Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh, Please!

I was over at the Forum and noticed this link, which took me to this article. It deserves fisking. It is so wrong on so many levels.
Acting on a tip, a New Orleans police SWAT team trapped an attempted murder suspect in Algiers' Fischer public housing complex and ran into one of the most dangerous weapons on the streets: the Chinese- and Russian-made SKS rifle.
Oh, really? The SKS is a semi-automatic service rifle that shoots an intermediate power cartridge. The most dangerous weapon for police is the one you don't see.
Police arrested Anthony Thomas, 18, who is suspected of gunning down a man in April, as he was hanging out with a group in which another man was carrying the SKS.
I had heard they were looking for Thomas, but the rifle was being carried by another man. It is not illegal to carry a rifle in Louisiana. This paragraph doesn't detail why the police were interested in the rifle. Looks like NOPD is still confiscating weapons.
Equipped with a folding bayonet and armor-piercing rounds, the rifle is a cheap and highly effective weapon -- the predecessor of the AK-47 -- that can blast through engine blocks as easily as it can bones, said Louis Faust, one of nearly 20 NOPD tactical officers who arrested five people, including Thomas.
Most SKS's are sold with a folding bayonet. It is triangular in cross section. As for the "armor-piercing rounds", the Russians routinely build ammo with a mild steel core. I don't believe for a moment that the intermediate powered 7.62X39 cartridge will shoot through an engine block. It is roughly equivalent to the common .30-30 Winchester. A capable cartridge, certainly, but not something you would use to disable automobiles. The rifle is not a predecessor of the AK-47, but a competing design normally used as an export product.
The SWAT team crept into a courtyard at the complex in the 2000 block of Leboeuf Street and the men loitering, one brazenly holding the SKS, NOPD Lt. Dwayne Scheuremann said.

The team set upon the group of five, who took off running. Soon, the man with the rifle tossed it along with a stash of crack cocaine, Scheuremann said. Another man in the group ditched a .45 caliber pistol and two bundles of heroin, he said.
How does one brazenly hold a rifle? Is this just dramatic license by the media?
Faust said the steel core bullets used in an SKS strike the body then follow bone, so a bullet can "enter your shoulder and come out of your toe."
Yeah, maybe if the guy is laying on his back when you shoot him. I've never seen a bullet follow a bone, especially an armor piercing bullet (which this isn't). If it'll pierce an engine block, why wouldn't it pierce a bone?
The SKS sells for as little as $100 in the streets and is highly accurate, Faust said. And the high-caliber ammunition it uses is meant for maximum bodily damage.
More sensationalism here. The SKS isn't particularly accurate, although it is a fairly serviceable rifle. It certainly isn't any more accurate than the half-dozen hunting rifles I currently own. The ammo isn't high caliber. It is a medium caliber. I don't know what that "maximum bodily damage" comment is about.
Scheuremann said many drug dealers have returned to the Fischer complex to sell heroin, which he says has emerged as the most popular drug in that section of the city.
The police need to set up a good Neighborhood Watch program in the Fischer project, and respond immediately to complaints. There is no reason for the good citizens there to be subjected to drug dealing.

As for the hype, the SKS is a good, sturdy, reliable firearm that shoots an intermediate powered, medium caliber cartridge. It was used as an export rifle manufactured in the USSR and sold to satellite nations. It has also been produced in a number of formerly Soviet satellite states. I borrowed one a couple of years ago to hunt deer in the thickets of northwest Louisiana. It gave yeoman service there. It could certainly be used to terrorize a housing complex, but could just as easily give service as a hunting rifle. There is nothing sinister about the SKS. There is something sinister about the way this article was written. Blatant sensationalism is never in the public interest.


ben said...

I had a sks once and wish I had kept it, was russian made, fun to shoot and fairly accurate. Probably would of been more so with better sites. I know of ranchers here in west Texas who carry sometimes two or three in their truck to use as so called ranch rifles. They generally always shoot, require little maintenace and are capable of killing feral hogs at a reasonaable range which along with coyotes are their main use.

You are right, just a sensationalized anti gun presentation for the most part which did not even focus on the problem which was drugs in the housing edition.

Al said...

That takes the cake...OK. A Simonov is a fairly nice little, "If I don't have anything else-it'll do" type weapon. A "blockbuster"? Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. I was a street cop for 25 years and I amashamed of cops who send this sensational crap to news organizations to make their jobs look really terrible. The job is bad...But it isn't as bad as the stormcrows say it is. If it was as bad...or half as bad...some of these cowboys would really be scared to do the job. Suck it up NOPD. Grow up. There are real people out here reading this crap who know the truth and you're just making yourselves look silly.