Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Name that pistol

One of the big changes in journalism I have seen during my career has been the emergence of "computer-aided reporting": the use of database technology to mine public records for all sorts of interesting tidbits that would previously been concealed in the sheer volume of data.  I've blogged before about our own local expert in such reporting.

Because of my passing interest in such matters, this column in the New York Times a couple weeks ago caught my eye, essentially asking the question: " Just because we can do it, should we do it?" In response to the outcry that emerged from the Westchester County Journal News decision to publish their map of people who had applied for gun permits (apparently something they subsequently reconsidered), a Nebraska state senator introduced LB293, to insure that such a thing does not occur in Nebraska.

While trying to find the legislative bill number to include in this post, my search returned this article from NebraskaWatchdog.org.  The photo illustrating the story also caught my eye.  At first glance, that appears to be a rare Beretta Model 93R machine pistol, complete with extended magazine and folding foregrip. Something, however, was a little fishy.  First of all, that's a mighty obscure item.  Second, the grip material doesn't look quite right: perhaps some kind of plastic composite.  Finally, there appears to be a mold mark on the underside of the trigger guard--unexpected on a quality firearm like a Beretta.

My guess is that we are looking at an airsoft pistol, most likely from Tokyo Marui.  This certainly highlights the difficulty of distinguishing the real McCoy from the replica, and we are encountering realistic-looking BB guns, pellet guns, and airsoft pistols on the street with considerable frequency, brandished in crimes ranging from assault to robbery in some cases.


Grundle King said...

Pretty sure you're right about the make. Another thing that tipped me off was that the bottom of the magazine looks like the bottom of no magazine I've ever seen. That gun requires a battery as it is electric powered...so it could be that the magazine and battery are combined in that unit.

Anonymous said...

One thing for sure - the average "journalist" would probably call it a deadly assault weapon.

Anonymous said...

Several Sheriffs and other high ranking police officials around the country have stated that they will NOT enforce any Federal bans on high capacity weapons or so called "assault weapons". Do you care to comment?

I have been a law abiding citizen all of my life. However I will never obey any law that "infringes" on my right to keep and bear arms. I might add I do NOT need the SCOTUS to decide what infringe means. I have been very vocal in the past about my feelings on the Second Amendment and I am sure I will be one of the very first doors that agents of a tyrannical government will be knocking on. I hope I never see that day but with the crazies in charge I think we are getting there.

"Certified" Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...

Gun Nut,

When public officials decide to put their own interpretations and opinions above those of elected legislatures and courts, they make a grave error.

It's not up to some sheriff or "other high ranking police official" to decide what is and is not Constitutional. Article III, Section 2.

With incendiary issues like gun control, people sometimes pander to their perception of public opinion among their supporters. Law enforcement officers must always be subordinate to civilian control by legislative, executive, and judicial authority as established by the law.

Anonymous said...

Journalists think everything is an Assault Weapon.

Steve said...

I see "gun nut's" comment and your responses as only part of the issue. When sheriffs decide on their own not to enforce the law, that's one thing, and I would have to agree with the director on that one. However, some states are passing, or attempting to pass, legislation that prevents the enforcement of these laws, and in that case, I would suggest that the LOEs should defer to state law.

As for Nebraska and the law regarding the identity of Concealed Handgun Permit holders, I was under the impression that this information was only available to law enforcement personnel in the pursuit of their duties.

Anonymous said...

But recently you said you weren't going to enforce Federal Immigration Laws so what's the difference?

Anonymous said...



Tom Casady said...


Agreed on the "well played", and I deserve that. It is not, however, quite accurate, and I have tendered my mea culpa previously.

Anonymous said...

It is clearly stated in the original text of the Second Amendment that . . . "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed.

However several states are clearly infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. If any state tried to restrict the rights guaranteed by other Constitutional Amendments there would be riots in the streets. A fictional example: California passes a law that makes it mandatory to wait 15 days before a Citizen can purchase a book from a Bookstore. In addition any book with more than 200 pages CANNOT be sold. We may see with the current idiots in charge for a few more years. Absurd?
Gun Nut