Biloxi, Mississippi (Ammoland.com) If you happen to have sublet Osama Bin Laden's former cave dwelling and have not seen or heard the news during the last two weeks, the artist formerly known as Barry Soetero, signed an Executive Order forbidding the re-importation of ‘military-grade firearms' back into the United States.
Essentially, the new EO is a blanket denial of permission for lawful firearms import companies to bring back into the United States firearms manufactured here and sold/lent/given to allied nations.
A quick perusal of the WhiteHouse.org Propaganda Sheet states that the purpose was to “Keep surplus military weapons off our streets”. We would suggest the word ‘of' be inserted between off and our, but in this world of creative spelling and think-speak, who are we to judge?
Forget for a moment that under the Soetero Regime real ‘military-grade' weapons have been purchased and supplied to the streets of Egypt, Libya, and coming soon if not already, Syria. That blatant hypocrisy aside, those without a free ‘Obama phone' in their hands might want to dig a bit deeper and consider just what ‘military-grade' firearms are primarily affected by the latest royal edict.
Select-fire or fully-automatic machine-guns and submachine-guns are already severely restricted from lawful transfer and essentially can only be possessed by the king's troops. The firearms at question here are M1 Garand rifles (.30-06) and, to a lesser extent, semi-automatic only M1 Carbines (.30 Carbine).
Let's take a moment for a quick history lesson for those of you in the Reddit generation or who attended public school during the last twenty years.
The M1 Garand rifle was designed and developed between World War I and World War II. John C. Garand is credited with the design that bears his name and the rifle came into service with the US Army in 1936. Throughout the war years it was built by notable makers such as Springfield Armory, Winchester, Beretta, and Harrington&Richardson, as well as International Harvester. All told, it is estimated that over 60 million M1 Garand rifles were produced.
Mechanically, the M1 Garand rifle chambers the .30-06 rifle cartridge (some .308 Winchester models exist but are not normally classified as ‘war surplus'). The action of the Garand is semi-automatic and gas-operated. The empty rifle weighs nearly ten pounds with its solid hardwood and steel construction. Probably the greatest culprit in the ‘clip' or ‘magazine' confusion, the M1 rifle is fed by the use of an 8-round ‘en bloc' metal clip. A ‘clip' of ammunition is fed into the open action, top down, and seated in the fixed magazine of the gun.
When the action runs dry, a distinct metal “ching” sound is made as the rifle ejects the empty ammo clip out and away from the gun. As a side note, legend has it that soldiers hated the sound as it indicated an empty gun and the enemy would pick up on that. However, in a heated military battle with incoming and outgoing mortars, grenades, and machine-gun fire, I doubt the metallic sound could be heard by few other than the men actually using the rifles. I suspect the noise was more of a psychological let down, than a tactical detriment. But, I digress.
Now that we understand the basic workings and design of the M1 Garand we can see that it is comparable to many self-loading, .30 caliber hunting rifles available at retail outlets nationwide. The modern BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) functions in a similar fashion to the Garand and requires no special licencing or government permits.
Fantasy and Fallacy
Only those completely drunk on Obama-Kool Aid could look at the M1 Garand as some type of super-scary, death machine. Yes, it was once state-of-the-art military hardware. By the same token, the Springfield 1861 percussion-cap, muzzle-loading rifle and the 1884 trap-door, single-shot rifle were both considered ‘state-of-the-art military hardware' at one point in time. Given this thinking, should the Soetero Regime take special precautions to ensure that the 1795 Springfield musket is never reintroduced to the American public? After all, that gun dominated the battlefield for nearly fifty years and fired a massive .69 caliber lead ball?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation compiles crime statistics, to include firearms used in crimes, each and every year. Do you suppose that the current regime has statistics showing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of murders committed annually with M1 Garand rifles? When you turn on the six o'clock news each day do you hear/see stories of murder and violence committed by WWII reenactors so swept up by blood lust that they took their M1's to the streets? Perhaps, denying permission to re-import these historical firearms is simply a prudent step to prevent this type of hardware from reaching our shores?
The news and gun wires have been filled with stories of the current edict's effect on one primary victim; the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Formed by an act of Congress in 1903, the Civilian Marksmanship Program has as its stated mission “to promote firearm safety and marksmanship training with an emphasis on youth“. The Office of the Director for the Civilian Marksmanship Program was created as part of the War Appropriations Act to provide civilians with the opportunity to learn and practice the skills of marksmanship in the event that they would be called to military service by the nation. The rifles used by the program were IDENTICAL to those of the US Army service rifle of the time.
Allow the previous paragraph to digest for a moment. One hundred years ago we had a congress that not only approved of the use of military-grade firearms by the citizens of the United States, but supported that effort through appropriations (money). Those men understood inherently that it was the American civilian who was the heart and soul of the nation's defense. Contrast that to the current state of affairs. Nearly half of the US Congress believes all firearms should be banned and/or strictly regulated by the Federal Government and the other half cover themselves in soft language using words like ‘hunting‘ or ‘sporting use‘.
The primary benefactor of the reimportation of the M1 Garand rifle is the CMP. By default, the primary victim of the latest royal edict is also the CMP. Does it not stand to reason that even the inept and amateurish Soetero Regime knows this? Peeling away the mythology that somehow Garand rifles are a threat to national security and public safety, is it not reasonable to accept that the main focus of this edict is to hamper if not destroy the Civilian Marksmanship Program?
Who gets punished?
American gun owners and shooters as individuals don't necessarily need Garand rifles for home protection or protection from very real street criminals. Hunters certainly don't need a seventy year old rifle to harvest a whitetail deer. By comparison, street thugs, organized criminals and Mexican drug cartels don't need Garand rifles to commit atrocities. The latter was amply armed with AK variants by our very own Justice Department for several years.
So, in the end, who does this edict effect and punish? The lawful American civilian who wishes to be involved with the century old, patriot act of participating in CMP activities would seem to be the prime target for punitive action. The natural, if not obvious, question I will leave you with is ‘why'. Why would the Soetero Regime take the time and effort to single out and punish this organization and its members? Answer that question for yourself, I have to go clean my Brown Bess musket.
About the Author
Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a United States Marine, police officer, professional bodyguard, and small arms and tactics instructor. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly 20 years, and has hundreds of articles in print. A regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows, Markel is a subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force.
Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students, young and old, for decades and has also worked actively with 4H Shooting Sports programs. Markel holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines; nonetheless, he is, and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.