Monday, March 21, 2005

Lying Liberals and the 50 Caliber Boogyman

I was listening to "loveline" on Kroq tonight, and one of the guys (yes, I don't even know their names) made an outrageous statement. Pardon me for my poor aural memory, but it was something like: "95% of Americans don't want just anybody to be able to buy a rifle that could shoot down an airliner". Wow. Now I know a thing or two about guns, so it made me instantly angry that someone could say something so stupid. But then I sadly realized that because so many Americans don't know anything about guns, the anti-gun cult has a willing audience to whom they can peddle this kind of nonsense.

So lets learn about guns. :) First, what gun was loveline's "political savant" refering to? As you've probably guessed from my title, the 50 caliber bmg. It's a rifle with usually a single shot, five shot, or ten shot capacity that shoots 1/2 inch diameter rounds. The extreme range of such a gun is approximately 1.5 miles (that means unless you are a skilled sniper, good luck hitting anything that far away). I believe the average accurate range of the gun is about 1000 yards. Now in order to shoot down an airliner, how far would the gun have to shoot? Airliners usually fly at about 30,000 feet, which is about 5 1/2 miles up. The fifty caliber rifle on a good day would fall 4 miles short. Oops, can't kill an airliner there. Secondly, lets say someone manages to hit an airliner in flight (because you can't "shoot down" one that's on the ground) they will make a giant 1/2 inch hole in the plane. Yes, as logic would have it, the plane would keep flying. A single 1/2 inch hole just isn't enough to stop a 155 ft long, 41000lb airliner (the size of a 747). Now even if the bullet did penetrate the pressurized cabin, the airliner would have a leak. It would not decompress in a huge fireball like Hollywood wants you to think. The worst thing that would happen is the pilot would have to take the plane down to 10000 ft and fly the rest of the way to the airport. A short quiz: if someone wanted to take down an airliner, would he: A) buy a stinger missile and shoot it at the plane, B) buy a $4000 50 cal rifle and plink at it, C) sneak a bomb on board or, D) either A or C. If you picked A, C, or D, you are correct. The reality of it is you can't shoot down an airliner with a 50 caliber rifle. It only happens in movies, if that. Incidentally, one of the greatest fighters in the history, the F-86 Sabre, was armed with six 50 caliber machine guns, and most of it's pilots considered to be lacking in the firepower department. In fact, many pilots ended up shooting all eighteen hundred rounds of ammunition on board at a single target without scoring a kill. Now if eighteen hundred rounds of 50 caliber ammunition has trouble taking down a Mig-15 (much smaller than a 747), how do you think someone armed with ten 50 caliber rounds is going to fare against an airliner? Only a liberal would be stupid enough to think they have a chance.

So, the next time a liberal tells you about the dangers of 50 caliber rifles to airliners, give him a lecture on the boogyman in his bedroom closet. After all, both subjects are in the same catagory: absurd fantasy.


Blogger BobG said...

These people abandon logic to leap to untenable conclusions. Realizing that, there is no sane means of arguing with them because they choose not to be confused with the facts.
Their world has been populated with myth, imagined conspiracy and fantasy and is undisciplined by reality.
When you confront them with truth it is like dragging a little Michael Jackson into the courtroom in his pajamas to face judgement; pathetic yet, necessary.

3:03 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

Absolutely agree.

9:12 PM  
Blogger devon claire said...

steve, what you're describing here is a poorly reported (and probably made-up) statistic, not an indication of people's lack of knowledge about guns. it was just something the guy probably made up, or was lost in a "telephone"-style transmission. don't fret.

--a democrat

11:13 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

Actually Devon, if you go to the web site of the "brady campaign to end gun violence" and if you listened to the hearings in LA city council meetings with regards to banning the 50 caliber rifles, this gun's so-called "anti-aircraft" ability was a large part of the anti-gun hysteria. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was the same way in the state capital when they were working on the bill banning the 50 cal.

If you really look into it, Devon, the entire anti-gun "movement" is chock-full of "boogyman statistics" trumping up all kinds of imaginary abilities (and imaginary "scary names") for all kinds of guns. The 50 caliber issue is just a symptom of the disease.

1:56 PM  
Blogger devon claire said...

"boogyman" statistics are everywhere. the internet (i.e., that website) are very uncredible sources to derive them from. plus, don't you find it hard to believe that that many people are anti-gun, when half of all americans are midwestern, gun-weilding, bible-readin' types? i'm not all pro-gun, but even i don't believe that statistic.

7:31 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

So your saying, by your logic, alot of American's must be anti-car types, just because so many Americans do like cars, creating a backlash?

Secondly, sadly, the Brady Campaign is not just a website, its a reasonably large and active political group that lobbies to congress and state legislatures with their nonsense.

1:06 PM  
Blogger GeorgeMikey said...

At the risk of being told to piss off, the favourite quote I keep hearing is 'guns don't kill people, people kill people'. Surely some consideration has to be given to America's liberal gun laws = high gun crime stat's vs Japan's harsh gun laws = very low gun crime stat's?

5:57 AM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

"The homicide rate in Japan is similar to the homicide rate for Japanese-Americans, which implies it is the Japanese culture, and not the absence of guns that is responsible for Japan's low homicide rate."

"The number of firearm homicides in Great Britain has doubled since they imposed their current restrictive gun laws."

"Switzerland has similar crime rates to Japan and Great Britain. In Switzerland, the purchase of semi automatic rifles and shotguns requires no permit, and adults are free to carry them. Handguns can be bought with firearm purchase permits, which are issued to all adults without a criminal record or a history of mental illness. About 40% of Switzerland's cantons (states) do not require a permit to carry a handgun. Switzerland has a citizen militia where most all men between the ages of 21 and 32 are required to keep fully automatic machine guns in their home."

Thank you "".

10:51 AM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

Addendum: the Swiss HAD a similar crime rate to Great Britain until Britain imposed this latest round of gun control laws. Now crime in Great Britain is significantly above Switzerland.

Other things you might like to know, georgemikey (btw, the reference numbers refer to sources refenced on, you can look them up there):

* Americans use firearms to defend themselves from criminals about 760,000 times a year. This figure is the lowest among a group of 15 nationwide polls done by organizations including Gallup and the Los Angeles Times. (7)

* Washington D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns in 1976. Between 1976 and 1991, Washington D.C.'s homicide rate rose 200%, while the U.S. rate rose 12%. (1)

* Between 1977 and 1992, 10 states adopted right-to-carry laws. Dr. Lott's study found that the implementation of these laws created:

-- no change in suicide rates,
-- a .5% rise in accidental firearm deaths,
-- a 5% decline in rapes,
-- a 7% decline in aggravated assaults,
-- and an 8% decline in murder

for the 10 states that adopted these laws between 1977 and 1992. (7)

* Using 1995 numbers, this amounts to:

-- 1 more accidental gun death,
-- 316 less murders,
-- 939 less rapes,
-- and 14,702 less aggravated assaults

in these 10 states annually. (16)

* Florida adopted a right-to-carry law in 1987. Between 1987 and 1996, these changes occurred:
Florida Rates
homicide rate -36%
firearm homicide rate -37%
handgun homicide rate -41%

United States Rates
homicide rate -.4%
firearm homicide rate +15%
handgun homicide rate +24%

Ultimately, I'm not to proud of the crime rates here in the United States, but it doesn't bode as well for gun control as you think. As a quote from Andrew Ford puts it: "25 States allow anyone to buy a gun, strap it on, and walk down the street with no permit of any kind: some say it's crazy. However, 4 out of 5 U.S. murders are committed in the other half of the country: so who is crazy?"

Now that number is up to 38 states with "shall issue" ccw (concealed carry weapons) laws, but the principle remains the same. The states with the highest crime rates are the ones with the most restrictive gun laws, California, New York, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconson, Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delware, and Maryland. Those are the states responsible for keeping crime statistics over here so high.

Don't worry Georgemikey, despite my anger with your British gun control laws, I'm not going to tell you to "piss off" :). I think most Americans still see you guys as a great allies and friends to this country, and I would hope for your sake that you would take a positive change (for example, get back your gun rights) because that would make all of you over there much safer.

11:13 AM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

"In England and Wales, where handguns are totally banned and few people are allowed to own rifles or shotguns, the murder rate was 68 percent higher (than Switzerland), the rape rate 188 percent higher, and the robbery rate a staggering 493 percent higher."

--John Lott, Scholar at the "American Enterprise Institue". October 2003, in "National Review Online".

12:11 PM  
Blogger tate said...

Loveline, huh?


2:22 PM  
Blogger GeorgeMikey said...

Comparing the homicide rate between Japanese nationals and Japanese living in America and coming up with the conclusion that it's a culture thing is a tad simplistic in rationale. You clearly know more and are more passionate about gun use than I am so I'll bow out on this one.

Having read the two way between Echrai and yourself on my blog however, I do respect an intelligent (albeit different from mine) view and your attention to detail. I'll beg to differ.

5:43 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

Well, thank you for you contribution to the conversation. :)

1:40 PM  
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3:19 PM  

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