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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Futility Of Gun Control

Gaze up this, and despair, ye enemies of freedom.

DIY Weapons of the Syrian Rebels
Nearly two years after the start of Syria's popular uprising, the conflict has evolved into a slow-moving, brutal civil war with many players and no clear end in sight. Multiple rebel groups across the country continue to fight President Bashar al-Assad's forces, using any weapons they can get their hands on. While the rebels are using many modern weapons, they've also come up with their own makeshift solutions. In these weapons workshops, anti-aircraft guns are welded to pickup trucks and armor shields are attached to machine guns and cars. Mortar shell nose cones are turned on lathes and explosives are mixed by hand. Homemade grenades are launched by jury-rigged shotguns or giant slingshots in the urban battlefields of Aleppo and Damascus. Gathered here are a few examples of the hand-built munitions of the Syrian rebels.

Go take a look. There's nearly 40 pictures taken from the rebels' munitions stash. There are some conventional machine guns, but the vast bulk of the weaponry are homemade bombs, mortars, and armored vehicles. Taking a look at most of it, it's hard to imagine that there aren't thousands of machine shops all over America that couldn't make gear ten times better.

I did have to take exception to this, though:

Here's the caption (from the link):
A Free Syrian Army fighter uses a catapult to fire a homemade grenade at Syrian Army soldiers during a fight in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

That's not a catapult! That's a trebuchet! The counterweight, sling, and throwing arm are a dead giveaway. That picture just kicked over my gigglebox - how anachronistically ballistic! Not to mention that the guy in the foreground is holding a Handycam on the launcher while his friend with the Kalashnikov rifle prepares to fire...

Mortars, rockets, improvised explosives, armored vehicles; all of this manufactured in secret locations under wartime conditions. Bet they don't worry if their magazines hold more than seven rounds, either. Imagine how this will look in another few years when 3D printing has really taken off and the technology has time to mature and grow. Picture what they'd be able to do with some fancy polymer printing - AR lowers, pistols, all kinds of improvised weapons.

The genie is out of the bottle as far as gun control, folks. We've had well over 100 years of pretty much the same designs - while the materials used to make the firearms have changed and improved, the overall design hasn't changed much since the days of the 1911 and the Thompson submachine gun. We've had semi- and fully- automatic, removable box-fed weapons for well over 100 years (94 in the case of the Thompson). "High capacity" magazines for the same amount of time. These are not difficult items to manufacture. Pretending we can legislate crimes away is not going to work.

We're eventually going to have to own up and dig into the reason that people commit these crimes, not what tools they choose to commit crimes with.

THat is all.

Thanks to Yankeefried for the article!


Mikael said...

A very unconventional trebuchet in that case. The swing arm is too small, compared to the whole structure, and the weight is not in the usual place. While it's still a gravity driven catapult, it's no proper trebuchet.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Hmm. Reminds me to get some more Cannon Fuse.

Not that we might not need it in the near future, of course.....

acairfearann said...

There was a recent archeological study that just wound up; it examined causes of death in sufficient neolithic settlements and in sufficient large sample size to get good data. One of the main points? A high percentage of men, women, and children died from or experienced blunt force trauma to the head (about 1/6 of the population). So much for peaceful hunter-gatherers.

Man might have picked up a rock to throw at a potential dinner, but the next thing he did with it was cosh his neighbor on the head to steal Their dinner.

Only by denying our humam nature can we believe that humans won't make weapons out of whatever lies around....

I do like that trebuchet though! Those are rather fun tools to play with, even on a small scale.

jetfxr69 said...


As I was reading this post, and thinking of all the other things we KNOW to be true about gun control and the fact that it cannot work, I was reminded of: .

Burgermeister Meisterburger steps on an inamimate object (toy), falls, blames the toy, and BANS the toy. Hijinks ensue.

As children we KNEW this was wrong. I guarantee that even todays Libs, back when they were kids, KNEW this was wrong.

And yet, here we are. I want to see the NRA buy the rights to the TV show, so they can use it as an annual parable...

jetfxr69 said...

And...I didn't account for the fact that the link wasn't going to format correctly.

Jay, if you would...(please).

ZerCool said...

Needs subtitles, because I don't understand Syrian, but I think he said something like, "Here, hold my goat's milk and watch this."

wolfwalker said...

"There are some conventional machine guns, but the vast bulk of the weaponry are homemade bombs, mortars, and armored vehicles."

Nothing unusual here. Enterprising guys along the Khyber Pass have been doing it for over a century now -- go look up "Khyber rifle" or "Khyber Pass copy" and prepare to be amazed.

Stretch said...

Jay, you clearly hate The Children.

Dave H said...

I suspect 3D printing is going to be this generation's Liberator pistol.

Soap Box One said...

That's no trebuchet. According to my Journalist's Guide to Firearms Identification, that's an AK-47. And the guy next to it is carrying a Glock. 40mm, I believe.