National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

Inside: Secret America

Buying An AK-47

Mariana tries to make a straw purchase in an Arizona gun store.

Info

Next Airing:

Inside: Secret America: Buying An AK-47

Published

Mariana tries to make a straw purchase in an Arizona gun store.

Share

3 comments
John R.
John R.

I was very disturbed at the wildly inaccurate story done by Mariana van Zeller in reference to the purchase of firearms by private citizens. Perhaps before attempting such a story she should at least study the subject a little. She over dramatizes making a LEGAL firearm purchase and is obviously trying to demonize the subject. Then she states they just bought an AK-47! She again makes a big drama out of using the name "AK-47" and she did NOT even purchase an AK-47! 

An AK-47, a REAL AK-47, is a rifle that fires FULLY AUTOMATIC or semi-automatic. A real AK-47 assault rifle fires 600 rounds a minute in full auto mode and fires a 7.62x39mm bullet. That 7.62x39mm round can go through a brick wall just like a 7.62x51mm NATO round which is also known as a .308 Winchester round. Van Zeller makes a big deal about the fact that an AK47 round can penetrate concrete cinder block walls and again makes a big deal of over dramatizing this fact when almost any hunting rifle round will do the same thing! The .308 Winchester aka 7.62 NATO round will penetrate even more and is fired from numerous deer hunting rifles used in the USA AND the .308 is not the larger of the LEGAL deer hunting rounds used by hunters. The 30.06  is even larger and is used in medium machine guns and is also used in many deer hunting rifles and will penetrate cinder block and even light armor steel.

An Assault Rifle MUST (1) have full automatic capability and (2) fire a short rifle round such as the 5.56x45mm NATO, or 7.62x39mm Soviet  and (3) use a high capacity magazine. The rifle Van Zeller made such a huge deal about buying was missing the full auto capability and was NOT an assault rifle. NOR was it an AK-47 as AK-47's ARE assault rifles and DO fire fully automatic and require a Class 3 special firearms permit from the current ATF. Since the actual AK-47 is manufactured in a foreign country it is illegal to import it and thus you will find VERY few actual AK-47s in the hands of a civilian in the USA.

What Van Zeller did buy was a plain old AK-47 LOOK ALIKE, a reproduction available just about anywhere! They are produced by numerous countries with licenses to do so: China, several East European countries and even some companies in the USA. The most common form is the SKS, which is likely what she bought. The SKS is SEMI-AUTOMATIC just as is the AR-15 (which is the M-16 & M-4 look-alike) and fires the same ammunition as the AK-47, and uses the same magazine but fires ONLY in semi-automatic. 

It's plainly evident that Van Zeller is injecting her own ideals into this story and that's OK but she should at least get her facts right if she is going to be so intentionally negative about one side of the story. People are not buying up fully automatic assault rifles as she reports. And the ammunition she makes sound like anti-tank rounds is LESS powerful than the same ammunition used by deer hunters in 100's of thousands, if not millions, of hunting rifles throughout the USA.

And even the 50 cal rifle she "exposed" is also a LEGAL firearm. Yes its big, however I noticed she didn't point out a single crime having been committed with a 50 cal weapon. That is because it's BIG, it's HEAVY, it has a big KICK, not to mention a HUGE price tag ($5000 and up), and there are so few that using one in a crime would be like waiving a huge flag that said "Come and get me!"

The 2nd amendment  was created to ensure that the citizens of this country would never be subject to the whims of a dictator or totalitarian government control. Our forefathers were scared to death of a government or leader trying to take over and rightfully so since no other nation in history had survived without a military or dictator coup or coup d'état at some point. To prevent a military coup or dictatorship they ensured that all citizens have the right to possess and own firearms as well as forming well armed and trained citizen militia. Of course it was also created to prevent foreign invasion, Indian and criminal attack too. And all of these things are just as possible today as they were back when our forefathers created this amendment. Nothing has changed, there is every possibility that a future dictator could try to wrest control of our government from the people and that is why this amendment is still as important now as it was back then. Not only to stop that from happening but also as the trip wire that tells us someone is about to attempt to do so. A dictatorial leader or government will almost assuredly attempt to alter or remove the 2nd amendment prior to attempting a take over. Even our Supreme Court recognizes this an has mentioned it in recent decisions.

There are those who claim that it is different now and that things will not be the same and we will never be surprised again and of course then we are same and we get surprised again. And there are those who claim citizens owning guns serves no purpose in defense and yet again we can look at history. After that devastating sneak attack on Hawaii people wondered why they never invaded the Islands or the mainland since militarily we were helpless. However history tells the story. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the attack was asked by his leaders why they shouldn't invade while they had the chance. Admiral Yamamoto, a sly and brilliant military strategist, went to school in America and his response to the leaders was: "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." And he was right. And that fact has made every leader who ever contemplated invading America think twice. Though the 2nd amendment may be old it is timeless and still as important as the very day it was enacted.

I look upon these one sided "the sky is falling" stories by Van Zeller and others as a tremendous disservice to our country and its future. I have viewed other stories by VanZeller and I think she does a very good job, however as I stated at the outset I think she needs to do more in the way of getting her facts straight and providing both sides of the issue fairly before she shows the story to the public because at least on this one story she was way off the target.  

...

A. Jackson
A. Jackson

Not sure what this pathetic excuse of "journalism" is trying to accomplish besides lying to their reader/viewers, but she didn't even "make it clear that she was trying to perform a straw purchase" on the phone.  She just asked advice from her friend on the phone.

Besides that glaring fact, how many mass-killings have there been in America with AK-47s anyway?  Did you "journalists" just figure that it sounds the meanest and has the worst reputation from ye ole Cold War days?

Real journalists are objective, not just pushing their anti-gun views through halfassed, lying segments.

If you want to complain about weapons and power, start protesting the power that governments have first.  Until then, respect the Second Amendment or leave the country.