Reading the letters to the editor of mainstream media outlets is a great way to highlight the fact that a large portion of the population consumes and falls for fall for their narratives. This gets particularly sobering when you realize that many of these same people also vote.
Case in point: someone named Tom Halfhill recently wrote a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle regarding “assault weapons” and Judge Roger Benitez’s ruling striking down California’s ban. What Halfhill scrawled in his letter — probably in crayon — is so chock full of gun control industry talking points and media-regurgitated propaganda that he couldn’t have been more wrong if he were actively trying to spread misinformation.
Even if the judge who struck down California’s assault-rifle ban is an NRA stooge, he apparently knows little about firearms. His assertion that an AR-15 is “perfect” for home defense is laughable.
An assault rifle’s rapid-fire capability almost guarantees that many shots will miss the target. Misses that exit a window can easily kill an innocent person more than a mile away. Missed shots that hit interior walls can penetrate the plasterboard and kill someone in the next room, the next apartment, or next door. Full-metal-jacket rounds might penetrate two or three walls.
The best home-defense firearm is a legally sawed-off pump-action shotgun. The distinctive sound of racking the slide will scare away most intruders. If force is necessary, the wide spray of buckshot tolerates poor aim while still inflicting serious harm. And a missed shot won’t go far. I’ve never heard a real gun expert recommend an assault rifle for home defense.
There is so much to digest here that the job seems daunting, but that’s why we’re here. I’ll ignore the accusation of NRA stoogery on the part of Judge Benitez and concentrate on the suitability of the firearm as a home defense weapon.
The assertion that an AR-15 is a poor choice for home defense is laughable on its face and demands to be addressed. In reality, the AR-15 and similar rifles are nearly perfect in that role.
They are modular, configurable, lightweight, maneuverable, easy to control, accurate, and reliable. That means they can be used effectively by almost anyone in the home. And the AR-15 fires a rifle caliber round that’s quite likely to dissuade or stop a home invader.
As for the alleged “rapid-fire” nature of the rifle, the AR-15 is semi-automatic. That means one round fired per trigger pull, just like hundreds of millions of handguns and shotguns that are also regularly used for home defense. That semi-automatic capability doesn’t “guarantee” missed shots, but it does make for faster follow-up shots. Halfhill seems to conflate semi-automatic with fully automatic, expecting a homeowner to use the spray and pray method.
The minimal recoil of a .223 or 5.56 caliber rifle like the AR-15 means the shooter won’t be thrown off target after every shot, something that’s a much bigger problem with Halfhill’s weapon of choice, the sawed-off shotgun.
An AR-15 isn’t a GLOCK 18 that requires lots of skill to keep it on target. Proper training should be done with any firearm for home defense, but the AR-15 tends to be one of the easiest weapons to train with and to shoot effectively. And in a home defense situation, shooting effectively also means shooting more safely.
Can a 5.56 round travel more than a mile? I’m sure it could…if you lobbed it like a grenade. If it’s fired parallel to the ground at, say, the chest height of a bad guy, it’s going to lose elevation and crash into the ground well before it gets that far.
Will AR-15 rounds go through walls? Well, yeah. Any bullet — or buckshot pellet — capable of fending off a home invader can easily travel through walls.
However, an AR-15 is less likely to do that than either a handgun or a shotgun. The 5.56 round tends to fragment and lose energy as it passes through drywall at a greater rate than either shotgun pellets or handgun projectiles.
Another laughable Halfhill assertion is that the best home defense firearm is a legally sawed-off pump-action shotgun. Legally sawn off? He means a short-barreled shotgun, right? There are all kinds of legal hoops you have to jump through to do that anywhere in the US, but in California, they’re illegal. For most people, Mr. Halfhill, that takes that option off the table.
Next there’s my favorite piece of oft-repeated Fudd lore; the distinctive sound of racking a shotgun will scare away most intruders. Dontcha just love that one? You read that in online forums almost as often as “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six,” and “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
If your home defense plan relies on the bad guy hearing you rack your shotgun, recognizing the sound, and then fleeing in fear, I have some oceanfront property in Sacramento I’d like to sell you, Mr. Halfhill.
Next is the familiar, though equally laughable and erroneous claim that “the wide spray of buckshot tolerates poor aim while still inflicting serious harm.” I hate to burst Mr. Halfhill’s hoplophobic bubble, but at personal defense distances — those frequently encountered within the typical home — there is no “wide spray of buckshot,” even if you’re shooting a sawed-off shotgun. Shotgun patterns at that range are fist-sized at best.
Second, if you did get a wide spray of OO pellets — so wide that it makes up for inexperience or poor aim — that would be a serious safety concern, right?
Halfwit Halfhill mentioned that a stray round from an AR-15 could kill an innocent person. That is, of course, correct. Does he think that same principal doesn’t apply to a wide pattern of .33 caliber OO buckshot?
People who use shotguns for home defense frequently try to tighten their patterns for just this reason. A stray buckshot pellet can be every bit as dangerous as a stray .223 round, though it won’t travel as far.
What ‘Real Gun Experts’ Say
Finally, Halfhill states that he’s never heard a “real gun expert” recommend using an assault rifle for home defense. Setting aside the use of the “assault rifle” moniker, if he’s never heard a recognized expert suggest using an AR-15 for home defense, it’s because he isn’t listening. Or has no interest in hearing it.
Plenty of personal defense experts suggest using the AR-15 and similar rifles for home defense. I just Googled “Experts Home Defense Weapons” and found a dozen suggesting the gun on the first page alone.
How about, as an example, Sergeant Major Kyle Lamb? He’s one who recommends using the AR-15 for home defense. He spent 21 years in the Army, including 15 years in Special Operations serving with Delta Force. Beyond that, he’s a well-known firearms instructor and owner of Viking Tactical. Is that expert enough?
Halfhill’s letter is just one of dozens that are full of propaganda, misinformation, and outright lies. Some people can be led to water, but they refuse to drink. In order to counter this misinformation, maybe the gun community needs to start writing letters to these newspapers…not that they’d print them.
The Truth About Assault Weapons & High Capacity Magazines.
This video should be a mandatory watch for all politicians or anyone else who wants to make commentary about so called assault weapons.
If I was a politician and didnt know sht about gunms and after watching that video I’d have to say ” Well all gunms are assualt weapons , ban them all.”
You cant win with facts or common sense.
A so called assault weapon is something Black Americans needed when the Gun Control military wing of the democRat Party known as the KKK was terrorizing them and looking for guns to confiscate. You know the kind of things that the for the moment nasty nice letter to the editor tom halfhill and his KKK/Nazi minded ilk would like to do to you to get your guns. You want ’em tommy boy then stfu and come and get ’em.
No, the assault weapons were what civil war soldiers widowed wives needed when a bunch of thieving, raping knee-grows would roam the countryside looking for an easy target. The US Injustice system wouldn’t do anything about it, much like how they let BLM burn down, rape, and pillage with impunity now. The “vigilante” KKK started out just to defend their communities and administer justice when the law would turn a blind eye to black crime. As for the Nawt-sees, Hitler actually loosened gun control from the Weimar period. However, he did disarm many criminal communist revolutionaries, many who also happened to be juice. Much like how felons are prohibited from owning firearms. A regulation overwhelmingly supported by Republicans, and Donald “take the guns first” Trump.
Good video. Again, all it does (disarming or regulating nonsense) is to erode the law-abiding citizen’s ability to defend against the lawless citizen who does not give a RIP about laffable gun laws and comes armed to the teeth with whatever he wants yet we have to be near toothless against him which will always be a surprise attack.
What makes ‘the best firearm’ is not going to be anything specific. Saying yes to this or no to that is all relative. Some calibers are better for some things and some guns are better at other things. Too many people on both sides talk about this as if there actually IS one gun that does it all. That gun does not exist. It isn’t like to either.
The best gun/caliber for home defense is you best educated guess with with you currently own. If you think something else is better then get that.
Absolutely. Same goes for carry. Stop the bad guy with what works for you.
If you only have one that’s suppressed, that’s probably the best one for home defense.
I agree. Home defense guns are a great place for suppressors.
The nature, construction and massive misinformation in Mr. Halfazz’s letter leads me to conclude that it was submitted by one of the civilian disarmament orgs to further their propaganda.
Another example of the factless fear-mongering drivel the Left uses to win the hearts and minds of the gullible.
Tom also probably believes that Russia hacked our democracy, Covid started from a Chinese person eating a bat, and Joe Biden wasn’t going to immediately open the border to illegal immigrants (you still owe me $20 for losing that bet Miner). These aren’t serious people. You can’t reason with these prejudice, emotional people.
Good luck getting any “newspaper” to publish any kind of rational counter to the agenda driven propaganda. My own newspaper, Norfolk, VA, Virginian Pilot (Pravda I call it), will never publish letters countering the democrat talking points that are their daily fare. I read the letters and they are uniformly supportive of the agenda.
The fact they ‘uniformly support the agenda’ shows you exactly what side of history you’re on, doesn’t it, traitor?
It shows what side the media is on, that’s for sure.
One thing is certain about history: YOUR KIND will not be remembered fondly, troll.
Pretty much the same for the Austin Statesman. You’d think there was not one conservative in the entire city.
When I lived in For Worth the Star-Telegram initially was an outstanding conservative newspaper. They were purchased by a national syndicate about 5 or 6 years ago and now they are democrat propaganda merchants. I canceled my subscription in disgust.
“When I lived in For Worth the Star-Telegram initially was an outstanding conservative newspaper.”
FWIW- an “outstanding conservative” outlet is NOT where we need to concentrate, it’s on the ones that oppose our POV, or that of the Founders. Those readers/participants are the ones we need to reach.
“Good luck getting any “newspaper” to publish any kind of rational counter to the agenda driven propaganda.”
Not necessarily so. My “local paper”, Des Moines Register, nationally-recognized/awarded and avowed progressive/leftist stance on everything from politics to yard sale ads often prints my letters and guest editorials, without edits. I’ve also had letters printed in other national newspapers, most recently the Las Vegas Sun countering one of their “have to ban guns because of the safety issues” posits that was featured here on TTAG. (The editorial, not my letter.) The DM Register also regularly runs position eds from other people on the board of Iowa Firearms Coalition during pertinent times when legislation is in the hopper, particularly last session when IA became the 20th Permitless/”Constitutional” Carry state in the US.
A couple things that might help you if you’d like to be published:
Put your bona fides in your signature. With LV Sun I could my Exec Director, IA Sportsmen’s Federation title, my board member status with Iowa State Rifle and Pistol Ass’n, and NRA-endorsed candidacy for 2021 Board of Directors. Media outlets will often print or give access to those who, at least on paper, can claim to have some sort of expert creds. Flaunt them if you have them, and if you have communication skills and are not involved with a local, state or national firearms organization, you should become involved. It will open doors for you.
Be timely with your letters/proposed guest commentaries. Write when an issue is hot, know the facts, and relate how proposed changes will directly affect you. It also helps to address a narrow focus that makes your best point, and brevity is a must in most published pieces so be willing to edit on your own rather than let them do it. Know their word count limit. Sometimes, like the LV Sun letter, you’ll be contacted by a member of the editorial board who will ask you if a certain edit for clarity is acceptable to you. If they do, thank them for asking.
Fianlly, if you’re serious about wanting to be published, get to know some of the people on the editorial staff. Their overall opinion of most of “us” is that we’re Neanderthal cretins but if you are actually known to them they will treat you with more respect. I often used to deliver a copy of my letter to them in person, and came in dressed in professional business clothes. If you have another hook as well to get “in” with them, use it. I often used my old career as an educator, one of the Left’s hotbed issues, to get partially in the door. I did the same with democrat IA legislators who I still see in the Statehouse. They know me; they don’t agree with my views on private firearms ownership but we also have other issues, some almost in common.
Finally, learn to write/communicate without being so rabidly judgmental as to the people you disagree with. Difficult as it is, if we can get our info past their “filter” we have a chance to reach others we should and might not be able to. The general attitude now of people on either side of traditional/Conservative v progressive/Leftist issues is not to even communicate with the other side. That’s falling into the old Lenin/Stalin approach. Use whatever opportunity you can to press your topic/POV and don’t look back. Against the actions of candidates like McCain, W, Romney and others, DJT went right into the belly of the minority/non-straight and often-progressive voter ‘hoods and made his case. He enjoyed far greater numbers of followers there than any Repub candidate for POTUS that I can remember since I started voting in 1972. “What have you got to lose?”
Finally (whew!), this is a great, long TTAG article but the reaction, I, fear, is for like-minded gunnies to feel good by heaping on with like-minded commentary. Safety in numbers, and all that. A better response to this article would be to leave your browser, open Word, start putting together an opinion letter of your own and share it with people who aren’t invested in this liberty. That’s where the gains are made, not here. Good luck.
I don’t need $50 to pay an organization that tells me half of what the 2nd Amendment says but never mentions about a “well-regulated Militia” that is to be created.
They also don’t mention what RR said about the 2nd Amendment and it’s in it if you ever read it. It’s the “peoples” right and not the government so it’s all theatre and treason from them.
Possibly both sides – so they PLAY you and make lots of money and made-up phony powers.
Michael, don’t let that stop you from responding. See Philip Van Cleave’s President’s article in the May Defender newsletter for tips on fighting back with our words. A lot of it echos what Craig says here.
Oh geez I get the “perfect” home defense BS on the shotgun pages I occasionally peruse. And these goofs champion low capacity pump shotguns. My go to guns are my semiautomatic pistols with a light. 2nd is my AR. 3rd is my melee weapon shotgun. We need law on our side. Like SCOTUS!
What is a melee weapon shotgun…? Serious question
Shockwave with a Stihl MSA 161T chainsaw attachment?
The battery operated saw is better than a gas powered one in that it is integrally suppressed for quiet “wet” work…while the Shockwave is more of a standoff Shock n’ Awe weapon.
Forget about writing to morons. Not worth the hassle. We need to stick together and get on top of the Brace and Receiver proposed legislation. We need to comment!
You’re preaching to the choir, and I want a Glock 18.
“…not that they’d print them.”
They have a platform. We don’t. We’ll never beat them at their own game, and they wouldn’t listen anyway. The focus should be on election integrity and remaking the Republican party. No, you’ll never get your dream third party. Let’s be realistic.
Countering the misinformation is difficult when the peddlers of the same are both willfully ignorant and stubbornly arrogant. I wish I had a round of 5.56 for every time someone has tried to argue with me that it is more deadly than .308 or 30-06. Their “proof” is that if it wasn’t more deadly then the military wouldn’t have adopted it. No amount of facts will sway most of them. Similarly, the rapid fire/high capacity thing w/respect to ARs et al. I’ve explained over and over that the fact that there are 30 rounds in the mag doesn’t provide a major upgrade in aimed shots on target per minute compared to 10 or even 5. After all, the sights and the trigger work about the same as any other firearm. Sure, a trained shooter can take a an advantage from the less frequent reload but, a well trained and talented shooter can maximize the speed and accuracy of any firearm – Jerry Miculek, please take a bow.
I’ve had these types of discussions/arguments with people both on-line and IRL for many years and the vast majority just get annoyed and call me names. They have made up their minds and refuse to be confused by the facts.
Pike contradicts himself here
quote————–those frequently encountered within the typical home — there is no “wide spray of buckshot,” even if you’re shooting a sawed-off shotgun. Shotgun patterns at that range are fist-sized at best.——————quote
AND THE Contradicts HIMSELF HERE:
QUOTE————Mr. Halfwit Halfhill mentioned that a stray round from an AR-15 could kill an innocent person. That is, of course, correct. Does he think that same principal doesn’t apply to a wide pattern of .33 caliber OO buckshot? People who use shotguns for home defense frequently try to tighten their patterns for just this reason.
I think the only halfwit here is Pike himself.
Again here he contradicts himself and adds more misleading information:
quote——————–Mr. Halfwit Halfhill mentioned that a stray round from an AR-15 could kill an innocent person. That is, of course, correct. Does he think that same principal doesn’t apply to a wide pattern of .33 caliber OO buckshot?—————-quote
Half Wit Pike seems to be unaware of the fact that an AR15 with a 30, or 40, or 100 round drum magazine throws a hell of a lot more stray bullets in only a couple of seconds especially when using the 100 round drum.
quote————–Halfhill seems to conflate semi-automatic with fully automatic, expecting a homeowner to use the spray and pray method.————-quote
Pike ignores the fact that a 30 round mag can be dumped in about only 1 second or so slower than a full auto AR15/M16. And Pike who obviously never watches the 6:00 News is unaware that drive by shootings always involve maniacs spraying and praying they hit the target but often hit multitudes of innocent bystander’s instead.
quote———————–Can a 5.56 round travel more than a mile? I’m sure it could…if you lobbed it like a grenade.——————-quote
Pike obviously flunked ballistics 101 as well. If an AR15 is sighted in for 100 yards a mere elevation change of 3 inches will let it hit a human at 300 yards striking only slightly lower than the point of aim at the sighting in distance of 100 yards. I could look it up and give you the exact trajectory but that is not relative to the point I am making which is that Pike flunked ballistics 101
quote———————Another laughable Halfhill assertion is that the best home defense firearm is a legally sawed-off pump-action shotgun. Legally sawn off? He means a short-barreled shotgun, right? There are all kinds of legal hoops you have to jump through to do that anywhere in the US, but in California, they’re illegal. For most people, Mr. Halfhill, that takes that option off the table.———————quote
Pike takes a cheap shot as Halfhill and even admits he knew what Halfhill meant by his statement about buying a shotgun with a legal shorter barrel. The legal length in California is 18 inch the same as Federal law and most other state laws. No the only thing laughable is your attempted cheap shot at Halfhill.
Pike also totally ignores the horrendous mass murders with AR15 rifles like the nut case in Dayton Ohio who used a 100 round drum magazine while the officer who actually killed the nut case had to face him down with a pistol. I am no lover of cops but put yourself in that Cops position armed with only a pistol and then trying to take out a nut case with a bullet proof vest on and an AR15 with a 100 round drum magazine. Pike ignores the fact that no shotgun readily available has a 100 round capability.
Or how about the Las Vegas massacre, no shotgun or shotguns could have done that much killing in that short a space of time but the assault rifles used that day sure did in only seconds.
And Pike crows about a military man recommending the AR15 for home defense. Obviously he is as much as a paranoid as Pike is because few if any home invasions call for a firefight like found in a combat zone. When intruders break in they want money or valuables and they are not about to hang around long at all when even a few shots are thrown at them as they do not even know the interior lay of the house and not being equipped with grenades are not in the position to try and clear a room of home owners. Obviously that military paranoid that Pike worships is as dumb or as paranoid as he is.
My doctor told me to stay on my meds.
Apparently he was correct.
I’m a major half-wit!
I also removed the picture of me. What was I thinking?
The problem with Alfred E. Neuman-Dacian is that he’s not smart enough to realize he’s not smart enough. Likely when he was a child his mother told him he was ‘special’ and he’s felt that way ever since.
Sad and funny at the same time.
“My doctor told me to stay on my meds.”
Do you need to be red-flagged for the good of society?
So you were on the cover of MAD Magazine? You must be very popular with the pre-teen crowd….
I now understand the logical “illogic” of most of your posts.
You sir, Dacian, win idiot of the day.
I beg you to please not reproduce.
Signed: Halfill ‘s Mom.
TAURUS OR SMITHWESSON 410 PISTOL . MY FAVORITE , I CALL THEM A HOUSE GUN .
WINCHESTER PDX1 410 SHOT I LIKE GOOD GROUP FOR 30 FEET I WOULD INSIDE OF HOUSE . THE SOUND WELL , SOUNDS LIKE RINGING IN THE EARS . JUST HOPE TO STOP THE THREAT AND PRAY IN HOPE NEVER EVER HAVE TO USE .
Maybe a little more hearing protection and you wouldn’t have to shout.
Bought my first handgun from a shop run by a Army veteran with 4 tours of duty, 3 in the Rangers. You want a gun for home defense? I’ll take an AR-15 every time, he said.
Your boy just set you up so when TSHTF and he needs another AR, he’ll mosey on over to your house and take it from your FUDD ass.
Shoot whatever you want. But like I told my neighbor, ” you start punching holes in my wall dont be surprised when I start shooting back.”
Over penetration and misses could be avoided if we only shot OFWG’s, skinny people are harder to hit and there’s not as much to eat when you get done.
Where’s the NAA—OFWG when you need it?
Years ago anytime a criminal fired two or more shots, in DC, the first half-wit that spoke to the press would say, “It must of been an Uzi, or something.” The local paper reported DC was averaging over a dozen “machine gun attacks” every month.
I will never use an AR for home defense, least ways as long as my wife is alive. She is terrified of them and wouldn’t allow one in the house. Which is why she doesn’t know I have one, and why it is locked up in the safe in the garage. SO a couple of .45 Colts and a couple of 9s and a couple of dogs provide my home protection. Now that I’m getting older, I need the dogs to wake me up, otherwise I could be robbed blind and not even roll over.
Whenever we can? That’s a full time job.
Did she cut your balls off too? The Chad is strong in this one.
A gun in every room, and a room for every gun.
Always loaded, out of of plain sight but with quick access.
Along with that, outdoor cameras, loud alarm, driveway sensors. etc.
When I’m home, I feel comfy and relaxed…I’m the A10 Warthog and an invader is a broke down jeep 🙂
My neighbors are similarly decked out, and we haven’t had a violent crime of any type in my town for quite a few years.
Has this imbecile ever fired an Ar-15 then a 12 gauge shotgun to compare the recoil? While a shotgun can be a formidable weapon, I would absolutely NOT recommend it as a self defense weapon for someone of limited training and experience. An AR-15 or other intermediate caliber, military style rifle is infinitely easier for a person of limited experience to employ effectively.
As for the risk from stray projectiles, Journees’ formulae offers perspective. As a rule of thumb, the maximum range is equal to the diameter of a spherical projectile in inches multiplied by 2,200 yards. Given corrections for drag coeffecient and sectional density, Journees’ formulae is reasonably accurate for handgun and rifle bullets. In fact Journees’ formulae is reasonably accurate for anyone from BB guns to battleship guns. Almost every state has curriculum for hunters safety courses that include charts of maximum projectile range. While rifles and even handguns can have greater range, stray projectiles from shotguns can be lethal hundreds of yards away. (Slugs can be lethal out to one mile)
The distinctive sound of racking a shotgun only gives away your position.
Johnny Methhead just broke into your house, some tweaker like that isn’t going to run away.
While I do have various handguns in different rooms within hands reach but out of sight,
one the main advantages of your house is you know the layout of it.
If needed you can move move around in the dark, Johnny wont have a clue.
I personally keep a Benelli M4 shotgun at bedside and have two German Shepherds.
It’s loaded with Critical Defense 00 Buckshot. (It runs that stuff great but it’s $$$)
Yes it would be a big boom in the house but it makes a very tight pattern.
Johnny Methhead or Johnny Methhead and friends aren’t getting up if they get hit with it.
OTOH the two German Shepherds should make Johnny Methhead look at a different house.
They are usually downstairs and hear noises plus smell things long before I do and go off.
While this about using an AR for home defense,
when it comes to home defense I’m all about overkill.
If you break into my house you are getting some 00, probably to the head area.
I like my dogs.
Where’s my comments on the mags? The only proper mag for an AR is 30 rounds. They just don’t look right with any other except sniper rifles, maybe.
We are being cheated from communist politicians which means NOBODY should obey this RULE.