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Justin King – The Fifth Column https://thefifthcolumnnews.com We write the first draft of history Wed, 07 Nov 2018 01:56:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://i2.wp.com/thefifthcolumnnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/defaultlogo-5552e4c5v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Justin King – The Fifth Column https://thefifthcolumnnews.com 32 32 126142724 The Trade War begins, how tariffs work, and what that means for you https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/07/the-trade-war-begins-how-tariffs-work-and-what-that-means-for-you/ Fri, 06 Jul 2018 14:00:00 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=44766 Trump's trade war starts and what it means to you.

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(TFC) – The opening shots of the largest trade war in history were fired this morning at midnight EST. President Trump’s tariffs went into effect.

“China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people,” said the Chinese commerce ministry. China is expected to return fire by adding tariffs to American-made products in the automotive, meat, and seafood industries. These are industries where his base voters work.

Trump has promised to retaliate against any response from the Chinese with more tariffs imposed on their products. In fact, he described possible escalation to reporters while on Air Force One.

“Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance. OK?” Trump said. “So we have 50 plus 200 plus almost 300.”

That means tariffs on $550 billion in imports. Of course, the United States only imports about $506 billion each year. While the President’s numbers may be off, his message is clear. He plans to slap a tariff on all Chinese imports. A threat that is terrifying markets worldwide. It also has consumers in the United States shaking in the boots as well, if they understand how tariffs work.

How Tariffs work:

 

China shipping

Image Source: PughPugh, Flickr, Creative Commons

The importing country taxes the exporting country at a percentage, in this case, 25%. The exporting country then must raise prices to pay for the tax. The consumer, that’s the average American, pays for the tax at the checkout counter.

 

As it stands, Americans can expect to see the prices of auto parts, industrial machinery, and medical devices increase by at least 25%. Those are the tariffs that have already gone into effect. If you don’t buy industrial machinery, you can expect to see the prices of the products made with industrial machinery increase as well.

If China and Trump follow through with their promises, Americans can expect to pay more for just about everything, as the tariffed goods will drive up costs on untariffed items. Specifically, expect an increase in the cost of computers, electronics, clothing, anything made of plastic or rubber, and furniture. Cell phones and general household goods are also going to be hit.

Analysts at financial papers are suggesting the trade war will last into next year.

Keep in mind as prices skyrocket, Trump told Americans he believed they were paid too much in 2015. 

 

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How many children will be raped due to Trump’s new policy? https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/06/how-many-children-will-be-raped-due-to-trumps-new-policy/ Tue, 12 Jun 2018 22:34:41 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=43928 Is there a number that Americans think is ok?

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(TFC) – We’ve seen the images. Children being torn from their asylum-seeking families. Kids in cages, like animals caught by the local animal control agency. It’s horrendous, it’s evil, it’s against everything America is supposed to represent, but there’s an even larger problem.

The agencies involved in this debacle are known for raping and sexually assaulting detainees. Not in isolated incidents, but by the thousands. That’s not an exaggeration. The Intercept obtained 1224 complaints about sexual abuse in ICE custody. That’s staggering, but according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), that’s only 2% of the total number of complaints.

“…officials with the DHS Office of Inspector General indicated that the office received some 33,000 complaints between 2010 and 2016 alleging a wide range of abuses in immigration detention. The OIG provided records documenting investigations for just 2 percent of the complaints it shared with The Intercept.”

33,000. What kind of abuses were mentioned? The allegations in the complaints are horrific. A male detainee was forced to perform oral sex on a male immigration officer. A woman was maced and then forced to endure a male guard pressing his erect penis into her from behind while other guards watched. Sodomy. A woman raped by a medical worker. It’s a never-ending barrage of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

Out of the 1224 complaints obtained, only 43 were investigated by the OIG. Out of the full 33,000, only 247 were investigated by the OIG. That’s less than 1%. No statement by the government on how widespread the problem is can be trusted because they simply refuse to even pretend to investigate themselves.

At an immigration center in Pennsylvania, there are handbooks for detainees. The English version clearly states there is a zero-tolerance policy in regards to sexual assault and harassment. The Spanish version? It advises women to not talk about sex so they can avoid being assaulted. In this particular facility, the only prosecuted case of sexual assault was a government employee assaulting a teenaged girl. She had fled Honduras to avoid being raped. The perpetrator was locked up for only five months.

However, that case was the exception. It was actually prosecuted, most aren’t even investigated. At a GEO Group-run facility, a female minor reported a sexual assault. A medical exam said she showed indications of vaginal scarring and a sexually transmitted disease. ICE declared the complaint “unfounded” even though there was ample physical evidence.

However, as is a trend with federal agencies, in many cases when a victim reports the crime, they are placed in solitary confinement. A tactic, immigrants rights groups say, designed to pressure the victim into withdrawing the complaint.

Remember that sexual assault is always underreported. There are tens of thousands of these cases. Children will be sexually assaulted as a result of the President’s policy of separating children from their families. It’s not a question of if children will be assaulted, but how many. A dozen? Hundreds? A thousand? How many kids are you ok with being raped? Is your fear of asylum-seekers so great that you’ll offer up children to predators like some pimp in a back alley?

 

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What anarchists are learning from the Mexican Cartels https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/05/what-anarchists-are-learning-from-the-mexican-cartels/ Mon, 14 May 2018 23:55:01 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=42848 An anarchist think tank picks up some ideas from the cartels.

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(TFC) – The Anarchist community is a unique one. United in many things, fiercely divided in others. Watching anarchists debate economic systems is enough to shake even the most ardent anarchists to the core. However, a small group of anarchists from various schools of thought has set aside the small differences to come together and advance the cause of statelessness. They are the same individuals responsible for infiltrating and destabilizing the Alt-Right. The group has no name and those associated with it simply use terms like “we”, “us”, and “the group” to describe themselves in conversation. After the success of a few recent campaigns, the group has begun analyzing various non-activist and non-anarchist organizations from around the world to find strategies that could be useful to anarchism.

A study of the Mexican Cartels created a list of five critical non-violent strategies anarchists can adopt.

Plaza: When most of America thinks of the Mexican cartels, they think of drugs. However, the cartels are also involved in gambling, extortion, immigrant smuggling, and even the oil trade. Criminal aspects aside, the diversity of the “plaza” is what piqued the interest of those analyzing it. In anarchist circles, the term “diversity of tactics” is often thrown about. The cartels apply it. The cartels realized that while some crimes would be overlooked by one group of people, they would be heavily condemned by others. Instead of attempting to please all of the people some of the time, their decentralized structure allowed one group to engage in immigrant smuggling while another ran drugs. The two groups, though loosely connected, were different organizations and therefore the actions of one didn’t reflect on the others.

In anarchist circles, groups are quick to say other groups aren’t “real anarchists” or to engage in a call-out culture in which one group openly criticizes another for bad praxis. Those who seek to cultivate a militant image will say feeding the homeless or growing organic vegetables isn’t revolutionary. The success of the cartels leads some to believe this should stop. The militant actions will draw militant anarchists while the do-gooder and self-reliant activities will draw anarchists of a different stripe. The cartels have become so successful because they have their fingers in everything. A successful anarchist movement will be the same way. It will remain decentralized so negative public relations cannot impact other groups, but groups should realize the first step to solidarity is silencing their own criticisms.

Ignore and supplant the state: Anarchists should be theoretically engaging in this anyway, however, the cartels’ ability to actually replace functions of the state gains the loyalty of those who live in the areas they operate. Massive profits allow them to fund schools, infrastructure projects, and so on. Even anarchist groups with access to money, fall far short of being able to build schools. However, they could organize community outings. They could organize on a more regular basis to help the needy. They could also apply the lessons learned from Stay Behind Organizations and infiltrate and co-opt existing non-anarchist organizations to gain access to materials.

Hold territory without holding it: Cartels exercise a great deal of influence over the communities in their areas of operations. Certain towns and cities are known to be under the control of various cartels. The cartels achieve this through violence and corruption. Anarchists can achieve this through non-violent means the same way a Special Forces A-team strives to win the “hearts and minds” of the locals. Solving problems for local citizens can generate goodwill. If those efforts are focused on a hyperlocal level, the resident will begin to see those anarchists as legitimate leaders within the community. Anarchists don’t seek to control much, certainly not territory, but having the support of a local community can help spread the belief in statelessness and help obtain resources for larger endeavors.

Transnational vision: Anarchism much like the narcotics trade is global game. The cartels network internationally. They support the actions of aligned organizations in other nations. They, pardon the phrase, act locally and think globally.

Targeted Recruitment: While much of the above is simply fine tuning, or urging action on, current theory, one particular behavior isn’t practiced by anarchists. It may prove to be the most important. The cartels don’t simply recruit those who approach them. The selectively target individuals based on their position, skill set, or influence level and recruit them. Anarchists should make a concerted effort to target high-profile individuals and recruit them. This could be simply pushing that libertarian talk show host the final steps into anarchism. It could be targeting the social media pages of celebrities and pushing anarchist theory. It could be recruiting the local fire department chief or some other respected member in a small community.

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Haspel deserves #PrisonNotPromotion https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/05/haspel-deserves-prisonnotpromotion/ Tue, 08 May 2018 14:46:37 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=42624 Trump's CIA pick ran torture site.

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(TFC) – Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee for Director of the CIA, oversaw a torture program at a black site codenamed Cat’s Eye. She took over the torture site in October of 2002. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has asked that charges be filed against her. Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union described Haspel as “quite literally a war criminal.” According to the memoirs of CIA official Jose Rodriguez, Jr., Haspel drafted a cable ordering the destruction of video evidence of the tortures in 2005. Edward Snowden suggested her promotion should be accompanied by new agency uniforms, then described Nazi SS uniforms.

The US Senate has the ability to shoot down this appointment.

It’s important to note the torture program was a failure:

“The torture techniques employed by the Bush administration after 9/11 were unreliable. They produced no actionable intelligence, disrupted no terrorist attacks, and saved no American lives.” – John Kiriakou, Former CIA

US Senators determined there was

“No evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through use of EITs. [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques]”

There is, however, ample evidence showing the torture program cost American lives. As Mathew Alexander, a former interrogator who refused to take part in the abuse, said:

 “I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.”

To summarize, the US torture program saved no American lives but was directly responsible for providing the propaganda needed to recruit the foreign fighters that inflicted half of the US casualties. 3528 US military members were killed in action in Iraq. Even if Alexander’s estimation is high and even if the foreign fighters that flocked to Iraq due to the US torture program only caused one-third of those killed in combat, the US torture program is directly responsible for the deaths of over 1100 American troops. Prior to the torture program being discovered, the insurgency was mainly made up of former Iraqi soldiers, who while more brutal than western soldiers still acted as soldiers for the most part. They adopted a guerilla strategy just as our forces would do if the US was overrun. After the discovery of the torture program, the radicalized foreign fighters that entered Iraq were more akin to those that are labeled terrorists. It is important for the reader to remember that Iraq was not involved in the September 11th attacks.

Moving past the abysmal failure of the program, let’s not forget it is illegal. The actions of anyone participating in these programs should be grounds for their immediate termination and incarceration. Have we as a country sunk so low that promoting torturers is our new norm? No Senator who votes for the confirmation of this nomination deserves reelection. As far as I’m concerned, they’re accessories after the fact.

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Four Studies: Illegal immigrants are generally law abiding https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/05/four-studies-illegal-immigrants-are-generally-law-abiding/ Fri, 04 May 2018 14:01:50 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=42470 Yeah, science!

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(TFC) – Despite what the President of the United States constantly asserts. Immigrants are not responsible for an upswing in violent crime. Four studies provide clear evidence to back that up. In fact, undocumented immigration seems to reduce violent crime stats.

University of Wisconsin criminologist, Michael Light conducted the study of data spanning from 1990 to 2014. He put it bluntly:

“Increased undocumented immigration since 1990 has not increased violent crime over that same time period.”

In the abstract of the study, the methodology is explained:

“[W]e combine newly developed estimates of the unauthorized population with multiple data sources to capture the criminal, socioeconomic, and demographic context of all 50 states and Washington, DC, from 1990 to 2014 to provide the first longitudinal analysis of the macro‐level relationship between undocumented immigration and violence. The results from fixed‐effects regression models reveal that undocumented immigration does not increase violence.”

In a separate study, he examined whether an influx of undocumented immigrants increased drug and alcohol arrests or the number of drug overdoses and DUI deaths. Again speaking very bluntly, he said:

“We found no evidence that undocumented immigration increases the prevalence of any of those outcomes.”

In yet another study, this time conducted by the Cato Institute, researchers examined Texas in particular and sought to determine whether immigrants had higher arrest and conviction rates than US natives. The study focused on homicide, sexual assault, and larceny. In every category, immigrants had lower rates than natives. In most cases, the discrepancies were huge. However, when only comparing the data for sexual assaults committed by undocumented immigrants to Native-born Americans, it was found that undocumented immigrants had a higher rate by 0.8 per 100,000. American homicide rates were 1.7 per 100,000 higher and larceny rates for native-born citizens were more than triple those of illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants lower rates across all metrics.

A fourth study suggests that youthful undocumented offenders engage in less crime. However, The Fifth Column’s analysis of the study found it relied heavily on self-reported data and therefore should be given less weight than the preceding three studies. The results of the study, regardless of methodology, echo the results from other studies.

When taken together, the results of almost 25 years of data are clear. Illegal immigrants are more law-abiding than citizens born in the United States. The only way to obtain another conclusion is to cherry pick data from a specific state, crime, abbreviated time period, or immigration status. In short, science is clear: illegal immigrants aren’t villains.

The question Americans must ask themselves faced with such data: do we really need to empty the treasury to build a wall while our bridges, roads, and other infrastructure crumbles?

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US falls again in Press Freedom; largely credited to Trump https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/04/us-falls-again-in-press-freedom-largely-credited-to-trump/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 07:16:20 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=42183 The United States has fallen again.

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(TFC) – The United States has again dropped in the Press Freedom index. The US is now ranked 45th. That’s below Chile, Namibia, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.

A Reporters Without Borders (RSF) statement pulled no punches, saying:

“More and more democratically elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion.”

It continued.

 “A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters as ‘enemies of the people,’ the term once used by (former Soviet leader) Joseph Stalin.”

The summary under the US entry on the RSF website outlines the reasons for the dismal rating.

US press freedom, enshrined in the First Amendment to the 1787 constitution, has been under increasing attack over the past few years, and the first year of President Donald J. Trump’s presidency has fostered further decline in journalists’ right to report. He has declared the press an “enemy of the American people” in a series of verbal attacks toward journalists, attempted to block White House access to multiple media outlets, and routinely uses the term “fake news” in retaliation for critical reporting. He has even called for revoking certain media outlets’ broadcasting licenses. The violent anti-press rhetoric from the highest level of the US government has been coupled with an increase in the number of press freedom violations at the local level as journalists run the risk of arrest for covering protests or simply attempting to ask public officials questions. Reporters have even been subject to physical assault while on the job. It appears the Trump effect has only amplified the disappointing press freedom climate that predated his presidency. Whistleblowers face prosecution under the Espionage Act if they leak information of public interest to the press, while there is still no federal “shield law” guaranteeing reporters’ right to protect their sources. Journalists and their devices continue to be searched at the US border, while some foreign journalists are still denied entry into the US after covering sensitive topics like Colombia’s FARC or Kurdistan.

The top ten countries are Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Jamaica, Belgium, New Zealand, Denmark, and Costa Rica.

As freedom of the press declines in the United States and more and more outlets are controlled by fewer and fewer corporate entities with ties to political powerhouses, the average American must begin to accept news they don’t like without calling it “fake news” simply on the basis of it contradicting their preconceived worldview.

 

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Why are fathers posting photos of themselves threatening their daughter’s prom date with a gun? https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/04/why-are-fathers-posting-photos-of-themselves-threatening-their-daughters-prom-date-with-a-gun/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:59:42 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=42041 Feel free to answer.

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(TFC) – There’s a common trend in the United States on social media in which fathers post images of themselves holding a firearm alongside their daughter’s date for prom.

If you have to show your daughter’s date for prom a firearm to make him behave, I have some questions for you:

A) Why are you letting your daughter go out with someone who will harm her?

A1) If you know she makes her own choices, why exactly are you threatening the boy?

B) Do you realize you are reinforcing the idea that women are property of men?

B1) Do you think the example you’re setting will lead her to be independent or will it lead her into the arms of a controlling man?

B2) If your actions are not about your property rights to her body, and believe it is to scare him into not raping your daughter, refer to question A.

C) Do you believe this young man is unafraid of you?

C1) If the answer is no, why do you need to present a weapon? You’re actually sending the message that you need a firearm to take on a teenager.

C2) Are you really that weak?

D) Do you realize it sends the message to everyone who sees the picture you posted on social media that your daughter is either incapable of making her own decisions or that she is unable to discern the quality of a man? (You were her example)

D1) If you believe the boy to be a rapist, refer to question A.

E) Are you doing it as a joke?

E1) If so, guns are not toys.

F) Do you realize the message you’re sending to the boy is that a gun makes him a man?

F1) Do you realize the picture implies you believe this young man would harm your daughter, that you don’t trust him or her, or that both of them are incapable of making their own decisions without the threat of violence?

Seriously, this tradition needs to die.

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Exclusive: Reuters covered Russian officials predicting staged gas attack and US response before the attack occurred https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/04/exclusive-reuters-covered-russian-officials-predicting-staged-gas-attack-and-us-response-before-the-attack-occurred/ Sun, 15 Apr 2018 05:53:00 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=41730 Things just got weird. Reuters covered a bizarre Russian claim before the attack.

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(TFC) – Sometimes bizarre claims by foreign governments are so shocking they are dismissed and never thought of again. But what happens when the events predicted occur exactly as described?

A stub of an article published by Reuters on March 13, 2018, almost a month before the purported chemical attack in Ghouta, reads:

“Russia said on Tuesday it had information that the United States planned to bomb the government quarter in Damascus on an invented pretext, and said it would respond militarily if it felt Russian lives were threatened by such an attack.

Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia’s General Staff, said Moscow had information that rebels in the enclave of eastern Ghouta were planning to fake a chemical weapons attack against civilians and blame it on the Syrian army.”

(Link to the original article here. Link to UK version of article here. Link to archived article in case it is removed here.)

The described attack occurred on April 8, 2018. The West then attacked Syria.

Furthermore, after the chemical attack and western response, Russia has now claimed it has evidence the west was complicit in staging the attack.

Video of conference spoke of by Reuters.

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The New York Times runs propaganda about rifles https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/03/new-york-times-runs-propaganda-rifles/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 17:11:36 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=39788 We"re lucky school shooters use an AR-15?

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(TFC) – Yesterday, an article titled  “Wounds From Military-Style Rifles? ‘A Ghastly Thing to See‘” graced The New York Times. The article detailed the differences between wounds caused by .223 Remington or 5.56mm NATO rounds, the most common types of ammunition fired from an AR-15, and the wounds caused by handgun ammunition. The problem with the article is that neither type of ammunition is mentioned. The article is written as if the rifle design itself is responsible for the wounds. It appears deliberately misleading, to the point of quoting medical professionals about the damage caused by the rifles.

“Surgeons say the weapons produce the same sort of horrific injuries seen on battlefields,” the article reads. If those surgeons mean that rifles produce rifle wounds, they are correct. If they mean a bullet fired from an AR-15 is somehow magically more horrific than one fired from a bolt-action rifle, they are incorrect. Here’s a catalog with more than 100 bolt-action rifles firing the exact same type of ammunition typically fired by the AR-15. The action of the rifle, whether it be semi-automatic, fully-automatic, bolt-action, lever-action, or any other method of cycling to the next round has no impact on the severity of the wound. None. The “style” of the rifle also has none.

The article glosses over some of the factors that create wounds:

“Many factors determine the severity of a wound, including a bullet’s mass, velocity and composition, and where it strikes. The AR-15, like the M4 and M16 rifles issued to American soldiers, shoots lightweight, high-speed bullets that can cause grievous bone and soft tissue wounds, in part by turning sideways, or “yawing,” when they hit a person.”

What the article omits, after acknowledging this, is that when the .223 round is compared using these factors via the Killing Power Score (KPS), it has the lowest killing power of any of the rifle cartridges compared. The .30-06, a standard hunting cartridge, carries a score of 49.2. The “horrific” .223 carries a score of 6.3.  It should be noted, the KPS is a guideline. Beyond the above, there are many factors that create a lethal bullet. The creator of the KPS even says it shouldn’t become shooting dogma, but the reader would have a difficult time finding shooting experts who disagree with the scale.

It may seem counter-intuitive to believe the US Army would choose anything less than the most lethal ammunition for its rifle. The Army didn’t choose it. The ammunition type was forced on them. The Army disagreed with adopting the ammo so much, it is rumored to have falsified data to sway the selection process in favor of a larger, more lethal round. The adoption of the 5.56mm round was forced by the McNamara Defense Department. To this day, the Army still wants a replacement. In fact, even the original prototype of the now famous M16 wasn’t chambered in 5.56mm. It was called the AR-10 and chambered in 7.62mm.

So why did the McNamara Defense Department want the smaller, less lethal bullet? Like everything with the “whiz kid”, it was math. The smaller bullets meant soldiers could carry more bullets while humping through the jungles of Southeast Asia. Smaller, lighter bullets also meant the receiver (the main part of a rifle) could be lighter. The smaller diameter meant more bullets could fit into a magazine. Therefore more shots could be fired between magazine changes. To the number crunchers, this meant the soldier would be in the fight for a longer period of time and therefore achieve a higher “kill ratio.”

Of course, all of this relied on every bullet being fired with optimal shot placement. If every shot fired entered the brain or heart of the target, all of the above math would be correct, but that isn’t what happens. In Iraq and Afghanistan, it took an average of roughly 250,000 bullets to kill a single insurgent. If it takes twice as many shots to kill the enemy, it doesn’t really matter if the ammo weighs half as much. The Parkland shooter himself proved magazine capacity means little, as he used 10-round magazines instead of standard capacity 30-round magazines.

This type of emotionally charged rhetoric from one of the nation’s leading papers is dangerous. As the call to ban the AR-15 goes out, we must consider what will replace it. If the AR-15, chambered in a small round with a lethality rating so low, is removed from the school shooter’s hands, will it be replaced with a .30-06? Will the American people be so led astray by propaganda that they unwittingly make school shootings more lethal? To the medical professionals quoted in this article, I challenge you to answer a single question. Federal Premium Ammunition says it’s top three best-selling rifle cartridges are ..223, .308, and .30-06. Of those three, which would you rather have a family member shot with?

When compared to the likely alternatives, suddenly AR-15’s .223 doesn’t seem so bad. For those who aren’t familiar with weapons and wounds, the next two best-selling types of ammunition carry double the energy. Even widening the options to the top ten, it’s doubtful these wound specialists would select any of the other rounds.

We’ve been very lucky that most active shooters have simply chosen the most popular rifle in the United States rather than a more powerful one. Perhaps these medical professionals and The New York Times simply believe the .223 round is cursed or possessed by demons and causing angry young men to open fire on crowds. The more likely scenario is that body counts from the shootings aren’t high enough to push newspaper sales and The New York Times is doing its part to make the next shooting more lethal.

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Is the Second Amendment still a deterrent against tyranny from a drone equipped government?  https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2018/02/second-amendment-still-deterrent-tyranny-drone-equipped-government/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:46:25 +0000 https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/?p=39176 Does an AR-15 really act as a buffer against tyranny?

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(TFC) – As the subject of the Second Amendment reenters the public discourse, the question of whether or not the right to keep and bears arms is an effective deterrent against tyranny must be examined. In the days of drones, fighters, and tanks, what good is a semi-automatic rifle? This question is typically posed by those who envision pitched battles between US Army forces and rebels. That isn’t how wars are fought anymore. Any uprising in the United States would be in the form of an insurgency. During an insurgency all of those high tech toys aren’t government assets, they’re insurgent assets. This doesn’t imply US soldiers would defect en masse to the rebels.

The misconception over which side would benefit from heavy weapons stems from a misunderstanding about the nature of insurgency itself. The insurgent’s job is not to militarily defeat the opponent. The job is to turn the people against the government. Most insurgencies begin as terrorist campaigns. In this context, don’t think of terrorism as a dirty word. It’s simply a strategy for defeating an economically, militarily, or technologically superior force of opposition.

So how do drones, GPS guided bombs, artillery, and tanks play into insurgencies? Look no further than the utter failure of the US War on Terror. Drone use during that campaign has resulted in 90% of those killed being someone other than the target.  Every time a drone is used in the hypothetical US insurgency, 9 out of 10 people will be someone the government didn’t intend to kill. When this occurs on US soil, the casualties will be other Americans. The family members of the dead will most likely no longer support the government. Every drone strike creates more insurgents than it kills. The same is true of guided weapons, tanks, and artillery in this type of conflict. The high tech weapons often cited by those saying the Second Amendment is obsolete simply fail to understand every time those assets are used, they help the insurgents.

Generally, terrorists do not attack hard targets at all. Insurgents do occasionally in ambush scenarios. Both will typically attack soft targets. The insurgent will not attack a military installation head on. They will attack the community outside of the installation in hopes of demoralizing their opposition. They won’t kill armed soldiers with great frequency. They will kill them when they are out drinking at a bar. They will kill their families.

Beyond the targets related to the military, the insurgents will attack any government-related facility. The postman, the voting stations, critical infrastructure are all insurgent targets. Why? Because citizens lose faith in the effectiveness of the government. Remember, the goal of the insurgent is to turn the citizen against the government. Taking out the power grid was a favorite move of insurgents in Iraq.  The blackouts were a constant reminder of how ineffective the government was. They undermined the authority of the occupation forces, who were seen as unable to provide even the basic necessities.

Insurgencies are dirty, bloody, nasty affairs. Civilian deaths far exceed deaths from combat.

So how useful is a semi-automatic rifle during an insurgency? More useful than you might expect. Full-auto fire is typically used for suppressive fire, which tends to occur in prolonged engagements. Insurgents hit and run. They avoid prolonged engagements because their opposition has time to call in reinforcements. While in some limited instances, full-auto would be useful, it isn’t really a necessity. Semi-auto is. Banning magazine fed semi-automatic rifles will significantly hinder any armed resistance to government tyranny.

 

The post Is the Second Amendment still a deterrent against tyranny from a drone equipped government?  appeared first on The Fifth Column.

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