Comments Of The Day: “Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns….”

“Am I holding it right?”

In the comments to yesterday’s post discussing the jaw-dropping ignorance and anti-gun bias displayed by a popular advice columnist, the question again arose as to why anti-gun advocates remain so uninformed about their own passion, and don’t bother to educate themselves sufficiently that they won’t sound like idiots—like, for example, “Ask Amy,” who confused hollow-point bullets with armor-piercing bullets, said the hollow-points were “exploding bullets,” referred to a common and popular handgun as the kind of weapon criminals use, and suggested that owning a gun was a dangerous sign of hidden criminal activity.

Glenn Logan, in the first of the two  Comments of the Day that were sparked by “Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns. When I Get A Question About Guns, What Should I Do?, theorized thusly…

I think perhaps because they believe it unnecessary and irrelevant. Guns are bad regardless of the use or competence of the person owning them, and that badness is imputed, in large degree, to their owner. It’s a kind of guilt by association — if you own a gun, there is something fundamentally wrong with you based on that fact alone. Guns = Bad, and how they or their ammunition works is just a meaningless detail that couldn’t possibly interest an enlightened person.

You can tell by the way firearms opponents argue their points that they neither know nor care about the function of firearms. They don’t think all that stuff matters, and in their minds, no amount of facts can overcome the one simple judgment that firearm ownership is undesirable in advanced societies.

It is possible that the gun-haters actually fear knowledge about firearms — they fear they may be seduced by their apparently powerful evil, and thereby tempted to become what they not just despise, but actively want to despise.

Amy’s research was so transparently superficial, and her fundamental understanding of the physics of firearms and ammunition so inadequate that it is impossible for her to opine with any authority on the subject whatsoever, even if she just confined herself to the social aspect. It would be like a person who speaks only Swahili and knows only pidgin English trying to critique the original manuscript of Oliver Twist — it’s doomed from the outset not just to failure, but to an unethical level of ignorant disinformation.

Hollow points as “exploding bullets” is a construction that is going to give Second Amendment supporters giggles for … maybe generations. Even Eric Swalwell’s risible comment about nuclear weapons pales in comparison for sheer ignorance, ineptitude, and comedic value.

One would normally have to listen to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to hear such cringe-worthy ignorance.

The reference to AOC was especially welcome after her now-immortal comparison of the illegal immigration detention centers—that are identical to those employed by previous administrations–as “concentration camps.” But I digress! Next, Humble Talent notched an enlightening  Comment of the Day on the topic of wilful ignorance:

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, recently defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted out:

[JAM note: 57,503 retweets ,and 162,537 likes for  false and ignorance-spreading propaganda. Nice.]

I  can’t imagine what more ignorance looks like crammed into a smaller package. Let’s dig into this.

First… There is no such thing as a silencer. This might seem semantic, and there are plenty of gun rights advocates who use semantics…. It’s not important, for instance, that the AR in AR-15 stands for “Armalite Rifle” instead of “Assault Rifle”. But it’s not semantic because…

Second… A suppressor does not silence anything, and anyone who thinks otherwise is getting their information from television. I suppose if you see it on TV, it must be true, no? The misconception is that the suppressor reduces the sound of a shot into a little air fart that sounds kind of like a spitball. In reality, a suppressor dampens muzzle flash and reduces the decibel level from that of a shot down to that of a jackhammer, converts that energy to heat, and distributes that heat down the barrel. One might reasonably ask at this point “Well, if a suppressor doesn’t silence the shot, what’s the point? Well. I’m glad you asked, my virtual Watson! Suppressors are designed to augment or replace hearing and eye protection. They are safety devices. Which might be why the bill the Republicans were trying to pass with the support of the NRA was called the “Hearing Protection Act”. Because at that point, it was harder to get the safety device to attach to the end of the gun than it was to get the gun itself, probably because Democrats had watched too many Bourne movies and were afraid of super assassins shooting up everyone. Moving on to…

Third… Remember what I said about the function of suppressors? That they convert light and sound energy into heat and disburse that heat into the weapon? Well, they do that, and they do that fairly well. So well in fact that the heat can become a problem. In small caliber handguns, it’s fairly insignificant…. but in a bump-stocked AR-15? Now I’m not going to say the weapon would melt in their hands, or that you could tie the barrel into a bow, but you would probably damage and warp your weapon, and almost certainly cause a misfire.

If it hasn’t struck you yet…. Had the shooter been stupid enough to attach suppressors to his weapons, everyone would have still heard those shots, there’s a chance they might have failed, and fewer people would have died.

So to tie that into a neat little package: The woman who might have been President of the United States of America tweeted authoritatively from ignorance, having no idea what the device was called, what it did, or what the effects of attaching it would be, but she’s watched enough television to be afraid of them, so she capitalized on the post-Vegas heartstrings of America to push a “common sense” narrative that would maintain restrictions on safety devices.

My normal line is “How are you supposed to know what common sense gun control looks like when you barely know the shootey end of the gun from the grippey end, and why on earth should we listen to you?” I think that can be re-purposed for preachy ignoramuses sowing unnecessary fear of weapons they have absolutely no conception under God regarding their function.

“Exploding ammunition….”

Piss off.

10 thoughts on “Comments Of The Day: “Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns….”

  1. Well done!

    I may-or-may-not own an AR 15, and it might have a suppressor, which might have been acquired for deer hunting (or that just might have been the excuse used to sell the expense to a spouse…)

    ‘Silent’ it is NOT. Nor (as I discovered) is an AR 15 a great deer rifle, beyond 100 yards. However, deer DO run toward you if you miss, as the loudest sound they hear is the bullet hitting behind them. On the whole, my dad’s 30.06 is a better weapon for hunter-gatherer tendencies.

    Now the point about heat is important: fire a three shot group for sighting in, and the barrel/suppressor is WAY too hot to touch. Rapid fire (say 30 rounds fired within a minute) would run a significant risk of damage to the rifle. Unfortunately, I have not found a water cooled rifle yet, so will not become a silent risk to large crowds in Las Vegas any time soon. /snark

    I will point out that the new shotgun suppressors are way too cool for words. And a suppressed 9mm using subsonic ammo is pretty darn quiet, too… compared to running a vacuum cleaner.

    • You will experience a bit less heat build up in the firearm (as opposed to the suppressor) if you were to experiment a bit with an adjustable gas block – the suppressor causes quite a bit more gas to enter the gas tube and heat up (and dirty up) the action of an AR. An adjustable block will let you regulate the amount of gas bled off to operate the action to a lower amount that normally will reduce the heat build up in the action and will also reduce the heat transfer from the gas tube to the barrel.

      The suppressor will get hot no matter what you do.

      • I understand they do make adjustable gas blocks for operating suppressors, and they help with the excess heating in the receiver for DI guns. Piston guns also do this, but they don’t send any gas back to the receiver.

        Overall, what I’ve seen is a recommendation that you minimize the number of rapid-fire sessions suppressed, and/or get an adjustable gas block. But there’s no doubt on an AR-15 not specifically designed for suppressed operation that a suppressor impacts its overall life span.

        Then again, I’ve seen guys who’ve operated them for years and claim no ill effects. YMMV.

  2. So to tie that into a neat little package: The woman who might have been President of the United States of America tweeted authoritatively from ignorance, having no idea what the device was called, what it did, or what the effects of attaching it would be, but she’s watched enough television to be afraid of them, so she capitalized on the post-Vegas heartstrings of America to push a “common sense” narrative that would maintain restrictions on safety devices. [my emphasis]

    This is just so spot on, and I particularly like the bolded part. I am so ripping this off…

  3. Bravo, gentlemen. I’ve never owned guns, and so I am ignorant of many technical matters with respect to their use and operation. I wouldn’t have known that Clinton’s tweet about “silencers” was completely wrong, were it not for gun owners and enthusiasts setting the record straight (and a trip to YouTube confirming what a gun really sounds like with a suppressor).

    • It’s amazing how disinformation about something as old-fashioned as firearms can still spread in this modern day and age. From some of the things I’ve seen, you’d think sound suppressors were some kind of military innovation developed in the last few decades instead of a technology first patented in 1909, 110 years ago.

      Yes, suppressors have been with us that long. Interestingly, in the Virginia Beach shooting, the perpetrator used a firearm first produced in 1911 wearing a suppressor first produced two years earlier.

      Yeah, this is all high-tech military stuff, man. 🙂

      • I had wondered whether “1911” designated the year the gun was first made. I think part of the reason the Virginia Beach shooting didn’t get as many painfully progressive think pieces is because the perp (besides being black) wasn’t using a dreaded “assault rifle.”

        • I suspect you are exactly right about that.

          Banning handguns, for most on the left, is the future, not the present. Right now, they only want to focus on “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines.” The camel must first get its nose into the tent.

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