Suppressor Ads

AAC is running billboard ads for suppressors. Very cool.
Personally, I think the restrictions on suppressors are silly: assassins are not going to bother jumping through all the hoops to get a legal suppressor, as they’re already going to be committing the more serious crime of murder and won’t worry about relatively minor firearms violation. Fortunately, assassins and movie-plot threats are essentially unheard of — I can’t recall a single incident of a criminal using a suppressor in the last few decades.
Suppressors have numerous perfectly legitimate purposes: reducing the risk of hearing damage, reducing noise pollution (particularly for ranges located near populated areas), reducing airborne lead, and making for a more pleasing and enjoyable shooting experience.
Suppressors are safety devices, and so should be removed from the NFA list and treated just like any other unregulated gun accessory.

On Free Speech Zones

A few commenters on sites I’ve read have brought up objections to people carrying guns to public events and mention that cases of people bringing guns to presidential events were rare during the Bush administration. They continue by saying that peaceable protesters against Bush were herded into “free speech zones” and wonder where the outrage was then.
I can’t speak for everyone, but from my perspective “free speech” zones are an abomination against the Constitution, and are a dark mark on our nation’s history. Perhaps a relatively small, easily corrected mark (( Unlike, say, major things like slavery. )), but a mark nonetheless.
During Bush’s presidency, I regularly wrote polite, concise letters to the president and my congressmen voicing my objection to such zones. Such policies weighed heavily upon me when I went to the ballot box (( I voted third-party in both of his elections. )). Fortunately, President Obama does not seem to be repeating the same mistakes, and this pleases me greatly.
I think that “zones” of that type are outrageous — there should no more be “free speech zones” than there should be “no quartering troops here zones”, “Second Amendment zones”, “no slavery zones”, or “privacy zones”. The whole country is such a zone.
Of course, there are exceptions: I don’t consider it unreasonable for authorities to remove someone disturbing a public event. For example, if someone is being obnoxious at a presidential speech, town hall meeting, etc., the police can kick them out of that event — interrupting and disrupting a speech or meeting is bad form and impolite. This is completely different than establishing “free speech zones” a distance away from the event that protesters must stand within.
Similarly, I have no problem with the Secret Service and police securing the building where the president will be speaking, prohibiting arms within that building, and inspecting people to ensure that they’re not bringing weapons into his immediate proximity.
Kicking out disruptive people and prohibiting arms within the immediate proximity of the president are not, in my view, infringements on one’s rights.
If the government starts establishing Bush-era “zones”, I’ll be one of the first to be writing to my congressman and voting officials who support such zones out of office.

On Perimeters

One of the responses from the whole carrying-an-AR-at-a-political-rally thing that’s stood out to me is, in essence, “ZOMG! We need to ban all firearms within a [arbitrary perimeter] around the president!”
Indeed, a few comments I’ve read have suggested that one ban firearms within such a perimeter 24 hours before the president even gets there. Such a notion is so absurd that I won’t even bother to address it.
What these commenters fail to realize is that the Secret Service already has established perimeters around the president, and he never appears or moves about in such a way that he would be exposed to danger. Had a gunman foolishly attempted to enter the building in which the president was speaking or otherwise posed a legitimate threat, the president would almost certainly be swiftly whisked away while the gunman either gets shot or piled on by the Secret Service. The Secret Service does not mess around.
In this particular case, the gentleman with the rifle (as well as the other armed citizens) were all outside and posed no threat to the president. They even called the Phoenix Police ahead of time to let them know what they’d be doing, and the police assigned a few officers there to keep an eye on things and ensure that their rights weren’t violated by other protesters. The Secret Service had no problem with it either.
What people calling for more gun-free perimeters around the president also fail to realize is that any potential assassin isn’t going to obey the law; they’re already planning to commit the assassination of a major political figure, I seriously doubt that a legal prohibition against carrying firearms with N meters of the president will have any bearing whatsoever on their plans.
The Secret Service realizes this, which is why they absolutely forbid armed people near the president (( When I was stationed at Fort Lewis, then-President Bush came to give a speech. They arranged for Strykers to block off cross streets that intersected the on-base road upon which the president was going to travel. However, the Strykers were forbidden from having any ammunition — US Army troops, on a US Army base, were forbidden from possessing ammunition anywhere near the president or his motorcade. )). Anyone attempting to come near the president must pass through Secret Service checkpoints to ensure they’re not armed, and I’m fairly certain they’re a bit more thorough than the TSA checkpoints at airports.
Even if a perfectly gun-free perimeter was created outside the building where the president is speaking, that’s still no guarantee that someone would be safe there: what’s to prevent an assassin from using a bomb (perhaps in the sewers?), a mortar, or even one of the numerous privately-owned artillery pieces (( Though I doubt an assassin would be interested in filling out all the NFA paperwork needed to own such a piece, particularly if they’d be a prime suspect after the attempt. )) from well out of range of any protective agents? Nothing, of course.
What if a hypothetical “gun-free” perimeter overlapped private property? Would residents be forced to disclose their ownership of firearms and surrender them to authorities for the duration of the presidents visit? If so, that’s a serious violation of their rights. If not, wouldn’t this be a major “loophole” in the plan?
While there are plenty of spotters, snipers, and counter-snipers observing the area in the immediate proximity to the president, there are plenty of places where a skilled marksman could conceal himself a great distance away (particularly in a city) and, with sufficient training, be able to make an accurate shot. This is why the Secret Service is extremely concerned about moving the president in open areas — they much prefer to move him in a secure manner between buildings to avoid this very threat.
In short, it makes absolutely no sense to establish purportedly “gun-free” perimeters beyond what the Secret Service already maintains. Doing so provides no safety benefit to the president (who is already well-protected), does nothing to deter potential assassins, and would only serve to infringe on the rights of private citizens.
The Secret Service is exceedingly professional and competent, and I fully trust in their judgment as to what is appropriate when protecting the president and other major public figures. Indeed, they have my full and wholehearted support.

Note to the Media

Many of you are reporting about a man in Phoenix who was openly carrying a rifle near a venue where President Obama was speaking.
Please note that the firearm carried was an AR-15 variant (it’s not possible to know the exact details without examining the specific rifle). It was not an M-16. It’s also not an “assault rifle” nor an “assault weapon”.
The “AR” part of the name comes from the original name of the rifle, the “Armalite model 15” — “Armalite” was the manufacturer.
While certain states, such as California and Massachusetts may define AR-15 variants as “assault weapons” and regulate their possession, such classifications have no legal meaning or standing outside of those states.
In Arizona, as well as most other states, AR-15 variants are considered to be ordinary, semi-automatic rifles. Indeed, they’re some of the most popular rifles owned by Americans due to their accuracy, ease of customization (a large aftermarket exists to supply a vast variety of parts and accessories), and the fact that the similar-looking M-16 is used by the military of the US and many other foreign nations.
It would be appropriate to refer to an AR-15 rifle in the media as “a rifle” if one doesn’t wish to describe the details (e.g. “a semi-automatic rifle”). As the AR-15 is neither an “assault rifle” nor an “assault weapon”, it is inappropriate to describe it as such.
As an analogy, my Toyota Camry can be referred to as an “automobile”, “car”, “vehicle”, “sedan”, and so on. It would be inappropriate to refer to it as a “sports car”, a “high-powered racing car”, “truck”, etc. even though it may have superficial similarities (e.g. four wheels, engine, etc.) to such vehicles.
Using such terminology reflects poorly on your reputation to provide accurate, truthful, and unbiased news.
I would again like to repeat my previous offer to the media: feel free to contact me with questions regarding firearms and I will, at no cost, provide accurate, reliable, and verifiable information relating to firearms, firearm-related terminology, and so forth. In the event that I am personally unable to do so I will, to the best of my ability, direct you to others who can.

Carrying Responsibly

No doubt people have read the article from the Arizona Republic about Obama’s speech at the VFW national convention.
Unfortunately, the story about the convention seems to be taking a back seat compared to the national health care debate and, unfortunately, a fellow that the Republic describes thusly:

A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at 3rd and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip, and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault weapon) on a strap over his shoulder.

First off, can the health-care folks (on both sides) give it a bit of a rest? The president was speaking to the VFW. Your efforts would probably be better spent rallying your supporters and waiting for a better opportunity. Just saying…
Next, I’d like to address the folks who carry. I’m a strong advocate of carry, both concealed and open. I routinely open carry a pistol in public places, like the movie theater, grocery store, and so on. So far, I’ve had only positive interactions with people.
Now, while one certainly has the right to carry in public in Arizona, this right also comes with responsibility and common sense. It should be common sense that openly carrying a firearm, particularly a rifle, near a function where the President of the United States is speaking will cause a fair bit of alarm and attract attention (almost certainly unwanted) from the public, the news media, the police, and the Secret Service (( You know, the guys on the roof with rifles who are interested in keeping their principal alive and unpunctured. )).
One certainly can openly carry firearms, including rifles, at such events, but it’s probably a bad idea. The best response one can reasonably hope for is being portrayed poorly in the media. Most likely, one’s actions will also reflect poorly on other gun owners. If one is particularly foolish, one might get arrested. At worst, one might get shot.
Fortunately, the police in this situation recognized this individual as a person not presenting a credible threat and, while closely supervising him, let him go about his business. Major kudos to the police and Secret Service. I don’t think we’d see such a reasonable, measured reaction under Bush.
I don’t fault anyone for wanting to carry a gun at public events — tensions have been growing high and there’s been a lot of strong words exchanged at such events. I’d just rather see people do so in such a manner that doesn’t call attention to the fact that one is armed (e.g. concealed), nor reflects poorly on other gun owners.

Being Delusional

?This is going to be implemented in January, and there won’t be any bumps in the road,? said Assemblyman Mike Feuer, a Los Angeles Democrat who carried the legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
?I remain confident,? Feuer continued, ?that it is in fact going to become not only the law in other states, but the law of the land.?

-Mike Feuer, in this article about microstamping in California.
The only other political entity to implement a microstamping law is the District of Columbia, which is about as anti-gun as it gets. I seriously doubt that such a law would ever be enacted in, say, Arizona. Mr. Feuer is clearly off his rocker if he thinks that the technology will (a) work, and (b) ever catch on outside of such bastions of gun control. Even then, the legal hurdles to implementing the technology will be great, few manufacturers will comply, everyone in saner regions of the country will laugh at them, and criminals will remain completely unaffected by such legislation.
The article continues with a rather telling quote:

Many firearms companies are struggling to comply with California’s 2006 mandate that all new handgun models include a loaded chamber indicator and a mechanism that prevents firing when a magazine is removed.
In the more than three years since, just one new semiautomatic model has been approved by the state. Two others are pending, Gasparac [the attorney general’s press secretary] said.
Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. is the only gun maker to date that has overcome that hurdle. The company’s general counsel said he has ?grave concerns? about whether microstamping is feasible.
?The problem I have with this is it can’t be done,? said Kevin Reid, Ruger’s general counsel. ?The legislation says it has to work 100 percent of the time and there is nobody, nobody including Todd Lizotte [inventor of the microstamping technology] himself, who would say it will always work.?

I’m pretty sure the Ruger MkIII .22LR pistol is the gun they’re referring to. Even so, it’s not as nice as the MkII. Granted, I have a MkIII because it was available at the shop here in Tucson when I was craving a .22 pistol, but I removed the magazine disconnect (I refuse to call it a “safety”) and have considered removing the loaded chamber indicator.
Having a California-specific line of handguns is going to be rather expensive for manufacturers, and I seriously doubt that any of the major manufacturers will bother complying with the law. Sucks to be Californians, but such is the way of things until they go to court.
The article concludes with this:

For Feuer, the time has come to move past the debate and implement the law.
?The bottom line is this technology is going to help put criminals behind bars,? he said. ?We should do it.?

No, Mr. Feuer, it won’t. Criminals are not going to buy their guns from retail stores, register them with the state, and then use them in a crime where they can be trivially traced back to them. Rather, criminals will continue to acquire their firearms illegally, be it from theft, straw purchasing, inter-state smuggling, international smuggling, or any of the other numerous sources they get them from.
There are hundreds of millions of handguns not equipped with microstamping features. If there’s a demand for non-microstamped guns in California, someone (quite possibly a criminal enterprise) will fill it.
Rather than passing silly laws that have no real effect on criminals but infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens, why don’t they simply enforce the already existing laws that they don’t presently prosecute criminals with?

SWAT

According to the news, a suicidal man — said to be armed with a handgun — has barricaded himself inside his house three blocks from my apartment.
Of course, TPD decided to do a full SWAT callout, evacuate ~15 houses around the guy, and cordon off a few blocks around the house.
What the hell is wrong with people?
It’s one guy, suicidal, with a gun. Put a cop outside the front and back of the house in a concealed position and get a crisis counselor to call the guy on the phone. If he doesn’t come out, wait him out.
To me, SWAT seems more suited for a hostage situation, active shooter, or some other situation that requires (here it comes) Special Weapons And Tactics, not a lone suicidal guy. What the heck are they going to do against a suicidal guy, shoot him?
I guess they need to justify the expense, huh?

Answering Search Terms

will m16 mag fit sr 556

Yes. Ruger SR 556 lowers accept standard STANAG (“M16” or “AR-15”) magazines.

can lake city? 308 win brass be reloaded

Yes. Lake City brass is good stuff. However, military brass tends to be a bit thicker and so has smaller internal volume, so it’d behoove you to reduce your loads by about 10% when switching from commercial to military brass, then testing with a chronograph while making adjustments. Be particularly aware of signs of high-pressure (see your loading manual) when using military cases. Reloading military cases is perfectly safe, so long as you’re careful and realize that they’re slightly different from commercial cases.