Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Don't let facts get in your way.

Just in case anyone wants the actual information about the relative power of various rifle cartridges, this is a link to a comparison chart of a wide variety of ammunition. In comparing the muzzle energy of each type of round (the mass of the bullet times its velocity) remember that the higher the number, the more powerful the round. For comparison's sake, the Soviet 7.62x39 (7.62 millimeters is about .30 caliber) round as used in the SKS and AK rifles produces a muzzle energy of 1552 pound-feet of energy. And yes, that's a lot, and yes, such a round has obvious deadly potential. But the argument often repeated in the last few days in the various local media is that this bullet is so incredibly powerful, so dangerous, so lethal, that it's inconceivable why anyone would have any use for it.

As I said Thursday, though, the argument that this cartridge is so horrendously wicked is easily refuted--that is, if any of the reporter folks actually wanted to do some research and find out something other than their preconceived ideas.

The idea that if this cartridge were somehow gone means officers would be safer is ludicrous on the face of it--look at some of the other calibers in the chart. A popular deer rifle cartridge such as the .30-30? 1902 lb.ft. of energy. The .270 Winchester? 2705 lb.ft. The .30-'06? 2913. The only other current military-type round on the chart that has LESS power than the Soviet 7.62 is none other than the .223 Remington, which is also known at the 5.56 NATO round, used in hundreds of small game rifles as well as the military M-16 and its civilian, semi-auto versions. Its energy? 1282 lb.ft.

To vilify one type of ammunition or firearm simply out of ignorance or based upon its scary appearance doesn't solve anything, nor does attempting to make them seem more deadly than they are. Any gun, no matter if it's a BB gun, can be deadly in the wrong hands. Perhaps the question needs to be asked--what sort of society is it where a man decides it's okay to kill cops?

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