back to article OMG! With nothing but machine tools, steel and parts you can make a GUN!!

Not so amazingly, it turns out that with nothing more than a lot of manufactured parts and some specialised machinery, you can make a working rifle. This "news" comes to us because a man famous for pretending to make working guns from 3D-printed plastic is selling such machinery - which does rather prove that his 3D printed …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think that would probably be the coolist GamerTag ever!.....oh yeah and this very serious stuff....won't someone please think of the children, etc.

  2. Brian Miller

    Ah, you need to read up, Lewis

    "and it will remain just a piece of metal which you can send via post, Fedex etc to anyone you like."

    No, that's against the law. To transfer this to someone else, you must first obtain the right licenses, stamp the thing with a serial number, and then it can be transferred after the paperwork is done. This is the part with the serial number, and this is the part that legally constitutes the weapon.

    You can, however, fill in all of the part that you can't mill, like everything else, and happily go legally shooting. That isn't against federal law.

    Gun laws vary from state to state. Perhaps a state requires firearms registration, perhaps it doesn't. Perhaps it allows a person to manufacture a firearm for themselves, perhaps it doesn't. Where I live, this would be perfectly legal, but I'm not so sure about New Jersey. Also, state laws may restrict purchase to state residents, and other things like that. For instance, in the State of Washington, an individual may not own a full-auto weapon, but that weapon may be owned by a corporation. Go figure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, you need to read up, Lewis

      the aforementioned "ghost gun" lower is legally an 80 percent receiver and is totally legal to mail as it is not "yet" a firearm.

      It does not require CNC to complete. A $75 reusable jig, a trim router, a 3/8 chuck hand drill,some drill and cutting bits, and a decent bench with clamps and you're done. I finished one just for the hell of it three weeks ago and helped a buddy do his last weekend. Takes less than a workday. And still perfectly legal even in California, USA.

      Biggest reason I built one and will do another? Because it costs less. The 80 percent lower is still cheaper than getting one shipped to CA and all the legal paperwork, waiting periods, two trips to the FFL/dealer (one to sign for receipt, another after 2 week waiting period), and legislative paperwork needed to remain in compliance. Even counting cleaning up a huge mess of aluminum shavings in the garage as time spent, I still come out on the positive side.

      Plus I p*ssed off a legislative type who refuses to realize that the crooks aren't gonna go thru the hassle, and get better stuff cheaper and with no work along with the tons of drugs and humans the coyotes bring across.

      P.S. This still does not make, nor even come close, to creating an "assault rifle". The internal parts for fire control (which for standard AR's are a bunch of springs and pins also mail-order capable) are not part of an 80 percent build and beyond the scope of anyone without a really good CNC system. The parts kits cannot be modified for select fire as their configuration shares almost nothing other than trigger and maybe the hammer. Disconnector, fire control selector, and a bunch else are completely different. It's like saying a Mini can be made into a 10 second quarter miler with just a few parts, one of those parts being an entire 500 cubic inch supercharged V8, and the others being a whole new fuel cell system and completely different frame.

      1. Brian Miller

        Re: Ah, you need to read up, Lewis

        Hello, AC!

        That's a great answer to someone else's post.

        Right, you made one, and you helped a friend make one for himself. Anybody can do it legally, if they're not violating state law, which was my point. And those laws vary from state to state.

        Personally, I'm all for everybody legally doing something like this. Laws have long been absurd, and people need to get involved in prodding their legislators into acting with something that resembles common sense. Unfortunately, yellow journalism and reactive politics have been with us for, well, forever.

        Time to do something truly dangerous: write letters and vote.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, you need to read up, Lewis

      Actually you can't own a full-auto weapon in any state unless you have an NFA license. This is a Federal statute.

  3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Oh dear gawd

    Why not spend some money buying a decent sized 2nd CNC maching center?

    $5K should get you something decent if not $10K

    You can get the gun blueprints and make every part quite easily* and the only time you have to check with the boring old regulations is when machining aforesaid lower reciever.

    Of course after once making a little popgun, you'll get the taste for making proper guns such as semi-auto 50 cal rifles, or a copy of the famous MG-42 machine gun**


    Since footnotes are the way of things today

    *easily means being able to program the mill and have enough skill/knowledge to set the thign up and machine the parts correctly... about 5-7 years is ideal

    ** ammunition costs usually make MG-42 ownership very expensive.. especially after the first 1000 rounds

    *** 30 yrs experience of wrestling CNCs and robots to do his evil bidding to make everything from nuclear reactor gas seals to various aerospace stuff and a long history of making high quality rifle parts

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: Oh dear gawd

      "By miniaturizing the build envelope to just large enough to mill common firearm receivers, we were able to improve rigidity, reduce material cost and simultaneously relax some design limits, allowing us to sell an inexpensive machine with more than enough accuracy to manufacture firearms."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear gawd

        "You can get the gun blueprints and make every part quite easily*"

        Cheap? What if I told you I could make the entire rifle with pippins and a vice, would you believe me?

        Anyways, people always forget about China. There is several fabricators in China that could make the vast bulk of these weapons, and the minimum purchase order is not nearly as high as you would think. The rest you could hand tool (it's time consuming, but it's very peaceful and good for blood pressure :-).

        P.S. Which mill did you see for 10K? I've never seen a reliable 10K mill.

        1. razorfishsl

          Re: Oh dear gawd

          If you are such an expert on China manufacturers , you would KNOW where to get a 10k mill, certainly in China.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear gawd

      Bet you've got a lot of Moose Heads on the walls inside your house, haven't you Boris?

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Oh dear gawd

        Nope , no moose heads.... just a list of (un)popular politicians....

        Inauguration : a way of announcing to the world that another target has taken its place on the shooting gallery..

        Just kidding.. jeeez I dont really live in my basement surrounded by copies of guns and ammo

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear gawd

      Indeed. Who cares about assault rifles in a country where you can legally buy or make a semiautomatic long range 50 cal like the PTRS-41.

      As far as 50 cal guns go it is the "king of 50 cals" - used for taking out lightly armoured vehicles, planes, enemy snipers and "annoying" politicians worldwide all the way till the Vietnam war. In fact, in use in Ukraine even now (apparently).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear gawd

        Don't forget being used to vaporize prairie dogs in the midwest US...

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: AC Re: Oh dear gawd

          "Don't forget being used to vaporize prairie dogs in the midwest US..." Well, yes, but very few UK residents seem to know that foxes are regulalry shot even in the London suburbs. Most hunting activity in the UK is kept quiet because the hunters are tired of the know-nothing brigade that will turn out to shout nonsense at them should their activities become more widely known.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear gawd

      Boris, you forgot to include the riggers fee's in your costs + bootnotes, these are techies here who won't realize the logistics of moving a few ton of machine until its too late.

      Its el reg, not Practical Machinist, but on the plus side their version of weldon isnt as much of an idiot ;)

    6. Tony Haines

      Feds**** ~ Tourettes syndrome.

      I was sh*t the author wa**er. F***ing. Relieved ****.

      * aken to read this article, sure tha

      **s swearing - so many footnotes, away on another page. Might as well have been written on a piece of pap

      ***inally I made it to the end

      **** to find out that I was mistaken.

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    Homemade firearms are an old tradition

    Considering that homemade firearms have been around since the average person could first afford rudimentary machine tools, (and a significant other who didn't mind the smell and noise) I have to agree I don't see what all the hype is about either, except well, "'cause it's digital!"

    The same hype and reasoning that somehow negated Fair Us copyright laws, banking and trade regulations as well as a host of other business laws.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Homemade firearms are an old tradition

      Too true. Given a selection of steel water pipe, a handful of screw fittings, some piano wire, a few bits of thin steel plate and some hand tools you can easily end up with a working machine gun - they did it during the war with the sten gun.

      1. tony2heads

        Re: Homemade firearms are an old tradition


  5. Donn Bly

    Missing the point

    The whole purpose of the 3D-printed "Liberator" or this latest folly isn't to produce a working firearm, it is produce a discussion over the US gun laws, and the utter stupidity of some of the arguments used ON BOTH SIDES of the issue.

    Also, something to remember is that while the number of criminals that law abiding citizens euthanize through the legal use of their personal defense weapons is relatively small, statistics are not kept on the number of times the weapons are used to diffuse a situation but are not fired. Those situations are much more common.

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: Missing the point

      To be fair to the author, whom I just bashed below, Wired reports that "Subversive ambitions aside, Wilson doesn’t hide the fact that the Ghost Gunner is also a money-making project. Unlike Defense Distributed’s 3D-printing projects in the past, Wilson says selling its own CNC mill offers his group a way to fund its activities."

      The product isn't merely intended to advance a debate, and should be scrutinized.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing the point

      "Diffuse a situation", I think you mean threaten other people don't you?

      It's difficult to imagine how anyone can think it makes sense for the population to be armed. As someone who lives outside the US it just seems like madness. You an twist ans turn, quote statistics all you like but giving ordinary people deadly weapons is stupid beyond belief.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point


        "You an twist ans turn, quote statistics all you like but giving ordinary people deadly weapons is stupid beyond belief."

        I assume by that you do not drive nor live near roads for motor vehicles (dangerous they are). Also you must be avoiding the much more available and easily accessible petroleum which is highly flammable and make a great cocktail (boom). And of course man has used the pointy end of things for a long time as well as the sharp edge and before that the blunt edge. Now there is also the issue of what the human body can process and what is considered a poison. Some being easy to smuggle into large groups.

        In fact I would be careful with the cotton wool as well. Lets put a warning on it for you that says 'avoid covering your mouth and nose and only use in the presence of a responsible adult'.

      2. Marshalltown

        Re: Missing the point

        "It's difficult to imagine how anyone can think it makes sense for the population to be armed."

        Obviously you are not Swiss, are you, AC?

        And, please, do expound upon why it is more stupid to allow gun ownership. The reasoning supporting the opinion would be interesting, if it is actually informed.

  6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "So why all the hype? "

    This is what the anti-gun lobby does -- comes up with problems where there really aren't any as an excuse to reduce gun rights. If you listen to these people, you'll get the impression you're in imminent danger of being shot into a fine mist by machine-gun-wielding misfits on each and every block. Ultimate goal would be to restrict *some* guns, then use that a starting point to restrict *more* guns, and so on.

    The three major problems as I see it (disclaimer, I have no guns, I just am a libertarian so I don't believe in unnecessary restrictions):

    1) As you're seeing now in Britain, if guns are made illegal then only criminals have guns. I read an article saying a "Saturday Night Special" in Britain is only about double the cost as in the US (something like 150 UKP) so if a crim wants a gun they can have it, and since all these guns are black market there's no realistic chance of tracking a gun down if it was used in a shooting. Despite what the article asserts, guns here usually are registered. With that said, quite a few shootings here are gangbangers shooting each other up, and a lot of those guns are illegal (not illegal mods like machine guns, but people carrying a weapon without gun permit, unregistered guns, etc.) so then you are at the same point of not being able to find the weapon.

    2) Often times, these objections are not fact-based. A big problem in the US, with our relatively broken two-party system (two nearly-identical centrist parties but each party is sure they are TOTALLY polar opposite of the other), there tends to be these shows and channels and web sites that are like an echo chamber echoing more and more distorted information to meet their political agenda. A lot of people (both pro and anti-gun) are not just uninformed, they have very inaccurate information because of this.

    3) Constitutionality. Gun rights are a constitutional guarantee, and anyone saying they just want to restrict them *some* indicates they are willing to ignore the constitution and the bill of rights. These are often the same people who want to start "balancing" people's rights (meaning removing rights) in other ways. There is a defined mechanism for passing a constitutional ammendment, if these people truly want to restrict a few defined types of guns and that's it, enumerate them and get an ammendment passed to do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year:

      United Kingdom 0.25 (2010)

      United States 10.30 (2011)

      ....different years, I know, but gives you the general idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just hold UP PEOPLE !!

        Where in the article is the mentioning or reference of the party that is combating gun laws? The article starts out by talking about dude, and then it just rolls straight into points of view from the editor.

        This is the first time I've heard of this story, and I know there has to be some "anti-gun" movement lurking somewhere around this, but I just don't know where.

      2. Zack Mollusc

        Firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year:

        United Kingdom (No guns, as they are super naughty) 0.25 (2010)

        United States (Everyone has a dozen guns each ) 10.30 (2011)

        Surely there should be more than a 40:1 ratio?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Zack Mollusc

          "......Surely there should be more than a 40:1 ratio?" Exactly. Or, to use an even better example of how the issue has nothing to do with the guns themselves, you can look at the example of Switzerland. For decades the Swiss required every adult of serving age to keep an assault rifle and ammo at home, a concentration or arms per head that far, far outnumbered that of the UK, yet their deaths by firearms was much lower than the UK's. The difference was one of attitude.

          The truth is people kill people, and the problem is with the attitude of people shooting others in the States. And this is the bit the PC, anti-gun types really hate to face up to - the ethnic group busily killing each other the most are urban blacks, not white hunters ( and Maybe the anti-gun crowd should spend more time lecturing black Americans than trying to take guns away from legal owners, it would seem a much more targeted approach to reducing gun crime in the U.S.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: moeity

        ".....United Kingdom 0.25 (2010)....." A bogus comparison. As Lewis pointed out in his article, the U.S. figure is two-thirds suicides that in the UK instead jump of bridges, slit their wrists, take an overdose of drugs or otherwise find a way to 'end it all'. Then, if your intent is to somehow show firearms violence the you should be comparing numbers of criminal shootings, which means you need to take the hunting accidents out of the U.S. figure (hunting is much, much less popular in the UK). And then, even after all that, you have to take the one fact you and the rest of the anti-gun propagandists like to ignore - banning handguns in the UK was supposed to stop ALL shootings but didn't.. In short, the policy is as big a failure as your 'comparison'.

        1. A Dawson

          Re: moeity

          Homicides by firearms as a percentage 2012 .. US 59% (of 14,827), England and Wales 7%, Northern Ireland 22%, Scotland 0% (they prefer to stab each other apparently) all up for the UK about 700 homicides.

          So in the UK not only are you about 5 times less likely to be murdered you are still around 40 times less likely to be slain by a firearm in England an Wales.

          You are however right that the new handgun laws did not significantly change the trending of homicides by firearms but the rest of the conclusions seem uniformed.

          source UNODC

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: moeity

          Take out the suicides and there are about 11,000 murders committed in the USA each year. 5 to 6,000 of these are black men (6% of the population) in some ghetto shooting each other for recreation. About one third of all black men in the USA between the ages of 18 and 35 are either in prison or on parole, etc. The USA has a social problem. What is it?

      4. Hud Dunlap
        Thumb Down

        How about non firearm related deaths.

        The point is people killed not what they are killed with.

        It is also the local culture. Chicago murder rate.

      5. Dan Paul

        Moron moiety!

        Take your slanted statistics elsewhere please. They mean NOTHING. There are roughly as many guns in this country as there are people. Divide any total gun related death statistic by 310 million and thats how statistically signifigany the numbers are. 0.000206 percent

        61% of all US gun deaths are from SUICIDE! This is more an incrimination of the health system in the US than of gun ownership.

        The VAST MAJORITY of the remainder of gun deaths are from criminals (who will always have guns) killing the unarmed.

        Maybe your leftist anti ameriican media did not cover the recent murder and beheading of a co-worker by a radicalised islamic convert in Ohio. Alton Nolen was shot by the company ceo as he tried to attack another co-worker. That ceo had a concealed carry permit and had a legal handgun.

        Now Alton Nolen is in jail, very much alive and awaiting trial.

        Maybe that will give you the "general idea". Armed citizens prevent crime. Cops can't get there in time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Moron moiety!

          Bit harsh, don't you think? Calling someone a moron because they copied' n'pasted statistics you don't agree with?

          Also, anyone who is wanting to deduct suicides from the US figures should also deduct suicides from the UK figures. (SPOILER: It's most of them). Go on, look it up.

          At least you spelled 'moron' right, so kudos for that, I suppose.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Moron moiety!

            No, not harsh at all.... Try looking for US Sources of statistics when discussing US subjects. Try using "statistically significant numbers" instead of incorrect BS developed to foster the anti-gun side of the argument.

            READ the whole statement where I specifically say that the use of guns to commit suicide is more a comment on the lack of mental health care in this country. No, you are deliberately stirring shit up with bogus stats. You're a moron.

      6. Robert Helpmann??

        Death Rate

        Firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year...

        Removing easy access to weapons and increasing police presence are two different aspects that affect the outcome of this. Also, focusing on the implement used in violence does not address underlying causes. Perhaps better comparisons might be homicide rate, number of law enforcement officials and average income.

        Homicides/100,000 (2012)

        US - 4.7 UK - 1.0 Afghanistan 6.5


        Law enforcement/100,00 (2012/2009)

        US - 248 UK - 307 Afghanistan 401


        Average Wage ($US 2012)

        Gross US - 55,047 UK - 44,222 Afghanistan 70/426 (2004/2010)

        Disposable US - 38,753 UK - 29,938


        Still a bit simplistic, but a shot (pardon the pun) in the right direction. It's not a simple interaction between one or two factors.

      7. Marshalltown

        Apples and pears

        Yes, indeed, firearm related deaths are higher in the US than in the UK. However, the rates are immensely closer when you look at "intentional homicide" instead. That includes all the other weapons around you, including bludgeons, frying pans, poisons - visit the Agatha Christy "poison garden" some time - cars, bare hands, boots, bats (cricket or baseball), and etc. You also fail to mention how many of the UK firearm deaths are instantiated with a legal weapon. The odds are very low that more than a very small fraction are from legal weapons of any kind.

    2. hammarbtyp



      1) As you're seeing now in Britain, if guns are made illegal then only criminals have guns.

      There is very little you can do to restrict access to something if someone really wants it and it is widely available elsewhere. However...The big difference is that in the UK owning a gun is not seen as something common place or ordinary. If I saw a non-uniformed person carrying a fire arm I would call the police. This makes the use and access to guns far more difficult and attractive. Not only that crimes involving firearms (even carrying one) carry a much higher tariff, again making them largely unattractive to the criminal classes. More importantly because gun ownership is so low, the general population does not feel the need to engage in an arms race based on some FUD factor. Gun ownership itself is not an issue, but glorification of the need for ownership of a lethal device is.

      3) Well true, although the original intention was so that the population could resist foreign aggression against the bigger adversaries of the time. I doubt the founding fathers foresaw the time when the USA would be the worlds military superpower. Nor does it specify what sort of weapons should be allowed. If we are a origionalist you could argue it should be restricted to a brown bess musket. On the other hand some on the right feel they will never be safe unless the are nuclear armed. This amendment has been stretched by various arms lobby groups to the point where it no longer provides the protections that it was originally designed to provide.

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Sigh....

        "If I saw a non-uniformed person carrying a fire arm I would call the police."

        I hope not. The list of scenarios where it's appropriate to call the Police because a non-uniformed individual is in possession of a firearm is actually quite short.

        If you see someone carrying an uncovered firearm, then you're probably in the countryside and they're hunting. Hunters, whilst understanding of public ignorance and paranoia, get really fucked off when armed police come tramping over their permission and scare off the rabbits or foxes they were hunting because a dog walker couldn't figure out why someone in the countryside might be shooting in a field. Basically puts an end to the evening's work.

        Similarly, a local clay pigeon site has a public footpath running through the car park. Presumably you wouldn't call the police about this hotbed of gun usage if you passed through on a ramble?

        Driving along Queen's Road form Bisley in Surrey you'll pass by the back corner of Century Range at the national shooting centre. On a normal weekend you'll see hundreds of people shooting, none of them uniformed!

        Granted, if you see someone ambling down the high street with a rifle over their shoulder then that's probably a cause for concern, but interestingly not illegal provided they have good reason to be carrying - such as transporting it to/from a gunsmith. Thanks to our wonderful mish mash of laws, it'd only be illegal to carry an airgun uncovered. Carrying a rifle or shotgun back to the car uncovered may attract attention but isn't actually illegal!

        1. hammarbtyp

          Re: Sigh....


          Triple Sigh. Now your just being silly.

          I think most people can tell the difference between normal situations and a shooting range or a clay pigeon shoot. I think the number of occasions that the police have been called by people who find themselves on shooting ranges about the presence of firearms are very small.

          In 99% of the rest of the country however.

          I think I can also tell the difference between a shotgun and say a pistol, thank you very much. However if someone went up the high street with a shotgun on there shoulder i think there would be reason to call the police. I also seriously doubt that people walk from the car park to a clay pigeon shoot carrying loaded shotguns. The bar is so high on owning such weapon, that such people know how to carry them responsible.

          The list of scenarios where it's appropriate to call the Police because a non-uniformed individual is in possession of a firearm is actually quite short.

          Actually on your basis The list of scenarios where it is appropriate for a non-uniformed individual is in possession of a firearm is actually quite short. Apart from your definitions I cannot think of any other occasion where an armed individual is not considered a potential threat.

          The point is the UK has a different mindset to firearms. They cause attention, which if you are a criminal is unwanted.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Sigh....

        ...although the original intention was so that the population could resist foreign aggression against the bigger adversaries of the time.

        This is where you keep getting it wrong. Although Lewis has belittled the idea the 2nd amendment was a multi-pronged defense of the people. Yes, one of its purposes was foreign aggressors. A second purpose was for personal defense. The last and most important reason was to ensure that if the government got too big for its britches, the people could overthrow it. Remember it was about 15 years since the people who passed the amendment had taken it upon themselves to do just that. Note the amendment doesn't say guns, flintlocks, or rifles. It says ARMS. Canons are arms, aren't flintlocks, and were around at the time the amendment was adopted. For legal purposes if the amendment is properly interpreted Howitzers are just a new type of canon. Same thing applies to ICMBs.

  7. DropBear

    So, um, an ER11 collet, a 10000 RPM spindle, ball screws and steppers that look about NEMA 17 (or 23 at best) - is it just me, or are these guys selling the de facto equivalent of a sub-$1000 Chinese CNC for $1500...?

    1. John Bailey

      "So, um, an ER11 collet, a 10000 RPM spindle, ball screws and steppers that look about NEMA 17 (or 23 at best) - is it just me, or are these guys selling the de facto equivalent of a sub-$1000 Chinese CNC for $1500...?"

      Yep.. Pretty much.

      But it's got a cool name and it's all boxy..

      And black..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "can't oppose the gubmint cuz they got tanks and drones.."

    except unless you're a middle eastern "insurgent". They seem to do pretty good against a lot more badass and better equipped than some sheriff's SWAT team.

    so the typical "don't even bother to think of a gun to oppose the government" argument fails time and time again as a handful with small arms have repeatedly opposed the entire US Army and sent them packing home as the politico's wills failed.

    You also have to get past the idea that it's just one person. There's a huge difference between one guy or even a half dozen vs a thousand or more. That's the difference between a single nutball, a group of wackos and an outright revolution.

    A relative small number of determined individuals with home field advantage beat professional soldiers operating on orders from afar. As the Soviets, Americans, Mexicans, British and others have learned(repeatedly in some cases) in the last 75-100 years.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: AC Re: "can't oppose the gubmint cuz they got tanks and drones.."

      ".....They seem to do pretty good against a lot more badass and better equipped than some sheriff's SWAT team...." Correction - the terrorist element in the Middle East is crap in straight out shoot outs with proper soldiers, as shown at Fallujah (US), Amarah (UK) and every time the Israelis get busy. Where the terrorists such as IS do well is against poorly-led conscript armies, such as the Iraqis. By the end of the 'occupation', the U.S. and UK forces (with other allies), having befriended the Sunni population in the Anbar Awakening, had completely stamped out AL Quaeda in Iraq. It was the subsequent request by the Iraqi government that led to the allies leaving Iraq, nothing to do with the beaten insurgents. Same goes for Afghanistan - allies mopped up and left the insurgents of AQ and the Taliban living in caves in Waziristan, trouble since due to the Afghans requesting the scale down before their own forces were sufficiently capable.

    2. A Dawson

      Re: "can't oppose the gubmint cuz they got tanks and drones.."

      Tell that to the native Americans (North and South). I'm sure they were pretty determined too.

      1. Marshalltown

        "Tell that to the native Americans ..."

        This remark reflects a profound historical ignorance and an idealization of "noble savage" status disguised as PC. Let's see, starting with Cortes, myth says he an a handful of conquistadores brought down the Aztecs. Reality was, the Aztecs were detested _cannibals_ (really, no joke, those human sacrifices were governed by a "waste-not, want-not" ethic). Their neighbors hated the ground they walked upon - AND MANY STILL DO. Reality was that Cortez was joined thousands of local indians who allied themselves to the Spaniards. Estimate range from ca. 40K to over 100K took the side of the Spanish.

        Or, consider Pizarro. He took on the Incas. Again, history seems to favor this myth that the Spanish did it by themselves, but they arrived during a pause in the expansion of the Inca Empire. The Inca tended to assault a region, and having won, forcibly remove large portions of the population to other areas, similar to the Jewish diaspora but on a larger scale. The conflict between the Spanish and the Inca saw the Spanish joined by numerous "tribes" - the survivors of full-blown civilizations destroyed by the Incas - who happily waged war on the Inca again. There are no good estimates of how many joined in the war, but the Inca Empire was larger than the Aztec's, and their foes were far more sophisticated than many of the societies the Aztecs destroyed.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "can't oppose the gubmint cuz they got tanks and drones.."

      Yes and no.

      1. Every time a proper army has dealt with middle eastern insurgents it squashed them flat within a forthnight.

      2. It is not winning, it is holding which is the problem. If a proper army (or openly armed paramilitary police) tries to hold an area by force the tens of people who were easily squashed in the first place become tens of thousands of pissed off cittizens and that is when the army loses.

      3. The same is valid for the "home field advantage". There home field advantage and a group of "determined individuals" can beat a regular army only if it is being assisted by the general population. Example - the relative success of the WW2 insurgency against Nazi Germany in Serbia, Southern and Eastern Ukraine, France and Belorussia compared to the complete failure of any attempts to foster unrest in the Baltic states, Western Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, etc. Determined people tried there too. They just... did not last very long... As one of my Serbian friends used to say: "Of course, the Croatian pensioner next door did help the Serbian partisans in WW2. He provided shelter and hid them. He hid them so well that nobody could find the bodies".

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: "can't oppose the gubmint cuz they got tanks and drones.."

        > Every time a proper army has dealt with middle eastern insurgents it squashed them flat within a forthnight.

        I cannot begin to fathom how you came a conclusion so wildly at odds with observable facts.

  9. PleebSmash
    Black Helicopters

    this article is anti-hype hype

    >This "news" comes to us because a man famous for pretending to make working guns from 3D-printed plastic is selling such machinery - which does rather prove that his 3D printed plastic guns were indeed rubbish, and that you should take everything he says with a large pinch of salt.

    No. Cody Wilson is trying to push the envelope of what's available. A cheaper CNC mill for crafting lower receivers here, a successful demo of a plastic gun there. I don't think his followers are specifically looking to create weak plasticky weapons they can sneak through metal detectors. They just want the ability to reproduce 3D designs that happen to be weapons, without bothering with pesky rules and regs. If 3D printing advances to be able to fully print a metal gun cheaply, DD will push that technology.

    >And there you have it - by spending thousands of dollars, learning some complicated skills and doing some machining, you have obtained a functioning semi- or even, potentially, fully-automatic** weapon and you didn't have to comply with any pesky gun controls. Wow! Big stuff, eh

    Backers of Ghost Gunner are getting exactly what they pay for: a cheap general-purpose CNC mill well suited to creating lower receivers. 80 percent lowers already exist on the market, so there must be some existing interest in crafting lower receivers without serial numbers. It's irrelevant whether this is cheapest or easiest way to acquire AR-15s. What's relevant is the demand. If it doesn't exist, Cody Wilson doesn't get his DD funding blitz. Somehow I don't think many backers willing to lay down $1200 are going to be confused as to what they are purchasing.

    >Well that may be, the argument goes, but there's more: if the people are armed the government can't oppress them.

    I don't think the point is for one person to defend their home against SWAT with one AR-15 (DD are also working on other lower receiver designs). It's for swarms of people to advance on the government with weapons. Look at how much mainland China fears dissent without guns involved. Whether that fantasy can or will need to become true is another story.

    I'll agree that DD's efforts are redundant considering the already strong opposition to gun control legislation in America. This is just one more way to give the government the finger.

  10. Deltics

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

    And so do monkeys. If you give them guns.

    From one of the great philosophers of our time... Mr Eddie Izzard.

    1. phil dude

      Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

      Yes, that's why animals rights are a limited scope ideal - they cannot be held to account, but by the same measure they cannot be given rights. However, being civil to animals shouldn't require a legal threat.

      In this society we have laws that are supposed to apply equally to all adults. Children as we know are a special case as "sub-adults" and therefore should be treated accordingly.

      The thing about guns is they give a normal person a fighting chance against a much bigger opponent. Our ancestors mastered weapons in the past (spears, stones, fire etc..) in order to make Homo sapiens sapiens the dominant species on this planet. And perhaps anywhere...(no data on this yet.).

      The 2nd amendment of the US constitution is as historically notable as the 1st amendment. The founding fathers knew very well that the 1st was meaningless without the 2nd. The UK today is indistinguishable from the country that the 1776 war of independence was about - monarchy, lawless rich, suppression of speech, taxation without representation...the list goes on.

      As nauseating as the gun ownership debate can be, let's not forget that no guns were used in the executing of those journalists, with social media used to spread the images. We can't ban knives because a bunch of psychopathic lunatics misuse them. We can't ban free speech , because that in no way stops the violence. We can't ban guns just because it makes the government uncomfortable.

      It may help if the legal situation was clarified that a police officer shooting a citizen dead (unarmed or otherwise) is treated the same way as when a citizen shoots anyone else. This is unfortunately common in the USA but the UK is not so different.

      In the UK there are no guns because the govt took them away after WWII. UK Police can shoot people dead at will, with no legal recourse (yes, this one . The recent events in Ferguson,MO is by no means isolated.

      In the USA there are guns because it was recognized it was not safe to let the govt be the only ones.

      The govt wants a back door in your phone, limits on your speech and your right to peacefully organise or protest. A control on your imagination by stopping the sharing of information through draconian copyright laws.

      This guy is simply demonstrating the technology is neutral (yeah, a bit of a grandstander, I get it). It is the humans who decide what good it does.


      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

        "In the UK there are no guns because the govt took them away after WWII."

        In the UK there are fuckloads of guns.

        Couple of million rifles and shotguns - everything from double barrel shotguns for driven game and clays, to bolt-action target rifles, semi auto rifles (in .22lr calibre only), straight-pull AR-15s, the odd .50cal. Historic Machine Guns, held under special Section 7 Licenses for historic and significant firearms (along with "Section 7" Pistols and other goodies that would normally be illegal).

        Oh, and an estimated 10 million air rifles and air pistols. But neither Westminster nor the Scottish Government has any idea who actually possesses any of those, which would make it very difficult to enforce licensing or a ban, as Holyrood keeps mooting at various intervals.

        1. phil dude

          Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

          Your point is?

          In the US it is the right of citizens to have guns.

          In the UK it is not a right of subjects to have guns, free speech or anything else - (ECHR withstanding).

          I am well aware there are a lot of sport and legacy weapons in the UK. But not on the scale there is in the USA or, I suspect, Canada. And you cannot use a gun to defend your home (normally), whereas it is absolutely a right here in the USA.

          "But neither Westminster nor the Scottish Government has any idea who actually possesses any of those, which would make it very difficult to enforce licensing or a ban, as Holyrood keeps mooting at various intervals." - they don't need to ban it - if you carry it down the road you are going to get confronted by the police force.

          This is precisely what is meant by "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.". Shall not be infringed - worth repeating.

          Guns are lethal weapons. But it is fantasy to think that their existence is the problem, rather than the intent and actions of the holder.


          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

            I prefer to quote the great philosophers Goldie Lookin Chain:

            Guns don't kill people, Rappers Do.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            Re: phil dude Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

            "......In the UK it is not a right of subjects to have guns, free speech or anything else....." Rubbish. As long as your actions or speech are not in breach of the law you can say or do as you wish.

            " cannot use a gun to defend your home (normally), whereas it is absolutely a right here in the US...." More rubbish. In the UK you have the right to both self-defence and the right to use force to prevent a crime. You cannot use 'home defence' as the justification on your firearms certificate application but - should you legally have weapons at home - you can use them in self-defence if it is legally appropriate and not excessive. Similarly, using the example above of the chap carrying his legal shotgun over his shoulder down the highstreet, should he happen upon a crime in progress he could be justified in loading up and shooting the criminal in question, provided the crime or potential harm from the crime makes the use of lethal force appropriate. If the crime is an unarmed shoplifter then it is not appropriate, it is excessive force. But if it is a wannabe Michael Ryan engaged in firing on members of the public then it would probably be judged appropriate, even if the shooter did not give warning to the Ryan wannabe and was not immediately threatened themselves, because of the immediate and deadly threat to others. The Tony Martin case confused a lot of people into thinking you could not use a legal firearm to defend yourself in the UK but Tony Martin was found in court not to have acted in self-defence and had an illegal weapon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

      To quote Sledge Hammer after hearing the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument.

      "No, bullets kill people"

      1. SuperTim

        Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

        I think it was Chris Rock who suggested bullet control.

        “You don’t need no gun control, you know what you need? We need some bullet control. Men, we need to control the bullets, that’s right. I think all bullets should cost five thousand dollars… five thousand dollars per bullet… You know why? Cause if a bullet cost five thousand dollars there would be no more innocent bystanders. Yeah! Every time somebody get shut we’d say, ‘Damn, he must have done something ... S**t, he’s got fifty thousand dollars worth of bullets in his ass.’ And people would think before they killed somebody if a bullet cost five thousand dollars. ‘Man I would blow your f***ing head off…if I could afford it.’ ‘I’m gonna get me another job, I’m going to start saving some money, and you’re a dead man. You’d better hope I can’t get no bullets on layaway.’ So even if you get shot by a stray bullet, you wouldn't have to go to no doctor to get it taken out. Whoever shot you would take their bullet back, like "I believe you got my property.”

        Which is probably the most sense anyone has spoken about gun control!

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

          Chris Rock stole it from Pat Paulsen. But then I expect the Smothers Brothers were a bit before your time. And I fully expect Pat Paulsen stole it from some other comedian.

          I can't find the particular reference I'm thinking of on the internet, it came from a vinyl record my mother owned. Part of the schtick included "This should work particularly well for hunters who claim it is all about sport anyway. Imagine the sport of sneaking up on a bear with an unloaded rifle."

    3. cyrus

      Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

      Eddie Izard is a twat.

  11. Mark 85

    Hmm.... need a CNC. Really?

    Not at all. Guns from early on were made without the benefit of milling machines as we know them. The old Foxfire series of books had one dedicated to making black powder and a muzzle-loader. The thing even had rifling for accuracy. Maybe not a mass killer but it works.

    Once you have a good grade of steel, you can build them like they did prior to WWI, by hand using power tools only for the really tough stuff like boring out the bore and chamber.

    Why fiddle with an M-16, the old M-14 just needs a selector installed to control the sear.

    As for good guys vs. bad guys, who has guns, who doesn't, etc. I'll leave that to everyone else to figure out. But it doesn't take high tech tooling to make something like a gun. Good grief, I made a working scale model of a British 9-pdr, circa 1790, that I made from brass. Yes, it could be scaled up and rather easily.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Objective? never heard of it

    'Pretending to make working guns?' I know elreg isn't always the most objective, but it seems someone has an axe to grind.

    1. Allan George Dyer

      Re: Objective? never heard of it

      You mean using a CNC milling machine to turn that 80% lower receiver into an axe?

      Anyone got plans for a ploughshare?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waste of time

    I was at a gun fair last Sunday not a hundred miles from Washington DC and AR-15's were available for purchase. You just had to ---- not look like a Fed and wave a wad of used $$$$ in the direction of a seller with a large box covered with a blanket on their stall

    no I don't try to buy one but it was easy to see deals being made.

    Anon coz I'm still in the land of the not so free where even Grey Haired Sixty somethings can get carded when trying to buy a bottle of beer.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: AC Re: Waste of time

      "I was at a gun fair last Sunday not a hundred miles from Washington DC and AR-15's were available for purchase....." Having had to work on a contract in the States for a period longer than 30 days (max you can drive on an UK driving license) I have a valid Georgia driving license. I'm told this is often all that is required for private parties in Georgia., including gun fairs, even though I am not an US citizen.

  14. Eddy Ito

    Such a sale is perfectly routine (some studies estimate that 40 per cent of US gun sales are of this type), requires no background check or records, and of course owning such a weapon is perfectly legal for an American.

    Ah yes the study often trotted out as the 40% of purchases are done through the "gun show loophole". The study, by the way, was conducted in 1994 so it's almost old enough to drink and covered the acquisition period of 1993 and 1994 and collected data on guns owned prior to 1993, likely because information on purchases made a decade prior would be sketchy at best. In case anyone is interested the Brady Act which instituted federal background checks was passed at the end of November 1993 and became effective February 1994.

    Oh and about that loophole, only 4% said they bought it at a gun show or flea market. Don't believe it, read the pdf here and see for yourself. Spoiler alert, it's Exhibit 5 on page 6. It shows that 60% of acquisitions were through a store of some sort, hence the 40%. Funny how nobody mentions the 24% that were either gifts or inherited.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Oh and about that loophole,

      I've seen postings elsewhere that suggest the 40% number could still be accurate although they do note it includes inheritance. The part that gets overlooked on this is that if you are an FFL, you are required to perform the background check even if you are at a gun show. Which means the ONLY sales that are not going through the background checks are the one on one sales of private citizens. It simply isn't feasible to implement a system to require private citizens to implement an instant background check for the very good reason that you don't want just anybody running background checks on other people. Bottom line, at least 60% of sales are going through the smallish number of dealers (order of 60,000*) as opposed to the 40% that are going through a huge number of private owners (150-200 million or more).

      *Even this number could overstate the number of places one would think of as a gun store. I have a friend who collects and therefore registered himself as an FFL for a while. He never traded more than a dozen guns (incoming and outgoing) in a year when he had the license. He dropped it recently because of increased costs for FFLs.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defending against the government in the US

    Guns are seen by many as a way of insuring that if revolution was required, it would be possible. Yeah, the military has tanks, jet fighters and nukes, but the idea is that if there's a truly popular uprising against the government (i.e. not some wacko nutjob militia outfit in Nevada or something, I mean tens of millions of Americans) that it would be impossible for the government to get its military to use force against the populace.

    You can drum soldiers up into an "us against them" fervor where maybe they don't think too hard about knocking heads and taking prisoners against unarmed masses. It is another thing entirely to be asked to shoot and kill your fellow countrymen who won't easily be taken prisoner and will be willing to shoot at you to prevent it. (Hopefully) enough soldiers would refuse such orders that the government would be unable to wage an effective campaign against a large popular uprising.

    That's why the US population should be armed. They can't take on the best the US military can dish out, but they won't have to. They just need to be armed and ready to fight, and the generals won't have very many infantry willing to take them on because they know they'd be asked to kill those who resist.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Defending against the government in the US

      The reasons why the gun control is so relaxed in the US is simple:

      While the rednecks stroke their toys, revel in the feeling of freedom from oppression and deceive themselves with the dreams of the revolution, the few oligarchic families who actually run the US can screw them however they want.

      And no, I am not a conspiracy theorist, it's just the way the world works.

      1. Hollerith 1

        Re: Defending against the government in the US

        I don't care for the term 'redneck' -- how about we try 'working class' or even 'rural working class'? Of course they like anything that makes them feel less powerless, more a force to be reckoned with, etc. In a sense, it's more dignified to own a gun and swear you will go down to defend your liberties than to shrug or acquiesce or not to care any more. I am not the type any rural working class would defend (female, lots of degrees, urban, well-off, lesbian, Canadian...) but I respect their attempt to balance odds that will never be balanced.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Defending against the government in the US

          Ca-naa-dian?? OMG, that's gross!

        2. Dave Bell

          Re: Defending against the government in the US

          Another element of the "rural working class" is that an adequate rifle is a tool that can help feed the family. Hunting isn't just sport. I have heard a few myths around that, but you have some of the same thinking in England, around shotguns mostly, and my late father certainly had to do such stuff, even trying to line up for multiple rabbits with one shot from a 12-bore in the 1930s.

          There's an ultra-short story called Nary Spell by Manly Wade Wellman that involves that sort of shooting.

          1. sisk

            Re: Defending against the government in the US

   adequate rifle is a tool that can help feed the family. Hunting isn't just sport.

            That's no joke. Have a thumbs up.

            I know multiple families who'd be living off beans and rice if you took away their hunting rifles or deep freezes. You can tell the hunters who consider it a sport from the hunters who consider it a survival technique pretty easily: these guys don't have trophies because they don't have extra money to give a taxidermist. What they do have is chest freezers full of meat they've butchered themselves that needs to last till the next hunting season.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Defending against the government in the US

      History has shown that when revolution is required, weapons are always easily available. Whenever there is trouble in the world, arms dealers appear there in droves.

      Just look at any country that has had a civil war in the last 50 years. Within days of the uprising starting, everybody seems to be carrying a rifle.

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Defending against the government in the US

        Indeed. Certain of the lunatic fringe seem to think it would be the general public vs the US military.

        Of course, in a civil war - an actual, proper civil war where a country tears itself apart - many serving personnel may well defect - soldiers and airmen have families as well, and they're going to be one side or another. Ergo, far from a well organised military vs a popular militia, it'd be elements of the US military, with their hardware plus new recruits, vs other elements of the US military with their hardware, plus new recruits. Which side counts as the traitors and defectors depends which side you're on.

        Your little stash of AR15s starts to look a bit pointless when the local military base is overrun because the guards abandoned their posts to go home and your neighbour is tooling down the street in their looted Humvee sporting a roof-mount .50BMG or TOW launcher.

        1. Tom 13

          Re:your neighbour is tooling down the street in their looted Humve

          Which neighbor? Sam or George?

          'Cause if it's George it's all good. He'll be meeting the rest of us at the rendezvous in a couple of hours, from there we'll finish modifying our defense plans. But if it's Sam that stash is going to be even more important. That SOB has to sleep sometime.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        So if the people of the UK wanted revolution, someone is going to manage to import millions of guns despite what would undoubtedly be seriously stepped up border/import security by the UK government to prevent this as it would lead to their overthrow?

        I think the reason countries with revolutions always have weapons available is because armed revolutions don't happen in countries where guns aren't available. Where guns aren't available they don't suddenly appear, instead they're forced to take the Ghandi approach, like the people in Hong Kong are doing right now. That doesn't always work, just ask the guy who stood in front of the tank in Tianamen Square (if you could find him; if he's still even alive)

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: @AC

          I just looked at a (google) map of the UK. There is a LOT of shoreline, especially Northwest of Glasgow, that I suspect is quite difficult to patrol effectively, fairly reachable from Ireland and Norway, and borders on what looks like very sparsely populated land. There are similar difficulties for other governments in parts of the Eastern U. S. and Canada, as well as Alaska and British Columbia, and a long U. S. border with Mexico that has been shown to be quite permeable.

          I do not think it is obvious that the UK or other governments would be able to exercise effective control of a large, but popular illegal weapons import program. The effective control is nearly universally accepted legitimacy of the governments.

      3. Eddy Ito

        Re: Defending against the government in the US

        Just look at any country that has had a civil war in the last 50 years. Within days of the uprising starting, everybody seems to be carrying a rifle.

        You can go back much more than 50 years but give credit where it's due. Oftentimes those arms dealers had the backing of one government's covert ops agency or another. Don't forget that these were just the kind of thing which made up probably 85% of the cold war. The only thing they did to update for modern times is:

        sed 's/Communism/Islam/g' <ColdWar.playbook >WarOnTerror.playbook

  16. frank ly

    From semi-auto to auto

    This is off-topic but I'm wondering if anyone can give me some technical information:

    If you take a good quality and well made semi-automatic pistol, it should be possible to make a 'carrier' for it that turns it into an 'automatic' sprayer of bullets. The standard ammunition clip could be replaced by a modified (longer/deeper) version that contains more than the standard six rounds and the pistol itself could be clamped into a carrier that looks like a rifle stock and performs the same function. The shoulder butt would contain a clockwork or battery poweed mechanism that pulled a mechanical 'finger' that hooked around the trigger of the pistol.

    All the user would have to do is press a button and try to hold it on target as the 'finger' repeatedly pulled the pistol trigger. From a purely technical point of view, it seems to be an easy way of making an 'automatic' weapon out of an 'easily obtainable' pistol and does not involve any modification to the pistol itself.

    Has anybody tried this? Is there any technical reason why it shouldn't be done?

    1. Archaon
      Black Helicopters

      Re: From semi-auto to auto

      Disclaimer: Me no expert. Me no know much about shooty things. Me no Groot, and so on. Anyway, that said...

      I believe 6 bullets is standard for a revolver, a normal pistol will have a clip of somewhere around 10-15 bullets depending on the model and the clip fitted.

      Technically I guess what you suggest could be done but a skilled operator can fire a semi auto pistol very quickly anyway - hence firing tactics like double taps.

      I suspect it would reduce the learning curve for firing a pistol quickly and accurately, but bottom line is you still have to be able to fire it accurately. In terms of effectiveness you would lose the agility of a pistol; meanwhile you don't gain the effectiveness or range of a rifle.

      Even if the weapon is effectively untouched I imagine it would still be illegal once strapped to the gun. It may not be a physical modification to the weapon itself but it is a modification of how the weapon functions. Hence you'd still hear the distant thrum of the black helicopters -->

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: From semi-auto to auto

        There are/were select fire pistols - variations of "normal" models like Beretta 93R or so designed from the start, like the broomstick Mauser, Stechkin etc. The reason they are not widely used is that they are impossible to control without additional implements, like stocks and front handles, otherwise all rounds after the first one go up into the ceiling. And if you have to attach all sorts of external things to your handgun - better just get an SMG.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From semi-auto to auto

      Large capacity magazines are quite common for both hand guns and rifles. Hand guns can use mags up to 15 rounds or more.

      To do what you want, all you need is a fully automatic "machine pistol" IE Uzi sub machine gun. Get a rotary magazine that hold 150 rounds

      You can get one for less money than the cobbed up equipment you are talking about.

    3. sisk

      Re: From semi-auto to auto

      Has anybody tried this? Is there any technical reason why it shouldn't be done?

      I haven't tried it, but I have a friend who attempted to turn a semi-automatic .22 rifle into a full automatic (yes, he's an idiot, but he's usually good whenever machines are involved). What he ended up with was a rifle that'd fire 2 rounds and then jam every single time. Judging by his lack of success I'd have to say that the process isn't as easy as you'd think.

      On the other hand I have another friend (a gunsmith who actually gets paid to repair guns) who accidentally made a full auto AR-15 once by forgetting to put in a certain spring. (In case you're wondering he took it back to the shop and fixed it after the first unexpected burst.) It stands to reason that there's a significant difference between something that was engineered 'down' from full auto to be semi-auto, like an AR-15, and something that was designed as a semi-auto to begin with, like a pistol.

      Plus it would have to be a very heavy but low caliber pistol for anyone but a very experienced shooter to control in full auto. You'd need something that weighed like a Desert Eagle but fired 9mm for it to actually be usable, which is about what a Micro-Uzi is.

  17. Turtle


    "In the USA, gun control laws - naturally enough - attempt to regulate and control trade in actual gun parts while still permitting unrestricted trade in actual guns".

    I know that that's not what the article actually says, and I also know that it's not actually true, but that's how I read it...

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Turtle Re: Actually...

      All you have to do is realise it's something being pushed or shouted by Cody Wilson to realise it probably isn't worth the time of worrying about.

  18. codejunky Silver badge

    Problem with gun comparison

    Whenever there is a gun debate there is always a discussion of US vs UK because it is really easy to bugger the figures that way. Considering each state has its own varying laws on guns and certainly has very different statistics for problems it makes comparison very difficult. I am very happy to see Lewis pointing out the usual mistake of gun death vs gun involved in homicide which the anti lobby like to announce.

    I do like to shoot although I am happy with air guns personally (I have used live ammo) and only for target shooting. But even this causes problems for people here in the UK when you tell them. It is often pretty easy to see who has at least seen a gun before because everyone else suddenly gets nervous and for some reason assumes you want to go homicidal. The good news is it is easy to help people understand the difference between shooting and the warzone they have in their head, just take them to a gun range and let them have a go. I managed to take some of my very anti gun relatives and now they want to come along. I think in the UK we miss out on a great education with guns but then some of the pro gun nutters I hear of in the US make me want to cry with exhaustion at their stupidity.

  19. ukgnome

    That's a well researched and written article. Occasionally Lewis does write one.....(only minor trolling)

    I was having a discussion about this on line the other day. As I used to be a member of a gun club before all guns were deemed too evil. There standpoint was that bullets ripping through flesh must be terrible, and perhaps shooting the crap out of people was bad. And I agreed, my friend indeed had a point, in fact he had a quiver of them. Archery is much more fun, it doesn't make a loud bang and the poundage on his bow would cause some serious damage as it fired a pointy stick at you (through you)

    The actual proportion of people with guns that shoot people is relatively small, unless you watch the news or read the papers.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      I am generally in favour of civilian gun ownership, if anything, because I feel that when a criminal can own a gun without restrictions but a law abiding citizen can't, that does seem a bit stupid... but I think the gun ownership should be properly regulated.

      I believe the current regulation in the UK is ridiculously paranoiac (even sports handguns are prohibited unless muzzle loading - wtf??) but the US gun "controls" are a complete joke. The optimum lies somewhere in the middle.

      1. Adam Inistrator

        tipping point

        maybe there is no happy medium regarding gun control laws

  20. Roy Nottroy

    Very interesting article, thank you.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgot NI Lewis? Surely the largest armed UK police service is the PSNI..?

    >(the largest armed police command in the UK is the Metropolitan Police Diplomatic Protection Group, with 700 officers who are mainly employed guarding embassies).

    According to wikipedia (in 2011) the PNSI has 7200 officers with 2500 of them being backroom staff.

    "Due to the elevated threat level police personnel face from armed paramilitary groups, unlike the majority of police services in the United Kingdom, the PSNI routinely arms all of its officers with firearms and allows its officers to carry their issue sidearm off-duty."

  22. R42

    Guns in America

    I have always leaned toward the take all the guns away stance. It seems to me that there is no reason why anyone needs to possess a tool of murder. However, it is, clearly, a pointless position. When Jesus wrote the constitution, he plainly said that every American can, and should, posses whatever tools they need to protect themselves. (Clearly this was a needed thing in America. The 3rd Amendment says that a soldier has to ask permission before staying at your house.)

    In light of that fact, I appreciated this article. It demonstrated the pointlessness on the margins of the Gun Debate.

    I will say, however, that as an American there is one reason why many of us hate AR-15s. The reason is that in 2012, two weeks before Christmas, a mad man killed 20 children with one.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Guns in America

      @ R42

      "I will say, however, that as an American there is one reason why many of us hate AR-15s. The reason is that in 2012, two weeks before Christmas, a mad man killed 20 children with one."

      I assume you also hate knives because it is almost certain someone was stabbed around a christmas time (probably a few people) and so would want all knives taken away. And we can move on to all other items which can be lethal and can be classed as weapons

    2. rh587 Silver badge

      Re: Guns in America

      "I will say, however, that as an American there is one reason why many of us hate AR-15s. The reason is that in 2012, two weeks before Christmas, a mad man killed 20 children with one."

      Whilst those events are unspeakably tragic, it's worth bearing in mind that Derrick Bird killed 12 people in Whitehaven using a bolt-action (albeit magazine-fed) hunting rifle.

      In the right hands, it makes not a jot of difference whether a gun is Fully-Automatic, Semi-Automatic or Manually Fed.

      China has had a spate of nasty knife attacks, with attackers killing 8+ children at a time with bladed weapons.

      Much was made of the Washington Beltway Snipers using a Bushmaster (because it's black and scary looking), but for that job - with a modified car, etc - a bolt action would have been as, if not more effective.

      The numbers surely are irrelevant. One innocent life lost is too many, and that means (once you have some sensible, basic regulations to make criminal access inconvenient) addressing the person, not the object.

    3. Kiwi

      Re: Guns in America

      I will say, however, that as an American there is one reason why many of us hate AR-15s.

      Do you hate aircraft as well? Rumour has it that a few years back, not long before Christmas, some thugs used commercial aircraft to kill a few more than 20 people. What about cars and trucks? People have used those to kill a number of people in one hit.

  23. jake Silver badge

    Gun control is easy.

    A good sight picture, a steady hand, proper breathing and squeeze not pull.

    Loony control is unfortunately a lot harder in this society, alas.

    Violence control is a wetware issue, not a hardware issue.

  24. corestore


    "Assault weapon" is an emotive term used mainly by gun-control advocates and their opponents; it doesn't mean quite the same thing as "assault rifle".

    Finally someone gets it.

    An 'assault rifle' is a medium calibre, medium power military rifle, capable of select-fire (i.e. fully automatic, like a machine gun) operation. Examples would be the British SA80, the American M16, or the Russian AK47.

    An 'assault weapon' isn't actually a gun at all. There's no such thing. 'Assault weapon' is a *label*, an invented derogatory neologism, intended to influence public opinion through deliberate confusion with the correct military 'assault rifle' terminology, promulgated by gun control advocates. All it means is a gun which *looks* politically-incorrect. 'scary-looking gun' would be the best transliteration. Even the legal definition is based *entirely* on cosmetic features, because a so-called 'assault weapon' actually WORKS exactly the same as any 'normal', 'less scary-looking' semi-automatic rifle.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 - an AK is far easier to build than an AR style rifle

    2 - Derrick Bird also used a shotgun.

    3 - one death is too many

    4 - Police forces in the U.K. should remove firearms from people more often (e.g., before dunblane)

    5 - You reach a point where if no guns were available, they'd just do it another way.

    6 - I understand Americans wanting to be armed - theyre surrounded by armed Americans, and live in a country populated by other dangerous animals.

    7 - We don't really have dangerous animals in the U.K.

    8 - We're not surrounded by armed Americans in the U.K.

    9 - Most gun deaths in the U.S. are handguns, deaths by "assault style rifles" or other rifles is insignificant in total number

    10 - If i'm british, in britain, and get stopped by the police, and reach into my pocket, they won't assume i'm reaching for a gun. In America, they might.

    11 - If there were no firearms licensing laws in the U.K., i'd have a house full.

    Enough said?

  26. sisk

    I do have to say that this machine is...well let me put it this way. About a year ago I was seriously considering buying one of these 'unfinished' lower receivers* and did my research. To finish them you need nothing more than 5 minutes and a drill press. Why would anyone buy an expensive, dedicated to do that?

    *Not because I have any particular problem with my guns being registered. I was just sort of hoping it'd be a less expensive way to get an AR-15. It is cheaper, but still too an order of magnitude more expensive than what I can justify spending on a sport rifle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Publicity and free marketing for your cheap CNC business. Otherwise it seems a possible way to get a cheap CNC machine at a premium price. Other that what Lewis has written, I don't know the intracies of getting one's mitts on an AR-15 or why they're so desireable. Come the zombie apocalypse, I'd rather have a decent battle axe. Or for less apocalyptic scenarios, an AK or shotgun. Or if things are heading medieval in a hurry, a black powder musket. Until DIY printers and gizmos can print ammunition there's a big dependency on the availabilty of that, so primers, powders etc.

      But generally if I wanted another firearm (former FAC holder) I'd want one that's reliable and dependable, which for me would show a preference for buying one from a gunsmith that knows what they're doing. Making improvised firearms and zip guns is nothing new.

      1. sisk

        Re: Why?

        or why they're so desireable.

        In my case it's mostly that I grew up shooting DCM with an AR-15. A bit of nostalgia, a bit of familiarity, and that's about it.

        Should I ever find myself in the unenviable position of needing a gun to defend myself I'd much rather have a 12ga or a .45 pistol, and I can't think of anything I'd consider hunting with a .223. For deer my weapon of choice is an old M1 Garand that's been around longer than I have and for game birds it's back to the shotgun. There's really nothing else worth hunting here unless you like rabbit (I don't) and I'd opt for a high power pellet gun or a .22 for them if I were going to hunt them. If I were to find myself in need of an actual battlefield-worthy gun I'd want an AK-47 or, if we were going short range, an AA12.

        Literally the only place my first choice of guns would be an AR-15 is on a shooting range, and then only if I'm shooting for fun. It's just not a practical gun for much of anything else. Even so if I ever got the chance to get one I'd take it.

  27. A J Stiles

    t might also be worth noting that, as gun-control advocates claim, it is rare for civilian US gun owners to use their weapons legally against criminals (for instance in "home defence" scenarios). However there are between 200 and 300 justifiable homicides of this kind every year, a number not so very much lower than the fatal shootings accounted for by law-enforcement types acting in the line of duty.
    Taking a life in response to a property crime is never justifiable under any circumstances. Life is unconditionally worth more than property. Your property is worth less than the life of the burglar trying to steal it. Always.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @ A J Stiles

      "Taking a life in response to a property crime is never justifiable under any circumstances"

      Did you just try to justify crime? Seriously? In the most basic of situations you may be correct but I assume you are ignoring the violence which easily comes along with crime. And the vulnerability of the victim. And the boneheaded assumption that the victims property isnt worth anything in comparison with someone who is violating their property, likely their home and likely violent.

      I dont think I have ever heard such an argument ever spoken without the intention being humour. Wow.

      1. A J Stiles

        Re: @ A J Stiles

        O.K. Name some property that you consider worth more than your life.

        1. sisk

          Re: @ A J Stiles

          O.K. Name some property that you consider worth more than your life.

          Not that I'd consider it property, but my family's safety is worth more to me that my life. Truth is I'd probably let someone steal all the stuff I own before I'd pull the trigger. But give me a reason to think you're a danger to my family and I'll double tap just to make sure.

          My family's safety is worth more than some rapist or serial killer's life to me. If you've broken into my house I don't know if you're there for my stuff or if you're a rapist there for my wife, or a pedo freak there for one of my kids, or a serial killer there for any of us. You'll get a chance to leave if I can give you one, but when it comes down to shooting someone or putting my family in harms way I'll shoot someone and deal with having trouble looking in mirrors for a while.

          1. Kiwi

            Re: @ A J Stiles

            My family's safety is worth more than some rapist or serial killer's life to me.

            There was some famous guy in court recently. Was trying to protect his missus. Thought someone had broken into his house. Think his name was Oscar somethingorother.

            Basic rule of firearms safety - identify your target. In a home defense case, that must also include identifying the motive of the person in your house - is it someone there intent on harming you or your family? Fire away. A neighbour who has managed to get so drunk they don't realise why their key suddenly doesn't work? Sure, fire away. Afterwards, enjoy yourself as you explain to their grieving family why you shot them. (I'm sure you'll be able to find such cases on Google).

            There are times when someone with a firearm handy stops or reduces a crime. There's also many times when someone with a firearm escalates something, or shoots at a legitimate target and misses (see NZ cops killing innocent teenagers), or has their gun taken from then and used either against them or on someone else.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: @ A J Stiles

              @ Kiwi

              "There was some famous guy in court recently. Was trying to protect his missus. Thought someone had broken into his house. Think his name was Oscar somethingorother."

              And for every instance and more of a firearms mistake is a crime. I wonder if he would have felt the need for a gun so available without crime?

              "Basic rule of firearms safety - identify your target."

              Good rule.

              "There are times when someone with a firearm handy stops or reduces a crime. There's also many times when someone with a firearm escalates something, or shoots at a legitimate target and misses (see NZ cops killing innocent teenagers), or has their gun taken from then and used either against them or on someone else."

              And there is a lot of crime stopped by the fear of consequences. There is a lot of crime stopped by the availability of self defence. Especially for the weaker and less capable. You may have reports of escalation and things going wrong. Thats because there is little to report when it goes right. Instead it just saves a life.

            2. sisk

              Re: @ A J Stiles

              There are times when someone with a firearm handy stops or reduces a crime. There's also many times when someone with a firearm escalates something, or shoots at a legitimate target and misses (see NZ cops killing innocent teenagers), or has their gun taken from then and used either against them or on someone else.

              True enuogh, but the fact is that the first one of those outnumbers the latter two massively, especially if you take into account all the times when someone averts a crime simply by HAVING a gun and doesn't have to fire it.

            3. Bazza O

              Re: @ A J Stiles

              "Basic rule of firearms safety - identify your target."

              Its also required by law. There is a lot of misunderstanding of US self-defense law. Its not as lax as most people think.

              In order to claim self-defense, you have to demonstrate:

              1) Innocence (you are not committing a crime and you are not the aggressor)

              2) Imminence (you or family about to be attacked NOW)

              3) Proportionality (the response is justified by the threat)

              3) Avoidance (a few states require the self defender to retreat - most do not)

              4) Reasonableness (are the self-defender's judgements reasonable)

              The state must only prove one of these 4 to be false to defeat a self-defence claim.

              Shooting an unidentified intruder through a door fails (2) and (3)....

              (Pistorius would likely be convicted in the US. )

    2. Tom 13

      Re: it is rare for civilian US gun owners to use their weapons legally against criminals

      That's not merely an unsupported assertion but an inherently unverifiable one. I don't currently own any firearms but I hangout with people who do and read some boards where they hangout. Most report at least one instance in which they defused a potentially dangerous situation by displaying their legally carrier weapon. Perps ran away, nobody was hurt, no reports were filed.

      Your assumption about burglars is equally flawed. If someone has broken into my house I don't know if he broke in to steal or to kill. There should never be an imposition on me to determine which. I am not the one who has already broken at least one law.

      1. sisk

        Re: it is rare for civilian US gun owners to use their weapons legally against criminals

        I would also point out that by far the most common method of using a gun against criminals is to simply point it their direction, tell them to go away, and not pull the trigger. I've done this myself twice, once with a gun I didn't even have any ammo for (the guy trying to break into my house didn't know that, obviously). It's pretty rare that you actually have to shoot the criminals. Usually you point a gun their direction and they're happy to leave you alone. Those situations probably outnumber the criminals getting shot by 10-1, but they don't show up in the statistics.

  28. Irony Deficient

    my death-tech CV

    My preferred death-tech is the cream sauce — we’re all familiar with the race between the tortoise and the hare.

  29. perlcat

    Meh. Can't win here.

    Any discussion of guns draws out the nutters on both sides.

    Nice article, Lewis, thanks for trying to keep the discussion reasonable.

  30. WalterAlter

    Cody Wilson...anarchist hellion

    No mention in any of these comments of Cody Wilson and his circus of doom nor any evidence found that a significant percentage of his hundreds of YouTube-available interviews with press sock puppets, have been properly evaluated by the this vulture oriented tech savvy elite. No indication in these selfsame comments that Cody Wilson is a bomb throwing cypher punk communard anarchist presently gravitating towards libertarianism while brandishing an I.Q. probably above the measurable range. I wonder if this evident gravitation is the bleeding edge of a trend, not so much in the Newtonian sense as in the sense that really smart people have the irritating potential of coming to their senses and tossing obsolete political ideologies and their politically correct sophistries into the shit can of history?

  31. John Hughes

    What a wimp - build your own AK out of a shovel!?s=e2b9266d463dcea54bdf8c214310040c

  32. DanceMan

    Surprised to see nothing in the original article nor in the comments about Canada, which falls somewhere between the US and GB in gun laws and gun deaths. Almost all gun deaths here in Vancouver and BC have been drug gang related shootings with a few police shootings of citizens.

    The biggest gun issue in Canada was the long gun registry, brought in by the federal Liberal gov't and removed years later by the Conservative gov't. The law was popular with urban types unfamiliar with guns or gun laws and deeply unpopular with rural types to whom guns are tools. Urban types confused the registry with gun control, which it was not. We already had and still have gun control, requiring a Firearms Acquisition Certificate before a gun can be purchased.

    During CBC radio's national phone-in show following the second Montreal uni shooting spree, a listener told of recently obtaining his FAC. Out of interest he asked the three references he'd supplied if they'd been contacted by authorities. None had been. That's where the money wasted on the registry should have been spent. The registry was a purely political move. The NDP even forced its rural members opposed to the registry to vote against scrapping it in order to keep urban votes.

    I'm happy with Canada's laws that prohibit handguns (save maybe for severly limited gun range use) but permit long gun ownership. Urban pellet rifle owner that ate a lot of moosemeat growing up.

  33. blah111

    If this is freedom, give me oppression

    "It's laws and, dammit, governments which keep you free - not guns."

    Normally I agree with what Lewis posts, but this is just fucking retarded. Laws and government make me free? Let's list a few "freedoms" shall we?

    Government dictates:

    What I can keep of what I earn

    What I can put into my body (drugs, sugar, fats, nicotine)

    What two consenting adults can exchange for sex (hint: nothing)

    What I can watch

    What I can say (Citizens United helps, but still a drop in the bucket)

    What I must be taught in school

    How I must "save" for retirement (calling the Ponzi Scheme SS retirement is novel)

    And oh so many more.

    Yeah, real free.

    And as to Lewis' wet dream about a rifle squad able to take all comers, there are a few people in Afghanistan and Iraq that are presently laughing their asses off at you, not to mention a guy called Cliven Bundy. The notion that the military is just an extension of your European royalty (hint: we don't have that) does not apply here. And the notion that the US military could and would just roll over a rebellious population is laughable, police militarization notwithstanding.

    Do better than Eurotard next time, Lewis.

  34. zen1

    good lord

    First of all, why didn't numb nuts just produce a knife, instead of a part for a '16? Yeah, it was a really cool concept, but it proved impractical a few shots into the demonstration. Personally, you couldn't get me to shoot one of those "composite" weapons on a bet. According to SAAMI each standard, civilian round creates about 56,000 PSI per shot. Mil-Spec is north of 62K PSI, so I'm thinking that running around with a half dozen banana clips and one of the "printed" rifles would be a wonderful example of the law of natural selection, in that after a few shots, fatigue would set in and the weapon could catastrophically fail, injuring the shooter and anybody close to him.

    Personally, I went with an AK, instead if an AR. Not nearly as many moving parts, much tougher than an AR, cheaper and slings a round that's roughly twice as heavy as an AR/M-16 platform. Did I mention these things are cockroach tough? I've seen things done with AK's that I wouldn't dream of doing with an AR, and they still worked.

    As far as the whole gun control issue, it's a very complex issue and it's not going to be resolved over night, nor is it going to be resolved by penalizing licensed and law abiding people. Conversely, ignoring the folks who are concerned about safety wouldn't be in anybody's interest as they have some valid points.

    That being said, I think the immediate, short term focus should be on mental health issues, as it's only the crazies that make it to the media, as horrific examples of American culture. Next should be on crime (gangs, robberies, home invasions, etc) and then finally safety. I've been around firearms all my life, I did some time in the military and now I enjoy collecting (I'm licensed) and in my time I've learned one undeniable truth: There is no such thing as an accident with a fire arm. It's either intentional or someone being irresponsible. And if people don't have a health respect for what it can do, someone could get hurt or killed.

    By the way... wanna know what one of the most dangerous things are, regardless of political affiliation, nationality or whatever? Hopping in a car. The number of people injured, maimed or killed by driving (even if they're licensed) is exponentially more than all of the firearms related deaths combined (excluding military crap). I'm a hell of a lot more scared of 4000 lbs of steel, aluminum and what not flying at me and my family, being driving by some tool who's yacking away on a cell phone or texting.

    my two cents...

    feel free to flame away

    1. sisk

      Re: good lord

      so I'm thinking that running around with a half dozen banana clips and one of the "printed" rifles would be a wonderful example of the law of natural selection

      The magazines are probably safe. The stresses exerted on them in real-world use are pretty minimal. Those printed guns though....yeah, I don't want to be at the same range as someone who's shooting one, let alone holding the damn things.

      As far as the whole gun control issue, it's a very complex issue and it's not going to be resolved over night, nor is it going to be resolved by penalizing licensed and law abiding people.

      Exactly my view on the matter. We don't need rednecks toting around 50 cal sniper rifles or Vulcan cannons, but at the same time you're not going to reduce crime by taking away their hunting rifles.

      That being said, I think the immediate, short term focus should be on mental health issues

      Lots of us have been saying that for years no. No one seems to be listening.

      There is no such thing as an accident with a fire arm.

      Here I have to disagree with you. Stuff happens, especially with cheap guns. I've seen a gun go off when the owner pulled the slide to chamber a round. I've also seen one get dropped and go off when the guy holding it had a freak muscle spasm. Fortunately in both cases no one was hurt. Another case I saw a pistol explode as, near as I can tell, every round in the magazine decided it needed to go off at the same time. That person wasn't so fortunate, but lucky for her there happened to be a few paramedics out shooting that day. All three were very cheap guns, which is why I won't buy any brand I've never heard of, but accidents DO happen. Thing about it is though they're exceedingly rare, even with Hi Points (if there's a cheaper brand I don't know it).

      The number of people injured, maimed or killed by driving (even if they're licensed) is exponentially more than all of the firearms related deaths combined (excluding military crap).

      My dad says the exact same thing, and after 30 years of scraping people off the street and into the back of either an ambulance or a hearse for a living he'd know.

  35. agricola

    Just some food for thought...

    Criminals obey gun-control laws in the same manner as politicians follow their oaths of office.--anon

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is,‭ ‬as a last resort,‭ ‬to protect themselves against tyranny in government.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Thomas Jefferson

    ‭An armed society is a polite society. – Robert A. Heinlein

    ‭Switzerland is a land where crime is virtually unknown, yet most Swiss males are required by law to keep in their homes what amounts to a portable, personal machine gun. –‬Tom Clancy‭

    ‎The police can't stop an intruder, mugger, or stalker from hurting you. They can pursue him only after he has hurt or killed you. Protecting yourself from harm is your responsibility, and you are far less likely to be hurt in a neighborhood of gun owners than in one of disarmed citizens – even if you don't own a gun yourself. – Harry Browne

    The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords,‭ ‬bows,‭ ‬spears,‭ ‬firearms or other types of arms.‭ ‬The possession of these elements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues,‭ ‬and tends to permit uprising.‭ – ‬Toyotomi Hideyoshi,‭ ‬Japanese Shogun,‭ ‬August‭ ‬29,‭ ‬1558

    ‎The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed. – Alexander Hamilton

    ‭We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

    One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it.‭ ‬If you do that,‭ ‬you will double the danger.‭ ‬But if you meet it promptly and without flinching,‭ ‬you will reduce the danger by half.‭ ‬Never run away from anything.‭ ‬Never‭! --‬Winston Churchill‭

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Just some food for thought...

      An assortment of quotes from a mix of unrelated celebrities, taken out of context and possibly of dubious attribution does not make a good argument for or against anything - me, October 5, 2014

      1. agricola

        ...except as... excellent indicator of the intelligence, knowledge and reasoning and logic skills of the respondees.

        "It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.‭ ‬Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work,‭ ‬and I studied it intently.‭ ‬The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts.‭ ‬They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more*.

        --Sir Winston Churchill,‭ ‬Roving Commission:‭ ‬My Early Life,‭ ‬1930,‭ ‬Chapter‭ ‬9...

        *...except for some.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: ...except as...

          "I Hope You Leave Here And Walk Out And Say, 'What Did He Say?'" - George W Bush

          Well, I certainly will...

          1. sisk

            Re: ...except as...

            "I Hope You Leave Here And Walk Out And Say, 'What Did He Say?'" - George W Bush

            I think about half the audience leaves saying that about every time he makes a speech even to this day. He really is fairly smart, right around the same IQ as the average PHD recipient, but good grief does he sound like a moron when he speaks. Some people just need to confine all their communications to the written word.

  36. roger stillick
    Black Helicopters

    Bootnotes Pt.2, Ammo n Guns...

    i shoot Finnish Nosler 7.62x39 hunting ammo in an ancient SKS carbine complete w/bayonet in the 9 round box mag config...completely legal in the USA...YUM.

    IMHO= costs too much to play w/ a machine gun...RS.

  37. willi0000000

    Amendment II.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    so small it fits on a bumper sticker.

    why do so many ignore the first clause?

    how many, in order to maintain their right to bear arms, would be assembling Saturday at 6am on the town commons for drill practice?

    and who gets to do the regulation? to the best of my knowledge the only ones even remotely qualified under laws that exist are a state, or the federal, government.

    i am not anti-gun (though many might disagree) just somebody who thinks weapons that have few uses other than killing things, unlike cars, hammers and knives, should be as subject to licensing and registration requirements at least as strict as for automobiles.

    1. Bazza O

      A well regulated Militia ...

      A lot of obfuscation is attempted by emphasising the first part of the amendment over the second.

      However, there has been plenty of legal analysis: the first part is preamble - the second part is the actual declaration. The first part is explaining the motivation, not limiting its application. The language is clear.

      For better or worse, this is the essence of the 2nd amendment:

      <b>the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed</b>

    2. sisk

      You misunderstand what a militia is. Militias do not drill. They do not train and they do not have standing membership. The militia is made up of whoever is willing to jump out of bed in the middle of the night, grab their gun, and go fight to defend their homeland, be it against foreign invaders or against a government out of control. That's what the militia the men who wrote that amendment had belonged to was. Just guys who happened to own guns and had the balls to use them. These days there's a mistaken tendency to think of para-military groups as militia, and in a sense they are, but that's not all there is to a militia.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: sisk

        "......Militias do not drill. They do not train and they do not have standing membership....." Correct. The English were the first to impose actual training by law on militias, with the requirement that bowmen had to practice weekly. Other medieval countries, such as France, simply called up all the available men without any standardized training. The results can be seen in Agincourt, but strangely enough the Continentals still didn't introduce proper militia training over the next few hundred years, preferring to go the later route of conscription. The local militias at the time of the War of Independence often rolled into battle with no set training, simply following the direction of their local leader, against Redcoats at least used to drilling and volley-fire tactics.

  38. Bazza O

    Regarding defending against the gubmint....

    I think it is incorrect to pooh-pooh as fantasy that the 2nd amendment is the guarantor against government tyranny. It's also incorrect to assume that just because the military outgun a private citizen, that it's pointless.

    1. It sets the tone of the relationship between the people and its government. The government does not have a monopoly on violence. It therefore must govern with consent of the governed. As the joke goes, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb disputing the outcome." Fundamentally, An armed population is considerably more difficult to subdue/control than unarmed one.

    2. The fact that citizens are likely to be outgunned by the gubmint, isn't quite the point. The real point is that an armed population is generally a preventive measure. If a very unpopular law were to pass that would result in widespread noncompliance, and enforcing it would result in armed resistance, then the state would have to weigh the cost of the law in terms of lives lost. Citizens' lives and the lives of its enforcement officers. It's highly unlikely that the government would even pass such a law if the result was going to be a rather large body count. It would be even less likely that the enforcement officers would perform their duty without significant rebellion.

    3. Finally, history is replete with examples of unarmed people being brutalised / murdered en-masse by their government, so it's silly to say it can't happen. Whether an armed population could prevent it is up for grabs, but certainly an unarmed population's options are limited.

    Aside from that, it was a very refreshing article to read - free of the usual bullsh!t...

  39. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Initiative 594

    "But there isn't any actual requirement for background checks or waiting periods or any other hurdle to stop you buying a gun in the USA! Gun control people in America (and indeed gun advocates, a lot of the time) usually prefer to talk of some other USA where these things are required, but it doesn't exist and there seems to be no realistic prospect that it ever will.",_Initiative_594_%282014%29

    We don't know how this will be decided. But ts one of those issue that, for the majority of the population, has no significant impact. So why not vote in favor? Even quite a few gun owners don't see a major problem with this. One major issue that gun rights advocates have is: In order to enforce such a law, the state would need to keep a registry of gun sales transactions. It's the only reasonable way to link the current posession of a firearm to a properly conducted background check at soe previous time. And now you are building a gun registry.

    My primary reason for posting this is that I don't buy arguments like "there seems to be no realistic prospect that it ever will." Yeah, right. Put that in writing someplace and I'll believe it. History is full of majorities making decisions when they don't affect themselves. Never mind what happens to the minority that has to live with the decision.

  40. thx1138v2

    Just to clear up one small bit of the fog in this article

    A suicide is a homicide where the perpetrator and the victim are the same person. Being a homicide is the reason an autopsy is required. BTW, it doesn't matter what the instrument of death is - bridge, pills, auto, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just to clear up one small bit of the fog in this article

      No, it's not. Autopsy's are required in the case of suicides to verify that it was a suicide and not a homicide. Go take a peek at some public records and it becomes clear. Suicides will have something to the effect of "Circumstances of death: Suicide" vs "Circumstances of death: Homicide".

      Personally I'm of the opinion that suicides should be left out of gun violence statistics, or at least separated out. A suicidal person will find a way, gun or no gun. Trust me, I've put a lot of thought into the matter in the past. I'm only here now because someone was there to care at exactly the right moment.

      And in case you're wondering, I've been out of those woods for a while. Anon for obvious reasons anyway.

  41. Sporkinum

    2 things to add..

    Writer of article used the word "guvmint". It's actually gubmint, pronounced as if you had a wad of chaw stuffed in your lower lip.

    The other is the fact that many local sheriff and police departments are acquiring surplus military gear because it is "cool".

  42. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    The 'AR-15' myth.

    ".....I will say, however, that as an American there is one reason why many of us hate AR-15s."

    Seriously, can we stop with the insistence that every gun owner in the US is some kind of bunker-dweller with a cabinet full of AR-15s? It is almost as stupid as the often repeated misconception that all Amercians drive 'gas-guzzling SUVs' when the States actually has more hybrids on the road than any other country. The majority of US gun owners I have met do NOT own an AR-15 or derivative and has no intention of going anywhere near a bunker.

    1. BeachBum68
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The 'AR-15' myth.

      Besides... if you did have a bunker, why would you tell anyone you have one?

    2. sisk

      Re: The 'AR-15' myth.

      The thing's aren't even all that deadly. Or dependable. Or durable. They're suitable for one thing and one thing only: paper targets. And they're a blast for that, but I don't know anyone who'd reach for one in any other scenario given a safe full of guns like the average gun collector has.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: sisk Re: The 'AR-15' myth.

        "The thing's aren't even all that deadly...." If I were confronted by someone wielding one I'd most definitely not be thinking that.

        "....Or dependable....." Hmmm, depends on the builder, the care given to the weapon and the situation. Personally, direct-action spewing hot gases into the mechanism (phnarr) does not appeal compared to a proper piston-operated action (phnarr again). Having said that, fifty-odd years of development have made the basic AR-15/M-16 family pretty dependable.

        "....Or durable...." Again, depends. A bolt-action rifle has massively fewer parts, moving or otherwise, yet I have seen those fail and break. A poor workman blames his tools, but an even poorer one misuses them.

        "....They're suitable for one thing and one thing only: paper targets....." TBH, the most commonly owned firearms I have seen in the States (my experience being limited mainly to the Southern States) are derivatives of the Colt 1911 .45 pistol, which is pretty useless for anything other than short range shooting and home-defence, and too big for effective concealed carry. You can at least go hunting and shoot varmints and medium game with an AR-15, but it's hard to claim the same with a 1911 clone.

  43. Speltier

    Assault Pistols

    Really. Referenced in the local media as being suitable for banning like other assault devices already on the banned list.

    No, I don't know what one is (I'm sure the author of the article would recognize one if he saw one). Presumably not a revolver or a muzzle loader....

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. gibbleth

    Defensive uses of a gun

    Your estimate is based entirely on justifiable homicides, which are such a tiny percentage of gun uses. The estimates of gun uses for self-defense range from a low of 200,000 per year (John Lott, iirc) to a high of 2.5 million (Gary Kleck, et. al.). Speaking as an avid gun enthusiast, possessor of a concealed carry permit, and an assortment of guns (and proud of it), my guns have never once been fired at anyone, but have twice protected me from crime of which I am aware.

    The mere presence of a gun protects you from crime in an unreportable way. For instance, one story I have heard first hand, a woman was accosted in a parking lot, lifted her blouse to show the grip of her gun sticking out of her pants, and was left alone. Given the random behavior of cops when presented with a carrying civilian, even when licensed, and the amount of sheer annoyance involved, these happenstances go completely unreported. For every single time someone shoots a criminal, there are literally hundreds of times when the criminal was deterred by the mere presence of a gun.

    I think that the one post who said, essentially, that data, logic and personal experience would never be sufficient to change his mind on gun control pretty much nails the attitude of nearly every gun-grabber out there. Statistics exist. Much research has been done. Gary Kleck and John Lott are the primary ones of which I am aware. Mostly, the other side resorts to making statistics up, resorting to fear, and smearing the image of a gun owner.

    Think I'm kidding? At one point, one of the anti-gun groups was counting as 'children' ages up to 21 in a study, leading to almost all gang violence being included in their 'kids killed by guns' statistic. Naturally, gun control would have no effect on gang violence, because, if you can't stop the drugs they sell, you can't stop the guns they use either, as both are freely made in South America. Also, the current chimera that 'you are far more likely to be shot by your own gun than to use it defending your life' fails on two counts, one that you mentioned, that suicides count in this category, and two that they woefully underestimate defensive uses of handguns. Note that they don't say 'you are far more likely to shoot yourself in suicide', as, if you remove suicide, getting shot by your own gun becomes statistically insignificant, and less than actual, reported justifiable homicides. I have, frankly, grown very weary of defending my lifestyle to mendacious people such as these.

    As to whether or not citizens can stand up to federal or state officers, I don't know if it is possible at this time. It has been done successfully before. I will say this, that if government breaks down into chaos, we the armed will be able to defend ourselves from others. And, please don't insult me by saying it will never happen, as it has happened, many times, most recently in Ferguson. If the government degenerates into armed thugs, then the armed citizen stands a chance. Besides, the whole thing is, to me, a question of authority. In your country, authority flows from the monarch. In ours, it flows from the people. It makes sense that you would allow to be armed those who are in authority. Also, if armed, I have a chance against tyranny, no matter how small. If unarmed, I stand no chance. I can improve my chances by taking training myself.

    To quote Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

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