Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Candlelight, May 1, 2013.
When did Dirty Harry stop being cool?
When he made Pink Cadillac.
^ Oy, I just had a vision of Clint Eastwood singing the song by that name
He made a movie with an orangutang, that's gotta count for something?
Probably about the time he started fighting remote control cars instead of serial killers who look like Garak, dirty cops, hippie revolutionaries, and the mob.
I like the chase just for the novelty factor, but it's hard to look like a badass when you're running from a remote control car, even if it is packed with plastic explosives.
The Dead Pool, right? The one Dirty Harry film I could never get into and find satisfying. Not just because of an idiotic sequence like this (and it is, indeed, quite idiotic) but by the start of the nineties Eastwood was just getting too old to pull of the Harry routine and look like a badass.
This seems like evolution to me.
And God bless America!
He switched to an auto mag in Sudden Impact.
Any chart ever made of US per capita murder rates. Back around the time of Constitutional ratification, when everyone had to murder with flint-lock muzzle loading pistols, the US homicide rate was about 28 per 100,000. The Colt revolver got that down to about 8 to 12. Switching from revolvers to high-capacity semi-automatics dropped it down to about 5.
The European homicide rate prior to the wide adoption of the flintlock usually ran somewhere between 20 to 100 per 100,000.
Homicide trends in America: 1850-1950 from Carnegie Mellon.
Long term trends in US homicide rates
Long term trends in violent crime, going back to the 1300's.
Of course, perhaps I'm trying to trick people into reading really interesting studies of violent crime trends throughout history. It's a place where a dedicated researcher can actually produce a lot of data because crime has always generated a lot of public records.
A "dedicated" researcher doesn't necessarily mean a good researcher, otherwise they wouldn't mix up correlation with causation. Except if they have an agenda, of course.
Associating weapon type alone with murder rates is not sufficiently indicative of the true cause. There are so many other factors that come into play.
What matters most is what we have at hand today, and that is assault weapons of unparalleled destructive power at affordable prices can be freely purchased by anybody over the age of 18. Nobody needs to own weapons of that magnitude today, analogous to the ownership of a howitzer or missile launcher. These are military grade weapons designed for killing many individuals in a very short period of time.
The people who want to own those weapons just don't want to relinquish the visceral joy they get from using them, just the way some people love to own 500hp street legal cars--all of that horsepower at your fingertips. It's reckless and irresponsible... but no, those against limitation will simply cite "freedom" and ignore "responsibility".
Well, if you know where the affordable assault rifles are, please tell me and we'll split the profits!
Assault rifles are the lowest powered rifles the American military has ever used since the development of the brass cartridge. When introduced they were dismissed as squirrel or poodle guns. Many states don't allow them for deer hunting because they're not deadly enough for a clean kill.
All rifles combined, not just assault rifles, are virtually irrelevant in homicide statistics, and many of those used are by drug cartels (sometimes armed by the branch of the federal government charged with enforcing gun laws). More people are murdered with clubs and hammers than rifles, and about twice as many are killed with bare hands. About four times as many are murdered with sharp pointing things, and five times as many are killed with "other weapons" (probably frozen turkeys). More people are also murdered with shotguns than all rifle types combined.
Since the assault weapon ban expired, the murder rate has dropped by about half. So at best, in a magical world where a rifle never killed another person, the murder rate would drop to 98% of the current value. In reality, it might jump back to 200% of the present rate, because that's where it was during the last data point we had for an assault weapons ban. Yet re-instituting the ban would probably prove irrelevant to murder rates because assault rifles are so irrelevant that the FBI doesn't even bother breaking them out into their own category. The US murder with assault rifles is probably around 0.03 per 100,000. They're not even common in mass murders.
You could instead go after the deadly threat presented by legally owned fully automatic FFL weapons. A lot of my friends own those. Heck, even I have belt fed Browning. Yet the murders committed with those is listed as just 2. Not 2 per 100,000. Not 2 per year. Just two - in the entire database.
In fact, given the overwhelming popularity of assault rifles and their virtual non-use in homicides, it would make more sense to trade everyone a brand new assault rifle for every piece of rusting junk they drag in, like old revolvers, knives, hammers, and frozen turkeys.
Accurate statistics on crime and violence in pre-flintlock times are hard to come by.
Semi automatic pistols existed for most of that particular 100 year period. There was also not much in the way of actual law enforcement at the beginning of it.
Or maybe you are mistaking the statistics of those times for accurate ones.
Of course how come some countries have higher rates of violent crimes and yet fewer murders per capita than the US.
What that could mean is that whilst having more relaxed gun laws, reduces the chances of you being invovled in a violent crime but it also increases your chance of being killed.
Now of course the truth is far more compex than that, some countries have more relaxed gun laws and few murders and/or incidents of violent crime. i.e Switzerland.
So what can the US learn from places that have high gun ownership and low murder rates?
Do those places have training? well in the case of Switzerland they have national service so everyone is trained in use of a gun.
Does having Universal Health Care help, i.e. it ensures people recieve help with any mental health issues?
So using gturners example rate of assult weapons being resposible for 0.03 murders per 100 000, or 0.3 murders per million or around 1 murder per 3 million. Population of US ~300m So around 100 murders less per year hardly an irrelevant stat.
Just because some dangerous item will never amount to a large proportion of killings, doesn't mean it should be legal.
I mean an eccentric millionaire could conceivably own a howitzer, if it was legal. But we probably shouldn't let them.
I'm interested in the description of assault rifles as Poodle Guns, since it reminds me of the dismissive attitude towards relevance of clip size. Why did anyone bother developing such things, then? Should we go back to giving all our soldiers bolt-action rifles?
One argument which could be put forward is. If banning guns (or certain types of guns) would save even one life is it worth it? What if that life was yours, a family member a friend?
Of course now will come the counter argument that banning guns cause murder rates to go up.
Do those studies show causal links between homicide rate and type of firearm? If so I can't find it.
That's a red herring; assault rifles are better than hunting rifles or earlier military rifles at causing numbers of human casualties, and have been perfected to that end. The intermediate cartridges were developed to be more controllable under rapid fire, to have low recoil in a lighter weapon, to allow larger magazine capacity and to allow more ammo to be carried on the person.
And yet, the destructive potential of those weapons is such that the people of the US have decided their ownership should be federally regulated, and those of more modern manufacture not legal at all for private ownership.
What? Switzerland have relaxed gun laws?!?
Thermonuclear weapons have caused fewer than 400,000 intentional human deaths since the very first atomic bomb was tested in the deserts of New Mexico in July of 1945, but we sure as hell have regulations and laws about those now don't we? How many Americans have been slain on our own soil with guns since the end of World War II?
And we're not supposed to at least minimally, sensibly regulate them and who can legally get their hands on and operate them? This isn't a Second Amendment issue and it never has been. It's a common sense safety issue dealing with devices specifically designed to smash, destroy and kill things and with rapid, lethal efficiency.
Some people own canons (usually muzzle loading).
In general, possession of their ammunition was banned as destructive devices (they're really bomb hurlers), and then sometime after WW-II we banned anti-tank rifles, which were becoming popular with collectors. I'm pretty confident that the number of homicides committed with canons or anti-tank rifles is zero.
In any event, to address your edit, virtually every military had settled on rifle cartridges in the narrow ballistic range of the 7mm Mauser, .303 British, to the .30-06 (a slightly upscaled 7mm Mauser). All of them had two or three times the kinetic energy of Civil War muzzle loading rifles, but most nations were pretty sure such cartridges were required for modern combat. That was probably in part because smokeless powder and better bullet shapes made such guns very effective at much longer ranges, and if naval combat and artillery were proper examples to go by, out-ranging your opponent would produce victories.
By WW-I we were making fully-automatic rifles to fire such high-power cartidges, such as the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) which had a 20-round magazine. However, physics being a bitch, such guns have to be quite heavy to be controllable with full-auto fire.
BAR math, or full-powered automatic rifles are heavy.
The BAR weighed close to 20 pounds. Full-auto weapons also eat a lot of ammunition, and full-powered rifle ammunition is heavy, too. Standard .30-06 ammunition weighs about 17 rounds per pound, and armies liked soldiers to carry 200 or 300 rounds of ammunition, which would weigh 12 to 17 pounds, respectively, even without magazines, boxes, or pouches. The empty BAR magazines weigh about a half pound each (and hold 20 rounds), so the all-up weight if you wanted to carry 300 rounds fully loaded into combat would be: 20 pounds for the gun, 17 pounds for the cartridges, 7 pounds for the magazines, or about 44 pounds. Add pouches for the magazines and would hit 50 pounds. That works great if other soldiers carry the BAR gunner's tent, socks, flashlights, insect repellent, and whatnot, but if all the soldiers carried BARs they would need gun bearers following along behind them.
Better mechanical designs can lighten the gun, but lightening the gun starts making it uncontrollable in full-auto fire, since conservation of momentum combines with human anatomy to cause high-powered light full-auto guns to spray nothing but the sky. In late WW-II, in a desperate need to stop massive Soviet advances, the Germans got around this problem the only way the problem can be solved, by coming up with a wimpy, low-powered cartridge that doesn't have as much recoil. The cartridge was the 7.9mm Kurz (short), and it was in between a pistol cartridge and a rifle cartridge. The low powered cartridge allowed the full-auto rifle that fired it to weigh only 10 pounds instead of 20. Hitler called the rifle "Sturmgewehr" (assault rifle) because he wouldn't admit that it was a desperate measure to try and stop advancing Soviet armies that were rolling toward Berlin.
Meanwhile the Soviets made the same innovation, coming up with the 7.62x39 (still wildly popular) in their SKS rifle. Some say they found the 7.92mm Kurz and adapted it for .30 caliber barrels, but of course the Soviets invented everything, so they'd never admit such a thing. They might even be right about that. Both cartridges fire a 125-grain bullet at about 2,200 feet per second. (There are 7,000 grains in a pound, if you want to crunch numbers). A standard battle cartridge like the .30-06 fires a 150 to 170 grain bullet at 2,700 to 2,900 feet per second. Using the formula for kinetic energy (KE=1/2mv^2) shows that the assault rifles have to fire a bullet that has only half the ballistic energy of a regular rifle cartridge.
The US military was never going to do something like that, and insisted that only a full battle cartridge would be acceptable. When it came to coming up with a standard rifle round for NATO, they shortened the .30-06, very slightly reduced its muzzle velocity, and introduced it as the .308 Winchester. It's a little shorter than the .30-06 so machine guns can cycle faster (less bolt travel). Then they tried to make a regular-weight full-auto rifle for it, to replace the M-1 Garand, and failed spectacularly with the M-14. At the demonstration in front of a reviewing stand full of generals, the soldier firing the M-14 landed flat on his back with the barrel aiming straight up.
So the US still didn't have an answer to the Soviet AK-47. Eventually an inventor came up with a very light weight .22 caliber rifle firing a modified .222 cartridge (normally used for hunting rabbits and foxes). The gun was small and light so the Air Force adopted it as a gun their aircrews could use if they bailed out. It was fancy, looked high-tech, and used lots of aluminum, the Air Force's favorite metal, so they bought lots of them. Someone showed it to President Kennedy and he thought it was nifty. The US Army despised it. They worked for Kennedy, and he told them to adopt it, so they did, after trying everything in their power to keep using a real combat rifle.
Then Vietnam heated up, and even though the rifle was thought wholly inadequate for the European battlefield, it would probably do well in close-in jungle combat. So we tried it out. The guns jammed all the time and lots of American soldiers died as a result, to the extent that Congress had to conduct hearings on the gun's worthlessness. The Army made fixes, lots of them. But even today, the gun jams a great deal of the time, and the .223 cartridge is still so underpowered that the military and industry spend a lot of time pushing for its abandonment. Almost anything you read about combat rifles will center around the question of what cartridge the military needs to use instead of what it's using.
But they're fun and cheap to shoot, so they're wildly popular for target plinking.
ETA: Oh, and there's a fascinating story about why the US Army wanted a full-auto rifle. During the war some PhD justified his existence by claiming he was doing "battlefield research", and wrote scholarly looking papers showing that US soldiers simply would NOT fire back at the enemy unless they had real machine guns. He claimed he was doing on-the-scene post-action interviews with them, using questionaires and all the other tools of modern psychology, and that soldiers who only had ordinary rifles felt that they simply couldn't contribute anything toward success because their guns weren't awesome enough, so they'd just sit there and do nothing.
The Army brass fell for it hook, line, and sinker, and became adamant that whatever new rifle was developed, it had to be full auto or soldiers wouldn't bother pulling the trigger. The belief became so pervasive that it overrode consideration like having an effective bullet.
Much later it turned out that the PhD had made the whole thing up. He'd never gone to any battlefields, he'd never conducted any interviews, and his conclusions were completely wrong. Subsequent checks with people who were actually in the battles he claimed to have studied said the American problem was that soldiers would open up with everything they had on anything that moved. Even enemy soldiers complained about it. One German noted that if he fired one shot, the whole US front would erupt in a wave of gunfire and artillery that would take forever to die back down.
So the whole full-auto thing was a red herring, and newer M-16 derivatives don't even offer full-auto fire. So really all we've done is junk the M-1 Garand and give everyone the rough equivalent of M-1 carbines, a lightweight rifle that fired basically a pistol cartridge, used for tank crews and such because it was small and could fit behind a seat.
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