Here it is. 8 pounds of black evil, the AR-14 assault rifle
The pejorative term “assault weapon” conjures up the notion of weapons meant for war, military tools to inflict as much carnage as possible. The US military version of an assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon (an M-4, M16, and others) that fires continuously or short bursts of shots when the trigger is pulled.
The AR-15 is not quite that. It is a semi-automatic rifle, meaning that the trigger must be squeezed each time to fire the gun. It is the civilian version of the military’s M-16 fully automatic machine gun. Semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns have been in common use since the beginning of the last century, about 120 years now. Here is the Winchester Model 1907, a 113-year-old semi-automatic, detachable magazine “assault” rifle:
The AR-15 is pretty much the same thing our great-grandfathers used to hunt and protect their homes. If you distill this down to the core contention, it is not necessarily the “assault” rifle that the Left abhors. Instead, all semi-automatic weapons are too efficient in design and function and, therefore, too dangerous for the comfort of the liberal politician and the urban Left. But, given that an estimated 10+ million AR-15s are in the hands of the public, and probably over ten times that number of semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns, the attempts to control and regulate a tool that is in responsible use by many millions of law-abiding citizens would not be fruitful or the best use of resources.
Despite that, there is an unrelenting push to control the population at large. This is understandable given our current climate of rising nihilistic, malevolent insanity. But we fear the pandering demagogue with a shallow grasp of the issue, bending to emotion or fringe element pressure and trampling our rights with expedient legislation. So, here are four points to consider as we ponder policy of restriction and control:
A gun makes you physically equal to any other human on earth. No one can physically impose their will on an armed individual.
The government (police) cannot protect you. As we live our day-to-day lives, or in times of crisis, the responsibility of protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and our property falls almost entirely on the individual. If a natural disaster or other crises hits and the government is busy with more pressing matters than your welfare, you will find yourself totally on your own. You might then be very thankful to live in a country that trusts you enough to allow you to own an AR-15 rifle with humongous clips (magazines) and lots of ammo. We saw this, the desire to be armed, in the chaos caused by the recent civil unrest, and will see it in every event that suddenly reminds us that we individually are at the mercy of the world.
A gun in the right hands is a very good thing. In righteous hands, a firearm facilitates the efficient and effective protection of the innocent, property, and oneself. Those righteous hands often belong to the everyday American citizen. The ability to inflict harm or even death empowers the individual to resist the malevolent will of others. It should not only be the police and military who are dangerous because a harmless population, like a herd of obedient, powerless sheep, is not a good thing. Harmless is ripe to be controlled and exploited. This does not mean that dangerous is hostile, but quite the opposite. A peaceful, responsible, competent, and moral entity that also has the capability to be dangerous, is of tremendous benefit. That is a rationale for the 2nd Amendment – to ensure that members of our society can be something good that the malicious must contend with.
The possession of firearms by the general populace is a clear marker of a free society. In a nation where the individual’s liberty is valued, we see the ownership of firearms allowed, encouraged, or deemed a right. The prohibition of gun-owning rights is a common, critical element of totalitarian, oppressive regimes and those that lean that way. An unarmed populace is at the mercy of those who wield power and authority, often without competence or benevolence.
We should cherish our freedoms and think long and hard before giving them up. Resist the push of the Left and the liberal media to give the government intrusive and unnecessary control over your life. Trust individuals with freedom and hammer those who break the laws we have. Be aware that your freedoms are eroded one little step at a time, so do not give them an inch. The Left will not stop at assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Next, they will target firearms that are too accurate or too quiet or too small, or too powerful or look too menacing. Their objective is not necessarily to save lives but to disarm and control the citizenry.