Why Can’t the Mainstream Media Understand what “Grass Roots” Means?

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Nick O’Malley, the U.S. correspondent for Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald displays an above average amount of lying and/or willful ignorance in his latest piece, “Another textbook gun law victory for National Rifle Association.” O’Malley being an Australian, I would be willing to cut him a little slack when it comes to firearms knowledge and cartridge familiarity – if not for the fact that he is their American correspondent and should therefore be held to a higher standard than your average Aussie. He starts out by displaying a profound misunderstanding of what “grass roots” support means. . .

While political attention in the United States last week was focused on Hillary’s emails and the Republican Party’s attempts to derail nuclear negotiations with Iran, the National Rifle Association enjoyed yet another victory.

This time America’s most powerful lobby group managed to block a move to ban the free sale of armour-piercing bullets for handguns.

The fact of the matter is that the ATF received over eighty thousand comments and (according to this ATF Special Advisory) “the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework.” What people like Nick and Sarah Brady and Mayor Mike don’t seem to grasp is that this is not the result of the NRA (or GOA or SAF or JPFO) issuing marching orders to its paid flacks, shills and minions. Rather it’s the result of everyday folks finding out about a proposed ban and deciding to do something about it.

You saw this same sort of cluelessness about the l’affair Zumbo, when Jim Zumbo, the hunting editor of Outdoor Life, made some unfortunate comments on his blog and metaphorically was run out of town on a rail. To the antis it was obvious that the Eee-vil Gun Lobby® had flexed its collective muscle and destroyed Jim’s several careers. This is because people like Nick and Sarah and Mike have no concept of what true grass-roots movements are. Or refuse to acknowledge one where Americas’ gun owners are concerned.

Movements in which you have a wide swathe of the population pay attention to (for example) gun owners’ rights and are willing to exert some effort in support of them can truly be described as “grass roots.” Whether this entails contacting the commercial sponsor of someone who has betrayed those rights or showing up at the legislature or at a rally in support of the cause, a grass-roots movement is able to mobilize people in support if its cause.

What else does Nick have to say?

The so-called green tip ammunition – which is designed to pierce helmets and body-armour – has long been legal in America for use in AR–15 rifles. These are the military-style semi-automatic rifles that have become the most popular hunting and self-defence weapons in the nation after their high-profile use in the massacres in a Sandy Hook primary school and a Colorado cinema.

Okay, Nick is half-right here; the bullet was designed, in the 70s, to pierce helmets. Specifically the unenhanced steel helmets that used to be Soviet issue, specifically when fired from a rifle. He is, however, completely wrong that the AR-15 suddenly became popular after being used by a few psychotics in a couple of mass murders. Witness this article from HowStuffWorks.com which puts Bushmaster’s AR-15 smack in the middle of their “Top 5 Most Popular Guns – and Why” list. On November 3rd of 2009, more than 30 months before the Aurora shooting.

And just what the hell is he trying to imply by saying that the AR-15’s popularity soared after those two mass shootings? Does he think that all of us who own ARs are wannabe matricidal maniacs and mass murderers? Or is he just so pig ignorant that he doesn’t realize that when the antis start pushing for bans on something (as they did on the AR-15 after Sandy Hook especially) we start buying up that something while we still can?

But his obtuseness doesn’t limit itself to the dynamics of supply and demand.

The so-called M855 round, also known as the “cop killer”, is now the second most popular ammunition for use in America’s most popular rifle.

The original so-called “cop-killer” bullets were Teflon-coated tungsten rounds designed by KTW to pierce hard targets like windshield glass and car doors. They were commercially produced starting in the late 1960s ten years before Kevlar body armor was introduced. Like this current round of “cop-killer” bullets, there was never a single verified case of a cop every actually being killed by one[1]. Don’t believe me? Well how about James Pasco, the executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police:

“Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem.[2]

As for the reason it is so popular, until this latest brouhaha with the ATF, it was cheap as most Mil-Surp ammo is. But Nick has proof, proof, PROOF I say!

One popular recent YouTube video shows a man firing a green tip round through nearly 6.35 millimetres[3] of steel and into a wooden log in his back yard.

He has proof that the M855 round is armor-piercing, and his proof consists of a home video (with, admittedly decent production values) showing that this round, when fired from a 24-inch rifle barrel can penetrate ¼ in of mild steel. In other words, it does exactly what it was designed to do.

But recently the industry developed a handgun variant of the AR-15 that can fire the armour piercing rounds.

Oh very nice. He implies that since the round being shot from a rifle is AP, then when it is shot from a pistol it must still be AP, without ever mentioning how much of a difference there is in the ballistics. Some might argue that, since he’s an Aussie he can’t be expected to know any better, but I will counter that any competent and honest reporter could easily find out that going from a 20” barrel down to a 5” barrel drops muzzle velocity from about 3,000 fps down to a little above 1,800 fps (as shown in this article from Small Arms Defense Journal).

Likewise such a mythical reporter could have discovered that the AR-15 pistol is far from a “recent” development. People have been kicking these designs around since before the expiration of the Clinton Ugly Gun Ban.

Ultimately, though, Nick gets to the root of his complaint:

The [ATF] … decided to act, on the grounds that even if hunters may legally use armour piercing rounds, they remain illegal for use in handguns.

What followed was a textbook demonstration of the extent of the power wielded by the NRA and the way it uses that power.

What Nick should have said is, “What followed was a textbook demonstration of the power of a true grass-roots organization,” because a few paragraphs later he lets the cat out of the bag.

The group also contacted its broader membership – of between four and five million – and invited them to contact their members of Congress. Within three weeks 80,000 people wrote submissions opposing the ban.

Not only were there over 80,000 comments made to the ATF, there were also tens of thousands of letters written to Congress-critters urging them to oppose this ban. Not to mention bi-partisan opposition coming from Congress as well.

The ATF’s capitulation was fast, complete and humiliating. “You spoke, we listened,” the agency mewled via tweet last week.

Yeah Nick, that is sort of the way things are supposed to work in a representative democracy; the people speak and the pols listen. Admittedly it is kind of rare that it happens that way, but when you get enough people riled up, sometimes even a Leviathan must take notice.

[1] Unfortunately until the media started howling about the KTW rounds, most BGs had no idea that most cops wore body armor. I have heard anecdotally that police mortality rates went up for a while because BGs started aiming for the head as a result.

[2] From the Washington Examiner piece Police say Obama bullet ban isn’t needed, AR-15 round isn’t a threat

[3] For the metric-ignorant (like me) out there, “nearly 6.35 millimetres” is ¼ inch.

comments

  1. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    They simply do not understand it. Just like they do not understand “shall not be infringed”.

    1. avatar hobbez says:

      Don’t fool yourself, they understand perfectly. They just don’t care.

      1. avatar James says:

        Bingo. I don’t cut this Bruce from down under any credit. This article, being factually flawed in the most obvious and easy to fisk ways, isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Its sole purpose was to further the demonization and vilification of gun owners and groups like the NRA. He and the publisher knew exactly what they were doing and as we have seen from legacy main stream media, facts do not even matter to them anymore. Whether it’s “hands up don’t shoot”, UVA gang rape, white hispanic neighborhood watch members, or bogus politically motivated John Doe probes, the media is now all about deception in order to dupe low information voters.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Nothing else seems to be working, anymore!

      2. avatar John says:

        I’m not sure that I agree. His beliefs may just be so second nature and ‘obviously right’ to him, that he cannot comprehend that there may actually be others – a large number of others – many millions of others – that hold well considered opinions that are different than his. He’s likely never happened upon anyone with an opinion different than his. And, he’s certainly never sought one out – those who believe in liberty and in taking personal responsibility seriously are a scary, dangerous lot.

        With that worldview, it could only be entrenched business interests and their evil lobbyists that fight civilian disarmament and it’s MDA and their ilk that ‘truly’ represent the accurate pulse of the electorate.

      3. avatar IdahoPete says:

        Actually, they do care. They just don’t like it at all, because the self-anointed aristocracy has always had problems with armed peasants.

  2. avatar michael nieto says:

    What makes these astoundingly ignorant UBER liberals in the media that talk about stuff they know NOTHING about?

    1. avatar John L. says:

      Narcisstic faith in their own infallibility.

    2. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Arrogance combined with stupidity – always a powerful mix!

  3. avatar Robert W. says:

    So, I guess he didn’t look to see TNOutdoors9 video from 2 years ago, showing the same penetration from XM193 55gr FMJ, you know, those NON-armor piercing rounds…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Boy, that was a shock. I’ve shot 1/4″ steel plate before, at less than 200 yards, and the holes were close to 5.56. Those holes were, what, .40? .50? Hard to imagine a 5.56 bullet making a hole both that big and that perfect. Amazing. Guns are fun!

      1. avatar BDub says:

        The crater is always bigger around than the meteor.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    The official comment period closed on March, 16. On March 10, when the ATF withdrew it’s proposed “framework,” the ATF announced that it had received 80,000 comments. When the official comment period closed, the ATF had finally received 310,000 comments — the vast majority of them negative. It may well be that the AFT received even more negative comments, but stopped counting since the issue was moot.

    As to the Aussie, his pack of lies merely shows that he’s not that big Down Under.

    1. avatar Apathy is Deadly says:

      Abolish the ATF–.push H.B. 1329 . // Stop other Ammo Bans , H.B. 1365 / / and H.B. 1130 . Call and write your Senators And Reps. at state and Congress, do not let them squirm. If you vote against – WE – you are GONE. — ( p.s. they get it )

      1. avatar BDub says:

        I believe that is HR 1329

  5. avatar The Wanderer says:

    Australia was formed as a prison colony by the British. Firearms are highly restricted, after all, they were criminals. Guns are a bozo no-no.

    America was torn from an unjust British tyrant by citizen soldiers who amazingly defeated the greatest military power of the time. Firearms are culturally ingrained as the means for the people to protect against an unjust government (tyranny) in America.

    Does this help?

  6. avatar Tiru Maru says:

    And lets not forget. 1/4 inch mild steel is NOT ARMOR PLATE……

  7. avatar JD says:

    Wow, 6.35mm! That is more than 25 times thicker than .25 inches in democrat math.

    1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      democrat math?!?

      Bwahahahahahahahahaha………..

      my true laugh of the day…..thank you.

  8. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    I always thought the AR-15 pistols and others of the same type were rather useless anyway. I really do not know people who shoot the green tip stuff. I will say that most rifle rounds will penetrate soft body armor. I thought the banning of the AK-74 ammo was stupid as well.

  9. avatar No Fu*Ks Given says:

    The Fact is …… Over Three Hundred Thousand = 300,000 , comments were given.

  10. avatar gsnyder says:

    Nick is a hack, a cut-and-paste pseudo-journalist. Remember his name.

    “Does he think that all of us who own ARs are wannabe matricidal maniacs and mass murderers? ” YES, this as most of you are well aware is the lie and propaganda served up by the anti’s.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Be generous. His ancestors were all criminals, so depraved that they were exiled from civilization and forgotten. We cannot expect rational thought from such, and all of them should be denied arms. /sarc

      YO, NICK! Food for thought, here. Much more reason to distrust you, than us. Your lies here aren’t helping.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    If I remember right, the Olympic Arms OA-93 pistol was so named because it came out in 1993.

    1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      It is also the gun that got Chinese/surplus 7.62×39 banned because it had a steel core.

  12. avatar Paul G says:

    Representative democracy? That sucks. I would much rather have the constitutional republic that the founders created. The diferences may be small, but they are pivotal.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      +1

    2. avatar fishydude says:

      Yup. We are a representative republic. Not a democracy. Democracy is mob rule.
      Muslim democracy is one man (no women), one vote, one time 🙂
      Unfortunately the sheeple have been largely brainwashed into believing we a ‘democracy.’ Therefore whatever they can get the mob to approve should be the law of the moment until the mob decides to change it again. Hence the occutard people where lunatic left and anarchists believe the mob has a ‘right’ to destroy property as free speech. But they only destroyed property in urban areas controlled by the left because they could be pretty sure the shop owners were not armed.

  13. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    No comments section, so I sent him an email. I suggest y’all do the same.

  14. avatar Joelt1 says:

    I sent him an email laying out all the factual errors in his article a couple days ago. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get a response.

    1. avatar Chadwick P. says:

      I think he will cover his computer and yell “logic! It burns!”

  15. avatar rosignol says:

    Eh? I though the AP ammo was black tip, not green tip.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Yes. The Green Tip is technically LAP.

  16. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Haha Wolf .223 out of a 10.5″ barrel will whiz right through 1/4″ mild steel. Stick to shrimps, barbys, crocs, and steakhouses.

    1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      And gun control banning almost everything under the sun. Keep it there, please.

  17. avatar PeteRR says:

    The Left thinks all advocacy groups are astroturf because all of their advocacy groups are composed of astroturf.

  18. avatar Irish1776 says:

    How in the #*@% is the NRA Americas most powerful Lobby group? Right off the top of my head I can probably name ten more influential special interest lobbying orgs.

    Also, FWIW, an AR-15 was not used at Sandy Hook. I believe they found one in the little creeps car, but he didn’t carry it into the school.

    As long as it is being mentioned….I’m not one of those guys who thinks everything is a conspiracy, but can anyone explain a good reason that 85% of the FBI reports released to FOIA requests were blacked out. I read this and scratched my head.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “I believe they found one in the little creeps car, but he didn’t carry it into the school.”

      That is supposedly incorrect early reports. Later reports claim that the attacker did use an AR-15 rifle.

      Unfortunately, we will never know for sure since it was a closed investigation and the police have since destroyed the evidence.

    2. avatar Kyle says:

      They know for a fact Lanza used an AR-15. Also I believe the NRA is the most influential lobby in the United States, precisely because it is the largest civil rights organization in the country. The other big lobbies are industrial lobbies of sorts, which have power, but their power is primarily financial, not voter-based.

      1. avatar Irish1776 says:

        And you think that “voters” trump dollars? Puh-lease, what world have you been living in. You don’t think that the international banking lobby is more influential than the NRA? Even the GMO food companies are more powerful than the voter base. Voters haven’t even been able to get honest labeling on their food.

  19. avatar John D. says:

    Mainstream media have been parading liberal/left astroturf groups in front of the public for so long that they can no longer recognize genuine grass roots activism.

  20. avatar Southern Cross says:

    You are talking about Australian journalists, where any knowledge of firearms will result in them being ostracized by the rest of the herd. There is an anti-gun group so secretive and small the combined efforts of at least FOUR state police forces AND the Federal police couldn’t contact them to invite them to attend a policy meeting on firearms, but almost every journalist has them on speed-dial for a soundbite.

    Journalists tend to be from Arts and Social(ist) studies from the Universities. Anyone with intelligence studies something more practical, such as science or business.

  21. avatar John in Ohio says:

    What people like Nick and Sarah Brady and Mayor Mike don’t seem to grasp is that this is not the result of the NRA (or GOA or SAF or JPFO) issuing marching orders to its paid flacks, shills and minions. Rather it’s the result of everyday folks finding out about a proposed ban and deciding to do something about it.

    This is repeated here for those POTG who insisted that it was all the NRA (or GOA or SAF or JPFO) and that people writing didn’t do squat or had very little effect in the comments on http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/03/daniel-zimmerman/nra-takes-m855-victory-lap/.

  22. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I will argue that vocal gun-grabber activists are fully aware of the truly grass-roots nature of firearms rights support. Rather, they willfully misrepresent our activism as the efforts of a few “nuts” or a single evil lobbying group. Why? Because of the way that gun-grabbers’ brains work. To them, being part of the crowd — the majority — is of supreme importance. Being on the outside is downright terrifying to them and, they assume, to everyone else.

    Thus, gun grabbers systematically attempt to marginalize our movement. One popular method: they accuse us of being mentally defective. They claim that we are nuts or paranoid and therefore we are outside of “mainstream society”. Another popular method: they claim that we are an insignificant minority and have no sway on politicians. They claim that only the National Rifle Association with its billions of dollars from gun manufacturers buys-off politicians and thus we are outside of “mainstream society”.

    Once again, we see that gun grabbers have no facts, data, logic, nor reason to support their position. Their only play is to appeal to emotion. And since being a good member of “mainstream society” is critical to them, they assume it is critical to us as well. That is why they cannot admit that masses upon masses of people like firearms: because it seriously weakens their basis for manipulating mainstream society to reject firearms.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Your comment mirrors my own thoughts on the subject. Well stated.

  23. avatar Sian says:

    How did I know that comments wouldn’t be enabled on his piece of garbage?

  24. avatar Roscoe says:

    “This is because people like Nick and Sarah and Mike have no concept of what true grass-roots movements are. Or refuse to acknowledge one where Americas’ gun owners are concerned.”

    It’s called projection; ol’ O’Malley thinks the “other” side is just like the antis, relying on daddy war bucks funding and paid, uninformed “protestors” to create the façade of “grass roots” where none actually exists, at least none even remotely close to the extent of the pro-gun owners ‘keep and bear’ movement.

    And many of those who now passively, naively support “gun-control” would lose interest in the antis efforts once they found out how badly the antis have been misrepresenting the truth to the point of trying to create a utopian sense of fake, false disarmed security and barely there happy face state protection dogma.

  25. avatar Danielboone says:

    Don’t be foolish!!!

    The members of the media know and UNDERSTAND the truth about guns better than you or I

    They delitberately distort the truth to get what they want – POWER !!!!!

  26. avatar Chris says:

    This will get buried, I’m sure, but grassroots is okay when it’s MDA or MAIG doing it, but somehow evil when the NRA does it?

    I love the hypocrisy.

  27. avatar Kyle says:

    Why is it that these non-Americans get so bent-out-of-shape over America’s gun laws and organizations like the NRA? I can “somewhat” understand this with the British. I think some Brits ultimately view the U.S. as really part of the U.K., but because those damned colonists had the audacity to tell England to shove it and started a war, they then got to form their own country, even though they still really belong to the U.K. and therefore said Britons care about American laws, and thus are outraged over American gun laws. Australia I really don’t get it though, as America didn’t originate from Australia. I despise the gun laws of these other countries, but I don’t get bent-out-of-shape over the fact of how the UK, Germany, France, Australia, etc…restrict their citizens’ right to arms. But it’s like these non-Americans CAN’T STAND that America doesn’t copy their own countries’ gun laws.

    BTW, what are BGs?

  28. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    Sorry, but I don’t want them to understand grass roots. I would much rather they keep tilting at windmills. Every time they go on their misguided rants they erode a bit more of their credibility. Their misunderstanding is to our benefit.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. I firmly believe that we are producing more who believe their brand of lunacy than we will eventually be able to “convert.” Some of these gun control lies have been around for a mighty long time. They’ve been put back down again and again. They are zombie talking points and will not die. I’ve posted this anecdotal observation before but here it is again… While watching an old episode of All in the Family, Archie Demands Equal Time (??), it dawned on me that the same anti gun talking points were being trotted out as fact. The evil perfection of these zombie lies is that they can return again and again, generation after generation. Daycare, preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school; most of these kids are bathed in this thinking. Some go on to colleges and universities where the underlying indoctrination of these young adults is further reinforced. Until we correct that compulsory indoctrination, “hearts and minds” – “conversations” – “conversions” – “baby steps” probably won’t have a great enough net effect.

      They are speaking zombie to the programmed zombies and we’re producing more zombies as the system rolls merrily along.

      1. avatar Raul says:

        John, don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting we sit back and congratulate ourselves or ignore them. Quite the opposite, in fact. They’ve given us an advantage. A big one.

        Everything you said is absolutely correct. I’ve said much the same here and elsewhere. An enemy who misunderstands you or attacks a straw man is at a disadvantage. Their error is something we can exploit.

        We should encourage their shrillness. Draw them into foolish attacks at straw men. They will never be swayed, and they’re convinced of their moral superiority. From experience people like that in that situation will abandon reason and lash out with an anger that will alienate even people who might support them.

        What matter most is that we combine reason and positive appeal to emotion. As important is that we show no mercy whatsoever even as we feel “sorry” for their misguided irrationality.

        Truth is, all this doesn’t just apply to the 2A, but to Progressivism in general. We’re just leading the charge. But played right we can set them back for a generation or more.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Ah, I did not properly understand your original comment. After rereading it, I can see where I jumped to a conclusion that you did not draw. Thank you for the clarification. Indeed, we are in agreement.

        2. avatar Raul says:

          I figured so. What follow was more a call to arms than anything. 🙂

  29. avatar preston says:

    well didnt yall all go buy an AR15 after you saw how well it slaughtered innocent children? i know did since i am the pure embodiment of evil as soon as i paid for it. had i stole it, then i could just blame it on the “sick gun culture” we have.

  30. avatar LarryArnold says:

    [For the metric-ignorant (like me) out there, “nearly 6.35 millimetres” is ¼ inch.]

    Well, you ought to know that 5.56mm is .223″ and 7.62mm is .3″.
    Besides, the 6.35mm cartridge is the .25 Auto
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/remington-umc-handgun-25-auto-635mm-50-grain-mc-50-rounds?a=963035

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