Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gun fetishists

I'm posting this to refine a point or two about firearms that came up over at BCL concerning types of weapons and what they're used for. At issue is the sort of weapon used by Kimveer Gill to kill and maim at Dawson College. In the comments section, a couple people, apparently from the "responsible gun owner" community take issue with Liberal desire to prohibit the sort of weapon used by Gill.

The weapon in question is a Beretta CX4 Storm - image below.

The weapon is built for pistol ammunition of the 9mm or .45ACP (the number is a measurement of projectile diameter) variety. These are short range rounds that are accurate and effective little beyond spitting distance. More to the point, they are designed to kill or maim human beings. For this reason, they are used in combat weapons more likely to be found in police or military forces, as they have been for more than a century. In countries with lax gun laws, they are also found among people worried about home invasions and crime - again to kill people. Other civilian users might fall across a spectrum of mildly (slight gun fetish, likes to shoot-up old cars in gravel pits) to certifiably deranged (capable of murder). Put another way, you don't go hunting ducks and deer with these weapons. Which brings me to my next point:

The image above is of a version of the Heckler and Koch MP5 series of sub-machine guns. To the unaccustomed eye it appears little different from the Beretta. Indeed they both chamber the same 9mm ammunition. They are similar is size. Being relatively compact makes them useful in confined spaces such as buildings and ships. Police and military tactical teams around the world use the MP5.

However, there are differences between the two - you can't buy the MP5 in Canada (and probably most other places) unless you are the military or police. It also has a much larger magazine (holds a lot more bullets, not visible in the photo) than the Beretta, and is capable of fully automatic fire, again something the other weapon cannot do. It is these differences that make one available and the other prohibited. Both weapons are absolutely lethal.

In mimicking authentic military and police weapons, the Beretta is designed to appeal to people who are attracted to those sorts of weapons, but do not have access to them. It is a dumbed-down version for fetishists, aimed at side-stepping prohibitions on similar weapons.

So, when the so-called "responsible gun owner" crowd pipes up about Liberal or others' plans to prohibit this type of weapon, ask them why they object. Ask them why they object to a ban on a weapon specifically designed to kill people being made available to Canadians. Ask these responsible people what is so responsible about owning a weapon with such a singular purpose.

(h/t BigCityLib)

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