i only love that which they defend

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote today’s quote in a work of fiction, pertaining to characters in a world that never existed outside the pages of his books.

Still, I believe they are a sentiment that echos with firearm owners today.  For a large number – possibly verging on “vast majority” – of us, it is not about the firearms.  Oh, sure, they are fun to learn about, and even more fun to use, but in the end, it all boils down to the defense of family, the defense of hearth, and the defense of home.

Sharpness

And, really, you have to wonder why people would want to limit your ability to defend your family, if not outright strip you of it.

 

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you cannot stop the signal

This post will be a slight departure from the norm, but it should be worth it.  A while back, I departed on the adventure of building a Glock-like firearm without using a single Glock OEM part, just for the sake of doing it.  Personally, I am much more a CZ person, and have never understood the attraction of Glocks, but I also love building firearms, and the Austrian bricks are some of the most-heavily-supported when it comes to aftermarket parts.

I chose to use a receiver/frame from Lone Wolf Distributors, but if I had a drill press, I could have had one of these delivered to my door, no FFL, no paperwork, no background check, nothing:

cobalt_3_of_3__2

That carefully-formed piece of plastic is not legally considered a firearm, given that you cannot currently install the trigger group, recoil assembly, slide, or other essential parts.  However, after less than a day of work with a drill press and a few other basic tools, you will have a full-operational Glock-like frame.  And if you never sell it, it never even has to be serialized.

No doubt the “gun control” extremists are already lining up to figure out a way to shut this company down.

Ok, fine, here are the blueprints necessary to build an AR-15 receiver out of sheets of aluminum.  No joke.

scratch-built-ar-15-lower-receiver

And lest any “gun control” useful idiot get the bright idea of trying to get WordPress to pull down the blueprints, do not fret – I have them backed up on my computer, and will happily host them elsewhere on the internet.

Oh, we cannot forget the mad genius who successfully built a fully-operational AK-47-pattern rifle out of an old shovel and junk parts.  I am not even close to kidding.  It was even capable of keeping all ten spam-can rounds inside the 10-ring at 50 yards.

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So what are you going to do now, folks?  Ban shovels and hammers?  You might as well try to ban the Khyber Pass as a whole.

For heaven’s sake, jewelers down in “gun control” utopia Australia are supplying bikie gangs with sub-machine guns and silencers.  Inmates in German prisons are building shotguns.  And apparently staple guns have become a platform of choice for improvised firearms.

And that is a core concept that “gun control” extremists simply refuse to comprehend – you cannot ban, restrict, or otherwise regulate firearms in any meaningful way.  Or, as some of my friends like to put it, “engineers > politicians”.  The truth of the matter is if “gun controllers” get their way and make the ownership of a previously-lawful semi-automatic rifle as illegal as owning an open-bolt, short-barreled, fully-automatic rifle… well, Aisle 6 at your local Home Depot has all the parts necessary to make the latter.  And given how easy it is to make the fully-automatic firearm – variations were literally being produced in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation – why would anyone bother with the less-capable rifle?

In turn, I think that is a core concept that the pro-rights advocates do not comprehend as well.  “Gun control” extremists do not want to regulate firearms.  They do not even want to regulate you.  They want to destroy knowledge, pure and simple.  Though, if they could kill a few peaceful, law-abiding Americans along the way, a disturbing number of them would be sanguine with that (and this is a mere sample of the screencaps I have).

GunControlWantsYouDead

Not only do they want to ban “assault weapons”, they would be absolutely ecstatic if no one could ever make one ever again.  One need only look at their outrage over the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act for an example of this – “gun control” extremists attempted to use lawfare against firearm manufacturers by suing them over the criminal misuse of their products.  The government rightly stepped in and said, “this is dumb,” and the wailing and gnashing of teeth that continues to this day borders on “epic”.

To put it another way, “gun control” is another variation – both morally and functionally – to book-burning… but at least the book-burners were – and, sadly, are – more honest about their motivations.

And lest you think I am being hyperbolic in my comparison, consider the recent YouTube Terms of Service changes wherein they banned any content that included perfectly-legal activities such as demonstrating how to reload ammunition.  The only possible motivation behind this move is to attempt to suppress knowledge and limit its spread – just like with book burnings.

60b

(Note:  Since YouTube is a private corporation, they can set whatever standards they want for the content they host; however, let us be honest about the situation and call it what it is – pure censorship.)

But just as the printing press removed the power of book-burners, so too is the internet rendering “gun control” extremists impotent.  They can no longer control the narrative.  They can no longer massage the message.  They can no longer spout their lies unchallenged.

The truth will out, whether they want it to or not.  That is, after all, one of the reasons I started the “graphics matter” series of posts here – to demonstrate that so much of the information and arguments used by the “gun control” extremists is fundamentally flawed, if not outright dishonest.  That is also why such things as the Ghost Gunner exist – the democratization of technology will ultimately render “gun control” a meaningless phrase, and that is why they hate it.

And that is part of the reason I like assembling firearms at home.  Sure, sue the manufacturers into oblivion.  Shut down the FFLs.  You cannot stop the signal.

So on to the build itself.

Continue reading “you cannot stop the signal”

graphics matter, crime edition

Pop quiz time.  For the sake of argument, assume you are on the receiving end of an unlawful assault at this very moment.  Your courses of action are as follows:

  1. Attempt no form of self-defense.
  2. Attempt to defend yourself against the perpetrator at all.
  3. Attempt to defend yourself against the perpetrator specifically using a firearm.

Which of those options do you think will have the lowest probability of you being injured in the situation?

Does your answer change if we are talking about a robbery, as opposed to an assault?

Does your answer change again if we are talking about the lowest probability of your property being stolen from you during a robbery?

Now, remember your answers.  Because, based on this Critical Review of Firearms and Violence by the National Research Council of the National Academies, here are the realities:

ArmedSelfDefenseIsEffective

In other words, you are almost half as likely to get hurt during a robbery if you employ a firearm to fight back, you are over three quarters less likely to lose personal property during a robbery if you use a firearm to defend yourself, and you are about half as likely to sustain injury during an assault if you stop the attacker with a firearm.

Well then.

It is almost like the “gun control” extremist’s notion of “give them what they want and they will go away” is… nonsense.

About now you will be noticing that while defending yourself with a firearm is strictly better than not defending yourself at all, “all” forms of self-defense are… not as much a sure bet.  The reason for this is simple:

Criminals are not idiots.

The 250lbs. thug is not going to try to assault a 400lbs. linebacker.  Nope, he is going to go for the 90lbs.-soaking-wet cheerleader, and when she tries to fight back with her bare hands, guess what?  It is highly likely that she is going to lose – and get injured in the process – simply due to mass and strength.

Provide her a firearm and a modicum of training, however?  Well, there is a reason why people say, “God made man, Sam Colt made them equal”, or why other people  describe firearms as civilization itself.

Given this data, one really has to wonder why “gun control” extremists want to massively increase your chances of being injured or losing property during an assault or robbery.  Perhaps your safety is not actually their priority?

(Incidentally, while the post is outdated, the results are approximately mirrored for shooting rampages – fighting back at all is better, but fighting back effectively (i.e. with firearms) is best.)

is “gun control” a “health issue”?

A very few folks have been making a lot of noise recently about how “gun control” – and specifically firearm-related deaths – is a “health issue”.

Unfortunately, the analogy falls flat on its face straight out of the gate simply because we only have some, if any, control over the current leading causes of death in America, while firearms are completely under human control.  Firearms are not a genetic marker that indicates your brain is going to start destroying itself as you get older – they only fire when a human makes them.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of diseases/ailments.

But if we were to ignore the lacking logical basis for such an argument, do the numbers even come close to supporting it?

Predictably, not so much.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2,626,418 people died in 2014.  The ten leading causes for those deaths were:

  • Heart disease: 614,348
  • Cancer: 591,699
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 147,101
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 136,053
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 133,103
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 93,541
  • Diabetes: 76,488
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,227
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 48,146
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773

A keen-eyed observer will note that “firearms” occurred nowhere on that list.  However, an argument could be made that “accidents” and “suicides” both include some firearm-related deaths, so let us take a page from our own playbook – the square root of 2,262,418 is approximately 1621, and that is the x and y dimension of the following graphic at full size (click to enlarge):

AmericanDeaths

Firearm-related accidents – perhaps the most accurate analog to diseases – are represented by the smallest greenish square inside the slightly larger one, and only account for 586 of the total deaths according to the CDC’s WISQARS system.  Even if one were to focus exclusively on firearm-related suicides – since “suicide” as a whole does make the top 10 – those are only 21,334 out of the total 42,773 deaths in that category; almost exactly half.  Suicide is most certainly a mental health issue, but even if you were to wave a magic wand and disappear all firearms, countries that have already gone down that path show us that suicides will still find a way.  Perhaps, in those cases, time should be better spent determining why people suicide, rather than abridging millions of Americans’ rights in a vain attempt to control how people end their lives?

Regardless, as we already know, firearm-related fatality rates are already dropping across the board, including accidents, without doctors’ unnecessary involvement in the politics of the situation.  I would suggest that their time is better spent focusing on the other diseases and afflictions in which they are subject matter experts, rather than sticking their noses into topics they know very little about, especially since some of those diseases individually account for an order of magnitude more deaths than people misusing firearms.