Hysteria from the Anti-Second Amendment Zealots

I kid you not, Jesse Jackson says guns are a threat to national security; they can shoot down planes …

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what we are dealing with from the left when it comes to the debate on guns. People like Jesse Jackson show such utter ignorance on the subject matter of firearms that they might as well put the propeller hat on and starting flipping their lip.

When was the last time you heard of a legal gun owner shooting down an aircraft with a handgun or rifle? It’s so patently absurd that you can hardly believe anyone would have the nerve to utter such nonsense. But nonsense is the left’s bread and butter; nonsense and preposterous emotional appeals sell well with with their ill-informed, reflexively-trained political base.

Of course, Jackson referred to “assault weapons,” not guns, which is what the left calls all guns now. So-called “assault weapons” are really a blanket term used by the left—unfortunately, by many on the right too—to describe military-grade, service-issue, select-fire (semi-auto/full-auto) weapons that are already considered Class 3 “restricted” weapons and cannot be purchased by civilians without a proper Federal Firearms License (FFL).

Not only are many on the left completely ignorant on the technical aspects and capabilities of various firearms, they are completely clueless about the most important aspect regarding firearms: gun discipline and safety. For example:

(Image Credit: Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Last Thursday, Virginia state lawmaker Joe Morrissey brandished a civilian model AK-47 rifle on the floor of the state House of Delegates. Of course, Morrissey described the rifle as an “assault rifle,” which, once again, it is not. It is a civilian model, semi-automatic version of the select-fire (semi-auto/full-auto) version of the AK-47 Kalishnikov “assault rifle.” This was just a stunt for emotional impact alone: the gun looks scary, so let’s ban it.

So let’s review the basics of gun safety, shall we?

Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. NEVER, EVER put your finger on the trigger until you have the target in your sights. This is called “trigger finger discipline.” Of course, you must be certain of your target. Additionally, never let the muzzle (end of barrel) cover anything that you’re not willing to destroy, even if the gun is unloaded.

Now, see where our Virginia anti-gun zealot’s thumb is? It’s right on the trigger. Remember? Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. Obviously, he has no real knowledge in how to properly handle firearms. Guns don’t kill, people do—sometimes, by people improperly handling a firearm.

Now, let’s return to Jesse Jackson’s ridiculous assertion that guns pose a national security threat because they can shoot down airplanes. I suppose a slow enough aircraft, such as some sort of crop-duster or single-engine Cessna, flying at very low altitude could theoretically be shot down by a semi-automatic rifle. But it wouldn’t be easy. Of course, the possibility of shooting down a jet airliner with a rifle would be an excellent exercise in futility. I would suspect helicopters are more susceptible to small arms fire. But are we hearing about a lot of helicopters being shot down these days by legal gun owners? It this a problem all of a sudden?

I’ve always been interested in armored vehicles and weapons since I was a kid. Jackson’s over-the-top paranoia regarding guns shooting down planes got me to thinking about the challenges many armies have had in developing effective anti-aircraft weapon systems.

Cris Parsons, general manager, shows a Browning M-2 twin .50-caliber machine gun at Houston Armory in Stafford. It buys, sells and manufactures weapons permitted and strictly controlled by the U.S. government. (Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / © 2013 Houston Chronicle)

For example, the photo above is a set of M-2 .50-caliber machine guns that were dedicated to the anti-aircraft role around the time of WWII. Typically, a standard .50-caliber MG (affectionately called “ma deuce”) machine gun will fire at rate of around 500-600 rounds-per-minute. But a dedicated .50-cal. AA machine gun fires at around 1,200-1,500 rounds-per-minute. Even with twin large-caliber machine guns with an extremely high-rate of fire, it is very difficult to shoot down an aircraft. Not only must the gunner be able to bring the weapon to bear on the target quickly,  the gunner must also lead the target just right in order to score hits on a fast-moving airplane. And in the day of jet aircraft, you’re just wasting good ammo.

Maybe we should ban guns … for liberals only!

About Brent Parrish

Author, blogger, editor, researcher, graphic artist, software engineer, carpenter, woodworker, guitar shredder and a strict constitutionalist. Member of the Watcher's Council and the Qatar Awareness Campaign. I believe in individual rights, limited government, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense. ONE WORD: FREEDOM!
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