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back to article Rare gold iPhone 5s goes up against 50 caliber high precision rifle

iPhone haters are a dime a dozen, but it takes an especially hearty helping of heated hostility towards Apple's latest shiny-shiny to go after one with a 50-caliber Barrett M82A1 high-precision rifle. Actually, we have no idea whatsoever whether Richard Ryan harbors any personal animosity to Cupertino's new iPhone 5s, but we do …

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Coat

That'll buff right out

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Anonymous Coward

There has got to be something wrong with American society when someone can go buy and run around with a .50 sniper rifle and use a phone for target practice and find it a useful experiment.

Should we be surprised when children are killed in school shootings?

In 2007:

266 Americans a day were shot

82 Americans a day died

At the moment it is running a 42 people shot and killed each day

This is a combination of intentional and unintentional shootings.

Now this video makes sense? Gun happy nutters.

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@AC 06:09

How many Brits died of tobacco, fat, sugar, alcohol, and salt in the same time-frame? Serious question. And remember, your little insular population is a hell of a lot smaller than the population on the west side of the pond.

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Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

Nothing wrong with using a phone for target practice. Or furby for that matter. As long as you have the money to do it, this is no different from "Will It Blend?".

The wrong starts when you:

1. Think that this rifle is any good to you to defend against your evil government. Hint - government, has tanks, missiles and drones. Going against that armed with a rifle - give me a break.

2. Think that having that rifle is unalienable right. There is no such thing as unalienable right to wield a deadly weapon. It is a responsibility, so a civilized sosciety is fully entitled to ensure that you know what you are doing and are responsible for your actions before you are allowed to have it. It is also entitled to remove it from your hands if this is needed to ensure the safety of the others.

In any case, effectively removing firearms from the hands of the criminals does very little to reduce headline violent crime. They just switch to knives (as in Nottingham and a few other places in the UK) and if the government manages to remove even knives (Stalin tried that) they switch to sharpened screwdrivers and other "dual use tools".

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"There has got to be something wrong with American society when someone can go buy and run around with a .50 sniper rifle and use a phone for target practice and find it a useful experiment."

Less an experiment and more likely an attempt to cash-in from YouTube views.

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Re: @AC 06:09

IIRC the population is about 20% or so of the USA. Population density is massively higher, of course.

Really can't see where the alcohol/fat/sugar thing is leading - send a bit of a pot/kettle argument if you want to go down that road. Portion sizes are generally smaller, not so much corn syrup in things like bread. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of chunkier people here too, not convinced it's more than in the US though. Completely irrelevant to the topic though. Your argument may be better served asking about how many people were injured in 1980's football fan fights. It's about as relevant but the numbers might be more on your side.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 06:09

Yeah, but we aren't regarded as a third world nation. You are. Rich (though diminishing), but definitely third world

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Bicycles injure and kill far, far more people here guns. Yes, there are some parts of the system that could be improved; but you just look like a jackass when you start pulling out factoids proving bicycles are far more deadly than firearms and much more deserving of increased regulation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

In any case, effectively removing firearms from the hands of the criminals does very little to reduce headline violent crime.

In fact it does absolutely fuck all, cause they never removed guns from the hands of criminals, they only every removed the guns from the hands of thousands of law abiding licensed / checked owners. The criminals never had a problem getting hold of guns, that's how come legal gun owners weren't getting their houses burgled all the time before they banned legal ownership. It's also why immediately after the ban gun crime went up, something it has continured to do to this day.

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WTF?

Re: @AC 06:09

Wow, a Yank calling the British "insular"?

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DJO
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Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

In fact it does absolutely fuck all,{Rant abridged for the sake of brevity and sanity}. It's also why immediately after the ban gun crime went up, something it has continured to do to this day.

Please stick to reading the Daily Mail, it exists to bolster your fantasies. If you actually bothered to check the figures instead of making assumptions you'd find that the firearms homicide rate is now lower than before the Dunblane massacre in 1996.

Dear Americans, no matter how you look at it there is something wrong with your society if you think that your having nearly twice as many gun deaths per day as the UK has per year is a acceptable state of affairs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 06:09

Jake, plucking random thoughts out of the air, much as you did, I would assert that proportionately more Americans died of tobacco, fat, sugar, alcohol, and salt in the same time-frame than did in the UK. A useful fact might be how many Americans died through the use of their own 'defence weapon' turned on them. Then throw in how many died when the relative went on a shooting spree with the 'liberated' weapon, hint start off thinking about a few schools

You might also throw a random thought about defence contractors who would appear to be too dangerous to be armed with a pencil eraser, clearly guns are very useful for their personal 'protection',.

Sadly and just as deadly we do appear to be importing the same lame brain idea of gun 'culture' among the criminal classes, (though what 'culture' has to do with a criminal bozo with a gun is unclear).

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As a point of fact

There are zero recorded incidents of a .50BMG rifle ever being used in the commission of a crime. They weigh north of 30 pounds and aren't particularly easy to tuck into your waistband and knock over a liquor store with after all.

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Re: As a point of fact

Here's what's going on in the US right now: last year, one party proposed an economic plan. That plan lost in a nationwide election by a healthy margin, cost the party Senate seats and substantially reduced the number of votes it received for the House of Representatives. Now that party is saying "it's either that plan or we shut down the government". When they did the same thing twice, two decades ago, the result was that the economy lost $1.5tn. It's line is being championed by someone in the Senate who (i) demanded the bill passed up from the House contain specific provisions; then (ii) took the floor to protest for 21 hours because the bill had exactly what he wanted in it; then (iii) voted in favour — alongside every other member of the Senate — of the procedural step he'd just spent 21 hours delaying.

Here's what happened last year: following a specific extreme criminal act, 58% of those surveyed wanted stricter gun controls. Legislation was debated but failed following threats from the gun lobby.

So: should anyone, anywhere in the world, take lessons from America on its system of legislation?

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Re: As a point of fact

I'm not too torn up about the gun control legislation failing. The last time we passed sweeping legislation in the emotional wake of a tragedy to 'make sure it never happens again' we ended up with the PATRIOT Act. Not to mention that none of the proposed measures would have prevented the Newtown shooting had they been in place beforehand, as the shooter's mother had a clean background and all of her firearms were purchased from licensed dealers long before the shooting and were all properly registered. Beyond that, the mass shootings that make the headlines are a drop in the bucket compared to the level of background gun violence occurring in our cities daily. The vast majority of crimes are committed with small handguns that are illegally purchased and possessed by desperately impoverished people.

Gun control is already in place. More robust universal background checks may or may not make some small difference, and better enforcement of existing laws would go a long way, but the real problems are social welfare issues, primarily extreme urban poverty and an abysmally poor mental health system.

Is America the model for the world? No. Our legislature is woefully inefficient and is populated almost entirely by sideshow clowns. That being said, focusing what little legislative attention and effectiveness we do have on scary black plastic assault weapons and scary fifty caliber sniper rifles is a waste of time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Newsworthy?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 06:09

But the Americans die of tobacco, fat, sugar, alcohol and salt as well - surely...?

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Re: As a point of fact (@Hombre sin nombre)

I fact checked myself and had my numbers confused: it's 58% that would support greater gun control now! almost a year after the event. So I think probably the main point to be made is: it's no more accurate to paint America as a land of gun-obsessives than it is to paint it as a democratic panacea that European nations should aspire to. Americans are extremely diverse and likely just as many of them have a negative opinion of someone shooting up consumer electronics for YouTube as do Brits.

(aside: as a Brit currently resident in the US with interests back home, I'm currently part-funding both governments)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 06:09

What, no Americans died from diseases related to alcohol, fat etc? And were these caused by nutcases with guns or through simple ignorance or carelessness about their personal health, diet or genetic propensity?

I read some figures the other day that suggested cities such as Chicago have nearly as many murders as the whole of Great Britain in a year. How many people are crowded into each USA city?

There are many decent things in the USA. But the number of poor and people with access to weapons who should be nowhere near them are not among them.

Hmm. Just more evidence of the poor education of all too many in USA I suppose.

Anon. because there are too many Americans with the ability to do something stupid and lack of self control. Judge by the downvotes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 06:09

You are are third world in large parts though: Flint? Appalachians? Large parts of your cities? Mass murders? Religious extremists as part of the mainstream? Education that results in widespread belief in "creationism"? 45% without health cover?

Sounds pretty third world to me.

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Re: As a point of fact (@Hombre sin nombre)

(aside: as a Brit currently resident in the US with interests back home, I'm currently part-funding both governments)"

Dear god! You have my sincere sympathies.

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Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

"Dear Americans, no matter how you look at it there is something wrong with your society if you think that your having nearly twice as many gun deaths per day as the UK has per year is a acceptable state of affairs."

Just a few points. First consider the differences in population and suicide rate. The population of the US is far greater than the UK but the suicide rate is about the same. Now consider that in the US roughly 2/3 of gun deaths are suicides. Next let's consider that according to the Telegraph from a few years back the gun crime rate in the UK has apparently doubled in the past decade and the latest FBI statistics show that gun homicides in the US have dropped more than 50% in the past two decades.

Finally, consider the quote of the Home Office Spokeswoman in the linked Telegraph article, to wit: "It is misleading to compare figures for 2007 / 08 with those from 2002 and before, due to changes in recording practices." Now if it's misleading to compare figures for different years in the UK because of differences in recording practices, what makes you think it isn't misleading to compare figures between the US and the UK which definitely have different recording practices? Maybe we could call it lying without comparable statistics.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

@ DJO,

I don't read any newspapers, I get my facts from government statistics.

If all you have is to call those you disagree with names, then you shouldn't bother posting anything.

We already have enough piss-ant name calling trolls spouting forth crap on the internet.

Oh! By the way, pointing out facts about how legal gun owners weren't getting burgled left right and centre before the ban, isn't ranting... its FACT. Maybe you have a problem with facts which contradict your own thoughts? That's why you try to slur the words of others by calling them 'rants'. Leftie are you? Cause it's standard leftie tactics to do exactly what you did there, You know try to discredit someone who says something you dislike, by calling them names, and dismissing anything they say which you dislike with claims of it being a 'rant'. Come the revolution comrade, people like me will be standing people like you (name calling denialists) against the wall.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a point of fact

There are zero recorded incidents of a .50BMG rifle ever being used in the commission of a crime.

Firing one across a border to shoot a British soldier as an act of terrorism is a crime from where I'm sitting.

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Re: As a point of fact

There are zero recorded incidents of a nuclear weapon being used in the commission of a crime - but the fuss that the local police make when you try and build one ....

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sure I'll be mass downvoted for this...

The only thing I see wrong with the video is that it 's a complete waste of a huge amount of money. I normally use cheap targets! But hey, if you have the money to spend, who am I to tell you how to spend it?

My wife & I both have handguns, and we both have our concealed carry licenses. We had to go to classes, prove our proficiency with our weapon, and pass a thorough background check (including mental hospital records, etc). Sure, we didn't have a shrink examine us, and there was no Minority Report-style insight to see if we'd ever use them illegally, but it's a good step in the right direction. When we're at home, they're locked. When we're out, they're completely concealed on our body. They're not going to be easily stolen and used against us or somebody else.

No, I don't think the guns are going to save me from the government or stop them if they want me. However I do think that they'll at least make an attacker think about backing off really quick.

The problem with the whole gun control debate is that people let their emotions take over and not think logically. The school shooting happened, in well, a school, which is a gun-free zone already. The Navy Yard shooting happened in a gun-free zone inside a gun-free city. I'm not sure about the movie theaters around here are gun-free (no, I don't know if it was like that before hand). Add in the university and other school mass shootings, and a pattern emerges: that mass shootings seem to happen a lot more frequently in gun-free zones!

If somebody is going to commit murder, they're already breaking the law, do you really think violating one more law is going to stop them? Sure, a lot of those people bought their weapons legally or took them from someone else, but it isn't exactly hard to get a weapon from the black market. Marijuana is banned in almost every state in the US, yet it's everywhere and seems to be readily available. If they can't even stop people from getting high, do you really think they're going stop people from getting a gun if they really want to?

If these people didn't have a gun, they'd just find something else to case pain and misery: explosives, poison, fire, vehicular assault, etc. They're not killing because they have a gun, they're killing because they're mentally unstable.

After guns, what else do you want to ban to keep people safe? Pointy knives? Fishing spears? Pitchforks? Lighters? Matches? Household chemicals? Tractors?

PS: I am a Merkin. I do weight a little more than I'd like to. While I don't claim to be completely sane, I wouldn't call myself a nutter. I'm also not right-wing, I don't live in a trailer, I don't have a mullet, and I don't think everybody is out to get me. So can we have a mature debate without name calling?

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Trollface

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

Voland's Right Hand wrote:

1. Think that this rifle is any good to you to defend against your evil government. Hint - government, has tanks, missiles and drones. Going against that armed with a rifle - give me a break.
If it came to that then I think I'd prefer that rifle to a cricket bat!

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Anonymous Coward

Is that all?

Only 82 Americans killed per day?

Not enough if you ask me.

We should be handing guns out in the streets.

;-)

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Re AC 'My wife & I both have handguns'

Blimey, what went wrong, a measured and at least considered response from an AC. Someone tell the Reg the forums are broken!

Individually I'm certain you and your Mrs are strong adverts for the responsible use of you own handguns, totally with you there. It's like watching the mandatory 30s FBI warning on a DVD in many ways - control punished the very people who are trying to be responsible. I can't say I agree with the maxim that everyone having a gun means everyone is safer from gun attacks - the numbers don't bear it out of course, but I don't think the psychology does either.

For a handgun to be anything more than a dangerous prop, the owner needs to be able to use it fast and in complete confidence, and to always have it on them. I'm sure most people go to the range and shot targets a little, or even weekly, but that alone doesn't really change being psychologically able or prepared to respond appropriately when face to face in a hazardous situation. An improper response could be lethal.

If someone mugs you for cash on a street, you can comply, run away or fight. Running away is always a great option if you can of course, but with the adrenaline pumping and nerves jangling, do you arms escalate and pull out your own weapon? The moment you do, does the mugger walk away saying 'my mistake', or does he now have 2 things to mug you for? And the more belligerent you get against some more experienced and desperate person, the more likely the situation is to involve a weapon discharge. Look at the players, one has less to lose, and the other has even more things to steal, it's not an honour match between gentlemen, it's a filthy brawl made lethal. By maths alone, half of gun owners are below average in their ability to protect themselves, yet they are actively upping the stakes to a lethal standoff.

I don't think the solution to school massacres is to put more guns into schools. In fact, probably one of the most effective ways to reduce them is for your news stations gleefully celebrating and exploring every moment into a media frenzy-it makes it seem like a viable option to go down in a blaze of glory as celebrated in every crappy movie teenagers watch. Blurs fantasy and reality too much. Instead, downplay it. Damaged kids want the world to see how much they hurt, they see a way to do it which gives them a showboat stage. Remove the excitement, sensation and media circus and give it a couple of cycles and it'll drop right off. My thoughts, anyway.

Personally, I'm also sick of movies glamorising handguns. If nothing else they make for the laziest, sloppiest screenwriting and plot devices. They're used instead of drama. Very lame. Also, the idea that they only kill enemies and heroically wound heroes, are clean and efficient and kinda cool like having your own poet dinosaur means we never see a balanced, realistic portrayal of the results on screen. I think that compounds things, myself, but isn't the thrust of the discussion here.

I do sympathise actually. Shooting things can be fun, and by all means keep channels open for that. Guns won't vanish overnight, but restrictions mean they become less and less prevalent outside of shooting ranges etc mean fewer instances of escalation, hopefully fewer deaths or injuries. I think there are some very weak arguments used for arming everyone (protect me from my government, etc., you've seen them hashed out) and they really do just throw dust in the eyes of open adult debate. Americans are better than that, the ones I've met anyway. You guys deserve better than a bunch of self-interested parties using your names and specious arguments to maintain their interests.

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Stop

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

"Think that this rifle is any good to you to defend against your evil government. Hint - government, has tanks, missiles and drones. Going against that armed with a rifle - give me a break."

Er... not withstanding that the guy is clearly nuts, the rifle in question (being an anti-materiel sniper rifle) is one of the few weapons likely to be effective against armour. Not tanks of course, but Humvees, low-flying drones, weak points on helicopters up to and including Apache gunships, absolutely.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

eh? the cheap-skates down in Leicester use knives - guns are used in Nottingham, it's totally gangsta.

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Re: @AC 06:09

As far as I can see this was an AC post.... El Reg has a big number of international readers so the presumption that the post'er was British is quite a big one. Secondly, I'm pretty sure having a quick flick over the internet now that the US's health issues with diet and tobacco are a little more severe than those in the UK.

More obviously though I guess is how an overweight, sodium excessed person from England is going to kill another person with fat and salt? It might be important to understand that people with guns far more often kill other people than themselves.

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@AC 29/9/13 06:06 GMT

"We should be handing guns out in the streets."

Obama has already tried that and I would think it has failed by now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

@Eddy Ito,

If you'd bother to do just a little bit more research, you would have found more recent figures for UK gun crime that shows that the number of gun crime offences in recent years is less than half what it was in 2002/03 - using the same recording practices.

Also comparing supposed (and erroneous) growth in UK gun crime with US gun homicides is comparing chalk and cheese; either compare gun crime or gun homicides but don't cherry pick what happens to support your viewpoint. And if you're going to end with a point that you shouldn't compare figures from different countries with differing recording practices, then I don't see why you are actually doing that comparison yourself in your earlier paragraph.

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Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

that particular rifle could probably shoot down a drone or aircraft

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

So you want to ban/heavily restrict firearms ownership, while simultaneously admitting you know it has little or no effect?

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Re: As a point of fact

"So: should anyone, anywhere in the world, take lessons from America on its system of legislation?"

only if you want to be ruled by rich dunces and idiots...

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Re: Re AC 'My wife & I both have handguns'

@ Cliff

"I can't say I agree with the maxim that everyone having a gun means everyone is safer from gun attacks - the numbers don't bear it out of course"

If we work it out by numbers we have a normal majority and a minority of trouble. The normal will debate the moral and be in a large range of wouldnt hurt a fly to my family will be safe at all costs. The trouble makers will ignore rules anyway and be an actual threat. So if the majority have the chance to protect themselves because the minority is certain to make themselves potentially lethal.

"Look at the players, one has less to lose, and the other has even more things to steal, it's not an honour match between gentlemen, it's a filthy brawl made lethal"

It is a situation of violence, if not in action it is in threat. A mugging is at the very minimum a threat of actual harm up to death. So the mugger has already defined the situation in a very real and dangerous way. By producing the gun you will scare off the mugger who isnt committed to risking his life for your petty cash. This leaves the committed mugger who is willing to harm/kill for pocket money. This is the scum of the earth who will likely escalate to breaking into homes and inflicting further harm. In this situation that is one seriously dangerous person removed by arrest or death. Surely that is a good thing. Having a weak victim who can only be hurt or killed is not a good situation.

"I don't think the solution to school massacres is to put more guns into schools."

Gun free zones are an advertisement. Hey look these people cant defend themselves. Do we have signs on our houses and cars saying 'alarm free zone'? No. Yet how much media coverage do we see that schools are unarmed and easy targets? With or without the guns present there needs to be the threat that any nutty moron tries to attack a school they will not make it through the gate alive. That certainly does not sound like an advert to mass murderers.

"Personally, I'm also sick of movies glamorising handguns"

I completely agree. In the UK the lack of education is amazing. If you tell someone you shoot they instantly panic. You see the thoughts of blood soaked films and misinformation cross their little minds. Yet all I shoot at is paper targets. It has been very interesting watching my parents who were entirely anti-gun and blanking that my guns even existed. Yet over time I managed to convince them to come to the range and they enjoyed it. They seemed very surprised at the lack of danger and stupidity.

I like most of your comment as reasoned, I just disagree that removing guns from the legal owners will remove guns from the illegal killers. Guns should be made part of education just as you teach people not to misuse woodwork tools etc. We cant just leave it to violent film and biased media. At least here in the UK it is pretty shocking.

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@AC - I'm as much in awe at the stupidity of US gun laws as the next European, but this is actually something useful and interesting. Whoever posted this clearly knows his weapons, and correct operation thereof, and is (seems to be) using them responsibly.

What's crazy is needing to take proper training + pass a stringent test and get a license to operate a motor vehicle, and have said vehicle registered with a government database searchable by the police, while any 18-year-old without the slightest training or knowledge can turn up at a gun show with a wad of cash and leave with an automatic assault weapon.

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Facepalm

Re: @AC 06:09

"How many Brits died of tobacco, fat, sugar, alcohol, and salt in the same time-frame?"

One suspects the US managed just as impressive a rate as the UK, but regardless, they didn't die due to someone else's burger. The only product you mentioned that could possibly harm someone else is tobacco and regardless of your view on 2nd-hand smoke damage, public exposure to that has pretty much been eradicated.

The only risk to you is if they fall on you.

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USA society == utter utter nightmare

Yes, the USA is so mind-blowingly awful that people are literally queuing up to live there, or risking imprisonment by sneaking over the border, or taking their holidays there again and again and again.

Meanwhile the poor citizenry are treated like prisoners, earn only £100k a year, and are forced to put up with constant good weather in their spacious, swimming-pool ridden neighborhoods, while-

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Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

@AC 07:57

Gee, you're absolutely right. It's nice to have such an authoritative source of information and not just statements of opinion. What I don't understand is why would the Home Office representative state the recording practices are different if they aren't? I guess I'll have to take your word for it since you are such an authority on such matters.

Oh, just so you know, this is called sarcasm since you so clearly missed the irony earlier.

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Holmes

Re: Quote: "There has got to be something wrong..."

Speaking as an "indie" I'd say slurring words and discrediting people is something lefties and righties both do in equal measure.

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Flame

Retroactive Abortions

In my opinion, we need MORE guns. People here in the US are still reproducing faster we can kill 'em. We tried sending them over seas to die in a war, but dayum if we Americans are really good at killing... We like to practice on each other!

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I have an M82A1. A lot of fun.

I won't give houseroom to any iDevice - unless it's hacked, cracked, jailbroken, and unlocked.

Or shot up...

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Jake is that you?

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You're shooting it wrong!

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Happy

Fun shooters are fun. They don't bother shooting live things, and they seem to have a functioning sense of humour. There's also a whole subculture of pervy girls with guns on that there interweb, including a few who shoot plushies with Armsel streetsweepers and the like. My favourite from the wayback was a Texas Cabbage Patch Massacre.

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Seems like a pointless waste

I'm not an Apple fan by any means, but this seems like a pointless stunt, and a waste of a good phone. Oh well, not my phone at least nor my problem.

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