Shootin’ Her Mouth Off

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette told a senior citizen at a public forum on national gun control legislation hosted by the Denver Post on Tuesday, that if more than one bad guy entered his house that he wouldn’t have to worry about having limited magazine capacity because, she replied, “The good news for you live in Denver.  The DPD would be there within minutes.  And you’d probably be dead anyway, if they had that kind of firepower.”

Asked how a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds would be effective in reducing gun violence, DeGette said:

“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.”

Shootin’ yer mouth off, especially in the Mountain State, is tantamount to shootin’ yerself in the foot, Congresswoman-Lady.  You might want to think about studying the subject of guns and ammunition before you go shootin’ your mouth again with ignorant misinformation about guns.


Congresswoman DeGette could go to the National Rifle Association website for more information.  There’s also The Firearms Dictionary, listing all the terms used in intelligent discussions about firearms.


Here are some of the most pertinent, basic definitions:


Action – The receiver of a gun containing the breech-locking and firing mechanism. The serially-numbered, legal soul of a firearm.


Ammunition belt or belt –  a device used to retain and feed cartridges into a firearm. Belts and the associated feed systems are typically employed to feed machine guns or other automatic weapons. Belt-fed systems minimize the proportional weight of the ammunition to the feeding device along with allowing high rates of continuous fire.

Automatic [Action] – A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, cycles the action to eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine, to cock the mainspring and to fire again. Such a firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held back, until the magazine is empty. A machine gun.  A firearm thus activated, but which shoots only one bullet with each separate pull of the trigger, while often erroneously referred to as “automatic” is more properly termed Semi-Automatic.

Bandolier – a pocketed belt for holding ammunition. It was usually slung over the chest. In its original form, it was common issue to soldiers from the 16th to 18th centuries. This was very useful for quickly reloading a musket.  A somewhat different form of the bandolier came into use in the 20th century when it accompanied modern cartridges and hand grenades. Bandoliers are now rare due to the prohibitive size of modern magzines. They are, however, still commonly used with shotguns, as individual 12 gauge shells can easily be stored in traditionally-designed bandoliers. In fact, some aftermarket shotgun slings are designed in a similar fashion to bandoliers, albeit with a far more limited capacity than true bandoliers.  The bandolier was used to keep ammunition off a soldier’s hips, as carrying too much weight on the hips can constrain movement and cause difficulty in retrieving the ammunition.

Bullet – A single projectile fired from a gun, or more commonly a rifle; either loaded from the muzzle or loaded into a cartridge which in turn is loaded into the breech of a firearm. 


Breech – The end of a barrel into which a cartridge is inserted.


Cartridge – In its definition valid from circa 1870 to the present:  a small usually cylindrical packet, containing a detonating primer, a powder charge, a load—either a single projectile for a rifle or a quantity of small pellets for a shotgun—and possibly some attendant wadding. The cartridge is placed into the breech of a firearm, comprising all required consumables for the firing of the weapon. 


Cartridge Trap – A compartment built into the buttstock of a long gun, usually with a hinged cover, in which are drilled holes deep enough to hold several spare cartridges of the type suitable for use in the specific gun.


Machine Gun – a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire bullets in quick succession from an ammunition belt or magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute.

Machine guns are generally categorized as submachine guns, machine guns, or autocannons. Submachine guns are hand-held small portable automatic weapons for personal defense or short-range combat firing pistol-caliber rounds. A machine gun is often portable to a certain degree, but is generally used when attached to a mount or fired from the ground on a bipod, and generally fires a rifle cartridge. Light machine guns are small enough to be fired and are hand-held like a rifle, but are more effective when fired from a prone position. The difference between machine guns and autocannons is based on caliber, with autocannons using calibers larger than 16 mm.[1]

Magazine – A spring-operated reservoir for cartridges for a repeating firearm; often removable


NRA – National Rifle Association – Since 1871, promoter of firearms knowledge, marksmanship and safety. Defender of our right to own and to use firearms. Everyone with an interest in guns, and in freedom should be a member.


Pistol – A short-barreled firearm, often concealable, normally held and discharged in one hand. In today’s vernacular, especially a semi-automatic, repeating handgun—as opposed to a revolver. But, the term can actually mean any one-hand-held firearm: matchlock, flintlock, percussion or the latest technology from Heckler&Koch.


Proof – The test-firing of a gun with an extra-heavy load, at an official establishment, to verify the safety of a gun, which is then marked with formal stamps showing, among other things, the loads for which it is intended.  Proof date code table.  Most civilized countries have proof houses, run either by the government or by the trade association under the auspices of the government. In these countries, every new gun must pass proof before it is sold. The United States, the most litigious country in the world, has no proof house. Perhaps for these reasons, American shotguns are often built heavier and sturdier than their European counterparts. In the UK, any gun with internal bore measurements in excess of .010 inches larger than that for which it was proofed is out of proof—and illegal to sell. 

Recoil – The tendency of a firearm when fired to move backwards, and a little upwards as a reaction to the force of the projectile moving down the barrel. As Newton says, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The mass of the firearm provides some inertia to counteract the momentum of recoil. What remains is absorbed by at the shoulder or the hand. The heavier the gun, the less the recoil. The more powerful the cartridge, the more the recoil.

Revolver – A firearm (normally a handgun) with a multiple-chambered cylinder which rotates incrementally to bring each successive loaded chamber into battery. 

Rifle – A shoulder-mounted firearm, having a series of spiral grooves (rifling) cut inside the barrel that impart a rapid spin to the single projectile, gyroscopically stabilizing it in flight for greatly improved accuracy over that of a smoothbore gun.

Safety – A device, incorporated into the design of most firearms actions that, when engaged, should prevent the discharge of the firearm. Some safeties are more positive than others. A safety device is not a perfect substitute for the general principles of responsible gun handling. Never point a gun in a direction you do not intend to shoot

Saturday Night Special – pejorative slang for any inexpensive handgun. Saturday night specials have been defined as compact, inexpensive, small-caliber handguns with perceived low quality; however, there is no official definition of “Saturday night special” under federal law, though some states define “Saturday Night Special” or “Junk Guns” by means of composition or materials strength. Low cost and high availability make these weapons attractive to many buyers despite their shortcomings.  The Gun Control Act of 1968 banned the importation and manufacture of many Saturday-night specials made and sold in prior years, most notable a large number of revolvers made by Röhm (RG).  A notable feature of a SNS was its lack of registration numbers, which meant the gun couldn’t be traced.

Semi-Automatic [Action] – A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, cycles the action to eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine and to cock the mainspring, placing the gun in position for another shot with nothing more needing to be done than to provide another pull on the trigger. Autoloader.  Often erroneously referred to as automatic—but automatic actually refers to a machine gun.  The Colt Model 1911 pistol and the Browning Auto-5 are semi-automatic designs.


Shotgun – A shoulder-mounted firearm with one or two (or very occasionally more) smoothbore barrels through which is fired a charge of a small handful of tiny pellets, usually at flying birds or other moving targets.


Single Action – An action type, typical on handguns, where the hammer must be cocked manually prior to each shot (if it be a revolver) or prior to the first shot with an already loaded chamber and de-cocked hammer (if it be a semi-automatic)


Skeet Gun – A double-barrel shotgun with relatively short barrels and relatively open chokes, used for the game of Skeet, which requires crossing shots at clay pigeons at relatively close range that can travel with high angular velocity. A skeet gun is normally heavier than a field gun because one shoots a lot but walks only a little. Two barrels are required because the game calls for shooting doubles—but, theoretically an infernal contraption repeater could be used.


Stock – That part of a firearm a person holds when shooting. The term normally applies to rifles and shotguns, but can also refer to the grips on a handgun. Usually made of walnut or other wood, but increasingly of fiberglass and other synthetics


Trajectory – The arc described by a projectile (or a load of shot) after it exits the muzzle of a firearm. Falling objects accelerate downwards at a rate of 32 feet per second, per second. The faster a projectile travels, the greater the distance it can cover in a given time before dropping too far. Hence, the higher the velocity of a bullet, the flatter the trajectory it will achieve.


Trigger – The small lever on a cartridge firearm, which one pulls to cause the spring-loaded firing pin to impact the primer, causing the gun to discharge. Normally, the trigger simply connects to the sear. Pulling the trigger moves the sear out of its notch, releasing the spring-loaded hammer to strike the firing pin which in turn strikes the primer; or the coilspring-loaded firing pin directly. Other, often-Germanic systems have their own miniature lockwork which, when cocked, allows an exceedingly light trigger pull to discharge the firearm—a setting that would be perilous to carry in the field.


Nature-lovers like myself cringe at the thought of shooting some poor rabbit, squirrel, or duck.  Facing a raging bear makes you think:  “Well, if it’s between the bear or me…”  Seeing a mountain lion stalking your dog or, God-forbid, your child, also gives one pause, depending on whether you’re in your territory or the mountain lion’s.


As much as I love nature, I love freedom even more.  I don’t fear the bear near my brother’s house, up in the woods, more than I fear the criminal hordes in the nearest urban city surfeiting themselves on Socialist doctrine, clamoring for the day when they can break my door down and take whatever they want, with the government’s blessing.


Seven bullets just isn’t going to do the job, not on a cunning, moving target who is also probably armed and camouflaged.  I don’t relish killing a robber anymore than I do that bear.  The difference is, the bear doesn’t know any better.  The criminal doesn’t care.


Published in: on April 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1.    This kind of stupidity takes me back to 1968 when motorcyclists like myself were being bombarded with new regulations.   Motorcycles up to than did not require motor vehicle inspections as did cars, but now they did and the bureaucrats were having a field day. Ok, proper head and tail lights and rear view mirrors made sense but SEAT BELTS?   It’s a good thing that didn’t become law but what dimwit would even imagine it? 

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