I do believe I’ve got you covered

James Garner, Tank 1984

Piers Morgan fresh from being spanked by Ben Shaprio decided to have another go of it yesterday

Mr. Morgan’s forlorn hopes that Dana Loesch and Scottie Hughes would be an easier marks than Mr. Shaprio and the comedy value of the video not withstanding the most interesting feature of this interview is Mr. Morgan’s obsessive fear of the average citizen armed with tanks.

While I’m not aware of any mass murder taking place using a tank, I was intrigued since I am aware of private collectors actually owning tanks. So lets look at the whole question for a moment.

First of all, being of a certain age when someone says “Tank” I don’t think of Modern Armor, I think of Sherman Tanks and World War 2. So lets go there.

Let’s start with price

On July 17, 1940, exactly one month after receiving their orders, they delivered the cost estimates for the M2A1 tank.

The Army reviewed the estimates. Chrysler had figured on a production ability of 10 tanks per day. After review, the Army said it could pay for 5 a day. They also said that the armor plating tools and related machinery would not be included.

Refiguring the estimates, Chrysler put a cost per tank of $33,500. The corporation was protected by an escalator clause which would offset this price should labor and material costs go up.

Ok we have an estimate of $33,500 for a Sherman Tank new off the Assembly line circa 1940. Converted to 2012 dollars that comes to $540,000.86

However rather than adjusting numbers let go out and see what people are actually paying for Sherman Tanks today. You can find that information pretty easily and that’s when the problems begin….

One of the most popular vehicles for MV enthusiasts, but probably the least collected is the Sherman tank. Everyone says they want a Sherman tank—that is, until they see what one costs to buy and maintain.

Sounds a lot like a Chevy volt but I digress…

In setting a solid price Military Vehicles Magazine has a 1-6 scale on pricing 1 being near perfect to 6 a parts vehicles unrestorable. As we are addressing Mr. Morgan’s apparent fear of citizens running rampant with tanks lets examine a price ranges in condition 4 (Functional) or above.

A tank in #4 Functional condition according to Military Trader.co goes for $175,000 in Pristine condition (#10 the price goes to $300,000 which means a Sherman Tank in 1940 was a poor investment as even in Mint condition it came no where near it’s inflation related cost.

And lets remember that this doesn’t include oil, bullets, shells, parts in case of trouble (you can buy a parts tank #6 at $95,000) and let not forget that A Sherman gets .8 miles per gallon. With a range of 130 at 3.33 a gallon that a lot of gas money before they can get to Piers house.

Given these price points, an economy with a growing population on food stamps and the fact that for a whole lot less a deranged mass killer could whip up something a lot more effective and deadly I submit and suggest that Piers Moran’s fear of Tanks is a tad overstated and if he continues to exhibit symptoms of said phobia he obtain professional help

And under no circumstance should he watch this movie clip from the 1984 film let alone the entire picture.

I regret to say it has reached the point in our society that people figure a moment of mass murder is an excellent chance to score political points. As our friends have decided to do this left me answer them briefly:

On Brian Ross and ABC news who breathlessly blamed the Tea Party for these murders:

I submit and suggest that if the killer James Holmes had been a convert to Islam and told the police “God is great” rather than “I’m the Joker” Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos would have been telling people on Good Morning America not to be jumping to conclusions or tarring an entire religion for one man’s actions.

On Piers Morgan and others trying to use this as a reason to gut the 2nd Amendment:

I submit the following passage from Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s excellent book Escape From Hell

“And that one?” I pointed to a man up to his chin in boiling blood. He was screaming in agony so his face was distorted, but he looked Oriental.

“New one,” Billy said. “Seung, something like that. Went out and shot a bunch of people in the college he was at. Allen, it puzzles me that a man can shoot thirty-two full-grown men and women before the sheriff’s men gun him down. You’re more his time, maybe you can tell me. Why didn’t someone just shoot the son of a bitch?”

I scratched my head. Billy’s viewpoint seemed skewed, alien.

“Five of ‘em where teachers,” Billy said. “They had to protect their kids. How could they now be armed? It’s as if someone has been taking away their guns.”

You really should buy that book , but you might want to pick up the first volume in the series Inferno first.

Might I suggest that it takes very little effort or discretion to show self-restraint