Agent of Ignorance

So last night I watched a documentary about Malvo and Williams, the DC area snipers.  I was stunned by the ignorance of an ATF agent, who said, “The head, or the projectile part of the bullet that comes out when you shoot…”

I guess I’m naïve, but I would have thought that since the “F” stands for “Firearms,” their agents would have at least some rudimentary knowledge of firearms terminology.  I know, I know.  I should know better than to expect such expertise from ATF agents.

Repeat after me:

The projectile is the bullet.
The projectile is the bullet.
The projectile is the bullet.

The entire object in question is correctly referred to as a cartridge.  The cartridge is made up of the shell or case, the primer, the propellant, sometimes a small bit of material wadding to hold the propellant in place (usually not), and…the bullet.

He also made a rather ignorant statement that since the .223 bullet travels at around 3,000 feet per second, “it will hit you before you ever hear the sound.”  As my kids would say, “Well, duh.”

And then there was another “expert” who was comparing the .223 to the 9mm and .40 S&W rounds, and who seemed confused that a lighter, more streamlined rifle bullet can go so much faster than squat, chunky pistol bullets.

And (again) then there was Chief “you’ve killed 5 adults but this time it was a kid so now you’ve stepped over the line” Moose.  You mean murdering 5 adults was not stepping over the line?

The whole program was enraging and outrageous.

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