Joe Nocera’s Sins of Omission on the ATF M855 Ban

JoeNocera

Joe Nocera is the New York Times’ in-house anti-gunner and he’s is at it again, this time defending the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ (ATF) proposed ban on M855 “green tip” ammunition. “Seven or eight years ago, makers of assault rifles like the popular AR-15 began making handgun versions of these powerful weapons [AR-15s]. These handguns use the same bullets as the assault rifles, including some that are armor-piercing…. Quite sensibly, the A.T.F. realized it needed to take another look at the issue of whether certain armor-piercing bullets that had long been associated with rifles were now more problematic because they could be used in these new, more lethal handguns.” Oh dear . . .

Quite sensibly for someone with an anti-gun axe to grind, Nocera didn’t talk to anyone who knows thing one about the rounds in question or the firearms that use them. (Joe also neglected to read TTAG’s numerous posts on the subject). One key fact that escaped his and the Times’ fact-checkers attention: the type of handguns in question can fire OTHER types of rounds that can penetrate Level IIIA Kevlar vests. Another missing factoid: OTHER types of handguns can defeat the vests, too.

On Friday afternoon . . . I spoke to J. Thomas Manger, the chief of the Montgomery County, Md., police department, and the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which supports the A.T.F. effort. “Congress has asked them to make these kinds of decisions, and Congress should heed their recommendation,” he said.

When I mentioned that armor-piercing ammunition used to be called cop-killer bullets, he quickly corrected me.

“They’re still called cop-killing bullets,” Manger said. “I think every cop understands that.”

Mr. Nocera failed to mention that the Fraternal Order of Police, the “voice of our nation’s law enforcement” has announced that the ban is dumb as box of rocks [paraphrasing]. They said it’s not needed. I’ll tell you what else it not needed: anti-gun crusaders masquerading as objective journalists to forward their civilian disarmament agenda. And yet, there he is. [h/t JA]

comments

  1. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    An incompetent boob by any objective measure would a hero of gun sense be called by Bloomberg’s shills.

  2. avatar Tom W. says:

    “More lethal”, “powerful assault weapons”. This dipstick wouldn’t know the muzzle from the stock.
    Right up there with the flip up thingy, and capable of shooting hundreds of rounds a second.

    And you know what? He doesn’t want to. He’s a useful idiot personified.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      Since I’ve been 18 and owned my own guns, one thing has always eluded my brain – why do people want to ban things they do not understand or use? At least have a clue before speaking.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        2 things i have noticed about that. you have emotional people who feel really strongly about it, even though they dont understand it, and they dont have a evil assault rifle and they are just fine. So why should anyone else? They also vote. These people you can take to the range, have a good time, and they may rethink how they stand on certain issues.

        you also have willfully ignorant people, also known as stupid, that don’t care about facts, fbi statistics or any other scrap of evidence that challenges thier chosen world view. Brittle and inflexible tho it may be, they will shout down anyone who disagrees with them because they know they are right. All evidence to the contrary is summarily dismissed and life goes on. This group will refuse your invitation to the range, and never give it any thought as to why they might be wrong. I would go so far to say that even a world view shattering event, like home invasion, robbery, rape, ect may or may not let them see how a gun may have prevented this tragedy. I would say many of them pick up the pieces of their broken world view, patch it together and continue on as before. they vote as well.

        I miss anything? chime in fellas.

        1. avatar Evan says:

          You are basically right. Thoughts are revived in the emotional center of the brain well before the logical center. Many people make their decisions based on emotion rather than logic. It’s why anti gunners have a leg up in that regard. They can simply point to dead babies all damn day while we have to fight with reason and facts.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          You’re only missing one thing…

          They feel really, Really, REALLY GOOD about their blind hatred of guns.

          To the extent the probably feel better about that then even sexual orgasm.

          I am *not* kidding.

          I sh*t you not.

      2. avatar Enzo says:

        Same reason people want to ban gay marriage and abortion.

        I actually saw somebody making the same arguments normally posted here in the Oregon locker room case.
        If you want to ban certain things, it doesn’t stop the people who are determined to hurt you.

        Our fears as humans are all the same, we just have them about different things.

  3. avatar LordGopu says:

    Yeah I always wonder if these people actually believe their own bullshit or if they just have an agenda to push.

    Nothing to see here, just another person who knows sweet f all about the topic of his column.

  4. avatar Jay-El says:

    One of my favorite headlines: “ATF to Ban Armor-Piercing Ammunition”

    Dat media doh!

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Where do these dip sticks get their info?
    Sorry, that’s a rhetorical question. He is just trying to satisfy daddy bloomburg.
    And Chief Manger obviously doesn’t remember the oath he swore to. He needs to be jobless.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      A Maryland cop the is all in on thug big gov’t? Shocking.

  6. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I read that early this morning too. Why I read the NYT opinion pieces is beyond me. I guess I and many others of us here are like Frankie and Willie.

    1. avatar Gatha58 says:

      I think it is a great habit to read your enemies propaganda. Otherwise how do you know what to say to fight back and to discredit their lies ?

  7. avatar Dustin says:

    If you pretend to be a clueless dolt, then your lies are just byproducts of being clueless, right? It’s not really a lie when you’re too stupid to know what you’re saying, right?

  8. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Worse is NYT pretending to be a news source.

  9. avatar David says:

    So if a 5.56 is a “pistol” cartridge now, does that mean that it can’t be sold to people under 21 years of age? Because you can’t have one and not the other.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      is has actually been an issue in some parts of the country (California) with respect to .22LR, since it can be use for either. My local WalMart used to do ask–but since they seem to no longer stock .22, the issue has died down.

  10. avatar Mark N. says:

    Unsurprising that the Chiefs of Police back an ammo ban. Chiefs of large urban police forces are political appointees and are largely anti-gun. The M855 has never been known as a cop killer bullet–only the Black Talon ever received that moniker–but since all bullets can kill cops, all bullets are “cop killers.” I bet this guy is against CCWs and hollow point pistol ammo too.

  11. avatar DJ says:

    Objective journalists – is that even a thing?

  12. avatar Skinnedknuckles says:

    First, I don’t have a dog in this specific fight – I live in Connectistan so I can’t have either an AR-style rifle or and AR-style pistol since I didn’t get one before 4/1/13. What worries me is whether we are fighting the wrong fight. By pointing out at every turn that ANY .223/5.56 round in an AR-style pistol will penetrate soft body armor are we setting the stage we are so worried about – that ALL .223/5.56 ammo will be banned. If I were on the other side, I would be jumping on that bandwagon right away, based on our own arguments.

    Right now, we have the technical definition for AP projectiles (which has problems of its own) instead of a functional (defeat a certain type of vest) definition that has offered some cover and protection. I fear that our reasonable arguments will be used against us more effectively than we are using them ourselves. Are we fighting the right fight, or are we afraid that the risk of losing the “right” fight (getting rid of the ban on any AP ammo because of arbitrary rulings like this one) is too great?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Let the ATF go ahead and try to ban all types of .223 and 5.56 mm NATO ammunition … as well as all types of 7.62 x 39mm, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, and .460 S&W Magnum. (Yes, all of those, fired out of a long enough barrel, will penetrate a level IIA ballistic vest.)

      And when the ATF does that:
      An emergency injunction will immediately take effect and the case will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court which will strike down the ban. Or Congress will promptly pass a law to eliminate/amend the previous law. Or, all Hell will break loose and it will be a really bad time to be an ATF agent.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “By pointing out at every turn that ANY .223/5.56 round in an AR-style pistol will penetrate soft body armor are we setting the stage we are so worried about – that ALL .223/5.56 ammo will be banned”

      SCOTUS has already ruled a constitutional right to weapons in common use in the Heller decision.

      Banning all ammo in a firearm proven very common won’t hold.

  13. avatar Last Marine OUT ! says:

    and another thing many pistol rounds like the 357 mag or 44 mag are both pistol and rifle rounds and can defeat body armor , so that line of law could ban all 2A . think 12 gage or 20 gage slugs . and the new more powerful pistol rounds now out. we would end up with only 177 cal. pullet guns and no more 2A. The law is total anti- Bill of rights and can not stand … where is the GOP CONGRESS ???? anyone know?

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “… makers of assault rifles like the popular AR-15 began making handgun versions of these powerful weapons [AR-15s]. These handguns use the same bullets as the assault rifles, including some that are armor-piercing …” — Joe Nocera

    First of all, AR-15 rifles are NOT “powerful weapons”. Rather, they are semi-automatic varmint rifles.

    More importantly, ALL bullets are armor-piercing if your AR-15 pistol has a barrel 10 or more inches long.

    Are Mr. Nocera’s statements willful ignorance or outright lies?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Yes

  15. avatar Newwave says:

    Either this poor excuse for a journalist is knowingly spouting BS for the echo chamber on the Upper West Side and environs or he is so ill informed that he is totally ignorant. I suspect a blend of both.

    I too have been wondering about the Republican congress. They seem to be neutered and just are afraid of their own shadow. The Executive branch is running rough-shod over liberties that we always took for granted and thought were sacrosanct. Boehner and his boys along with the owl-like McConnell seem bewildered and totally out of their depth. They are unwilling to confront the wrongs most of us see in front of us. And we need them there, why?

  16. avatar tirod says:

    Of course, it’s a slanted piece of propoganda, no facts or even fact checked, First issue, if the rounds in question are fired from a barrel 1/2 the length of a rifle, they aren’t going to be “more lethal.” And the XM177 issued in Vietnam had 10.5″ barrels even then. An AR pistol of today is functionally and ballistically no different. It’s got quite a bit less power, what you trade off in barrel length is the ability to use in close quarters. If anything, the controversy about the M855 is that it’s not at lethal in the shorter barrels, the Navy agreed and had the MK262 77gr OTM designed to make up the difference.

    Expect that one to be banned next as it’s used out of the MK18 10.5″ barreled CQB gun – ballistically the same as the pistol. The only difference between them is one has a stock – an accessory to enhance precision – and the pistol does not. It’s harder to shoot more accurately, which at the closer ranges is somewhat moot.

    But the point is, the MK18 and other SBR’s are “more lethal” than a pistol if you factor in accuracy, which means the pistol is less lethal, and there you have it, complete ignorance or even gratuitous misinformation on the part of a newspaper writer. What’s he going to say next, his chopper was shot down by RPG fire trying to get across mid town Manhattan?

    Second, embellishing on the whole “AP” element in what is obviously an Obama agenda item only digs a deeper grave for the credibility of the TImes. Which has long been dead and stalking their readers devouring their brains, which explains why they keep buying the rag in the first place. It’s just boilerplate adherence to the party line – not a reasoned or even well examined decision. As the Police Officer’s union has pointed out, there is no danger from the widespread use of the ammunition ever since it was first sold to the public.

    Let’s also not forget – if rifle ammunition in a pistol is as lethal a problem as some make it out, then why were .22 Long RIFLE revolvers ever allowed to be made? Oh, wait, shooting one of them out of a 6″ barrel makes it less powerful than a 20″ bolt action, and it’s harder to be as accurate there, too.

    It’s the American way to spout off ignorantly about things you don’t like, but do we have to let those who aren’t subject matter experts have any influence over our decisions? Oh yeah, sorry, If forgot, Times readers aren’t expected to think, they no longer have the capability and it’s proven by their subscription. .

  17. avatar Stu Chisholm says:

    Even more irksome, I got the e-mail touting the article and quickly headed over to the NYT website to read it. Like you, I was all ready to pounce on the inaccuracies, idiocy and lies, but… the comments section had been CLOSED. Like… quickly. I guess they might be askairt of people posting, say, FACTS?

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