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Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

Guns Are Special

If someone beats a victim to death, we don’t blame the cudgel or the perpetrator’s boot. If he knifes someone, we do not blame the knife. But shoot someone with a gun and the call goes out for more gun control.

The anti-rights folks have a very special antipathy for firearms. So much so that they form groups to lobby against them. (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Women Against Gun Violence, Parents Against Gun Violence, Bishops Against Gun Violence, etc.) It is telling that they do not aim to address the causes of the violence, they only seek to restrict access to the means. They ignore the causes and go straight to the snake-oil cure — more gun control. They apparently do not understand the causes of violence generally and maybe they just don’t care about violence, only “gunviolence.”

They are typically ill-informed. I just read an article claiming it has been “illegal” for civilians in the USA to own a fully-automatic weapon since 1986. It isn’t. They typically exhibit ignorance (or deceptiveness) by conflating semi-auto and full-auto weapons. That’s been on-going for decades. Their most common deception, from back in the heyday of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban, is to call semiautomatic rifles “assault weapons”.

The more honest anti-gunners invented a new term: “semi-automatic assault weapon” because, well, a semi-automatic weapon cannot honestly be called an assault weapon. True assault weapons have a full-auto mode or a three-round burst mode. Semi-automatic weapons do not (though true assault weapons do have a semi-automatic mode).

If you wish to call semi-automatic rifles “assault weapons,” you may as well go all in and just claim they are “machine guns”. After all, they are like machine guns — except for the lack of a full auto mode.

The NRA and others refer to AR-15 pattern weapons as “modern sporting rifles” and that makes perfect sense (certainly more sense than “assault weapons”) because the AR-15 is the most widely used weapon in recreational shooting sports and competitions. It is rarely used in crime.

The Boston Globe reported that 411 people had been killed by “assault rifles” since the “assault weapons” ban was lifted in 2004. NOAA says that over the last 20 years, an average of 51 people were killed each year by lightning strikes.

Is it a problem that the occasional nut-job or jihadist decides to kill as many people as he can? Yes, obviously. But it does not justify the huge amount of effort put into fretting over “gun control.” You’re 1.5 times more likely to be killed by lightning than an “assault weapon.”

And it certainly is not justification for infringing even further the Right to Keep and Bear Arms “protected” by the Constitution.

Ask yourself this: Why did no one at the Pulse in Orlando shoot back? Why was the perpetrator able to shoot over 100 people with impunity?

Answer that honestly and you will have both pinpointed the problem and the cure.

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