Hyping the Sniper
October 23, 2002 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Hyping the Sniper scared? Are you safely bunkered down at home watching Sniper Network News? Or do you, all spocklike and rational, calculate your risk from sniper fire from CDC mortality tables and conclude that death by sniper is only a little more likely than death by falling coconuts? Or do you decide to make your own 50 caliber sniper rifle in your home workshop to get them before they get you?
posted by troutfishing (20 comments total)
You mean I can make my own 50 caliber sniper rifle that does 14s damage to metahuman targets?! Awesome.
posted by blogRot at 10:08 AM on October 23, 2002

Totally agree with the linking Sniper Network News (CNN). It is getting out of control. CNN loves to hype "issues". I love the discussion today that they are kind of hinting at. Mainly, that they the media are hyping it too much.
posted by ericdano at 10:18 AM on October 23, 2002

clearly, the sniper is a paid lackey of dubya, distracting the nation from the economy and his pending WWI (war with iraq).
[damn! my mom always warned me my tongue might get stuck permanently in my cheek...]
posted by quonsar at 10:23 AM on October 23, 2002

What was your last link supposed to be, troutfishing? Or are you implying something about us getting each other or something?
posted by yhbc at 10:24 AM on October 23, 2002

From the first link: "Things have gotten so bad, even we, your famous friends, are scared stiff," .... Journalism or terrorism? Sometimes it's a very thin line.


my question is who asked berkowitz for his take? who asked anybody? oh yeah, i did - i turned on the tv, i logged into metafilter.

last night i asked a friend who knows something of guns, if one reason this hasnt happened before was the technology for shootin folks from 600 yards was only recently available. he said it had happened before, citing ohio among others. the reporting was what was different now.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2002

yhbc - it wasn't a link. It was a sneaky html bastardization that makes selected mefi post text BOLD

I guess I get you......unless you get me first. Get it? Can't be too careful. They are everywhere. And they are after ME and YOU too unless, that is, YOU are them! Shit....I shouldn't even be talking to you ...if you could be them .... Didn't you read that mefi post today about the August 3rd experiment? Hey! my hard drive.....*whirring noise*.....my cursor.....what's that black van in the driveway?!##@.......
posted by troutfishing at 10:45 AM on October 23, 2002

And don't forget to get a t-shirt or coffee mug for the family back home as a souvenir of your vacation.
posted by amphigory at 12:22 PM on October 23, 2002

The technology for shooting people from 600 yards has been around for a long time, Revolutionary War Kentucky rifles could shoot accurately out to 400m and Civil War Enfields could pull 800-1100m.

The record for confirmed kills from sniping as far as I'm aware goes to Simo Hayha with 542. Kinda puts the current crisis in perspective (although those were soldiers, they were no less humans for it).

As far as .50 cal sniper rifles go - make mine an Armalite AR-50 or a State Arms Rebel, please (both of those will pull 7" groupings at 1000m in the hands of a trained shooter and have 10x the muzzle energy of the .223 our current sniper is using).

Or screw it, let's go from the wimpy 12.7mm of .50cal all the way up to the 20mm of the NTW-20.

Remember, somebody always makes a bigger gun than the one you have.
posted by Ryvar at 12:34 PM on October 23, 2002

I have a little warm spot in my tummy for
this Little Bundle of Joy.

posted by blogRot at 12:53 PM on October 23, 2002

As far as .50 cal sniper rifles go - make mine an Armalite AR-50

A fine choice sir! And a favorite among fund-raisers for the Kosovo Liberation Army who shop at gun shows in Pennsylvania.
As I looked at the gun, my K.L.A. companion beckoned me over to another stand where a woman was selling a Barrett knock-off, a .50-caliber sniper rifle made by Armalite that was selling for just $2,495. The dealer told me all I had to do was hand over my driver's license for an "Insta-Check." "They call this an Insta-Check, but really it takes about 15 minutes," she said, referring to the background check she would have to do. As long as I didn't have a criminal record or live in the "People's Republic of New York City," so called among gun dealers because it's one of the few cities where it is illegal to possess any kind of firearm without a permit, the gun would be mine. I told her I did live in New York City, but that my driver's license was issued in California. In that case, she said, I'd probably be fine.

The K.L.A. member bought a sniper rifle that day, along with a few other guns. Those weapons were promptly shipped overseas to Kosovo and Macedonia, another example of American gun laws inadvertently fueling foreign conflicts.
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on October 23, 2002

Hmm. Looks like our marines are getting chubby.

Guess we need a war.
posted by moonbiter at 1:47 PM on October 23, 2002

The Economist has some thoughts.
posted by rushmc at 1:58 PM on October 23, 2002

Erm, homunculus, the AR-50 is bolt-action, the Barrett (and any knockoff thereof) is semi-auto. That's a bit like suggesting Jack and Jill are really the same. Either the source for that paragraph was amazingly stupid or the AR-50 is not a favorite of the KLA or I just have a stick up my ass. One (or possibly a combination) of those three.
posted by Ryvar at 2:21 PM on October 23, 2002

the Barrett (and any knockoff thereof) is semi-auto

Er, both the Barrett M-95 and M-99 are bolt action.
posted by moonbiter at 2:44 PM on October 23, 2002

RushMC - thanks for the Economist magazine story. I just have to quote it: "There has never been a serial killer like the sniper. Other serial murderers have preyed on particular groups—often young women or boys. The sniper has killed randomly at a distance. This means no one in the Washington area can give any reason why he or she should not be the next victim.....Because the risk is new, it is also uncertain. As Mr Viscusi points out, people tend to overestimate unknown risks. Economists call this “risk-ambiguity aversion”. And in this case the main source of information for Washingtonians is the blanket, sometimes hysterical coverage from television and newspapers, which tends to exaggerate the perceived risk further. Everyone knows the number of murders. Few know how many people live in the affected area, or the murder rate. ......Lastly, the sniper-killings share some peculiarities with other risks that are also exaggerated. One of the victims was a child—and parents dramatically overestimate any uncommon threat to their children's lives (such as the risk of kidnapping by a stranger). Similarly, the sniper represents an “involuntary” risk, not one you run willingly for a benefit (such as driving too fast to get somewhere). People worry less about voluntary risks. "
posted by troutfishing at 3:03 PM on October 23, 2002

Ah, good call, Moonbiter. Usually when someone just says 'a Barrett' or 'the Barrett', though, they're referring to the M-82/M-82A. Still, I should have been more precise, and it looks like the explanation I was looking for.

Now for something unheard of on Metafilter: I'm sorry, I was wrong.
You could hear a pin drop as he walked out of the room
posted by Ryvar at 3:12 PM on October 23, 2002

If we are talking about homemade (or small production) .50s, i have to chime in with the BFG-50. It's absurd, and you have to love any company that brands one of their firearms a B.F.G.
posted by quin at 4:53 PM on October 23, 2002

Judging from these comments, I think it's time for a good gun post! How about "A good gun for the post-apocalyptic future?"......(I'll have to find an appropriate link first)
posted by troutfishing at 9:26 PM on October 23, 2002

The first link in the post seems to be an accurate description of the situation. The popular media is in a frenzy. The person or persons commiting the crimes seem to be feeding on it. The public watches it as though it were just another reality tv show, eager for the latest episode to talk over the water cooler with co-workers.

What makes it this way? Why are so many of our news outlets enthralled by this story? Why are we, the viewing public so interested in the details of the story?
posted by moonbiter at 10:16 PM on October 23, 2002

Former 60s radical H. Rap Brown -- now Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a convicted muderer and radical muslim, shot at police with a .223 rifle in Alabama in 2000.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:51 AM on October 24, 2002

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