Rushville Republican

Columns

April 9, 2013

Barada: Adding to the gun control debate

RUSHVILLE — As the debate over gun control rages on, it’s more than a little distressing to see how little some of our elected representatives know about firearms. This lack of understanding only reinforces a point I made several weeks ago about people on the other side of the gun control issue who are flocking to buy weapons they aren’t trained to use correctly or safely.

Here’s the latest example of lack of understanding on the part of people who ought to be better informed. Democratic representative Diana DeGette from Colorado, who is an ardent supporter of banning high capacity magazines, apparently doesn’t know the difference between the ammunition that goes into a magazine and the magazine itself. At a recently publicized town hall meeting, Rep. DeGette was asked what would happen to the high capacity magazines that are already out there, if legislation is passed that will make them illegal. Rep. DeGette replied that they would be discarded after they’re used. “I will tell you these are ammunition, bullets, so the people who have those now they are going to shoot them, and so if you ban, if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available,” she said. Obviously, Rep. DeGette has no idea that there’s a rather huge difference between cartridges and magazines, and yet she is one of the most vocal advocates for strict gun control and sits in the US House of Representatives where any gun control legislation will be passed.

Actually, it’s very disturbing that an elected representative could have so little knowledge about firearms and be such a strong opponent of them. For the sake of the uninitiated, most semi-automatic weapons are designed to hold a magazine which contains individual bullets or a clip used to insert multiple bullets into a semi-automatic weapon. Frequently, people will use the words “magazine” and “clip” interchangeably, as if they mean the same thing. They don’t. A magazine, regardless of how many bullets it holds, is a stamped metal container with a spring in the bottom that pushes up the bullets as each one is inserted into the barrel. Once the magazine is loaded, the whole thing is inserted into the receiver of a rifle or into the grip of a semi-automatic pistol. Once the last bullet is fired, the magazine is removed and can be reloaded with more bullets.

Unlike a magazine, a clip is nothing more than a metal device that holds several bullets together to make them easier to insert into the receiver. This is ordinarily done by pressing down the bullets in the clip to force them into the receiver. Once the bullets are in place, the clip ordinarily falls off, but it can be used again. Ordinarily, a clip of bullets is inserted into the receiver from the top and a magazine of bullets is inserted into the bottom of the receiver. In the iconic M1 Gerand rifle, which was the standard issue weapon for our armed forces from 1936 to 1957, a standard 8-shot clip was inserted into the action from the top, clip and all, before the bolt was closed. When the eighth shot was fired, the clip was ejected with a distinctive “ping” that every GI from World War II would recognize. Over 6.2 million M1 Gerands were produced between 1936 and 1957. Oh, by the way, the M1 was considered a semi-automatic weapon.

Pistols, on the other hand, like the equally iconic M1911 pistol, commonly known as a “45” because it fires a .45 caliber bullet, has been in service since 1911 and is still in use today, holds a magazine of seven bullets inserted in the grip. After firing the last bullet, the magazine is released by simply pressing the magazine release button to the rear of the trigger on the left side of the pistol. Most GIs who carried a “45” also carried as many magazines as possible so they could quickly reload, pressing the magazine release button to let the empty magazine drop out and quickly inserting a new one.

While we’re at it, it should be noted that a revolver is also a semi-automatic weapon that usually holds six bullets and fires each time the trigger is pulled. The major difference is in how long it takes to reload a revolver compared to other types of semi-automatic weapons. The cylinder has to be opened and six new bullets inserted into each chamber one at a time which, obviously, takes much longer than reloading with a magazine or a clip of bullets.

Getting back to Rep. DeGette, for her to be in a position to vote on gun control legislation when she doesn’t even know that there’s a difference between a bullet and a magazine that holds bullets, makes it a little difficult to understand how she can be so opposed to firearms, on the one hand, and know so little about them, on the other.

You’ll notice that in all three examples I’ve cited, neither the M1 Gerand rifle, the M1911 .45 pistol, nor the revolver hold more than eight bullets. Our armed forces apparently have never felt the need, until recently, for high capacity personal weapons. But that’s not really the point. Even if legislation is passed limiting high capacity magazines, what difference will it really make? There are already millions of high capacity magazines privately owned in this country. Making high capacity magazines illegal isn’t going to make the ones already out there disappear.

That’s -30- for this week.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Young people should be involved in sports People who know me are probably aware that my favorite sport is football. As it turns out, I’m not alone, at least in terms of the number of high school kids who take part in the sport. During the 2012-13 school year, a total of 1,088,158 high school

    August 19, 2014

  • A Washing-ton of baseball trivia On our recent, although not really so recent anymore, I guess, since I’ve been writing about it for weeks on end, summer vacation, all the guys in our group -- me, brothers-in-law, nephews, sons, father-in-law -- went to a Washington Nationals vs. Co

    August 19, 2014

  • Habitual behavior Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 19, 2014

  • Driving Highway 40 in the 40's My days in the 1940’s would today be extremely quiet and sedate. I have remembrances of having an enjoyable day with family and in reality doing little. On a Sunday afternoon, we would take off and head toward Dunreith and Highway 40, the only 4-lane

    August 19, 2014

  • Card, why do I need a stinking card? I would consider myself a typical male shopper, I buy. That is not to say that I don’t look for a good deal, but I am not going to travel from store to store in search of saving a few pennies here or there. With that in mind, I recently was in search

    August 15, 2014

  • Giving young people a second chance How many of you know what the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy is? More basically, how many of you know where it is? I had a vague notion of where it is, but I would have been hard-pressed to tell you much about what it is. The Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe

    August 12, 2014

  • Civil reunion My wife and I enjoy doing many things together. But when our entertainment preferences are not in sync, we can communicate openly with each other. That makes for a perfect union. But it may make for a lousy reunion. Let me explain.The Wolfsie family

    August 12, 2014

  • A capitol idea, sealed with a snog On our recent summer vacation to Annapolis, Maryland, we made sure to see as many memorable sights as we could in nearby Washington, D.C. This included a tour of the United States capitol building. Or maybe it’s the Capitol Building? – I suddenly rea

    August 12, 2014

  • Tuesdays with Auri It began with a simple phone call to my friend Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a d

    August 5, 2014

  • Technology is taking over You see them everywhere you go. Electronics. Adults are using them daily and so are children of all ages.I am so glad that when I was growing up, electronics were not big yet. Of course in school we used computers to do work, but they were new. I rem

    August 5, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.