Tag Archives | Firearms
In the words of Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” His NDAA-ship, The Predator King, has issued 23 Executive Actions aimed at firearm control. Funny how quick the presidential pen can move when it wants to: Marijuana is still illegal, gay marriage still a federal no-no, and the world continues to burn with a thousand US-connected brushfire wars, bit the pen doesn’t move an inch until domestic firearm control wanders into its line of sight.
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President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed background checks on all gun sales and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as part of a package of steps to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school massacre last month.
With relatives of some of the 20 children killed in the Connecticut rampage looking on, Obama signed 23 executive actions that don’t require congressional approval that he said would strengthen background checks and expand safety programs in schools.
It turns out that a school massacre is better than any advertising that money can buy. The Hartford Courant reports:
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Some gun retailers this week are reporting a spike in store traffic, in excess of the usual holiday rush, in the aftermath of the Newtown murders. Since Friday’s shooting, customers have crammed parking lots and thinned out inventories.
Doug Odishoo, owner of Delta Arsenal in Meriden, said, “As soon as this shooting happened on Friday, I almost sold out of everything. Saturday I couldn’t keep up with it.” He said people walked into his shop, looking at the AR-style guns and saying, “I better get one before I can’t.”
Resurrected talks of gun control, some shop owners said, are pumping up the market for rifles, especially AR, or assault rifles, like the Bushmaster’s civilian version of the military’s AR-15 that Adam Lanza used on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In Worcester, Mass., at Pullman Arms, co-owner Alicia Merritt called the jump in business “dramatic.” She said she did $30,000 in business on Monday — up from a usual Monday of about $2,000.
Alexander Reed Kelly writes at Truthdig:
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A new dimension is emerging in the battle between gun enthusiasts and their less-thrilled opponents. A 3-D printer, which is exactly what it sounds like, has been used to make parts for a firearm. The composite gun works, and the plans are available freely online.
Smithsonian reports that a person with the username HaveBlue posted pictures of the parts he or she printed on a forum for gun aficionados. “It’s had over 200 rounds of .22 through it so far and runs great! To the best of my knowledge, this is the world’s first 3D printed firearm to actually be tested,” HaveBlue wrote. He or she was proud to have survived the testing, saying: “No, it did not blow up into a bazillion tiny plastic shards and maim me for life – I am sorry to have disappointed those of you who foretold doom and gloom.”
Stratsys, the company that manufactures the printer that was used to make the gun is anxious over the development.
Gotta start ’em young. Via Yahoo! News:
A new gun range opening this summer in Lewisville, Texas, will have two rooms available for hosting children’s birthday parties. Owner David Prince tells WFAA that the Eagle Gun Range will be available for children as young as eight years old.
“The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table,” Prince said. “They’re not gonna be left unattended. Parents are gonna be one-on-one, or if there’s not enough parents we’ll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely.”
The Christian Science Monitor has a great little article about President Obama’s lackluster attempts to actually control the proliferation of guns in the United States. As a matter of fact, Obama has quietly signed legislature expanding some gun rights during his tenure, including the right to carry firearms on Amtrack trains.
Since becoming president, Obama has been walking a fine line on guns. Even as he calls for better enforcement of existing laws, and mourns the victims of gun violence, he has also expanded gun rights. In 2009, for example, he signed legislation that allows the carrying of concealed weapons in national parks and another bill that allows people to carry guns in their checked bags on Amtrak trains.
Read more at the Christian Science Monitor.
An amateur gunsmith known only as “HaveBlue” has earned the dubious distinction of ushering in the age of print-on-demand weapons. With only $30 in plastic and a commercially available 3-D printer HaveBlue succeeded in creating a fully functional assault rifle.
While there are still some details to sort out, it’s pretty clear that making weapons at home using 3-D printers from commonly available materials is going to become much more commonplace in the near future. In fact, as 3-D printing technology matures, materials feedstock improves, and designs for weapons proliferate, we might soon see the day when nearly everyone will be able to print the weapons of their choice in the numbers they desire, all within the privacy of their own homes.
Read more at PopSci.
Jill Lepore details the incredible number of guns in America, for the New Yorker:
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…There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American…
The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more. According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three.
Want to travel through the country with your firearms, but can’t get through airport security? No worries, take the train! Amtrak will soon allow passengers to transport their firearms, unloaded and stored away. The Sacramento Bee reports:
Reversing a near decadelong ban, Amtrak will allow passengers to bring guns on most trains starting next month, including several that stop in Sacramento.
The change, pushed by gun rights advocates and ordered by Congress, aligns Amtrak’s firearms policy with air travel rules that allow unloaded guns to be stored in locked baggage holds.
Federal Homeland Security officials on Monday said they are OK with guns being on trains as long as security protocols are enforced.
“It’s deemed safe and appropriate,” federal Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said. “If people follow the rules, it’s pretty simple.”
[Continues at The Sacramento Bee]