I hate ad hominem attacks but in this case it is worthwhile considering the reporter's history. First off, David Holthouse planned a murder. He has published other articles talking about how he had purchases a firearm and had a plan to torture and then execute someone who he claimed raped him when he was 7 (the alleged perp was 14). Child rape is a terrible, abhorrent crime. But vengeance does not belong to the citizen. David Holthouse describes plotting a murder; it is pure vigilantism. The reason he gave up his plan was because his parents discovered the plot and went public with it. He actually bragged about the plot in an NPR interview and other media stories:
"...I bought the gun last April. I had a few firearms in my closet already, but they'd all been purchased legally, in my name, from a licensed firearms dealer. So I flew to Phoenix and went to a gang barrio, where I bought a Beretta 9mm with a homemade silencer and the serial number removed. I took this gun to the local garage gunsmith and had him put dozens of deep nicks and grooves in the Beretta's barrel to corrupt ballistics tests. The gunsmith warned me that this would ruin the gun's accuracy beyond a few feet, but I didn't care. I intended to get up-close and personal.Note that at the time of this purchase, Holthouse lived in Colorado. By traveling across state lines and purchasing from a private seller out of state, Holthouse violated the law. He committed a felony. Holthouse is a felon that never got caught and convicted, even though he's confessed to his crime.
After testing the gun and silencer in the desert, I stored them in Phoenix and flew home to keep scheming. It seems a little insane to me now that I was actually going to kill a man instead of just bringing what he had done to me out in the open...."
It is also worth pointing out that some of Mr. Holthouse's previous work for the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Intelligence Report" was actually libelous and had to be publicly atoned for.
The organization that bought and paid for this article, Media Matters for America, is a progressive organization, which recieved $400,000 from our favorite -- the Joyce Foundation. This is the same foundation that provides almost all of the funding for the Brady Campaign, VPC, etc. They're the mothership for most of the nonsense out there.
Now that we've considered the author, look at the ideas expressed by Holthouse.
On Bear Guns
Century Arms showed him an AK-style 7.62x39 handgun. He was shocked because it didn't look much like a big bore revolver. Now, anyone dealing with bear guns for hunting will tell you that you want a big magnum, minimum. Duh. However, for those that find a rifle inconvenient for bear defense, big bore revolvers are popular. A .44 magnum dishes out around 1250 joules of energy. Even that is no guarantee that a big bear will be neutralized; Wild West Guns has some deformed .44 bullets that apparently bounced off of a brownie's cranium. Even so, while a 7.62x39 AK round is not appropriate for hunting ethically, it is far more powerful than a .44 magnum, with average rounds delivering over 2000 joules of energy.
While there is more to killing or stopping power than plain energy, it is hard to argue that any handgun round will outdo a centerfire rifle.
On Armor Piercing Ammunition
Holthouse then expresses concern when offered steel-core armor piercing rounds for the AK. He thinks they are illegal. They aren't illegal to own, possess, buy, or sell. The only restriction is that to import them or manufacture them you need a special version of FFL. I don't know about you, but I don't bulk order much ammo from China, so I think 99% of us are ok without thinking about these rules.
By the way, the ammo isn't especially popular for killing cops. Any rifle round -- regardless of what the core is made out of -- will tear through soft body armor worn by most police officers. It is popular because it is cheap (military surplus) which makes it desirable for lots of practice, and because some people actually desire more penetration for certain applications.
"In other words, they’re better able to kill human beings in greater numbers and with more efficiency. That’s all they’re good for—not target shooting, not hunting, just killing people."
Yes, that's the idea. I want police officers to be able to kill people more efficiently. I also want military members to be more effective. And finally, I want home defenders and armed citizens to have a better chance of survival too.
Surprisingly, he freaks out about the S&W M&P-15-22P. This gun looks really freaking scary. What Holthouse doesn't realize is that it is a .22. It is no more lethal than a Ruger 10/22, one of the most common target rifles in history. It is hardly more lethal than a Marlin 39 (Annie Oakley's favorite gun). The 15-22 is certainly not intended to kill anyone, at least not effectively. It is too big to conceal (making it a poor choice for criminals), and the .22 round is a poor stopper. Its a plinker (or maybe useful if your local rabbits have organized into a militia or something). It could also be useful in a zombie invasion, as he mentions, if you subscribe to the school of thought that zombies require a headshot with any caliber to drop.
He also freaks out on magazine sizes and tries to imply that they were actually banned during the AWB. This has been addressed numerous times, so I'll just summarize: The AWB didn't ban sale or possession of these common standard capacity magazines. Several states have tried strict bans and nobody has ever found such restrictions to decrease crime. Holthouse is just another anti-gun bigot who is either ignorant of the laws he purports to support or deliberately lying about them.
On Good Defensive Ammo
Holthouse also freaks out about ammo:
Holthouse must be ignorant about defensive ammunition or wants cops to die. Back when we just had soft lead bullets, like the notorious "widowmaker .38 special lead round nose," cops would empty revolvers into assailants and find that they lacked stopping power. The attacker would be filled with holes but not stop right away. Of course, they'd probably die later because they had a bunch of holes in them, but not before they completed their crime or killed the cop. Moreover, these bullets dangerously overpenetrated. That is, police were likely to shoot right through the attacker and hit their partner or a bystander. So, it isn't an exaggeration to say that by denying personal defense hollow point rounds, Holthouse wants perps to get filled with more holes (and die), cops to fail to stop their attackers (and die), and for bystanders to get hit by overpenetrating rounds (and die). Holthouse is either a lunatic massmurderer wannabe or totally unknowledgeable about firearms.
Ammunition-makers likewise promoted new bullets designed to heighten the damage they cause to the human body. For example, this year the Nebraska-based handgun ammunition manufacturer Hornady, one of the leaders in the industry, introduced .44 Special and .45 Colt caliber rounds to its popular Critical Defense line of “personal defense” hollow-point handgun rounds. (Hollow point bullets expand or “mushroom” when they enter a human body, amplifying tissue damage, blood loss and shock.)
The good times keep on rolling: slamming .50 cals that can shoot down airplanes, claiming firearms ownership is dropping, the myth of the magical auto-aiming shotgun, and so on. You really have to read this trash to believe it. Then again, what do you expect out of the Anchorage Press, which literally is given away for free downtown because they have no subscribers.
Remember: Holthouse has literally committed gun-related felonies; in fact, he has bragged about them and profited from them. He flaunts the law and publicly plots violent crimes. And he presumes to lecture sane, well adjusted members of society about gun laws? What a hypocrite.