By P.C. Young
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Never let a good crisis go to waste”
This seems to be the battle cry for people who wish to demonize inanimate objects because they have an inherent fear of them.
Words spoke by people who wish to change the minds of those sitting on the fence waiting to make up their mind, who without a crisis may have not really held an opinion. Do we blame vehicles when an impaired driver kills a family?
My first complaint is the way most anti-gun organizations lack the knowledge and fail to do quick research.
Politicians such as U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York have been caught not even knowing what it is they are trying to ban, just Google “shoulder thing that goes up” if you don’t have any idea of what I am talking about. If they had done any research they would quickly realize that according to the FBI in 2014, 5,562 people were murdered with handguns while only 248 were murdered with rifles.
More people were actually killed with “personal weapons” such as hands, fists, and feet, actually 660 of them, that is well over double the number of homicides perpetrated with rifles. Something else that may or may not shock you is that the category is called “rifles” and this includes all rifles from bolt action to semi-automatics. If they want to put restrictions on the “most dangerous weapon in America” they are clearly barking up the wrong tree
Scary looking often equates to “assault weapon” in the media and anti-gun groups, when in reality what is so scary looking is just the modern evolution of the rifle in general. AR style rifles are chambered in many different calibers. While .223 caliber/5.56mm are the most popular and used by the military and police, they are chambered in a range of rounds from larger hunting calibers to the smaller .22lr. There have been many arguments made that the AR-15 is a terrible hunting rifle and it’s large magazine encourages a “pray and spray” attitude in hunters.
While I would never consider hunting large game with the 5.56mm there are plenty of .308 and .300 rounds out there that are pretty much perfect for taking down deer and other large game.
The magazines in the larger caliber sporting rifles have fewer rounds and are really not much different than my grandfather's .270 Remington Woodsmaster 7400 when you stop looking at the black hardware and realize this is just a modern sporting rifle.
“According to the FBI in 2014, 5,562 people were murdered with handguns while only 248 were murdered with rifles. More people were actually killed with “personal weapons” such as hands, fists and feet, actually 660 of them.”
Less Violent Crimes Each Year
The rate of violent crime has been steadily falling as the population increases for over 20 years, that’s right, things are not getting worse for the most of us.
According to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division in 1995 .685% of the total population were affected by violent crimes of all types and in 2014 only .365% of the population were affected. These statistics include murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault with and without deadly weapons and it should be noted that they have fallen by nearly half over the 19 year period. This drop in crime is incremental and is not derived from cherry picking statistics by picking two good years to compare. The total number of violent crimes in 2014 were 1,165,383, similar to the amount seen in 1979 with 1,197,987 violent crimes while there were 100 million fewer United States citizens
The Sporting Rifle
Since the beginning of the history of firearms, technology used in the military has trickled down into the masses. From the flintlock muzzle loading rifle to the modern AR15 semi-automatic, the average joe has used military grade rifles to hunt game, defend one's home or to compete in target shooting. During the first half 20th century the world saw two wars with unprecedented bloodshed and as a result the firearms also advanced at an unprecedented rate.
During the 1950s Armalite began developing what is now known as the M16 or AR15 in a .308 caliber format called the AR-10. The A and R stand for Armalite Rifle the company who developed the rifle and not Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle. .The M16 was used by armed forces in the Vietnam war and has undergone many changes and is still in use in its current format the M4. The AR15 is a semi-automatic version of the m16/m4, which means you must pull the trigger each time you wish to fire a round and it automatically feeds the next round in the chamber once the previous round has been fired and ejected.
“Assault weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”- gun banner, Josh Sugarman, Violence Policy Center
While I realize that sporting rifles are tools that people use to instigate terrorism and violence, I do not believe that these weapons are our problem. Bombs, Vehicles, and fear, in general, are also very good tools, as we have seen. We basically have a mental health system where a person basically has to hurt someone before they receive the treatment they need.
Blaming an inanimate object and placing restrictions on it are not the answer to all of our woes, if it were, we wouldn't be in the middle of a terrible drug epidemic and there would be fewer people killed by drunk drivers. Drugs and drinking and driving are illegal yet it doesn't stop them from infiltrating our streets, communities, or schools. The only people who will use something that has been made illegal are the ones who have nothing else to lose and that is a truly scary thought.
“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” – Jeff Cooper
P.C. Young is a writer from West Virginia that can often be spotted on the range, shooting at steel or punching paper for fun. He has been around firearms his entire life, hunting and target shooting with friends and family has been a huge part of his life. P.C. is a gun rights advocate and fights the good fight.