Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ivan, Get Your Gun

Are you armed? If you're a Red, a RUDE RED, then you should be.
" Whoa, easy X!",our loyal readership of tens of people respond. " Chill out! You want the Eff Bee Eye crawling up your ass with a stethoscope? Get put on the Terror watch list? Sing the I'm In Gitmo Blues?"
I don't want any of those things, of course. Let's get things nice and sparkling clear. I do not advocate the overthrow of our political system ( I just want workers to run it- there is nothing written in stone that says a constitutional republic is the exclusive realm of the capitalists ). Nor do I advocate harming officeholders. Threatening elected officials is cowardly, stupid, and a felony. Committing cowardly, stupid felonies is a speciality of the Right. Us Reds are smarter than that. One mass, non- violent action, such as a general strike, is more effective than a million bullets.
So then why am I so gung- ho on the whole gun issue? Here are some reasons:
1) Self- defense. The most touted reason by the NRA ( whom I DO NOT endorse)and gun- nuts everywhere. And you know what? They are absolutely goddamn right . America is an insanely violent society full of some of the most incredibly stupid people found on the planet. Guns, legal in some cases, illegal in most others, are used to carjack SUVs, obtain the latest style of sneakers, and to settle the question of who pays for a case of beer. Now throw contemporary teabagger politics in the mix. There are armed people out there who are convinced that socialists are the spawn of Satan. Literally.
2) Guns are cool. Blasting the hell out of paper, clay pigeons, or a side of beef is awesome fun. Just remember to play safe, comrades. Guns can also get you food, like venison or duck.
3) Owning a gun is one of my rights. Yeah, some smart ass who is terrified of the idea of the grotty little proles being armed will point out that the second amendment refers to organizing a militia. I can argue the flaws in that logic for the next two weeks but instead I will give the standard answer when a self- proclaimed constitutional scholar gets in my face: "Fuck you, you aren't a god damned time- traveling mind- reader who went back to 1791 and scanned the brain waves of the framers of the fucking constitution ( I yell this at teabaggers a lot )." I know what the 2nd amendment means to most Americans now and the right for the average citizen in the street to own a firearm is a fine interpretation to me.
Now, let's move on to the fun part- guns that cash-strapped Reds can afford.
Yeah, I know, being a Red means you probably don't spend a lot of time poring over your stock portfolio. But you want to send some lead downrange or want something more substantial than a butter knife to defend yourself. Rest easy- affordable shooting is an obsessions of gun- nuts like myself. Here's a few super affordable firearms:
1) Military surplus bolt- action rifles. Recently, Eastern European armies cleaned out their arsenals and sent their old rifles to the states by the boat- load. Russian Mosin- Nagants are the cheapest, running between $80.00 to $200.00. The cheaper ones are a crap- shoot: some work surprisingly well for a 70 year old rifle, others show their age. There are some cool little Mosin- Nagant carbines out there, too, if you don't mind the mule- kick recoil. Calibre is 7.62x 54R, and ammunition cheap and plentiful.
A step up in price and quality are the Mauser rifles coming out of Serbia. You can get the Pre- World War Two M 24 or the Post- War M48. They run between $150.00 to $300.00. Both fire the 8mm Mauser cartridge, which is not too common in the U.S. and therefore is fairly expensive.
These are the two most common, with Lee- Enfields running a distant third. Bolt- action rifles are great fun to shoot, make excellent hunting weapons, but the drawback is they are not so good for defending yourself unless you are on a battlefield.
2) AK and SKS. The ultimate People's Rifles. The SKS is a semi- automatic carbine firing the 7.62x 39mm cartridge ( aka as 7.62mm Soviet). This cartridge is known in military circles as " intermediate"- that is it is somewhere in between a pistol and full- sized rifle cartridge in power. This makes the SKS pleasant to shoot, though it is heavy. The AK was also originally chambered for this cartridge but now are available in other calibres, with 5.45x 39mm ( the successor to the 7.62mm Soviet) and 5.56x 45mm ( the standard rifle calibre of NATO) being the most popular.
Not too long ago even previously owned AKs were financially out of bounds to cash- strapped shooters. Right- wing knuckledraggers, duped by reactionary media into thinking that the Obama administration was going to make disarming the public priority one, rushed out and bought every damn " assault" rifle they could get their hands on. The result was an excellent example of supply- and- demand: the price of even cheap rifles like AKs skyrocketed. Speculators tried to cash in on the bonanza and bought up even more AKs. I bet the owners of gun stores everywhere were secretly very pleased that " socialist" Barack Obama was elected.
Well, if you are in the market to buy a Kalashnikov rifle these days you are in luck. Because after binge buying for a year right- wing morons across the country woke up one day to find that their living room floors were buried under AKs. Desperate, they have been putting them back on the glutted market at rock- bottom prices. A Romanian or Polish AK that sold for over $500.00 last year now can be had for about $300.00, if you do some bargain hunting.
3) Hi- Point. This company took the Kalashnikov concept- make it cheap, make it solid, make it work - and ran with it. Their firearms are butt ugly and heavy. But you can count on them to send lead downrange consistently and accurately. And working class people can easily afford them. Most of their handguns sell for around $150.00.
Their carbines are extremely popular and are beloved by the sub- class of gun- nut who shows up at the range and out- shoots the gun snobs with their pimped out $1, 500.00 AR- 15s ( civilian version of the M- 16) with a rifle that costs under $300.00. Available in 9mm Parabellum or .40 S&W ( very common pistol calibres used by the police and military)these carbines are hugely affordable to own and shoot.
4) Kel- Tec. A step up in cost from Hi- Point, Kel- Tec also makes pistol calibre carbines. For an increase of about $100.00 you get a carbine that looks more aesthetically pleasing and is a little lighter. The cool thing is that they fold- which makes them easy to transport and clean. Kel- Tec also makes the cheapest carbine you will find chambered for .223 Remington, a real rifle calibre and a very common type of ammunition.
5) The Makarov. The 9x 18mm ( not the same as 9mm Parabellum) Makarov was the Red Army's standard pistol during the Cold War. Many were imported, and continue to be imported, into the U.S.A. after the Soviet Union fell apart and the Mafia Republik was set- up in its place. It retails in the U.S.A. for about $250.00- $300.00.
The Makarov comes in for its share of shit from NRA Queens who curl their lip at the little commie gun while they polish their $1,000.00 Kimber .45s but truth is that in the right hands ( mine) the little mass produced gun will easily out shoot the thoroughbreds. The Makarov's short barrel points naturally at the target- don't bother with the sights. It is ultra reliable. I have fired hundreds of rounds through mine and the sucker has never malfunctioned. Not once. It is also built like a brick shit house. It ain't gonna break.
This is currently my favorite " cheap" gun. However, there is a major downside. The Mak isn't built with a lot of safety features like a Western handgun. Drop a Glock on the floor and it will not go off. Drop a Mak and it might. So don't drop it.
So there's a small selection of cheap guns for working class folks. If you can afford it, by all means get a Glock ( they aren't much more expensive than the $300.00 limit I imposed in this article) or an AR-15. Just remember, if you get a gun, the expenses are just beginning. You have assumed a huge responsibility to yourself, family, and the rest of us to operate your gun in a safe manner. You need to practice- that means range time ( at least once a month) and ammunition. You should take a basic firearms safety course, and if you plan to carry a weapon on your person you have to get a Concealed Carry license. All of this means money.
But if you do want to be a gun- owning Red, don't be intimidated by the above. Get your gun, get your ammo, and hit the range.
P.S. Nothing is more fun about being a gun- toting Leftist than confounding Right- Wing stereotypes. There are a lot more of us than you think. Check these guys out.


JJR said...

Thanks for the tip about Hi-Point! Wish I'd known about them sooner, I would've picked up their 9mm sidearm...but now I already own a Taurus PT111 Pro that fills that niche.

The carbines are sweet, too. I own a WASR-10 that I got for around $400 during the Bush administration, and I own 2 SKS's, a Yugo and a Chinese Norinco. I really love the Soviet TT-33, had a chance to buy one once but let it go and I've had an impossible time trying to find one since. I did see one later rechambered for 38 Super, but I want one in the original Soviet caliber. This was the pistol before the Makarov, carried in WW2 by the Red Army and featured in some pretty iconic photos from the war.

Another money-saving way to hone marksmanship skills are with air pistols and air rifles (BB & pellet) and AirSoft (especially the ones that shoot little paint-balls powered by C02). Lets you conserve real ammo but still get in practice time. See you at the range, comrades!

comrade x said...

I love it when my LGC comrades visit my blog.

Dresden Scott said...

Trotsky (and if I'm not mistaken, Marx too) pointed out that after a successful bourgeois revolution - led by the propertied class with the help of the workers - the first thing the new rulers always set out to do was disarm the working class. For example, after the February Revolution in Russia, the new coalition government, left-leaning but still unwilling to make a complete break with capitalism, got the fear in them that those forces that helped unseat the Tsar might prove too volitile to control. But in October of the same year, the Bolsheviks weren't worried about maintaining forceful domination. They correctly left the firearms in the workers - which makes sense, as they were the ones calling for the workers' demonstrations to arm themselves all along anyway.

Historically, the situation of the US has been very different - a complete anomoly, really. Here the US working class aligned with the propertied class and threw out the British aristocracy. But the fledgling country was still very much in a precarious state. And since this was the dawn of industrialization, the workers weren't factory workers. In the balance of power on the North American continent, they were pioneers; the ruling class used them to kill off the natives and expand west. Again in the interests of property. It's one of the basic reasons that gun ownership has remained in the American cultural tradition.

comrade x said...

Arming the workers and peasants was a desperate step for the bourgeoisie in the French Revolution of 1789. Ownership of weapons was traditionally strictly controlled by the aristocracy in France and throughout the world, really. In France Napoleon managed to get the Revolutionary genie back in the bottle by conscripting the armed masses into his armies. In Russia the same process was adopted by Stalin. But America was quite a different state of affairs. In France and Russia almost all of the arms came from state arsenals- they were never considered privately owned by the citizens they were issued to. In America private ownership of arms was an absolute necessity if one were to survive in the wilderness. It also allowed the new ruling class to have a ready made militia in place instead of having a ruinously expensive army like the nations of Europe. Besides, any attempt to ban the ownership of firearms would have been met with a violent overthrow of the new government. This is partly the reason why the methods of controlling the workers of the U.S. are original and subtle, because our new aristocrats knew they had a wolf by the ears.