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The original AR 15 assault rifle was a true assault rifle in that it was capable of semiautomatic fire…one pull, one round….and fully automatic fire, that is, a machine gun. The description you give is of the current military true assault rifle, the M16.

The current civilian AR 15 is not fully automatic. There are at least 10 million in the United States owned by civilians, and it is probably the most popular semiautomatic rifle now sold. This does not count the numerous variants of the AR-15 made in various other calibers, including many popular hunting rounds.

Getting into debates about muzzle velocity is misleading to say the least. The most popular rifle caliber in America are .30 caliber variants, including the Winchester 300 Magnum, which is a popular hunting rifle but is also a "weapon of war" used as a sniper rifle, and can fire a 180 grain bullet accurately over 500 yards with a muzzle velocity of over 3000 fps, which is far more lethal than the .223 at any range.

It is true that the AR-15 can accept magazines with a 10 round capacity or more. However, there are many non-military look a like semiautomatic rifles which are functionally equivalent to the AR-15…semiautomatic rifles that fire the .223 round. Probably the most popular is the Ruger Mini 14. It looks like a classic hunting rifle, with a wood stock, but is no less capable than the AR-15, and can accept magazines holding as many rounds.

If the criteria of banning a firearm is dependent on it being a "weapon of war" does this mean any caliber of rifle ever used in wartime? That would include virtually every gun made today and for the last 100 years, including shotguns, which are also current "weapons of war".

The problem with school shooters is not the weapon they choose, and there is no evidence that shooters would not simply switch to another handgun or rifle as, or more lethal, than the AR15. Similarly, magazine limit sizes, while initially appealing to some, don’t have much to do with the number of rounds fired, or people killed, because a shooter can change out a 10 or 7 round magazine as quickly as a 20 round magazine, and within seconds…far to quickly to be disabled by bystanders.

However, they present an attractive target. The Parkland shooting was not a failure of gun control, or availability of weapons. It was a failure on multiple levels by the government, including the FBI, the Broward School District, and as we are now learning, the Broward Sheriff.

Calls for gun bans are not going to address the issue at hand and will not prevent the next mass shooting. It’s time we harden schools and provide the same level of protection to schools as we do to Congress…which includes, but is not limited to, more trained people in schools with guns.

In addition long rifles…including the AR 15, but also including shotguns and other calibers…are used to commit less than 600 murders a year, according to the most recently available FBI statistics. That’s less than baseball bats, knives, and fists. Handguns…revolvers and semiautomatics…account for 7000 murders a year.

So when people want to start calling for bans on guns which are functionally equivalent to millions of other guns, but look like…not function like, but look like…"military rifles", but are statistically the least likely firearms to be used in crimes, then it’s only fair that people be ready to answer questions about it.

Although I completely agree with your paragraphs and assessment of hunting and hunters, the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting. I do not believe in 1791 that anyone was trying or even thinking about trying to limit a persons ability to hunt.

What was on the minds of the citizens was the tyrannical Monarchy of the British government. You might remember that it was the Monarchy in Britain that was ruling the citizens of this new land with unjust laws. And it was the citizens of this new land that took up arms to liberate themselves from their own tyrannical government.

But you write, "We have law enforcement and a ready military to protect this country from an invasion by a foreign country or armed force. We do not need to have armed civilians with military weapons to protect this country. We have an armed civilian militia with the State National Guard Units and the Reserve Forces."

The National Guard and the Reserves are great, well needed, and most likely almost entirely made up of trustworthy individuals. But both of these groups are still under the command of the government. And who did we have to fight to get out from under unjust laws to form this country. Yes, it was our own government at that the time, just in case anyone needed a refresher on U.S. history. And just so all the geniuses on the progressive side don’t get all conspiratorial, I don’t believe our government needs to be overthrown and although there could be some improvements I think we have one of the best governments on earth. But if anyone thinks a government or its leaders can’t change to the point of being tyrannical towards its own citizens, then you have no clue about the history of past and present civilizations on this planet.

There are utilitarian vehicles that are intended for the most basic uses – personal transportation and materials movement. So we have sedate family sedans, mini-vans, and pickup trucks. There are more specialized vehicles intended for recreation and sport. So we have SUV’s, ATV’s, and various types of race cars. Then there is a large array of military vehicles, ranging from the HumVee on up to the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.

For a century we, as a society, have recognized the dangers of irresponsible and unregulated use of vehicles. So we have educational programs and licensing procedures for drivers, traffic laws and police charged with enforcing them. Quite a few of those traffic laws are aimed specifically at ensuring that vehicles which go beyond the basic functions of personal use are not allowed to put the public at needless risk. Military-purposed vehicles are not generally available to private citizens, and very few people express constitutional outrage at being deprived of the right to demonstrate their manliness on public streets. Arnold Schwarzenegger paid big bucks to have a real HumVee, but even he didn’t see a need for the full armor package.