Ignorance and fear go hand in hand...

Yet another opinion writer submits an editorial calling for gun control, admitting as she does so that she knows nothing about guns (and proving it by her arguments).  I do not understand why the media continues to provide a platform for ignorance.  Here's what she has to say about guns:

A quick check on the Internet revealed that on the same day a Los Angeles city employee shot two co-workers using the same type of gun that was used in the Tyler killings - a semi-automatic assault weapon.

Who needs a semi-automatic weapon?

I fully understand the United States Constitution allows people the right to protect themselves and their homes by owning guns.

But semi-automatic weapons?

What in the world would you kill with a semi-automatic, unless you are just purposely going hunting for other human beings?

Are you going to go out and shoot a deer with a semi-automatic?

I admit that I don't know a lot about hunting, but seems like if you use a semi-automatic there won't be much left of the very animals you're trying to take home for dinner.

Does this woman even know what a semi-automatic firearm is? Clearly not.  That crack about "there won't be much left" at the end is the clincher.  That's a crack usually applied to machine guns -- fully-automatic firearms. 

And it makes sense; hunting with a machine gun is probably overkill.  Rather than a single, clean kill, you'll end up with a lot of bullets all over the place, some of them possibly wounding other animals.  It makes sense to use a semiautomatic rifle for hunting.  Of course, most modern military rifles have a selector switch for that purpose -- full-auto or semi-auto, at the flick of a switch, so there's no reason to choose between them when you can have both. 

But hunting doesn't have a thing to do with our 2nd Amendment rights, and that's not the point of this article.

Consider what she says next:
Personally, I'm scared of guns. I will not go near them, whether they're pistols or rifles. I don't care. I have buried too many friends and family members who died from shooting incidents.
She's scared of guns, which are nothing more than inanimate objects, inherently no more dangerous than a car (and arguably less dangerous).   She doesn't know a thing about them, and won't go near them.  And yet, she wants people to listen to her opinion about them?
In 1994, Congress banned automatic and semiautomatic weapons, but it seems there are more reports than ever about shootings involving assault weapons.
In 1994, Congress banned the manufacture (not possession) of some semiautomatic firearms with "scary" cosmetic features.  Fully-automatic firearms have been heavily regulated since 1934, not 1994, and are almost never used in crime when legally owned.  The one known exception to that rule was a police officer conducting assassinations with his police-owned machine gun.

There are more reports than ever because the journalists have decided that they can pass another ban if they inflate the numbers, in the same way the absolute numbers of homeless stayed about the same during the Reagen presidency, but the reports about the "homeless problem" increased dramatically. 

"Immediately after the 1994 law was enacted, the gun industry evaded it by making slight, cosmetic design changes to banned weapons-including those banned by name in the law-and continued to manufacture and sell these "post-ban" or "copycat" guns," as reported in a study by the Violence Policy Center.

.... and of course this tactic was only possible because the law banned those slight, cosmetic design features.  Of course manufacturers followed the law by removing the banned features and continuing to sell the substantially similar firearms!  That's called following the law, even though the law itself (predictably enough) accomplished nothing.
In May 2003, a congressman from New York authored a bill to make it harder for gun manufacturers to make and sell the post-ban weapons.I hope it passes. These types of weapons need to be taken off the streets once and forever.
What bill?  What did it do?  How would it be enforced?  Did it have a chance of passage?  What did the people who would be affected, law abiding gun owners and manufacturers, have to say about it? Don't know?  Don't care?  Then why should we listen to you?Can you even tell the banned weapons apart from the permitted ones?
Federal law states that automatic weapons can only be used by the military.
Federal law states nothing of the kind.It allows fully-automatic firearms to be manufactured for law enforcement and the military, but forbids manufacture for civilian use.  However, ordinary citizens can still own and use a fully-automatic weapon that predates the Hughes Amendment (1986).  It gets a little expensive, I admit.
Assault weapons have no place in America or on our streets.
And now we're back to talking about "assault weapons", which are semi-automatic firearms specifically neutered for civilian use, and an entirely different issue.  Yet this person can't tell them apart even though she's being paid to have an opinion on the issue?
It's not exactly what our founding fathers had in mind when they said we have the right to bear arms and protect ourselves.
You're right.  Our founding fathers would want nothing to do with militia weapons that had been neutered for civilian use.  They would insist that the real thing be made available at government expense to every male citizen between 18 and 45 years of age, just as they did in their time.

UPDATE: Head's Bunker linked to this, and there's an interesting discussion in the comments thread of that post.

This entry was published Sat Sep 24 10:43:35 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

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