Feb
07
2014

If you’ve ever wondered where my personal limit is on the Second Amendment…

…it’s probably somewhere around “grenade launcher:”

Former McGruff the Crime Dog actor, John R. Morales, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison following his guilty plea three years after police seized 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons – including a grenade launcher, and 9,000 rounds of ammunition from his home.

Now, a couple of caveats. I’m assuming that the grenade launcher was operable; if it was not, then it’s merely an objet d’art and thus irrelevant to this conversation (as is the 9,000 rounds of ammo*). Also, sixteen years sounds a bit harsh for having a working grenade launcher, or even a grenade launcher and all that marijuana.  Admittedly, minus the ‘McGruff the Crime Dog’ entry on IMDB this guy’s history would sound like your standard drug dealer’s, but there’s no indication that he’s ever done anything violent.

On the other hand, people get reasonably freaked out about grenade launchers – which, to be fair, are not commercially available for private ownership in this country**. And if you’re dealing pot***, you probably shouldn’t also possess illegal military surplus heavy weapons.  It seems… contraindicated. So I think that we’re just going to have to chalk this up to Don’t Let This Happen To You.

Yeah, I know: call me McSquishy Gun-Grabber.  It’s a curse.

Moe Lane

Via

 

Moe Lane

*A target shooting enthusiast can shoot through quite a lot of bullets in a year.

**I’d Google that statement to check, except that I’m not insane.

***That much marijuana seems excessive for personal use. NTIWKAAT, of course.

21 Comments

  • acat says:

    So, “No” on grenade launchers. How about individual non-propelled non-launched grenades? WWII pineapple vs. modern fragmentary? Potato-mashers?
    .
    Mew

  • Skip says:

    FWIW, Moe, it probably wasn’t a grenade launcher. In twenty years of going to gun shows, I’ve seen exactly zero for sale. Now, what I have seen is something that’s virtually identical – a flare launcher. Those are fairly common, and not very expensive, and perfectly legal to own in the parts of the US that are still free. What’s the difference? A grenade launcher will be a 40mm caliber tube with a mounting accessory for picatinny rails, with a striking mechanism, that could easily be made in a high school machine shop, or by probably a thousand guys in their garage within a few miles of you. A flare launcher? It’s a 37mm caliber tube with a mounting accessory for picatinny rails, with a striking mechanism that could easily be made in a high school machine shop, or by those same thousand guys. Now, of course, someone could make 37mm grenades, but the BATFE has ruled that just being in the presence of such magically transmutes the flare launcher into a grenade launcher, forever, so in general nobody does that.
    .
    TL;DR – if there weren’t actually grenades there it was almost certainly just a 37mm flare launcher. And you really should work on your irrational fear of inanimate objects, Moe.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      You forgot to call me ‘McSquishy Gun-Grabber.’ 😉

      • Moe_Lane says:

        …Or, wait, does ‘Squishy McGunGrabber’ scan better? I think that it scans better.

        • acat says:

          Yes, Squishy McGunGrabber scans better. So does Cletus McWifeBeater, but that’s another story.
          .
          I don’t have a significant problem with restricting ownership of grenade launchers in principle, but I have a quite significant problem with restricting ownership *in light of the incrementalist anti-gun left*.
          .
          Mew

        • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

          Last year I would have argued for the phrase ‘white supremacist’.
          .
          If Voter ID counts, then surely, having a precedent in segregation for the purpose of opression, so does arms control.
          .
          If you would not support private ownership of any form of infantry weapon, you are a white supremacist.
          .
          If you would restrict the sale of armor (in the tanks and IFV sense), you are a white supremacist.
          .
          If you would be party to any international arms control treaties, you are a white supremacist.
          .
          The pot is something that, supposing laws on the books to the effect, and a jury conviction, I would have no problem seeing him capitally punished for.

      • Skip says:

        I thought that was implied… 🙂

    • Cameron says:

      Skip, are you actually implying that the media didn’t do their research on firearms?

      • Crawford says:

        The do their research — but their usual resources typically lie, and the press is too ignorant/willing to go along to resist the lies.

  • BigGator5 says:

    I’m not going to call you a gun grabber… I’M GOING TO CALL YOU A GRENADE GRABBER!! GRRRRRR!!! (j/k!)

    • Finrod says:

      I’d sure like to grab her grenades.

      Er, sorry, but that was just too obvious of a straight line to pass up.

  • Brian Swisher says:

    “Gee, sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don’t’cha think?

  • Jeffstag says:

    Is that 9,000 rounds of ammo for the grenade lancher? ’cause, well, that’s a lot of grenades….

    • Crawford says:

      I could walk out of Wal-Mart with more than 9,000 rounds in my pockets.
      .
      Assuming they have four of those little cardboard boxes of .22 LR in stock.

  • Jeffstag says:

    You could argue the use of grenades for sport hunting purposes. I’m thinking mostly woodchucks (although I wouldn’t use the launcher in that case). Some folks favor plastic explosives for this application, however.

    • Patrick Thomas says:

      I thought plastic explosives were for hunting gophers.*

      *classical movie reference.

    • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

      There are three priority reasons for private ownership of arms.
      .
      One is to preserve the means of successful rebellion. This was why the first amendment was written, IMO.
      .
      The second is to prevent political factions capable of gaining temporary local control from being able to murder select persons freely. This was why the NRA was founded.
      .
      Lastly is personal self defense against criminals.
      .
      I am not any sort of sportsman.

      • Herp McDerp says:

        One is to preserve the means of successful rebellion. This was why the first amendment was written, IMO.
         
        I would have said “To allow the citizenry to resist oppressive, illegitimate control by a foreign or domestic government.”
         
        And you left out one other reason, one that the Constitution explicitly identifies in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11:

        The Congress shall have Power to … grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal …

        In other words, the Founders approved of citizens owning and operating private warships. I think the Founders would have had no problem with grenade launchers. They probably would have drawn the line at nuclear weapons, though.
         
        Obligatory SF shoutout: Vernor Vinge’s story “The Ungoverned.”

  • coondawg68 says:

    we should all be allowed grenade launchers. Except in Modern Warfare multiplayer. Damn ‘nube-tubbers…

    • Crawford says:

      Many eons ago my co-workers and I played a heavily modded Quake that included incendiary grenades.
      .
      Good times…

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