A media hit peice: AK-47-Type Guns Are Turning Up in U.S. More Often

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Thread: A media hit peice: AK-47-Type Guns Are Turning Up in U.S. More Often

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    A media hit peice: AK-47-Type Guns Are Turning Up in U.S. More Often

    FOXNews.com - AK-47-Type Guns Are Turning Up in U.S. More Often - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News


    KENNER, La. — The cake had been served and the children were jumping up and down in a big, inflatable castle when the birthday party turned to bedlam.

    Clarence McGraw's jaw dropped as he saw the visitors coming, guns drawn. The screaming began.

    Children ran everywhere in the courtyard of the low-income apartment complex; adults fell to the ground. Bullets flew. The killers wounded three youngsters, but for reasons police can't explain, it was 19-year-old McGraw they were after.

    As McGraw lay in the center of the green square, the gunmen stood over him and fired again. He was shot 15 to 20 times in all.

    The Sept. 15 killing was remarkable in that it took place in the most innocent of settings — the fifth birthday of twin boys. But it was unremarkable in that one of the guns brandished was an AK-47-type rifle — a powerful, rapid-fire weapon that has long been used in Third World conflicts but is increasingly being used in American street fights.

    Figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests, show a marked increase in the number of AK-type weapons traced and entered into the agency's computer database because they had been seized or connected to a crime.

    The number of such tracings rose even while the federal assault weapons ban was in effect and has continued to climb since its expiration.

    Since 1993, the year before the ban took affect, ATF has recorded a more than sevenfold increase in 7.62x39mm guns — which includes the original Russian-made AK-47 and a variety of copycats from around the world. The number of AK-type guns rose from 1,140 in 1993 to 8,547 last year.

    Since 2005, the first full year after the ban's expiration, ATF has recorded an 11 percent increase in such tracings.

    ATF says the increases in the first half of the 1990s are partly the result of wider usage of its weapons database by local law enforcement agencies. But after that point, the numbers reflect a real increase in tracings of AK-type guns, the agency acknowledged.

    The numbers corroborate what police chiefs around the country have been saying: AKs and other so-called assault weapons are terrorizing their communities and endangering their officers.

    The numbers are reflected in some of the most horrifying violence of the past year, including a deadly shooting rampage at a department store in Omaha, Neb.

    They're reflected in the growing number of police forces equipping their officers with higher-powered guns to match the bad guys' firepower.

    And they're reflected in a single 72-hour period in September that started with the shooting of four Miami-area officers and ended here, in a drab apartment complex just outside New Orleans.

    ———

    On Thursday, Sept. 13, Jose Somohano, a 37-year-old officer with the Miami-Dade Police, was cut down during a traffic stop in suburban Miami by a man with an AK-type weapon. Three other officers — armed, like Somohano, with just handguns — were wounded, one of them suffering a bullet wound the size of a grapefruit in her leg.

    By midnight, the gunman, Shawn LaBeet, had been shot to death by police after a huge manhunt.

    Police have refused to say how many times Somohano was hit or how many shell casings were found.

    The officer's wife, Elizabeth Somohano, had gone off to her job at an insurance company earlier that day, and just before noon, Jose's sister reached her at the office. "Have you heard?" she asked. Something was going on in the area Jose patrolled.

    Elizabeth called his cell. She text-messaged him, over and over. She called her kids to see if they had heard from him. She checked the Internet to find out what was happening, and learned that officers had been shot and a gunman was on the loose.

    A colleague of Jose's — one of his closest friends — called Elizabeth and told her to stay put. He showed up at her office, and when their eyes met, he broke into tears.

    "He didn't make it," he told her. She screamed.

    Later, she took some comfort in knowing that her husband had eaten lunch that day, which meant he must have seen the hot-pink note she had slipped into his lunch bag along with his chicken salad-on-pita sandwich: "I love you, macho man."

    Days before the ambush, Miami Police Chief John Timoney agreed to let patrol officers carry assault rifles to help counter the use of such weapons by criminals. John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, pleaded for the same for officers in the Miami-Dade department, which protects more than 1.4 million people around the city.

    "It's almost like we have water pistols," he said.

    For years, only SWAT teams and the like carried AR-15s or similarly powerful weapons. But police forces nationwide have increased their firepower to match the criminals' arsenal — not only in urban areas such as Miami and Los Angeles, but in Waterloo, Iowa, Stillwater, Okla., Danbury, Conn., and Merced, Calif.

    "We're in an arms race," said Police Chief Scott Knight of Chaska, Minn., chairman of the firearms committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

    ———

    On Friday, Sept. 14, along the Tigris River outside Baghdad, an alleged Shiite extremist linked to roadside bombings was taken into custody with his AK-47s and grenades. In Afghanistan, in villages south of Kabul, troops arrested three suspected Taliban militants and confiscated their weapons, including their AKs. And in Sydney, Australia, a former soldier pleaded guilty to gunning down a photographer with an AK in a contract killing.

    With AK-47-type guns used in wars and insurrections all over the world, some 250,000 people are said to be killed by such weapons each year, and more than 75 million are believed to be in existence. In Iraq alone, congressional investigators estimate 110,000 AKs bought by the U.S. for security forces there cannot be accounted for.

    The AK was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and went into production in 1947, with its name standing for Avtomat Kalashnikova and the year.

    "Once the Wall fell, these guns were everywhere," said Carlos Baixauli, an agent with ATF.

    Kalashnikov, who is now 88 and still lives in Russia, has said he is proud of his invention but saddened it's been used by terrorists. He said he wishes he had invented something like a lawnmower.

    Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.

    Knockoffs of the AK can be bought from legitimate gun dealers for as little as $300, and are also available on the street. Original Russian-made models are more expensive. Normal ammo clips hold 30 rounds, but higher-capacity ones are also available.

    Most of the AKs on American streets are semiautomatic, meaning they fire as fast as the gunman can squeeze the trigger. Fully automatic ones, common on the battlefield, require just one pull of the trigger to release a burst of fire.

    A 2004 study by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence concluded the U.S. ban on AKs and other guns was successful, saying in the five years before its passage, assault weapons made up 4.82 percent of ATF crime gun traces, compared with 1.61 percent between 1995 and 2003.

    Many politicians, police chiefs and gun control advocates point to the expiration of the assault weapons ban as a reason for the spread of the guns. But many others argue the law was so riddled with loopholes that it had little effect.

    The National Rifle Association says the focus must be getting criminals off the streets, not more legislation.

    "The basic reason why gun control laws fail is that they require the cooperation of a very unlikely source, and that is criminals," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "Each time you pass a gun control law, the only people that are going to be affected by that law, the only people that are going to follow that law are law-abiding Americans."

    ———

    On Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Glenwood Apartments in Kenner, Trinioucka Martin rose early and cooked all morning for her twin boys' birthday party — meatballs, fried chicken, baked macaroni, sandwiches. She had already ordered a cake with the youngsters' picture on it, hired a DJ, and rented the inflatable castle and house.

    McGraw woke up at his aunt's house across a highway from the apartment complex and had a hankering for something sweet. He wanted some cake.

    At the party, after the crowd had dispersed and the officers arrived, McGraw lay dead on the ground near a sewer grate, his torso and lower body riddled with bullet wounds. Balloons still floated from ribbon; the "Happy Birthday" banner still hung.

    No arrests have been made. McGraw was buried in a $450 grave against a chain-link fence in a crumbling New Orleans cemetery. The mound of dirt above his casket is littered with rocks and bone fragments and teeth. There was no money for a marker.
    we could be seeing another AWB if things go the wrong way in november. the media is organized and pumping out the propaganda.
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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    yeah, that's right, we've got'em you media people!
    I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.

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    ATF says the increases in the first half of the 1990s are partly the result of wider usage of its weapons database by local law enforcement agencies. But after that point, the numbers reflect a real increase in tracings of AK-type guns, the agency acknowledged.

    Mind you now that for some reason your supposed to equate "tracings" with "Criminal use" I guess... or at least thats what they intended for you to misread into this story

    Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.

    I think that just destroys any credibility they tried to attain...

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    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    ATF says the increases in the first half of the 1990s are partly the result of wider usage of its weapons database by local law enforcement agencies. But after that point, the numbers reflect a real increase in tracings of AK-type guns, the agency acknowledged.

    Mind you now that for some reason your supposed to equate "tracings" with "Criminal use" I guess... or at least thats what they intended for you to misread into this story

    Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.

    I think that just destroys any credibility they tried to attain...
    You said it.

    In the early days of Vietnam, some Americans complained the M-16 tumble rounds were "inhumane". The media stoked this? They were banned from use.

    Excuse me, but in a fire fight, the object is to send your enemy to the next world, right?

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    The number of such tracings rose even while the federal assault weapons ban was in effect and has continued to climb since its expiration.
    In other words, gun laws have no effect on criminals.
    NRA Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.

    I think that just destroys any credibility they tried to attain... [emphasis added]
    Only with those people who know better, unfortunately. My wife has said for years that, the more you know about a given topic that the media covers, the more you realize said media likely do not know any topic deeper than a surface scratch. The vast majority are specialists at looking good while they talk to a camera...nothing more.

    For many of those who do not know better, however, the media speaks the one and only truth.
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    LOL - When the 'ban' was about to expire the Brady Campaign sent out flyers which said "Assault Rifles - Coming to your neighborhood this summer"

    Sure enough, they were right. That summer an AR15 found a new home in my residence

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    Senior Member Array 762's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmac58 View Post
    You said it.

    In the early days of Vietnam, some Americans complained the M-16 tumble rounds were "inhumane". The media stoked this? They were banned from use.

    Excuse me, but in a fire fight, the object is to send your enemy to the next world, right?
    not in today's world. we are to be nice to the enemy. this is partially the reason why we are still in Iraq -

    if our military did what it was trained to do instead of the politicians playing pattycake, we would be done there....i digress though
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    Quote Originally Posted by lance22 View Post
    LOL - When the 'ban' was about to expire the Brady Campaign sent out flyers which said "Assault Rifles - Coming to your neighborhood this summer"

    Sure enough, they were right. That summer an AR15 found a new home in my residence
    the term "assault rifle" was conjured up by the anti's and the media. there is really no such thing as an assault rifle. I almost slapped a guy in bass pro shops when i asked him if they sold parts for AK's - he said "no, we dont carry assault rifles"
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    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    My wife has said for years that, the more you know about a given topic that the media covers, the more you realize said media likely do not know any topic deeper than a surface scratch.
    I agree with your wife.

    A technique I use with many people while arguing with them about what is in the news is to ask them if they have ever read an article in the paper on a subject they knew well, and how accurate was the article. They usually look very thoughtful and wander off, thinking on the subject.

    That does not work with people who ignore the news papers, but get their opinions from the people they talk and argue with, as most of them don't even know what originates in a biased opinion piece.

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    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    An Ak-47 type rifle, that would be the type that uses bullets right?

    Whatever happened to the good old days of sawed off shotguns and blunderbusses?

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    well... let's point out first how many people are killed or assaulted with kitchen knives.... and take them away too... because obviously they are too dangerous for people to own.

    Blame the user, not the object.

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    Senior Member Array bluelineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    well... let's point out first how many people are killed or assaulted with kitchen knives.... and take them away too... because obviously they are too dangerous for people to own.

    Blame the user, not the object.
    'Epidemic' of knife attacks strikes fear in Britain

    Updated Sat. Jul. 12 2008 5:36 PM ET

    CTV.ca News Staff

    An "epidemic" of high-profile knife attacks involving youth in the U.K. has police and government authorities perplexed as to the cause -- and what can be done.

    The statistics seem grim as 20 teenagers have died violently in London alone this year, with knives often being involved.

    And in one 24-hour period this week, five people were killed nationwide after being stabbed with a knife.

    London police have launched anti-knife blitzes in certain parts of the city, but most offenders only face fines. Critics are saying that the U.K., home to some of the world's toughest gun laws, needs tough new knife laws.

    "We have to be sure that when people are found with a dangerous offensive weapon like a knife, they'll get a proper punishment," London Mayor Boris Johnson said.

    The death rate from knife crimes is nearly double what it was at this time last year and hospitals say the number of children under 16-year-old being treated for stab wounds is up nearly two thirds.

    But the government notes that violent crime is at its lowest level in two decades.

    London's police are taking the attacks seriously,even going so far to say that knife crime has become an even greater threat than terrorism.

    Famous face involved

    The sister of one of the latest stabbing victims is campaigning to help get knives off the street.

    "The more people we can get to jump on board, to help us and campaign, surely one day, it's going to stop," Brooke Kinsella, 24, said.

    Kinsella, an actress on the popular soap "Eastenders," became the face of the anti-knife campaign when her 16-year-old brother was stabbed to death in late June.

    Two 16-year-olds have been arrested in connection with the murder.

    Knife culture

    Many of the youngsters involved in the killings had knives in order to protect themselves, they say.

    It's not an entirely new phenomenon in the U.K. either. In the 1950s the so-called "Teddy Boys" were well-known for their use of switchblades and flick knives.

    The teen rebels, from the rough parts of London, became known for their use of random violence and Edwardian dress, and were an inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange".

    Football hooligans have long been associated with the use of knives or other everyday objects such as cricket bats in street battles.

    With a report from CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy

    CTV.ca | 'Epidemic' of knife attacks strikes fear in Britain

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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    I saw a statistic somewhere that GM vehicles are the most common used in drive-by shootings. We should outlaw the sale and possession of these vehicles and require all registered owners to turn them in without compensation.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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