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An Apologist Argument for Civilian Full Auto
guns.com ^ | 17 February, 2012 | Jim Downey

Posted on 02/18/2012 6:35:10 AM PST by marktwain

OK, this isn’t for you guys who are operators. If you own your own sub-gun, or your job requires you to handle/use M4s regularly, then just go away. There’s no need for you to stick around and sneer.

This essay is for all the schlubs like me who don’t often get a chance to get to play with full-auto toys. Who have thought, “oh, that’s no big deal. It’d be silly to pay the freight for rental sub-machine guns, dropping a couple hundred bucks in almost no time." Well, this is me telling you just do it. Seriously. If you get the chance to give full-auto a go, don’t pass it up and here’s why:

The Set-up

I’m in my 50's. There have been a bunch of times when I’ve had one or another offer to join in a sub-gun shoot. But there was usually something else I needed to do. Or I was feeling a bit under the weather. Or this. Or that. Whatever reason, I never got around to going.

I was an idiot but thankfully, my friends have more sense than I do. And recently I got together with a couple of the other BBTI guys to do a bit of shooting at a private range. Happily, this included shooting an H & K MP5 and a Walther MPL – both select fire guns in 9mm.

Love at First Sight

Keith retrieved the guns from the safe. We went over their operation and safe handling. He explained proper grip and stance. Then we busted out a couple dozen boxes of 9mm ball ammo and commenced to loading magazines.

When we had a bunch of those ready and waiting, we went out to the firing line. Again, Keith went over proper grip and stance, then demonstrated actually firing the guns, going from single shots to 3-round burst to full auto.

We started with the MPL. It’s a very simple little gun, without a lot of weight. Here’s a pic of it:

I put a new magazine in it. Chambered a round. Moved the select fire switch to ‘single’ so that I could shoot it a couple of times to get the feeling for it. It was very much like shooting any small 9mm carbine, and could easily have been my little KelTec Sub2000.

Then I set the switch to ‘burst’ and pulled the trigger.

OH, BABY! Wow.

An Unusual Shooting Experience

The first thing that crossed my mind was that the gun had malfunctioned. That’s because I’ve shot guns before which had a ‘slamfire’ problem – the sort of thing that lends new meaning to the term ‘pucker’. I felt the adrenaline dump you get when Something Bad happens.

Then it registered that everything was going according to plan. This was what the gun was supposed to do. I pulled the trigger again. Another 3-round burst of fire. This time I was ready for it, braced for the recoil. Where as the first burst sent two rounds through the torso of the target (placed out about 10 yards) all three of the second burst connected with the torso this time. The third burst of fire was the same with all three hits.

I looked back at Keith and Jim, grinned. They grinned back at me. I set the select fire switch to ‘full-auto’.

Leaning into the gun a bit, I pulled the trigger. In what seemed about a second, the rest of the 15-20 rounds in the magazine were gone.

I was honestly surprised at the amount of recoil. Oh, each individual shot wasn’t bad, but the steady stream of fire compounded recoil upon recoil, pushing me back onto my heels a bit. The muzzle climbed, and the series of hits to the target shifted off the paper.

Keith laughed. Jim laughed. I laughed. Keith took the empty magazine, handed me a full one. “Do it again.”

I did it again. This time I knew what to expect.

A Group Activity

We all shot both of the guns, Jim and I mostly taking turns, Keith (who is a firearms instructor for his department, and has trained their SWAT team) cycling in to give us pointers. By the time we had gone through all the ammo we’d brought, I was both exhausted and exhilarated, and had developed a new respect for what you could do with a sub-machine gun with a little training. Both Jim and I had gotten to the point where we could easily keep all the rounds in the torso when shooting full auto or put all the rounds from burst fire into the head of the target.

And while shooting the guns was immensely fun, I also just enjoyed watching the other guys shoot them. There is something almost beautiful about watching the streaming arc of spent cases, gold and glittering, spitting out of the side when the gun was being shot full-auto.

Making Amends

So yeah, I had been an idiot in not taking advantage of trying a full-auto gun previously. Of thinking that it was ‘no big deal.’ Now, I’m not hooked. I don’t have a burning desire to go through the hassle of getting a Title II weapon, and I don’t have the kind of money these things command. But you know what? Next time the opportunity to shoot one presents itself, I sure as hell won’t be busy with something else.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: auto; banglist; constitution; gun
Comment from the site:

Ben Pottinger · Top Commenter

what's even worse then the 200$ tax, which I disagree with but can deal with, is the 1986 huges amendment which disallows post 1986 guns from being purchased by civillians. That is the *only* reason MG's command the 5 digit prices they do now. If we could purchase a new manufactured MG and only pay the 200$ tax then a MP5 would run 1500-2000, a M16 as little as 100$ for the lower and 200$ for the tax.

What is really terrible is it *is* legal to own a MG right now, today. But the 1986 restriction basically bans MGs from the lower income and makes them the toys of lawyers, doctors, and the well-to-do. How we stand for that is beyond me. There is no way to justify MGs being legal but only for the well-off. It would be easier to justify them being totally restricted then the nonsense setup we have now. Something really needs done about it, and its past time for it.

The *only* presidential candidate on record saying he would support (and even author) a change in the regulations/laws to once again allow "normal" people to buy a MG is Ron Paul. No one else will support our gun rights like he will, even if you combine all of them together they wouldn't have 5% of the positive record he has towards gun owners.

1 posted on 02/18/2012 6:35:15 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

You know how Snewt and Mitt RINO would deal with this!


2 posted on 02/18/2012 6:43:45 AM PST by GunsareOK
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To: marktwain
What is really terrible is it *is* legal to own a MG right now, today. But the 1986 restriction basically bans MGs from the lower income and makes them the toys of lawyers, doctors, and the well-to-do. How we stand for that is beyond me. There is no way to justify MGs being legal but only for the well-off. It would be easier to justify them being totally restricted then the nonsense setup we have now. Something really needs done about it, and its past time for it.

Ever seen the CSPAN video of Congress "passing" the Hughes Amendment? What a travesty. Here's a previous thread on the subject:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2662949/posts

3 posted on 02/18/2012 6:58:41 AM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: marktwain

Since McDonald, I’ve often wondered what the next case will be.
The SCOTUS has made certain the fundamental right to own a gun, but the next case will be on what government restrictions are allowed.

Ammo or Machine Guns?

If it’s ammo, we win.

How do machine guns fare in the court of public opinion? I’m not sure. (I’d still like to shoot one).


4 posted on 02/18/2012 6:59:13 AM PST by nixonsnose (Let's see all you lawyers argue your way out of hell.)
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To: marktwain

“How we stand for that is beyond me”.

You will get no argument from me.

From another thread on the same subject, I replied to one marktwain, who wrote the first sentence:

“We must never forget that a threat to private firearms ownership is a threat to all freedoms”.

The greatest single threat to private firearms ownership, is government, from the top down to the bottom.

...and in case no one has noticed since the 1986 gun control act, the citizenry is being outgunned by government just as fast as manufacturers are producing automatic weapons. Those limited numbers available for purchase by “the people” are ancient, aging, or both, supremely, and prohibitively expensive, (for reasons given on this thread) and generally obsolete.

In an effort to outlaw machine guns in the underworld the US government disarmed “the people” through the National Firearms Act of 1934. Twas IMHO a result of Prohibition and the violence that took place during that period, but the irony is Prohibition was repealed before the passage of NFA of 1934.

Then U.S. Attorney General Homer S. Cummings recognized that firearms could not be banned outright under the Second Amendment, so he proposed restrictive regulation in the form of an expensive tax and Federal registration. More followed in 1968, all in the name of reducing so called crime. The real crime all along has been against “the people”, and perhaps even the gun manufacturing industry as well, IMHO.


5 posted on 02/18/2012 7:02:54 AM PST by wita
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To: nixonsnose

Full auto.

I carry one of these when I go out....

But, I am in Afghanistan.

Loads of fun!

6 posted on 02/18/2012 7:05:21 AM PST by SERE_DOC (My Rice Krispies told me to stay home & clean my weapons!)
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To: wita; marktwain; All
--good post--having had the pleasure of not only helping with the setup of pumpkins containing dynamite and then shooting them with a Jap LMG some years ago at an Arizona site some years ago--it's fun--no that that should be a criteria for civilian full-auto ownership--

--I am under the impression (not that it helps the price) that corporations can own currently nmanufactured machine guns---thus opening a loophole, if one can afford it, of forming a small corporation which would be the owner---anybody out there an expert on this?

7 posted on 02/18/2012 7:26:38 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: marktwain
No one else will support our gun rights like he will...

You blew it right there. Most 2nd Amendment advocates completely miss his commentary on McDonald v Chicago and the Heller where he believes the 2nd Amendment protections do not apply to the States- in other words, States can regulate away your 2nd Amendment rights.

Paul's belief that fundamental rights can be regulated by the States should send a shiver down any freedom-loving American.

8 posted on 02/18/2012 7:36:03 AM PST by mnehring
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To: mnehring
Paul's belief that fundamental rights can be regulated by the States should send a shiver down any freedom-loving American.

Not mine. That is really how the Constitution is supposed to work. If you don't like how your state manages things, you can either get a grassroots movement to change it or move to a state that accommodates your desires. When the feds mandate something, you have no such recourse.

9 posted on 02/18/2012 7:59:34 AM PST by BipolarBob (When do the salmon return to Capistrano?)
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To: BipolarBob

Not when it comes to fundamental rights. The 10th Amendment only extends to rights not already guaranteed. Things like the 1st and 2nd Amendment are inherent rights that shouldn’t be restricted by any government on any level. By allowing States to trample on those rights as well, you create 50 tyrannies where the government always has control over the people.


10 posted on 02/18/2012 8:05:26 AM PST by mnehring
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All contributions are for the
Current Quarter Expenses.


11 posted on 02/18/2012 8:48:22 AM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: marktwain
Class warfare - only the rich and perhaps drug lords can afford such awesome firearms. I had the chance to fire a small 22 caliber assault fully auto rifle back in the early 80s OMG it still brings me goose bumps recalling what it felt like. If I'd known we were going to loose the rights I'd spent what little hard earned $ I had on such an item.
12 posted on 02/18/2012 9:37:38 AM PST by Tubac414 (Just want to ride my Motorcycle)
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To: marktwain

I think there are some interesting subtleties with automatic weapons not found in single shot or semi-automatic weapons.

For example, there is a self-defense argument. Imagine how a court trial would be different in the case of legitimate self defense. “I used all six shots in the revolver, hitting him several times.”

Instead, “I used all six shots in the revolver, hitting him several times, and then I reloaded and continued to shoot him.”

This goes to the argument that gun defense “is to prevent (a criminal) from causing severe damage or killing someone.” That its purpose is *never*, legitimately, “to kill someone.” This is a common assumption in court.

“I saw he was a robber, so I decided to kill him”, sounds very bad in court.

But with an automatic weapon, you face a double dilemma of using it in full auto, and using it *just* enough for others to believe that you were intending to stop a crime, not intending to gratuitously kill.


13 posted on 02/18/2012 9:45:00 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: marktwain
Quick, post on this public domain being monitored by DHS who has a full-auto weapon, the kind you have, and where you are keeping it!

Stupid is as stupid does!

14 posted on 02/18/2012 10:06:03 AM PST by paratrooper82 (We are kicking Ass in Afghanistan, soon we will be home to kick some more Asses in Congress!)
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To: mnehring

Point well taken. I stand corrected.


15 posted on 02/18/2012 10:33:36 AM PST by BipolarBob (When do the salmon return to Capistrano?)
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To: mnehring; BipolarBob

>Things like the 1st and 2nd Amendment are inherent rights that shouldn’t be restricted by any government on any level.

Factually incorrect; the 1st Amendment specifically prohibits CONGRESS from certain actions; most states do not have a Congress, but a Legislature.
If that Amendment were meant to apply to the States then it should have said something like “No legislature [...]” or “No Law shall [...].”
(Or, perhaps, be written in the passive voice —wherein the action and not the actor is the subject— like the 2nd Amendment.)

This is one reason that I DESPISE the doctrine of incorporation: in order to apply the Bill of Rights to the state (as they have) there must be some magical transformation which alters the text/meaning of the amendment (such as congress -> state-legislature).

It is the treatment (disregard) of the Constitutions, both Federal and State, in such a manner that allows such abhorrent tyrannies to be legally tolerated.
North Dakota, for example, exempts all items in Article 1 from the general power of the government (See Art I, Sec. 20) which includes arms (See Art I, Sec 1).
New Mexico’s Constitution says “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense,” which means that “brandishing”-laws (whether state or county) are illegitimate AND that using some other law to infringe on the right is not legitimate either.

So, I would submit that true Constitutionalism would mean a *MUCH* different system of governance than you or I have ever experienced.


16 posted on 02/18/2012 12:42:49 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: marktwain

Most politicians suck on gun rights, even Reagan did.


17 posted on 02/18/2012 8:17:39 PM PST by jospehm20
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To: Charles Martel
As an owner and operator of a functioning Browning .30 M1919A6 belt-fed, I can tell you that the rock and roll toys are a lot of fun. Putting all the Hughes nonsense and licensing mumbo jumbo aside, these are the things you should consider.

1. If your toy is magazine-fed, buy your ammo by the case.
2. If your toy is a belt-fed, buy your ammo by the pallet.
3. Rock and roll toys are prodigious ammo hogs, so you need deep pockets.
4. You cannot have enough spare parts. Rock and roll toys break parts. You need a stock of spares to keep your pet functioning. As caliber increases and cyclic rate rises, so does part breakage. Spares are essential.

On the other hand, a semi-auto only version of your rock and roll toy is better. No licensing or tax stamps. Less part breakage. The ammunition appetite is much less with a semi-auto.

Since 1986, the cutoff of transferable R&R guns have severely impacted prices in a negative way. Restricted transferable and diminished numbers (R&R guns wear-out) have forced prices to astronomical heights. [Example: a transferable .45 M1 Thompson is about $16,000.] Also, every time a transfer is made, the $200 tax is paid. Therefore, at bare minimum, the sale price of the gun will go up by $200 [not including other fees or price increases].

18 posted on 02/18/2012 11:33:33 PM PST by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: MasterGunner01
Correction: Make that former owner and operator. After I posted this, I remembered exactly why I sold my toy!

As an old airplane pilot and boater reminded me, it is not the initial cost of your toys that break you . . . it is the upkeep, feeding, and maintenance. He also reminded me that the two happiest times in an airplane and/or boat driver's life are: (1) when the toy is purchased and (2) when the toy is sold. Everything in between is just a gigantic hole into which you keep pumping your money.

19 posted on 02/18/2012 11:51:12 PM PST by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: MasterGunner01
3. Rock and roll toys are prodigious ammo hogs, so you need deep pockets.

Were one available, I would think a .22LR toy would be pretty popular, especially if there was a quick and easy way to load magazines from commonly available packaging. Even at 0.02/round and 2400rpm, a full minute of full auto would be less than $50.

20 posted on 02/19/2012 3:02:43 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
This goes to the argument that gun defense “is to prevent (a criminal) from causing severe damage or killing someone.” That its purpose is *never*, legitimately, “to kill someone.” This is a common assumption in court.

If one was under attack from multiple individuals who had clearly and unambiguously demonstrated malice, and if after shooting one individual, a continuing attack by a second individual would force one to leave the first unattended, under what cases would one be entitled to ensure that the first individual would no longer be a threat, even if unattended (i.e. ensure that the person really as incapacitated and wasn't just faking it)?

21 posted on 02/19/2012 3:06:46 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: supercat

I heard a rather silly sounding faux-testimony that an Army senior NCO said he would give were he on trial for gunning down a burglar. It was both very stylized and redundant, him taking it to an extreme, but this is often demanded by a court.

He described how he was asleep in bed one evening, when his wife woke him up, saying that she heard someone downstairs. Then he described the supposed ritual he had to go through to recover his secure gun, his separately securely stored ammunition, the removal of his key trigger lock, and the loading of his gun. Yeah, right.

Then he said he went to the top of his stairs, illuminated his position, and loudly yelled, “Is there someone there? Identify yourself, because I am armed!”

Then he said that he saw an unidentified figure at the bottom of the stairs, with an object in their hand, holding it towards the him in a “threatening manner”.

“Halt!”, I yelled, “Do not point that object in your hand at me in a threatening manner, because I am in fear for my life, and feel forced to discharge a bullet in your direction if you continue!”

But the unidentified individual still continued to hold the object towards me. So I discharged a single round in their direction, with the intent to prevent them from using what may have been a weapon directed at me.

Then he continued with his monologue, describing how he put five more rounds, one at a time, into the intruder, who continued to stand there with a menacing object in his hand pointed at him.

The NCO even offered to respond to cross-examination, and used pat and repetitive answers for every question we could think of.

“Were you angry?” “I was in fear for my life”.

“Did you want to kill him?” “I wanted to prevent him from inflicting severe injury or death on me and my family.”

“Did you have to shoot him six times?” “He continued to act in a menacing manner, with an object in his hand, pointing it towards me in a threatening fashion.”


22 posted on 02/19/2012 4:16:57 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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