No one Cares, but Still!
An interesting story is in the news. Three armed criminals broke into a house in Oklahoma, and a young man who lived there shot all three dead with an AR-15. He didn’t just nick them. Two died in his kitchen, and one died after running outside.
The robbery was planned by a woman named Elizabeth Rodriguez. She drove the would-be assailants to the crime scene, and when she heard shots, she drove off. Then she did something remarkable: she went to the police and said she had “information” about the shooting.
Before too long, she had confessed. Guess what she’s charged with now. Accessory? Accomplice? How about this: three counts of first-degree murder.
I’m trying to figure her out. Why would she go to the police? Was she thinking she could get the victim in trouble for shooting her friends? That seems likely. I don’t think she would go just to turn herself in. She probably could have gotten away. I think she was angry because her friends were dead, and she was hoping to stick it to the victim by turning him in. She probably thought driving a car wasn’t a big crime. Like many criminals, she probably didn’t know she could be charged with murder in this situation.
If you assist with a crime, you can get in real trouble if someone dies, and it doesn’t necessarily matter who that person is. If a cop shoots your partner, you may get the needle.
I saw her mugshot. She looks miserable. That’s understandable. Imagine the feeling. Three of your friends just got shot to death. The killer is being praised as a hero. You’re charged with three counts of murder one. And you did it to yourself. You didn’t even Google the applicable law before getting in the car.
I don’t have any sympathy for her or the other criminals, but it’s still a sad story.
Apart from the mindset of the woman who informed on herself, the story is interesting because the victim used a semiautomatic rifle to defend himself. We’re always being told “assault rifles” aren’t legitimate self-defense tools. Even gun-loving “experts” say it. Here we have proof it’s not true.
The AR-15 is not an assault rifle, because it’s semiautomatic, but let’s not get bogged down with that. Gun-grabbers hate the AR-15 even more than other guns because it has a high capacity and it looks mean. They claim high-capacity, mean-looking rifles are no good for home defense.
For a long time, I’ve been saying pistols were not great for home defense. I’ll go farther than that. They STINK for home defense. If you can shoot a burglar over five feet away in a dark house with your hands shaking, you are probably in the top one percent of combat shooters. Most people will hit the wall, their own legs, their own feet, the ceiling, the toaster…anything…more often than they will hit a criminal. Pistols are hard to aim, and they’re even harder to bring back on target after a shot. On top of that, pistol ammunition is very weak, and pistols don’t hold many rounds.
I use semiautomatic rifles for home defense. I’ve been recommending them for years. My rifles hold 31 rounds. The ammunition is to pistol ammunition as a diesel truck is to a Vespa. Rifles are easy to shoot accurately. You can even shoot through concealment with confidence. Drywall won’t save you from an AK-47, but it will slow a .38 down until it falls straight down when it exits a wall.
The National Review is backing my philosophy up. They just published an article praising rifles.
It’s funny how long it can take common sense to overcome old wives’ tales.
The article links to yet another article in which knowledgeable gun users list their favorite home defense guns. Rifles figure prominently in their lists. That seems like a new thing.
One or two of the people interviewed said overpenetration was an issue. That means they’re afraid of shooting friendlies through walls. That’s something to think about if you’re in an apartment building or a big house full of kids, but if you’re in a typical house with one or two other people, it’s not a problem. You know where your kids sleep. If you think you’re so good you can shoot a burglar with a pistol, you should also be confident you can avoid shooting into your son’s bedroom, right?
Overpenetration is a mushy topic, anyway. In the case of handguns, it’s a myth.
Overpenetration doesn’t just refer to going through walls. It also describes situations in which bullets exit bodies before they expand or break up, possibly hitting people behind the perps. It’s supposed to be bad, because failure to expand results in less damage, and premature exit endangers the innocent.
Expansion, yawing, and dispersion make wounds bigger. Handgun rounds–even the cutesy ones that come from manufacturers that brag about scientists and laboratories–don’t necessarily expand or break up much inside people (or at least they didn’t when I did my research;things change). Bullets don’t usually do those things unless they’re moving fast, and pistol rounds are slow. A .45 round goes about 850 feet per second. A round from a hunting rifle, which can be counted on to expand, goes about four times that fast.
When it comes to pistols, according to the FBI, what you want is the most penetration possible. Pistols cause damage by drilling long holes in people, and the longer those holes are, the more the damage they do. A lot of things can slow a pistol round down. Leather jackets. Heavy clothing. Hands. In a pistol, you want something that goes clean through, even if it’s dangerous to someone who has the incredible bad luck to be directly behind a criminal. For that reason, I don’t really care about pistol overpenetration.
I carry a 10mm pistol loaded with Speer Gold Dot “expanding” rounds that go about 1250 feet per second. I don’t know if they’ll really expand, but they have a very good chance of making very long wound channels. They have crazy muzzle energy.
Rifle ammunition is complicated. It comes in quite a few flavors. The one the military uses, which is called full metal jacket, can be ignored. It’s not very good. The military uses it because it’s bad. I believe the idea is that it’s cruel to use better ammunition. Something like that. International agreements or wounding instead of killing or something. You don’t want military-style FMJ in your house. You want something that gets the job done. I mean, seriously, the military can’t use poison gas, but if you have some in your garage, and you need to use it on a burglar, the law says go ahead. There is really no limit to what you can do to incapacitate a burglar. If a deep fryer is all you have, you’re allowed to use it.
I don’t know if there is such a thing as rifle ammunition that won’t go through walls, but I don’t care, either, because in my situation, it doesn’t matter. For that reason, all I care about, other than price, is causing damage. I decided to go with Tulammo hollow-point ammunition. It’s cheap Russian ammo. I looked at Wolf, which is another Russian brand, but shooters said it didn’t break up as well in tests. Tulammo performed better, so I bought a thousand rounds. I think this is a fine choice for a bedside rifle. When it hits a burglar, the core and jacket separate and go in different directions, and the bullet yaws pretty well. It’s not the best ammunition on earth, but it’s a whole lot better than a 9mm pistol. It’s on another level, entirely.
I’m looking around the web, and since I made my choice, people have tested Tulammo soft point and 8m3 ammunition. The latter is new to me. It’s hollow point ammunition with scoring inside the rounds to make them come apart or yaw or something. Evidently, the Russians used to sell it, and they quit, and now an American firm has gotten them to start up again. In gelatin tests (literally shooting big piles of unsweetened gelatin), the soft point ammunition performs very nicely, and the 8m3 looks even better. I may upgrade to it. It’s not expensive, which is nice.
Now that Trump is in office, it should be a lot easier to get firearms and decent ammunition at sane prices. BONUS!
To get back to the subject, I feel vindicated. I’m so used to being told I’m an idiot for using a rifle for home defense, it feels strange to see other people recommend it.
It’s pretty hard to come up with a perfect home-defense solution. You want velocity and energy, so you want a long barrel. You want to not go deaf, so you want a suppressor, which means a shorter barrel. You want maneuverability, so you want a short barrel. You want to be able to aim easily…back to a long barrel. You have to decide what makes sense. For me, that’s 31 rounds of very good rifle ammunition, a folding semiauto, and a big green laser so bright it bothers people on Mars.
I guess now I should blaspheme even more and resurrect another offensive suggestion I’ve made: the Thompson semiauto .45 ACP rifle, better known as the civilian version of the Tommy gun. It holds a huge amount of ammunition. Because it shoots pistol rounds, the recoil isn’t bad, and the penetration in homes is limited. It even comes with a forward grip. I think if you could get some big, reliable magazines, a Tommy gun would be excellent for spraying burglars. The .45 may be slow, but it’s also wide, and that’s helpful when you’re looking to incapacitate. Also, the longer barrel gives you more velocity than a 1911.
Anyway, do not use a pistol to defend your house. That’s my suggestion. And now I have friends.