Soiling their bloomers over ‘Big Boomers’

The VPC is (once again) trying to stir up hysteria–this time over large handguns.

Washington, DC—Powerful new handguns called “big boomers” by the gun industry are a growing threat to the nation’s law enforcement officers, a new 36-page study released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reveals. (See http://www.vpc.org/studies/bigboomers.pdf for a copy of the study, see http://www.vpc.org/studies/boomerskeyfindings.pdf for a summary presenting the key findings of the study.) Body armor used by police has been able to stop handgun rounds and saved thousands of lives over the last three decades, the study states, but standard body armor cannot stop rifle rounds. “Big Boomers”—Rifle Power Designed Into Handguns warns that the gun industry is aggressively marketing a growing number of new handguns designed to fire bullets with rifle power. The rounds these guns fire can penetrate all but the most resistant body armor (such as that used in raids by many SWAT teams).

There’s a lot of garbage to debunk there, and I don’t have a lot of time at the moment, so I’m just going to make a couple quick points.

First–yes–cartridges like the .500 S&W Magnum, and especially the .460 S&W Magnum, will probably penetrate most police body armor without much difficulty. So, for that matter, will just about any centerfire rifle cartridge, including any popular hunting caliber (and hunting, by the way, is a large part of what these new(ish) S&W calibers were designed for). The difference, according to the VPC, is that handguns are more concealable than rifles, and are thus more likely to be used in crime (for some reason, they don’t seem to want to talk about the lack of concealability, and thus unsuitability for crime, of rifles, when they shriek about the dangers of so-called “assault weapons” and .50 caliber rifles).

Being the troublemaker that I am, I’m not particularly upset by the fact that the armed agents of government (and is that not an accurate term for police officers?) are not invulnerable to the arms available to the people–but let’s forget about that.

Let’s remember instead that the “Only Onesaren’t always the . . . Only Ones who wear body armor.

Let’s be clear here–the VPC’s stated goal is the banning of all handguns, as VPC founder and executive director Josh Sugarmann has plainly stated. The “big boomers” are nothing more than the handguns that the VPC see as the lowest-hanging fruit. If they get those banned, it will be “a good first step.”

It’s a step down a road that a free people must not tread.

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