Once again so many judgements. Mr. King has an opinion, a platform and a right to express himself. I can't believe some people are saying they will no longer read his work because he expressed himself!! You don't have to agree with him but surely you can separate his thoughts from his work. He provokes thought and hopefully conversation about a very important issue. Part of our problem as a nation is that we are so intolerant of each other. I respect anyone who has the courage to put themselves out there like that.
I've lurked these forums for a long time but had to post on this thread. A quick aside, I buzzed over to SKFB but what a zoo!! It was completely sickening...I read Guns so I feel VERY good about posting and cannot tolerate people who spout their opinions without having read what they are spouting about...I'm sorry to see there's some of that going on even in this forum. On with my post...
I'm a 53 yr. old, one time card carrying member of the NRA...I let my membership slide because the organization got too...for lack of a better word, wacko. I also tend to lean more often than not just a bit left so that puts me in a minority position, I'm sure. I was really amazed that Guns followed my line of thinking almost to a "Tee". I thought SK did a great job of pointing out ideas, which I had not necessarily thought of even though I tend to follow political topics quite closely. I have no problem with universal background checks, reduction in clip size and banning "assault weapons". I use quotes only because these should be called Assault Style Weapons. Assault Style Weapons are truly no more lethal than a typical Wal-Mart .22 caliber rifle at close range. The difference is they are more accurate at longer distances (due to a larger powder cartridge) and they are "cool". They may do more damage to a body than a .22 but dead is dead, regardless. I was really happy with SK's views in the essay but for one thing that he missed and that is where I will concentrate.
The term "semi-automatic" has become, largely due to the media and public ignorance, synonymous with something Sly Stallone (fiction) or Al Capone (non-fiction) used. I would love to see polls showing what cross sections of Americans believe the term semi-automatic really means. As I was reading Guns, I kept waiting for SK to explain the term. Maybe it really isn't important and I'm making much ado about semantics but then, maybe it IS important. I was almost completely with SK until Part VI. - No Solutions; Reasonable Measures. I was soooo bummed because I don't think SK get's it either. He states that, "If you used a Bushmaster on a deer in anything than single-shot mode, you'd turn the poor thing into hair-covered meatloaf." Really? Here's the scoop...with a semi-automatic gun, it reloads itself after a shot is taken but IT DOES NOT FIRE AGAIN UNTIL THE TRIGGER IS PULLED........AGAIN, AND THEN AGAIN, AND THEN AGAIN. SK's reference to the deer sounds like throwing a 30 round clip into your AR-15, aim, pull the trigger back one time and unload the entire clip in a second or two. That is referred to an automatic weapon, which is what most military guns are. Even those (most, if not all) have a switch on them to make them semi-automatic. There's no point emptying your clip if you are engaged with an enemy in a "sniper" situation. The automatic or "burst" feature on military weapons is for extreme situations where you may be faced with several enemies in plain sight and your only hope is to "spray" bullets in an attempt to take out as many enemies as possible (it's a survival technique). Those weapons are illegal in this country. My first gun (after I'd been responsible with my BB gun for a few years) was an inexpensive semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle. The bullets slid into a tube which ran along the bottom of the gun barrel and a spring loaded rod slid into the tube to place tension on the bullets so they would be pushed into the firing chamber automatically after a shot was taken. I had to pull the trigger every time I wanted the gun to fire again. Think of a staple gun...very similar. This is semi-automatic. SK says right after the deer comment that semi-automatics have only two purposes...to use at a shooting range and to kill people. Not true. I cannot tell you how many small game animals are taken with semi-automatic rifles every year but I'm sure there are stats available and I would bet the % is higher than those taken with the alternative, a single shot rifle. With a single shot rifle, you can (and usually do) have either a clip or a magazine as I described above. The difference is that after you pull the trigger, the weapon does not reload itself, you have to do it manually. On a rifle the most common method is grabbing a small knob that you twist, pull back (thus ejecting the spent cartridge and allowing a fresh one to pop into it's place) then by reversing the procedure, you “chamber” the bullet, which can then be fired. Most handguns are of the semi-automatic variety but even shotguns can be semi-automatic. Years ago, my dad bought a semi-automatic shotgun he used for duck hunting…I have it now.
Many of you are probably wondering why I am ranting on this so hard. You're right in thinking, "well, I could pull that semi-automatics' trigger over and over pretty damned fast and do a lot of damage." You are absolutely right. I could unload my little .22 rifle's 15 bullets in probably 3 seconds. Not accurately but at close range and with a lot of targets about? Yeah, pretty devastating. A true automatic rifle (depending on the make & model) could empty a 50 round clip in that time...maybe faster.
My point here is to educate (and to humbly ask SK to add an educational addendum to Guns). SK also refers to keeping a ".45 auto" handy or under your pillow which is referring to a handgun...again, illegal to own automatic weapons and if you're an advocate of single shot handguns (do they even make those?) in lieu of semi-automatics and you're using it for self protection, you better hope there is only one assailant and that you're a damned good shot.
Semi-automatic is not a bad word. It's a type of weapon (handgun, rifle or shotgun) which is owned prolifically n this country. I have 2 rifles and 3 shotguns myself...all semi-automatic. I also have a single shot musket rifle. The Civil War was fought almost entirely with single shot rifles. A new study released in April of 2012 raised the estimated death toll from 628,000 to 750,000. There are no solid numbers for the injured but it's obvious that number would likely be even higher. All this carnage in 4 years with guns that took, at best, 10 seconds to reload.
To summarize: I am in favor of basically everything SK put forth and I loved his defense of the actions, which need to be taken. I am MOST in favor of the limited clip size due to what I've stated above...even with a SEMI-automatic weapon, you CAN pull that trigger damned fast. And again, SK, PLEASE use your respected voice to put the myths and mis-information to bed where it belongs. I've written about and explained this to many people but I'm not Stephen King.
Your humble Constant Reader.
I absolutely loved the essay. In typical SK fashion there was an in-your-face vibe with a bit of humor, and it was dead on.
However, he cited a historical fact about Hitler's Germany and stats about Australia's violent crime rates without listing any sources. To be able to use these, I feel that some valid citations are needed. If the Mod or anyone else has some evidence to back these up, I would love to hear them
Referring to the Bushmaster XM-15 E2S rifle recovered inside the school, "All 26 of Lanza's victims were shot with the .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle, said (Lt. J. Paul) Vance…"
Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/newtownshootin...#ixzz2JNCG7xHk