Submachine Guns Next Door

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.”

Yes indeed!

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?



10 thoughts on “Submachine Guns Next Door

  1. I have to say it. It is a mental health issue. An ugly manifestation of so many of the traumas of being human in a world you can’t control. There are sop many extenuating factors as well, but simply, we all have to deal with fear and pain. The way we deal with pain normally, you cut your finger, it hurts, you take care of it and the pain goes away and you go on with what you were doing. For many people the pain becomes internalized. You cut your finger, the psychological echo of the pain is amplified in your mind. The imagined pain becomes much worse than real pain. The remembered psychological pain becomes more powerful than the actual physical trauma. The fear of the imaginary pain becomes an inhibiting neurotic reality. It cripples your ability to deal with reality. The reality of cutting your finger is actually much less painful than imagining it which becomes a crippling neurosis for many people.
    I am not sure that I can express myself here as I see it in my mind, but the obsessive fetishism of guns is very much a part of this. It becomes a false security blanket, a wall between the obsessive gun owner and being able to healthily deal with the real world. The fear of the world is magnified, the fear becomes the obsessive engine that drives the gun fetish. The gun becomes an easy, simplified, primitive fetish object that is used to avoid reality. We are all very primitive beings at the core….

  2. I meant to add this…this is a mass, societal delusion. We have seen doomsday cults through history, the “dancing plagues” of the 13th century where entire villages in Europe were depopulated by a mass hysteria. This is part of the human condition and a real weak point. Mass hysteria is a real thing, a real mental health phenomena. A very real manifestation of this today is the “delusional bug syndrome” Thousands of Americans have developed an obsessive itching condition and which is reinforced by the idea that it is caused by tiny microorganisms that they believe they can actually see. Rationally, obsessional itching is easy to explain, but the hysteria feeds on itself. There are many many support group websites that deal with the theories as bizarre as an infestation of space bacteria….

  3. Since I am the only openly pro gun (I think?) visitor to your blog Muddy, I would be happy to answer any questions. But remember, I can only answer them based on my thoughts and how I feel. I can’t speak for anyone else.

    When someone says machine gun, I think of a fully automatic weapon. I also think of the “Tommy” gun. Maybe it is the day and age, I’m not sure about that one. My personal opinion is this. would you define a .45 caliber pistol as a machine gun? I wouldn’t. However, If I wanted to, I could spend about $160 and 3 hours of time in the garage. With that investment in time and money, I could turn my Sig .45 into a fully automatic pistol with 30 round capacity. The Ar15 I have is S&W brand. It has 10 round capacity and is a semi automatic weapon. Neither my wife or I describe it as a machine gun.

    “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?”
    My answer is to that would be no. Because all my firearms (3) have been purchased a registered legally. No crime was committed, unlike sex offenders, who have committed a crime in the past.

    If anyone has any questions about my guns, my personal use of these weapons, or opinions on a safer society. Please feel free to ask.

    1. Two questions, JOB. First, on the question of the term, ‘machine gun,’ would you call your AR-15 a ‘submachine gun?’ Secondly, what is your opinion on what needs to be done?

  4. Objectively the issue is simple enough.

    Right to protect with arms vs right to be protected from lunatic’s arms.

    1. On the one hand our Constitution set provision of opportunity for a Citizen to be armed… to safe guard self, family, and community against harm from foreign and domestic attack. Period. Because in the days of old, the King’s men could rape and pillage in his name… the founding father’s did not consider it inconceivable… that a ‘Government’ might do likewise… With that in mind… the provision did not say that the Citizen could only have out dated means of defence… thus… what ever the current Military uses, should be considered standard fare, for defence against the same.

    2. That Constitutional guarantee seems ‘siily’ to some, because they do not really expect our shores to be invaded by foreign troops, nor do they expect our Military to be waged against the Citizens… (cough as the National Guard has done cough)…. instead what is seen is the ‘cost of freedom’ being ‘paid in the blood of innocents’… Which is only half true… their deaths do not serve to protect our freedoms… their deaths ARE entirely senseless… as the wanton result of someone deliberately picking populated arenas to go ape-shit in… to murder indiscriminately… as a lunatic.

    The answer is simple… Sane people should be licensed and insane people should not.

    Sane people should be allowed to keep abreast of the evolution of arms and licensed to keep and bear them.

    Sane people should not object to mandatory training, regarding safe and responsible ownership. In fact, those folks should be encouraged to get together in their communities to form militias, as folks in the old days did… so if we are attacked… drills that had been put to practice to address all manner of potential threats, could be safely implemented without locals going nuts.

    Insane people should not be permitted to own any pistols, hunting rifles, bows and arrows, or even machetes… let alone assault rifles.

    Purchasing arms over the internet should be ILLEGAL… period… because it is ‘subversive’ by nature… not upfront and personal.

    Everyone should be happy.

    Except… who is to determine “sanity”?

    Why not establish agencies that expressly evaluate rational behavior, to determine if someone is ‘sane’ enough to own an assault rifle? The programs should be provided by the government of the people for the people… with absolutely no profit going to them, if someone passes or not…

    Simple… right? But nope… fear of being ‘falsely deemed insane’ is the first likely objection…

    So… more than one agency would have to exist… the first mentioned above… plus a completely independent review board… set up to review the ‘determinations’ of the ‘rejects’… All of which, except those that are actually rejected for obvious reasons… like being prescribed mind altering drugs… (because even if stable ‘on them’ they become unstable ‘off them’)… would have the chance to be independently re-evaluated.

    Those that are determined, this second time around, as ‘dubious but not dangerous’ could be licensed to keep and bear said arms… under special conditions perhaps… with mandate of particular types of training or on going reporting… to further test their ‘stability’ while also giving them practical training… regarding the responsibility of gun ownership and the rippled consequences of taking the life of another.

    I am a veteran, by the way, and if I wanted to own such a weapon… even though I am a semi-hermit type, who relishes my independence and privacy… I would not be opposed to such ‘testing’ and I would welcome any training that would enhance my skill, knowledge, and appreciation, as a legal gun owner.

    Those who would reject such notions, purely on the basis of ‘violating their right to own arms’, exhibit an anti-social tendency that has no empathy for the righteous fears of their fellow citizens, thereby indeed flagging them as potential threat to society, based on a callous selfishness that rather bitch, than address and resolve the issue…

    The true primary issue… that everyone recognizes is that crazy people are able to access assault weapons, directly and on-line, and because they are crazy, turn those weapons upon innocents, who are made to suffer savage mutilation and death… for no sane reason … what so ever.

    1. Colleen’s post demonstrates the crux of conflict as to who is sane…and who should decide who is sane enough to bear arms under the present laws. I agree that there is no way to enforce or even logically have a system that would not be restrictive to evaluate “sanity” as the criteria to own a gun. That should not be the focus of controlling access to guns. Let’s face it, if a “crazy” person wants guns and lots of them, if they are available, they will find a way to get them. If it’s harder because of their state agency graded mental status, they they will try harder to get them another way. When I lived in New York, I was offered opportunities to buy illegal unlicensed guns on quite a few occasion. In 1991, I went out for my morning cup of coffee at 7 am before I rode to work and when I came home, my apartment building on the corner of East 5th Street and Ave. B was the focus of a armed swat team…my crazy, and I do mean crazy neighbor across the hall had somehow triggered a chain of events which brought about the confrontation. He was holed up with a gun shooting at cops! When he was finally subdued, they found quite and arsenal in his totally trashed apartment. I went to the park and drank my coffee and read the paper until the action was over. I had known Bobby for years, he inherited a lot of money when his mother died and subsequently spent it on cocaine and rapidly deteriorated. He had called the police because he was convinced Israeli Secret Service Agents and bugged his apartment and were going to assassinate him and he needed police back up….While living on East 5th Street through the late 70’s into the 90’s, was witness to and had to get out of the way of a lot of drug trade shootouts. That was mainly in the early 80’s. The cops wouldn’t even come onto my block. They would let them shoot it out and then try to pick up the pieces. Supposedly 2 cops had been murdered on the block in the 70’s by the FALN gangs……The precinct house was just 2 blocks away…the facade was the famous Barney Miller precinct house in the TV series.
      It’s a crazy world, with big cities, people get lost in the paperwork. It’s the availability and profitability of the arms trade that drives the entire machine of collective insanity.

    2. Thank you, Colleen, for your thorough comment in this matter. Mental illness ravages America but, as you know, it is swept under the rug, much like alcoholism was some years ago.

  5. Thanks for another good post. I think it’s a valid concern to worry about the guy next door and what guns he has and how mentally fit he is to manage them.

    1. …guy next door and what guns he has and how mentally fit he is to manage them.

      If there would be a national licencing of assault weapons and a corresponding public data base, neighbors could access that information and make decisions about whether they wish to relocate.

  6. “Would you call your AR-15 a ‘submachine gun?”
    No I wouldn’t. A sub machine gun in my opinion would be fully automatic, but have a smaller magazine capacity. If my gun was full auto, then it would fall under that definition, because it has a smaller magazine capacity. But I still wouldn’t call it a sub machine gun. When people ask, I just tell them I have an AR 15. The truth is, technically I don’t even have an AR 15. That label is owned by Colt. My Rifle is actually an MP 15. Same kind of gun, just different manufacturer. Like the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable.

    “Secondly, what is your opinion on what needs to be done?”
    First and foremost. We need federal laws on full autos and magazine limits.
    There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for any American citizen to have a fully automatic weapon. And I do not see a need for a citizen to have an ammunition capacity above 20. Although, gun rights enthusiasts would have an easier time arguing Mag Capacity with me, than they would full auto.

    I also agree with Colleen. I believe guns should not be sold on the internet. I don’t even like gun shows to be honest with you. I’m sure there’s more to the purchasing process that I am not aware of. I have bought and sold all my weapons at my local gun shop. I am not a fan of gun shows, and don’t even know how private sales work. But I’m sure private sales, and shows, help contribute to the “WRONG” people getting guns.

    And as Colleen also mentioned, classes are great, and maybe should be considered mandatory for conceal/open carry permit holders. I am taken quite a few combat and close quarters classes, and I feel they add greatly to my abilities and knowledge as a gun owner.

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