The Right to the Protection of Life Itself

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     Since the framing of the United States constitution the Second Amendment has been extremely controversial in the way it is interpreted. This is due in part to many arguing that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own firearms, and that the government should not restrict this right. Other argue that the Second Amendment was meant to apply to states’ rights. Many have also argued that the high levels of violent crime in the United States is due in part by the high levels of gun ownership in the United States. Even though the majority of violent crimes are committed by people who legally can not own a firearm. The fact of the matter is that statistics show that the majority of violent crimes are committed with illegally acquired firearms.

     The majority of firearm owners have firearms as a means of defense for themselves, their family, and their property. At its most fundamental level, self-defense is recognized as a natural pre-existing human right that everyone is entitled to without it being specifically granted by law. This fundamental ideology dates back to the ancient Roman Empire, which recognized an individual’s right to defend himself and his property as morally proper and irrevocable by the government. A sixth-century AD entry in the Roman law code known as Codex Justinianus read as follows: “We grant all persons the unrestricted power to defend to themselves, so that it is proper to subject anyone… to immediate punishment in accordance with the authority granted to all. Let him suffer the death which he threatened and incur that which he intended.” Modern American laws are direct descendants of these early justice systems, and concepts of self-defense as a natural right and the inviolable sanctity of one’s home endure in American legal statues today.

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     Most violent crime in the United States is committed by individuals who legally can not obtain a firearm. In 2013 the FBI reported that violent crime has fallen 14.5% since 2004. At the same time firearm ownership rates have increased. 71% of gunshot victims have priors. 64% of those gunshot victims have also been convicted of a crime. Individuals in that percentage also have an average of eleven priors. 73% of that group also knew their assailant to some extent. Very simply put most violent crimes are between criminals. Legally obtained firearms in the hands of responsible law abiding citizens though help prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes every year or 6,849 a day. An average of 400,000 life-threatening crimes are prevented with legally obtained firearms in the hands of responsible citizens every year as well.

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     There are people who see firearms as the disease plaguing America, but the truth is guns are the cure not the disease. Firearms are a deterrent, statistics show that of the 2.5 million crimes a year that guns help prevent the majority of these result in the gun never being fired and no blood being shed. There are people who believe imposing heavier restrictions to even banning guns would cause crime to drop. In the U.K. where private ownership of firearms is practically forbidden, criminals have and use guns regularly, and sometimes even build their own. The U.K. even with extremely restrictive firearm laws has still seen a 35% jump in gun violence.

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     For violent crime to drop we need to push for more responsible law abiding citizens to be allowed to carry firearms. As the evidence very clearly shows, the more guns the less crime. As common sense shows, no criminal is going to commit a crime if they know they are surrounded by armed law abiding citizens.

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Connecticut´s White Tailed Problem

One hundred years ago, the United States had a total white tail deer population of about 500,000 white tails through out the nation. Today the white tail population has sky rocketed into about 15 million white tails through out the nation. Keep in mind that is only one type of deer. This has become an issue in most states, especially Connecticut.     CT´s white tail population has risen to about 30-40 deer per square mile, while the number for a healthy population should be 10-15 deer per square mile. This causes many negative and at times lethal side affects for not only the deer population, but also for humans, and nature itself. The following video will explain everything in more detail.

 

The Brainchild of the USSR: The AK-47

No two creations have shaped the modern world in such a way as the Kalashnikov AK-47 & the Armalite AR-15 have. These two simple yet incredible tools, have shaped international borders, exchanges of power, and even fueled uprisings. These two firearms have been competing neck a neck since they were created.

  “No two creations have shaped the modern world in such a way as the Kalashnikov AK-47 & the Armalite AR-15 have.”

The AK-47 was designed by from 1946-1948 by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It entered service in the Soviet Armed Forces in the year 1949. AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova  (Автомат Калашников) it means the automatic weapon of Kalashnikov. 

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AK-47 with 6H2 Bayonet

 

The Ak-47 fires a 7.62x39mm round. It weighs an approximate 3.47 kg (7.7 Ibs) without a magazine. It is gas-operated with a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute. The AK-47 is also considered accurate up to 350 meters.

 

The AK-47 retired from service in the Soviet Army in 1978. But it and its variants continue to see action around the world. It is estimated that an approximate 100 million Kalashnikov family firearms have been produced. The AK-47 has seen about 67 years of action and its reliability and ruggedness is why this firearm has survived so long.

 

The Game Changer

Throughout history there have been many inventions and innovations, that have revolutionized the way things are today. These inventions range from aircraft, the firearm, electricity, to even antibiotics and many more.

“Throughout history there have been many inventions and innovations, that have revolutionized the way things are today.”

But if I had to name one thing that really was a big game changer and set the stage for all things like it that were yet to come, it would be the ArmaLite AR-15. This firearm is not only one of the most recognizable and impressing accomplishments in the field of weaponry, it is a stepping stone in what will come to be known as human innovation.

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Colt AR-15 

 

The AR-15 was designed by Eugene Stoner in 1956. It was designed out of a need for a selective fire rifle to replace the M1 Grand and several other rifles the US had used during WWII. The AR-15 was designed above all else to be a lightweight assault rifle. It was designed to shoot a new (at the time) lightweight, high velocity small caliber cartridge so as to allow a soldier to carry more ammunition. The AR-15 fires a 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Remington) round.

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From Top to Bottom: M16A1, M16A2, M4A1, M16A4

The AR-15 (M16) was adopted by the US Military in the year 1959-early 1960. It has a 20 inch barrel, with an overall length of 39 inches. It uses a gas operating rotating bolt (direct impingement as it’s action. It has a feeding system of a detachable box magazine. It has a muzzle velocity of about 3,300 ft/s. Military versions are selective fire, meaning the user can typically switch firing modes from safe, semi (single rounds), three round burst, and fully-automatic. Military versions at fully automatic can fire at 750 rounds per minute. Civilian versions are typically semi-automatic, meaning only one round is fired for every pull of the trigger. The AR-15 weighs an approximate 6.55 Ib with a 20 round magazine  depending on the style, manufacturer, and model. It has an approximate kill range of 500 yards.

As of 2013, the ATF estimates that American citizens on a national level own somewhere from 5-10 million AR-15s. Which even if it is extremely popular and probably the best selling gun in the U.S. it makes a very tiny dent in the total of 300 million firearms legally owned by Americans.

All in all the AR-15 has changed the world in many ways, by sculpting the battlefield and impacting us back home. It will continue to do so for many more years, since it is the benchmark of the gun industry. Whatever may be your opinion on the issue of civilian being allowed to posses AR-15s, just remember that even if you think they are dangerous. The ATF reports that in the five years leading up to 2014, handguns were used in 48% of homicides, while long guns (rifles) 2.4% and assault style weapons in an even smaller percentage of the 2.4%.

 

My Next Blog will be on the AK-47 the biggest threat and competitor to the AR-15.

 

 

 

 

A Wall of Pure Steel: The T28/95 Heavy Tank/Tank Destroyer

Of all the things I would have hated to bump into, if I say I were a German soldier during WWII, the T28/95 would be the worst.

     Of all the things I would have hated to bump into, if say I were a German soldier during WWII, the T28/95 would be the worst.

The T28/95 was an American heavily armored self-propelled gun (tank destroyer) in WWII. It was originally designed to be used against the German defenses at the line of Siegfried.

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T95 at Aberdeen Proving Ground in January 1946.

This behemoth was a quite literal 100 ton steel wall. It was made by the Pacific Car & Foundry company. It was produced in the year 1945, and only two were ever built. It weighed 95 short tons, and was 36 ft 6 in long. It had enough space for a four man crew. It was armored with a thick 12 in (305 mm) armor. It’s main armament consisted of a 105 mm T5E1  gun, with the capacity to carry 62 rounds.

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105mm Armor Piercing Round.

The T95’s secondary armament was a .50 cal (12.7mm) Browning heavy machine gun. It was powered by a Ford GAF V-8 gasoline 500 horsepower engine. It’s top speed was 8 mph (13 km/h). It also had an operational range of 100 miles (160 km).

Only two T28s/T95s were ever built. Neither ever saw actual combat as well.

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Only surviving T95 in the world

 

 

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Side View of T95

The T28/T95 program was terminated in October 1947. It never went into actual service/combat due to its obsolete design, expensive maintenance costs, and its heavy weight. Even though this behemoth never went into combat just the sight of it is enough to inspire awe.

Messerschmitt BF-109: The Backbone of The Luftwaffe

The Bf-109 was one of the most heavily used fighters of WWII. The Luftwaffe (German Air force) relied heavily on this aircraft. The Messerschmitt Bf-109 was designed by Wilhelm Emil Messerschmitt & Robert Lusser. It was manufactured by Bayerische Flagzeugwerke (BFW) & Messerschmitt AG. It was designed to be a full-fledged fighter, and it did that job with excellence.

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Messerschmitt Bf-109

The Bf-109 toke its first flight on the 29th of May, 1935. It was introduced into the Luftwaffe in February of 1937. The Messerschmitt Bf-109 was one of the most advanced fighters of its era. It introduced/incorporated many new innovations, such as a all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and a retractable landing gear. The Messerschmitt Bf-109 was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted V-12 aero-engine.

The Bf-109 was originally designed to function as a interceptor (fighter), but was used in other functions later on in the war. A total of 33,984 Bf-109s were made, making it the most produced fighter aircraft in history. The top three scoring German fighter aces of WWII all used the Bf-109, and racked up a total of 928 victories (kills).

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Even though the Bf-109 was an excellent aircraft it quickly became obsolete for full on dog fighting. Beginning from the end of 1941, the Bf-109 began to be supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw-190. The Fw-190 was a superior aircraft in many aspects. The Bf-109 was constantly receiving upgrades, allowing it to stay in combat until the end of the war. The Bf-109 retired from the Luftwaffe on the 9th of May, 1945, with the end of the war.

If you would like more information on the Bf-109 click here.

Boeing B-29 Superfortress

The Boeing B-29 Superfortess is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber. It was designed and built by Boeing, and flown primarily by the US Army Air force during WW2 & the Korean War. It was the largest operational aircraft during WW2. It was also the single most expensive weapons program developed and undertaken by the US Government in WW2. It exceeded the Manhattan Project in price by $1-1.7 billion.

 “It exceeded the Manhattan Project in price by $1-1.7 billion.”

The B-29 was introduced into combat in the 8th of May, 1944. Boeing produced a total of    3,970 units. Each unit would cost US$639,188. The B-29 sported many new innovations, such as a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled tricycle landing gear, and a computer-controlled fire-control system. The B-29 played a significant role as a strategic bomber during the war.

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The B-29 was armed with four remotely controlled turrets armed with two .50 Browning M2 machine guns each. It originally the tail was armed with two .50 Browning M2 machine guns and a single M2 20 mm cannon. Later the M2 20 mm cannon was removed and a third .50 Browning M2 machine gun added.

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The B-29 was considered a very successful aircraft and one of the deadliest of WW2. It retired on June 21, 1960. There are surviving aircraft, that are mostly privately owned and used for museums and recreational flying. It total the B-29 Superfortress helped advance aviation, with its many groundbreaking innovations.

North American P-51 Mustang

There is no other American aircraft as iconic, as the North American P-51 Mustang. This beast of a machine, was designed in the year 1940, by North American Aviation (NAA). The first prototype, the NA-73x airframe went for its first flight on October 26, 1940.

  “There is no other American aircraft as iconic, as the North American P-51 Mustang.”

The original versions, had an Allison V1710 engine. This engine was a liquid-cooled V12

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P-51D’s of the 361st Fighter Group, 375th Fighter Squadron, 8th USAAF. Lead by Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson J.R. Christian. 

piston engine. This engine gave the original models of the P-51, limited high-altitude performance. The definitive version of the Mustang, was the Mustang P-51D. It was equipped with a Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 two-stage two-speed supercharged engine. The P-51D was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns. More then 15,000 P-51s were built. The normal unit cost was $50,985.

The P-51, was originally developed for the British Royal Air force, but was quickly implemented by the United States as well. Since then many other countries have also implemented the P-51 into their air forces. The P-51 played the role of fighter-bomber, and bomber escort. The P-51D had a service ceiling to 42,00 feet.

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The P-51 Mustang pushed the boundaries of of military aviation. It was one of the deadliest fighters the USAAF had ever implemented, and it was one of the main factors to the Allies achieving air supremacy, during the war. To such an extent that the Allies had air dominance over German skies by the time the end of the war approached.

 

Fokker Dr.I: The Red Menace

You may not realize it, but this aircraft is one that I can assure you, that you have seen before. The Fokker Dr.I is a WW1 aircraft, It was developed by the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke company, for use by the German Empire (Prussia). This aircraft was catapulted to fame, by a man who is known as the most renowned and famous, and I dare say best fighter pilot to ever live. Manfred Von Richthofen, you may know him better by his nick name, “The Red Baron”.

“Manfred Von Richthofen, you may know him better by his nick name, “The Red Baron”.”

The Dr.I was that famous aircraft we all saw in many cartoons, or at some point, that was painted red. That red aircraft was Richthofen’s all red Dr.I. The Dr.I was the plane where Richthofen scored his last 19 kills, before he was killed.

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Manfred von Richtofen, wearing the “Pour le Merite” or the “Blue Max”, Prussia’s highest military award. 1917

The Fokker Dr.I, had enough space for a crew of one. It’s wingspan was 7.19 m, and it was a triplane. It was powered by a Oberursel Ur.II 9-cylinder rotary engine. This engine produced 110 horsepower. It had a max speed of 115 mph at sea level, and an armament consisting of two 7.92 mm “Spandau” IMG 08 machine guns. It held the role of full out fighter. In total 320 were built, but it was introduced towards the end of the war. The Dr.I had great maneuverability, but was soon considered too slow to be kept in action.

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Richthofen’s Fokker Dr.I

The Dr.I was implemented to late in the war to see extensive combat. But it did participate in many major and important aerial battles. The Dr.I is a plane that left its mark on history  and affected aviation as a whole. The men who piloted them were among the best the German Empire had to offer. But not even that was enough to let Germany win “The War To End All Wars”.