One would think that Journalists either haven’t been introduced to the concept of Google, or are willfully and maliciously proffering lies in the service of an agenda. People’s exhibit A, MSNBC’s Steve Schmidt:
On Friday night, the panel on HBO’s Real Time discussed gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.
MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt told Bill Maher that the Founding Fathers “could no more conceive the idea of an AK-47” when writing the Second Amendment than they “could’ve conceived a spaceship.”
“These weapons were not conceived of, were not understood, were not imagined in the context of the time when the amendment was authored,” Schmidt elaborated, “and we ought to have a real debate in this country about whether we want military weapons… weapons of war in the hand of every Joe who wants to go in and buy 30 of them.”
He then declared that it is “harder to buy cough medicine than it is to buy an AK-47 or 50 of them.”
Well now…it doesn’t take much to conclude that Schmidt has no idea what he’s talking about. Leaving aside the multi-shot projectile weaponry of the early Chinese and Italians [to just name the heavies], and focusing on rifles or man-portable ‘rapid fire’ firearms…we have some distinct examples of Schmidt’s perfidy:
“could no more conceive the idea of an AK-47”
The ribauldequin was the earliest attempt at a volley gun. Also known as an “infernal machine” or an “organ gun” (because its barrels resembled the pipes of a church organ), ribauldequins were made up of many small caliber cannons laid side by side on a flat platform. When the gun was fired, it would spread a volley of cannon shot across the battlefield, chewing up everything in its path. The ribauldequin made its battlefield debut with the armies of Edward the III of England during the Hundred Years War. This first model, which appeared in 1339, featured 12 barrels. In subsequent decades, other versions of the ribauldequin with more barrels were used by medieval armies in Italy as well as in the War of the Roses.
The Puckle Gun
The Puckle gun was invented by a London based lawyer named James Puckle, who had an interest in firearm design. He received a patent for his design in 1718. This was a flintlock firearm fitted with a multishot cylinder, much like a revolver. The cylinders were designed to hold 11 shots at a time. Unlike revolvers, there was a manual crank attached to the back to bring each chamber of the cylinder to the firing position. It was mounted on a tripod and the barrel was about 3 feet (0.91 meters) long. The caliber of this weapon was 1.25 inches (32 mm.). Typical of the era, the firearm came with bullet molds to cast bullets for it.
The Girandoni Air Rifle
The Girardoni air rifle was in service with the Austrian army from 1780 to around 1815. The advantages of a high rate of fire, no smoke from propellants, and low muzzle report granted it initial acceptance, but it was eventually removed from service for several reasons. While the detachable air reservoir was capable of around 30 shots it took nearly 1,500 strokes of a hand pump to fill those reservoirs. Later, a wagon-mounted pump was provided. The reservoirs, made from hammered sheet iron held together with rivets and sealed by brazing, proved very difficult to manufacture using the techniques of the period and were always in short supply.
In addition, the weapon was very delicate and a small break in the reservoir could make it inoperable. Finally, it was very different from any other weapon of the time and any soldier using it needed to be highly trained.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition used the rifle in the demonstrations that they performed for nearly every Native American tribe they encountered on the expedition.
The Ferguson Rifle
The Ferguson rifle was one of the first breech-loading rifles to be put into service by the British military. It fired a standard British carbine ball of .615″ calibre and was used by the British Army in the American War of Independence at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, and possibly at the Siege of Charleston in 1780.
Its superior firepower was unappreciated at the time because it was too expensive and took longer to produce – the four gunsmiths making Ferguson’s Ordnance Rifle could not make 100 in 6 months at four times the cost per arm of a musket.
While more of a volley weapon than a machine gun, Britain’s Royal Navy hoped the multi-barreled Nock gun would be a serious force multiplier in ship-to-ship boarding actions. The weapon featured seven rifled barrels, each with a tiny vent that led to the priming pan. The barrels would be loaded with standard paper musket cartridges. When the main charge was ignited, sparks would shoot through the vents and set off each of the cartridges at almost the same instant. Developers imagined the Nock would be particularly deadly when used against groups of tightly packed enemy sailors on the deck of a warship.
The Founding Fathers were nothing if not intellectually curious and well-read in regards to philosophy, religion, politic, agriculture, animal husbandry, military affairs…….and scientific inventions. The Founders knew well of the weaponry illustrated above.
Now that his first canard has disabused, let’s move on to the next:
“weapons of war in the hand of every Joe who wants to go in and buy 30 of them.”
Well now…..”weapons of war” Sounds scary doesn’t it kids? Let’s use some intellect and consider what type of weaponry was not designed, intended or and utilized as a “weapon of war”? Grandpappies bolt action rifle? Yep…“weapon of war”. The shotgun over the fireplace mantle? Yep….“weapon of war”. The pistol or revolver you’ve been eyeing at the local gun counter? Good guess!.…“weapon of war”. Do we really need to go on?
“harder to buy cough medicine than it is to buy an AK-47 or 50 of them.”
It must either be blissful or maddening to live with this level of stupid. I’ve purchased Sudafed recently, and was required to hand over my driver’s license while the Pharmacist ran my name and address against a database. Done. Walked out pills in hand. To purchase a firearm, one must fill out an ATF Form 4473.
For the uninitiated:
A Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473, is a form promulgated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the United States Department of Justice that is filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder (such as a gun shop).
The Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, and a short affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. It contains make, model, or serial number on page three of the six page form. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS. Prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased. Of 556,496 denied transactions between FY 2008 and FY 2015, federal prosecutors prosecuted an average of under 32 cases per year, including 24 in FY 2013, 15 in FY 2014 and 20 in FY 2015.
The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into a required “bound-book” called an “Acquisition and Disposition Log. A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years, and is required to surrender the log to the ATF upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of, the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five-day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4. – Wiki
Of course, we who own and purchases firearms, know well that the “instant” in National Instant Criminal Background Check System is anything but. And sadly, his kindergarten commentary avoids the salient question in his last lie…..why do we allow the State to burden the Citizen in buying Sudafed?
In 2005, Congress passed the deceptively named Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act or PLCAA to provide unique immunity to gun sellers and manufacturers. Unlike virtually every other manufacturer of consumer products, this law means the gun industry cannot be sued by consumers who are harmed by their products. – Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT
*Apologies for the weird line spacing. Not sure what’s causing it.