September 15, 2004


This is the image used online by the Sydney Morning Herald to illustrate the expiration of the multi-round-per-second weapon ban in the US. Because thatís, like, your typical gun-owner.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 15, 2004 02:44 AM

They're only "multi-round-per-second" if you pull the trigger multiple times per second. These are semi-automatic weapons.

Posted by: K D at September 15, 2004 at 02:49 AM

That is a pic of Ted Nugent.

Rock star, champion bow hunter and conservative Republican.

Posted by: Reid of America at September 15, 2004 at 02:54 AM

Perhaps you can explain to the Sydney Morning Fishwrap that the gun pictured has always been legal. Few guns were banned by the ludicrously-named Assault Weapons Ban. A more accurate name would have been Cosmetic Features Ban - i.e., flash hiders and bayonet lugs. Those who say this will lead to more gun crime are either ignorant of the law, or liars.

Caveat - I will retract this if there is a sudden rise in drive-by bayonet charges.

Posted by: Dave S. at September 15, 2004 at 03:07 AM

Oh, yeah, I have one in every room of my house. Being American and all.

Posted by: Rebecca at September 15, 2004 at 03:16 AM

Awww...why so sensitive Tim? You don't like the way that guy looks? The image of your beloved gun owners tarnished just a wee bit more than you like? Maybe he shouldn't be holding the gun so high? Maybe the flag in the backround is a little too limp?

In your rabid anti-SMH fervour, you're really clutching at straws on this one. Stay relevant you chump.

Posted by: mick at September 15, 2004 at 03:32 AM

Was that supposed to be some kind of argument, Mick? Make sure you wipe the froth off your screen.

How many gun owners do you know, Mick? Did they all look like that? Or is your "rabid pro-SMH fervor" showing through?

TV (Harry)

Posted by: Inspector Callahan at September 15, 2004 at 03:37 AM

You try to ban the AK,
I got ten of 'em stashed
With a case of hand grenades!


Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at September 15, 2004 at 03:45 AM

The Motor City Madman! Woot!

Posted by: Donnah at September 15, 2004 at 04:08 AM

interesting how they rotated and cropped the picture to put the rifle vertical and The Nuge at an angle.

Heard him talking about one of his USO swings through Iraq and Afghanistan, and apparently the Marines let him carry his own weapon. Highly unusual but very cool.

Posted by: Kevin at September 15, 2004 at 04:25 AM

"Try to ban my AK,
the shit wasn't registered any f**kin' way!"

/Ice Cube

Posted by: Dave S. at September 15, 2004 at 04:34 AM

Dave: That one might have been covered by the cosmetic portion of the ban. It appears to have a bayonet lug (hard to see), it certainly has a collapsible stock, and it has something on the end of the barrel that might be a flash suppressor.

Of course, that would only prevent it from being manufactured between 9/13/94 and 9/13/04, but it could well have been in the banned category.

(The actual point that the legal post-ban guns without a collapsible stock, bayonet lug, etc. are just as "dangerous" stands, of course.)

Posted by: Sigivald at September 15, 2004 at 04:41 AM

Multi-round per second! Jesus wept. I remember at University we did a test with a stopwatch and a Smith and Wesson 659 with a 13-round magazine. Time to empty it on target: 2.2 seconds.

Posted by: David Gillies at September 15, 2004 at 04:47 AM

Life has already gone to hell with the expiry of the assault weapons ban. I had a tough start to the day here in northern Virginia. Marching the kids to the school bus, one of the neighbours let loose with his Uzi from his loungeroom window. Returned fire with the trusty AK47 I keep close by for gardening. Guy down the road came out on his porch to check out the noise and lobbed in a few RPG's for good measure. The trash collectors joined in with their Berettas, shot the hell out of the trash cans but not much else. My son knocked off a couple of clips with his Pokemon Special pistol which he whipped out of his school backpack. The AK47 jammed, so I got the wife to crawl out with the TEC-9. Shot away at everything in sight, got the kids through safely. Damn, missed the school bus.

Posted by: Jon at September 15, 2004 at 05:20 AM

My favorite is when the GFW's screech about "hundreds of rounds per minute". Which would be a nifty trick for something with a 20-round magazine.

Maybe if they had those hyperspatial ammunition hoppers used by automatic weapons in movies...


Posted by: Patrick Chester at September 15, 2004 at 05:21 AM

If assault rifles are good enough for Ted Nugent, than they are good enough for me!

I think it's instructive that the Dems have a bunch of wimpy platinum selling "rock" stars like Dave Matthews and REM, while the GOP has certifiable Rock and Roll Heroes like Nugent and Alice Cooper.

Posted by: Mr Vee at September 15, 2004 at 05:33 AM

It's Tony Blair!
Gordon Brown finally got him MAD!

Posted by: John F at September 15, 2004 at 05:34 AM

Hey, it's the snakeskin cowboy!

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2004 at 05:41 AM

"Because that’s, like, your typical gun-owner."

Just so all you Aussies know the truth, these are typical American gun owners.

Now you also know why I have no intention of moving.

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 15, 2004 at 05:45 AM

Mmm, excellent perversion catalysing, Ken.

Posted by: David Gillies at September 15, 2004 at 06:30 AM

How sure are we that that isn't Ralph Nader?

Posted by: Aaron at September 15, 2004 at 06:32 AM

I saw a police chief on TV last night bemoaning the lapse and saying the cosmetic /superficial aspects of the guns were exactly what made them popular with young thugs.

I then tried to imagine those same young thugs turning down the chance to carry such a weapon because it didn't look cool enough.

"Yo, your gun looks wack, G!"

"Yeah, without a flash suppressor, it looks kinda gay!"

"I'm not carrying that thing! People I'd shoot would just laugh at me!"

"Let's just not even carry guns. Let's get some fierce looking knives instead."

Posted by: JDB at September 15, 2004 at 07:23 AM

"She want's the G with the biggest NUTS"
Snoop Dog.

Whats with this gun shit? Big gun = small dick ?
Bloody macho freeks. Want to bust some caps into a warm body!? Go to Iraq or STFU millionaire rappers.

Posted by: Dog at September 15, 2004 at 07:56 AM

if you want to see a few more typical firearms owners her in the Good Ol' USA, try

and this ISN'T some guns 'n' tits website.

Posted by: Sean at September 15, 2004 at 08:42 AM

"Whats with this gun shit? Big gun = small dick ?"

The data on this is inconclusive. My mother-in-law's guns are fairly small, my husband's gun is large, but so is one of my guns while the other is small. My father-in-law has a variety of guns.

I don't think even Michael Moore's statistician can save this one.

Posted by: LabRat at September 15, 2004 at 09:11 AM

Can anyone explain this to me? The article mentions AK-47s and Uzis as being among the guns being un-banned, but surely these are both fully automatic? Or are there semi-automatic versions of both guns which have just been unbanned? Are there _any_ fully automatic guns you can buy?

Posted by: Jorge at September 15, 2004 at 09:26 AM


Soda, nose, keyboard, etc. Well done!

Posted by: Dave S. at September 15, 2004 at 09:56 AM


Working from memory here, but I believe it works like this: newly-manufactured fully-automatic weapons cannot be sold in the US (older, different law than the AWB). Those already in the market can be sold between Class III license holders (most states allow people to hold Class III licenses, many do not.) To get a Class III license you basically have to show that you're a responsible, mentally-sound person with no criminal record, and you have to pay a $200 tax on each weapon you buy. Every year a bunch of Class III holders have a big shoot here in Maine (they blew up a car with an anti-tank cannon once.)

Fixed-stock semi-auto AK's have been freely bought and sold during the ban after having their bayonet lugs removed.

Not sure why the semi-auto, 16" barrel Uzi went off the market - presumably the manufacturer could have replaced the deadly-evil folding stock with a fixed stock. Perhaps it was one of the 19 specifically-banned guns I've heard mentioned (though why you would ban a puny 9mm carbine but not a 7.62 rifle is odd - then gain, the whole damn law was illogical.)

The owner of the Dillon reloading company in Arizona has a 20mm cannon in his military-surplus jet. He calls up the local law to give them a head's up when he's going strafing in the desert. That's got nothing to do with this discusiion, it's just one of those things that makes me happy to be an American. ;-)

Posted by: Dave S. at September 15, 2004 at 10:14 AM

There you see a citizen, not a subject!

Yes, you can buy a fully automatic weapon in most states of the US. It requires a local and Federal background investigation, fingerprints and photo, and $200 for the stamp on the permit.

There's a cut-off date for the date of manufacture of the firearm, but I don't remember what it is.

Semi-auto AK-47s and Uzis without the cosmetic features were not banned under the AWB, but restricted from being imported by Executive Order.

Posted by: Cowboy Blob at September 15, 2004 at 10:16 AM

I thought it was Ralph Nader- maybe he finally flipped and was off on a three-state killing spree.

Posted by: Habib at September 15, 2004 at 11:33 AM

The Class III registry was frozen back in the 80s- 86, I think. Individuals haven't been allowed to purchase newly-manufactured machine guns since then, but the ones already in private hands could be bought and sold by people with a Class III license, subject to a $200 transfer tax.

Posted by: rosignol at September 15, 2004 at 11:34 AM

Hmm. Nader on a three-state killing spree. Good film. The G-men close in on him in New Orleans, and the final reel has him running wild-eyed along the levee of Lake Ponchartrain during the hurricane.

Posted by: Donnah at September 15, 2004 at 12:05 PM

Check out Bill Schorr's cartoon on this page for a cartoon on the benefits of the ban expiry.

/don't take this post seriously

Posted by: Andjam at September 15, 2004 at 12:07 PM

You got that wrong, Donnah. The G-men get him in his car in a field, with lots of slow motion close-ups of the car being shot up, Fay Dunnaway's head jerking back from the impact of the bullets, Ralph sprawled dead across the wheel, and then the awful silence after the shooting stops.

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 15, 2004 at 12:45 PM

Hey I didn't sign a release for that photograph! How dare they run it! After all I'm Canadian. Well almost....

Posted by: jimcee at September 15, 2004 at 12:54 PM

Donnah, even worse than a hurricane, more dangerous than facing G-Men with submachine guns, he drives off into the sunset in a Corvair.

N. O'Brain
Imperial Minister for Useless Information

Posted by: N. O'Brain at September 15, 2004 at 01:23 PM

To nail Nader in a car, it's have to be one of these; the G-Men wouldn't need to bring any heavy ordnance- a BB would do the job. (And be much slower).

Posted by: Habib at September 15, 2004 at 01:32 PM

Apparently the freaks at MoveOn have released a dreadfully misleading ad that conflates fully-automatic weapons with weapons covered under the AWB. It has a segment where it shows an AK-47 and states that it can fire '300 rounds per minute'. Now this is kinda-sorta true, in the sense that a drag racer can go 300 miles per hour. He just can't do it for an hour. One assumes they are talking cyclic rate. In which case, they look like even bigger dickheads than before. The cyclic rate on an AK-47 is more like 600 rounds per minute. If you modified an AK to have some kind of belt or really, really big drum attached to it, you could crank out 600 rounds in a minute. Then you could throw it away, because infantry small arms like this would have their barrels destroyed during the test (actually, if you tried this the thing would probably jam halfway during the test).

I suppose under test conditions, with a bench full of loaded mags and a bunch of practice, you maybe - maybe - could get 300 rounds out of an AK in a minute (three seconds to unload a 30-round box at 600 rpm, three to reload), but you wouldn't do it lightly (you would probably irretrievably damage your weapon, which as a federally licensed full-auto gun would have required you to pay tax of $200 and satisfy a whole laundry list of conditions). At least 7.62x39 is cheap. That's still about $40-worth of ammo, though.

Posted by: David Gillies at September 15, 2004 at 02:24 PM

This pro-gun nonsense just confirms that this site is a bleating echo of US right wing sites. Since when did Australian conservatives fret about guns? Guns are rightly hated across the political spectrum, and Tim's hero Howard has done more to reduce the circulation of them than any PM

Posted by: pinko communist dope smoker at September 16, 2004 at 01:29 AM

Guns are hated by people afraid of inanimate objects. You're right, there are some of these all across the political spectrum. Otherwise, I think the name pretty much tells us how valid is the opinion.

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 16, 2004 at 05:10 AM