Rarely have I seen so much misinformation contained in a small space. The recent (letter to the editor) by Frank Fader requires some correction.
Mr. Fader evidently believes that the firearms industry is totally unregulated. In fact, the (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) monitors every step of the manufacture, distribution and sale of all firearms.
The "overnight industry" that Mr. Fader imagines is feverishly converting auto-loading weapons to machine guns seems to have escaped everyone's notice; including the BATF.
The U.S.-made AR-15 autoloader is manufactured with a receiver that is different from the select-fire full-auto M-16 for the very purpose of preventing conversion.
The "AK-47s" which are "for sale to everyone," according to Mr. Fader, are not AK-47s at all, but are imitations that superficially resemble the AK-47 but function differently. These are legal products that are for sale on the open market for the same reason that one can purchase an automobile which is capable of 140 mph; we still have freedom of choice.
I must wonder why Mr. Fader thinks that weapons which are purpose-built for military use are a poor choice for self-defense. And why bullets "leave the barrel" in an "indiscriminate direction," an action which defies physical law as well as logic. Any firearm that scattered shots all over the landscape except to the point of aim would be an unlikely choice for use by troops.
As to the "high penetration" of the cartridges used, both the Russian 7.62X39 and the U.S. 5.56 NATO are relatively low-energy rounds. They are designed to produce low recoil so that the shooter may place the maximum number of rounds in a small area.
Neither cartridge approaches the old 30/06, the standard U.S. cartridge in World War I and II, and Korea, in terms of energy delivered on target.
I didn't know that anyone thinks that the flash-bang devices used in movies and TV are real weapons. They are the product of special effects people who could make an aluminum canoe explode and burn if the script called for it.
Mr. Fader is right about the need for training; which is why the NRA spends more than $1 million every year on safety training programs. We certainly agree on the need for personal responsibility.
I do wish that Mr. Fader would be more careful with technical information. There are plenty of other people out there who would not know an assault weapon from a ham sandwich, but feel entirely qualified to decide what we may or may not own.
Richard L. Sandheger