Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Ruminations on guns
Does power grow from the barrel of a gun? Most assuredly so. But that is only part of the requirement.
Use of a gun in a tactical manner requires intelligence. As in, "Who needs killin' and where is they?". If you don't know who you're supposed to be shooting at, the gun is useless. That is why dictatorships based upon rule of gun have large secret police agencies spying on people. Their goal is to find those who "need killin'" before those who "need killin'" can get together and kill them, while themselves remaining anonymous and hidden and thus immune from recourse.
Use of a gun in a tactical manner also requires ruthlessness. Let's face it, most people don't like violence, and the thought of killing another human being sickens them. The biggest problem that firearms instructors have in self-defense firearms courses is convincing people that the job of a gun is to kill people, and thus you must aim for the center of mass, not for a leg or shoulder shot. That is why rule of gun inevitably results in survival of the most ruthless -- those with the fewest moral compunctions about killing their fellow human beings. A gun is no use if the person holding the gun has difficulties pulling the trigger.
Use of a gun in large-scale operations requires both intelligence and concentration. If your people with guns are scattered as individuals all over the place, then a much smaller force can defeat your people in detail -- i.e., four people can take out one two-person household, then move on to take out the next two-person household, etc., allowing a relatively small force to achieve tactical victory.
Concentration requires logistics. One of the great advantages of the State vs. armed individuals is that the State can concentrate its forces due to superior logistics, while armed individuals must remain fairly scattered in order to persue their daily employment. This is primarily because the State can obtain the resources it needs to maintain its armed soldiers and policemen via force of arms -- i.e., they simply seize the resources they need at gunpoint. The notion of a bakery refusing to sell their bread to an oppressive government is ludicrous -- said oppressive government would simply seize whatever bread they need at gunpoint.
All of this combines to state that Libertopia(tm), the Libertarian utopia where everybody has a gun and the State has withered away, would be an abysmal failure. We already have proof of that, in modern-day Somalia and Afghanistan and Iraq. These failed states are places where rule of gun, not rule of law, is what's real on the streets, leaving those who are most ruthless, most willing to kill, as the ones who rule.
And what is true in Iraq, what is true in Afghanistan, what is true in Somalia, is true here in the United States too. We have a large well-armed State that is very much in a seige mentality and which is run by ruthless people who will stop at nothing, including murder if necessary, in order to retain their power. This State is not going to be overthrown by guns, period. The State has already accumulated too many resources, already attracted too many ruthless people, for any other accumulation of power to arise to threaten it in any way. Anybody who says that a well-armed populance could overthrow the State here in America is a deranged loon. The State simply has too many advantages in terms of intelligence, concentration of forces, and sheer viciousness to be overthrown by force.
So what's the answer? I wish I knew. In the meantime, I have a question: What do you consider to be the best CCW pocket pistol? The Kahr PM9 or the Rohrbaugh R9? At the moment my opinion is the PM9, because the slightly longer grip makes it more controllable while still not making it unduly large. The R9 does shave a tiny bit off the length and height, though, and it's a beautiful weapon...
- Badtux the Well-armed Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 3/28/2006 08:12:00 PM
Badtux, you're not on my list of mens that need killin', I swear. :)
# posted by Missouri Mule : 29/3/06 4:59 AM
Have you see this? Glock Talk - Why Wait For A Rohrbaugh When there PM9s Available
The one thing that we do have gone for us, is that half of our military actually thinks those ruthless guys in power are full of it.
Here is another fine weapon although not as small as a pocket pistol
Heckler & Koch Mark 23 Owners Guild
# posted by Ole Blue The Heretic : 29/3/06 8:16 AM
The nice thing about the Internet, Blue, is that it makes research easy. Too easy. It's easy to drown in information. That thread that you posted a link to is a good example. What we get out of it is that the Rohrbaugh is as small as a .380 K-Tel P-3AT(Kel-Tec), the PM9 is slightly bigger, but the PM9 is easier to shoot straight and takes a wider variety of ammo. If we're talking about a backup gun for when the main service weapon is not available for whatever reason, and said gun is in an ankle holster, the PM9 will probably work okay (and if the main service weapon is a Glock 17, a 9MM backup weapon is preferable to maintain ammo commonality). Or if jogging in a high-crime area, the PM9 will fit fine in a fanny pack. But if the person packing is a rather petite female, well, those better be some loose-legged pants... the bell-bottoms fad of a few years back means that the thrift shops are packed with discarded bell bottoms, so I guess said petite female will just have to be unfashionable :).
As for our military, Roman emperors tried to keep their military as far away from Rome as possible. That is why Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon was so important -- for the first time the military was used in Rome to achieve regime change, a fact which both created and destroyed the Roman Empire in the end. But King George III is keeping our military as far away from the New Rome as possible, too. Most of the guys who know which end of a pointy stick goes "Bang!" are in Iraq or Afghanistan. With one-year rotations (and only 6 months inbetween), 2/3rds of our infantry troops (the guys who know how to kill people) are overseas, along with virtually all of our war-fighting equipment (even M-16's and ammo for them are in short supply on American soil). King George III definitely knows his Roman history, or at least Vice President Halliburton does. Those legions are on the opposite side of a mighty big Rubicon...
- Badtux the Weapons Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 29/3/06 9:16 AM
Interesting analysis of the true reason for the Iraq War, BadTux: keeping at a distance from the White House those who know which end of a gun to point.
That suggests more wars to come to make sure, say, the National Guard isn't around when their cities disappear on account of presidential cronyism and negligent homicide. They might react rashly.
# posted by Joyful Alternative : 1/4/06 6:25 AM
Just a suggestion....Kahr Arms is owned by Rev. Sung Yung Moon...alontg with Auto Ordinance/Thompson. If you decide on the Kahr (A fine weapon outside of the company ties) you may want to look for a used example. But, that is just a personal thing.
# posted by : 1/4/06 10:38 AM
I actually have no use or need for a Kahr, so the question of new vs. used is somewhat irrelevant for me. I was doing research. If I were to buy a handgun, I'd probably go with a Glock, since concealability is not an issue for me (I live in a county that issues CCW permits only to government officials and people who have more than $100,000,000 in the bank). In my opinion, the fundamental Glock design is the most robust autopistol since the original Colt 1911.
The other alternative would be a good quality revolver, which traditionally has been much more robust and easier to use than an autopistol design. A .357 Magnum will shoot both .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads, and has more stopping power than you'd expect even with the .38 Special round or reduced-blast .357 load to bring recoil down to managable levels (an unjacketed soft lead bullet fired from a revolver typically will impart more of its energy onto a target than a jacketed bullet fired from an equivalent autopistol -- autopistol rounds must typically be jacketed because otherwise they will not feed properly from the magazine).
However, the Glock design is as robust and easy-to-use as a revolver design and gives you a much wider choice of calibers and rounds (albeit not in the same gun as with the .357!), and is more compact to boot as well as giving you a larger magazine capacity (not particularly important for self-defense purposes since if you don't put the perp down within three shots he's not going down, but for cops it's important), not to mention that an autopistol typically has less kick than a similarly-powered revolver (due to the extractor mechanism taking up some of the kick), while a Glock is also fairly light and easy to hold on target compared to the relatively heavy revolver, so the Glock edges out the .357 by a hair, especially since I can't handle the full .357 load so the full potential of the weapon isn't usable by me. Still, you can't go wrong either way if looking for a good self-defense weapon.
- Badtux the Gun Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 1/4/06 12:12 PM
Glock also has an interestingcaretridge/gyn combo in a chambering known as .45 GAP. It allows a .45ACP powered cartridge to be fired from a mid-size (9mm) frame by using a shortened case loaded to a higher chamber pressure. I am a big fan of this idea since I personally like big bore chamberings. I am personally waiting for more companies to offer this chambering (as of last year anyway only Glock and Springfield offered it) since I, personally, do not like the lack of a manual safety on the glock. If Barretta offered it in a 92 style pistol or CZ had it in a CZ-75 style frame, either company would have a new customer. Actually, CZ would have a repeat customer since I currently own a surplus CZ-52 (.30 tokarev) that I love.
# posted by : 2/4/06 7:31 AM
Wow...that was alot of personally's in the last post. chalk it up to just digesting a big Sunday breakfast.
# posted by : 2/4/06 7:33 AM
For a safety on the Glock, there is a little plastic trigger guard thingy that is made for the Glock, that fits between the trigger and the frame. Since the first half of the trigger's travel is the "safety" on a Glock, this means the pistol is effectively safed while this guard is in. And it can be popped out with the tip of a finger when you need to fire the weapon.
My problem with a traditional safety is that it's too easy to leave the safety in the wrong position, such that when you need to fire the weapon, you can't, and when you don't want to fire the weapon, the safety is off. My 12 gauge shotgun has a safety, and half the time when I go out to target-shoot, I pull the trigger on the first shot and nothing happens because I forgot to flip the freakin' safety.
A revolver is point and shoot. A Glock is point and shoot. When you need a weapon for self defense, that's what you want. If you forget to flip the safety in the field with a hunting weapon, you miss a duck or a clay birdie. If you forget to flip the safety when some goon is coming at you with a knife (easy enough to do in a panic situation), you're dead. That's why, if you're going to buy a weapon, I suggest a double-action weapon such as a Glock or a revolver. If you're going to carry concealed, the trigger guard block thingy for the Glock is easy to clear while clearing the weapon from its holster, and prevents some object from getting into the trigger guard and firing off a round (and there's no question whether the gun is safed or not -- block in = safed, block out = not). That, in my opinion, is all the safety that a self-defense handgun needs.
-Badtux the Well-Armed Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 2/4/06 10:51 AM
Ah...I had not seen that product before. It sounds akin to the system on the Styer pistols that has a small tab drop down in front of the trigger, and when your finger goes into battery, the tab is pushed back into the frame. As an aside, the styer handguns are some of the more under appreciated pistols on the market. The sights consist of a lage triangle fron with a trapezoidal shaped rear. Lines up really fast and is easy to keep from holding over too much. Another great instant battery system was the HK P9 series with the squeeze cocker. A small town cop (only one in the town actually) used one as a duty pistol. Anyhow, I don't really need to carry for self defense, so my defensive needs are a bit different. Actually, for my needs the best thing I can get would be a Webly Mark V and get some reloading freinds to make me up some .455 cartridges. a 265 grain bullet traveling at only (max) 650 fps is kinda perfect forhome defense...espescially since with a relatively mild load you would have no worried of overpenetration...espescially with soft lead bullets. On the modern front the new weapon from FN is pretty interesting. I wonder how long it will be available on the market once the *ahem* abilities of the round are more widely known.
# posted by : 2/4/06 7:18 PM
You brought up in your comments one important item that you skimmed over in your post, namely that a firearm is a ranged weapon.
My take: 9mm are good for scaring people; .357 goes through walls, not good for the city; snubnose .38 is the way to go. And why the hell do you want 5 boxes of interchangeable ammo? Get the right ones.
The 50-cal Desert Eagle is the ultimate in self-defense, but it has a way of jamming after a while. Keep the screws tight. Shoulder holster = ease of access.
# posted by Progressive Traditionalist : 2/4/06 7:31 PM
Interestingly, a .38 Special has about the same amount of stopping power as a 9mm, if loaded with the correct rounds. It seems that soft-nosed hollow-point lead bullets fired from a revolver expand better than the jacketed 9mm rounds, which tend to either overpenetrate or fail to expand because of the jacket needed in order for them to feed properly in an autopistol. So yes, a compact .38 revolver is not a bad self defense weapon even in today's high-tech day and age. Just load it with a good-quality hollow-point high-pressure round (and make sure you have a good quality revolver that'll handle a high-pressure round -- no Saturday Night Specials here, thank you!). A compact .38 frame is significantly lighter than the typical .357 frame, albeit not as light as the new plastic-framed autopistols. Do be aware that, compared to a Glock, you have twice the trigger pull (average revolver has about a 10 pound pull to cock the hammer then release it in double-action mode, Glock has a 5 pound pull), so it's a little harder to shoot accurately with a double-action revolver. However, given the ranges at which most home defense scenarios take place, that isn't a big deal.
A revolver is not, however, a good choice as a concealed weapon, due to the size of the cylinder which gives it a distinctive thickness and heft, even on revolvers with a snagless hammer intended to make them useable concealed. A slimline autopistol with similar stopping power is much more compact.
- Badtux the Well-Armed Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 2/4/06 7:46 PM
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