Skip to comments.America's 80 Million Potential Snipers
Posted on 10/27/2002 10:11:12 AM PST by vannrox
The Claremont Institute
This is the print version of http://www.claremont.org/projects/doctors/021020wheeler.html.
America's 80 Million Potential Snipers
By Timothy Wheeler, M.D.
Posted October 23, 2002
As fear grips residents of Virginia and Maryland over the latest sniper murders, gun-control groups see the opportunity to advance their agenda. Never shy about exploiting public horrors, they now clamor for stricter controls on the latest politically incorrect gun: the sporting rifle.
Working to portray weekend target shooters as sharing the spirit of the killer, the Violence Policy Center lays out on its Web site a jeremiad against a "sniper culture." This group is apparently made up of anyone who owns or reads hobby magazines about target rifles chambered for military ammunition. Physicians for Social Responsibility chimes in with a general-purpose condemnation of all firearms, especially those that shoot the popular .223 caliber round. In fact, Physicians for Social Responsibility's Web site breathlessly informs us, .223 bullets are "highly lethal bullets that cause extreme internal damage." Well, yes. Any bullet causes too much damage when used by a vicious murderer on an innocent victim. The .223 is one in a long line of military cartridges adopted for civilian use. Along with the .308 rifle cartridge and the .45 caliber and 9 millimeter pistol cartridges, it is seen on target ranges every weekend. Since these are all arguably high-power, tissue-damaging military bullets, just about all of America's 80 million gun owners are potential snipers, according to the gun banners' logic.
It was inevitable that those who want to ban guns would finally get around to rifles used for hunting and target shooting. Remember "assault weapons"? These hobbyist and collector guns shoot one bullet at a time, as do any other legal firearms. But their black metal and plastic military look made them an easy target for gun control demagogues. Hence the assault-weapon bans of the 1990s.
And how about "pocket rockets" and "junk guns"? The clunky assault weapons were too big and powerful, the gun banners said. But these compact handguns were too little and easily concealed. So they, too, had to be demonized. This deception paved the way for several state laws further restricting citizens' access to guns suitable for self-defense.
So far the Violence Policy Center and Physicians for Social Responsibility have not produced a list of guns they do approve of. Or perhaps they don't approve of any, and would like to ban them all. If so, why can't they be honest and state their true goal of a total gun ban, once and for all?
The answer comes from the gun banners themselves. In a letter to The Journal of the American Medical Association, public health gun grabber Dr. Jeremiah Barondess and his colleagues in New York City wrote that ideally all handguns would be banned, but such a ban was not yet politically feasible.
The writers therefore proposed a raft of lesser restrictions, all of which would make owning guns more difficult for average Americans.
The Violence Policy Center's own Tom Diaz all but admitted on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air," on Jan. 20, 1999 that such half-measures are only steps to the big prize a total ban. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh's blog dated Sept. 17, 2002 quotes Diaz as advocating that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms regulate firearms out of existence. As Diaz puts it, "certainly [BATF] would not allow semi-automatic assault weapons to be manufactured and sold, and we believe that, ultimately, handguns would be phased out through such an agency."
None of this is to suggest that there can be no reasonable limitations on gun ownership. Convicted violent felons and the seriously mentally disturbed are reasonably prohibited from having guns. But groups like Violence Policy Center and PSR have left no doubt that they want to disarm America. When they try to tar good citizens as potential serial killers because they own target rifles, we know they are guilty of their own crime-character assassination.
The Washington-area sniper will be caught and imprisoned. Life will return to normal. We will come to view this harrowing episode for what it is an isolated, bizarre crime in the life of a great and good nation. The lesson we should surely not take is that the sniper is even remotely akin to the average American gun owner.
Timothy Wheeler, M.D., is director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Claremont Institute.
© Copyright 2002, The Claremont Institute.
Visit the Claremont Institute at claremont.org.
Kind of like the (il)logic used by feminazis, that "all men are potential rapists."
only 80 mil?...everybody I Know even libs are packin... In a gun grab...they flat out lose.
Or a preview of the terms of engagement for something far more insidious.
Apparently the author or authors have not seen this:
Here is a lengthy but important document which should be read by all!
Ok, it's deer season across America. We all know hunters who have a 30.06 and a 12 gauge.
Many hunters remain aloof on gun control issues, since they feel they are not affected. After all, Hillary goes duck hunting as does Jean Carnahan. Al Gore promised Pennsylvania hunters that he wasn't after their guns.
Now we have the VPC and the Bradys saying that the .223, .308 and .50 calibers are the tools of snipers.
They may laugh and say I don't shoot those calibers. Ask if they think the 30.06 will be exempt if they're going after the .308.
"And who needs a .50 caliber anyway?" Remind them that they won't stop with the .50 BMG, and will readily include all of the .50 caliber black powder rifles also. After all, the sniper only took one shot at a time.
If you can't convince these apathetic hunters that their guns are in the crosshairs now, you never will.
Well, I've always thought so! "BTW - a good shot does not make a sniper."
I'm a good shot with a pistol at a target range, but I agree that there is a world of difference between a static target at a range and a live target shooting at ME! Even if 80 million Americans had rifles with scopes, and even if they were good shots, though not necessarily of sniper quality, it comes down to what is in their hearts. I'm aware from you post that you already know that. The absurdity of the left's arguments is that those guns represent a threat to the unarmed population. The point of the right, is that those guns may ultimately help safeguard the unarmed population, and hopefully, will represent a terrible, vengeful threat to the enemies of this nation.
I dont I all ready have mine. I have over $9000.00 invested in mine (rifle, scope, reloading equipment and materials) and Ill be dammed if these morons will take it. Or anything else right down to my 10/22's
Here is a letter from a 50 cal manufactures site to Rep. Henry Waxman that I particularly like. Its old but its still good.
DATE: 14 May 1999
TO: Rep. Henry Waxman
SUBJECT: .50 Caliber Rifles
CC: Rep. Mark Sanford, Rep. Robert Barr, Sen. Strom Thurmond, Sen. Ernest Hollings NUMBER OF PAGES: I (Including cover page)
I have become aware of your furtive attempt to infringe upon my ownership of my Barrett rifle. I am a former Captain USMC, state marksmanship champion, NRA member, member of the Fifty Caliber Shooter's Association and an avid hunter of deer and hogs. To my knowledge, no .50 caliber rifle has ever been used in the commission of a crime. My rifle cost $6,750. The telescope on the rifle cost $4,500. The ammunition I most often shoot costs @ $4.00 per round. While I tell you this, understand that what I'm trying to tell you is that I would be an idiot to spend $11,000 on a rifle to risk losing it in the legal aftermath of its illegal use. Get the hell out of my personal life and go play kissy face with Diane Feinstein, Barney Frank, Charles Schumer and those other leftists.
I am now an investment banker and make $400,000 per year. I also have a Harley Davidson motorcycle and several cars with V-8 engines. Are you next going to tell me I don't NEED a V-8 engine ... don't NEED such a heavy, powerful motorcycle ... don't NEED a house with five bedrooms ... don't NEED a wife with such large breasts...don't NEED a dog with such sharp teeth and so on?
This kind of "Chicken Little" reactionary noise is entirely useless. I am going to notify every legislator in my food chain that they need to take you behind the Capital and beat the crap out of you.
CC: Sen. Trent Lott
Sen. Orrin Hatch
Sen. Susan Collins
from - A 1976 Captain USMC, Ret.
Regardless I saw a poll this morning on fox that saying that only 14% believed that stricter gun controls would have stopped this shooting spree by these homeless black gay Muslims.
I agree with the doctor on almost all his article, but I disagree with that statement. Gun laws DO NOT keep criminals from getting guns. The ONLY people who are prevented from obtaining guns by gun laws are the law abiding people who pose no threat to anyone to begin with.
For almost all of the 19th century gun control laws were unknown. Anyone anywhere could buy any gun he or she could afford, and guns could usually be ordered direct from the factories and mailed to the customer. But even without any gun control at all, crime rates were far lower than today with all our restrictive laws in place.
I read somewhere (probably on FR) recently that the U.S. murder rate in 1900 was less than 1 murder per 100,000 persons. 100 years later it was around 6.8 murders per 100,000, after peaking in the late 1980's at almost 10 per 100,000. 100 years, 22,000 gun laws, and more than a 7-fold increase in murders. Seems to me that if gun laws were intended to prevent crime, they have done a very poor job.
If every one of the 22,000 gun control laws on the books today were repealed tomorrow, I don't believe there would be any rise in crime or an increase in accidental shootings. In fact, if more law abiding people obtained guns as a result of repealing those laws, I would expect a considerable drop in the crime rate. Maybe even back to 19th century levels when most law abiding people owned guns and would-be criminals knew it.
What is stupid is this guy is no sniper in the rite of passage by training that eliminates people like him before they graduate.
Even that expert qualification isn't what it used to be. He had to qualify with forty rounds to hit pop-up silhouettes at various distances on a firing range.
In 1976, I had to fire 80 at these things in basic combat training. (I hit 73 and scored expert myself.)
Gun grabbers are licking their chops over the thought of maing political hay over this murderer. They must be stopped.
I've got news for these pasty-mouthed little Liberal piss-ants...
If even a small portion of these feared 80 million gun owners decided to do the very things these pansy bed-wetters accuse them of wanting to do, these Stalin wannabees wouldn't be around to write such trash and advocate their un-Constitutional actions. They would have been history long ago, just like King George III!
They can just thank their lucky stars we aren't as psycho as they think we are.
... but, don't push us, you creepy morons....
Non firing, of course.
80 Million is not enough, if 200 mil + Americans (estimated amount of law abiding citizens) were armed and ready we would not have to ever worry about crime and domestic terrorism.
There was not terrorism in 1800's America, since most population was armed, and streets were safe too, so were communities, large cities, small towns, let any gun hater argue this point.
Remain calm. The anti-gunners will get nothing from this. Support your pro-gun organization of choice and stay after your political representatives.
From what I can see (and hear from neighbors who aren't "gun people") "regular citizens" know gun laws don't and won't prevent lunatics from hurting folks if that's what they intend.
If VPC were right, shouldn't there be more than ONE sniper?
In a letter to The Journal of the American Medical Association, public health gun grabber Dr. Jeremiah Barondess and his colleagues in New York City wrote that ideally all handguns would be banned, but such a ban was not yet politically feasible.
As Diaz puts it, "certainly [BATF] would not allow semi-automatic assault weapons to be manufactured and sold, and we believe that, ultimately, handguns would be phased out through such an agency."
When a person or activist group chooses irrationality over reason, chooses dishonesty over honesty, chooses false context or partial context over full-context the numbers and statistics they use to support their claims -- having failed on reason, honesty and full context -- will be presented irrationally, dishonestly and with false context.
What's the solution?
Putting Occam's Razor to work. Occam's Razor is a theory wherein the simplest explanation has the highest probability of being the correct explanation. The most useful statement of the principle for scientists is: "when you have two competing theories which make exactly the same predictions, the one that is simpler is the better."
Applying Occam's razor to the gun debate. One example is the question: "How can women better protect themselves from being rapped?" Now, to put that question in context so that a person unfamiliar with firearms can grasp the answer via Occam's Razor:
Simple question for women (Or asked of a man in regards to his wife or daughter's safety.): If your were confronted by a criminal wanting to rape you which would you prefer?
1) A cell phone to dial 911. (Keep in mind that you'd have no defense to stop the rapist from ripping the cell phone out of your hand before you can dial 911.)
2) A hand gun that you were trained on to use in self-defense.
It should be obvious to the reader that honest, full-context statistics can answer the question. But we're dealing with irrationality, dishonesty and false-context/partial-context. Thus the reason for applying Occam's Razor as though both sides had equal weight. This has the added benefit of demonstrating how the side that is being deceptive uses statistics in attempt to defy common-sense logic.
Here's another example of Occam's Razor to work. This example regards the "war on drugs". The question needing an explanation is: Why has the war on drugs by all accounts failed to be won? Answer: That DEA has no motivation to reduce any drug problem. For, it has no desire to reduce its jobs or power.
If a person thinks they've harmed by a person's drug possession they can take the defendant to court and do their best to prove to an impartial jury that they/plaintiff had been hammed by that. The plaintiff would be lucky to convince a third of the jurors that they had been harmed by the defendant -- let alone convince all twelve jurors, which the plaintiff needs to obtain a guilty verdict.
Proof is simple and best expressed by a defendant's lawyer speaking to an impartial jury:
"Clearly the plaintiff and his lawyer have failed by all accounts to show any evidence -- failed to show even one single piece of evidence -- to support his claim that he has been harmed by my client's drug possession. The plaintiff's claim is wholly unsupported.
"Since supporters of the war on drugs have nothing but wholly unsupported claims they chose to harm people that possess drugs by enlisting government agents to initiate force on their behalf. That is, they are truly guilty of that which they falsely accuse others of -- initiating harm against a person that's minding his or her own business."
Sure there was. They were called Indian raids.
.. since most population was armed
Just imagine if the state and federal governments in 1800 asked all citizens to disarm in response to an Indian raid. Pretty stupid. Now consider the terrorism that goes on daily in in Washington D.C. neighborhoods.
, and streets were safe too, so were communities, large cities, small towns, let any gun hater argue this point.
It's fair to remember that Police and Constables are a luxury and convenience that we allowed and began first in communties that could afford it, not because anyone believed the right of law enforcement belonged solely to the Constablry and not to the citizenry.
because they don't make a .60 caliber, thats why.
Funny you should mention this. The UN is working on this very concept. America has to be disarmed before the "rights of the Child"(sexual liberty) can be implemented.