“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s and your AK-47s!” proclaimed Beto O’Rourke during a presidential debate, now espoused by many of the candidates, and to a cheering crowd. Should the government confiscate so-called “assault weapons”? This term is an incorrect label gun control advocates utilize to define any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable clip, as opposed to the traditional definition of a fully-automatic machine gun (which are illegal). These types of rifles have been in public circulation for close to a century, and it is estimated that there are 30 million of them in private ownership all over the country.
The horrific mass shootings over the last few years have sickened all of us, the common weapon of the madmen are semi-automatic rifles (although the Thousand Oaks Borderline murderer last year used a handgun), and it is true that we as a people need to find solutions for this insanity. Blaming the rifles is easy, but the mass shootings are a tragic new phenomenon, so let’s look at some facts.
First, there is nothing new about these rifles. They have been part of our society for a very long time. Secondly, the murder rate from semi-automatic rifles is a very, very small percentage overall. Criminals prefer handguns for their mayhem. Furthermore, according to the FBI, in 2016, over 1,604 people were killed by knives, 656 people were beaten to death with blunt objects and 374 were killed by rifles of all kinds. The statistics are very similar for 2017. If all semi-automatic rifles were confiscated, there would be no statistical improvement in murder rates.
But what about these horrible mass shootings? That is the question, and yet, we must balance constitutional rights with public safety and with what will work. Of all the rifles privately owned, 0.000012 percent of them are used to murder. That is an incredible safety record, with the vast preponderance of owners responsible and law abiding. It’s hard to argue to citizens we should infringe on their rights with that record. Gun control advocates counter with: “No one needs rifles like that!” Well folks, many disagree; it is a right, not a need, which is incontrovertibly a different thing. The Supreme Court in the Heller case affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and not the national guard as some used to argue. The courts have also defined this to mean guns that are commonly owned, so we can drop the silly arguments of Joe Biden talking about bazookas and rockets. Thirty million responsibly owned semi-automatic rifles in circulation for close to a century meets the definition of commonly owned.
So, why are the leftists talking about rifles and not handguns, which criminals prefer? It is because we are emotionally hurting, and it seems an easy target. They will get around to all guns again, and their platitudes that “no one is talking about taking your guns” has been shown to be untrue. Even in the wildest fantasies of the far left, with the Second Amendment, the American people will never be disarmed, and if that were even possible, ask yourself how well the decades and billions of dollars spent on the war on drugs has succeeded. A federal war on guns will only disarm the law abiding, and not even them. Worse yet, it could well be a real war–the worst kind, a civil war.
You see, it may be impolite and edgy, but once you get out of the echo chamber most of us live in, the reality is that there are 68 million gun owners in America, and many believe that the Second Amendment is to ensure there could never be tyranny in America. (Those who think Trump a dictator should take note!) Agree or disagree with them, that isn’t the point. Hold them in disdain, but they believe it to their core. Many Americans note that Germany, USSR, China and Uganda all started by confiscating private guns, then tens of millions died, helpless. They watch the people in Venezuela on TV lament being disarmed, with no way to fight the dictator starving them. Recently, Democrat candidate Eric Swalwell flippantly stated they could just nuke anyone that fought the federal government. And folks are listening. Intently.
The battles of Lexington and Concord, the “shot heard around the world” beginning our revolution, was precipitated when the British surged out of Boston to confiscate arms. The battle flag of Gonzales, Texas, is emblazoned with “Come and take it.” Tens of millions of Americans will not comply and will indeed resist. Think about it! We must find a better way to deal with this issue than sending out SWAT teams to confiscate the rifles of law-abiding citizens, and don’t fool yourselves–that is what it will take.