I was struck by the comment from Mikeb30200 yesterday. He said, The “gun culture” wasn’t the problem it is today until quite recently. Mike operates an anti-gun blog and is visited regularly by gunnutz who harass and challenge his beliefs.
Mike is correct: the gun culture was not the problem it is today. And the reason for that is simple: the increased firepower of guns. The AR-15 [Bushmaster] that is so common in the United States today [and the choice of mass-murderers] is a machine gun!
Back in the 40’s and 50’s, the gun used by the Lone Ranger [radio] and later on those black and white TV’s was a single shot, small caliber, low-capacity magazine weapon. The heroes of the TV westerns used 6-shooters. The audience, during some tense situations, counted the bullets because we knew that ‘6’ was the magic number. Recall that the Rifleman even needed to cock his rifle between shots.
As we examine the weapons used in Sandy Hook and other recent massacre sites, the 6-shooter is on par with the Revolutionary War musket. Even the guns used at the beginning of the Vietnam War were not as sophisticated as the AR-15 used by Adam Lanza [and James Holmes in Aurora]. The website Military Factory says this about submachine guns:
“The submachine gun was born from the desire of war planners to provide the basic infantryman with the voluminous firepower of a machine gun with the portability of a pistol.”
The question arises: why is a weapon like that, issued to U.S. Military personnel, permitted on the streets of America? It is designed to kill ‘the enemy’ in war time, many of ‘the enemy’ at one blast. Voluminous firepower!
In my youth [WWII baby] my friends and I found sticks lying around and used them as pretend machine guns, voicing the ‘Att! Att! Att!’ sound as we pointed them at the ‘Japs and the Krauts.’ We were pretending to be the soldiers we saw in the movie Newsreel clips shown in theaters after the war and during the Korean War.
Today, one doesn’t need to pretend! Luckily those weapons weren’t available back then, because there were one or two awfully weird kids in my neighborhood.
As the title of this thread suggests, what if the press and the Media referred to the AR-15 as a ‘machine gun?’ The word, Bushmaster, means nothing and is rather benign. So is AR-15 or ‘semiautomatic rifle.’ Why not MACHINE GUN! We’re familiar with the Thompson [Tommy Gun] from gangster movies depicting the use of the weapon during Prohibition. Films like Scarface and G Men showed us the terrible firepower of the machine gun as both the FBI and the gangsters mowed down dozens of people at a time.
Today we never hear the word, machine gun. It is too stark of a term and it brings up memories of those films. No doubt the NRA has a lot to do with the purification of the term, the erradication of the term. Do owners of the AR-15 refer to them as a machine gun? “Want to see my machine gun?” Or, “My husband owns a machine gun.”
What’s in a name? So the question arises: Does your neighbor own a machine gun? And if he does, how mentally and emotionally stable is he?
I wonder if, like sex offenders, ought the owners of machine guns be both registered and listed on a website so that neighbors can know which house in the neighborhood owns a machine gun. Why not?