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Josh Horwitz on “Sniper Weapons”

Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership, seems to think lethality and accuracy are undesirable qualities in a firearm, and sure does with the manufacturers would concentrate on safety. I asked Bitter what she thought about that kind of argument, as someone who has a degree in public relations. The notion of gun safety has always given me a chuckle, because guns are supposed to be dangerous. They have to be dangerous to serve their core function. Bitter thinks there can be some contexts the “gun safety” message can resonate with people, but agrees Horwitz’s context is pretty weak.

I also like the use of the Romney signs as backing material. They are probably more useful in that role than they were as campaign material, and this may be the best thing Romney has done in his career to help gun owners. Waste not want not.

6 Responses to “Josh Horwitz on “Sniper Weapons””

  1. asdf says:

    I’m pretty sure $27,500 worth of training and practice would turn anybody into a sniper anyhow, even with a regular old deer rifle.

  2. Alpheus says:

    Asdf beat me to the punch. I first read about this rifle on a technology website (perhaps Gizmodo?), and several commenters pointed out that with $5,000, you could get a decent rifle with a good scope, and then train with that rifle for a bit, to make 1,000 yard shots.

    To me, 1,000 yards seems like a long way away. I had to make the conversion into miles in order to fully appreciate how far it is: it’s about .58 of a mile. It is my understanding that target shooters will sometimes shoot 1-mile shots. It’s a challenge to do so, but it’s not out of reach of anyone determined to do it!

    I suspect that the people who go for the $27k technology do so because they don’t want to put the time into learning to shoot well, or have the money to buy flashy eye-candy gadgets, or both. As for myself, I don’t have that kind of money, so I’m going to be satisfied with iron sights and maybe a scope–and if I *did* have that kind of money, I’d look into getting night-vision.

    A final thought: if I remember correctly, the guy who created this rifle wanted to market it to the military, but the military wasn’t all that interested in the system. I suspect that military types would be worried about a major component failing when you needed it the most….

  3. Alpheus says:

    Also, concerning safety: Horowitz mentioned a four-year-old who was killed by his father’s gun, whose father was a police officer. What kind of innovation does Horowitz have in mind, that would have prevented this accident, that’s also viable technology? (Yeah, I know: finger print technology, safety locks, yada yada; never mind that much of this is either unviable, or easily overwhelmed even by four-year-olds, or both.)

    Indeed, safety locks can result in *more* deaths, much in the same way that “safety caps” on medicine have led to more infant poisonings, because parents don’t keep their medicines out of the reach of children, erroneously thinking that medicine caps will always keep children from having access to the medicine.

    C’mon, this is the 21st Century: We’ve had both Jeff Cooper’s and Eddie Eagle’s rules for decades; if we want gun safety, the *only* way we’re going to get it is by gun safety awareness.

    Several months ago I learned of a young woman at MIT who was strangled when her hair got caught in her lathe in the engineer’s machining shop. As horrible as I felt about the accident, and as much as I mourned that young woman’s loss of life, I couldn’t help but think that, if only she kept to the safety rules, she’d be alive today, happily working on her mechanical engineering degree! When I learned a bit of machining, I learned to not have *anything* that can get caught in a lathe. The lathe can literally tear you in two!

    And *anything* included loose clothing, loose hair, long sleeves (beyond the elbow), watches, rings, even untucked shirts, if I remember correctly. My instructor told us that coming home alive to your wife is a more sentimental thing you can give her, than keeping your ring on your finger to show your love for her.

    So it is with gun safety. A gun is meant to be dangerous; it’s probably not as dangerous as a lathe in some ways, but it’s something nonetheless known to be lethal. We have rules to keep safe, and we violate them to our peril.

  4. Matt R. says:

    I agree with what Alpheus is saying.

    Th greatest safety device for any mechanical device, whether it is a 250 HP Assault Minivan, a 5 HP Tactical Lathe, or a .223 caliber hunting rifle is still the computer between your ears. Plain and simple.

    I am not sure why the gun controllers have this ‘lethality; argument. I was always taught that every single round of ammunition, from .22LR all the way up to .50BMG had the same killing capacity: 1. It would appear, from their point of view, that there are varying degrees of safety that are required, depending on the type of firearm. They are wrong.

    Most machines are dangerous in some fashion and require proper safety measures.

  5. Matt says:

    I love the way anti-gun people also subtly play the “lethality and skill” arguments breathlessly. “OMG, a rifle any untrained person can use to hit something at 1000 yards! Something must be done to keep such power away from unprofessionals!”.

    Josh needs to visit a Cabelas or Gander Mountain sometime. For a few hundred dollars, he can walk out with a Remington 700 or Model 70 capable of the same thing with practice. That’s all it takes. A little money, time and practice.

    Why spend $27.5K when $1500 will give you the same amount of fun in a basic F-Class rig? That’s what mine cost including the rifle, glass, bipod, stock, chrono and 250 rounds of match grade .308 to get started. This year. It’ll be a few years before I’ll need to modify the gun because it can outshoot me.

    Hell, once anyone can learn to read the wind and squeeze the trigger, shots on target is straightforward. Then you group.

    I wonder how long before one of them figures out simply physics and begins to understand my AR-15 is not the threat my .303 Enfield is? Then how will they defend “but you can keep your hunting rifles, not those dangerous AW black scary super-lethal shooty people guns” argument?

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