USA –-(Ammoland.com)-Understanding comes first.
“This gun was designed for combat. It’s an assault weapon.”
· Some commercial firearms are cosmetically similar to military-issue weapons.
· Military assault-weapons typically have a selector switch for SAFE (no fire), FIRE (one round per trigger pull) and AUTO (many or a burst of 3 rounds per trigger pull). Commercial models have only two positions: SAFE and FIRE (one round).
· Because of the recoil buffer system and ergonomic pistol grip, the military-style design is easy to manage, making it popular for target and recreational sport shooting.
· AR15 military-style rifles use a .22 caliber bullet (22/100ths inch) and are no more powerful than other modern sport rifles.
· “AR” stands for ArmaLite rifle, the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does not stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
· Twelve million productive members of society participate responsibly in the sport of target shooting in the U.S. National Shooting Sports Foundation website: www.nssf.org/shooting/youth.
“Why do citizens require guns that can kill dozens of people without reloading?”
- See paragraph below for existing federal firearm laws.
- Shooting is an Olympic sport.
- Twelve youth organizations such as 4-H, scouting, DeMolay, FFA, Junior High School Rodeo and ROTC incorporate shooting sports into their development programs.
- International target shooting matches involve “rapid” or “timed fire” events with 2-8 rounds fired between reloads.
“I am going to introduce legislation to ban assault weapons.”
- Legislation controlling the ownership of automatic weapons, short- barreled rifles and silencers has been in place since the National Firearms Act of 1934. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regulates the sale of firearms under the Gun Control Act of 1968. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Control_Act_of_1968
- High-capacity magazines and certain features of firearms that are cosmetically similar to assault weapons were restricted by the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons gun ban that expired in 2004. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban. Six states continue to enforce such restrictions, defining “high-capacity” as 10-20 cartridges, depending on the state.
“The NRA is a powerful gun lobby.”
This is only one service provided to U.S. citizens.
- The NRA was created in 1871 to provide marksmanship skill and firearm safety training to any U.S. citizen. Today, the NRA shooting sports tradition:
- Sponsors 11,000 target shooting matches annually.
- Certifies 80,000 firearms safety instructors who teach/coach nearly one million citizens a year.
- Following the onset of FBI collection of crime data in 1975, union strikes, two assassination attempts on President Ford and growing concern about personal protection, NRA created the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). The impetus for this sub-division was to balance new legislative initiatives with individual rights protected by the U.S. constitution through lobbying and other support activities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller
- The Friends of NRA division was created in 1992 as a unique grant program in which 50% of the money raised remains in that state. The remainder becomes a general fund available to all states. The “Friends” grant program raises $50 million a year, $20 at a time. More than 65% of these grant funds are locally requested in support of youth shooting sports (trips to participate in National Championships, classroom and club supplies, range safety enhancements, etc.)
Beyond mere Gun Control
In the important debate about violence in which guns are used, pundits should avoid “cherry picking” self-serving statistics. Our leaders are held to a higher standard than their personal bias. Public officials serve their constituents best with an informed and objective review of the cause-and-effects leading to a crime, rather than blaming the weapon used.
Additional topics to consider:
- Violent computer games that present guns and death to impressionable youth as merely a “winning score.”
- Better awareness and reporting of the early signs of deviant behavior—before a tragedy.
- Linking psychological treatment to the firearm purchase process.
- Required education for responsible gun ownership and storage.
- More security for vulnerable “gun free zones.” Consider the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) model that burdens law-abiding citizens who travel, in order to protect many from the criminal actions of a few.
- Review the solutions of other countries like Canada and New Zealand who support sports shooting, without banning guns.
This is just my contribution to the Gun Control Debate. I hope it helps make clear the facts for both sides.
By Chip Lohman