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The PJ Tatler

by
Patrick Richardson

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September 19, 2012 - 2:36 pm

Author Michael Z. Williamson, who has a new book out from Baen, When Diplomacy Fails(excerpt at the link), is an unrepentant gun nut. He’s also pretty much an expert in all things weaponish (to the point he has consulted for studios and been an expert witness in trials) and has a great piece up over at the Baen Blog about how firearms are portrayed in the media. This is particularly important right now because the current administration is going all out to try and justify increased gun control.

Here’s a particularly telling paragraph:

When the anti-gun groups, who know as much about firearms as they do about heart surgery spout off crap about how a .50 BMG rifle can take down an airliner, 60 Minutes, a notable news show dutifully reports this “Fact.” For some reason, they never report my fact that a Mustang GT can reach 900 mph and rip a hole in the ozone layer. So either they know a bit more about cars than they do about guns, or they don’t care and like the “controversy” they generate. I would never accuse them of bias and malfeasance. That would imply they are unprofessional. Also, I might get sued. In the meantime, a bunch of gun-haters would call me a conspiracy nut or a right-winger. The fact is, however, that even a large plane is a very fast moving target, almost impossible to hit with a rifle, and at worst, you’d make a half inch hole in it, which is inconvenient but not disastrous, unless by some even greater miracle you hit an engine, and even then, it would likely still make landing. Nor is there any evidence any terrorist group anywhere to date has attempted this. Bombs are so much more effective, and boxcutters so much easier to acquire and transport.

Read the whole thing, linked above. Mike knows his stuff and there’s several useful arguments in there for the next time you’re confronted with some hoplophobic idiot. Then go pick up When Diplomacy Fails. It’s great fun and well worth your dime.

Patrick Richardson has been a journalist for almost 15 years and an inveterate geek all his life. He blogs regularly at www.otherwheregazette.com, which aims to be like another SF magazine, just not so serious.
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