Yesterday former United States Representative and 2012/2008 Presidential Candidiate Ron Paul interviewed Edward Snowden (the NSA contractor who leaked large amounts of information revealing mass NSA surveillance). The interview is over 34 minutes long, and can be viewed below:
Once upon a time, the Confederate flag was tolerated, even by those who didn't like it or understand it. Today, however, the flag is under attack from almost all sides. State, county, and city governments are being forced to remove the flag from their buildings, cars, uniforms, etc. by activist groups who are suddenly gaining national spotlight. We're told that it's because these are symbols of hate, but even blacks are standing up and saying that's not true. We're told that it's good for people to remove the so-called symbols of hate, but since when did anything that was actually good for people become a matter of national controversy?
Eric, from Eric Peters Autos, has a different explanation:
There is a very good reason why the Confederate flag is under attack. It is because it is the rebel flag. The flag of resistance, of (as columnist Fred Reed so neatly – so accurately – put it)… leave me the hell alone. This is why it’s favored by rural whites whose great-great-great grandparents never owned slaves nor wanted to – but who can’t stand annoying busybodies (they call ’em Yankees down South but the principle applies generally) who seem to think they are god’s anointed, sent hither to instruct and enlighten.
Who cannot stand the idea that others (anywhere) might hold differing opinions, do things differently – and so must be compelled to hold the right opinions, do the right things.
As the Yankees define these things.
Think Hillary Clinton.
But Bill will do, too.
For that matter, so will George Bush. And Chris Christie.
They’re all the same, notwithstanding the color of their skin. Or of their party. The federal party. The party of government. Of control.
Absolutely every last little thing. Down to the size of the cola you’ll be allowed to buy. And very soon, the opinions you’ll be allowed to hold.
Or at least, to express.
As many people have already heard (thanks to groups such as the NRA widely circulating news about this), the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has proposed a ban on the popular M855 rifle cartridge (often called "Green Tips" due to the green paint on the tip of the bullet) for firearms that are designed to shoot the popular .223 Remington/5.56x45mm NATO caliber bullet (such as AR-15 rifles, and many others). For those who want more information about the ban and why it has been imposed, but do not want to read the NRA's article, then here's a link to an article from Forbes about the proposed ammunition ban.
It is, of course, important to understand that this ban has merely been proposed, and that it has not been made an official regulation yet and will not be enforced until it makes the change from being proposed to actually becoming a regulation. It is also important to note that the change to the way M855 ammunition is being handled by the ATF is not an actual change in law, but simply a change in whether or not the ATF considers the M855 ammunition to be considered an "armor piercing" ammunition "which may be used in a handgun", which would make it illegal under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (as mentioned in the article from Forbes).
For the purposes of understanding what the Gun Control Act of 1968 does define as "armor piercing", here are the two criteria listed on the ATF website:
- A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium;
- A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.
For those who don't already know, the .223/5.56 bullets are ".22 caliber", and thus the second criteria does not apply. Therefore, we have to establish whether the first one can apply. Forbes already discusses whether or not .223/5.56 ammunition can be used in a handgun, and while they do briefly mention whether or not the core of the bullet is made of the metals listed in the first criteria, I thought it might be a good idea to have a firearms expert show exactly what is inside the M855 "green tip" bullet. Here's a video from Jerry Miculek where, after 2 minutes and 30 seconds of satire (you can feel free to skip that part) he shows a few examples of bullets that have been cut in half so that you can see the inside, and explains what makes up the M855 bullet:
For those who are opposed to the proposed ban, the NRA has a form to contact your legislators and the ATF about it at this link.
This is very humorous, and very informative. About 25 minutes long, but well worth the watch.