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Letter to the Editor: Time to tackle myths about ‘assault weapons’

dfox • Updated Nov 7, 2015 at 12:46 AM

There are a lot of gun control myths going around today and I would like to address a couple of them.  It is pretty obvious that the gun haters especially don’t like “assault weapons.”

One presidential candidate recently said that the recent high profile shooting in South Carolina, Virginia and Oregon point up the need for additional controls on assault weapons even thought they were not used in those crimes.

 If not being used in a crime is proof that a weapon should be banned then perhaps we need to ban hammers.  Hammers were not used in these crimes but FBI statistics show that you are 150 percent more likely to be killed by a hammer than all types of rifles combined.  

Perhaps we should ban knives.  They too were not used in the crimes but FBI statistics reflect that you are 200percent more likely to be hacked to death by a knives than to be killed by any, by all types of rifles.

But what is an “assault rifle” really?  The term was coined during World War II to describe a soldier’s rifle that had the ability to fire either semi-automatic (one time for each trigger pull) and automatic or fully automatic (pull the trigger and the gun fires until you release the trigger).  

So, do we need to ban these?  No, they were banned for general civilian ownership by the National Firearms Act of 1934.  Yep they have been banned for over eighty years.  

The hate groups today are trying to ban guns based on cosmetics not function. 

By correct technical definition the guns concerned are not really “assault rifles” but may look like them and that is why the gun haters want to ban them. Not because of any function or capability but because of looks.

 The simple response there is that it does not matter how many NASCAR stickers you put on a Prius it is still not going to win the Daytona 500.  So if they are not really assault rifles what is the big deal? 

Again, the gun haters will tell you that they “look” like assault rifles and should be banned because they are scary.  

My response there is that I realize you do not understand and are afraid of what you do not know but why should my rights be limited by your lack of knowledge? 

 That path can get us into a lot of trouble and the entire “Civil Rights Movement” has been an effort to get away from that mindset.

In the interest of space constraints I will wait until a later letter to skewer such false notions as “gun free zones” or as people with military experience will know them “free fire zones.”

Roy Denney


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