, , ,

The facts are so tedious and so obvious that they scarcely merit rehearsing them any further. Every nation on the planet has the same or worse level of mental illness that we do. They all play the same video games, watch the same movies. I’m not aware of a single developed nation that does NOT forbid school prayer, so that’s not it. The only difference between the US and the rest of the world is the complete absence of meaningful gun control. That’s it. That’s why we are the only nation in the world where mass shootings are so common we can’t keep track of them all. There is nothing else to it.

And don’t kid yourselves: these two issues – guns and abortion – are directly connected. They are the core issues motivating the populist fascist movement in this country that elected the criminal Trump. Trump added three members to the court, all three of them incompetent ideological liars with fewer qualifications to sit on ANY bench than my cats. They join the grease-stain Alito, Justice Uncle Thomas, and the barely legitimate Roberts to cast a pall of this nation that will last for decades.

Alito has explicitly argued that the “well regulated militia” phrase in the 2nd Amendment is not relevant. The words ARE RIGHT THERE IN THE AMENDMENT, but they aren’t relevant? He has appealed to the legal opinion of a 17th C. buffoon who openly believed in witchcraft and denied that women had any rights at all, in order to justify his attack on abortion rights. A person might be struck by the fact that no such opinion could, under even the wildest stretch of the imagination, be construed as exercising any possible relevance to US law. Yet, this is the basis of Alito’s attack on basic human rights. Strangely, Alito applies no such criteria to his claims regarding guns. And Alito is the “intellectual” among the “conservatives” – who, let’s face it, are blatantly fascist seek to conserve nothing at all. Certainly not the Constitution, or anything like the rule of law. I show more respect to toilet paper than they’ve just shown to stare decisis.

But wandering back to the issue of guns, now that we all have to deal with toothless terrorists wandering around openly wagging their instruments of mass murder, while scratching their lard bellies pooching out from the waist of their Walmart cammos, a few words might be in place about what a 5.56 mm (.223 cal) round can do. I have literally had interactions with people so monstrously, willfully stupid as to claim this is basically no different from a .22 cal. (I’ll assume they meant long rifle as to rim fire, though I doubt they even knew such distinctions existed.) The numbers I’ll present are all readily available from Wikipedia, so I’ll skip the embedded links.

The round I used when I was in the Army weighed 55 grams and had a muzzle velocity of 3,260 feet per second. Energy is the standard formula of one half the mass times the square of the velocity, that is:

E = ½ mv2i

This translates into 1,755 Joules of force. In case you’re not sure, that’s a lot. Also, at the speed that bullet is traveling – almost 3 times the speed of sound (1,125 feet per second) – the shock wave from the bullet passing through the body is quite enough to cause organs to liquefy, even if the bullet itself nominally misses the key organs. This makes the bullet and the weapon useless for hunting, since that kind of massive organ damage ruins the meat.

There’s some variation with the .22 long rifle, but selecting the first (and most massive) option from the Wikipedia listing, you have a bullet that is 40 grams, and a muzzle velocity of 1,200 feet per second. Bearing in mind that force varies as the square of the velocity, this translates into 178 Joules of force. Which is to say about one tenth that of the AR-15 round. Now, make no mistake, you could kill a bear with a .22, provided you hit it in EXACTLY the right spot at EXACTLY the right angle. Nobody is that good (though I may have met people who were that lucky.)

In addition, the AR-15 is designed to fire quickly with very little recoil. With barely any practice at all, and provided your finger didn’t cramp up, you can easily empty a 40-round magazine in under 30 seconds. With a tad of practice, you can achieve a modest amount of accuracy at that fire rate (the recoil is, by design, very low.)

There is no imaginable universe in which a civilian can justify having that kind of massive destructive power immediately to hand. But the court has decided it is more important that your babies die cowering under a desk begging God for a mercy that will never come than that nancing psychopaths should have their ability to posture and admire themselves in front of the mirror should – even in the littlest, little way – be regulated (as the Constitution explicitly mandated.)

At Uvalde, they had to resort to genetic testing to identify the victims, because there was nothing left of their faces.

– – – – – – – – – – –

i The alert reader might notice the path here to Einstein’s formula.