Fearsome firearms or crap for brains?

I don’t really know where to begin on this mess. They messed their pants so badly even hip waders couldn’t hold it all. This is not reporting. This isn’t even editorializing. They don’t check their facts and I have doubts if they even know how to recognize a fact. It’s the rantings of people with severe mental problems. It starts with the title “Brazen weapon fire chills police“. It doesn’t let up for an instant:

The gang shoot-out that rained gunfire and smoke on a quiet Dorchester street this week disturbed police on many levels: the seemingly new height in disregard for neighborhood safety, the fact that a 12-year-old girl watching TV inside a nearby house was shot through the leg.

Since when do gangs have any regard for “neighborhood safety”? Do they expect them to meet at a gun range to have their shoot-out? Gangs, in the common usage of the word, are criminals. Do they think criminals care about memorizing and following the gun safety rules that the rest of us do?

But even more alarming: At least one of the weapons used in the gunfire was an AK-47 assault rifle, the fourth time in three weeks that one had been found or used in Boston and the seventh time since last July, when a 32-year-old man was shot dead with one.

Police say they are noticing more of the fearsome firearms on Boston streets than last year and, in particular, are concerned that there have been so many in the past three weeks. Tomorrow afternoon, Mayor Thomas M. Menino will meet with ministers in Roxbury to discuss crime in the city and the sudden proliferation of the rifles.

But more alarming than there are criminals among us is that there are “fearsome firearms on Boston streets”. Well then, why doesn’t someone go out there and pick them up and take them home? Oh, that’s right. That’s not what they meant. They meant criminals are using the firearms on the streets. And, I say this having not lost a single bet in the last 35 years, I’m willing to bet than none of those rifles were actually assault rifles. They are intentionally using words to inflame emotions.

“This [weapon] can lay down a lot of fire in an urban area where there is basically no cover from it,’’ Commissioner Edward F. Davis said yesterday. “You can conceal yourself from these weapons, but they’ll rip through a car. They’ll rip through a telephone pole. They can rip through just about anything in an urban environment.’’

What he doesn’t say is that common hunting rifles such as a 30.06 have far greater penetration than these rifles.

“Everybody understands when they read the morning paper that you have to push as much as you can to get these guns off the street,’’ he said.

Only those that believe the morning paper. And this article is a very illustrative example of why more and more people don’t believe the “morning paper”.

Nine assault rifles have been confiscated so far this year, compared with four seized in 2008. Eighteen assault rifles were found in 2007.

Want to bet?

But police worry about the attractiveness of assault rifles to gangs. AK-47s are much more powerful than handguns, capable of firing at least 100 yards, and can be easily converted into automatic weapons.

The range of the AK-47 on human sized targets is much greater than 100 yards. With common ammo it’s about a 4 MOA gun. This makes it capable of first round hits, with a skilled marksman, at about 300 yards. So what? Common hunting rifles chambered .308 Winchester, 30.06, or .300 Win Mag, in skilled hands, can reach out and touch someone at 600 yards and beyond. They can’t be “easily converted into automatic weapons” for two reasons; 1) Assault rifles ARE automatic weapons and these, almost for certain, are not assault rifles; and 2) Firearms that are “easily converted” into automatic weapons are not allowed on the market and haven’t been for decades.

The guns have surfaced as Boston police have pushed to provide more of their own officers with M16s, high powered semiautomatic rifles.

In May, the Globe reported that police had ordered about 200 M16s free of charge from the US military and made plans to train dozens of officers and arm them with the rifles.

M-16s obtained from the military are NOT semi-automatic. They are fully automatic. Facts? What do facts matter to these mentally deranged writers? That’s right, they don’t. (Update: As pointed out in the comments the M16s were converted to semi-auto by the Boston Police Department. The article was written by the same writer. She was careless with the facts in this article even though she knew them.)

Community leaders and gun control advocates yesterday said many of the illegal guns in Massachusetts likely come from states like Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, where private gun owners can sell their weapons to anyone without requiring background checks.

Bruce Wall, the pastor of the Global Ministries Christian Church in Codman Square, said he is planning to hold a prayer summit on the steps of the New Hampshire State Capitol in Concord, N.H., to get the attention of public officials and call on them to tighten their laws.

“We’re going to pray for the trafficking of guns to stop,’’ he said. “Those gun shows in those states are making a lot of money off people in Massachusetts. Now the criminals are using weapons that can outpower what the police have.’’

Let’s see… violent crime rates (FBI stats for 2007 that I just happened to have on my computer):

  • Massachusetts: 431.5/100K
  • Maine: 118.0/100K
  • New Hampshire: 137.3/100K
  • Vermont: 124.3/100K

Blaming the laws in states with low crime rates for the high crime rates in their state proves that logical thinking doesn’t even rate a place holder in their brains. If it was private sales of guns increased crime then why is the crime rate lower, by at least a factor of PI, in those states than in Massachusetts? Massachusetts should look to the laws and policies of states with low crime rates, see what is different, and emulate those other states. NOT insist that those other states adopt their failed polices.

What do you think? Are the authors correct that it’s all about “fearsome firearms”? Or is it that the authors have crap for brains?

Author Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com let her know what you think. I sent her a link to this post and a link to Just One Question.

Update: I received a response from her:

From: MCramer@globe.com
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 7:59 AM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: Re: Brazen weapon fire chills police

Thanks for your note.



Maria Cramer


Boston Globe

w: (617) 929-3169

c:  (617) 291-6008


14 thoughts on “Fearsome firearms or crap for brains?

  1. By the wikipedia definition, the M4 I carried in combat is not an assault rifle, as it was only capable of 3-round bust and semi-auto fire, no full auto for me. damn.

  2. “This [weapon] can lay down a lot of fire in an urban area where there is basically no cover from it …they’ll rip through a car. They’ll rip through a telephone pole. They can rip through just about anything in an urban environment.”

    So to address the problem of overpenetration the Commissioner’s obvious solution to is to get a few hundred “fearsome firearms” onto Boston streets for the cops and simultaneously try to deny it for the law abiding.

    Was there even a single sentence concerning the motives of the shootings? Anything about addressing why some Bostonians try to kill each other or why they try killing so carelessly as to put kids watching tv at risk?

    Will an AK really rip through the full width of a telephone pole? I have doubts.

    M-16s purchased from the military are NOT semi-automatic.

    This article says that while they were received as full auto they were being modified to function as semiautomatic only. “But the department already has received 200 fully automatic rifles from the federal government and plans to modify them to perform like semiautomatic weapons…”

  3. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned Fisking. Well done Joe.

  4. And, I say this having not lost a single bet in the last 35 years

    I aim to rectify that in the near future – I came close last time.

  5. Oh FYI the M16 the BPD were going to get would have the Full-auto sear removed, tho would not have their frames modified to prevent them from being returned to Assault Rifle status.

    Also I’m curious if like many “AK-47” stories if this was an AK at all. Seems most times it’s some jerk with an SKS or some other semi-auto rifle.

  6. If I had the time, I’d do some fisking of my own on that article, line by line. WHAT A PIECE O’ CRAP.

    I used to live in the Bay state as a teenager (back when Tip O’Neal was the senior Senator & Teddy K was junior. Those were the days . . .). I’m glad I moved out West when I went to college. Nothing like a change of scenery to give one a more informed perspective.

  7. milquetoast, Yes 7.62×39 ammo will go through a telephone pole. Using my SKS I tested pentration on a bunch of logs. FMJ (it might have been steel core) would go through 20 inches of wood (Douglas Fir, a harder wood probably would have stopped it sooner). Soft points were stopped by four inches of wood.

    I’ll update the post about the M16s being converted to semi-auto. Thanks.

  8. By Reason of Insanity

    I private hands it’s an assault rifle or an “assault weapon”.
    In cops’ hands it’s a semi automatic rifle.

    Let’s see if I got this right; gangs are bad and gangsters use guns, so the way to fix the gang problem is to punish law-abiding gun owners. It reminds me of the KKK– oppress all black people and use the fact that some black people commit crimes as the excuse.

    Your point about leftist-run cities having more problems, and blaming everyone else but themselves for those problems while ignoring the practices and policies that work far better elsewhere, is the best one. Stupid is as stupid does.

    To say that they have mental problems is a bit of an understatement. They, demonstrably, pose a clear and present danger to both liberty and safety. Pathologically insane, then, is a more fitting term. We might take it a step farther and say they are criminally insane because therein lies a viable solution. The criminally insane managing a city government results in increased crime and death. Survivors of said crime then have, on paper at least, an avenue for legal action against the criminally insane. They way I’ve just spelled it out; you think they’d plead not guilty by reason of insanity?

  9. Journalistic careers are not furthered through rational reporting. They are furthered through leads that bleed, through the whipping up of frenzied emotion. Ms. Cramer is a hack, she knows she is a hack, but it is very profitable hackery. Especially in Massachusetts. She is selling a product that she knows will sell. Why should she respond to any discussion of her editorializing passed off as news, or her outright distortion of facts?

    I had to laugh at the adjective “brazen” applied to gang shootouts. Are there shy gang shootouts? And how do you “rain smoke” on a neighborhood?

    Joe, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Somewhere in the muddled thinking of the gun control set, they are still very astonished by the fact that gangbangers are vicious sociopaths. They want so hard to believe they aren’t, because, you know, they’re so downtrodden and oppressed. Poor poor victims of society.

    With that comfy thought, because the truth is too threatening to their elite images of the world, the gun-scaredy can deny not only their own but others’ violence…and project it onto the safest people in the community: lawful gun owners who cover everyone’s back. But since it would take cojones to blame gun OWNERS, they blame GUNS instead.

    Then when the gangsters do something so wretched that even the most bleedy hearty can’t deny or gloss over it, it’s the GUNS that’s the problem.

    In my experience, as a very liberal person dealing with others of the same politics (but very different RKBA attitudes), liberals are so riddled by class and race guilt, and avoidance of discomfort of all sorts, that they cannot look a guilty person in the eye and name their crime, and hold them responsible. To put it another way, it takes balls of steel to stand up to a criminal, to refuse to back down, and to name them and their behavior. Much much more comfy, isn’t it, to avoid that, and blame things instead? Comfort uber alles!

    Isn’t the Quixotic campaign to disarm the law-abiding the ultimate form of power? You can always find guns to ban, and that means always needing political and nonprofit and other well-funded outlets and experts and researchers. What could be better from a liberal point of view than a solution that leads to a problem never being solved, or a redefinition of a problem so that it can’t be? That’s how liberals build careers. And again, I speak as a liberal. But it does nothing to deal with the fact that there are some seriously Nth generation scumbag sociopaths in our cities. It wouldn’t be PC to name them as scumbags, though. Especially since liberals have to face that these people are, in fact, often people of color. (Black conservatives are getting this correct, which is why I’d be far more likely to vote for a Shelby Steele or even Colin Powell than, say, a Dennis Kucinich. We may not agree on many things, but black conservatives have been calling out the black family for a long time as a locus of sociopathology, rather than playing the victim card.)

    The push we need is in fact to get these sociopaths off the street. Without them, these firearms can be liberated for lawful uses. But that’s not something that liberals want to advocate. In fact I have heard repeatedly in my ultra-liberal town that there should be a moratorium on arresting ANY black people. To make up for the terrible racism.

    Sigh. Yeah. That’ll work.

  10. pook; Sounds like you’re a liberal in the final stages of deprogramming ; )
    You’ve debunked nearly everything about “liberalism” (actually I hate the word “liberal” as it is a contradiction. Libertarians (small “l”) are liberal, in so far as they advocate liberty. “Liberals”, in the current American vernacular, do not advocate liberty in the majority of “Liberal” causes. Instead they advocate socialism or socialistic causes, which are founded in the use of force by law (nothing can be considered a “right” if it demands anything from any other person other than non interference, hence there is no “right” to a job, a home, or any other material want or need if it is “provided” at someone else’s expense at the point of the government gun). T. Jefferson was a liberal in the literal sense in that he advocated liberty (non interference in the peaceable, voluntary exchange between citizens, and the protection of property rights, i.e. capitalism). Hence conservatives (NOT Republicans) are Jeffersonian liberals. Walter E. Williams is a Jeffersonian liberal too. George Dubya was not a J-lib, but was instead a Liberal in the screwed-up American pop vernacular sense, as he supported or tolerated nearly all sorts of socialist and quasi-socialist/forced redistributionist/social engineering programs while pretending to advocate liberty.

    This goes to intellectual consistency too; if you’re in favor of welfare programs, for example (allowing some people to live at the expense of others, by threat of force, i.e. to acquire value without having earned it) then what moral or intellectual tenet is going to stop you from saying those same people should never be arrested? If they can receive goods and services they didn’t earn by work or productivity, why then, exactly, shouldn’t they have freedom they didn’t earn through respecting other people’s rights? If you favor forced redistribution, you’ve thrown out the concept of rights at that point, so what basis do you have for punishing property crimes that would be intellectually or morally consistent with forced redistribution? Is there some huge difference between the government robbing you to support a layabout, and said layabout robbing you directly? Seems to me the latter would accomplish the same thing far more efficiently, leaving out the middle man as it does.

  11. Caleb, what makes you think I will ever make another bet with you? That was way too close for comfort.

    Not even if our joint readership would like a rematch?

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