By Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law and Stephen L. D'Andrilli
New York, NY -(Ammoland.com)- Make no mistake: the relentless assault on semiautomatic long-guns that antigun activists call “assault weapons” is itself an assault on civilian ownership of all semiautomatic weapons, not merely some of them.
This relentless assault on so-called “assault weapons” is an attack on the natural and sacred right of the people to keep and bear arms, codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
American citizens should not believe for a moment that antigun activists and their cohorts in State legislators and in Congress, and those who echo their sentiments in Hollywood and in the mainstream media, and the billionaire benefactors behind the scenes who fund the effort to destroy our sacred rights and liberties do not—all of them— seek to end civilian gun ownership in this Country.
They say they merely support “common-sense” gun laws and “sensible” constraints on gun ownership. But their principal goal is confiscation and eventual elimination of all firearms in the hands of civilians.
Through enactment of the National Firearms Act of 1934, civilian access to selective-fire and fully automatic firearms has been effectively eliminated. Since that time antigun activists have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to ban semiautomatic guns defined as ‘assault weapons.’ But, the distinction between semiautomatic handguns and semiautomatic long guns construed as ‘assault weapons,’ that antigun activists and legislators feel American civilians should not be permitted to own and possess, is fuzzy. Each State has its own legal standards.
Against the backdrop of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, many jurisdictions are enacting or are attempting to enact increasingly more onerous firearms laws. The distinction between semiautomatic weapons defined as banned ‘assault weapons’ and those that aren’t is becoming increasingly tenuous. Antigun activists and antigun legislators strive to cast ever more semiautomatic handguns and long guns into the ‘assault weapon’ banned category.
Antigun Activists Seek To End Civilian Ownership Of All Semiautomatic Weapons In The United States, Not Merely Some Of Them.
In a recent March 2, 2018 article, titled, “With AR-15s, Mass Shooter Attack with the Killing Power of Many U.S. Troops,” posted in the National Section of the paper edition of The New York Times newspaper, and published digitally, on February 28, 2018, under the title, “With AR-15-s, Mass Shooters Attack With the Rifle Firepower Typically Used by Infantry Troops,” Times’ reporters wrote a lengthy article on semiautomatic long guns that was uncharacteristically discerning.
In hundreds of earlier articles, NY Times reporters, Op-Ed columnists and NY Times contributors–and those writing for other mainstream newspapers–carelessly, and clumsily, refer to the semiautomatic long gun, modeled on the original Armalite AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, as an ‘assault weapon.’
The expression, ‘assault weapon,’ was invented by antigun proponents as a political device to pursue a gun confiscation agenda, attacking an entire category of firearms in common use among the law-abiding American citizens that comprise the civilian population. But the expression, ‘assault weapon,' isn't a technically accurate one; and it is not to be confused with the expression, ‘assault rifle,’ which is a technically precise military term of art.
Often, in the same newspaper articles, writers will use ‘assault weapon’ and ‘assault rifle’ interchangeably, likely not knowing the difference, and not caring if they did know as the distinction isn’t crucial to the running narrative, which is that both categories of firearms are, as antigun proponents perceive them, “weapons of war”–which is another political phrase, and one also tinged with emotion. “Weapons of war,” so the narrative goes, have no place in “civilized” Countries.
But, the March 2, NY Times article is decidedly different from previous antigun articles. The reporters here appear intent on demonstrating that semiautomatic long guns, modeled on the progenitor, Armalite AR-15, presently marketed to the civilian population, truly are military weapons and, so, must be banned. In that article, the expression, ‘assault weapon,’ doesn’t even appear.
The article is presented as a seeming technical exposition on “AR-15” rifles. The Times reporters, who wrote the article, compare the civilian “AR-15” rifle to various military models. They assert:
“The main functional difference between the military’s M16 and M4 rifles and a civilian AR-15 is the ‘burst’ mode on the many military models. . . . But in actual American combat these technical differences are less significant than they seem. For decades the American military has trained its conventional troops to fire their M4s and M16s in the semiautomatic mode—one bullet per trigger pull—instead of on ‘burst’ or automatic in almost all shooting situations. The weapons are more accurate this way and thus more lethal.”
Consider these remarks for a moment. The NY Times reporters are using quasi technical exposition here in an attempt to make the case that no appreciable difference exists between “AR-15” rifles and their military counterparts. The reporters argue, tacitly, that the politically charged expression, ‘assault weapon,’ and the military expression, ‘assault rifle,’ do accurately refer to the same kind of rifle, after all. But, do they?
The NY Times reporters remark that many troops are issued military rifles without selective-fire capability at all. They do this in an obvious attempt to dispel the criticism constantly and accurately leveled against mainstream news reporters which is that some semiautomatic rifles marketed to the civilian population may exhibit superficial, cosmetic similarities to military rifles, but these rifles are functionally different from military rifles. Yet, in the recent NY Times article, the reporters categorically state that AR-15 semiautomatic rifles are functionally equivalent to military M4 and M16 assault rifles. But are they?
The reporters assert:
“The NRA and other pro-gun groups highlight the fully automatic feature in military M4s and M16s. But the American military, after a long experience with fully automatic M16s reaching back to Vietnam, decided by the 1980s to issue M16s and later M4s to most conventional troops without the fully automatic function,* and to train them to fire in a more controlled fashion. What all this means is that the Parkland gunman, in practical terms, had the same rifle firepower as an American grunt using a standard infantry rifle in the standard way.”
It is abundantly clear that the Times’ reporters – clearly speaking for antigun proponents generally – are targeting all semiautomatic weapons for elimination, not merely some of them. They attempt to get across the idea that since any semiautomatic weapon is capable of rapid, controlled fire, all semiautomatic weapons represent a threat to public safety and must be eliminated – long guns and handguns.
Lest there be any doubt about how far antigun activists wish to go to curtail gun rights, consider the words of the antigun New York Times Op-Ed Columnist, Bret Stephens, who made the following remark in an NY Times OP-Ed, posted, on February 16, 2018, titled: “To Repeat: Repeal the Second Amendment.”
“We need to repeal the Second Amendment because most gun-control legislation is ineffective when most Americans have a guaranteed constitutional right to purchase deadly weaponry in nearly unlimited quantities.”
Hey, Bret – Any firearm is potentially deadly. The question is whether the person wielding it is responsible. And, Bret, how much ammunition is too much? Our guess is that for you, Bret, and for other like-minded sanctimonious antigun activists, even one round is too much.
*The Arbalest Quarrel contacted an expert on small arms weaponry. The Times' reporters' assertion is absolutely false. “Assault rifles” marketed to the military have two main configurations. One configuration has a three-way selector for the following three modes: safe, semiauto, and full auto. The second configuration has a four-way selector for four modes: safe, semiauto, full auto, and burst. Consider, if a military configuration were limited to semiauto mode only, there would be no reason for any rifle to have anything other than the “AR-15” designation as semiautomatic rifles issued to military troops would in fact be identical to the semiautomatic rifles presently marketed to the civilian population. It is true that Army troops and Marines are trained to use semiautomatic fire or burst fire in many instances in order to conserve ammunition and for accuracy. But, for extraction and when charging an enemy position head-0n, full auto is tactically necessary: hence, the need for a selector switch on military models, to serve varying combat needs. The NY Times reporters deviously mix pertinent facts with critical omissions, including an out-and-out lie. Deceptive “fake news” reporting is, unfortunately, to be expected from the mainstream Press as the Press promotes an agenda, and we see deceptiveness in abundance in this “news” article. The mainstream Press is in the business of propagandizing, of psychologically conditioning the American public to perceive the world in a false light. The Press is no longer in the business of informing and enlightening the public, if it ever were in the business of presenting factually accurate news accounts.
Copyright © 2017 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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