The anti-gun crowd’s ignorance of the Second Amendment right to arm ourselves is breathtaking.
Emotions have overtaken facts. Knowledge of firearms is an inch deep. Understanding of the Supreme Court decisions and other case law protecting the right of Americans to keep and bear arms is appallingly absent. Anyone who dares to rise to defend this constitutional right is smeared as a heartless, brutal, alt-right dolt. Or worse, deplorable.
Their ignorance was on display when Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, waded into the March for our Lives crowd with a microphone and video camera. He asked a simple question: “What is an assault rifle.”
The answers were wide of the mark. Or they tried to dodge their ignorance by changing the subject or engaging in a person, obscenity-laden attack on Kirk and “all you clowns.” Here are some answers from two of the marchers:
- “An AK-45.” Wrong.
- “It’s a military grade weapon.” Not necessarily.
- “Are you stupid? Have you been reading the papers?” Well, yes. But the media are loaded with wrong information about guns, and especially about assault rifles.
- “I’m sorry if you can’t even understand the basic assault rifle is.” As if everyone knows that an assault rife was used to kill 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. That’s wrong too.
- “Have you seen the inside of a body when hit by an assault rifle?” The implication is that Kirk is grossly uncaring about the victims of shootings. Based on what? That Kirk is trying to plumb the depth of their knowledge about assault rifles? Her answer was a transparent effort to avoid showing her ignorance.
- “We should get rid of guns.” At last, an honest answer because for many of the marchers, their intent is to overturn the Second Amendment and disarm every American.
So, let’s go over the basics, with help from The Firearms Guide’s, “What is and what is NOT an assault rifle?”
Put aside what you’ve heard Oprah and like-minded marchers says about assault rifles and take this in: An assault rifle can fire in different “modes,” one of them being the fully automatic mode. This mode means that as long as you hold down the trigger, the rifle will fire continuously until you either release the trigger or run out of bullets. This kind of weapon is often called a machine gun that the law already forbids you from buying unless you have expensive permits and other documentation. You must also pass multiple federal, state and local screening processes. The vast majority of gun owners and NRA members do NOT own machine guns.
The second mode is semiautomatic meaning that each time you pull the trigger a bullet is fired. The spent bullet casing is ejected from the firearm and the next bullet is loaded into the firing chamber ready for you to pull the trigger and fire again. If you pull the trigger and hold it, it still will only fire one round. No more than one. To fire again, you must release the trigger and then, once more, pull the trigger. Most handguns, many rifles and some shotguns work this way. A semiautomatic is clearly not an assault rifle. The AR-15 the shooter used in the high school shooting was a semi-automatic. It was not an assault rifle.
One other thing that gun opponents often get wrong is thinking that the AR in the AR-15 means “assault rifle.” In fact the AR designates the manufacturer, Armalite. It’s just a firearm model identifier. Nothing else.
Let’s look at some models, to see how someone how doesn’t know much about guns can confuse fully automatic and semiautomatic weapons:
This is a U.S. Military M4. It is an assault rifle, because it can fire in a fully automatic mode. Variations of the M4 can fire in semiautomatic mode, a three-round burst mode or fully automatic mode. Because it can be fired in a fully automatic mode, it is called an assault rifle. This is a military grade weapon.
This looks like an M4, but it isn’t. Neither is it an assault rifle. This is an MMR. It is not fully automatic; it can only be purchased in the semiautomatic mode. It cannot fire as many rounds in minute as an assault rifle. It is called a “modern sporting rifle,” used for hunting or target shooting.
Now, you can argue about whether semiautomatic guns should be banned, but you should also know that some handguns are semi-automatic. Should we now ban handguns?
If we are to argue about which guns should be regulated, whose use should be restricted or banned, we first need to start the discussion knowing the basic facts. If we are to argue about whether the Second Amendment should be revoked, we should comprehend what it protects. And stop the name-calling.
Click on graphic below to access the presentation.