Tuesday, March 06, 2007

No Surprises Here, But Still Infuriating: NJ Proposes Ban on .50BMGs

Via Jeff comes this, from the Philadelphia Inquirer...

Democratic lawmakers and Ceasefire NJ, an antigun group, released a plan yesterday to make it illegal to sell .50-caliber weapons in New Jersey. If the legislation is passed, the state would become the second after California to have such a law.
Supporters say the guns are inappropriate for civilian use because they can fire armor-piercing rounds that could penetrate and ignite chemical plants, refineries and rail tank cars. The guns, which resemble hunting rifles, are accurate up to 11/2 miles.

Wow, VPC lies find their way into the article before we even get out of the second paragraph.
The Truth?
...Army testing...stated that a 20mm cannon, which dwarfs the lowly .50cal, was required to break the weakest item on a tank’s exterior – a thermal lens cover. (U.S. Army Worldwide Equipment Guide, 7 Nov 2000) Tank armor is designed to stand up to high-explosive anti-tank missiles with warheads the size of footballs, the very reason that modern soldiers are equipped with rocket launchers. A .50cal cannot penetrate that armor from five feet away, much less the ridiculous assertion that it can do this from a mile away....
Tom Darymple, (is) Senior Vice President of Engineering for the prestigious Trinity Rail Group, which designs and manufactures many of the chemical railcars running today. When asked about the alleged threat of .50cal rifles to his railcars, Mr. Darymple said that they have long tested their cars against almost every form of firearm, to include .50BMG and larger. When asked what happenes when a .50 hits one of his tanks he said with a shrug “It bounces off.” He went on to point out that railcars are designed to survive the force of derailing, and collision with other railcars at travel speeds. By comparison the impact of a bullet, any bullet, is like a mosquito bite.
Call fiftycal.org a biased source if you wish, and I don't think I have any choice but to concede that point, but it's been shown more than once that very few antis have any substantive knowledge of guns beyond the fact that they're loud and they make rounded bits of lead and copper go very fast; it's been shown that most of the knowledge about the real power of guns resides on the pro-gun side. In short, I'd say the .50 Caliber Institute is a much more reliable source than the VPC, notwithstanding whatever knowledge Tom Diaz, Josh Sugarmann and the rest of those professional manipulators possess. I seem to remember that when the 1994 "assault weapons" ban was drafted, congresscritters got ahold of something like an AR-15 or AK-47 and just picked out certain features at random, or picked said features off a list. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that NJ legislators unquestioningly swallowed the lies of the Violence Policy Center, but it's still quite infuriating. I can only hope and pray that level of governmental malfeasance vis-a-vis firearm laws never takes hold in Texas or nationwide.