But you can numb it with a 2×4.
So this happened:
So let’s take this point by point.
First, allowing people to sue gun manufacturers for the misuse of their product does little more than open the door to an endless series of frivolous lawsuits against functionally any product. You can make the argument that guns exist in a unique category because they’re designed specifically to kill things, but so are swords, and from swords we get to knives, and from knives we get to cars, and from cars there is literally no limit to what you’d be able to sue for.
Yes, that’s a slippery slope argument, but slippery slopes are shockingly common when you start talking legal precedent. When the fundamental argument of a law is that you can hold the manufacturer of a good responsible for the misuse of said good, that slope isn’t slippery, it’s practically vertical.
Second, “guns that metal detectors cannot sense”. I admit, they do exist. A handful of 3d printed handguns have been made that could probably be snuck through a metal detector. Of course, those are single-shot weapons, and rely on relatively low-sensitivity metal detectors, because bullets and bullet casings are made of metal, not to mention the difficulty of making a non-metallic firing pin.
This is literally the sort of fear-mongering that comes out of Hollywood literally making things up for the sake of the story. I recall Die Hard II having someone mention the concept of a ceramic gun, but to date nobody has ever actually built one.
And again, bullets and bullet casings have metal casings, so even if you found yourself someone with the engineering and industrial know-how to create a genuine plastic-frame ceramic-barreled gun, they’d also have to invent an entirely new variety of ammunition, itself invisible to metal detectors, for this law to have the slightest effect on actual safety.
The absolute worst part of this entire part of his “plan” is that it requires a draconian level of control handed over the government. Quite literally, if you wanted to actually enforce a law like this and have it be effective at its goal, it would require anyone with a sufficiently capable 3d printer to submit to constant government surveillance, because you’d have to stop them from printing such a weapon rather than punish them for doing so. Anything less and the law is irrelevant, which it would be, because criminals don’t follow the law.
Third, the idea of putting a ballistic fingerprint on every gun sold. It would be… possible to create such a database. Probably fairly expensive, of course, and most of the cost of maintaining such a database would fall on the taxpayer rather than the gun manufacturer, but again, it’s something you could do.
Of course, there’s the little problem that it doesn’t work very well.
The fact of the matter is that an awful lot of forensic techniques aren’t especially reliable, and “ballistic fingerprinting” is one of them. The marks left on a cartridge and bullet left by a given gun aren’t like human fingerprints, they’re more like the tire treads on a car; they change over time and circumstances, and what matches a gun on the day of its manufacture will likely have limited resemblance to the same gun after a few hundred rounds.
Of course, you could try and put some “clever” techniques like having the firing pin impress some unique numeral on the primer, but that wouldn’t stop any crimes because the first thing a criminal would do would be to file the numbers off the pin. Putting marks on the bullets is basically impossible in any real sense, so this is, simply put, just a dumb idea and a colossal waste of money.
Fourth, the banning of M855 and hollow-point ammunition. Banning M855 and variants thereof has been tried before, but the legal precedent used in the attempt was… sketchy at best. Specifically, the argument was that M855 was classified as “armor piercing ammunition” (note: it is not) and that since you could make a pistol capable of firing 5.56 NATO ammunition, it could therefore be classified as a pistol round, which were the only rounds where armor-piercing (classified under extremely broad categories) was illegal.
The thing is, functionally every rifle round is “armor-piercing” if the standard you set is “can pierce standard police body armor”. Rifles just fire more powerful cartridges than pistols, and while there are forms of body armor that can stop a few rifle rounds (such as that used by the military), it’s generally sufficiently heavy that no police department feels its worth their time to issue to officers outside of maybe SWAT teams.
And there’s a good reason for that.
Reason specifically being that rifles are hardly ever used to commit crimes, so having your officers carry around an extra ten to fifteen pounds of armor that generally costs a couple thousand dollars extra seems like a waste of department resources when the chances of that officer finding themselves in a situation where such a vest might save their life is extremely slim.
The other problem with the logic of “well, if you can fire it from a pistol, it’s a pistol round” is that you can fire damned near anything from a pistol, assuming you’ve got the wrists and pain tolerance for it.
Yes, that was a video of a man firing a .50 BMG round out of what is technically a handgun. That’s a round that delivers about eight times the energy of 5.56 NATO. Forget shooting through your vest, this is technically classified as an anti-materiel round. You can kill cars with it.
But hey, you can find someone willing to make a handgun to fire almost anything on a bet, so by the logic of Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, that makes it a pistol round.
And you wonder why I talk about slippery slopes.
Now. Hollow-point ammunition.
He wants to ban hollow-points.
At this point I feel like I’ve been hit by a 2×4, but let’s continue.
I’m not sure what his logic here is, given that hollow-point ammunition is used in many cases specifically to increase the safety of bystanders. It reduces the chance of overpenetration (shooting through the target) and ricochets (missing the target and then having the largely-intact bullet bounce off of another surface to hit someone else) and if you feel like I’m being pedantic in explaining what are two relatively common terms it’s because I feel like I have to when discussing something as stupid as banning hollow-points.
“But they’re more likely to kill than wound!”
Debatable, but logically sound, given that a hollow-point bullet tends to leave a larger wound channel, and as such potentially more bleeding. Others would argue that the hydrostatic shock effect is greater, but people can’t even agree that that exists, especially in handgun ammunition.
Also irrelevant, since the point of shooting something is to kill it. “Shooting to wound” is a good way to get dead, and best left to the professionals. Who, I might add, generally don’t do any such thing aside from the occasional SWAT sniper, for the exact same reason.
Whatever extra lethality granted to the hollow-point bullet is far outweighed by the increased likelihood that the thing you’re shooting at is the only thing you’re going to kill. That’s why the police use them.