Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Of Guns and Cosmetics

Mary Rosh Knows Cosmetics
In the never-ending string of gunloon myths and fables, a favorite is, under the assault weapon ban, certain guns were banned because of "cosmetic" features.

Gunloons well-versed in firearms know this isn't true; other gunloons are simply ignorant.  A common thread is to claim lethality is what makes an assault weapon.  Thus, according to gunloons, features that don't directly contribute to lethality are merely "cosmetic."

It's a false premise.

If pure lethality were what makes a combat firearm militarily effective, then we'd equip troops with a TAC-50.  But we don't.  Why is in Part II.


  1. Will part II tell something more substantive than "it's a gunloon myth"? We await.

  2. I see that myth a lot in comments at New Trajectory. They know very well the difference between assault rifles and hunting rifles, and the reasons why those "cosmetic differences" increase the lethality of those weapons, but love to pretend it isn't so. No respectable hunter would go in the woods with one of these, or have a need to fire so many rounds at a time.


  3. Through this discussion, (especially over on Baldr's Blog), I've realized that it is NOT purely cosmetic - these features that are used to define an "assault weapon" DO have function.

    However, if the feature that defines it as an "assault weapon" doesn't make it more lethal, and the FUNCTION of the firearm is absolutely identical to a NON-"assault weapon," what's the logic behind banning it? Can someone please explain how an "assault weapon" should be banned because of it's non-lethal features?

    Folding stocks, barrel shrouds, pistol grips and flash suppressors don't make a firearm any more dangerous than racing stripes on a car make it faster.


  4. Hear is a AWB compliant AR-15:

    Here is the same brand AR-15 that was banned by the AWB:

    Look at the two and tell me what the difference is other than cosmetics.

  5. Some guy once said it was better to jeep your yap shut and let people think you were an idiot rather than open it and prove it. This is a primo example.

    Wearing a Gretzky jersey does not me play like him.

    Putting fat tires on a Neon does not make it a Cup Car.

    Painting a gun black and adding a bayonet mount does not make it a machine gun.

  6. Orygunner, those cosmetic changes DO make them more lethal.

    Folding stocks make them easier to conceal and easier to fire close-in.

    Barrel shrouds cool the barrel, allowing it to fire more bullets without overheating and make it possible to hold the barrel to control fire without burning your hand.

    Pistol grips facilitates them to be fired with one hand or from the hip.

    Flash suppressors allow them to be fired at night with less chance of being located.

  7. Baldr: “Folding stocks make them easier to conceal and easier to fire close-in.”

    Only relevant once you’ve banned all handguns. Handguns are actually concealable- an AK with a stock folded not so much. It will look pretty obvious sticking out of your pants. If you have a trench coat, then it doesn’t really matter if the stock is folded. If it is folding stocks you are concerned with, are you OK with telescopic stock (adjusts several inches to adjust to different arm lengths).

    Follow up question: name one instance where a criminal was able to conceal a rifle because the stock was folded.

    Baldr: “Barrel shrouds cool the barrel, allowing it to fire more bullets without overheating and make it possible to hold the barrel to control fire without burning your hand.”

    Cooling the barrel and protecting hands are two separate functions that run counter to each other. The former whisks heat from the barrel by conducting the heat into itself, the later is plastic or wood and acts to keep it cool to the touch but restricts airflow around the barrel keeping it hotter longer. When I bench fire my WWII bolt action rifle the barrel gets hot to the touch. And yes it has a wooden barrel shroud (as almost every single rifle has a place to hold it where you don’t have to touch a hot barrel). Also, how do you regulate gloves once you’ve regulated barrel shrouds?

    Follow up question: name one instance where police say “damn, if only that guy’s hands were burning we’d able to stop him!”, or any other instance where a barrel shroud was a factor.

    Baldr: “Pistol grips facilitates them to be fired with one hand…”

    What about not aiming is more lethal than aiming? Have you ever shot a rifle with one hand? Are criminals actually shooting these with one hand? If so, good. Let’s encourage them to shoot their pistols sideways too.

    Baldr: “…or from the hip.”

    It is actually easier to hold the stock from above and access the trigger on a traditional rifle stock than having to reach underneath it for the pistol grip. I never understood this argument.

    Follow up question: would you rather have someone shooting a rifle at you with one hand/from the hip, or actually take aim from the shoulder?

    Baldr: “Flash suppressors allow them to be fired at night with less chance of being located.”

    Maybe from miles away. It does make a difference when troops scout a hillside with nightvison goggles looking for where a remote gunfight is taking place. Other than that, it turns the flash from a ball into an “X”, and yes you can see it.

    Follow up question: name one instance where a civilian shooter was able to be concealed because of a flash suppressor at night.

    Other questions: what does any of this have to do with a Tec-9 which you also said is an “assault weapon” only designed to kill a large amount of people in a short amount of time?

    Finally, if pistol grips and concealment are your big problem, why o’ why aren’t you trying to ban PISTOLS?

  8. So Baldr,

    Like the two photos of the banned and not banned AR15 I posted, you are saying that one is an assault rifle and the other is not because of these extra lethal features.

    The only differences between the banned and not banned AR15 is:
    The banned one has a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug. The one not covered by the ban does not have a flash suppressor or a bayonet lug. That is it. They both have pistol grips, they both have barrel shrouds or as dipshit McCarthy says "shoulder things that go up". So are you going to tell me with a straight face that the differences between those two rifles, a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug, make the difference in one being an assault rifle and banned by the AWB and the other that was legally manufactured and sold while the ban was in place?

  9. @TS, your response to Baldr covered everything I was going to suggest, bravo.

    I'll summarize, though...

    @Baldr, BS.

  10. I think you guys better start cooperating a bit more. If you keep arguing that the so-called assault weapons are just like the rest of 'em, when the make up of the Supreme Court changes, you know when ole Clarence resigns, you might just get them all banned.

    I advise you in the strongest terms to start helping the gun control folks identify the ones that should be banned, in the hope that they don't ban them all.

    That's my best advice, for what it's worth.

  11. No Mike, I would play those games. I’ll just keep it honest. If you want to ban guns for being more lethal, you should ban every semi-automatic centerfired firearm that accepts a detachable magazine. That should be the “assault weapon” definition.

  12. @TS, I absolutely agree. They should re-define "assault weapon" to mean exactly that. After all, there's a lot of "rapid firing" and "high powered" firearms that no AWB even touches.

    While you're at it, why don't you ban all fully-automatic firearms as well?

    I'm sure all this must be "reasonable," right?

    After all, it's for the children.


  13. PS I meant to say "I won't play those games".