New ban wouldn’t have stopped Orlando shooter

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The recent terrorist attack in Orlando is among the gravest tragedies in American history. More than 50 innocent people lost their lives to abhorrent acts committed by a zealous psychopath bent on spreading hate and fear throughout the United States.

This deplorable act of terrorism has many political, religious and foreign policy causes, but American gun control isn’t among them. Despite this, many politicians have demanded tighter gun laws, believing that new legislation would have prevented this and future tragedies –  despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Unfortunately for supporters of the Second Amendment, anti-gun politicians believe the most auspicious time to pass these laws is in the immediate wake of any tragedy involving a firearm. They’ll talk about so-called, ‘Military-type Assault Weapons’ (WARNING: this site may require a tin foil hat to read without brain damage) and regurgitate what their staff members quickly ‘learned’ from browsing the Brady Campaign website without any real grasp of what these words mean.

Make no mistake, there is no such thing as an ‘Assault Weapon’. While modern anti-gun politicians may not know this, the first ones to coin the term absolutely did. They invented this term very deliberately to conjure images of fully-automatic M16s due to its resemblance to the term, Assault Rifle.

Most gun folks know this by now, but it bears repeating. An assault rifle is a select-fire (meaning it can operate like a traditional semi-automatic rifle, or as a fully-automatic or burst fire weapon) shoulder-fired rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge.

Assault rifles aren’t illegal for private ownership in the United States, but are exceptionally difficult and expensive to own due to laws passed decades ago preventing construction of new examples. This means the current supply of civilian-legal, select-fire or fully automatic firearms in the United States is ever-diminishing.

If any of you reading this are balking at the idea of private machine gun ownership, and believe only military or police officers should have access to them, then stop and consider a few things. Since 1934 when legislation was passed restricting private ownership of fully-automatic firearms, only three legally-owned machineguns have been used in violent crime. Two of those three incidents were committed by police officers, one of which was to murder a police informant.

Assault Weapons, on the other hand, are defined by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban as semi-automatic rifles, pistols or shotguns with two or more prohibited features. These features include a threaded barrel, a bayonet mount and adjustable stock or pistol grip. Design characteristics that don’t make a given firearm more or less dangerous, but merely make them more ergonomic or modular.

This is one of the core issues with politicians passing any sort of legislation on firearms: they don’t know anything about them. Worse yet, many of them are proud to be ignorant of the finer points on them. They speak and act as if they’re above knowing the gritty details of items they consider to be, “scary murder machines.”

Truthfully, I’m sick of writing about this subject, because the opposite never changes their argument and is always wrong. Not subjectively, but objectively, willfully wrong. If the opposition was at least honest in their attack on private gun ownership in American, it would almost be possible to sympathize with them. But when the president makes statements like the following, it just illuminates his own willful ignorance of the facts and disgusting contempt he holds his countrymen in.

“This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school…”

 

Because the weapon and the Americans who voted against gun bans in the past are the ones to blame in this situation, right? Shame on us all for not trusting the government to protect us at all moments of our lives, despite the Supreme Court ruling that police have no duty to protect anyone.

I mean, the guy who plotted for months to commit these acts wouldn’t be hindered by stricter gun laws. Furthermore, if a magazine ban was enacted, I doubt he would have said, “I don’t want to break any laws on my way to committing mass murder. I better only use legally-purchased, low-capacity magazines during my killing spree.”

The ethical and logical gymnastics required to justify a ban of firearms with specific, frightening, cosmetic features is so ludicrous it leaves me speechless. Meanwhile, these same people condemning inurement objects give a pass to radical Islamic terrorists, while damning the NRA.

Look, I’m not a political guy. I hate talking about, dealing with, and even reading about politics. The stuff is so goddamn maddening it could drive a man to drinking. But when the men and women of this country who took an oath to represent the common people and their interests willfully misrepresent and divert attention away from the core causes of a tragedy simply to further their own narrative and agenda, I feel compelled to speak.

 

 

 

Jim is a freelance writer for dozens of firearm publications, the host of the YouTube channel Burst Review and the youngest author to write a cover story for Shotgun News in its 86-years of operation. Jim loves anything that goes, ‘boom’ but particularly enjoys military firearms from the Cold War and WW2. When he’s not slinging lead downrange he can be round hiking in the mountains with his wife Kim and their vicious attack dog, Peanut.