The EBR (Evil Black Rifle) and Other Leftist Fairy Tales

ar15

In the wake of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando this past weekend (which, by the way, was done not with an AR-15, but a Sig Sauer MCX carbine), the anti-gun Left quite predictably renewed their clamor for more gun control laws generally, and an outright ban on military-style “assault” weapons specifically. The Washington Post wrote a lengthy article about the evil AR-15, before having to admit it did not identify the gun in question correctly. Of course, the WaPo is hardly the only media outlet to get it wrong.

In the spirit of compromise, knowing many anti-gun fanatics will demand we do “something” (whether or not that “something” actually reduces gun-related violence), I propose the following: pass a law requiring firearms manufacturers to produce all “assault” weapons in only baby blue or pink, cover them with images of Barbie or Disney princesses, but don’t change anything about the functionality.

As a practical matter, this “solution” would have just about the same effect as renewing the 1994 “assault” weapons ban, which changed the appearance of these guns to make them look less scary, but left the functionality intact.

There is a profound amount of ignorance and demagoguery surrounding these weapons, so let’s start by establishing what an “assault” weapon is and is not. According to the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Intelligence Agency book “Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide”, “assault rifles” are “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges.” Selective fire means you can choose between semi- (one round fired per trigger pull), and full-auto (continuous fire as long as the trigger is depressed).

Contrary to the hysterical claims of the anti-gun crowd, full-auto weapons have been effectively banned for civilian use and purchase in the U.S. since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. To obtain a full-auto-capable weapon, one must pay a heavy federal tax and go through an FBI background check, including fingerprinting each finger on both hands. In fact, even for standard, non-“assault” weapons purchases, one must go through background checks and fill out a stack of paperwork in order to comply with the roughly 20,000 federal, state, and municipal gun laws currently on the books in the U.S. Anyone who claims you can walk into a pawn shop or a gun store, throw down some cash, and walk out with a new gun ten minutes later simply doesn’t have a clue as to what they are talking about.

In 1994, Senator Dianne Feinstein and her merry band of gun-grabbers in the Democrat Party pushed through a so-called “assault” weapons ban, which sought to ban military-STYLE weapons. Get that? The ban was on cosmetics, not functionality, which is why you could have two weapons that had nearly identical specifications and shot the same round, and have one be legal and one be banned simply based on appearance. The Feinstein ban turned out to be an utter and complete failure.

In 2014, even the liberal New York Times acknowledged the complete ineffectiveness of the 1994 ban, lamenting that “in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference. It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do. In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.”

Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, New York passed the SAFE Act, which was essentially a reboot of the so-called “assault” weapons ban, but with a few cosmetic tweaks, such as replacing the pistol grip with a thumb stock, the EBR (Evil Black Rifle), also known as the AR-15 (“AR” being the abbreviation for ArmaLite Rifle, not “assault” rifle) and its variants are now fully SAFE Act compliant.

Which is a good thing. The reality is that 99.9999% of gun owners in America will never use their weapons to commit a crime. There are an estimated 300 MILLION guns in the hands of roughly 90 million gun owners in America so, to parrot an internet meme, logic dictates that if gun owners were as violent as anti-gunners claim, there would be no more anti-gunners.

The Washington Post this week promoted another popular leftist narrative; namely, that the Founding Fathers only had muskets when they drafted the Second Amendment, so they could not possibly have imagined, much less intended to protect, the right of average citizens to own semi-automatic weapons. If that is the case, then I suppose that the First Amendment, which was drafted in an age where quill pens and parchment were the primary mode of communication, does not protect any speech today transmitted through broadcast or digital media. It is a nonsensical argument.

As usual, the Left is hyper-focused on the exact wrong issue. They want to ban or severely curtail private gun ownership in America, despite the fact that a tiny fraction of 1% of the gun-owning populace will ever use them for nefarious purposes.

As the NYT article referenced earlier went on to say, “Annually, 5,000 to 6,000 black men are murdered with guns. Black men amount to only 6 percent of the population. Yet of the 30 Americans on average shot to death each day, half are black males.” The follow-up to this is that, in the deaths of these black males, another black male is the perpetrator of the crime the vast majority of the time. So would we be better off just banning black Americans from owning guns? That would probably appeal to Democrats who, as Justice Thomas detailed in his concurring opinion in the McDonald v. Chicago case, passed gun control laws as a means of disarming black Americans, leaving them defenseless against attacks by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Little surprise, then, that such a large percentage of gun deaths today occurs in the very same major cities run by liberal Democrats for decades.

But maybe liberals could simply take the same advice on guns that they give us on abortion…if you don’t want one, don’t get one, but leave everyone else free to choose.

On the other hand, the much preferred response, especially in a republic such as ours, where we should pride ourselves on being informed and involved citizens, would be to acknowledge that the right to keep and bear arms is a right granted by God (not government), protected by the Constitution, which “shall not be infringed”. If we truly prefer a reduction in violent crime (rather than having a political narrative to use as a bludgeon), we will acknowledge that the problem is not guns, but the darker side of human nature.


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