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Gun debate history: The Greatest Generation's AR-15

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  • Gun debate history: The Greatest Generation's AR-15

    I'm sure this post will be dismissed by the usual suspects as the ranting of a "guntard," but I ask you to read it honestly, with an open mind to these easily verified facts.

    A big problem in the gun debate is ignorance of both history and technology.  Many people who think "assault weapons" should be banned have poor awareness of technical characteristics of firearms, and their roles in U.S. history.  This contributes to misperceptions and false assumptions.  I'm not suggesting that you have to be a gunsmith or an academic historian to participate effectively in this debate.  However, some easily obtained knowledge adds perspective.

    The M-16 rifle and its AR-15 semi-auto cousin were proceeded by a weapon called the M1 Carbine.  Introduced in WW2, the M1 Carbine was designed as a lightweight, high capacity weapon to bridge the gap between U.S. military sidearms (the 1911 45acp pistol) and main battle rifle (M1 Garand).  It was light weight.  It fired a .30 caliber, round nose bullet, in a small cartridge, from a high capacity magazine which could be carried in quantity and quickly swapped out.  As with the AR-15 twenty years later, the design idea was a weapon suitable to rear guard and auxillary unit service that had more firepower than a handgun, without the weight, recoil and bulk of a full sized, front line battle rifle.   Magazine capacities were 15 and 30 rounds.  Later commercial magazines included 20 and 40 round capacities.

    The M2 Carbine was a select fire variant, capable of full auto fire.   Other major variants included a folding stock intended for paratroopers.

    Approximatey 7 million M1 and M2 Carbines were made under U.S. military contracts.  Several million more were made for foreign governments and as commercial variants.  Many of the M1 Carbines that saw service in the U.S. military were sold to foreign governments, and saw military and police service all over the world.

    Now, what may come as a surprise to you is that many M1 Carbines live in the homes of U.S. civilians.  GIs brought them home after WW2 and Korea.  Others were sold to dealers and directly to the public by the U.S. government, often through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.  Fifty years ago, it would have not been unusual to see several M1 Carbines for sale in a small town hardware store, selling for $50, alongside the shotguns, squirrel and deer rifles.  Anyone could buy one without paperwork or a background check.  They were widely popular as plnking and small game rifles with the American public.  Surplus ammo was cheap and widely available.  The rifles also saw duty as patrol rifles with many law enforcement departments.

    If you skipped all of the above, please read this statement:  From 1945 to 1968, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of M1 Carbines, with characteristics similar to the AR15, were sold to the American public, with zero gun control, zero registraton, zero paperwork, and zero concern for mass shootings.

    The M1 Carbine was not used in crimes at any extraordinary rate, and on very rare occassion, one was used in a in mass shooting.  James Pough used one in Florida in 1990 at a GMAC office in Florida.  Charles Whitman had an M1 Carbine among the many weapons he carried the day he murdered people at the University of Texas, but as far as I know, it wasn't used.

    So, I put the question to you: if these weapons were sold to and possessed by the American public in great numbers, for more than twenty years, in the absence of any form of gun control, and were rarely ever used in mass murder...what makes you think the AR-15 is somehow unique?

    Practically speaking, the guns and the capacity for fast killing haven't changed.  Something else in our society changed. 

    Blaming the guns won't get us far.  It will let us off the hook until the next shooting, but no more.

     


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  • #2

    Times change.

    Background checks are sorely needed and do not infringe on your rights.

    Comment


    • Invisible Hand
      Invisible Hand commented
      Editing a comment

      People are crazier now.  Modern society is literally driving people nuts.  Did guns cause this?  No.  Would things like waiting periods and background checks reduce the number of shootings?  Probably.  


    • Disemboweler
      Disemboweler commented
      Editing a comment

      BA.Barcolounger wrote:

      Times change.

      Background checks are sorely needed and do not infringe on your rights.


      Background checks are already in force. NICS is hilariously under-funded, many states do not fully report mantal disability to NICS, but despite this, the Newtown shooter was denied a firearms purchase becuse NICS worked. 

       

      Background checks also do not address the problem of gun trafficking by organized crime, both on the high level cartels and the low level street gangs. 

       

      What we need is better, more effective enforcement of laws already on the books.


  • #3

    Lets go back even further.  This weapon was available to the public, but seldom purchased by the public.  It was used indiscriminately against the civilian population of another nation; the civilian populations of the Native American Indians and by the United States government.

    Gatling rapid fire gun

    Attached Files

    Comment


    • rbstern
      rbstern commented
      Editing a comment

      normh wrote:

      Lets go back even further.  This weapon was available to the public, but seldom purchased by the public.  It was used indiscriminately against the civilian population of another nation; the civilian populations of the Native American Indians and by the United States government.


      How about when the Europeans brought their Gatlings and Maxims to Africa in the late 19th and early 20th century...no native American massacres even come close to the body counts of those bloody affairs.


  • #4

    rbstern wrote:

    Practically speaking, the guns and the capacity for fast killing haven't changed.  Something else in our society changed. 


    Our society's fascination with guns and gun violence has changed.  Especially among a certain population of at-risk and disturbed young males.

    One big difference between the M1 and the AR-15 is the look.  Like the movies and video games featuring a lot of gun violence that appeals to these guys, the violent look of guns such as the AR-15 appeal to them as well.   

    Since the operation of the two guns is virtually the same, then there's no reason to not ban the AR-15 for reasons of looks alone.

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    Comment


    • 360vodka
      360vodka commented
      Editing a comment

      Since the operation of the two guns is virtually the same, then there's no reason to not ban the AR-15 for reasons of looks alone.

      thank you guido feinstein!

       


    • GTRMAN
      GTRMAN commented
      Editing a comment

      So you're okay with keeping th AR -15 legal as long as cosmetic changes are made...  Nice.


      guido61 wrote:

      rbstern wrote:

      Practically speaking, the guns and the capacity for fast killing haven't changed.  Something else in our society changed. 


      Our society's fascination with guns and gun violence has changed.  Especially among a certain population of at-risk and disturbed young males.

      One big difference between the M1 and the AR-15 is the look.  Like the movies and video games featuring a lot of gun violence that appeals to these guys, the violent look of guns such as the AR-15 appeal to them as well.   

      Since the operation of the two guns is virtually the same, then there's no reason to not ban the AR-15 for reasons of looks alone.





  • #5
    The Newtown shooter not fail a background check, because no background check was performed. He asked to buy a gun, the dealer handed him the paperwork, and he chickened out.

    Comment


    • #6

      rbstern wrote:

      I'm sure this post will be dismissed by the usual suspects as the ranting of a "guntard," but I ask you to read it honestly, with an open mind to these easily verified facts.

      A big problem in the gun debate is ignorance of both history and technology.  Many people who think "assault weapons" should be banned have poor awareness of technical characteristics of firearms, and their roles in U.S. history.  This contributes to misperceptions and false assumptions.  I'm not suggesting that you have to be a gunsmith or an academic historian to participate effectively in this debate.  However, some easily obtained knowledge adds perspective.

      The M-16 rifle and its AR-15 semi-auto cousin were proceeded by a weapon called the M1 Carbine.  Introduced in WW2, the M1 Carbine was designed as a lightweight, high capacity weapon to bridge the gap between U.S. military sidearms (the 1911 45acp pistol) and main battle rifle (M1 Garand).  It was light weight.  It fired a .30 caliber, round nose bullet, in a small cartridge, from a high capacity magazine which could be carried in quantity and quickly swapped out.  As with the AR-15 twenty years later, the design idea was a weapon suitable to rear guard and auxillary unit service that had more firepower than a handgun, without the weight, recoil and bulk of a full sized, front line battle rifle.   Magazine capacities were 15 and 30 rounds.  Later commercial magazines included 20 and 40 round capacities.

      The M2 Carbine was a select fire variant, capable of full auto fire.   Other major variants included a folding stock intended for paratroopers.

      Approximatey 7 million M1 and M2 Carbines were made under U.S. military contracts.  Several million more were made for foreign governments and as commercial variants.  Many of the M1 Carbines that saw service in the U.S. military were sold to foreign governments, and saw military and police service all over the world.

      Now, what may come as a surprise to you is that many M1 Carbines live in the homes of U.S. civilians.  GIs brought them home after WW2 and Korea.  Others were sold to dealers and directly to the public by the U.S. government, often through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.  Fifty years ago, it would have not been unusual to see several M1 Carbines for sale in a small town hardware store, selling for $50, alongside the shotguns, squirrel and deer rifles.  Anyone could buy one without paperwork or a background check.  They were widely popular as plnking and small game rifles with the American public.  Surplus ammo was cheap and widely available.  The rifles also saw duty as patrol rifles with many law enforcement departments.

      If you skipped all of the above, please read this statement:  From 1945 to 1968, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of M1 Carbines, with characteristics similar to the AR15, were sold to the American public, with zero gun control, zero registraton, zero paperwork, and zero concern for mass shootings.

      The M1 Carbine was not used in crimes at any extraordinary rate, and on very rare occassion, one was used in a in mass shooting.  James Pough used one in Florida in 1990 at a GMAC office in Florida.  Charles Whitman had an M1 Carbine among the many weapons he carried the day he murdered people at the University of Texas, but as far as I know, it wasn't used.

      So, I put the question to you: if these weapons were sold to and possessed by the American public in great numbers, for more than twenty years, in the absence of any form of gun control, and were rarely ever used in mass murder...what makes you think the AR-15 is somehow unique?

      Practically speaking, the guns and the capacity for fast killing haven't changed.  Something else in our society changed. 

      Blaming the guns won't get us far.  It will let us off the hook until the next shooting, but no more.

       


      Thank you for the informative post. SOMETHING has to be done. Starting with some reasonable gun restrictions will be a good place to begin....also mental health, backgrounds, psych evals, gun show loophole...etc., all must be implemented FULLY and enforced.

      What your article did not state is that your weapons were all made to kill human beings as effectively as could be accomplished at their time in history.

      "Practically speaking, the guns and the capacity for fast killing haven't changed."

      asd

      dfg

       

      Neither has the automobile.

      Attached Files
      _________________________________________

      “True unalienable rights do not require one to trample other unalienable rights.”
      ―J.S.B. Morse

      Comment


      • rbstern
        rbstern commented
        Editing a comment

        quickie1 wrote: 

        Neither has the automobile.



        Bad analogy.  Those two automobiles are separated by enormous technological change in materials science and mechanical engineering.

        The M1 Carbine and the AR-15 share a much closer base of technology.  In fact, some gun companies have introduced redesigned versions of the AR-15 to make it work more like the M1 Carbine, in order to improve reliability.


    • #7
      As a seller you have to sign over the title of the car.

      Comment


      • gspointer
        gspointer commented
        Editing a comment
        Well BA. You don't. You have to sign over the title if the new owner wants to register for use on public roads. Should the new owner want to use it on private property only, there are no requirements.


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