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That's the phrase, well part of anyway, that was used in a recent conversation with someone over gun restriction and regulation. More specifically we were discussing the merits and needs of someone owning and operating something like the AR15.

They said that this weapon was needed as protection. I had to ask protection from what specifically?

Their reply?....Government

I couldn't deal with the conversation anymore for the absurdity of the claim was just far too much. After the fold I'll detail out the many ways that this claim is absurd.

That was a hellfire missile strike on a car. The missile was carried by a Predator model MQ-1. This particular drone has a cruise speed of around 80 to 100 mph and has a length of 27 feet or so. It's wing span is 48 feet, but the entire thing only weights around 2 tons when fully loaded. It's maximum range is 675 miles and has an operating duration of 24 hours.

It operates in the medium altitude range of 5 thousand to 8 thousand feet, and its optics in the form of the AN/AAS-52 multispectral targeting system enables it, or rather the operator, to see in varied wavelengths from almost 25 thousand feet out.

What's all that techno mumbo jumbo mean?

What it means is that this thing can fly, pretty silently mind you, at nearly 3 to 4 miles out from a target, find it and destroy it well before the target even knows it was found. And buildings nor cover do not matter for the AN/AAS-52 in its multispectral system allows it to see behind objects. So you could literally be sitting in a covered location and this drone can see you up to 4 miles away.

And what of the armament of this thing?

Well it has two hard points and can carry two different ground based attack weapons. One is the AGM-176 Griffin and the other is the AGM-114 Hellfire. What can these munitions do and what are they capable of? Lets cover the 176 first.

The AGM-176 Griffin is smaller than the Hellfire with a payload of 13 pounds. It is a blast fragmentation round meaning that its blast will send out shrapnel with its delivery. It was designed in order to carry more salvos since the drone can carry 6 instead of only two. Its delivery system is laser guided, GPS or dumb fired, and typically is used in a situation of open field ranged combat. It has a range of 3.5 miles when launched from the surface or nearly 13 miles when launched from aerial. The warhead can be selected from fuse delay (structure penetration), point of contact (vehicles), or aerial blast (meaning it explodes just above you, maximizing area kill effects)

The more popular round carried by the UAV Predator though is the Hellfire missile. The AGM-114 which has a multitude of variants regarding its warhead, payload, and operation. The 114 ranges from payloads designed for bunker penetration, to anti vehicle, to small delivery thermobaric blasts. The Hellfire missile has a typical range of 4.5 miles and its guidance system uses a self contained semi-active laser guidance system. Like Ronco, you mark your target, set it, and forget it. It also can be selected from fuse delay, point of contact, or aerial blast.

The typical delivery charge used by the UAV is the AGM-114N Hellfire II, which uses a 18 pound metal augmented charge. This is a thermobaric weapon, meaning that it uses the fuel air explosive effect so that the oxidation during combustion and ignition uses the oxygen in the area of the target and does not rely on the fuel source entirely. Think of flour, try to light it on fire and it does nothing really, now grab a handful and toss it in the air above a campfire. The 114N has something similar in that the warhead contains a fluorinated aluminum powder that is layered between the warhead casing and the PBXN-112 explosive fill. When the explosive detonates, the aluminum mixture is dispersed and rapidly burns. While its instant kill radius is small comparable to the HEAT round version of the missile or even the Griffin 176, because it creates a rapid pressure wave from the consumption of oxygen in the area it can have a massive kill radius in urban environments and when striking structures. The resulting pressure wave literally sucks the air from your lungs, crushes your organs, and shreds your internal body. So while an attack from a griffin on an area, a brick wall might help protect you, this thing suffocates and crushes you despite any protection you cower behind.

So what good would that AR15 do for you? How would it protect you?

Ask the multitude of Pakistanis, Afghans, Iraqis, those in Yemen, and many other places around the world for their opinion. Hell they have easy access to another weapon which is very similar to the AR15. The AK 47. Sure its range is a little lower at 400 yards versus the AR's 600 yards, but the energy delivery isn't far off at 462 foot pounds versus the AR's 536. They also have access to the fully automatic version of the weapon.

We should go ask them how easy access to weapons is protecting them from our government?

And you know what, we're not only making more of these things we are also making better. The previously mentioned drone, well that model is ancient these days. Our current unmanned drone of choice is the MQ-9, which has an operational length of 30 hours and 14 fully loaded, a service ceiling of 50k feet, 1000 mile operation range, operational altitude of 25k feet, and a cruising speed of 194 mph. It can carry 14 of the above describe Hellfire missiles. It also uses a more advanced avionics utilizing the AN/DAS-1 MTS-B. It's size is also not much larger really, the profile for this thing is very small. Meaning you could detect it, with RADAR maybe, but that will be right about the same time a charge goes off from a missile right above your head.

And you know what, about that RADAR. We're getting ready to introduce the General Atomics Avenger which is a stealth version of the attack drone, capable of carrying more of those wonderful wonderful Hellfire missiles, longer operational length and distance, and has stealth capabilities.

So seriously gun advocates, please stop using that tired old argument that you need your weapons to protect you from your government.

Ohh and that national registry by the way.....what do you think the CIA and FBI do exactly with all that captured internet, phone, etc.. information on a daily basis? They sift through continuously, without a warrant by the way, and if they were so inclined they could find out whatever they want about you already.

You want a weapon against your government? You already have it and may not even realize it. We fire it off at least every two years, sometimes sooner and every citizen has one. You want to know what the most powerful weapon against your government is?

Your Vote....so give up the gun fantasy already.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:27:28 AM PST

  •  Exactly. Our laws, a truthful press and (5+ / 0-)

    our ability to peacefully organize are our best defense against government overreach.   It's funny that the ones that insist they need an A15 or a M16 or whatever against the United States government are the same ones that want to make it harder to register to vote and make it harder to vote.   They are the ones that want to make voting terrifying.  

    I hold my right and duty to vote as sacred.  Tipped and rec'd for truth.

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:40:17 AM PST

  •  Thought Jesus was the only defense vs. Hellfire? (3+ / 0-)

    Its called Hellfire for a reason, damn idiots.

    And btw, they're not fooling anyone.  They didn't go apecrap about this when Dumbya was installed, even though he lost, generally considered pretty damn essential to tyranny.  No, they only did it when the majority elects someone they don't like, especially if he's black.

    What they mean is they 'need it for protection against Democracy and The Constitution.'  

    You know, the things they claim to love.

  •  Yep Unless They Organize via Carrier Pigeon, (3+ / 0-)

    they'd never get out their front door for an actual organized revolt.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 12:03:59 PM PST

  •  I say this as a veteran recently discharged: (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone who underestimates reactionaries with fertilizer, cell phones and rifles has not been watching the news for the past ten years.

    An effective insurgency does not need tanks, planes or drones.

    •  There is a far cry difference from someone (2+ / 0-)

      joining up to fight an insurgency because their country has been invaded, their parents were murdered in a thermobaric blast from the sky.

      And Joe Schmoe who wouldn't know how to put down the ding dongs let alone actually construct something like that.

      Don't underestimate the intelligence community these days

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 12:44:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, there isn't. (0+ / 0-)

        Most insurgency members were part of the insurgency because of family or clan ties. Most are not and were not educated. Bombs are very easy to make, and relatively easy to make out of common items legal to obtain.

        I don't underestimate anything, especially the capabilities of our own military. But I know what a bunch of wife-beaters with AK's and fertilizer can do.

        •  Chances of anything of the sort here large scale? (0+ / 0-)

          almost null

          yes we always will have the occasional Mcveigh, but en masse? I doubt it

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 12:56:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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