Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The AR-15 Rifle and Firearms Terms for the People Who Think They Know All About Them and Don't!!

"AR" does NOT stand for "Assault" or "Automatic" Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle!


       The AR-15 is based on the 7.62 mm AR-10 designed by Eugene Stoner, Robert Fremont, and L. James Sullivan of the Fairchild Armalite corporation. The AR-15 was developed as a lighter, 5.56 mm version of the AR-10. The "AR" in all ArmaLite pattern firearms simply stands for "ArmaLite Rifle", and can be found on most of the company's firearms: AR-5, a .22 caliber rifle; the AR-7, another .22 caliber; the AR-17 shotgun; the AR-10 rifle; and the AR-24 pistol 1973 Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle with 'slab side' lower receiver (lacking raised boss around magazine release button) and original Colt 20-round box magazine.

       In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt. After a tour by Colt of the Far East, the first sale of AR-15s was made to Malaya on September 30, 1959, and Colt manufactured their first 300 AR-15s in December 1959. Colt marketed the AR-15 rifle to various military services around the world. After modifications (most notably the relocation of the charging handle from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver), the redesigned rifle was adopted by the United States military as the M16 rifle.
       In 1963, Colt started selling the semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle as the Colt AR-15 for civilian use and the term has been used to refer to semiautomatic-only versions of the rifle since then. Colt continued to use the AR-15 trademark for its semi-automatic variants (AR-15, AR-15A2) which were marketed to civilian and law-enforcement customers. The original AR-15 was a very lightweight weapon, weighing less than 6 pounds with empty magazine. Later heavy-barrel versions of the civilian AR-15 can weigh upwards of 8.5 lb.
Today, the AR-15 and its variations are manufactured by many companies and are popular among civilian shooters and law enforcement forces around the world due to their accuracy and modularity.
       The trademark "AR15" or "AR-15" is registered to Colt Industries, which maintains that the term should only be used to refer to their products. Other AR-15 manufacturers make AR-15 clones marketed under separate designations, although colloquially these are sometimes referred to by the term AR-15.
(From Wikipedia - I deleted links from this article to make the reading easier, you're welcome to go to the site if you are interested in researching the links.)

The AR has become the most popular rifle in the country for hunting, target and competitive shooting, and, yes, home defense!

Semi Automatic vs. Full Automatic
       Semi Automatic means the trigger must be pulled for each shot. With a full automatic, the trigger is pulled and held back and the gun continues to fire until the trigger is released, or the magazine is empty. The M16 and M4 military versions of the AR-15 are called "select fire", and are ONLY sold to the military. Civilian possession of these firearms has been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They can be purchased by a civilian, IF you apply to the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) to get a Class 3 license, and many hundreds of dollars. Good luck with that!

"Select fire" switch on an M-16
Notice on the switch, there are three settings. When set to "Semi", the gun is fired in semi auto mode, one shot per trigger pull, "burst" means when you pull the trigger three shots are fired. "Auto" is full automatic. Pull the trigger, hold it back, and the gun will continue to fire, until empty, or you release the trigger. However, once again, this switch is NOT on an AR-15, only the M-16 or M-4!

Aren't AR-15s very powerful firearms?

       Most AR's come in .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO calibers. Both of these cartridges are basically interchangeable. Just different designations, depending on whether you are talking military or civilian. .223 is the civilian version. Both cartridges can be purchased by civilians. The 5.56 military ones are NOT armor piercing or explosive! The .223 cartridge is at the very low end of "power" for high powered rifles. The .308 is a very common deer cartridge. In most states it is illegal to hunt deer with a .223 because wildlife biologists don't think it's powerful enough to humanely kill a deer most of the time. Take a look and let me know which one you would prefer being hit with?
The 7 cartridges on the left are varieties of the .223, and the one on the right is the .308 Winchester

"Clips" or "Magazines"
        I have seen many supposedly knowledgeable people, including politicians say we need to restrict "High Capacity " clips. Clips, as pictured below, are pieces of metal designed to hold cartridges in an organized manner. These were for use with semiautomatic firearms that had internal, non-detachable magazines. They were placed on the open magazine and the cartridges were pushed down into the magazine. This made for easier loading so cartridges wouldn't have to be loaded one at a time. Not a good thing, when you're in combat! These were used on a WWII vintage military firearm like the M1 Garand. To the best of my knowledge there are not many, if any modern firearms that still use "clips" to load their magazines in the firearm.
       Magazines are self contained, and detachable from the firearm, and can come in different capacities. The magazine is loaded outside of the firearm, and then inserted into it.                                                                                                     


"Assault" weapons?
        The three rifles pictured below (I have all three) are all semi automatic, and all can take a thirty round magazine. All three function exactly the same. Why is it that when we mention banning "Assault weapons" the AR-15 is always at the top of the list, and the other two are rarely if ever mentioned. They all operate the same, have the same capacity, BUT the AR-15 has a military appearance. Everything is based on appearance. That really accomplishes a lot doesn't it!

Remington Model 742 Woodsmaster
Ruger Mini-14

Don't ARs shoot 700 (pick a number) rounds per minute?
No, they don't! While some MILITARY automatic firearms, can fire at a RATE of 700 rounds a minute, they can't fire that many unless they are belt fed machine guns. An accomplished shooter can probably change out a magazine in about 2-3 seconds. So let's do some math. Last night I made believe I was shooting an AR and "pulled" the trigger as fast as I could. I got 40 "pulls" in 15 seconds) That equals 2.67 pulls per second. So that would give us 160 shots in a minute (if your finger doesn't get tired), but we have to start subtracting some time for changing out magazines. Using thirty round  magazines, one would empty in 11.25 seconds, so you would have to use all or part of 6 magazines, in a minute. Since it takes, let's use 2 seconds, to change them out, so we lose another 10 seconds in changing time (the sixth magazine is still in the gun). So that 10 seconds costs us 27 rounds, so the absolute best we could do would be about 133 rounds per minute, max. While that is still a lot of shooting, it does not take into account things like your finger getting tired, aiming, the gun possibly jamming, dropping a magazine while changing, someone throwing something at you, etc. The point I'm trying to make here is that the capacity of the AR is no where near some of the figures that anti guns activists continue to throw around!

Buying a gun (any gun)? Walk right in, do a little paperwork and off you go, right?
You CAN walk in to a gun store and buy a gun and walk out with in a short period of time if.......................? While gun laws vary from state to state, there are two things that are Federal law and apply to all legal sales of guns, nationwide.  In order to buy a gun legally, you must go to a FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder. Once you get there you are required to fill out Form 4473, where you swear you are not a felon, are a citizen, not a fugitive, do not use illegal drugs, have not been convicted of domestic abuse, etc. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison, in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS. However, prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased. Gun Control? Maybe we can start there! After filing out the Form, you're run through the NICS system (National Instant Check System), for a background check by the FBI. Normally, you get a result "proceed" or "deny" in a few minutes, but sometimes it takes a few days. If the check is not back within 3 days the sale can proceed. That is the law! This procedure applies to gun shows and Internet sales as well. If you buy a gun on the internet, the seller must ship the gun to a FFL dealer in your area, where you go, do Form 4473 and get your background check. At gun shows there are usually BATFE, agents crawling all over the show. We hear all the time about the "gun show" and "internet"
loopholes. They are not "loopholes", they are part of existing laws, but the media and anti gun politicians use the term to make people think that gun sellers and buyers are getting away with something!                                                                                                                                                  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Guns and Gun Control in America - a History (From my point of view)

      I have been wanting to do this post for quite a while now. It will be fairly long, but will review the history of the gun control movement, and how I believe we got to where we are today, from my personal point of view. I will attempt to use common sense and known facts. Something that seems to be totally missing today!
      We are going to start back about 1956, when I was 14 years old. Back then all my friends had BB guns, but my parents would not let me get one. I guess it was the "you'll shoot your eye out" mentality. Anyway, one day after school I went to a friend's house after school. This friend of mine, his younger brother, and father were big into hunting at the time. Mostly birds, rabbits, and squirrels, since deer were almost non-existent back then. Hunting was something I was interested in because another guy I knew used to take me hunting rabbits with him and let me use his .22. My friend, and his family had quite a few guns, and he had an old Mossberg bolt action .22 caliber rifle with a scope on it, that he wanted to sell. So, I decided on the spot that I wanted it, and was going to buy it, and did. Cost me $5. To put it bluntly, when I got home my parents were none too happy, but they agreed, that if I would be careful with it. I could keep it. Background check? The word didn't even exist back then.
      My Grandmother lived just down the road from us, and I spent hours in her backyard target shooting. I got very good with that gun, and never had any kind of accident with it. That would come later. Many pots of squirrel stew were made on my mother's stove. It IS very good!
       A couple of years later, 1958, I got a job working with a General Contractor for the summer, and decided I wanted to get a shotgun, so I could go bird hunting that fall. I saved my money, and when I had enough. I ordered my shotgun. How did I order it? I got out the Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog, opened it to the "gun" section (yes, they sold guns - lots of them - even had their own brand, J.C. Higgins), picked out the one I wanted (Remington pump action 16 gauge), filed out the order form, and then I had a problem. I had to send a check, since they wouldn't take cash, and credit cards didn't really exist back then. No problem with a 16 year old ordering a gun, no background check, but I wasn't old enough to have a checking account! So, I gave my mother the money, and she wrote out the check for me! I mailed the order, and about a week later, the Railway Express office called and said I had a package from Sears.  I went (I had just gotten my driver's license) and picked up my new shotgun! Boy, was I on top of the world. Went hunting many times that fall, mostly for ducks, and Ruffed Grouse.

         This picture is the inside front cover of the 1959 Woodbury High School yearbook. Yes, that is the Superintendent holding a double barrel shotgun on the Senior Class. How many yearbooks today would have a picture like that in them? I was in High School back then, and if we were going hunting after school with a friend, we brought our guns to school on the school bus, stored them in our locker, and took them home on the friend's school bus. Everyone obviously knew, and nobody thought a thing about it. Later, after I graduated, I went to college at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. My roommate and I both liked to hunt, so we brought our guns to school, and kept them in our dorm (actually a Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house) room closets. Once again, everyone knew and if we went hunting the "house mother" of our dorm, would wish us good luck as we went out the door. The dorm cook even volunteered to cook anything we got for us (as long as we cleaned it first)!
       That's what the "gun environment" was like back then. Nobody really cared if you had a gun. That was the mentality across the country. Nearly every home had a gun of some sort.
        On December 17, 1959, I was involved in an incident that has, and will be with me for my entire life. My female cousin called me and asked if she could come over because she needed help with her math homework. She was about 3 years younger than me. While we were in my bedroom doing her homework, she asked me if she could see my shotgun, I said "sure", and went and got it off the gun rack, I pointed it in her general direction and worked the action to make sure it was empty, and when I closed it, the gun went off. My finger never touched the trigger. Fortunately, the bird shot in the gun hit her on the outside of the right shoulder. It took out a hunk of flesh, but did no permanent or life threatening damage. She spent a few days in the hospital, and was released. Except for a scar on the shoulder, there was no permanent after effects. When I think of what could have happened! Wow! The police were called, they asked me some questions, determined that it was entirely accidental, and nothing further needed to be done. Today, I would have been charged with something, if only to show they were doing something about a shooting.The gun was checked, it functioned perfectly, and never malfunctioned again. Whatever happened to it that night remains a mystery to this day! So to this day, and since I became a handgun instructor, gun safety is numero uno on my list. I've been there and done that!
        November 22, 1963, JFK is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald! When it was found out that he had bought the rifle he used via mail order, the outcry was fierce, and the Congress promptly banned the mail order selling of guns. Think about that for a minute. You could no longer buy a gun through Sears, or anywhere else, but Oswald could have gone to any gun store, and bought the gun over the counter, no questions asked. So what did that law actually accomplish. Did it prevent people like Oswald from purchasing a gun? Not at all, but it did restrict the right of people with no evil intentions, from getting a gun by a simple method. Someone who might want a gun for self defense, and had trouble getting around, and would have trouble getting to a gun store, or the person whose work schedule would require him to take time off from work to go purchase a gun. This is the first example of restricting the rights of law abiding citizens, in an attempt to stop bad people from getting guns, and it obviously had no effect at all. The first example of "feel good" legislation!
       Fast forward to 1968, two more tragedies hit the country. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in April, and then Bobby Kennedy is shot and killed in June! The outcry was tremendous! We have to do something about the easy access to guns. Congress did it again. They passed the "Gun Control Act of 1968. This law required, among other things, that anyone who went to a gun store to buy a gun, had to fill out a Form 4473. This was a form that asked a bunch of questions about you. Were you a felon? Have you been using drugs? Are you subject to a restraining order for domestic abuse? Lying on this form carried a penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Now that should make a whole lot of bad guys sit up and take notice before they go try to buy a gun, right? Well, the problem arises when we find out how often those people are prosecuted. We're talking 1960's, 70's, 80's, and early 90's. This was before the NICS (National Instant Check System) was passed as part of the Brady bill in 1993. Of the refusals, which turn out to be lying on the form, very few are referred for prosecution, meaning the law is not doing it's job. In fact, Vice President Biden was quoted as saying “And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” So the government says they don't have the manpower to enforce existing gun laws, but people are pushing to pass more laws. Where will the manpower come for that? Once again the people who will obey the new laws are the law abiding citizens who will be further inconvenienced, while the criminals laugh, and go about their business.
        All the talk for the last 20 years or so, is about "Assault Rifles". I have never had anyone define that term to me. The so called Assault rifles (AR-15) are semi automatic, just like any other semi automatic rifle. A lot of people think "AR" stands for "Assault Rifle" It doesn't, it stands for "Armalite Rifle". The name of the company that first designed it in the late 50's.
        I have posted pictures of two rifles below. Which one is the most powerful or dangerous? Anti gun people will tell you the AR-15 is the most dangerous. Why? Because it has a military appearance. It looks like the M-16 or M-4 rifles that are designed for the military. Those are known as "select fire" meaning they can be switched from semi to full automatic. Semi automatic means you fire one shot for each pull of the trigger, and the gun reloads itself. So to fire a thirty round magazine, the trigger must be pulled thirty times. Full automatic means that you pull the trigger, and the gun will continue to fire until the trigger is released, or the magazine is empty. Full automatic rifles for civilian possession have been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1934. So today, when you hear people talk about getting full automatic assault rifles out of civilian hands, they either know nothing about them, or are flat out lying. Both pictured rifles are either .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO caliber (These rounds are interchangeable). Both are semi automatic. Both can take a 30 round magazine (and that is the proper term - they are not "clips"). So why is the AR-15 banned in Connecticut and some other states, while the Ruger mini - 14 is not? The answer is simple! People who are anti gun, and know nothing about guns are banning guns strictly on their appearance. Purely on cosmetics! That is outright stupidity! The AR-15 happens to be the most popular rifle in the country today.

Ruger Mini-14

So, we continue to pass Gun Control laws. Do we address the real problem? No, we don't! We do nothing about mental health. In fact, the same people who are pushing gun control are the same ones who managed, back in the 70's, to close most of the mental hospitals across the country, because they were "cruel". Some of them were, but instead of reforming them, they were closed, dumping all the patients onto the streets, or back with families who did not have the resources to care for them. Every gun law that has ever been passed has no effect on the criminal use use of firearms. Criminals by definition do not obey laws. The real problem is the lack of enforcement of laws already on the books. Someone steals a gun, buys one illegally, or gets one from a friend. They get caught, and what happens? They get a slap on the wrist, and 2 years probation. The local police, the ATF, the NRA and The Brady Campaign (both sides of the gun control debate) started a test program in Richmond, VA, in 1997, called "Project Exile". It consisted of advertising the program, and turning all gun crimes over to Federal Authorities and upon conviction the minimum prison term was five years in Federal prison. The results (from Wikipedia):

Within the first year (1997-1998) Project Exile resulted in:
  • 372 persons indicted for Federal gun violations.
  • 440 illegally possessed guns seized.
  • 300 persons arrested or held in State custody.
  • 222 arrestees (more than 74 percent) held without bond.
  • 247 persons convicted.
  • 196 persons sentenced to an average of 55 months of imprisonment.
During the first year of Project Exile (1998), homicides in Richmond declined 33%, for the lowest number since 1987, and armed robberies declined 30%. In 1999, homicides declined another 21%. By 2007, homicides in Richmond were down to 57 compared to 122 in the year before Project Exile. So here is an actual program, that took it to the criminals, instead of law abiding citizens, and it produced huge results. Maybe, if we took it across the country, we could do something about "gun violence", instead of always going after people who aren't the problem in the first place! The solution is there. Are the politicians ever going to get the message?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


A couple of weeks ago, I posted "Offended?? Well, TS!". I sent that to the Editor of The Waterbury Republican as a letter to the editor. It was published on July 18th. Apparently, I struck a nerve , because by noon on the 19th, I had received 12 phone calls praising the letter, the 12th being from a guy from Waterbury who runs a local cable TV show. He invited me on the show and here is the video of my appearance. 

 Jon's TV appearance

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Offended?? Well, TS!

       I have ordered a Confederate flag! When it arrives this coming week, it's going on my flag pole out front along with my Gadsden flag and upside down American flag. The upside down American flag is a signal of distress, and this country is in a great deal of stress with what's going on today! It will remain upside down until our government gets back to the Constitution, and how this country was founded. The Confederate flag is a part of our history, and is NOT a symbol of racism or hate. I do not have a racist bone in my body, never have, and never will!
       I will not be a party to the erasure of American history! That is what is going on. You can erase history, by removing it from textbooks, or you can rewrite it by writing an false narrative of what actually occurred, but history CANNOT be changed. History must always be looked at through the eyes of what was happening in society at the time that history occurred. Did we do some horrible things throughout our history? Of course we did, but is ignoring it, or saying something else happened, going to change it? What we know today, cannot be used to judge what happened back then. You must look at it from the viewpoint of the time it occurred.
         I have had it up to here with Political Correctness. You can't open your mouth anymore without fear of offending someone. That is exactly what these Leftist/Progressive/Communists want. They want people to be afraid to say anything. Basically the silencing of free speech! I will not be a party to that. I will speak my mind, and if someone gets offended? Deal with it! Political Correctness offends me! Does that count for anything? No, it doesn't, because I'm on the wrong side of the argument!
        When the Constitution was being debated, one agreement that led to the adoption of it, was that slaves in the southern states would be counted as 3/5 of a person for representative purposes. Was this right? Of course not, looking at it through today's eyes, but where would our "country" be today if that had not occurred. No agreement may have been reached, and I have no idea what we would look like today, but I will guarantee that the leftists would be complaining about something they view as wrong, and must be changed. 
         These people got what they wanted with the Supreme Court case on same sex marriage. The Confederate flag has been successfully demonized. Are they happy? Not a chance! There are other things that they want to do that they haven't even thought up yet! The Memphis, TN City Council voted unanimously to dig up a Confederate general and his wife, and a monument in his honor and remove them from a public park, a talking head at CNN suggested that the Jefferson Memorial should be taken down or moved. It has been suggested that the Washington Monument should be taken down, and even the name of Washington, D.C. should be changed. Why? Because Jefferson and Washington owned slaves. Well, back then, while some people were opposed to it, it was considered OK to own slaves. If we do all those things suggested, today, how exactly would that benefit Jefferson's and Washington's slaves. Jefferson and Washington did a lot more FOR this country, than owning a few slaves was bad for it.
        The night of the same sex Supreme Court decision, the White House was bathed in Rainbow colors. I wonder why it was not bathed in Red, White, and Blue on the Fourth of July, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That answer is simple. The administration in Washington today hates this country, and is trying to do everything it possibly can to destroy it, through executive decrees, a foreign policy that reeks of cowardice, and a total disregard for the "rule of law".


Monday, September 30, 2013

Something to think about.

 Let's assume that you can buy "food" insurance. Food (Healthcare) is as necessary to living as health care. You would pay a premium each month, go to the supermarket (doctor) anytime, buy anything you want, and after paying a copay at the register, you're on your way. Now to do this, insurance companies would have to be involved and probably the government. Right now, supermarkets (but not doctors) compete with each other (do you even ask the doctor how much the charge is for that procedure). To stay in business, supermarkets have to provide the best product for the least cost. Where do you think food prices would go if you didn't care how much they cost? Doctors, hospitals, etc. don't have to care about prices, because they are told by the government what they must cover, and how much they can charge (Medicare and Medicaid), so they can't compete with each other. The way to truly get health care costs under control is to get the Federal and State governments out of it entirely. Give people a medical savings account (a certain amount of money - from the government as a tax credit or direct payment), no strings attached, which can be rolled over from year to year. Amount to be determined. From this account people can pay the doctor, hospital, etc. directly, or they can buy coverage from an insurance company on their own, and decide for themselves what coverage they want. Does a 70 year old woman, really need to have birth control coverage, or the 25 year old man prostate coverage. In other words, allow doctors, hospitals, medical labs, insurance companies, etc. to compete in the FREE market, and costs will plummet, and quality will rise, just like supermarkets, or they won't be in business very long. Just think how much money those entities will save just in bureaucratic costs of not having to deal with the government or the insurance companies (as much) anymore? The free market is the way to go. It works every time it's tried.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What to do? Here's what you do!!

To all you "moderate" Republicans out there (AKA RINOs), who think the way to win elections is to be Democrat "lite". Yeah, you, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner, John McKinney, Larry Cafero, et al, The ones who don't support the Second Amendment, vote to increase taxes, vote for more government spending, and just go along to get along, I suggest you check this link out. It shows what happens when you run on conservative principles and stick to them. Exactly what Reagan did in 1980, and he won a landslide, and was reelected four years later by an even bigger landslide. Just look "down under"!