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Second Amendment

No Excuse for the Ignorance of Gun-Grabbers

Anti-gun zealots don't have to be experts, but they need basic knowledge of the things they are trying to ban.

Louis DeBroux · Mar. 29, 2018

Unfortunately, one side in the gun debate is not just ignorant of basic facts but militantly and willfully so. In fact, many are just plain idiotic.

Gun control advocates demand “commonsense” gun control measures, like expanding background checks, closing the “gun show loophole,” and banning “assault” weapons, machine guns and “high capacity” magazines. They claim it’s easier to buy a gun than to buy books, and anyone opposing their “commonsense” reforms must want children to die.

Setting aside momentarily the reprehensible charge that a disagreement on policy is evidence of a desire to see more dead children, these proposals are riddled with errors and logical fallacies.

For example, though gun control advocates routinely refer to banning “assault” weapons, the truth is there are almost none in civilian possession. The U.S. Department of Defense defines assault weapons as “short, compact, selective-fire weapons.” In other words, a battlefield rifle capable of both semiautomatic (one round fired per trigger pull) and fully automatic (repeated fire with single trigger pull) fire. Fully automatic weapons (i.e., machine guns) have been banned for civilian use since the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The AR-15 (which stands for ArmaLite, not “assault rifle”) is the most popular rifle in America today. Though militaristic in appearance, it is a semiautomatic rifle, functionally no different than the millions of hunting rifles that gun-grabbers claim they have no desire to confiscate. In fact, it fires a smaller round than many hunting rifles. So why ban one gun that is functionally equivalent to another simply because it looks “scary”?

If you want to know more about America’s most popular rifle, visit assaultweapon.info.

Regarding the other items, “high capacity” is really standard capacity, and there is no gun show loophole. Even at gun shows, firearms dealers are required to perform background checks prior to sale, and they sure aren’t going to risk massive fines and imprisonment just to sell you a gun.

So as a practical matter, there is no logical reason to ban so-called “assault” weapons unless gun control proponents are also going to ban all semiautomatic weapons, including handguns, which they claim they are not trying to do.

While we don’t expect opponents of gun rights to be gun experts, we do expect them to have basic knowledge of the things they are trying to ban. The problem is that basic knowledge might change their minds, and they can’t have that.

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