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Posted: 3/14/2006 10:41:56 AM EDT
I expect this kind of stuff from the major newspapers and networks but thought that my local paper was a little better than this.


Sheriff's Department gets new weapons

By Matt Clower, The Messenger

Pike County deputies Sam Mallory and Kevin Childs unleash a barrage of machine-gun fire from their position kneeling behind a patrol car, filling the air with smoke and spent cartridges.

Down the range, the “perps”, a couple of paper targets taped to plywood, are quickly peppered with holes.

On Monday morning, deputies of the Pike County Sheriff's Department spent time testing out the latest additions to their growing arsenal- 12 AR-15 assault rifles. The AR-15 is the non-military variant of the M-16, and the new weapons provide the Sheriff's Department with a powerful, accurate, long-range rifle. It has enough power to easily penetrate any barrier, even a vehicle, as the deputies demonstrated by firing through a junked-out car.

“When we got semi-automatic pistols we thought we were out of the stone age,” Firearm Instructor Henry Wentland said, recalling carrying a six-shot revolver when he started with the department.

“Things have come a long way under Sheriff (Russell) Thomas's administration,” Wentland said.

The weaponry of the Sheriff's office has changed dramatically just in the past decade.

These days, the department is armed with everything from tactical shotguns to MP5 submachine guns and more.

It's a degree of firepower deputies say they hope never to have to use, but they say such extreme weapons are needed to stay ahead of the growing arsenal of high powered weapons available to criminals.

Instructor Troy Johnson said the weapons of choice for criminals today are high powered assault weapons like the AK-47 of the SKS.

Getting these weapons can be surprisingly easy. The AK-47 for instance can be purchased legally in a semi-automatic form the deputies said. With the right know-how, the guns can then be modified to a fully automatic form they said, giving criminals a dangerous edge.


Johnson acknowledged that such weapons might not yet be common in Pike County, but he said the potential is high for such weapons to make their way here.

“If you ask me today, I'd say things might not be that bad, but I'd say the chances are high that it will get that way in the near future,” Johnson said. “I'd rather have these weapons and not need them than need them and not have them.”

The instructors said that each deputy completed a qualifying exam in order to be assigned one of the new rifles. In addition, the deputies regularly practice drills with all of the advanced weapons.

On Monday, deputies practiced a variety of scenarios with the new guns, including exiting a vehicle and firing from cover.

Johnson said the department demands a high standard of accuracy from it's deputies than even the state requires.

“The state requires a score of 70; our department requires 80,” Johnson said.


www.troymessenger.com/articles/2006/03/14/news/news02.txt
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:44:02 AM EDT
Retards.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:45:01 AM EDT

machine-gun fire


Who has the machine gun?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:45:32 AM EDT
"Getting these weapons can be surprisingly easy. The AK-47 for instance can be purchased legally in a semi-automatic form the deputies said. With the right know-how, the guns can then be modified to a fully automatic form they said, giving criminals a dangerous edge."
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:46:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:46:47 AM EDT
You know, I think you might be a little too hyper sensitive about it. I have that tendency as well, but this really isn't THAT terrible an article.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:47:19 AM EDT
machine-gun fire from ... AR-15 assault rifles

and the ever popular high powered AK-47 of the SKS assault weapons.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:48:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 10:49:03 AM EDT by Big-Will]

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:

machine-gun fire


Who has the machine gun?



The picture in the paper is of them acting like they are shooting the AR-15s but they dont have ear or eye protection and they dont even have magazines in. The caption reads "Deputy fires new high powered weapon"
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:50:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
You know, I think you might be a little too hyper sensitive about it. I have that tendency as well, but this really isn't THAT terrible an article.




I dont even blink when I see it on tv, but this is from my local paper that is very very conservative. And we are in South Alabama where everybody has a gun so I just expected better
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:56:38 AM EDT

More lack of gun knowledge from the media

Most of them also lack the knowledge to write about anything that is even remotely technical. The attitudes of the press are be the first to get it out, whether it's right or night, we'll fix it later. Sometimes the later never comes. With that type of attitude it is of little amazement, that the Internet is reponsible for the decline of the news media. Witness the Dan Rather debacle, in the past it would've taken months to straighten out, and way too late to anything, but today it took, about a week?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:01:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 11:02:13 AM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]

Originally Posted By Big-Will:
Instructor Troy Johnson said the weapons of choice for criminals today are high powered assault weapons like the AK-47 of the SKS.

(snip)

Johnson acknowledged that such weapons might not yet be common in Pike County, but he said the potential is high for such weapons to make their way here.



So, um, they're like the Weapon of Choice and stuff, but um, we don't really see 'em around these parts much.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:05:14 AM EDT
So a .223 is high-powered, a 7.62x39 is high-powered... just what is a .50??
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:10:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big-Will:

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
You know, I think you might be a little too hyper sensitive about it. I have that tendency as well, but this really isn't THAT terrible an article.




I dont even blink when I see it on tv, but this is from my local paper that is very very conservative. And we are in South Alabama where everybody has a gun so I just expected better



I just don't see it as an anti-gun piece, and it is mostly accurate. The AR-15 is a non-military variant of an M-16, it is powerful (let's not dance around this), it's pretty accurate by reasonable standards, and remains so at 600 yards, so it isn't a huge stretch to consider it "long range". While it can't penetrate ANY barrier, as the author suggested, it can punch holes in a vehicle. We all know this, so why get upset over it?

The Sherrif's Department wants to stay a step ahead of well armed criminals and to be honest, if I was in their shoes, I'd want an AR too. I keep an AR at my bedside and another in my trunk for similar reasons. You never know.

They are right, and AK-47 CAN be purchased legally as a semi-auto variant. They were also right when they said that a knowledgeable person could modify one to be full auto. Hell, alot of us know how to do that (ARs included), we just don't because we dont' want to go to jail. And let's not dance around the issue, a well trained criminal with a machine gun is a serious threat, albeit an unlikely one. So what?

Instructor Johnson claimed that the potential for these weapons to appear in the hands of criminals in Pike County was high. I disagree with him, but I can't fault a reporter for simply reporting what he said. That's what the man said. So what? If the reporter spent a bunch of time countering every minute detail, it would turn it into a pro-gun piece. As great as that is, it would be hypocritical to accept that while pointing out bias in other stories.

Reporters aren't gun hobbyists like us, so I think a certain amount of leeway is due. There weren't any blatant errors. The Sherrif's Department is going over the top a bit in justifying their purchase, and the paper is accurately reporting this.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:11:13 AM EDT
I didn't think it was that bad.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:13:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 11:17:33 AM EDT by Big-Will]

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By Big-Will:

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
You know, I think you might be a little too hyper sensitive about it. I have that tendency as well, but this really isn't THAT terrible an article.




I dont even blink when I see it on tv, but this is from my local paper that is very very conservative. And we are in South Alabama where everybody has a gun so I just expected better



I just don't see it as an anti-gun piece, and it is mostly accurate. The AR-15 is a non-military variant of an M-16, it is powerful (let's not dance around this), it's pretty accurate by reasonable standards, and remains so at 600 yards, so it isn't a huge stretch to consider it "long range". While it can't penetrate ANY barrier, as the author suggested, it can punch holes in a vehicle. We all know this, so why get upset over it?

The Sherrif's Department wants to stay a step ahead of well armed criminals and to be honest, if I was in their shoes, I'd want an AR too. I keep an AR at my bedside and another in my trunk for similar reasons. You never know.

They are right, and AK-47 CAN be purchased legally as a semi-auto variant. They were also right when they said that a knowledgeable person could modify one to be full auto. Hell, alot of us know how to do that (ARs included), we just don't because we dont' want to go to jail. And let's not dance around the issue, a well trained criminal with a machine gun is a serious threat, albeit an unlikely one. So what?

Instructor Johnson claimed that the potential for these weapons to appear in the hands of criminals in Pike County was high. I disagree with him, but I can't fault a reporter for simply reporting what he said. That's what the man said. So what? If the reporter spent a bunch of time countering every minute detail, it would turn it into a pro-gun piece. As great as that is, it would be hypocritical to accept that while pointing out bias in other stories.

Reporters aren't gun hobbyists like us, so I think a certain amount of leeway is due. There weren't any blatant errors. The Sherrif's Department is going over the top a bit in justifying their purchase, and the paper is accurately reporting this.





Did I say anything about a bias? I think the title includes " Lack of Knowledge". I didnt say that they were anti gun. I am just making the point that the writer does not know what he is talking about.

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:14:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big-Will:
Getting these weapons can be surprisingly easy.



yeah, those kinds of things tend to happen in a free country.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:15:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big-Will:



Dude, come on. What's that about?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:16:31 AM EDT
It's not that bad of an article considering some I have read except this:

Instructor Troy Johnson said the weapons of choice for criminals today are high powered assault weapons like the AK-47 of the SKS.

Google news reveals 0 news stories involving criminal AK-47 use in Alabama and 1 murder with an SKS.

I think it's a good idea for the police to be prepared, but the irresponsible and misleading statement be the police instructor is the kind of crap that gets thrown around during weapns bans.

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:18:43 AM EDT
The email addresses for the newspaper follow the format of firstname.lastname@papersname. So you might be able to reach the guy at matt.clower@troymessenger.com.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:19:31 AM EDT
BTW I am glad that they got the ARs. Our State Troopers just got them last year. I have no problem with my LEOs getting the good stuff.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:25:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big-Will:
Did I say anything about a bias? I think the title includes " Lack of Knowledge". I didnt say that they were anti gun. I am just making the point that the writer does not know what he is talking about.




OK cool dude, but I'm not trolling for negative responses. I just disagree with your assesment of the piece. Nearly all of the information written by your local paper was technically accurate. ARs and AKs are powerful, AR-15s are accurate, the AR-15 is a non-military variant of an M-16, AKs can be purchased in semi-auto form, ARs can easily punch through car doors, etc.

The bullshit statements came from Instructor Troy Johnson, not your local paper. They just faithfully wrote what the man said. That's all I'm saying.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 11:45:48 AM EDT
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