Sunday, November 20, 2005

AK5 Assault Rifle?

We just had a shooting at a mall in Tacoma by a "gunman." Lord, please let me never be referred to on the news as a "gunman."

Komo4 TV News reports that "one man said the weapon used by the shooter was an AK-5 assault rifle." And then they whip out the obligatory big black banana-clip (yeah, I know, it's a "magazine") assault-rifle picture. Strange choice of weapon. The AK-5 is a Belgian-made actual assault rifle used in Sweden, capable of shooting 650 rounds per minute full auto. There are none listed for sale on, nor on They are full auto and hence not legal in Washington State. In fact, since that they were made circa 1986, they would not be legal anywhere in this country for civilian ownership. So, give me a break. Who was this witness?

I left the TV before the piece was over, and my wife said they did interview what appeared to her to be a bonafide gun-nut, who, from the sound of the weapon, figured it was semi-auto, not full-auto, not that the AK-5 doesn't have the select-fire capability, but was this the same guy who thought it was an AK-5? My wife said he didn't say it on air.

Ah, here we go, the Seattle PI reports that it was an AK-47. Great, just what we need. Here come the demands for an assault weapons ban. How was it exactly, though, that the gunman hit seven people and nobody died? Only one in critical condition, thankfully. I would have expected a lot more damage from a semi-auto AK-47 variant. That, and the witnesses all reported that the gun only made a "pop pop pop" sound, or something to that effect. Centerfire rifles -- especially indoors and at close range -- tend to do a lot more than "pop." Hmmmm...? All the local news outlets are jumping on the "assault weapons" bandwagon without actually knowing what the weapon really is. I'm sensing biased knee-jerk reporting. Alert! Alert!

Hey, now look at this. Accurate reporting by!
The man barricaded himself in a music store at Tacoma Mall, taking three employees hostage, after opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle about 12:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m. ET), Tacoma Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said. A SWAT team took him into custody after he released the hostages unharmed, Fulghum said. (Posted 9 p.m.)
And more from where the Tacoma PD spokesman, Mark Fulghum, offered only a few details
He said the shooter, who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, "was just in the mall and he opened fire," apparently at random.
Carnaby Fudge will get to the bottom of this!

Update I: I've sent a couple emails to Tacoma PD after a few unsuccessful attempts at calling them to try to get some answers. We'll see if I get a response.

Update II: A response! See here.


Blogger Countertop said...

Back before I sold my Evil SAR-1 AK-47 Clone Assault Rifle I shot ONE round from it at the NRA HQ range without making sure my earmuff style hearing protection was properly in place. Even with 80% protection, it was so loud (and the noise so greatly amplified inside a building) that my ears were ringing for a couple of hours.

I too find it hard to believe eye witnesses who were near him in the mall would describe it as simply making a "pop" sound. BOOOOOM is more like it.

11/21/2005 9:05 AM  
Blogger Rusticus said...

My .22 rifle goes 'pop'!

11/21/2005 1:02 PM  

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