John 104 flamed:
"Something about the citizens being empowered to overthrow the government at will..."
As a Brit who lives in the US I find this argument particularly humerous. The US people have a handful of guns; the government have tanks, stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and the whole array of modern weapons. In a stand-up fight I know where my money will lie.
Regarding gun control, I have always thought the most interesting argument runs like this. Should the average Joe have access to nuclear weapons? If the answer to that is no then you agree with arms control, the only question that remains is where the boundary lies. You can actually go as far as asking whether an American has a constitutional right to have a nuclear weapon. Again if the answer is no you accept that the "Right to Bear Arms" does not extend to all forms of arms. The constitution gives a right to bear arms, but does not define what arms you are allowed to bear. It would be reasonable to limit it to tickle sticks and wiffle bats. The Supreme Court has agreed with the constitutionality of there being a limit, and at various times has set the limit reasonably high - for example declaring that hand-gun bans are not constitutional. That; however, is an interpretation. The Supreme Court also accept that limits are permissible since limitations on assault rifles were considered acceptable to the Court.
We used to win gold medals.
Re: Adrian Esdaile
I'm still trying to fathom 7 billion rounds per annum.
What the hell do merkins do with the damn things, eat them?
It's not that much. Like Rick Byers, I remember when we used to win medals in the Olympics for shooting, but now pistol shooting is verbotten. Unless you're a criminal.
I used to shoot service, police and standard pistol matches. For 9mm, my FAC let me buy 1000 rounds & hold 1500 and similar amounts of .38, .32 and .22. My police force knew I shot competitively, so let me bulk buy. Every ammo purchase had to be logged on your FAC, so buying small quantities meant it ran out of room, fast.
Like any sport, being competitive meant practice and I used to shoot probably around 2-300 rounds a week. Different competitions needed different numbers of rounds. Think Service Pistol was 24 per match, Police Pistol 30 & standard 10. Competitions like WA1500 need 150 per match though, so it all adds up.
Bowling for Columbine
Throwing caution to the wind --
Whilst Mr Moore is clearly and unabashedly an agenda-driven man not ashamed of a tugging heartstrings or detail skipping, he skillfully delves into an darker, unglamourous area of American life. When he crosses the river from Detroit to Windsor, it's clear that Canada is doing something right, and the US wrong.
Is it the gun laws? Perhaps. Canada and the US may have similar levels of gun ownership. Or do we opt for the softened underbelly, as Moore does, and blame society?
The latter, challenging those other core US values - individuality and opportunism - may prove too democratically consensual for American tastes. And yet, pooling your humanity does not make you a communist.
Erm, no. In the UK, you're legally allowed to hit anyone, any time, and hit them first, if you're justifiably afraid they're going to hit you, and you're allowed to use as much force as required to stop them hitting you. If the only way to stop yourself getting hurt is to kill them, then you're absolutely at liberty to kill them. I have personally served on a jury where the judge repeatedly reminded us of this.
But if they're running away and hence are no longer a threat to you, you're not allowed to shoot them in the back or chase them with an axe. And you're not allowed to use more force than is reasonable to stop them hitting you - so once they're down, continuing to beat them with a baseball bat would get you locked up.
Yes, the case is likely to come to court, because you have to show you were justifiably afraid of what they were going to do. Deciding whether this was reasonable or not is rightfully a matter for a jury, not an arbitrary decision for some copper, and even then the CPS may drop it if it's clear-cut enough.
Plenty of examples of this. The best one I can think of is a bloke who tried to punch Alfie Lewis (ex UK karate champion). The bloke swung at him, Lewis blocked and countered, the bloke went down and died from hitting his head on the pavement. The case went to court and Lewis was found not guilty, because he applied reasonable force. Or the jury I served on - this lad was getting the worst of it until the other bloke fell over and landed hard. The lad who was losing then put the boot in once, and that resulted in a a charge of ABH. We had a hung jury, because enough of us knew that if you're losing a fight and some stroke of luck like that happens, you don't want the other guy getting up and starting again, and there was no way he could have known the other guy had hurt himself when he fell.
@ AC 09:43 GMT, Re: Culture
> In the US, they're shocked that Wal Mart in the UK sells Alcohol (not just beer, but wine, whiskey etc.).
Say what? Don't know what hole you crawled out of but in most places here you can buy beer, wine, and whiskey in the supermarket.
Wallyworld may only sell beer, but then consider their typical clientele. If they sell wine, it's probably in a cardboard carton. Couldn't tell you actually, I've only been in a Wallyworld twice in my life. Three times if you count the time I went to an Asda.
7billion, like the author said thats 23 rounds per person. I am a brit living in England and I have shot more rounds than that this year. Clay Pidgeon shooting. 23 rounds per person is nothing. 7Billion sounds like a lot but its a big country.
On average they shoot 2 rounds a month. see its nothing.
Wow... clearly not much original thought went into that diatribe. Regurgitating TWO mainstream media talking points in the same post, a) That talking about / believing in the constitution is a mental illness and b) any criticism of or disagreement with Obama, his policies, politics, party, or damn near anything to do with the man is racism.
I despair. That is all.
I know fuck all about guns.
But the calibre is the diameter of the bullet or cartridge or barrel depending on the phase of the moon.
So 9mm is most certainly not .9mm.
You could write .9cm if you really wanted, but then you'd just look like a more of a wanker than if you wrote .9mm, but at least you'd be correct.
.45 is in inches, hence the decimal point in case you're wondering.
I mean, for fuck's sake, by antiquated law, you can shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow (or is it a crossbow?) for being inside the city walls of Chester after dark. You don't see a bunch of mental-case Lancastrians (and they are a dodgy bunch) arming up in case the Taffs come.
And damn right too given that Chester is the county town of Cheshire. Those bloody Lancastrians can keep to lancaster if they dont mind.
re: Martin Nicholls
You're an idiot. A 45 ACP round for a rifle? Really? THe only rifle I remember using the 45 round was the Winchester lever action and that used the 45 long and wasnt even an ACP round. THe other sub-machine guns like the Thompson and so-called "Grease Guns" use the .45 ACP.
Snipers use 45 ACP rounds? Really, You're an idiot. Snipers do not use .45 cal for their ammo, it wouldnt fit in their rifles because a good sniper would use a .50 cal, or a 3.08 or even a 30.06 and I havent mentioned the other modern sniper rounds.
THe .45 is one of the best home rounds for home protection.
Re: @Sarah Bee
You know perfectly well that it's used as a pejorative, AC, and I'm moderating them out because most of the posts using it in this context are not going to be very edifying. Besides, it's rhyming slang for another term people find insulting, so you don't get out of it that way.
Let me get that coat for you. Is this your umbrella here too?
I should have remembered how Americans feel about their fave handgun ammo! Criticizing .45 ACP seems to be the equivalent of doing a cartoon about the Prophet Mohammed in some quarters.
Please note, gents, I didn't say .45 is rubbish, I just said that cops, soldiers and crims are mostly - note that, mostly - using other calibres these days. That's just a fact, not an aspersion or an opinion.
On the matter of .45's virtues or lack of them, one of the main criticisms against it is poor armour penetration, which I tried to cover in the bootnote - evidently inadequately. Fairly low muzzle energy and a big bullet naturally mean bad penetration, as the number of joules per square mm is comparatively low. That's all. Even higher-energy, smaller diameter pistol slugs like hot 9mm, .357 mag etc have troubles against modern armour - that's why people have brought out things like Russian 9x21mm or the new Euro steel-needle type rounds, 4.6x30mm HK and 5.7x28mm FN.
Of course, as some home-defence enthusiasts have noted, the average crackhead burglar won't be wearing a vest - if he had a vest he'd have swapped it for crack - so .45 is a valid choice against him. Personally, though, it seems to me that inside one's own home there would seem little reason to restrict oneself to pistols if one is having a gun at all. As the old gag has it, handguns are carried by people who don't expect to fight - if they did, they'd arm themselves properly. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight, sure - but frankly if you have a choice don't bring a pistol either. If I were an American, buying a gun for fighting inside my house, I'd probably go for a shotgun if I could get one that held a decent number of rounds and short enough to use in confined spaces. (I think there's a US law about minimum barrel length?)
Those much more advanced in CQB than me tell me that a submachinegun or a carbine is better, but they *are* worried about body armour and -crucially - they are very good shots and much better at maintaining situational awareness than I am. Like most people here I suspect, I've never been in a gun fight and while I'm a reasonable shot on the range (or was, haven't fired a weapon since I left the service in 2004) I expect my performance would drop off pretty sharply with the brown adrenaline flowing. With a shotgun I'd be confident of seriously messing up anyone I could manage to hit, and also of not sending bullets through them (or through walls, ceilings, floors etc) to hit my family and neighbours.
Of course I'm not an American so I' m effectively not allowed to keep a gun in my house. That doesn't bother me that much - I'd probably have one if I lived in the States, just for fun, but the lack of one doesn't bother me. I'll back myself against a crackhead burglar with whatever I can pick up around the house (if the burglars down my way had guns, they would swap them for crack, so I don't worry about armed intruders. Guns and vests both are apparently quite common among the criminal fraternity in my neighbourhood, but only among management and sales, not the drug users).
As for defending myself against the guvmint, well. As someone here has already pointed out, the government's got you outgunned. When the feds come to take your guns away, gentlemen, .45ACP is going to be a poor choice indeed - the SWAT team *will* have armour on, and even if you're Wyatt Earp himself you'll struggle to get them all in the head. And if you choose something a bit more modern and manage to piss them off, they'll still win - ultimately they'll blow up your house with you in it, as they already tend to do when pressed for time overseas.
If you actually want to get into that sort of fight, reach for your roadside bomb rather than any kind of gun. And give up on "home defence", too - permanent homes aren't safe for freedom fighters/terrorists.
But come on, FFS, everyone. The US government isn't that bad. Gun-loving Yanks aren't that bad. Gun-hating limey weenies aren't that bad. Let's all just be friends and look forward to pub time (unless we're down on alcohol of course, FFS don't all get cross again).
PS - gun guys - for the record I have shot .22 pistol at uni back when it was legal. I had to stay qual'd on the SA80 5.56mm rifle and 9mm Browning pistol for most of my 11-year service career, and latterly as 2ic or boss I tended to shoot more than strictly required because I liked it and nobody could stop me. I have also fired other weapons now and again, including a .303 Lee Enfield as a boy, Sig Sauer and HK MP5 9mm on the SBS ranges at Poole, 7.62mm GPMG on the Commando course, shotguns once or twice, airguns when a lad etc. I even fired an acquaintance's .45 once when I was working in the States during student vacations.
I'm sure I don't shoot as much as many of you, but I'm not totally ignorant.
Spoken like a man who knows nothing.
Did you know about the Frankfurt-based Syrian terrorist cell that was making explosive devices like those that took down PanAm107?
Did you know that the CIA paid the witnesses that gave evidence against Megrahi?
Did you know that chief witness never identified Megrahi?
Did you know that there was a security breach in Heathrow where the PanAm baggage was stored?
Did you know that a Heathrow baggage handler described a "new" suitcase matching the one of suspected of hold the bomb?
Did you know that the switch from Syria to Libya as the suspect country coincided with the need for Syrian help in the Iraq war?
And that's just the beginning.
So go back to buying your guns and bullets and stop talking about things you clearly have no clue about. Oh, and if you could ask your government to stop funding, training and supplying terrorists - that'd be great. The world would like a break from America's fucked-up foreign policy.
At a range in Houston, TX, I fired nearly 200 rounds from a Glock 9mm in a few hours. It really didn't take a long time to shoot that many rounds. My friend also fired a "Dirty Harry" magnum. The thing that really stuck in my mind was how accurate the gun was an that 1 bullet could have killed. It makes a normal person appreciate the gun. When I lived there (in the UK now) I didn't have a gun at the house.
I also tried an AR15 - and was surprised to see that assault rifles (even semi automatic) are available. Mind you, hunting rifles (with scopes) are superb.
I like the US right to bear arms. It can escalate situations, and you get the "occasional" nut job who opens up at someone knocking on his door... The only thing that was worrying was that there is no limit to weapons. I could have had a gun rack of AR15 assault rifles and 100's of rounds of ammo.
The Walmart thing is a bit of an oddity as I didn't see any major handguns there just shotguns and sports pistols. For proper guns, you have to really head to a gun shop.
@ Doug Glass
"You see, we honed our shooting and reloading abilities a little over 200 years ago in a minor skirmish with some monarch ... I forget his name. But we enjoyed what we accomplished then and we sort of like to keep the dream alive today."
That would be the skirmish where you got your jolly good pals the French to come in and help by providing a navy, infantry and suchlike then? I've stood on the site of Cornwallis' final battle, and there are more fleur-de-lys than American flags there...
Mind you, in those days you lot were actually talking to at least some Europeans, and taking them seriously. They even sent you a big showoff statue for New York harbour.
How times change...
Really, rationing? God, what a socialist concept that is. If Wal-mart was really a patriotic freedom-loving rooting-tooting American store, it would respond to the rise in demand by raising the price of ammo, until market equilibrium was restored and everyone got as much ammo as they were willing to pay for.
If only for comedy value. It's generally accepted that the Left stands for social freedom, while the Right stands for economic freedom, with a few exceptions such as the economic freedom to buy foreign goods, accept foreign investment, employ foreign labour, trade currency freely, borrow money, trade during other people's religious holidays, consume mind-altering drugs without referring to an approved list, etc etc. If Wal-mart did raise the price of ammo to market value it would be five seconds before they were picketing the car park, demanding that the government force Wal-mart to sell ammunition at "reasonable" prices so that they could afford to defend themselves against, er, the government.
Why is that "When you take the guns away from law-abiding citizens, only the bad guys will have guns" statement not complained about by the law enforcement agencies being so openly dissed every single time some twillup says it?
The NRA used to have a line that ran along the lines of: "There has never been a crime committed by someone using a legal automatic weapon", which was true as far as it went, in that if you owned an automatic weapon and some swine nicked it and shot someone, the crime was, by definition, performed using an *illegal* automatic weapon. I haven't heard that one since the rash of people taking their legal automatics into public places and trying them out during the various financial crises of the end of the last century though.
It's about time the local PBA's started complaining about this "bad guy" slur on their members' characters.
It's also about time people, especially venal politicians, admitted publicly that America is a big place and firearms laws that make sense in one place may be sheer lunacy to apply in another. One can make a very good case for ease of access to firearms in rural areas where the livestock is quite capable of taking a person ten falls out of ten, and inclined to do so given half a chance. They make little sense in the urban sprawl of our larger cities.
But I feel uneasy when someone snarls that he or she cannot wait five days for their handgun permit in a place where a rifle can be bought legally over-the-counter with no wait at all. If you wanna hunt, go hunt. If you are so eager for a handgun, perhaps youi need the wait for the edge to come off your temper.
7 billion shots per year
Seems reasonable to me.
I do archery and a normal competition (there will be at least one competition available each week weather permitting) is 150 arrows, so with practice I can easily shoot 300-400 per week. And remember that we shoot 6 at a time and then walk out and collect them which is far slower than shooting a gun.
@Saganhill - 45 ACP in a rifle
Not showing off but there's the De Lisle commando carbine that used a .45 ACP in the last world war (yes I know the US was late for that one - but they were obviously busy doing something more important and hadn't got round to the idea of being a superpower)
Not a long rifle, but a rifle for close up, quiet and underhand work on the Hun.
Ahhh, you have to love the anti-gun folks - the same ones who believe that a woman who lies beaten to a pulp, raped and then strangled to death by her own pantyhose is somehow morally superior to the one standing over the corpse of her would-be rapist.
I love the anti-gunners' machismo, too. It must be wonderful to be a young, strong, martial arts expert like (allegedly) some of you lot - so I guess granny or the lad in the wheelchair would just have to suck up their beatings and torture - and then just die like the good, passive little subjects that you would have them be.
Suggestion for the next article on this topic.
This article is a bit dated. Ammo has been on short supply for over a year. Gun prices, however, are slowly going back down. I've been shooting for over 10 years and as a result of my interest in firearms and shooting, I've been reloading my own ammo. I've heard or read somewhere that there has been a 30% increase in handloading ammunition. I actually prefer to "roll my own" than buy factory ammo, since my cartridges can be tailored to each firearm, and fit the performance that I desire. Unfortunately, it is very time consuming, which might outweigh the cost benefits.
Hoarding ammunition, owning firearms, wanting to own firearms, enjoying the sport of shooting, or desiring an effective means of self-defense does not make you sick, immature, a redneck, uncivilized, uneducated, or a blood-lusting murderer. It is an UNALIENABLE RIGHT, which shall not be infringed upon by any government. It is not given to citizens by the government. It is inherent to all people, from God, nature, the universe, or whatever you choose to believe in. Because humans did not evolve with horns, claws, fangs, or venom, we have firearms. My firearms have not killed anyone, and hopefully it will stay that way. They keep me free from oppression by anything that seeks to control me. They allow me to say "no" to anyone, any group, any state, anything that wishes to deprive me of my life, food, home, or rights. That is why the Founding Fathers chose to include the 2nd Amendment into the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.
It is no surprise that when the means to maintain that freedom become scarce, people do the natural thing, and seek to accumulate as much of that item as possible.
>>>>"But I feel uneasy when someone snarls that he or she cannot wait five days for their handgun permit in a place where a rifle can be bought legally over-the-counter with no wait at all. If you wanna hunt, go hunt. If you are so eager for a handgun, perhaps you need the wait for the edge to come off your temper."
You're assuming that temper is the only reason - read below:
"On March 5, 1991 Bonnie Elmasri called a firearms instructor, worried that her husband-who was subject to a restraining order to stay away from her-had been threatening her and her children. When she asked the instructor about getting a handgun, the instructor explained that Wisconsin has a 48-hour waiting period. Ms. Elmasri and her two children were murdered by her husband twenty-four hours later."
There's plenty more where that came from - but yeah, you just keep on dreaming that everyone who needs a firearm quickly is just a hot-tempered redneck, pal.
The Obama Effect and Gun Sales
Reading the article and comments - it seems like people in the UK really don't seem to understand what is driving gun sales in regard to Obama.
The fear is not necessarily armor wielding federal agents, where the .45 may not effective.
The fear is not necessarily about crack head burglar, otherwise the jump in sales would not have coincided with the Presidential election.
So, people who understand Americans can easily deduce who is not buying the weapons - who exactly is buying all of the guns and ammo after a President Obama election???
The slowdown of the U.S. economy during ANY presidential election cycle is due to fear.
The crash of the U.S. economy after the election (even before the appointment) of President Obama was due to fear.
Continued, longer term buying pattern (of weapons, in particular) after a Presidential election has nothing to do with fear, but rather reality is setting in after a dozen months.
There are more citizens who are angry at the Federal Government under the Obama administration than under the G.W. Bush administration.
National health insurance is not a constitutional obligation of the United States government - this is a distraction from the main mission of the Federal Government.
Citizens of the Republic of the United States are beginning to believe that the Federal Government is refusing to do what they are contracted to according to their Constitution.
- secure the national borders
- secure all citizens in their states against foreign nations and foreign nationals
- secure all citizens against domestic people who are subverting the Constitution
When citizens lose faith in their government to protect their physical safety, citizens turn to arm themselves.
When elected officials continue to lead poorly, citizens continue to arm themselves... until there are no more arms left to buy...
Obama has bigger worries than your shooting hobby
There's nothing wrong with anything you said. Shot placement is king, and typically blood loss is what kills a shooting victim (except for the less common central nervous system hit). However, while it's true that it's better to hit with a .22 short than miss with a .454 Casul, it's better to hit with a .45 ACP than hit with a .380 Auto (AKA 9mm Kurz)..
I stand by my statement that many people have latched on to the energy figures in ballistics, to the exclusion of all else. Energy is NOT conserved in an impact, and while a 115grain 9mm traveling at 1350 ft/s has 465 ft-lbs of energy, much of that energy will be used to deform the bullet and will be lost in heat. How much heat? Well, 465 ft-lbs of energy is equivalent to 0.15 food calories – enough to raise the temp of a cup of water by just over 1 degree F. On the other hand, a 230 grain .45 ACP traveling at 900ft/s has only 414 ft-lbs of energy (11% less than the 9mm). However, when momentum is considered, we find the .45 has a full 33% more than the 9mm. And, as we all remember from physics class, momentum IS conserved in impacts. The wound channel left by the .45 ACP is sufficient to cause massive blood loss and rapid incapacitation – which is why many spec op groups use it. They are going to hit what they shoot at. They just prefer to hit it once, and not have a small zippy bullet continue on and hit what they didn't want hit.
Of course, all of this is a bit esoteric. The main thrust is that the more... paranoid... over here are buying up ammo based on fear. For the record, I voted for Obama. I don't think he's going to take our guns, or limit ammo. Messing with gun rights in the US is a sure fire (pun intended) way to loose office. Besides, Obama has MUCH bigger things to worry about. Like health care reform, winding down two wars, updating financial regulations, climate change, limiting nuclear proliferation, etc, etc. Which is why I say there will be a flood after this drought. When the rest of the American gun owners come to the same conclusion, there will be a glut of ammo, and too many people with too large a stock pile. Can you say supply and demand driven price drop?
Also, my local Walmart not only sells guns and ammo, they also sell liquor, wine and beer. Talk about one stop shopping!
And Lewis, nice post – for the record, shotgun barrels here are limited to 18” (minimum, not max). Also, you're correct in your assessment of US civilian firepower .vs the police or military. There isn't any comparison. Except for a few loonies who seriously believe that “protect us from the government” BS, the majority here own guns for three reasons, Hunting/Sports, Collecting, and Home Defense. In none of those cases do you expect to encounter an armored target. In fact, higher penetration becomes a negative in many of those situations, not a positive. So, the .45 is a practical choice in many cases, not just a sentimental one.
"I should have remembered how Americans feel about their fave handgun ammo!"
There's a rule I've often heard, akin to the "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" rule. It goes:
Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".
I don't subscribe to that myself... With modern rounds there are several adequate calibers that begin with "3" (9mm being .356 -- it's acceptable).
Great, tell the Generals in Afghanistan!
>As a Brit who lives in the US I find this argument particularly humerous. The US people have a
>handful of guns; the government have tanks, stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and the whole
>array of modern weapons. In a stand-up fight I know where my money will lie.
So, what's the problem in eliminating the Al Queda and the Taliban then? They, after all, only have arms barely a notch above what is legal in most states.
Basic arms are one part of the puzzle. The Bill of Rights, on the whole, protects much of what would be needed to start what today would be called a guerilla war. Things from allowing propoganda to be printed unchecked, to high bars to searches -- even if our courts are far too willing to stretch the definition of reasonable.
It's not that the colonists had the ability to win by themselves when the guns were muzzle loaders -- the organization of the British Army, backed by the industrial capacity to build cannons and ships, was enough to overcome our forces until we got an ally with similiar capabilities to assist.
>Regarding gun control, I have always thought the most interesting argument runs like this.
>Should the average Joe have access to nuclear weapons?
Again, apples to oranges argument.
You don't need tanks, or nuclear weapons, to succesfully fight an insurgent war. Asymetric power does not mean lack of power
As a resident of the UK you are at a distinct disadvantage writing an article about these shortages of guns & ammo. This started in Nov. of 2008 and still continues. Of late, it has lessened somewhat. However, some calibers & certain types of guns are still in short supply. Unfortunately, the UK has turned into a rather nasty nanny state that doesn't get any better. it is as if too many people with petty views attained power leaving their sanity by the wayside some time ago.
In the USA the liberals, helped by George Soros, are trying to impose a rather nasty tyranny. The people have finally started to wake up. The tea party in DC on 9/12 had approx. 1.7M people (don't pay attention to the media estimates). This figure was done by a group at the U of Illinois from a satelite photo & special software. The Fringe Media (fka Main Street Media) continues to try to deceive the public, it has gotten worse & so are their bottom lines. This could get ugly.
>Regarding gun control, I have always thought the most interesting argument runs like this.
>Should the average Joe have access to nuclear weapons?
Many states go beyond the federal 2nd amendment and specifically protect the right to bear arms in the defense of one's self as well as the state.
I do wonder if some of the cultural disconnect is the difference in development patterns.
I live in what was a farming and mill town that is now mostly a bedroom community.
Population 8,000 in 26 square miles, fairly evenly distributed. The town contracts for two state troopers to be assigned to our town full time. When they are not on duty (or in training, or assisting with an emergency in another community), we fall back to the normal state police patrols. In our area that's 1 Trooper covering 100 square miles with a population of around 15,000.
About a decade ago there was a murder several towns over buy a pyschotic husband -- the wife was killed just before the police arrived 15 minutes later, and they started an emergency response as soon as they received the call.
If you are not prepared to defend yourself, the police in my area are likely not going to be able to do it for you. It's just a matter of geography and what local citizens are willing to pay.
While my area has a lower police presence then most towns of it's size I'm familiar with, we also have a lower crime rate (part of the reason folks don't see the need to pay more taxes "just because").
Just knowing the difference in population density and the patterns of development (i.e. low density suburbs -- most of my town is now 2 acre minimum lot sizes) between the U.K. and U.S., I suspect there's a lot larger percentage of Americans who would have to wait a lot longer for a police response then a Britian.
>You can't get beer, wine and spirits in Walmart, but you can get ammo? What the hell?
Following the repeal of prohibition, the business interests wanted to make things as much like organized crime as they could.
So you have a lot of rules designed to create limited supplies and monopolies. Stuff like limiting the number of retail licenses to sell alcohol, limiting hours and days of week it may be sold, restricting who a retailer may buy from to a list of approved distributors, closing times for bars.
Most of these rules appeared following prohibition.
Guns and ammo never went through a similiar reset period after which all new laws could be introduced as the retailers started up operations from scratch again.
It *is* harder today to buy guns and ammo in my area then 20 years ago, but that's a combination of incremental regulatory changes, industry changes, and lower demand. There's fewer gun shops, but if you drive you can find ones far bigger then what we used to have. Fewer retailers selling ammo, but the ones who do have bigger assortments and quantities. In my area we've switched being "rural" to more "rural-suburban" so there's less target shooting in corn fields due to conflicts, and more a need if you want to go shooting to join a club and drive there.
One last point...
Many U.S. police agencies have switched to either .40 S&W or .357 Sig trying to find a middle ground between 9mm and .45ACP. The police agencies, by and large, have been underwhelmed by the performance of 9mm.
And related to geekdom, you'll notice on Chuck that Sarah always has a larger caliber pistol then Casey. Not sure why, but it makes me chuckle :)
Re: Things fall apart
Good job Saggar way to ruin my day. As a merkin just thinking of the road to ruin to being a failed state is depressing. I blame the worse generation in American history, the baby boomers for this rapid descend into the destruction of a once proud nation.
Great article about baby boomers by baby boomer. http://www.superseventies.com/worstgen.html
Thanks for picking me up there!
However, the point still holds: nobody in and around Chester is holding on to bolt weapons because the Welsh might overstay their welcome.
Mind you, a really pertinent point was made about prohibition. It's true: I could never imagine not being able to buy beer, wines and spirits in the same supermarket where I buy my food and non-alcoholic drinks. However, alcohol and guns are two horses of thoroughly different colours.
People who know better Don't carry other calibers
unfortunately you have no idea what you're talking about .....
people who carry a gun for a living often carry other calibers because the gun that they carry is specified by the people who they work for. Police, military etc.
People who are part of military special ops and many swat organizations who are able to choose their own weapon swear by the 45 It is a slower round but has significant kinetic energy and stopping power without over penetration. One shot kills are much more common with a 45 compared to a 9mm or .40 which are the primary calibers for law enforcement and military.
If it helps, I do speak from some small amount of professional experience here (military for a time, then executive-protection and eventually serving as a PSD contractor in Iraq 2004-2005 - protecting (mostly) EOD personnel tasked with destroying Saddam's huge stash *tip of the hat to Lewis Page*).
I personally prefer the 1911 in .45ACP, but I have carried and used both the CZ75 and Browning Hi-Power (both in 9mmP) on and off the job - fine, reliable handguns. All in all, handgun cartridges are weak and notoriously unreliable man-stoppers, so as much as I would like to admit otherwise, the whole 9mm vs .40 vs .45 debate gets rather stale because there's really not that big a difference in the end-results. It's about bullet-placement, bullet-construction, sufficient penetration - and yes, a bit of luck.
Luck you can't control, but skills you can work on - as we say, it's the software, not the hardware - something the gear-queers and fanbois will vociferously deny.
As for the "OMGzorz, it's a GUN!" types out there... seriously, get a grip, you whiny pansies. It's a tool, nothing more - and the results, good or ill, depend on who's wielding it.
There sure seem to be a lot of folk who can't grasp the concept of owning a firearm for historical or technical interest, let alone purely for fun. Self-defense? Not likely in my part of the boondocks!
A lot of my fellow left-ponders apparently didn't think to avail themselves of the bountiful surplus full-power ammo supply, either - unless the place I buy mine at just restocks Czech 7.92x57 really fast.
Grenade 'cos it makes a lovely paperweight, and mine's the one with the '42 Mauser beside it.
Don't forget, though, that some militaries are restricted as to the type of bullets they may use, based on the Hague Convention of 1899 (Declaration III):
As such, militaries are generally restricted to full metal jacket bullets, which have more of a tendency to over penetrate, than hollow-point/dumdum type bullets, which tend to flatten and dump their energy in a shorter distance. Thus, this figures into the caliber selection process. On the other hand, most militaries aren't too concerned with over penetration, since there are more baddies behind the enemy front lines anyway.
One of the reasons for this restriction is that the general philosophy of the modern military is that they don't necessarily want to kill an enemy soldier; they would rather wound him, which causes the enemy to expend effort to recover and convalesce their soldier, thus expending some of their resources. Additionally, militaries don't necessarily want to maim enemy soldiers, since, after the war is over, those people will be necessary to rebuild the country.
Then, again, all of this is based on "civilized war", as opposed to "total war".
The interesting part about this, though, is that various police agencies have differing philosophies on the type of bullets that their officers are permitted to use.