From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It is just not the FiveseveN they want to Ban

H.R. 1136 and its companion bill SB. 527 in the Senate does far more than just ban the much aligned FiveseveN Pistol along with the SS190 and SS192 ammunition that it uses.

The purpose for these bills is expressed in the preamble of each;

To protect the Nation's law enforcement officers by banning the Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190 and SS192 cartridges, testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor, and prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase of such handguns or ammunition by civilians.

That seemingly inocuous statement gives the impression that the sole target of this legislation is one firearm and the two types of ammunition that is currently available for it (depending on what country your in).

Reading farther into the bill though one realizes that it is not just the FiveseveN that is the target.

In Section 2 Findings and Purpose paragraph (a) is FiveseveN specific, while paragraph (b) gets to the real and intended purpose of H.R. 1136 and SB. 527;

(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to protect the Nation's law enforcement officers by--

(1) testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor; and

(2) prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase by civilians of the Five-seveN Pistol, ammunition for such pistol, or any other handgun that uses ammunition found to be capable of penetrating body armor.

Both SB 527 and H.R. 1136 seek to have all handguns tested and any that are found to use ammunition that is capable of penetrating body armor will be banned.

Without listing the entire liteny of handguns that use ammunition that is capable of penetrating body armor, just consider the few that are relatively benign for the purposes of personal protection and self defense.

The first that comes to mind is the single shot Thompson Center Contender and any of its clones. This particular handgun comes in a variety of rifle calibers including the .223, 243, 7mm-08, 30-30 and 45-70.

Because of their ballistics any or all of these cartridges will penetrate body armor worn by Police Officers and the Contender and its clones would be banned under this law.

There are also any number of single or multiple shot bolt action handguns used exclusively for hunting that would be banned by this law and we haven't even addressed the most common firearms that are used by millions of citizens everyday to protect themselves.

Section 3 Armor Piercing Ammunition, calls for an expansion of the definition of armor piercing ammunition to include;

(iii) a projectile that--

(I) may be used in a handgun; and

(II) the Attorney General determines, pursuant to section 926(d), to be capable of penetrating body armor.'.

(b) Determination of Capability of Projectiles to Penetrate Body Armor- Section 926 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

"May be used in a handgun". How is that for a catch phrase? It doesn't even have to have been chambered in a handgun at any time. Under this bill if the Attorney General "determines that a cartridge may be used in a handgun" and is capable of penetrating "body armor "exemplar" it will be rated as armor penetrating. Well there goes the 30-30, 30-06 308 and 270, not to mention the 300, 7mm or any of the other magnums. Further reading of this section gets to the very core of what is meant to be accomplished with this legislation;

(d)(1) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Attorney General shall promulgate standards for the uniform testing of projectiles against Body Armor Exemplar.

(2) The standards promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall take into account, among other factors, variations in performance that are related to the type of handgun used, the length of the barrel of the handgun, the amount and kind of powder used to propel the projectile, and the design of the projectile.

(3) As used in paragraph (1), the term `Body Armor Exemplar' means body armor that the Attorney General determines meets minimum standards for the protection of law enforcement officers.

Paragraph (3) is the crux of the bill, as it allows the Attorney General to determine what body armor will be used for the tests. It is commonly know that most Police Officers are equipped with Threat level IIIA or higher body armor. In his/her infinate wisdom an Attorney General could very well "determine" that Threat Level IA is the media to which all tests will conducted.

In fact Section 2 paragraph (3) specifically refers to Threat level IIA body armor;

(3) The Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS192 cartridges are capable of penetrating level IIA armor. The manufacturer advertises that ammunition fired from the Five-seveN will perforate 48 layers of Kevlar up to 200 meters and that the ammunition travels at 2100 feet per second.

Should that happen there is very few handgun calibers that will be available for the private citizen to have for personal protection or HUNTING for that matter.

Section 4 Armor Piercing Handguns and Amunition addresses certain word changes to the applicable section of USC Title 18, but the most glaring change found in that section is;

(1) IN GENERAL- It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, market, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive-- (C) any other handgun that uses armor piercing ammunition.

H.R. 1136 and SB. 527 go way beyond just banning the Fiveseven and its ammunition. This legislation is an outright assault on any and all of the calibers common or not so common to any and all of the shooting sports and self defense.

The bottom line is that even if you don't own a handgun or have never even contemplated owning one and you are content with your deer rifle and shotgun, these bills may very well ban the ammunition for that rifle because it was at one time, currently is, or "may be determined" by the Attorney General as "capable of being" chambered in a Handgun.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

INS building in Lincoln, Nebraska Evacuated

After a suspicious powder was found in the mailroom of the Immigration and Naturalization Service Building authorities evacuated and cordoned off the area.

As of mid afternoon authorities said tests on the unknown substance are consistant with the chemical make up of deoderant.

What ever it is it was apparently inhaled by some of the INS employees and all were decontaminated and sent to a local Hospital.

The lincoln Jopurnal Star has this report on the incident.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More on the smoking ban as the dollars minus down

I have covered this issue several times in the past and the more time that passes the more it is proving out that Lincoln is and will continue to loose an awful lot of money because of the ban.

Mary Harris Rauner, Manager of of BC's Bar in Lincoln has a very inciteful opinion that has was recently published in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Ms. Rauners figures are as current as has been released and she makes makes a point that I alluded to in a previous post;

One of the areas that can be positively identified with the effects of the smoking ban are the Keno figures from the City of Lincoln. Even with a massive (and very expensive) promotion in the month of February, keno revenue is down $943,250 for the City of Lincoln through the first quarter of 2005. The small towns surrounding Lincoln however, are up almost that amount, with Waverly, Crete, Denton, Raymond and Sprague up $755,310 for the same period, according to the state department of revenue. The initial April and May figures reflect a greater loss for the city of Lincoln.

Ms. Rauner, as the manager of BC's, is in a postion to see first hand the effects of the ban;

I am trying to rebuild a viable and profitable business among the ashes of this ban. The work involved in revising our business plan to accommodate new clientele is essential for survival. We intend to stay in compliance with the ban, but I cannot be silent simply because Dart and his advocates do not agree with my stance on what I believe to be an issue of civil liberty.

Yes like she said it is a done deal and now it remains for those businesses that are most affected by the ban to either rise from the ashes or fall by the way side.

It seems there are a lot of spitefully happy people, whether they know it or not, that are walking around town without a nose on their face.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Firearms update

I don't know if I mentioned this in past postings or not, but a few months ago I aquired a Mossberg SSI- One in 30-06 caliber. I mounted a Simmons 44 Mag scope on it before taking it to the range. Regretfully all I had time for was to get the thing on paper. We set up the target and put a box of shells through it at 25 yards. Shooting three shot groups all of the shots in each group were touching or practically in the same hole. Yea I know it was only 25 yards but they look good on paper and the wife hung one of the targets on the refridgerator when I got home. After that we spent a half a box of shells shooting at 20 ounce Mountain Dew bottles filled with water and set at 100 yrds. Not serious shooting I know but it was fun.

The one thing, besides the apparent accuracy, that I like about the gun is the interchangable barrels. The firearm has the lines of a Ruger Number 1 but breaks open like the Thompson Center Encore. Barrels are available in 30-06, 308, 270, 243, 22-250, 233, and 12 gauge. The 22 caliber barrels can be had in either standard barrel or bull barrel configuration. I may end up with one of the 22 caliber barrels one day.

There are two barrels available in 12 gauge; One is described as a Turkey barrel, in that it has an extra tight choke and is specifically made to hunt thanksgiving dinner. The other one is a rifled barrel for those that choose to or by law have to hunt their Big Game with a Shotgun. I have also aquired a 12 gauge rifled barrel and it is now installed on the SSi receiver and topped with a Bushnell 1.5 - 4 power Shotgun scope. I am really looking forward to getting out and shooting that barrel. Since, as it turns out, I don't have a handgun that is legal to hunt deer with in the State of Ohio this will most likely be the firearm I use for a planned hunt there this fall.

Hopefully I will be able to get out and do some shooting with the SSI and the 12 gauge barrel soon. When I do I will have a full report on it.

Life outside the internet

I have been so derelict in not posting for the last week or so, but spring/summer is really upon us and I have been enjoying some much needed time with the family.

The wife and I have been doing some fishing and competing in a few pistol matches.

Because of Doctors orders I am no longer able to play golf, but that hasn't stopped me from going to the golf course with my oldest son and helping him improve his game. At one time I fashioned myself a pretty decent player and had asperitions of trying out for the Senior Tour when I reached the age of fifty. I wasn't taking lessons, but two of the people I played with on a regular basis were and still are club pros. Just the act and pressure of playing with guys like that will bring your game to a whole new level and just for the record I was playing a minimum of three times a week and had my average down to 78.

I have also been having a lot of fun with the two Grandkids that still live in the area. Our Oldest Granddaughter just finished her first year of school (Kindergarten) last week and is rather rambunctious about the summer now. Her brother is 4 years old and has really been getting into fishing this year. Their Mom (my Daughter-in-law) is expecting our sixth grandchild in August.

Our other three Grandkids (two girls and a boy) live in another state and they suprised us with a three day visit.

I apologize for not being around much lately, but life calls and I do enjoy the family.