Tag Archives: gun control

Ignore The Semantics Debate: The AR-15 Is A Military-Style Weapon

There is often a focus on semantics during gun control debates as pertaining to the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which is extremely popular and often finds itself the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

Gun advocates will point out and ridicule people for thinking that the “AR” stands for “assault rifle,” and assert that it does not fall into that category. But the fact is that the AR-15 was originally designed for the military, and the fully automatic version was actually used in Vietnam briefly. The manufacturer of the rifle couldn’t get them sold to the military, though, because the military already had the M-14.

The civilian version of the AR-15 is semi-automatic as opposed to fully automatic, but that difference can become negligible if a person customizes the weapon with bump stocks, which are legal additions that make the rifle mimic automatic fire.

So, the AR-15 can be called a “military-style” weapon. The fact remains that these rifles have characteristics, such as low recoil, light weight, fast rate of fire, and long range, which make them extremely deadly in the context of use in a mass shooting. I think these rifles can be treated the way we currently regulate machine guns (fully automatic,) which are legal but much harder to purchase and own.

Will it prevent every mass shooting?  No, but it will make them harder to carry out, and can stop some of them.  And just preventing one of these senseless tragedies is worth it.

 

Photo credit:  Pixabay.com/IIIBlackhartIII

The Trump Administration’s Reaction To The Las Vegas Shooting Vs. The New York City Truck Attack

The Trump administration had markedly different reactions to the Las Vegas Route 91/Harvest Festival shooting and yesterday’s truck attack in New York City.

After Las Vegas, it wasn’t the time to discuss gun control policy. But after yesterday’s attack, apparently it’s the perfect time to discuss immigration policy, as well as attack Senator Chuck Schumer.

Here are segments from the White House press briefing, the day after each event.

What could be the difference? Hmmm…

Why Are Americans So Attached To Their Guns?

Well, it’s happened again.  The seemingly daily issue of mass shootings in America has reared its ugly head once more, this time at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.  Nine dead and several others injured by a gunman who was later killed during an exchange of gunfire with police.

Still, countless mass shootings and more than 15 years after the Columbine tragedy, the issue of gun control in the United States is just as polarizing, if not more so, than ever before. With many Americans, when you begin talking about the issues of gun violence and even remotely suggest tougher gun laws, it’s like you have insulted their mother, their sister, and their favorite football team. For many, guns are as embedded into the American culture and are as vital a part of the American identity, if not more so, as all of the other rights protected in the Constitution, such as freedom of speech or religion. Taking away or limiting gun access is akin to asking many Americans for their left arm.

In terms of gun control, I would consider myself fairly moderate. I’m definitely not an advocate of taking away all guns, but I think our laws could be tougher and there are certain weapons, such as assault or “assault-style” rifles, that I don’t think belong in the hands of the average Joe. The average Joe could very well be a psychopath. I don’t believe that gun control is an end-all solution to the problem of violence in America, but I think it would help.

I have fired guns before and I did enjoy it. I understand their appeal. What I don’t understand is why many Americans seem to become so personally threatened when the issue of gun control arises. It strikes me as a fear of being powerless. A fear of tyrannical rule by the government or of being victimized by someone. If the government takes away some of our guns, then we are powerless against the inevitable intrusion into and dominance of our lives by the police, military, or the guy down the street.

These are all valid concerns and fears, but where I tend to disagree is in seeing guns as the core source of power in government. I see guns as a way for the government to protect its power, but I see that power exerted in many other, far more subtle ways. I am personally far more concerned with being told what to think or what to believe, or falling for the illusion that the people are in control in the first place. More importantly, I don’t feel empowered by guns. Somebody is always going to have more or bigger weapons. There is a certain point where I stop worrying about this. For myself, the need to feel physically powerful is outweighed by the desire to attain personal peace and to live a life that has impacted others in a positive way.

Photo credit – www.freedigitalphotos.net – vectorolie