. Myself, I would never carry a gun, loaded or unloaded, in a public place; however, if it’s legal it would be my right to do so. The media knows this but, wants to criminalize those that are exercising their constitutional rights, to further their agenda. Folks, exercise your right to vote in 2010, please. Thank you, Bob Barr, a Great American, for your comments on this important topic.

Kevin

August 21st, 2009
8:02 am

I open carried to the Phoenix Obama event but for good reason. I go to many such events to photograph the opposition and I have been assaulted three times in the last two years. I did think about it long and hard and asked my friends before attending the President’s talk at the VFW.

As it turned out, I probably didn’t need it. The Obama supporters where the most well behaved crowd I have ever seen some going as far as asking me to join them. When it comes to events like this my problem is I just can’t see into the future.

What Chris did is just wrong, a weapon is the wrong tool to use to make a political statement.

Davo

August 21st, 2009
8:32 am

Not sure where I saw it, but some Brit was confounded by the fact that Americans put up with crazy, pointless security checkpoints in airports and have nail-clippers taken from them, and in the same country, can tote fireamrs at political events.

It’s a valid concern I think. While I respect the individuals right to express his 2nd amendment rights, I have to believe that a responsible citizen would recognize that such actions do require limits. Shouting fire in a crowded theater is not a 1st amendment right; I would expect there is a similar arguement to be made for the 2nd.

clyde

August 21st, 2009
8:44 am

My first rifle was a 30-40 Krag.Bolt action.Hardly an assault weapon.
I graduated from it to a government issue M1 Garand,supplied by Uncle Sam,then to the new M-14.Inever heard of one of these rifles referred to as an assault weapon even though the M-14 was available in full auto.
The Ruger mini-14 isn’t an assault weapon until you decorate it with a funny stock,as far as I can see and that little weapon is a joy to shoot and will put a lot of lead in the air in a hurry with surprising accuracy.Keep the wood stock on it and it’s a simple hunting rifle.No though of assault.

As a matter of interest,my concealed weapons permit expressly forbids me from carrying a concealed slingshot.This is not a joke.It spells it out in clear english.

jconservative

August 21st, 2009
9:03 am

“Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose…”

From Justics Scalia’s majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Jeff

August 21st, 2009
9:44 am

I’m weird. I just want Taser and other similar non-lethal products to not be considered “firearms”.

For example, if the XREP would become civilian legal, I’d buy a 12 gauge pump action shotgun just to load out with XREP rounds – never have an actual explosive round in there at all.

Wat Tyler

August 21st, 2009
9:49 am

I’m trading in my pitch fork for a firearm.

Narmical

August 21st, 2009
10:00 am

Bob, must i remind you?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Even suggesting that a person cannot carry a rifle to a political rally with the president there, is infringing the rights to keep and bear arms.

jconservative

August 21st, 2009
10:15 am

Narmical August 21st, 2009 10:00 am
Bob, must i remind you?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Narmical – See the Supreme Court’s Heller decision. The Court has said that the 2nd Am only applies to the Federal government. It does not apply to the States. To date, the States can regulate to their heart’s content.

From the Heller decision: “…Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 265 (1886) and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535, 538 (1894), reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government.”

Observant

August 21st, 2009
12:03 pm

Bob,

I wonder if he was an ACORN/Obama plant? The poster-child of this current “assault weapon” debate is, after all, African-American. It is possible he acted alone and was just making a statement (agreeing with Kevin), but as much as the Obamanation (Obama’s administration) seems to hate freedom, why not plant the idea in people’s heads about “bad firearms” and stir it up as the next thing for Congress to “go after,” after health care reform has been cramed down our throats of course or as a distraction for a very poor bill. Perhaps ARCON put him there to intimidate non-Obama supporters? It would not be the first time since we have seen Black Panthers at voting centers and SEIU beating people at town halls; African-American as well. Oh well, Kevin’s comments seems to put-to-rest the “ACORN anti-second amendment plant” theory… but what if? Sad to admit it, but having lost all faith and trust in Obama and his administration, I would probably believe the plant idea if someone put it on Fox News ? However, contrary to the far-left’s opinion, people like me would never want to see Obama shot or killed and we pray for him daily! God help us if something happens to him… Biden and Pelosi in charge OMG!

jack

August 21st, 2009
12:54 pm

AR-15 is trash anyway. If they guy wanted to really make a statement, he should have carried a Kalashinikov clone—the preferred weapon of revolutionaries the world over.

DeKalb Conservative

August 21st, 2009
1:23 pm

Bob, you missed a big component of this story. Not to beat a dead horse, but the race issue is being tied into this story alot lately. The irony of the footage you’re likely seeing on TV is that it is zoomed in. The person with the AR-15 was black. Pointing this out merely because I’ve seen so much coverage on these stories of protesters being right wing white extremists.

retiredds

August 21st, 2009
2:11 pm

Oh, that nasty media, mis-labeling a firearm. What a dastardly deed. They should be ashamed of themselves. After all, according to you, Bob, and the NRA, any law abiding citizen should be able to carry a loaded firearm anywhere they want: church, school, public parks, public transportation, coffee shop, restaurant, library,etc. After all why should we let those folks in the Middle East (mostly male I believe) out do us on TV with their “right” to carry automatic weaponry any where they want.

Max

August 21st, 2009
2:27 pm

Seriously? Bob, I normally think of your writing as well thought out – even if I disagree with you.

But, wow.

What would you have said if an anti-war protester had carried an AR-15 that close to George Bush? What would have thought that, while you were in office, one of your vocal political opponents carried an AR-15 to oppose a rally of yours?

You, sir, would have had that person carted away as posing a threat. And rightly so.

Responsible gun ownership is something I support and practice. What was done here is irresponsible and I suspect that you know it.

Jake Jackson

August 21st, 2009
2:47 pm

I think that people showing up with weapons where the president is appearing is newsworthy. The one man spoken of here had no signs and didn’t make political statements. However, others have shown up with guns and slogans, including the one man with a handgun and a signs quoting Jefferson’s statement about “watering the tree of liberty,” a quotation that, as is well known, was a favorite of Timothy McVeigh.

Even without the tee-shirt, isn’t the implied threat fairly clear? No one is going to say outright that he is threatening to use violence–these people have read or been advised of the law, and know just how far they can go. Unless there was an implied threat, why on earth would someone show up at such a meeting where the president was speaking with a serious weapon, whether an assault weapon or not? Just to “exercise a right”?

jim beam

August 21st, 2009
2:59 pm

Well John, from what I see on the news every night, it might be a good idea if blacks were disarmed.

clyde

August 21st, 2009
3:11 pm

Observant,
I like your thought process.I mulled that idea through my mind and finally decided to set it on the shelf.In plain sight,mind. I want to be able to revisit it from time to time.I doubt that the media will dig too far into it though.

WBK

August 21st, 2009
3:13 pm

If I am a member of militia, do I have to have a BB gun to please the liberals? Of course your liberal progressive rights is more important than my 2nd ammendment rights!

I should be able to carry any weapon to any place as a law abiding citizen. However, you liberals want criminalize me for just having a gun. You are the scourge of a free people.

Yup

August 21st, 2009
3:13 pm

Retardds, YES YES YES any law abiding citizen should be able to carry a loaded firearm anywhere they want: church, school, public parks, public transportation, coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc. What’s there to be afraid of?

Do you drive? According to the CDC, “more than 41,000 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes each year, and crash injuries result in about 500,000 hospitalizations and four million emergency department visits annually.” Where’s your silly outrage about this?

Jefferson

August 21st, 2009
3:14 pm

WBK

August 21st, 2009
3:17 pm

Obama is failing! Obama has lied! Obama is worse than George Bush!

ugaaccountant

August 21st, 2009
3:40 pm

I’m glad people continue to fight for our rights to protect ourselves. The supreme court has always been wrong when they try to limit our ability, unless in the case of someone who is already a convicted criminal.

Fang1944

August 21st, 2009
3:56 pm

Gun worshipers love to pontificate about the difference between “automatic” and “semi-automatic” and the exact definition of “assault weapon.”

Nobody with any sense cares about these distinctions.

Richard Poplawski with his semi-automatic was able to kill three policemen and keep several more pinned down for hours. He had the poor cops totally outgunned.

WBK

August 21st, 2009
4:18 pm

Fang1944

August 21st, 2009
3:56 pm
Was he a criminal! He++ he could have had a nuke!

Yankee

August 21st, 2009
4:33 pm

Bob, do you really only have to pay $300.00 a month for health ins? For life?

JF McNamara

August 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

As long as he doesn’t shoot the weapon, who cares. The fact that it was visible underscores the fact that he probably had no harmful intentions. If he really wanted to harm people, he likely would have concealed it and exposed it only upon firing.

Ladysable

August 21st, 2009
4:56 pm

Perhaps the need to carry a weapon at an event that Obama was attending wouldn’t be necessary if ACORN & the SEIC thugs (sent by Obama) weren’t beating up those opposed to the crap called health care reform.

Everyone should have the right to protect themselves, especially from the government issued thugs.

clyde1943

August 21st, 2009
5:22 pm

Fang 1944,
Gun worshipper is another tired label used by the Liberals to denegrate gun owners.I don’t worship anything and that includes guns.I do know a lot about them though.

Justin

August 21st, 2009
5:38 pm

Some of you need a lesson on government

http://www.wimp.com/thegovernment/

Bob, you are a constitutionalist simply put.

Will will uphold individual rights, because that is the only way to stop democratic/elitist tyranny.

This government was built as a Republic, rule by law, with liberty for all, and we must hold on to our rights at all costs.

Insignificant situations do not permit largescale violation of constitutional rights. Without the constitution, our country is nothing. And I am sure you can all see today how our country is turning into a big pile the more the constitution is not upheld.

popseal

August 21st, 2009
7:08 pm

I love it when pacifist cowards and mis-informed morons get wrapped around the axle about guns, except when better law enforcement could have stopped a killing. 20,000+ laws nation wide referring to guns is enough, don’t you think?

Nick

August 21st, 2009
7:29 pm

Fang1944
“…Richard Poplawski with his semi-automatic was able to kill three policemen …”

Except for the fact that two of the officers were killed with a lowly shotgun rather than the evil “semi-automatic.”

redneck recluse

August 21st, 2009
7:54 pm

jim beam August 21st, 2009 2:59 pm
“Well John, from what I see on the news every night, it might be a good idea if blacks were disarmed.”

In the 1964 campaign Barry Goldwater spoke at a Republican fundraiser. After his speech he went around the room visiting each of the tables. At a table of tobacco executives he was asked about blacks possessing guns. He told the tobacco executives & their wives that no need to worry, he had a plan to take their guns away.

All of the tobacco executives campaigned Goldwater. Their thought was that if someone took blacks guns away tomorrow, then someone could take away their guns the day after tomorrow.

Lets not take away anyone’s guns. And where does it say in the Constitution that criminals cannot have guns?

clyde

August 21st, 2009
8:35 pm

redneck recluse,
No where in the Constitution does it say that criminals can’t have guns.There are ,however,state laws restricting the ownership of guns by criminals,but,being criminals the laws are not heeded.Law enforcement sometimes uses the possession by a felon law to lock criminals away.Except in the recent case of the young Atlanta rapper.T.I. or something like that,wasn’t it? He got a year I believe when he should have gotten ten.

benman

August 22nd, 2009
8:16 am

If you take any type of gun to a rally where a U.S. President is speaking I am now questioning your sanity and in doing so should you own any kind of gun? I am for reasonable gun rights and reasonable gun control. I am for acting as if we have some sense in this debate. The NRA and the gun control nuts want this to be an all-or-nothing issue. Both exist by keeping it this way. God gave us brains, all of us should use them.

david wayne osedach

August 22nd, 2009
9:27 am

Why would anyone in their right mind carry an AR 15 to a gathering for the President? Because they can?

Patricia

August 22nd, 2009
10:28 am

Bob Barr,

A man who prides himself on knowing the rights of law, can not see that there is a big problem brewing in this country with guns. It was wrong to have guns that close to the President, and you Mr. Barr knows this, get real. But I guess when one of these free carring gun people do something wrong toward the President with these guns then in your back rooms you can have that drink of celebration of the 2nd amendment. I pray that God continues to bless and protect our leaders from people of your mind set.

Real Housewives of Atlanta/D.C

August 22nd, 2009
7:47 pm

Bob Barr looks like Cynthia Tucker has done her best to stare a reality show like catfight with her attack on you and your three wives today.

Are you going to respond?

Fang1944

August 22nd, 2009
11:01 pm

Except for the fact that two of the officers were killed with a lowly shotgun rather than the evil “semi-automatic.”

Well, that simply reinforces the contention that people should not be carrying guns of any kind to a meeting with the President.

clyde

August 23rd, 2009
11:27 am

I have to hand it to Fang1944.There are never going to be enough facts to convince him that all gun owners aren’t criminals.

Devon

August 23rd, 2009
2:11 pm

Mr. Barr,

I did not think your opinions were relevant before this piece (The Defense of Marriage Act, anyone? Piece of rubbish.) but after reading this, you seem even more irrelevant! (If it were possible.) People have the right to their guns, yes, but myself and other rational thinkers all agree when we say: Why does one need a gun at a political rally? Why does one need a gun on MARTA?! Why does one need a gun when hiking in a national forest? Why does a civilian NEED a semi-automatic weapon? If you can answer those questions, I’d appreciate it.

Riposte

August 23rd, 2009
8:25 pm

Let’ just call them pacifiersnecessities.

cynthia tucker smells

August 23rd, 2009
8:55 pm

‘Bob Barr looks like Cynthia Tucker has done her best to stare a reality show like catfight with her attack on you and your three wives today.

Are you going to respond?’

Tell that racist biotch to enable her comments.

Nick

August 24th, 2009
12:58 am

Clyde, I think you are right.

Sorry Fang but any site of a Presidential visit is considered Federal property and thus firearms are prohibited. What you are referring to is the site of a nearby protest which the Secret Service decided was not a threat.

DDS -- NRA Life Member

August 25th, 2009
10:31 am

I personally think it was very risky to carry an AR15 to an event covered by Secret Service. One can be completely withing the law and still shot dead by your own government. Ask Vicky Weaver. One needs to be very sure the point you’re trying to make is worth losing your life to make. I shudder to think what the nation’s gun owners would be discussing today if “Chris” had been shot by law enforcement personel.

That being said, It was also risky for the people of Lexington to fall in on their village green in the face of a force of Royal Army Regulars and Marines. But they felt they needed to make a point about the rights guaranteed by their laws to free born Englishmen. I for one am darn glad they did.

Mark

August 25th, 2009
12:08 pm

To all of you who whine about military inspired semi-automatic rifles being “more powerful” than hunting rifles. While there is no doubt that many of these rifles fire a potent projectile, but in considering the definition of these “assault rifles” one should remember that most of the (especially the popular AR-15 style and AK style rifles) fire a round that is FAR LESS POWERFUL than the average hunting rifle and had less range as well. Let’s compare the 5.56×45 or 7.62×39 rifle rounds with that of the average hunting rifle which fires an 8mm Mauser cartridge or the popular .300 Win Mag. The 5.56 and 7.62 generate 1,800 and 2,000 Joules of energy, but what about those “civilian” rifle rounds that continually are ignored for the danger of the powerful assault rifle? Well the 8mm Mauser generates more than 2x the energy at 4,000 Joules and the .300 Win Mag can generate nearly 5,000 joules of energy!

Nearly all the popular hunting rounds, even the little .22-250 makes more energy than the AK’s 7.62 round by a fair margin. Stop sniveling about military inspired rifle designs, they are not more dangerous than other hunting rifles. Finally, real “assault rifles” are select fire weapons capable of fully automatic fire incorrectly labeling military inspired semi-automatic rifles in order to demonize them makes those who whine and complain about their existence look uneducated.

Ron

August 25th, 2009
2:13 pm

I wish that the people who comment here would learn the facts.”Jconservative” says the Second Amendment only applies to the Federal Government and not the States as the court said in Presser v Illinois.I bet he does not know that Presser stated that the First Amendment did not apply to the states!!Presser is no longer valid.The Amendments are now applied through the 14 Amendment to the Constitution.If the Second Amendment is a Fundamental Right the States will have to honor it.The liberal 9th Circuit court has ruled it is a Fundamental Right.The 5th and 7th Circuit Courts have said they will let the Supreme Court decide the issue.There is no doubt that the Second Amendment is a Fundamental Right as history will show.

Bill

August 25th, 2009
2:22 pm

The man had a right to carry the AR-15 rifle.I think some people posting here don’t like the fact that he was Black.End of story!!

Sam Mosin

August 25th, 2009
4:43 pm

Our constitutional government was formed only after the Bill of RIghts was approved; its very existence depends on the integrity of that document. The Bill of Rights is a guarantee that this government will defend those enumerated rights of its citizens. Therefore, if that government ceases to defend those rights, it forfeits its authority to govern.

BD

August 25th, 2009
5:11 pm

Devon – Answers to your questions.
IT IS NOT FOR YOU TO DECIDE WHAT I NEED OR DO NOT NEED.

I have a question for those that oppose – What the hell are you insinuating? That the mere bearing of arms causes criminal acts? You know, all those damn protesters carried clubs (political signs) that could be used to bash in the heads of ss and pres or to stab them with sharpened ends! Where’s the outrage??

I would carry to meet the President (because I always carry), I happen to disagree with most of his policies, but put in a situation where I had to take out an assassin (not likely, but bear with me), I’d take them out.. If I could save the president (even this one) by taking a bullet intended for them, I would do so. Not because I agree with him or even like the man, but because I respect the office.

The constitution’s bill of rights was NOT intended for the federal level alone, why even mention “the people”.. so local gov’ts can invade your privacy?? (Roe v. Wade had something to do with that, didn’t it) or discard public trial by jury or the right to speech. About the only thing the constitution DID limit to a federal only limitation was declaration of official religion, and then only because states DID have official religions at the time. What kind of a “Right” is one that some can step on and others can’t. A Right is a Right, you have it wholly or you don’t and it requires -nothing- from another except inaction. Hence a “right to healthcare” can only mean “you can buy healthcare”, not “someone else’s money can be stolen to buy me healthcare”. 2nd amendment doesn’t allow firing willy-nilly, nor demand that the arms be purchased for you using another person’s money. You can call yourself reasonable, but any gun control at all is effectively, “you telling me what I can and cannot do”. I don’t want to do that to you, you aught not want to do that to me.

Winston Smith

August 25th, 2009
6:44 pm

So, if it’s “illegal” to carry a firearm at a political rally, all I have to do to disarm the rest of the populace is go around in groups of 2 or more carrying political signs? C’mon. What’s so special about a political rally?

It’s a slippery slope, folks. Any regulation of firearms is a slippery slope to no arms at all. I say let them carry anywhere, open or concealed.

I bet there was a political rally in the 1760s and 1770s in which the Colonists would have loved to carry to keep the red coats from breaking it up. Remember what 2A is there for, in order of importance: 1) keeping the government in check, 2) protecting one’s life, liberty, and property, and 3) hunting/sport. It’s certainly not the other way around.

Winston Smith

August 25th, 2009
6:46 pm

Assault Weapon = weapon used in an assault.

I didn’t see any weapons used in assaults, other than slander/propaganda by the media.

Red

August 25th, 2009
6:54 pm

I live for the day when seeing someone carry a firearm openly gets no more attention than someone wearing a nice jacket or a lady carrying a purse. It should be normal and stir up Hoplophobic reactions.

There was a time once when a black people were looked at in much the same way. We seem to have made it past that limitation of mind. Maybe it’s time to get past the same limitations that surround legal firearms.

Red

August 25th, 2009
6:56 pm

Correction: “…should NOT stir up Hoplophobic reactions.”

Toni

August 25th, 2009
7:50 pm

Just for the record, The fellow with the AR-15 was no where near the President.

The Phoenix police stated the guy was not breaking any laws, and the Secret Service said the President was never any danger.

He was just a guy standing there with his AR-15 on a sling behind his back, yawn.

Steve

August 25th, 2009
8:18 pm

On August 21st, 2009, Mike Billips wrote:
6:46 am

“It’s disingenous to claim that civilian, semi-automatic versions of military assault rifles are not a separate category of firearm than semi-automatic hunting rifles with internal, 3- to 5-round magazines. “Assault weapon” is a somewhat nebulous term that has been used to describe some pistols with large magazines, but in the case of the AR-15 or similar rifles, it’s apt. The functional distinction is the detachable, high-capacity magazine. Someone armed with a rifle that fires a relatively high-powered cartridge like the NATO 5.56mm, with 20 to 30 rounds available and rapid reload capability, is a considerably greater potential threat to life and limb than someone with a pistol. When I was in Iraq, we didn’t consider ourselves armed if we were carrying just an M9, since it won’t defeat soft body armor. A semi-auto AR-15, on the other hand, would be considered a real weapon, since trained troops rarely use full-auto fire with their personal rifles anyway.”

1. A semi-auto rifle is just that a semi-auto rifle. It is NOT an “assault weapon” or “assault rifle” and no person truly familiar with small arms would refer to it as such. An AR-15 is no more deadly than any number of sporting weapons and in fact is considerably less deadly than the average .308 or heavier deer rifle at any substantial range. Ditto for a shotgun at close range.

2. The “NATO 5.56mm” is not a “relatively high-powered cartridge” unless you are comparing it to a pistol cartridge or a .22 rimfire. It is on the decidedly low end of rifle cartridges when it comes to muzzle energy and is not even allowed for deer hunting in many jurisdictions due to being too under powered to effectively and quickly kill such a game animal. Where it is allowed there are usually ongoing efforts to have it banned because it wounds more often than it quickly kills. Either way true sportsman who want a clean humane kill will not use a .223 or 5.56 (no they aren’t the same round) to hunt deer. The military adopted it because the fact is many soldiers cannot handle the weight and recoil of a ‘real’ rifle (.308, 30/06 etc), and to be fair, with the compliment of weapons the military usually has on hand probably don’t USUALLY need the extra range and extra power it affords.

3. I wouldn’t be especially concerned if civilians did routinely carry “assault weapons”, “assault rifles” or possess true machine guns, (small arms industry definition not the BATF definition which includes anything capable of automatic fire). Governments have historically proven far more dangerous with any type of arms than civilian populations and the government already has all of the above and more. If Obama and his supporters are worried about people utilizing their second amendment rights around him he can kindly stay the hell in the oval office and save us all the cost of his jet fuel. Further if politicians are worried about law abiding citizens with guns it’s probably because they know they are doing something wrong.

4. As far as the M9 not defeating soft body armor (at close range anyway) that’s because your commanders at the Pentagon don’t provide you with the correct ammunition. They either don’t trust you with it or don’t want to pay for it. A tungsten steel pointed 9mm projectile will go through most soft body armor like an ice pick through a wet paper bag.

J G

August 25th, 2009
8:31 pm

It’s called normalization. Today the carrying of a gun is an unusual event and the news reports it as such. If more and more folks carry openly it will become normal and no longer newsworthy. Just as the first casualties from Afghanistan were run endlessly on the news tickers at the bottom of the TV; today the news doesn’t even report the names of those lost. It’s “normal” and no longer news.

Doug

August 25th, 2009
9:35 pm

There is nothing at all wrong with a citizen excercising his rights.

Y’all opposed are endangering your own rights as well.

Ron

August 25th, 2009
10:07 pm

Steve, my thoughts exactly. The 5.56 NATO is at best a medium powered round, although fairly high velocity, to which it owes its lethality as it breaks up on impact. It is NOT by any stetch of the imagination “high powered”, a term loved my the uniformed media, as is “assault rifle”. No military in the world would assault anything with an AR-15.
All of this talk about being able to fire more rounds at a faster rate is just so much H.S. It is shot placement that always wins the day. High cap magazines are Ok when in actual combat but in civilain use they are great if you plan on missing a lot. They’re fun to shoot at the range, but only one round can do the job. The semi auto .30-06 M-1 Garand was just as deadly as the M-16 or the AK-47. Just took less ammo-a lot less.
Also, I don’t know if anyone has ever heard of the word “Democide” it is the murder of any person or people by a or their government. In the last century, the death toll was roughly 160 million people, give or take. Killed by their own or a government action. First step-disarm the populace 100% percent of the cases.
The idea that 30,000 Khmer Rouge could wipe out 2.3 million Cambodians says it all. He who has the monopoly of power (guns) wins.
Most of these governments were also leftist governments. HMMMMMMMM

Woodpiggie

August 26th, 2009
12:06 am

Our new anti capitalist-anti American president, comming terrorist attacks, illegal aliens, drug gangs, (Mexican and domestic),a tanking economy with looming hyper inflation and a few other nightmarish realities have pushed our country to the brink of catastrophie rivaling or surpassing that of the Civil War. Gun bans that compromise the ability of U.S. citizens to defend their lives and homes are certain to enable and all but guarantee episodes of carnage that will render prior American bloodshedings to mere historical footnote status.

My hope is that millions more legally qualified Americans will acquire firearms of all types,display them when appropriate,and restore the sense of normalacy to gun ownership in the Dreg States and Cities of America, that much of the rest of us enjoy. Peace,security and civility are usually a part of this picture.

Chuck Henry

August 26th, 2009
7:29 am

When several of my friends asked me if I saw the TV coverage of the young man with the AR16 and my feelings I replied, I saw a very articulate american citizen expressing his second amendment rights, color did not matter he was a american citizen nothing more nothing less! As a former US Marine and a non firearms owner when asked why I simply say, the vote is my gun, the internet, phone, fax, email are my bullets. These are often as powerfull as the 223, 358 Norma Mag, 375 H&H, 30-06, the old work horse 45ACP, and of course Dirty Harry;s 44Mag.

Dan

August 26th, 2009
1:04 pm

I saw news report saying the man was carrying a MACHINE GUN.
Ignorance about guns is quite rampant in the mainstream news media.

Chris Neumann

August 26th, 2009
3:26 pm

Here in Amarillo TX Mrs.Clinton spoke here on a campaign stop. She was speaking at the Amarillo Civic Center. While she was speaking there was a gun show going on in the North Concourse. Talking about Persons of interest and guns, especially one who is so against personal ownership of them, and a gun show, how ironic.

Byron

August 26th, 2009
6:52 pm

I wish the media would be concerned about Obamas fascist, marxist, nazi, brown shirt zars, who will no doubt try and take our freedom away.

Bill Gray

August 26th, 2009
7:24 pm

I don’t know what an “assault weapon” is and neither does anyone else. The similar sounding “assault rifle” is a full automatic capable military issue weapon. Take an ordinary semi-auto rifle and add a bayonet lug, then a flash suppressor, then a fore end grip and then some other accessories and an “assault weapon” has magically evolved at some point. The capabilities of the rifle have not changed except for the ability to carry out a drive-by bayonet attack. The label is like painting a Yugo with racing stripes and claiming that it is a dangerous high speed racing machine. Nonsense! To continue the comparison, compare a .223 round with a 30-30 or a 30-06. The .223 is a midgit not legal for hunting deer in many States due to its ralatively low power. The larger rounds are suitable for deer and elk! So much for the “high powered” label. Don’t let the anti-gunner get away with misusing the vocabulary. Take the intiiative by using “victim disarmament, mass murderer empowerment zones, instant responders (victims who resist crime) vs first responders (police with report books and crime scene tape).”

Peter Courtenay Stephens

August 26th, 2009
9:54 pm

The media not only got into a tizy over the AR 15 but, then MSNBC labeled those carrying at the Pheonix event as racists, hiding the fact with careful editing that the person carrying the AR 15 was Black. He probably was carrying to let the union goons know that he was not going to be intimidated or attacked like the Black man was in St. Louis, Mo, a week before where he was beaten to the ground by union criminals for handing out “Don’t Tread on Me ” Stickers.

Jay

August 27th, 2009
1:10 pm

Wow…A person actually exercising his rights guaranteed by the constitution is news. Is that what we have come too? Our fore-fathers are weeping.

Oops…I guess someone needs to send a news crew to my house. I just exercised my constitutional right to free speech. Video at 6 and 10.

Sheesh!

greg in Miami Fl

August 27th, 2009
4:44 pm

read this on the NRA website but had to dispel misinformation. to MIKE BILLIPS post…
Modern m-16 rifles currently issued are not even fully automatic they are equipped with a 3 shot burst capability…I am suprised that you were in Iraq and do not know this….It is still a SELECT FIRE weapon which is the distinguishing characteristic of an “assault weapon”

I doubt you can make a comparision of a us legal ak-cosmetic looka alike and the akm variants found all over iraq. an ak without a fully automatic feature is NOT the same by any measure..the ak family is a machine gun first then a rifle. it is not accurate to less than 4-6 moa usually.

the ar-15 was actually in existence BEFORE the m-16 version; as a CIVILIAN varminter. the m-16 came along after and the full auto feature was added(no it is not easy to convert it requires a class 3 sear fitting) it was adopted by the kenedy /mcnamara admin during vietnam with not so great results. the ar-15 is a rifle first. it is fairly accurate and can be improved…it actually could be used as a hunting rifle usually on groundhogs/prarie dogs…varmints. The .223/5.56 round it fires is not adequate or in some case not legal for deer sized game. so your high power claim is also dispelled.

mis information must be discredited and put aside otherwise the freedoms enjoyed by generations of AMERICANS will be slowly eroded by a divide and conquer approach. dependency is the goal; they seek to make you LESS self reliant and therby sheep like..well be a SHEEPDOG not a SHEEPLE Mike.

greg in Miami Fl

August 27th, 2009
4:49 pm

so many good comments here…you all have much more intelligent anc civil posts here than the Miami boards…boy they can get nasty. always liked Atlanta my brother and sister went to Emory.

fang 1944 buddy

August 28th, 2009
8:59 am

RISE REBEL RESIST

fang 1944 buddy

August 28th, 2009
9:02 am

you cant let anybody take what is yours especially the government even if they do run this country! but rules are rules and you must be a good dog and obey

fang 1944 buddy

August 28th, 2009
9:03 am

why let the media stop you from following the rules. you are just being a good dog of the government

sickodaspin

August 28th, 2009
9:17 am

I bet you dude wouldn’t be near dubbya with an AR anything – he would have been toast – care of secret service ….

Bill

August 29th, 2009
12:35 pm

To those of you who mistakenly consider an AR-15 an ‘Assault Weapon’ here is the definition of an assault weapon taken from multiple sources –

The translation assault rifle gradually became the common term for similar firearms sharing the same technical definition as the StG 44. In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle:

It must be an individual weapon with provision to fire from the shoulder (i.e. a buttstock);
It must be capable of selective fire;
It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle;
Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.
Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles despite frequently being considered as such. For example, semi-automatic-only rifles that share designs with assault rifles such as the AR-15 (which the M-16 rifle is based on) are not assault rifles, as they are not capable of switching to automatic fire and thus not selective fire. Belt-fed weapons (such as the M249 SAW) or rifles with fixed magazines are likewise not assault rifles because they do not have detachable box magazines.

The term “assault rifle” is often more loosely used for commercial or political reasons to include other types of arms, particularly arms that fall under a strict definition of the battle rifle, or semi-automatic variant of military rifles such as AR-15s

The US Army defines assault rifles as “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges.”

Also as anyone who has done any research into the automatic weapons laws should know it has been illegal for citizens to own since the Supreme Court ruling in Miller vs. the United States (1939) and to modify a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon is a federal crime.

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