back to article Ammo rationing at Wal-Mart as panic buying sweeps US

The USA is suffering the most severe ammunition famine in living memory. Gun fanciers, fearing a Democrat crackdown on every American's right to pack heat, are clearing shelves at ammo shops and hoarding cartridges. AP reports that the Remington Arms Company's factory in North Carolina is now working around the clock trying to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    *wonders what good ol' Blighty would be like if WalMart's UK tentacle, Asda, sold guns 'n' ammo* ... *shudders*

  2. John 104

    Don't know much about guns...

    You musn't know much about guns.... and I'm no expert. However....

    5.56 or .223 as it is known in the civilian world here in the US is one of the most popular rounds. The AR15 is the civilian version of the M16/M4 rifle and is probably the most popular semi-auto to be had. Countless manufacturers build these rifles of varying quality. Second to that is probalby the AK 47, which shoots 7.62, which is ALSO impossible to find these days. For hunting, its the .308 and THOSE are hard to come by. The 5.56 round is the NATO round. the 5.56 is used by the US armed forces, police forces and civilians. THATS why its impossible to find these days. Hell, you can't even find .22LR these days, and thats just for children and backyard plinking!

    As for the political side, no, there aren't any pending regulations this year. However, Biden, the Vice President, has a history of supporting gun control/bans, so while healthcare is on the burner, us Americans know that guns and ammo are getting mixed up in a bowl on the counter... Even fire arms are hard to come by at a decent price these days, let alone the rounds to shoot them with.

    As for the.45, its not the round that is the issue for accuracy. It is the barrel that shoots it. Many model 1911s have been upgraded with match grade barrels and shoot very nicely. As for penetrating battle armor, civilians generally don't shoot at armored soldiers in this country... and gangstas are more likely to use a .9mm, which has much less stopping power...

    Nice try though.

    Mines the one with the Keltec SU16 in side....

  3. Richard 102

    Be fair ...

    Qaddaffi Duck (or however you spell it) is in the US now; we need the ammo to guard against his ilk and Scottish politicians who might order an invasion just so they can capture and free him.

    As for Obama, the man is on record as being in favor of gun control and using bureaucracy to keep guns out of the hands of honest American citizens ... besides, he's a Chicago Democrat, a socialist, a lawyer, and a Harvard grad. Would you take him at his word?

    Oh, and the NBA season starts soon. Maybe people are just bracing themselves for when the Pacers and Trailblazers come to town.

  4. DelM

    Colt, Smith&Wesson: Pro Obama/Dems

    I can just see it now: the weapon and ammo manufacturers will (silently?) endorse Obama or any other candidate who Right Wingers *think* will take away their guns, just to keep the run on guns and ammo going.

    Who says capitalism doesn't create strange bedfellows? The grenade, whose turn is coming I'm sure.

  5. Rob

    Exclamation Mark

    Blimey, what can you say other than only in America!

  6. northern monkey

    Reading that Walmart sells bullets... one of the more surreal moments I've had. It's truly terrifying that a nation intent on disarming the rest of the world can arm up when getting in their weekly shop.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    someone tell Gordon!

    Boost the economy, reverse the firearms ban! Buy Radway Green, help BAE by going Green!

    Ok, so my old range now has housing on it, but details, details.

    As for preference, I liked 9mm subsonic in my 228. Stopping power was never really relevant to UK civilian shooting, but reduced recoil helped with accuracy.

    And as for Walmart, don't have to go that far afield. Check a French or Belgian rural supermarket. Go past the booze, fruit & veg, hang a left and find the firearms aisle.

  8. Martin Lyne


    "The ammo rush has been dubbed the "Obama effect" by gun-industry people, but in fact there is no sign at present of any particularly aggressive move towards stricter federal gun laws"

    So.. it's only the knee-jerk, media-obeying idiot drones that are buying it then. Just the kind of people you want to be well armed.

    Unless they just started selling World War Z in the US. 45 ACP would go well with squidgy zomzoms.

  9. Taters

    I for one...

    ...welcome a country where the citizens can become unified enough to decide that the government needs to be stopped.

  10. Dave 32


    Hey, how about us generous Americans who donate claymores?

    As for the .45 ACP (and, you should always indicate ACP, if that's the round you're discussing, to avoid confusing it with the same caliber, but longer .45 LC), there's always the .454 Casull if you need more power (or the .45 LC).

    ACP=Automatic Colt Pistol:

    LC=Long Colt, an older, longer, originally black powder round (also infamous as the cartridge that won the west):

    .454 Casull:


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I smell a scam

    i) x starts rumour about gun confiscation

    ii) NRA wingnuts (programmed to) believe rumour

    iii) mad rush to buy 'rare' ammo

    iv) ammo price rises

    v) profit!

  12. SandscriptSharpie

    Legislation on Gun Registration

    H.R.45 - Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009

    To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes.

  13. Dean H.
    IT Angle

    And this is IT related how?

    Is any 'news' that comes from a web site therefore IT related?

  14. mhj


    You can buy ammo in their equivalent of Asda? That's nuts.

  15. J. Cook Silver badge

    Old news, sort of...

    There has been an ammo shortage for quite a while- from October 2008 to around May or June this year, I suspect it was due to primers and other components all but vanishing on the open market, snapped up by people who were hording from the election panic. (On a side note, AR-15s and semi-auto AK47s also were especially hard to come by during this time). Since May or June, I've been noticing various calibers reappearing on the market- 9mm, .223/5.56, 7.62x39, etc. Except for .22 Long Rifle. I suspect that the reason why it's still scarce is due to how rimfire ammunition is assembled.

    The reason that the big retailers (Wal-Mart, to use the example from the article) are limiting sales is to keep consumers from buying up the store's entire allotment the second it arrives.

    *wanders back into the magazine storage and looks at what caliber to mail order next*

  16. Pavlovs well trained dog

    gimme 10mm anyday

    I haven't carried a gun, or even owned one for quite some many years now

    but the last I had was an HK 10mm

    Truly sublime - well, in it's function as a firearm.

  17. J 3
    Paris Hilton


    What a sick society...

  18. retired spook

    .45 ACP-partly truth and partly fiction

    You are correct when you say most "off the shelf" .45 ACP lacks stopping power.

    Someone with sufficient experience with the round and the guns that fire it, however, can safely engineer handloaded ammunition which will knock down and demolish a 55 gallon drum full of wet sand at 25 yards.

    The issue is how much of the kinetic energy of the round can be transferred to the target on impact.

    A properly loaded .45 ACP round hits a human-sized target with the force of a lead basketball moving at 300 mph, and, as you've pointed out, the bullet is subsonic and usually stays in the body, which is important in home defense.

  19. Richard IV

    Cunning plan...

    Unloaded guns don't kill people (unless you're an expert at pistol whipping). Tax the possession of ammo :]

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John 104

    You may want to wear a vest and compare a .45 with a 9mm. I think you'll find the qualitative difference in "stopping power" to be fairly negligible.

    "Stopping power" is more than the size of the bullet. It also includes velocity and the shape that the bullet takes as it strikes/enters the body. There's a reason no one really builds dreadnoughts anymore (yes, it's a ship, but the principle is the same). It's not cost effective. You can get the same devastation from a smaller shell if it's traveling faster.

    Being a U.S. citizen, even I know that the AK-47 is more popular than the M-16 (worldwide). Even if it's not as accurate (that's being kind), it will put up with far more abuse and still work.

    AC because I'm probably sounding like a jerk about this.

  21. Doug Glass

    @John 104

    Very good John, very good comment.

    However, as an ammunition hand-crafter and bullet caster for over 40 years I'd like to clear up one point. A gun's configuration most certainly affects accuracy, and in the case of the venerable, if not historic, Model of 1911 45 automatic (actually semi-automatic) pistol, “generous” tolerances are such to favor function "in the mud" so to speak over tack-driving accuracy. But, ammunition plays a significant roll too.

    Strangely enough, especially for the non shooters, every gun has its preferences and certain load configurations simply play havoc with accuracy. Hand loaders as a matter of routine "work up" to an acceptably accurate round by varying components. Every variable possible has an effect on accuracy: primer brisance, powder type (flake, ball, or extruded), case capacity, case neck tension, bullet alloy or jacket composition, ogive variances, bullet seating depth, and many other factors too numerous to mention here. But the thing is, in pretty much any gun, vary one ammunition component and you affect accuracy. One reason over the years factory ammunition has been less accurate than specifically tailored stuff is its plain vanilla, generic component design to just go bang in every gun it’s chambered for.

    And, as usual, the press has gotten a bit of a wrong take on this and in interviewing so few people they can’t help it. But no matter, it is what it is and those of us in the middle of it do a lot more grinnin’ than groanin’. We can’t help that either. You see, we honed our shooting and reloading abilities a little over 200 years ago in a minor skirmish with some monarch ... I forget his name. But we enjoyed what we accomplished then and we sort of like to keep the dream alive today.

    I could go on and on but I need to cut the 4x4s I have to strengthen the floor support of my shop. All that lead, tin and antimony is causing the floor to warp and we just can’t have that.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    This isn't news - it's been the case for almost a year now. I'm not affected by the shortage much, apart from a slight scarcity of primers at the moment. I handload my ammo and cast my own .45 200 grain bullets from wheel-weights.

    I do need to buy some more rifle propellant, though; 1lb will only do about 140 rounds of .308, whereas 1lb will do about 1,300 rounds of .45ACP, and I go through about 100 rounds of rifle and about 500 rounds of pistol on weekends.

  23. Stevie


    *Shakes head*

  24. Ian Michael Gumby

    You don't shoot much, do you?

    "*Most kinds of .45 have unexceptional muzzle energy and are big and fat, giving fairly poor performance even against light, flexible body armour. It was the standard US military pistol round for a long time and many diehards still swear by it, but people who carry guns for a living - cops, soldiers, criminals - are mostly using other calibres these days. (Some spec-ops troops still use .45, as the bullet is subsonic and thus can be effectively silenced.)"

    What you wrote isn't completely correct.

    The reason why you don't see a lot of people carrying .45s is that the round is big and the kick from firing the round has to be mastered. You want to be able to hit your target with each shot fired.

    Its easier to teach a person to shoot a 9mm because it has less recoil. If you're not trained properly you will flinch with the recoil of the .45 and this will in turn cause you to be less accurate. Also a typical .45 has a magazine capacity at 8 rounds or less. A 9mm like a glock can have a 15+1 rd capacity. So you can carry more bullets. These two facts are the reasons why police and military forces switched to smaller rounds.

    With respect to 'subsonic' ammo, any round can be hand loaded to be subsonic, however this will limit your down range energy delivered to the target.

    While there aren't any new laws slated, that doesn't mean that there won't be any new taxes on ammo. Besides the day after Obama won the election, many gun lovers went out and bought new guns. ;-)

    Oh and BTW, even if the round doesn't penetrate the kevlar vest, if it is large enough and has enough energy, hitting you in the right place can still cause you to die.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Gotta Love Them Yanks

    "an average of 23 rounds per head"

    With an average of 23 brain cells per head too.

  26. Jamie 19

    Depends on how close you want to get

    If you don't mind getting up close and dirty then a nice little 9mm pistol will do the job.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    huh ?

    The septics need to get a grip.....

    Got an AK47 well you know it makes me feel alright

    Got an Uzi by my pillow, helps me sleep a little better at night

    There's no feeling any greater

    Than to shoot first and ask questions later

    Now I'm trigger happy,(wooooooo) trigger happy every day

    Well, you can't take my guns away, I got a constitutional right

    Yeah, I gotta be ready if the Commies attack us tonight

    Ba Ba Ba

    I'll blow their brains out with my Smith and Wesson

    That ought to teach them all a darn good lesson

    Now I'm trigger happy,(wooooooo) trigger happy every day

  28. 4HiMarks
    Big Brother

    They can have my gun when...

    Just goes to show the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats want to take away your guns, and Republicans want to take away your porn.

  29. Anonymous Coward


    It seems that, after watching crap TV for too many years where all problems are solved by the gun, the 'merkins have all finally gone crazy.

    Mutual Assured Destruction, yep, gonna plug my frigging neighbours afor they get me! Yeeha!!

    Sad :(

  30. crypt

    $ and sense

    just another way Obama is stimulating the US economy :D

  31. Blake St. Claire
    Big Brother

    @Rob, re: Exclamation Mark

    > Blimey, what can you say other than only in America!

    Nah, I expect South Africa is just as crazy. Last time I was there the park ranger at the gate to Kruger seemed genuinely surprised that I wasn't in possession of a firearm.

    That was in '85. I can only guess that it's the same, or worse, today.

  32. John 104

    @Exclamation Mark

    Well, the difference between the UK and America is that we don't get put in jail for wearing a heavy coat and carying a laptop. Something about the citizens being empowered to overthrow the government at will...

    Fire, because the politicians know that if push comes to shove, they'll get burned....

  33. peyton?

    Don't look to the Obama administration

    For answers... just tune to Faux News, Rush Limbaugh, etc etc... Not a matter of people fearing they'll lose the right to bear arms so much as people that are just all stirred up by their chosen media (and secretly loving it too, I think).

    Funny to hear them prattle on and on about how the country is suddenly changed/doomed/yadayada. I truly believe The Gilded Age by Mark Twain (and some other guy) should be required reading here. In spite of being published in the 1870s, it describes contemporary American politics perfectly. Nothing really changes, except what people remember...

  34. USA IT, where it all started

    A flood will follow this drought

    John 104,

    For the record, .223 Remington and 5.56mm are Different cartridges. You can fire a .233 in a weapon chambered for 5.56mm, but the opposite is considered unsafe by SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute).


    I know it's all the rage to consider only energy in stopping power, but an excellent argument can be made that the more important figure is momentum. Energy is calculated by taking Half the mass times the velocity Squared. This means that energy figures are Much greater for a smaller, faster projectile. Momentum, on the other hand, is calculated by simply multiplying the mass by the velocity. If you look at the two “Gold Standard” man stopper cartridges (ones with Many, Many one shot stops on record) we have the 230 grain .45 ACP and the 125 Grain .357 Magnum. By looking at energy figures, it's hard to imagine that the .45 works as well as the .357 – which can have almost Twice the energy. But when you compare momentum, you find that they are almost exactly the same.

    Now, it's true that big and slow is easier to defeat with armor than small and fast, which is why when people face armored opponents they favor things like steel core 5.56mm rounds. However, against unarmored opponents, what a civilian is most likely to face, the .45 is very effective, with a reduced risk of over penetration. Which, is another reason the .45 gets chosen by groups like the FBI hostage rescue team.

    As for the ammunition shortage, it's pretty tight over here. I went to pick up some 9mm and .45 (range fodder, not the good stuff) and had to go to three different shops to find it. I personally can't wait till the people settle down and stop panic buying – the price is inflated now and it makes practice an expensive endeavor :(

    ROTM because what are we supposed to use to stop the inevitable machine uprising, harsh language?

  35. dracotrapnet

    This is why I like swords, daggers and knives

    Swords, daggers and knives require no reloading.

  36. soaklord

    Systems Thinking and Reinforcing Loops

    This is an interesting lesson in exactly how a reinforcing loop works. Here's a basic version.

    10 Obama gets elected.

    20 The far Right believe there will soon be a shortage on ammo.

    30 The pundits from the Right talk about it and create a fervor.

    40 Those listening go to local Wally world and buy up whatever they can afford to hoard.

    50 Those that don't get there soon enough report back that the ammo is gone.

    60 The Right preach about how it is already coming to pass.

    70 Shelves get stocked and emptied at faster rates as everyone believes the big stop is coming.

    80 Price *1.5, Stock *0.8, rationing begins, everyone assumes they are being "regulated".

    90 Speed *2

    100 GOTO 20

    The fascinating part to all this is that AFAIK, not one control bill has been proposed. Perception != reality. The good news for the ammo companies is that they will blow through stock right up until Obama is a lame duck at this rate. Hmm... Big Ammo supporting a dem for re-election... There's a thought.

  37. JB

    Shots fired?

    Nine billion rounds sold? I can't imagine 9 billions shots have been fired in a year in the US, let alone by civilians. Must be those right-wingers in the south. I'm a British ex-pat, and in the part of Northern California where I live I know nobody who owns a gun or wants to. Probably the same in most urban areas in California, except for the gang members and the minority of nervous householders. Probably a different story out in the countryside, though.

    But honestly, why do you need a gun? If you come up against somebody with a gun who wants to rob you, having a gun isn't going to help you, it would probably make things worse.

    If I encounter an intruder, I think I'll stick with one of my late father's shove-ha'penny trophies with the nice heavy marble base, that'll teach 'em!

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Economic Stimulus..

    At least the Obama plan to stimulate the economy is working for one industry...

    Mine's the trenchcoat with the assault rifle tucked in there.

  39. Will 12

    only in America

    is the right to bare arms more important that the right to free healthcare!!

    Seriously Americans, get a grip. You're the only Democracy in the world who doesn't have free State healthcare, and you're the only one that's obsessed with owning guns. You have your priorities well and truly screwed up.

  40. IT Dog's Boy
    IT Angle

    Old News

    This article is a bit out of date.

    The demand for ammo is finally starting to abate slightly, I can finally go the the range and buy one box of rounds now.

    I did not vote for Oboma but I did buy two more pistols this year, the left really is the biggest gun advertisement in history.

    Oh and I like the .45 also, very effective against unarmoured thugs and has low penetrate through mutiple walls unlike a 9mm or .40 plus it's fun to shoot and easy to reload.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    This was news 6 months ago. Back then you couldn't get 9mm or 556 (223) for love nor money. Now, while it's not quite "back to normal", you can a) get it b) without paying ridiculous amounts for it.

    The only ammo I had trouble getting was the cheapest "plinking" target shooting rounds. For the stuff you'd really want to stockpile against a rainy day, it was already expensive and I've not had any problems getting it.

    I'm an expat living in the US. I have among others, several semi-auto pistols, a tactical shotgun, and an assault rifle. Believe it or not, there's nothing unusual in this, here. The yanks look on with similar horror and disbelief at the UK's common usage of naughty words, dangerously liberal attitude to the devil drink, and how the English spell / pronounce many of their words incorrectly.

    To the footnote about "subsonic" - you can get subsonic ammo for pretty much any pistol or rifle, so I don't know what they're on about.

  42. Michael Necaise

    .45 vs 9mm

    Changing the US military over from .45ACP to 9mm had little to do with ballistics. It was done for two primary reasons (as I understand it -- I'm no expert so I may be wrong...)

    1.) NATO. The NATO standard was defined to be 9mm. Changing the US military to the same caliber made it easier for US troups to share.

    2.) Capacity. A 45 caliber M1911A1 only holds 7 rounds in the clip. The M9 holds 15 rounds in the clip. They're smaller and lighter so a soldier can carry more.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bootnote is wrong!

    THe .45 ACP has the best stopping power when compared to the 9mm because it is a heavy bullet. Thats what you want it to be--subsonic. Being subsonic creates the worst wound. Try the Hydra-Shock ammo for the 45 and you'll see what happends.

    For personal defence in a weapon you want a big heavy .45 acp 200+ grain hollow point for best stopping power. I never understood the military switch to the 9mm except that you gain more fire power or more rounds in the mag compared to the .45 with only 7-15 depending on make of pistol.

    I carry the Springfield .45 ACP and use the HydraShock to protect my family and myself. If someone tries to beat me or my family the only thing left on the top of their shoulders will be a pile a goo where their head used to be.

    And to all you anti-gunners out there, I have a right, as any free man or woman, to protect my family and myself from anyone who would bodily harm us for no reason--who says I have to run away? I see no reason why a law abiding citizen has to live like a sheep while criminals go in a revolving door through the "system" at our expense only to go back to their violent ways. I have already made 2 "gangsta" types think before they made their desicion to violate me and my belongings--Perfectly legal, as it should be. One is in jail--still.

    In all USA states that have inacted the CPL or Concealed Carry Law, crime has gone down and thats no lie. THe States that have no Carry law only the criminals have guns. Some of those states are Nevada and NewYork and Washington DC. THe latter not a state but its still has a ban on CPL.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Subsonic ftw!

    Re Ian Michael Gumby

    "With respect to 'subsonic' ammo, any round can be hand loaded to be subsonic, however this will limit your down range energy delivered to the target."

    True, but if you place your shots accurately, then size and energy matter less, along with magazine capacity. Along with any risk to bystanders from spray & pray. Size and ft lbs aren't everything.

  45. Jerome 0

    Gun laws

    "in fact there is no sign at present of any particularly aggressive move towards stricter federal gun laws."

    Does this mean there are plenty of signs of gradual, peaceful movement towards stricter federal gun laws?

  46. The Other Steve

    RE : mooo

    "*wonders what good ol' Blighty would be like if WalMart's UK tentacle, Asda, sold guns 'n' ammo* "

    Quieter, I expect. Although possibly not at first.

  47. StarMartyr

    Just great...

    Now I have a whole bunch of paranoid-delusional schizophrenic wingnuts who are off their meds and running around armed to the teeth. As if life isn't crazy enough without giving the psyche ward a weekend pass and the keys to the armory. These are the people that think they know how to handle a firearm in a combat situation just because they showed up for a concealed weapons class, took a written test and popped off a few rounds at the range. If something nasty does go down and anyone of these jerks does start popping off rounds they are liable to kill more bystanders than the actual threat. Then it gets worse when the cops show up and start returning fire and asking questions AFTER they take down the shooter(s). Their first couple of shots will usually do the trick but they'll send half a dozen or more rounds just to be sure. At least they take innocent bystanders into consideration before pulling the trigger. I hope...

    What this really boils down to is racism - pure and simple. You have a bunch of ignorant fools who can't get over the fact that a minority is now the President of the United States of America after just over half of the country VOTED HIM INTO THE OFFICE IN A LAWFUL ELECTION. That is all this is about. They'll dress it up in all kinds of flowery language but they are really a marginalized fringe who can't handle change without resorting to violence. They've been suckered by the boys in the country club for so long they'd happily destroy America and turn it into a of collection of balkanized third world countries rather than accept that the world has changed and learning to cope. They'd happily tell you that if you don't like their point of view then you can GTFO; completely oblivious to the irony of how un-American THAT is. For what it's worth, I think most of these degenerates are blood belching vaginas who hide behind guns because they're way too insecure to fight like men. What most of them really need is a box of tampons to stop the hemorrhaging.

    Honestly, if you aren't at least one third Native American then you need to get on a boat and go back to were you came from since ALL non-native Americans are immigrants. I'll make an exception for our African-American brothers and sisters since most of them didn't ASK to be here in the first place. They'll have to negotiate their accommodations with the natives though. Unfortunately I don't think our former homelands would take us back since the gene pool has degenerated so much. I think you Brits had a good idea when you sent the criminals to Australia and the poor and/or religious nuts to America. It's sad really but if stupidity was painful then most of these people would be on a permanent morphine drip.

    I'll leave with a quote from one of the greatest Americans EVAR!

    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.*

    -George Carlin (1937 - 2008)


    *Unfortunately, it is well over half the closer you get to the Mason Jar Line and the further into the Midwest you go. Come to think of it, the western seaboard is the only safe place!

  48. Glenn Amspaugh

    re: Blair Holt: Not quite


    Check Snopes. (

    Looks like this Rep. Bobby Rush has introduced his bill again and it's once again languishing in committee. Just like the Republicans won't go near abortion in the federal legislature, Democrats won't go near gun control any time soon. Basically, smart politicos are realizing they have to play for the middle.

    -- The well armed Lib'ral

  49. corestore

    For the record...

    An 'assault rifle' is a fully-automatic rifle, usually of intermediate power as has been stated. Examples would include AK47 and M16. They've been heavily regulated in the USA since 1934 by the National Firearms Act, and several states ban civilian ownership of them completely. I don't own any.

    An 'assault weapon' isn't a gun at all, it's a term coined by the anti-gun lobby to describe a weapon they have decided is 'politically incorrect'. They're essentially normal semi-automatic (one shot per trigger pull) rifles, but with extraneous features anti-gun people don't like. I own several of these.

    Mike (expat Brit in the USA)

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Exclamation Mark

    John 104 flamed:

    "Something about the citizens being empowered to overthrow the government at will..."

    This will never happen in the US, despite the usual gun lobby and gun owner posturing: people would have to switch off the indoctrination box, roll off the couch and actually figure out how they'd actually "overthrow the government". The nemesis of gun owners, Michael Moore, showed how dimwitted the kind of people are who actually do stray away from Fox News and company for longer than the advert break - such people are dangerous, but not to those wielding "executive power".

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stephen Hawking comments ...

    It's a good thing that Charlton Heston was not American. If he was, the NRA would have shot him and stolen his ammo.


    "...welcome a country where the citizens can become unified enough to decide that the government needs to be stopped."

    The rest of the civilised world uses elections.

    Thumbs down? No, my cold, dead fingers.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Heretic on the Loose

    Ok, for all you yanks saying the author knows dick and that the .45 is fantastic... sorry guys, we know it's the traditional weapon of choice for every red neck yank, but the rest of the world thinks it sucks. Author never said it had poor stopping power. He said it performed no better than a 9mm and worse against an armoured target.

    John104 - some issues with you piece me ole' mucker. Firstly 7.62mm short as fired by AK47 is scarce because it's damn near the only weapon firing it and the West doesn't use it. We use standard NATO 7.62mm, very different kettle of fish. Secondly, agreed, you don't shoot at armoured soldiers, you shoot at armoured coppers instead. Thirdly, it's 9mm, not .9mm. Frankly if someone's shooting .9mm ammo we've got issues because that's flechette territory and there's a whole world of grief we aren't discussing here. Fourthly, beware of saying "I don't know much..." and then ably demonstrating it.

    Frankly, if I'm wearing a Class 2 vest, I'd rather be shot with a boggo, normal, off the shelf .45 ACP than a 9mm because I'd rather be knocked on my ass than have my ribs broken.

    Which I kinda think is what the author, you know, the former military "I shot people for a living" author meant.

    AC because I am bored rigid by yanks who belive they are the only people in the world who know about guns. 90% of the guns you guys make suck, that's why I prefer Glock, Sig, H&K, in fact anything (with the exception of the M16 which is a versatile little puppy) to anything which is designed and made by you (ok slight exaggeration but I am royally pissed)!!!!

  53. kain preacher

    @AC 22:06 GMT

    First off I don't any one that would write .9mm. Funny thing is most red necks I know prefer .357 mag or .44 mag..

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wow. .45 flamewar. I never thought I'd see El Reg turn into /k/.

  55. Anonymous Coward


    George Carlin was wrong. It's the _median_ person's IQ that just over half are equal to or below.

    Wasn't there a candle shortage artificially created in the UK a few decades ago? Couldn't this be the same thing?

  56. Adrian Esdaile

    7 billion per year

    I'm still trying to fathom 7 billion rounds per annum.

    What the hell do merkins do with the damn things, eat them?

  57. Nexox Enigma


    """I'm a British ex-pat, and in the part of Northern California where I live I know nobody who owns a gun or wants to. Probably the same in most urban areas in California, except for the gang members and the minority of nervous householders."""

    If you were to get on I-80 and head east for 45 minutes or so (assuming no traffic, so do it at 4 AM,) you'd be in a portion of California that owns quite a few guns. As soon as you drift from the coast, they are actually quite popular. In places like Bakersfield, there are loads of gun shops and shooting ranges, and that's fairly representative of the parts of non-costal California that I've visited.

    It turns out that Northern California isn't representative of anything, ever. Basically everything that goes on here shows some form of statistical anomalies, guns included. Some brief googling suggests that total gun sales in California were somewhere in the half a million range each year between 2000 and 2008, which is a hefty number of guns.

  58. Malcom Ryder 1

    Don't ride the bus

    An 18 year old high school student was walking toward the bus stop when 2 16 years rode by on bicycles and shot him. All you NRA freaks can go to hell

  59. Hud Dunlap
    Big Brother

    @will 12

    It is because of americans are used to taking care of themselves. What most non-Americans don't understand is how many Charity hospitals there are in this country. I have been un-employed and uninsured and ended up in the hospital. I got the treatment I needed. We have Seventh Day adventist, Methodist, Baptist and others. Does Great Britain have anything like the Shriners Hospitals?

    One of the reason health care is so expensive is because Hospitals have to bill the people who do pay to cover those who don't. When I got a job I paid my bill. Not everyone does.

    And it is not just the guns we are worried about. It is the violation of the Bill of Rights. If one says that the Second Amendment doesn't apply then you say that you don't have the right to free speech, freedom from search and seizure or even the right to a jury trial.

  60. Anonymous Coward


    I'd like to point out something which most British people fail to appreciate (and I am a Brit too, although I'm now a permanent US resident):

    American police have *no* duty to protect individuals - so the US Supreme Court has said a number of times (google "Warren v. District of Columbia", if you think I'm kidding). Think what that means - if you hear your door being kicked in at 3am, you're totally on your own, mate.

    I'm reminded of something Massad Ayoob said: "Unfortunately, by their nature, the sheep can’t distinguish between wolves and sheepdogs and seem to fear any creature with canine teeth, even those that are there to protect them."

    Besides which, don't I remember seeing an article recently that Britain now has the highest crime-rate in the world? Believe me, I feel far safer in Dallas than I ever did in Blighty.

  61. kain preacher

    Adrian Esdaile

    Simple mate. Take %10 of to population(30 mil) . 30 million x 250 rounds a year and you get 7.5 billion. I've gone through 10 rnds in a day before .

  62. Good Ole Paul

    As a gun owner, I've got to disagree....

    As an owner of many handguns in both .45 ACP and 9mm Parabellum, I must disagree with the article's footnote on the utility of the .45. Both are excellent defensive rounds, but achieve their effects through different processes.

    The .45 IS big and slow, but it makes a big hole and deposits most of its energy in the target rather than zipping through like a light and fast 9mm. Unless I have to shoot through cover, I'd take the .45 in most cases. Neither round will penetrate most forms of body armor (another error in the article), but the 9mm's big advantage is that most pistols in 9mm will carry more rounds than those in .45.

    I'd say the reason most stores are short of .45 is that most handguns sold today ARE in 9mm, and so the manufacturers tend to make a lot more 9mm than .45. In addition, .45 ammo is marginally more expensive, so folks don't tend to use it for "plinking." Now that people are buying cases of ammo for prosperity, they're buying .45 in greater quantities than they normally would.

    For what it's worth, I've got over 12,000 rounds stockpiled myself, but only about 8,000 rounds are in pistol calibers, and about 3,000 rounds are in .22 Long Rifle, and really, who counts .22s?


  63. Anonymous Coward


    Regarding your little rant about "Native American". Just for the record, anybody born here is a native american. period. The "native american" you seem to want to refer to is a diverse group of people who....wait for it.....CAME HERE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE AND SETTLED.....just like the europeans!!!!! Imagine...dumbass

  64. Good Ole Paul

    Note for StarMartyr

    Really, all these accusations that opposition to Obama is due to racism is getting rather old. If we can't express our opinions of his policies without being accused of racism, well, I guess these's nothing left to do but go buy more ammo.

    - - - Good Ole Paul

  65. Charles Manning

    7 bn per year isn't much

    That's just a magazine and a half of 9mm per person.

    If you have a gun, then you should be going to the range and keeping your eye in - shooting at least 100/year otherwise you're just a hazard.

    I'd expect 5.56 is pretty popular these days. When I was in the South African army many hunters used .308 (== 7.62 NATO) because that's what fell off the back of Army trucks back then and a crate of 2000 goes quite a long way even when shared with all your mates. Sure, mil jacketed rounds don't kill as well as hunting rounds, but that's why you have a magazine.

  66. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    IT Angle

    Hai Gusy

    I can haz cheatcodez 4 infinite ammos?

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Civil War American Style

    2008 Obama, ammo shortages, banker bailouts. 2009 Tradewars, 16% unemployment. The die is cast...

    In 2012, when Palin versus Obama goes Obama- the ammo will come out of the caches. All the 'recessionary' anger will come bubbling up (the last civil war was economic disguised as racial too) and once again 'brother' will be set against 'brother'.

  68. Martin Nicholls


    The only place real soldiers special ops or otherwise use a .45 is in rifles, only a moron would use a .45 in a pistol other than for showing off or display purposed because usually if you're in a firefight you're going to want to but the second, third, fourth, etc rounds somewhere near the target rather than in the head of an innocent bystander.

    The american .45 phenomina is how you know all their right to bear arms talk is bull and that they're just clueless morons. It's an absolutely worthless round to defend yourself, family, country with. All it's good for is putting holes in armour with a suitibly long barrel/skilled sniper.

  69. Jason Tan

    The rerst fo teh world knows sh*T

    Re this comment:

    "Ok, for all you yanks saying the author knows dick and that the .45 is fantastic... sorry guys, we know it's the traditional weapon of choice for every red neck yank, but the rest of the world thinks it sucks. Author never said it had poor stopping power. He said it performed no better than a 9mm and worse against an armoured target."

    As an Aussie and an ex shooter - before our gun laws got screwed - the rest of the world may not like the .45 but most of the rest of the world does not shoot very often and consequently know much about guns.

    The Americans shoot a lot more than most people and therefore have more experience what's your experience?

  70. Anonymous Coward


    "Wow. .45 flamewar. I never thought I'd see El Reg turn into /k/."

    If this was /k/ there'd be some 13 year old ranting about how anything less than a .50 cal is a waste. Except, he'd be calling it a "Deagle" (teenybopper speak for "Desert Eagle"). In reality, he owns no guns and has never shot one, but on /k/ he'll act like the world's foremost expert.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    @Adrian Esdaile

    "I'm still trying to fathom 7 billion rounds per annum."

    "What the hell do merkins do with the damn things, eat them?"

    Well, there's little point in owning a gun if you don't shoot it. It's not very effective for hunting nor for "home defense" when the first time you ever draw and fire it is the first time you NEED to draw and fire it. Practice, practice, and more practice.

    One guy with one handgun at the firing range can probably shoot through a couple hundred rounds in an afternoon.

  72. raving angry loony

    @Adrian Esdaile

    Shoot each other, apparently. The USA has one of the highest rates of firearm deaths in the world, outside of actual combat areas.

  73. Winkypop Silver badge

    America eh?

    I'm just so glad it's a looooong way from here.

  74. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    @retired spook

    "Someone with sufficient experience with the round and the guns that fire it, however, can safely engineer handloaded ammunition which will knock down and demolish a 55 gallon drum full of wet sand at 25 yards."

    Using bullets made of unicorn droppings no doubt?

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC at Thursday 24th September 2009 20:16 GMT

    My right to bla bla bla... You really are a twit aren´t you. You have a big gun to protect your family and that makes your cock feel big is that it? because having a gun in your home dosen´t actually improve the safety of your family. US tops the world for gun related deaths in the world. Gun accidents in the home are the most frequent of these. Having a gun in the home and being American at the same time is as safe as walking down the highway with a blind fold on during the rush hour. Any rational human being would not have a gun in there home.... Oh waite... you are american right? guess that rules out the common sense then.

    (AC cause its none of your business)

  76. asdf

    yep right wing broken wing

    Got to love the right who get their man in for 8 years who proceeds to put America on the edge of a steep cliff (who by the way started all the socialism, yep bailing out rich Republican insider donators is the Reagan way I guess) and then they turn around jack up the FUD to record levels for anyone that tries to fix the mess we are in. Don't get me wrong there is much to dislike about Obamas policies but relax right wing nutters restricting guns is about the last thing on the Pinko Liberals minds right now. Still you really do have to congratulate the right for saying the government causes all our problems and then getting elected and proving it. Keeping yelling the loudest nutters as it will make everything rosy like the 1950's all over again (half of all marriages then caused by woman getting pregenant but don't step on the illusions of the right).

  77. SL

    A fanboy's posting

    That bootnote alone was worth reading the Reg today. I wish the Reg would show the author's name on the / and /week.html-pages: I basically read any article written by Page simply because he wrote it.

  78. fprintf
    Jobs Horns

    Old news, keep ur hands off my guns!

    One: this is old news. Walmart started ammo rationing months ago and nowadays I can go into any walmart (3 in a 6 mile radius) and walk out with up to 4 boxes of 9mm, that's 400 rounds per trip. So in a day I can buy 1200 rounds. That is plenty for a few days of target practice.

    Two: I was a former brit and my family lost their entire collection of firearms, some dating back many years because of the slowly encroaching rules of firearms ownership. I am told it started with rules regarding registration (so the guvment knows where to come when the confiscations begin), and then proceeded to increasingly difficult rules. It all happened quite reasonably (so they said) and quite slowly. Before they knew it, the only way to shoot was to keep the gun at a very expensive shooting range, so they had to get rid of them. Since no one was buying at the time, some family heirlooms went to scrap. A real shame as there were some WWII things stolen off the battlefield that got melted down. Ah well. Anyway this is why the NRA and most of the American public is so vocal against any new gun laws... it is a very slippery slope.

    Three: Good luck with the anti-stab knives. Personally I prefer my pro-stab knives and the thugs on the street being somewhat concerned that the person standing next to them (me!) just might be carrying a .380 Auto pocket pistol. If for nothing else, it makes me feel safe, not that I'd expect anyone to understand. You get used to it and it is a helluva lot of fun shooting stuff to pieces. Good luck, pretty soon you guys will be following Germany and banning paintballing and violent video games. Then what'll you do?

  79. Ian 11


    Which country has much rural, untouched terrain, contains many poorly educated people who are deeply religious, paranoid about a relatively new government and are armed to the hilt?

    No, it's not Afghanistan, it's America.

    Isn't it funny how America is, what America hates? The reason middle America and the Taliban are such big foes, is because they're actually just too much the same.

  80. Ponmyword

    What is it with septics and guns?

    Guns are for girlies

    Real men use axes or swords

  81. Chimpofdoom!

    They are getting prepared for...



  82. The Other Steve

    @Martin Nicholls

    "The only place real soldiers special ops or otherwise use a .45 is in rifles,"

    Nope, 22 SAS troopers have been known to carry M1911A1 as a sidearm, their personal choice, doncha know.

    Look before you leap.

  83. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    You know ammo's getting scarce...

    ...when the mugger shoots you, and then takes the slug back.

  84. JohnG

    Re: Will 12: " is the right to bare arms more important that the right to free healthcare!!"

    I think "the right to bare arms" will be all about various establishments banning rednecks wearing sleeveless shirts.

    "The right to bear arms" is all about rednecks shooting stuff.

    From Hud Dunlap: "Does Great Britain have anything like the Shriners Hospitals?"

    No mate - not needed. Anyone legally resident in the UK is entitled to free treatment under government-run healthcare. Users only pay fixed fees for prescription drugs and dental care (if you can find it), other treatment is free at the point of use. The National Health Service (NHS) is funded by the tax payers, which is a smaller subset of those that actually use it.

    There are also private hospitals, for which one can have separate private insurance.

  85. Anonymous Coward

    Bootnote - "many diehards"?

    Even John McClane has waded into this argument? Well, "Yippee ki yay" for that!

  86. Bad Pritt

    23 rounds per head

    now there's a thought

  87. TeeCee Gold badge

    Picture pedantry.

    As the article's about a Yank ammo shortage and the quotes are all from Remington, why is the .45 ACP cartridge in the accompanying icon an Israeli Military Industries product?

    I'd send you a better pic, but I've just turned over the Czech firing range souvenir on my desk to find that it's (unsurprisingly) a Sellier-Bellot product......

    @Dave 32: While I'm feeling pedantic, you omitted .45 GAP (Glock Automatic Pistol).

  88. Toastan Buttar

    Re: Old news, sort of...

    "rimfire ammunition"

    ...otherwise known as a Vindaloo !

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Novelty Bullets

    I wonder if rednecks in America can buy bullets with Barack Obama's name stamped on them?


  90. HFoster

    Give 'em enough

    rope (or in this case, lead) to hang (or shoot) themselves.

    Why would gun control be a bad thing? Newsflash, fuckwits; we (the UK) don't want to take your country from you, and I doubt arming the populace will deter al Qa'eda.

    I mean, for fuck's sake, by antiquated law, you can shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow (or is it a crossbow?) for being inside the city walls of Chester after dark. You don't see a bunch of mental-case Lancastrians (and they are a dodgy bunch) arming up in case the Taffs come.

    So why does America hold on to this backward "right"?

  91. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    I know it's futile, because once you've got the bit between your teeth there's no stopping you, but please try not to descend into international mud-slinging. America as a nation seems quite fond of guns. Britain does not. The US and the UK have done heroic things and horrendous things. Yeah? Yeah.

    Any more mention of septics or limeys isn't getting through, you've had your fun. Try and discuss things without resorting to lame insults.

  92. Tam Lin

    For everything else, there's Mastercard

    Colt 45: $560.00. Box of Wal-Mart ammo: $89.00. 3000kg fake-armor SUV: $65,000.00. Petrol from Alabama to Gettysburg at 5km/l: $727.00 ($1615.00 from Idaho). Civil war that wipes out a large percentage of dimwitted, mouth breathing, bible thumping americans at the 150th anniversary of their first one: Priceless.

  93. Anonymous Coward

    By Anonymous Coward Posted @ Friday 25th September 2009 06:48 GMT

    "...Having a gun in the home and being American at the same time is as safe as walking down the highway with a blind fold on during the rush hour..."

    Walking blindfold down a highway during RUSH hour will more likely mean slow traffic - hahahaha! Safe as houses?

  94. Rick Byers

    Doing my part

    To use all that lovely US ammo!!!

    As a Brit, ex service man, who can no longer shoot anything in the UK (my father is an ex Olympic shooter - you know the sport where the UK actually win stuff!!), I took an opportunity to go shooting with a colleague from our US office when I was over.

    He even let me buy ammo in Walmart. I must of have through a good few hundred rounds of varius calibres (9mm, 5.56, .45 7.62) and enjoyed my self more than I had in years.

    It's a very sad inditement of the UK that we cannot enjoy the use of weapons anymore, and (IMHO) our gun laws (and self defence laws) are counter productive and dangerous to the public at large.

    Having said that I saw a lot of shocking (lack of) gun knowledge/control whilst I was in the US, and it's not wonder that most of the time gun owners hurt themselves/their loved ones.

    The one thing the US has and the UK needs back is being responsible for one's own actions and safety. If a burglar breaks into a house in the US and is shot (or bashed on the head), it's tough on the burglar as they shouldn't have been there in the first place. In the UK the first thing the Police do is arrest and proescute the householder. To me this is far worse than the alternative.

    Fail: because that's what the UK gun/self defence laws are doing.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Damnit - I like a country where you can pick up "4 boxes of 9mm" along with a five pack of cheap nylon underwear.

    Hope the ammo is better quality than the pants, though, or those zombies/democrats will be walking all over you ...


  96. Anonymous Coward


    In the UK, we're shocked that Wal Mart sell guns in the US.

    In the US, they're shocked that Wal Mart in the UK sells Alcohol (not just beer, but wine, whiskey etc.).

    Can you imagine prohibition in the UK? Similarly, those in the US cannot imagine the gun controls we have in the UK in their own land.

    Also, it's hard to generalise - some states have the death penalty, some don't. California is different to Texas and both are different to Massachusetts.

    Similar language, entirely different countries.

  97. Estariel

    Do we approve the use of force?

    Interesting debate here, and I dont mean the one about the virtues of different kinds of bullet.

    The gun owners think the euro liberals are fools for giving away the ability to protect themselves by force of arms.

    The euro liberals think the wide ownership of guns encourages the very problems it is supposed to prevent.

    The US Right preach to the world about peace and democracy, but spend their personal and corporate energies on up-cannoning. Once you own the worlds largest hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

    The euro liberals are determined to find a better way to get along with everyone else, even at some considerable personal and international risk.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ammo problems?

    Get yourself a crossbow or a bow and arrow if you must, they're just as effective if you need to really shoot something and with a crossbow it's highly unlikely that your child will be able to load it and accidentally shoot his brother as they have draw weights typically in the order of 150lbs!

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things fall apart

    Please, no more about the disfunctional side of US life. (Guns, irrational 'news' program(me)s, banks run by greed, political debate turned into chaos, weird ideas on religion, etc...). Either they will get over it or the USA will become a failed state. Until then, it's too painful to watch.

  100. Doug Glass

    @USA IT

    There are only three mechanism to kill a mammal: deny oxygen to critical organs, interrupt the central nervous system or drain the body of a critical amount of blood. Generally these are interrelated in some way. That being the case, neither energy nor momentum are the sole definers of lethality. One can cause death with an icepick which has very little energy or momentum.

    The critical factors are sufficient penetration (with or without high energy or momentum) and shot placement to cause one or more of the mechanisms in paragraph one to come into play. As to how to do that it's always your call, but always remember, when it comes to saving your hide from imminent danger it's far better to make a hit with a .22 Short than a miss with a 454 Casull.

  101. Anonymous Coward

    @John 104

    John 104 flamed:

    "Something about the citizens being empowered to overthrow the government at will..."

    As a Brit who lives in the US I find this argument particularly humerous. The US people have a handful of guns; the government have tanks, stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and the whole array of modern weapons. In a stand-up fight I know where my money will lie.

    Regarding gun control, I have always thought the most interesting argument runs like this. Should the average Joe have access to nuclear weapons? If the answer to that is no then you agree with arms control, the only question that remains is where the boundary lies. You can actually go as far as asking whether an American has a constitutional right to have a nuclear weapon. Again if the answer is no you accept that the "Right to Bear Arms" does not extend to all forms of arms. The constitution gives a right to bear arms, but does not define what arms you are allowed to bear. It would be reasonable to limit it to tickle sticks and wiffle bats. The Supreme Court has agreed with the constitutionality of there being a limit, and at various times has set the limit reasonably high - for example declaring that hand-gun bans are not constitutional. That; however, is an interpretation. The Supreme Court also accept that limits are permissible since limitations on assault rifles were considered acceptable to the Court.

  102. Ben Rosenthal

    well, you wouldn't want

    the King of England coming and messing with your shit now would you? WOULD YOU?

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe a little off-topic

    This may be a little off topic, but didn't Wal Mart stop selling ammo after Bowling for Columbine when Michael Moore took some of the injured students to their head office and they confronted some rather senior management?

  104. Richard 102

    The real reason, of course

    ... is to blanket any Windows 7 party in a hail of bullets. ( And really, can any sane human being disagree with that?

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We used to win gold medals.

    Re: Adrian Esdaile

    I'm still trying to fathom 7 billion rounds per annum.

    What the hell do merkins do with the damn things, eat them?


    It's not that much. Like Rick Byers, I remember when we used to win medals in the Olympics for shooting, but now pistol shooting is verbotten. Unless you're a criminal.

    I used to shoot service, police and standard pistol matches. For 9mm, my FAC let me buy 1000 rounds & hold 1500 and similar amounts of .38, .32 and .22. My police force knew I shot competitively, so let me bulk buy. Every ammo purchase had to be logged on your FAC, so buying small quantities meant it ran out of room, fast.

    Like any sport, being competitive meant practice and I used to shoot probably around 2-300 rounds a week. Different competitions needed different numbers of rounds. Think Service Pistol was 24 per match, Police Pistol 30 & standard 10. Competitions like WA1500 need 150 per match though, so it all adds up.

  106. Anonymous Coward

    Guns as phallic symbols

    Does this mean that American shooters have, you know, smaller members?

  107. Anonymous Coward

    Bowling for Columbine

    Throwing caution to the wind --

    Whilst Mr Moore is clearly and unabashedly an agenda-driven man not ashamed of a tugging heartstrings or detail skipping, he skillfully delves into an darker, unglamourous area of American life. When he crosses the river from Detroit to Windsor, it's clear that Canada is doing something right, and the US wrong.

    Is it the gun laws? Perhaps. Canada and the US may have similar levels of gun ownership. Or do we opt for the softened underbelly, as Moore does, and blame society?

    The latter, challenging those other core US values - individuality and opportunism - may prove too democratically consensual for American tastes. And yet, pooling your humanity does not make you a communist.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    Septics isn't an insult ??!?!?!?!

    Its a septic tank ... a yank.

    Well its a fine day when you can't even use the mockney rhyming slang on El Reg.

    I, madam, will get my coat.


  109. Graham Bartlett

    @Rick Byers

    Erm, no. In the UK, you're legally allowed to hit anyone, any time, and hit them first, if you're justifiably afraid they're going to hit you, and you're allowed to use as much force as required to stop them hitting you. If the only way to stop yourself getting hurt is to kill them, then you're absolutely at liberty to kill them. I have personally served on a jury where the judge repeatedly reminded us of this.

    But if they're running away and hence are no longer a threat to you, you're not allowed to shoot them in the back or chase them with an axe. And you're not allowed to use more force than is reasonable to stop them hitting you - so once they're down, continuing to beat them with a baseball bat would get you locked up.

    Yes, the case is likely to come to court, because you have to show you were justifiably afraid of what they were going to do. Deciding whether this was reasonable or not is rightfully a matter for a jury, not an arbitrary decision for some copper, and even then the CPS may drop it if it's clear-cut enough.

    Plenty of examples of this. The best one I can think of is a bloke who tried to punch Alfie Lewis (ex UK karate champion). The bloke swung at him, Lewis blocked and countered, the bloke went down and died from hitting his head on the pavement. The case went to court and Lewis was found not guilty, because he applied reasonable force. Or the jury I served on - this lad was getting the worst of it until the other bloke fell over and landed hard. The lad who was losing then put the boot in once, and that resulted in a a charge of ABH. We had a hung jury, because enough of us knew that if you're losing a fight and some stroke of luck like that happens, you don't want the other guy getting up and starting again, and there was no way he could have known the other guy had hurt himself when he fell.

  110. Blake St. Claire

    @ AC 09:43 GMT, Re: Culture

    > In the US, they're shocked that Wal Mart in the UK sells Alcohol (not just beer, but wine, whiskey etc.).

    Say what? Don't know what hole you crawled out of but in most places here you can buy beer, wine, and whiskey in the supermarket.

    Wallyworld may only sell beer, but then consider their typical clientele. If they sell wine, it's probably in a cardboard carton. Couldn't tell you actually, I've only been in a Wallyworld twice in my life. Three times if you count the time I went to an Asda.

  111. alan 39

    @Adrian Esdaile

    7billion, like the author said thats 23 rounds per person. I am a brit living in England and I have shot more rounds than that this year. Clay Pidgeon shooting. 23 rounds per person is nothing. 7Billion sounds like a lot but its a big country.

    On average they shoot 2 rounds a month. see its nothing.

  112. Andrew Penfold


    Wow... clearly not much original thought went into that diatribe. Regurgitating TWO mainstream media talking points in the same post, a) That talking about / believing in the constitution is a mental illness and b) any criticism of or disagreement with Obama, his policies, politics, party, or damn near anything to do with the man is racism.

    I despair. That is all.

  113. Anonymous Coward

    Ignorant peasants.

    I know fuck all about guns.

    But the calibre is the diameter of the bullet or cartridge or barrel depending on the phase of the moon.

    So 9mm is most certainly not .9mm.

    You could write .9cm if you really wanted, but then you'd just look like a more of a wanker than if you wrote .9mm, but at least you'd be correct.

    .45 is in inches, hence the decimal point in case you're wondering.

  114. alan 39


    I mean, for fuck's sake, by antiquated law, you can shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow (or is it a crossbow?) for being inside the city walls of Chester after dark. You don't see a bunch of mental-case Lancastrians (and they are a dodgy bunch) arming up in case the Taffs come.

    And damn right too given that Chester is the county town of Cheshire. Those bloody Lancastrians can keep to lancaster if they dont mind.

  115. Saganhill

    re: Martin Nicholls

    You're an idiot. A 45 ACP round for a rifle? Really? THe only rifle I remember using the 45 round was the Winchester lever action and that used the 45 long and wasnt even an ACP round. THe other sub-machine guns like the Thompson and so-called "Grease Guns" use the .45 ACP.

    Snipers use 45 ACP rounds? Really, You're an idiot. Snipers do not use .45 cal for their ammo, it wouldnt fit in their rifles because a good sniper would use a .50 cal, or a 3.08 or even a 30.06 and I havent mentioned the other modern sniper rounds.

    THe .45 is one of the best home rounds for home protection.

  116. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    You know perfectly well that it's used as a pejorative, AC, and I'm moderating them out because most of the posts using it in this context are not going to be very edifying. Besides, it's rhyming slang for another term people find insulting, so you don't get out of it that way.

    Let me get that coat for you. Is this your umbrella here too?

  117. Anonymous Coward

    We don't need guns

    Here in Blighty we know better:

    "Guns for show, knives for a pro"

    Just ask you injuns, if you can find any

  118. Lewis Page 1 (Written by Reg staff)
    Black Helicopters


    I should have remembered how Americans feel about their fave handgun ammo! Criticizing .45 ACP seems to be the equivalent of doing a cartoon about the Prophet Mohammed in some quarters.

    Please note, gents, I didn't say .45 is rubbish, I just said that cops, soldiers and crims are mostly - note that, mostly - using other calibres these days. That's just a fact, not an aspersion or an opinion.

    On the matter of .45's virtues or lack of them, one of the main criticisms against it is poor armour penetration, which I tried to cover in the bootnote - evidently inadequately. Fairly low muzzle energy and a big bullet naturally mean bad penetration, as the number of joules per square mm is comparatively low. That's all. Even higher-energy, smaller diameter pistol slugs like hot 9mm, .357 mag etc have troubles against modern armour - that's why people have brought out things like Russian 9x21mm or the new Euro steel-needle type rounds, 4.6x30mm HK and 5.7x28mm FN.

    Of course, as some home-defence enthusiasts have noted, the average crackhead burglar won't be wearing a vest - if he had a vest he'd have swapped it for crack - so .45 is a valid choice against him. Personally, though, it seems to me that inside one's own home there would seem little reason to restrict oneself to pistols if one is having a gun at all. As the old gag has it, handguns are carried by people who don't expect to fight - if they did, they'd arm themselves properly. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight, sure - but frankly if you have a choice don't bring a pistol either. If I were an American, buying a gun for fighting inside my house, I'd probably go for a shotgun if I could get one that held a decent number of rounds and short enough to use in confined spaces. (I think there's a US law about minimum barrel length?)

    Those much more advanced in CQB than me tell me that a submachinegun or a carbine is better, but they *are* worried about body armour and -crucially - they are very good shots and much better at maintaining situational awareness than I am. Like most people here I suspect, I've never been in a gun fight and while I'm a reasonable shot on the range (or was, haven't fired a weapon since I left the service in 2004) I expect my performance would drop off pretty sharply with the brown adrenaline flowing. With a shotgun I'd be confident of seriously messing up anyone I could manage to hit, and also of not sending bullets through them (or through walls, ceilings, floors etc) to hit my family and neighbours.

    Of course I'm not an American so I' m effectively not allowed to keep a gun in my house. That doesn't bother me that much - I'd probably have one if I lived in the States, just for fun, but the lack of one doesn't bother me. I'll back myself against a crackhead burglar with whatever I can pick up around the house (if the burglars down my way had guns, they would swap them for crack, so I don't worry about armed intruders. Guns and vests both are apparently quite common among the criminal fraternity in my neighbourhood, but only among management and sales, not the drug users).

    As for defending myself against the guvmint, well. As someone here has already pointed out, the government's got you outgunned. When the feds come to take your guns away, gentlemen, .45ACP is going to be a poor choice indeed - the SWAT team *will* have armour on, and even if you're Wyatt Earp himself you'll struggle to get them all in the head. And if you choose something a bit more modern and manage to piss them off, they'll still win - ultimately they'll blow up your house with you in it, as they already tend to do when pressed for time overseas.

    If you actually want to get into that sort of fight, reach for your roadside bomb rather than any kind of gun. And give up on "home defence", too - permanent homes aren't safe for freedom fighters/terrorists.

    But come on, FFS, everyone. The US government isn't that bad. Gun-loving Yanks aren't that bad. Gun-hating limey weenies aren't that bad. Let's all just be friends and look forward to pub time (unless we're down on alcohol of course, FFS don't all get cross again).

    PS - gun guys - for the record I have shot .22 pistol at uni back when it was legal. I had to stay qual'd on the SA80 5.56mm rifle and 9mm Browning pistol for most of my 11-year service career, and latterly as 2ic or boss I tended to shoot more than strictly required because I liked it and nobody could stop me. I have also fired other weapons now and again, including a .303 Lee Enfield as a boy, Sig Sauer and HK MP5 9mm on the SBS ranges at Poole, 7.62mm GPMG on the Commando course, shotguns once or twice, airguns when a lad etc. I even fired an acquaintance's .45 once when I was working in the States during student vacations.

    I'm sure I don't shoot as much as many of you, but I'm not totally ignorant.

  119. Anonymous Coward

    @Richard 102

    Spoken like a man who knows nothing.

    Did you know about the Frankfurt-based Syrian terrorist cell that was making explosive devices like those that took down PanAm107?

    Did you know that the CIA paid the witnesses that gave evidence against Megrahi?

    Did you know that chief witness never identified Megrahi?

    Did you know that there was a security breach in Heathrow where the PanAm baggage was stored?

    Did you know that a Heathrow baggage handler described a "new" suitcase matching the one of suspected of hold the bomb?

    Did you know that the switch from Syria to Libya as the suspect country coincided with the need for Syrian help in the Iraq war?

    And that's just the beginning.

    So go back to buying your guns and bullets and stop talking about things you clearly have no clue about. Oh, and if you could ask your government to stop funding, training and supplying terrorists - that'd be great. The world would like a break from America's fucked-up foreign policy.

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You are right, as usual, Grand Moderatrix of the message boards. In future I will try and be a lot nicer to our gun toting cousins across the pond-ette.

    Have a good w/e.

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    At a range in Houston, TX, I fired nearly 200 rounds from a Glock 9mm in a few hours. It really didn't take a long time to shoot that many rounds. My friend also fired a "Dirty Harry" magnum. The thing that really stuck in my mind was how accurate the gun was an that 1 bullet could have killed. It makes a normal person appreciate the gun. When I lived there (in the UK now) I didn't have a gun at the house.

    I also tried an AR15 - and was surprised to see that assault rifles (even semi automatic) are available. Mind you, hunting rifles (with scopes) are superb.

    I like the US right to bear arms. It can escalate situations, and you get the "occasional" nut job who opens up at someone knocking on his door... The only thing that was worrying was that there is no limit to weapons. I could have had a gun rack of AR15 assault rifles and 100's of rounds of ammo.

    The Walmart thing is a bit of an oddity as I didn't see any major handguns there just shotguns and sports pistols. For proper guns, you have to really head to a gun shop.

  122. Anonymous Coward

    @ Doug Glass

    "You see, we honed our shooting and reloading abilities a little over 200 years ago in a minor skirmish with some monarch ... I forget his name. But we enjoyed what we accomplished then and we sort of like to keep the dream alive today."

    That would be the skirmish where you got your jolly good pals the French to come in and help by providing a navy, infantry and suchlike then? I've stood on the site of Cornwallis' final battle, and there are more fleur-de-lys than American flags there...

    Mind you, in those days you lot were actually talking to at least some Europeans, and taking them seriously. They even sent you a big showoff statue for New York harbour.

    How times change...

  123. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 09:43 GMT

    You can't get beer, wine and spirits in Walmart, but you can get ammo? What the hell?

  124. Spleen


    Really, rationing? God, what a socialist concept that is. If Wal-mart was really a patriotic freedom-loving rooting-tooting American store, it would respond to the rise in demand by raising the price of ammo, until market equilibrium was restored and everyone got as much ammo as they were willing to pay for.

    If only for comedy value. It's generally accepted that the Left stands for social freedom, while the Right stands for economic freedom, with a few exceptions such as the economic freedom to buy foreign goods, accept foreign investment, employ foreign labour, trade currency freely, borrow money, trade during other people's religious holidays, consume mind-altering drugs without referring to an approved list, etc etc. If Wal-mart did raise the price of ammo to market value it would be five seconds before they were picketing the car park, demanding that the government force Wal-mart to sell ammunition at "reasonable" prices so that they could afford to defend themselves against, er, the government.

  125. Stevie


    Why is that "When you take the guns away from law-abiding citizens, only the bad guys will have guns" statement not complained about by the law enforcement agencies being so openly dissed every single time some twillup says it?

    The NRA used to have a line that ran along the lines of: "There has never been a crime committed by someone using a legal automatic weapon", which was true as far as it went, in that if you owned an automatic weapon and some swine nicked it and shot someone, the crime was, by definition, performed using an *illegal* automatic weapon. I haven't heard that one since the rash of people taking their legal automatics into public places and trying them out during the various financial crises of the end of the last century though.

    It's about time the local PBA's started complaining about this "bad guy" slur on their members' characters.

    It's also about time people, especially venal politicians, admitted publicly that America is a big place and firearms laws that make sense in one place may be sheer lunacy to apply in another. One can make a very good case for ease of access to firearms in rural areas where the livestock is quite capable of taking a person ten falls out of ten, and inclined to do so given half a chance. They make little sense in the urban sprawl of our larger cities.

    But I feel uneasy when someone snarls that he or she cannot wait five days for their handgun permit in a place where a rifle can be bought legally over-the-counter with no wait at all. If you wanna hunt, go hunt. If you are so eager for a handgun, perhaps youi need the wait for the edge to come off your temper.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    7 billion shots per year

    Seems reasonable to me.

    I do archery and a normal competition (there will be at least one competition available each week weather permitting) is 150 arrows, so with practice I can easily shoot 300-400 per week. And remember that we shoot 6 at a time and then walk out and collect them which is far slower than shooting a gun.

  127. Anonymous Coward

    @Saganhill - 45 ACP in a rifle

    Not showing off but there's the De Lisle commando carbine that used a .45 ACP in the last world war (yes I know the US was late for that one - but they were obviously busy doing something more important and hadn't got round to the idea of being a superpower)

    Not a long rifle, but a rifle for close up, quiet and underhand work on the Hun.

  128. Anonymous Coward


    Ahhh, you have to love the anti-gun folks - the same ones who believe that a woman who lies beaten to a pulp, raped and then strangled to death by her own pantyhose is somehow morally superior to the one standing over the corpse of her would-be rapist.

    I love the anti-gunners' machismo, too. It must be wonderful to be a young, strong, martial arts expert like (allegedly) some of you lot - so I guess granny or the lad in the wheelchair would just have to suck up their beatings and torture - and then just die like the good, passive little subjects that you would have them be.

  129. conroy

    Suggestion for the next article on this topic.

    This article is a bit dated. Ammo has been on short supply for over a year. Gun prices, however, are slowly going back down. I've been shooting for over 10 years and as a result of my interest in firearms and shooting, I've been reloading my own ammo. I've heard or read somewhere that there has been a 30% increase in handloading ammunition. I actually prefer to "roll my own" than buy factory ammo, since my cartridges can be tailored to each firearm, and fit the performance that I desire. Unfortunately, it is very time consuming, which might outweigh the cost benefits.

    Hoarding ammunition, owning firearms, wanting to own firearms, enjoying the sport of shooting, or desiring an effective means of self-defense does not make you sick, immature, a redneck, uncivilized, uneducated, or a blood-lusting murderer. It is an UNALIENABLE RIGHT, which shall not be infringed upon by any government. It is not given to citizens by the government. It is inherent to all people, from God, nature, the universe, or whatever you choose to believe in. Because humans did not evolve with horns, claws, fangs, or venom, we have firearms. My firearms have not killed anyone, and hopefully it will stay that way. They keep me free from oppression by anything that seeks to control me. They allow me to say "no" to anyone, any group, any state, anything that wishes to deprive me of my life, food, home, or rights. That is why the Founding Fathers chose to include the 2nd Amendment into the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.

    It is no surprise that when the means to maintain that freedom become scarce, people do the natural thing, and seek to accumulate as much of that item as possible.

  130. Anonymous Coward


    >>>>"But I feel uneasy when someone snarls that he or she cannot wait five days for their handgun permit in a place where a rifle can be bought legally over-the-counter with no wait at all. If you wanna hunt, go hunt. If you are so eager for a handgun, perhaps you need the wait for the edge to come off your temper."

    You're assuming that temper is the only reason - read below:

    "On March 5, 1991 Bonnie Elmasri called a firearms instructor, worried that her husband-who was subject to a restraining order to stay away from her-had been threatening her and her children. When she asked the instructor about getting a handgun, the instructor explained that Wisconsin has a 48-hour waiting period. Ms. Elmasri and her two children were murdered by her husband twenty-four hours later."

    There's plenty more where that came from - but yeah, you just keep on dreaming that everyone who needs a firearm quickly is just a hot-tempered redneck, pal.

  131. Anonymous Coward

    The Obama Effect and Gun Sales

    Reading the article and comments - it seems like people in the UK really don't seem to understand what is driving gun sales in regard to Obama.

    The fear is not necessarily armor wielding federal agents, where the .45 may not effective.

    The fear is not necessarily about crack head burglar, otherwise the jump in sales would not have coincided with the Presidential election.

    So, people who understand Americans can easily deduce who is not buying the weapons - who exactly is buying all of the guns and ammo after a President Obama election???

    The slowdown of the U.S. economy during ANY presidential election cycle is due to fear.

    The crash of the U.S. economy after the election (even before the appointment) of President Obama was due to fear.

    Continued, longer term buying pattern (of weapons, in particular) after a Presidential election has nothing to do with fear, but rather reality is setting in after a dozen months.

    There are more citizens who are angry at the Federal Government under the Obama administration than under the G.W. Bush administration.

    National health insurance is not a constitutional obligation of the United States government - this is a distraction from the main mission of the Federal Government.

    Citizens of the Republic of the United States are beginning to believe that the Federal Government is refusing to do what they are contracted to according to their Constitution.

    - secure the national borders

    - secure all citizens in their states against foreign nations and foreign nationals

    - secure all citizens against domestic people who are subverting the Constitution

    When citizens lose faith in their government to protect their physical safety, citizens turn to arm themselves.

    When elected officials continue to lead poorly, citizens continue to arm themselves... until there are no more arms left to buy...

  132. USA IT, where it all started

    Obama has bigger worries than your shooting hobby

    Doug Glass,

    There's nothing wrong with anything you said. Shot placement is king, and typically blood loss is what kills a shooting victim (except for the less common central nervous system hit). However, while it's true that it's better to hit with a .22 short than miss with a .454 Casul, it's better to hit with a .45 ACP than hit with a .380 Auto (AKA 9mm Kurz)..

    I stand by my statement that many people have latched on to the energy figures in ballistics, to the exclusion of all else. Energy is NOT conserved in an impact, and while a 115grain 9mm traveling at 1350 ft/s has 465 ft-lbs of energy, much of that energy will be used to deform the bullet and will be lost in heat. How much heat? Well, 465 ft-lbs of energy is equivalent to 0.15 food calories – enough to raise the temp of a cup of water by just over 1 degree F. On the other hand, a 230 grain .45 ACP traveling at 900ft/s has only 414 ft-lbs of energy (11% less than the 9mm). However, when momentum is considered, we find the .45 has a full 33% more than the 9mm. And, as we all remember from physics class, momentum IS conserved in impacts. The wound channel left by the .45 ACP is sufficient to cause massive blood loss and rapid incapacitation – which is why many spec op groups use it. They are going to hit what they shoot at. They just prefer to hit it once, and not have a small zippy bullet continue on and hit what they didn't want hit.

    Of course, all of this is a bit esoteric. The main thrust is that the more... paranoid... over here are buying up ammo based on fear. For the record, I voted for Obama. I don't think he's going to take our guns, or limit ammo. Messing with gun rights in the US is a sure fire (pun intended) way to loose office. Besides, Obama has MUCH bigger things to worry about. Like health care reform, winding down two wars, updating financial regulations, climate change, limiting nuclear proliferation, etc, etc. Which is why I say there will be a flood after this drought. When the rest of the American gun owners come to the same conclusion, there will be a glut of ammo, and too many people with too large a stock pile. Can you say supply and demand driven price drop?

    Also, my local Walmart not only sells guns and ammo, they also sell liquor, wine and beer. Talk about one stop shopping!

    And Lewis, nice post – for the record, shotgun barrels here are limited to 18” (minimum, not max). Also, you're correct in your assessment of US civilian firepower .vs the police or military. There isn't any comparison. Except for a few loonies who seriously believe that “protect us from the government” BS, the majority here own guns for three reasons, Hunting/Sports, Collecting, and Home Defense. In none of those cases do you expect to encounter an armored target. In fact, higher penetration becomes a negative in many of those situations, not a positive. So, the .45 is a practical choice in many cases, not just a sentimental one.

  133. Michael Necaise

    @Lewis Page

    "I should have remembered how Americans feel about their fave handgun ammo!"

    There's a rule I've often heard, akin to the "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" rule. It goes:

    Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".

    I don't subscribe to that myself... With modern rounds there are several adequate calibers that begin with "3" (9mm being .356 -- it's acceptable).

  134. Apple][Guy

    .45 are for killin' ZOMBIES

    Well Point #1. Any modern vest will stop most pistol caliber loads.

    Point #2. .45 rounds work great against unarmored targets like Zombies and Home invasion robbers.

    Plus if your hit by a .45 you are gonna be knocked onto your bum

  135. Anonymous Coward


    Who'd have thought there were so many ammo nerds around?

    And while the merkins hoard ammo, we hoard light bulbs. Different values, I suppose. They like to be able to kill, we like to be able to see.

  136. Kiaser Zohsay

    Chris Rock said it best

    Guns don't kill people - BULLETS kill people.

  137. kain preacher

    Home Defence

    I personally prefer a shot gun. If I hit you center mass with a shot gun and you still get up, its time for a head shot .

  138. Matt 32

    Great, tell the Generals in Afghanistan!

    >As a Brit who lives in the US I find this argument particularly humerous. The US people have a

    >handful of guns; the government have tanks, stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and the whole

    >array of modern weapons. In a stand-up fight I know where my money will lie.

    So, what's the problem in eliminating the Al Queda and the Taliban then? They, after all, only have arms barely a notch above what is legal in most states.

    Basic arms are one part of the puzzle. The Bill of Rights, on the whole, protects much of what would be needed to start what today would be called a guerilla war. Things from allowing propoganda to be printed unchecked, to high bars to searches -- even if our courts are far too willing to stretch the definition of reasonable.

    It's not that the colonists had the ability to win by themselves when the guns were muzzle loaders -- the organization of the British Army, backed by the industrial capacity to build cannons and ships, was enough to overcome our forces until we got an ally with similiar capabilities to assist.

    >Regarding gun control, I have always thought the most interesting argument runs like this.

    >Should the average Joe have access to nuclear weapons?

    Again, apples to oranges argument.

    You don't need tanks, or nuclear weapons, to succesfully fight an insurgent war. Asymetric power does not mean lack of power

  139. grumpy pierre

    grumpy pierre

    Dear Sir:

    As a resident of the UK you are at a distinct disadvantage writing an article about these shortages of guns & ammo. This started in Nov. of 2008 and still continues. Of late, it has lessened somewhat. However, some calibers & certain types of guns are still in short supply. Unfortunately, the UK has turned into a rather nasty nanny state that doesn't get any better. it is as if too many people with petty views attained power leaving their sanity by the wayside some time ago.

    In the USA the liberals, helped by George Soros, are trying to impose a rather nasty tyranny. The people have finally started to wake up. The tea party in DC on 9/12 had approx. 1.7M people (don't pay attention to the media estimates). This figure was done by a group at the U of Illinois from a satelite photo & special software. The Fringe Media (fka Main Street Media) continues to try to deceive the public, it has gotten worse & so are their bottom lines. This could get ugly.

  140. Matt 32

    As well...

    >Regarding gun control, I have always thought the most interesting argument runs like this.

    >Should the average Joe have access to nuclear weapons?

    Many states go beyond the federal 2nd amendment and specifically protect the right to bear arms in the defense of one's self as well as the state.

    I do wonder if some of the cultural disconnect is the difference in development patterns.

    I live in what was a farming and mill town that is now mostly a bedroom community.

    Population 8,000 in 26 square miles, fairly evenly distributed. The town contracts for two state troopers to be assigned to our town full time. When they are not on duty (or in training, or assisting with an emergency in another community), we fall back to the normal state police patrols. In our area that's 1 Trooper covering 100 square miles with a population of around 15,000.

    About a decade ago there was a murder several towns over buy a pyschotic husband -- the wife was killed just before the police arrived 15 minutes later, and they started an emergency response as soon as they received the call.

    If you are not prepared to defend yourself, the police in my area are likely not going to be able to do it for you. It's just a matter of geography and what local citizens are willing to pay.

    While my area has a lower police presence then most towns of it's size I'm familiar with, we also have a lower crime rate (part of the reason folks don't see the need to pay more taxes "just because").

    Just knowing the difference in population density and the patterns of development (i.e. low density suburbs -- most of my town is now 2 acre minimum lot sizes) between the U.K. and U.S., I suspect there's a lot larger percentage of Americans who would have to wait a lot longer for a police response then a Britian.

  141. MonkeyBot

    .45 vs 9mm

    I think you're all missing the point when it comes to why crims choice the rounds the do. If you use .45 you can't...

    "Put down the Philly,

    Pick up the 9 milly"


  142. Matt 32


    >You can't get beer, wine and spirits in Walmart, but you can get ammo? What the hell?

    Following the repeal of prohibition, the business interests wanted to make things as much like organized crime as they could.

    So you have a lot of rules designed to create limited supplies and monopolies. Stuff like limiting the number of retail licenses to sell alcohol, limiting hours and days of week it may be sold, restricting who a retailer may buy from to a list of approved distributors, closing times for bars.

    Most of these rules appeared following prohibition.

    Guns and ammo never went through a similiar reset period after which all new laws could be introduced as the retailers started up operations from scratch again.

    It *is* harder today to buy guns and ammo in my area then 20 years ago, but that's a combination of incremental regulatory changes, industry changes, and lower demand. There's fewer gun shops, but if you drive you can find ones far bigger then what we used to have. Fewer retailers selling ammo, but the ones who do have bigger assortments and quantities. In my area we've switched being "rural" to more "rural-suburban" so there's less target shooting in corn fields due to conflicts, and more a need if you want to go shooting to join a club and drive there.

  143. This post has been deleted by its author

  144. Matt 32

    One last point...

    Many U.S. police agencies have switched to either .40 S&W or .357 Sig trying to find a middle ground between 9mm and .45ACP. The police agencies, by and large, have been underwhelmed by the performance of 9mm.


    And related to geekdom, you'll notice on Chuck that Sarah always has a larger caliber pistol then Casey. Not sure why, but it makes me chuckle :)

  145. asdf

    Re: Things fall apart

    Good job Saggar way to ruin my day. As a merkin just thinking of the road to ruin to being a failed state is depressing. I blame the worse generation in American history, the baby boomers for this rapid descend into the destruction of a once proud nation.

    Great article about baby boomers by baby boomer.

  146. HFoster


    Thanks for picking me up there!

    However, the point still holds: nobody in and around Chester is holding on to bolt weapons because the Welsh might overstay their welcome.

    Mind you, a really pertinent point was made about prohibition. It's true: I could never imagine not being able to buy beer, wines and spirits in the same supermarket where I buy my food and non-alcoholic drinks. However, alcohol and guns are two horses of thoroughly different colours.

  147. Anonymous Coward

    People who know better Don't carry other calibers

    unfortunately you have no idea what you're talking about .....

    people who carry a gun for a living often carry other calibers because the gun that they carry is specified by the people who they work for. Police, military etc.

    People who are part of military special ops and many swat organizations who are able to choose their own weapon swear by the 45 It is a slower round but has significant kinetic energy and stopping power without over penetration. One shot kills are much more common with a 45 compared to a 9mm or .40 which are the primary calibers for law enforcement and military.

  148. Andy Cummings


    If it helps, I do speak from some small amount of professional experience here (military for a time, then executive-protection and eventually serving as a PSD contractor in Iraq 2004-2005 - protecting (mostly) EOD personnel tasked with destroying Saddam's huge stash *tip of the hat to Lewis Page*).

    I personally prefer the 1911 in .45ACP, but I have carried and used both the CZ75 and Browning Hi-Power (both in 9mmP) on and off the job - fine, reliable handguns. All in all, handgun cartridges are weak and notoriously unreliable man-stoppers, so as much as I would like to admit otherwise, the whole 9mm vs .40 vs .45 debate gets rather stale because there's really not that big a difference in the end-results. It's about bullet-placement, bullet-construction, sufficient penetration - and yes, a bit of luck.

    Luck you can't control, but skills you can work on - as we say, it's the software, not the hardware - something the gear-queers and fanbois will vociferously deny.

    As for the "OMGzorz, it's a GUN!" types out there... seriously, get a grip, you whiny pansies. It's a tool, nothing more - and the results, good or ill, depend on who's wielding it.

  149. BobBQ

    Good Lloyd!

    There sure seem to be a lot of folk who can't grasp the concept of owning a firearm for historical or technical interest, let alone purely for fun. Self-defense? Not likely in my part of the boondocks!

    A lot of my fellow left-ponders apparently didn't think to avail themselves of the bountiful surplus full-power ammo supply, either - unless the place I buy mine at just restocks Czech 7.92x57 really fast.

    Grenade 'cos it makes a lovely paperweight, and mine's the one with the '42 Mauser beside it.

  150. Dave 32

    Hague Convention

    Don't forget, though, that some militaries are restricted as to the type of bullets they may use, based on the Hague Convention of 1899 (Declaration III):

    As such, militaries are generally restricted to full metal jacket bullets, which have more of a tendency to over penetrate, than hollow-point/dumdum type bullets, which tend to flatten and dump their energy in a shorter distance. Thus, this figures into the caliber selection process. On the other hand, most militaries aren't too concerned with over penetration, since there are more baddies behind the enemy front lines anyway.

    One of the reasons for this restriction is that the general philosophy of the modern military is that they don't necessarily want to kill an enemy soldier; they would rather wound him, which causes the enemy to expend effort to recover and convalesce their soldier, thus expending some of their resources. Additionally, militaries don't necessarily want to maim enemy soldiers, since, after the war is over, those people will be necessary to rebuild the country.

    Then, again, all of this is based on "civilized war", as opposed to "total war".

    The interesting part about this, though, is that various police agencies have differing philosophies on the type of bullets that their officers are permitted to use.


  151. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talking about "no idea"

    (Preamble: if you read nothing else in this post, do yourself a favour and take a gander at - where they say enough talk, let's shoot some rounds into some things and see what REALLY happens)

    I've resisted respoding - but alas, can no more.

    @ AC Friday 25th September 2009 19:52 GMT :

    Your comment really does read like you are reporting 3rd (4th?) hand. I wonder where your learned expertise is from? Care to share how many pistols - 45 or otherwise - you own or have issued? Ever? Real ones, I mean. And no reading about them or playing video games or talking crap at the pub about them doesn't count.

    There's been a lot of 45 vs 9 religious argument here - and it's often the case. There's been one or two refreshing items of fact and even references and quotations.

    The point is that you can't compare 45 and 9 generically.

    Take my carry round, the 9mm 127gr Winchester Ranger SXT +P+. Formerly the Black Talon, with one or two fairly accurate nicknames. Yes, I did say *my* carry round. I've read, and discussed, but I've also shot, trained, and these are loaded in each of my 9mm pistols.

    Here's a bit of a discussion on what's special about this round:

    Let's compare apples:apples - instead of the usual 7-8 single-stack 45 rounds, a flush-fit double-stack 9mm mag may carry anything up to ~18. While the plan is that your first couple of rounds finishes the discussion, the real difference is that with the low capacity at this point I'm already thinking "I'm about to run out" (and 2 more rounds puts me at 50%) compared with having plenty, plenty more to hand wiht the 9mm.

    The carry round I mentioned above firstly has awesome initial penetration. This is countered by it having equally awesome expansion characteristics, which both avoid over-penetration and ensure that all of the energy is delivered to the target, as well as contribuiting to the permanent and temporal wound cavity. And at 1250 fps that's plenty of energy.

    Take a look here for some very learned discussion and comparisons:

    Ayoob is one of if not the leading author on this topic. A couple of his quotes stand out: "Orlando cops are issued P226 SIGs and 127-grain +P+ Winchester, and after many shootings since, they’ve found it to be as effective as any handgun caliber could be."

    Again, some more facts and numbers to support this rather than barroom opinion:

    Here's another thought: guess what, until they moved to the current 357SIG round (still not a 45), the US Secret Service used to carry? Trust me they have plenty of $, quite the assignment, and free range to choose. That's right, 9mm Winchester Ranger SXT +P+.

    Here's some more facts and tests: there's rubbish ammo out there (as this test shows), but I like the author's comment: "First, a round of Winchester Ranger SXT 9mm, +P+, 127 grain. Why this round? Because that is what I carry in my 9mms. I believe that it is the "best of the best" for now, in non-trick ammo. ".

    There's plenty of studies proving both in the lab and on the street that this 9mm round has a 90% one-shot-stop, for instance

    And at the end of the day - as a previous posted noted - shot placement is everything.

    As a final thought, when would I very likely want a 45? Well, consider that if you are in the military, and limited to Geneva-convention rounds - ball (FMJ) - typically the basic stuff you'd use for target shooting - in this case I'd quite possibly (mag capacity notwithstanding) consider the crap 45 ammo over the crap 9mm ammo. However, hot 9mm rounds absolutely do the trick, and that's a fact that has been demonstrated, rather than an opinion.

  152. Anonymous Coward

    A few things....

    First... You redcoats are SO jealous! [don't bitch about redcoats if you're going to call us yanks] I notice most of the Brit 'ex-pats' that are posting here and living with us bloodthirsty rednecks own guns, hmmm.

    Second... You guys just don't know how to party.

    Third... This story desperately needs an IT angle. Let me help with that.

    Ok, now we can debate which cartridge is better for killing i-macs, the 9mm or the .45. I personally prefer the .44 mag hydroshocks for formatting macs (and dells).

  153. tony trolle

    Just reload your own..

    g20 10mm ;-)

  154. Dan 21

    Wow. So few people know what they're talking about...

    Non-military uses for firearms (Non-exclusive)

    1. Hobby

    2. Personal defense vs. crime

    3. Home defense vs. burglary

    4. Police

    5. Hunting

    6. Paranoia/Gov't defense

    For 1, anyting goes. For 2, you need something concealed. For 3, a 12-gage shotgun is ideal.

    I don't trust any police officer who says he's shot people on duty enough to be able to talk about 4.

    For 5, Shotgun/rifle, caliber to taste.

    It's at 6 where you hit the sticking point. Personally, based on the four current and former members of the US Armed Forces in my family, I think that peashooters would work just fine. The military would rapidly run out of officers who ordered soldiers to shoot at US civilians, and the remaining ones would be loyal to the country, as opposed to the government.

    Grenade, because I can still buy duct tape, nails, 12" long 2" thread pipe nipples, end caps, and some common household chemicals.

    IT Angle

    .22 Reasons Why IT Being Not Humanistic

    A number of the comments is making the issue outstanding. Could anybody just suppose that the mostly green IT-community will discuss what kicks better - .38 or .45...

    Strange that no sound of supporting .22 lead is heard in the environment. Usually this round puts the bullet with great accuracy and less recoil on the subsonic, you can feel the bullet crawling through the barrel. Trigger - it's a mild mouseclick with enough free way.

    IMO .22 is an excellent ammo because you can easily hit the subject's extremities without killing him or delivering him a heavy pain shock. The honourable IT-community will possibly agree that this issue is especially important when you plan to have an informative briefing with the subj after the shot.

    Real gangstas in the Reg (-; Well, if one decides to shoot the bloody attacker totally dead with .22 lead, one might shoot his head, why worrying about some vests?


  156. plymouth_argyles

    Shortage exaggerated in the media

    Hi. I'm a relatively new gun owner, having purchased a 40 caliber pistol and a 22 caliber rifle in the last year. The ammunition "shortage" I read about gave me an impulse to hoard some bullets. So I've purchased $75 worth of ammo a few times recently. I have never had a problem obtaining bullets from a local sporting goods store. The price is still pretty good for what you get, too. My experience does not match what the media reports. I live in Seattle WA. Hello to my friends in Plymouth England.

  157. Matt Bryant Silver badge


    First, to deal with the idiotic:

    RE: Saganhill

    "....You're an idiot. A 45 ACP round for a rifle? Really?..." Yes, it's called the De Lisle silenced rifle. It is so accurate (yes, 300m with .45 because of the long barrel) that it is still in use today even with the large number of suppressed 5.56mm rifles around. Please try some researching before labelling others.

    The the legal:

    RE: Graham Bartlett

    "....And you're not allowed to use more force than is reasonable to stop them hitting you - so once they're down, continuing to beat them with a baseball bat would get you locked up...." My personal experience is that you will still have to explain to the coppers exactly why you thought it necessary to render them unfit to continue the bout. If you admit to being a licensed martial artist then you are likely to be arrested and questioned (as I was). I was told I only got away without a charge of GBH becasue there were two of them. Compare that occurence to a similar event in Dallas, when my American host and I received congratulations from the local Police when we stopped two thugs mugging a lone girl, despite both the muggers needing more than just first aid. We spend far too much time worrying about the rights of criminals here in the UK.

    Now for the liberal:

    RE: soaklord

    Friends in Texas think the real core of the scare started after one of Obama's placements stopped the US military selling on used brass to the commercial market. To explain, the source for the majority of cheap 7.62x51 and 5.56mm ammo was from used rounds sold on to commercial companies that then re-primed and reloaded them for sale to the US public. Rifle rounds made from scratch are more pricey. This recycling also passed a nice wedge of cash back into the US military. There was no reason given for stopping the selling of used brass, which led many to speculate it was a hidden attack on rifle ownership by attempting to drive the price of ammo out of most owners' wallets. Given the previous statements of people like Eric Holder, many gun enthusiasts decided not to wait and see, but to buy up cheap rifle ammo whilst they could. Hence the shortage. This then spawned a panic buying in other calibres, including pistol ammo.

    RE: all the anti-Yank sentiment

    Personally, I have always felt safer in any Southern US city I've visited than in many spots here in the UK such as parts of London or places like Salford. And part of that was because in the US I at least felt the locals might lend a hand should I get attacked, whereas my experiences in the UK have been of bystanders simply walking away rather than getting involved.

    RE: all the anti-gun sentiment

    I used to shoot pistols in the UK for sport but now can't. I did also shoot rifles but the restrictions on ownership and storage are so ludicrous that I don't bother anymore. This all despite the fact more people have been killed playing rugby than by rifles in the UK. The whole killing of the UK sport was due to knee-jerk politics and recent armed crime figures show it was completely ineffective. Do I expect any UK political party to reverse the idiocy? Not really. I now only shoot irregularly when visiting friends in the States. My advice to them is to be on their guard as there will always be petty politicians looking to score favour with the uninformed by persecuting gun owners.

    Finally, in the 9mmP vs .45ACP kerfuffle - I have shot both and would prefer the 9mmP over the .45ACP. Call me a wimpy Limey but I just didn't like the recoil of the .45 compared to 9 milly, though I have no doubts that the .45 would be most acceptable if the need occured. However, my real preference was for 9mm Short, AKA .380ACP. That usually comes in smaller, lighter blowback pistols, and at the maxumim ten metre range likely for any domestic defence I could comfortably and quickly put a whole mag into a four-inch group. Just fine for delousing the house of unarmoured, junkie burglars.

  158. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    serious shooting is geeky!

    Re: Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 25th September 2009 16:56 GMT


    Who'd have thought there were so many ammo nerds around?


    See other posts about all the factors involved in the 'perfect' gun/round combination. One thing I envy the US about is the ability to experiment with wildcat combos.

    Otherwise, there's all sorts of combinations of bullet designs, weights, materials (French THV!). Then same for case dimensions, like what would happen if I necked this case so I could fit that bullet in it? Then lots of different powder types with different burn rates & pressure curves. Then barrel lengths, crowns, twist rates & direction. All of which combine into graphs showing the ballistic performance, down range energy and wound performance. The importance of which varies depending on who's doing the shooting & what they're shooting at.

    With all the combinations & permutations involved, it's not suprising it gets technical and sometimes emotive. It's horses for courses, and what I wanted for target shooting wouldn't be the best for self defence. Plus like Lewis said, what the security services do is a whole different ball game to competition shooting. I once got invited to an Army range where we were challenged to hit the target while they set off flash bangs and stuff. Needless to say my score fell a lot :)

  159. Doc_B

    Seriously? Do some more research!

    That's funny, I was at a Gun Show this weekend and there was plenty of ammo to be had. In addition, the local Wally-mart and the local gun stores have plenty. There has been a shortage of .223 (5.56) of late, do to rumors that the AR-15 would be banned, but there now appears to be plenty of that as well.

    As to the .45, get real. I have relatives in law enforcement, and friends in government and all of them use .40 or .45 for both professional and personal weapons. Body armor stops .9mm and .38 even better than .45. At least the .45 will knock them down.

    BTW, the American military has gone back to .45 for most issue pistols. Son-in-law just came back from IRAQ and that's what he and other senior NCO/Officers carried.

    In short, don't rely on the AP for your news. Develop some sources in the private sector and use them. It's called Journalism.

  160. Andy Cummings
    Thumb Up

    @Matt Bryant

    Bravo, sir - well said ;)

    Another couple of examples in a .45ACP rifle would be the Marlin Camp Carbines as well as the AR15 - well, actually the AR is available in 9mmP and just about bloody everything else these days (I'll be buying a 6.8mm SPC upper soon for my regular old .223 M4gery).

    I too feel safer here in the US than anywhere in the UK.

  161. Afreeman

    Your article is interesting...

    ...but a little dated. The ammo situation is easing, but is still not back to normal. Demand still remains unusally high for both ammo and many firerarms. In reply to some of the other comments:

    1) I've come to realize that what politicians say and what they do once elected are rarely the same. Obama, Biden, Pelosi, et al. have never met a gun restriction they didn't like or support. The fact that, at this moment, they're not pushing for more gun laws doesn't mean that they won't eventually push for them. Even a career thief doesn't steal every hour of every day.

    2) If Americans want to further increase government control of healthcare they have the means to do so by voting for it, not by having another huge government bureau created by politicians who haven't even read or understand the bill that they will be voting on. We already have "universal healthcare" in at least one state, Massachusetts. It is a colossal and bankrupting failure. If it was so wonderful, people would be moving into Massachusetts in droves. Instead, working class people are fleeing that state. What Massachusetts has done is the model for the proposed national plan. Obviously, a wonderful plan to follow nationally.

    3) As far as some folks in Britain looking askance at American freedoms, you are entitled to your opinions. Forgive me if I don't think that British "subjects" are somehow more "highly evolved" then us crazy, armed, freedom-loving Yanks. We also find some of your behavior a little entertaining at times. You've effectively removed all guns from your society, and from what I see in the news, you're well on your way to eliminating knives, pointy sticks, and what your masters deem politically incorrect speech and thought. As you continue down that path you have chosen, I wish you well. It is not a path I will choose.

    I'll close with a comment to you that I also offer to some of my fellow citizens who would like America to emulate other nations:

    "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom - go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

  162. Anonymous Coward

    I am I glad I live in The UK

    Thank goodness we do not routinely arm our police constables as it would cause an arms race like the States. I am glad I live in a Monarchical state they tend to be a great deal more stable then republics take UK , Sweden, Norway over France (how many revolutions?), Germant (enough said) and the US (oh dear).

    BTW Obama is in the smallest minority group in the states as he is half white / half black (as is Halle Berry - conveniently forgotten at times like the Oscars). Only someone that crosses both camps can help the States halt bigotry (read racism, anti homosexual, anti handicapped etc - all the same I refuse to distinguish) your biggest issue which perpeuates your unecessary need for firemans.

    Maybe if you in the US spent little more time listeningg to your indigenous population (what's left of it) you would learn to live together with more respect. And on the foreign stage actually listened to us, who have made most of the errors you still repeat years ago in the Empire, you may actually find other nations warm to you.

    Anon for obvious reasons.

  163. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear...

    Glad you live in the UK? You need to remove the blinkers, mate - you're now a bunch of barbarians:

    Here's something for you:

    "Britain's violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed. Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa - widely considered one of the world's most dangerous countries."

    Worse than South Africa? That must have taken some doing.


    "Last year 5,600 firearms offences were excluded from the official figures. It means that, whereas the Home Office said there were only 9,800 offences in 2007/8, the real total was around 15,400"

    15,400 - wow, lucky firearms are mostly banned, eh?

    "Police statistics showed forces in England and Wales are on course to record 38,000 serious knife crimes this year, or more than 100 a day, compared with last year's official total of 22,151 offences, a figure announced by the Home Office in July in its first annual count of knife crimes."

    100 knife-crimes *a day*? In an area, what, 58,000 sq miles? That's the size of the state of Illinois!

    Maybe if you stopped patting yourself on the back and stopped pontificating, you'd actually have time to do something about your massively out-of-control, world-beating crime-wave that puts even South Africa in second place. Here's a hint: focus on criminalizing behavior - not objects that have no brain or will of their own ;)

  164. Anonymous Coward

    @ oh dear

    You should stop reading those Tory hack mags.

    England and Wales pop 53 million (about) weapon homcides 53 (Fifty Three)

    US 5.6 homocides per 100 000 pop that's about 17000 (Seventeen Thousand)

    Put that figure into prospective over the same period as the Vietnam war 59-73 (58,159 dead)

    ( there were 186 650 homcides, one of which was your own president.

    Speaks volumes but are you listening?

    Weapons don't kill, people do. But if people don't have easy access to them it makes a great deal harder to pull the trigger

  165. AmishBill

    Regards to the Bootnote - 9mm can suppress better than .45

    If should be said though, that the large bore of the .45acp makes for difficult suppression, as it allows more gas to exit at full speed. Using a fairly common subsonic variant of 9mm, better results can be achieved.

    When discussing this topic with the owner of a major US suppressor company , he indicated that the best caliber to suppress is .22lr, followed by by 9mm, and that making a small, light can for .45acp is much more challenging. To make many .45acp cans as quiet as comparable 9mm cans, you have to add water or some other cooling agent.

    On the topic of our ammo shortage. Yeah... It bites. I used to find handfuls of boxes of most anything at the local Wal-Mart on the way to the range and cases of whatever I fancied at the local gun shop. Now the Wal-Mart counter is empty of almost everything but shotgun shells and few gunshops have cases of the common calibers for sale, let alone a selection of brands or types. It's most depressing.

  166. Anonymous Coward

    Crazy Americans

    I'm an immigrant living in the US and I agree with all the remarks about how Americans have some crazy standards. I worked for Walmart for a while unloading trucks, and guess what, ammunition that comes off a truck went straight to the floor, no security required. They have ammo sitting on shelves and four-ways right in the store. However when a shipment of photo film would come in (this is a couple of years ago when people didn't all have digital cameras yet), it wouldn't even stay in the back room, it would go straight into a locked cage behind the store because apparently this was the kind of stuff that would get stolen by associates or something.

    So in other words: if you want some bullets to shoot someone, that's easy, just walk in, pick up what you need, pay for it and go home. If you want to take a picture of someone, you'll have to ask someone to help you, and they might ask to see your drivers license and everything.


    By the way, this was post 9/11.

  167. tony trolle

    ok 9mm it is

    check out +p+ loads if you don't want 10mm

  168. Anonymous Coward

    That's nothing. Wait until they ban light-bulbs.

    If you thought banning ammo was bad, just wait until they ban light bulbs. I know I'll be stocking up, at Wal-Mart or wherever else I can get them. (Flourescents=heachaches, and the new "warm" LED bulbs= sickly green glow - both unacceptable in my house.)

    Now, about those guns... the U.S. is a big place. It's not all small and neat and tidy with everything close together like Europe or whatever. The nearest cop can be 30 minutes away, or more. Prevention makes much more sense.

    Side note: To control crime, do more to control drugs and gangs, at their root - not afterwards when drug gangs 'need' weapons to defend their turf. If all the guns suddenly miraculously disappeared, criminals would go back to using knives, rocks, bare hands, baseball bats, feet, big sticks, whatever. Is your wife or sister/granny/etc really going to be a match for a baseball-bat-wielding home-invasion robber who's busted down the front door when you'd been sleeping upstairs? (Okay, some wives and sisters *are* - point taken.)

    It's absolutely idiotic to think that "controlling" guns is somehow going to stop criminals from using them - all that does is put decent law-abiding people at a serious disadvantage.

    But, hey, enjoy your Kool-Aid, the peace-n-love gun-control stuff.

    People would be far better off to ban stupid drivers (about 80% of drivers or thereabouts, even though most people think it's "the other guy" who's at fault) whose WeaponCars(tm) kill and maim thousands of innocent people each year in senseless and preventable gun-free traffic accidents.

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