Understandably, in the wake of a harrowing massacre and a recent string of other notable mass shootings, we are left with a feeling of vulnerability, knowing another shooting of this magnitude can spontaneously sprout in a neighborhood near you. Feeling we have reached the tipping point in our national dialogue on guns in this country, politicians feel the time is ripe to dust off the old Assault Weapons Ban, once implemented for ten years in 1994. Anecdotally, we understand that with a military style “assault rifle” (sure, I’ll use their terminology) coupled with high capacity magazines, there is the potential to unleash many times more carnage than say the common handgun. But how much safer is this ban really going to make us?
Few people realize that the assault rifle’s contribution to gun crime and homicides is surprisingly insignificant with figures of it’s use ranging between 2 to 7 percent. With under fifteen thousand murders committed annually in this country, only a few hundred are perpetrated with this type of rifle.
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I compare imposing an assault weapons ban to the idea of banning swords, expecting it would lower stabbing deaths. Though the premise that a sword is a far deadlier blade weapon than a knife is true, it would fail to lower stabbings because they are hardly used for that purpose.
If gun control advocates had it their way and tomorrow there are no more combat style rifles in the hands of the common man, that wouldn’t translate into the elimination of a couple hundred homicides. All that is doing is changing the firearm that’s going to be used. If we were to examine each case of a murder in which that type of weapon was used, granted there would be some cases where the enhanced features of the assault rifle enabled more success and more people slain. Yet we would also find a lot of cases where the results would be no different had the murderer used a six shot revolver.
At the end of business, we’d be looking at the success of this bill in reducing gun crime with a microscope. “Even if we save just a few lives, it would all be worth it” some might say. Perhaps so. We would likely save many more lives if we were to slash the speed limit across the country by a modest 5 miles per hour; yet we wouldn’t stand for that because we have places to go, and we want to be there five minutes ago. We would save many more lives if we were to ban the public serving of alcohol; yet we wouldn’t stand for that because we have calculated that the ten thousand senseless loss of lives annually is worth having a rocking buzz.
Folks, I am an owner of an AR15 along with a robust load of thirty round magazines. I am a veteran of the Iraq War; and even after my time in the service, I continue to pursue Warriorship in arming, equipping, physically conditioning, and training as part of my noble way of life. I and millions like me do not deserve to become criminals with the passing of a single piece of legislation. For clarity, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 would grandfather current lawfully obtained arsenals; but we can expect future pieces of legislation that will deem this isn’t doing enough to keep us safe.
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I have no moronic fantasies of overthrowing a tyrannical government, or of resisting a foreign occupation on American soil, or of a Zombie Apocalypse. I do not think violent solutions are a remedy for any of our political grievances of today; and at the same time, it needs to be an available option to put a government we put in power in check. And that is why firearms ownership is such a crucial civil right. It’s about something much greater than hunting, or sport, or hobby, or even home defense and self-protection. It’s about citizen empowerment. We have a 2nd Amendment because having a powerful citizenry is an important component to a free republic.
Weighing the scant amount of safety we are gaining with the surrendering of an awesome inheritance and lofty concept of freedom, I judge this proposed legislation in the Assault Weapons Ban 2013 to be a bad trade of liberty for security. We need to be more careful of what we are giving up for peace of mind and how much domination we allow government to have over us, no matter how benevolent the intentions.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.