The inexplicable ban on purely defensive guns

The two derringers she’s holding are chambered in .22 Short. They through a 27-29gr bullets at about 700fps, enough for 6-8 inches of penetration in flesh. Due to the minimal sights, they can be aimed reliably only at a fairly short range, perhaps half-dozen steps. Reloading is done manually and isn’t very quick.

These guns can be used as offensive weapons, but even a medium-sized knife is likely to be more effective for killing somebody. A person threatened with one can likely escape being hit by running away. Despite the minimal power and range of these pistols, they are treated the same as a full-size .45 by the US authorities. In Russia, even people who can own 12ga shotguns — nearly 50 times more powerful — cannot own these for self-defense unless they are special people, friends of the government. Much the same situation obtains in New York City, where only special people get gun licenses and official permission to carry. Given that these are unsuitable to offensive use, why would they be as restricted as full-power sidearms?

Given the light weight and the small size, these can be easily concealed. Even an infirm defender can lift and fire them, providing a last-ditch option against criminals. A single shot of low power won’t likely cause a fatal injury, but we know from observation that most violent criminals flee as soon as the likelihood of  any injury at all exceeds zero.

So the best guess is that restricting acquisition and carry of even the last potent firearms serves the purpose of keeping as much of the population as possible less safe from crime. Certain people — typically those who seek power of the public office — prefer their electorate to be less secure. The restrictions have nothing to do with public safety and much to do with retaining the official monopoly on force.

The woman in the photo is obviously not dressed for combat, and yet who would be willing to threaten her while she holds the two little pistols in her hands? A wheelchair-bound invalid is normally easy prey for thugs, but the vulnerability decreases a lot if the mere possibility of shooting back is introduced.  The same is true for the aged, the slightly built and for everyone else who would normally be the natural fodder of the lawless. When you talk to anti-gun people, ask them if they would be OK with the weakest of the weak arms more freely available. If they aren’t, ask why not.

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10 Responses to The inexplicable ban on purely defensive guns

  1. Vilkas Hrafnbjorn says:

    They’re offensive weapons because they’re excellent for a mugging or holdup, where the crook wants a firearm that’s at the pinnacle of concealment and their ranges are extremely close. Typically, such a weapon would be used in attacks that favor surprise and concealment, like leaping out of a dark alley and / or seizing the victim from behind. Or for a convenience store holdup where the crook wants to have a weapon that is significantly more intimidating than a knife but has the size of a folded straight razor.

    In a panic situation where the assailed is attempting to defend themselves by aiming for the center body mass, a larger ammunition capacity and / or larger caliber are potent psychological reinforcements for the assailed to fight back and survive. A PMR-30 would be a better choice for self-defense than these useless pistols, unless one suddenly found themselves transported to the Old West and needed a period-appropriate weapon for the career as a saloon dancing girl.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      True about PMR30 — but that’s an effective weapon instead of a marginal one. There’s at least a plausible explanation of why some people want it banned. With surprise, any firearms or knife is sufficient as intimidation device for a mugging, but the pistols shown are unlikely to be useful for a mass shooting or an uprising against the government. Yet they are still restricted or banned.

    • MikeGras says:

      I wish every “stick-up-man” could be limited to this sort of weapon.Your point is not taken.


  2. Eric R Apple says:

    One reason I’m aware of is that low velocity small caliber bullets are cleaner for hitters. It just kind of bounces around inside the skull until it loses velocity. Quieter and cleaner.

  3. LarryArnold says:

    It does remind me of the Liberator, though. Get close enough to one of the special people’s ninjas, put a bullet in his eye, and now you have his weapons.

    However, I totally agree with your main point. If people are vulnerable they’re far more likely to buy off on the “we need more government to protect us.” Which of course it doesn’t, but don’t look at the man behind that curtain.

  4. Ray says:

    Government finds it much easier to put the disarmed in gas chambers and ovens, and after all, that is the threat government wants to communicate. “Obey or be exterminated”.

  5. Matthew Carberry says:

    If your plan is to leap out of an alley or come up on someone from behind you can carry a full-sized handgun invisibly in a common innocuous messenger bag until you get into your alley or behind your victim, taking it out immediately prior to your assault with initiative and surprise on your side.

    “Easy concealability” may sound like a good reason for weapons controls but it fails utterly under even the briefest reflection. At least until the controllers mandate nudity and/or transparent clothing for all.

    • LarryArnold says:

      Easy concealability is primarily valuable to someone who wants to routinely carry a weapon for unexpected situations involving self-defense. Therefore it’s an excellent reason for weapons control. As opposed to doing anything that will actually prevent violence, that is. 😉

  6. There are guns in that post?

    Sorry, not seeing what you guys are talking about.

  7. RubberDucky says:

    So… where can I find the rest of this photo shoot? Please?

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