Hello everyone. Good News! The Garage Door had been replaced. Better News! My Wife has survived another year in this, the Decline of Western Civilization. She’s decided to celebrate her 29th Year again (and again and again….. ; ) ). BAD News. Some old biddy backed into our car at the Grocery Store about two hours ago. No one hurt, but know it’s time for the Lawyers, Guns and Money. I’ll keep you updated later in the week.
But since I’ve promised you a discussion, let’s start. So what IS a Firearm, and why is it SOOO Scary?
I’m paraphrasing Col. Jeff Coop’s Definition (PBUH!) of a Firearm. To me, a Firearm is a Hand-held devise used to launch a Projectile. It does so through a series of Mechanical Actions, started by a Human Action that ignites a Chemical Compound that expels a Projectile (or Projectiles in the case of a Shot-shell) at a high rate of speed.
And that’s it. In other words, a Human Hand pulls a Trigger which trips a Spring-loaded Lever that releases a Firing Pin that hits a Primer, which ignites Powder that pushes something down a Barrel and out into the World.
Okay, so Ye Olde Black-Powder Firearms use Flint or Slow-match to ignite a small amount of Blackpowder which ignites a larger amount of Blackpowder, but we’ll be focusing on the Modern Designs that are readily available to all those who are Legally eligible to purchase/trade them. In other words, John Doe is thinking about getting a Gun and he notices that his local Wally World sells them. Also, we’ll not talk at this time about the NFA and Full-Auto Firearms, nor Cannons, Potato Guns, et.al. Gotta have something to talk about later, okay? Also, I’m hoping this Blog falls into the hands of the NON-Gunnie Community, so they can be educated about Firearms. That’s NON-Gunnie, not ANTI- Gun. Remember, there’s a lot of people out there who know nothing about Firearms, except what they’ve seen or heard out of Media Sources. They don’t Hunt, never grew up on a Farm or a Ranch, and really never had to deal with them in their Lives. Fertile Soil awaiting Seeds, as it were.
Keep in mind, there are other devices out there that are designed to launch Projectiles. Things likes Bows, Slings, Catapults, Crossbows, AtlAtls, et.al. have been around for Thousand of years. But they all take some sort of Muscle Power to operate, and were usually reserved for use by the Young and Healthy. The Old and Infirm usually were left to fend for themselves, and past a certain age, well, they couldn’t do much good with them. But Firearms EXPANDED who can use them, and this “Leveled the Playing Field”. With Firearms, an 80-year old Grandmother has a chance to defend herself against a Rapist who’s attacking her. Unfortunately, a 4-year old child can kill a playmate using a Firearm that he found laying around unsecured. And yes, both of these cases have been in the News over the last year. But moving on.
So those Firearms that are available to most Americans (who don’t live in Anti-Gun VolksRepubliks such as Kalifornia, New Jersey, NYC, etc) fall into two general Categories: Long Guns and Hand Guns. Long Guns are further Divided into Rifles/Carbines and Shotguns. Hand Guns are divided into Revolvers, Pistols, and Derringer-type Guns. First the Long Guns.
Long Guns usually are, well, long. The Legal Minimum is slightly over a yard (Folding Stocks are attached so as to make up the Difference), and there are Minimum Barrel Lengths. SBRs (Short-Barreled Rifles) are another topic. They usually take both Hands, plus a Shoulder to use. Rifles/Carbines (again, a “Length-Thing”) usually launch Bullets. The Bullets are contained in a Cartridge, made up of the Bullet, Powder, a Brass or Steel Cylinder and a Primer, all contained in one neat package. The Long Gun can fire one, then need to be reloaded, or many of them w/o reloading, BUT ONLY ONE BULLET AT A TIME, with ONE TRIGGER PULL AT A TIME. “Full-Auto”, Sub-Machineguns, current Military-Issued Firearms, etc., that keep Firing as long as the Trigger is held back are usually not purchased by the Average Citizen, due to the Cost and Licensing Fees associated with them. It’s a Rich Man’s Game, in other words. And they come in many different styles in with they operate their “Feeding” of the Cartridges, but again, not important today.
Shotguns, like the one President Obama used at Camp David, fire either one Projectile (“Slug”), or Multiple-Projectiles (“Shot”) out of Shells made out of (mostly) Plastic and Brass, again in a Cylinder. The Projectiles usually don’t travel nearly as far as Rifle Cartridges, but they do need to be held firmly with both Hands against a Shoulder, or Bad Things Can Happen that Hurt.
Handguns, however, are much lighter and easier to carry than Long Guns. However, the Cartridges fired are not nearly as powerful as Rifle or Shot Guns, but there is some overlap where Pistol Cartridges are fired in Long Guns and visa versa. The Revolver usually holds Five or Six Cartridges (called “Rounds”, FWIW) and are a little bulky. But they have been around since long before the U.S. Civil War, and are (relatively) easier to get into Action than a Pistol if they are loaded. Pistols, on the other hand, feed their rounds (usually) though the grip which the hand holds, and can carry 2-3 times the amount of Ammo as a Revolver. Most Modern Militaries and Law Enforcement Agencies have stopped using Revolvers and have gone to the Pistol. Derringers, although available, are fading away from Public Use. Usualy holding only 2 rounds, they are easy to carry “Concealed” upon one’s person, but due to their limited capacity, are being replaced by the “Pocket Pistol”. But they’re still out there.
So let’s recap. Firearms are hand-held devices used to launch projectiles. Unlike earlier devices, there is a LOT less Muscle needed to use them, since the Cartridge and/or Shell does most of the work. This expands who can use them. And of course, their are Safety Rules and Laws that need to be obeyed, plus it does take some Training, kinda/sorta about learning to ride a Bike. Never hurts to have COMPETENT Adult Supervision around when one first starts to learn how to shoot. Just safer for everyone, okay?
So why are they SOOO Scary? Because they work at what they are designed to do, and almost ANYONE can use them.
Let me repeat that, LOUDLY: ALMOST ANYONE CAN USE THEM. A TRIGGER DOESN’T CARE WHO PULLS IT, BECAUSE A FIREARM IS A TOOL, NOT A BEING, IT’S NOT ALIVE. BUT LOADED PROPERLY WITH THE CORRECT AMMO, PROVIDED IT ISN’T MECHANICALLY BROKEN, THEY WORK. FOR YOU, FOR ME, FOR THEM. Until the Ammo run out. Then they are just Clubs and Rocks, and not very good ones at that. Unless you have a Bayonet attached, but I digress.
And since almost anyone can use one, certain Political Types are Scared that their Peasants may Revolt. And unlike the Ye Olde Days when THEY controlled the Knights and the Cossacks and the Police, THEY have to try to restrict their Availability as much as they can under the Laws that THEY wrote so as to advance their Agenda.
Oh, and Psychos, Criminals, Terrorists and the STOOOOPID can use them as well.
But so can Hunters, Ranchers,Fishermen, Target Shooters, Olympic Athletes, Home Owners, Police, Military, Senior Citizens, Single Moms, Gays, Lesbians, Transexuals, Straights, Religious, Atheists, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Native Americans, Bikers, Barbers and Babysitters, just to name a few.
And that can be a little Scary to those people raised to believe that they can be “Saved” from anything “Bad” just by calling 911. Amongst others.
So let the discussion begin. But play nice! I’ll try to answer them, but since THE Wife gets to celebrate her Birthday this weekend, plus my Car Problem with an Old Biddy, well, we’ll see what next week brings, okay? Have a Nice Weekend, Bubblehead Les Out.