The discovery of an “assault” rifle possibly or likely used by the once convicted killer who ambushed firemen in Webster along with the Newtown tragedy will energize the anti-gun folks to enact more gun control legislation.
I spent the morning “Googling” statistics and several things became clear:
• The media has an agenda to ban guns but they know very little about them
• The likely target will be “assault” or military style rifles with magazine capacities of more than ten bullets ( actually cartridges ) and possibly semi-automatic firearms … which would encompass handguns ( but not revolvers ) and many rifles and shotguns used in hunting, home defense, and target practice. For the record: Every Gun is an “Assault Weapon.” The media would have you think that only “scary looking” “military style” guns are “assault weapons.” No such articulation exists in the “real world”
• The media and gun control proponents falsely believe or would like the voting public to believe that mass killings by deranged people will cease with the banning and perhaps confiscation of designated firearms via government buy-back programs
• They present and rely on lots of statistics to make their case
• It is wise to recall one definition of a statistician:
A statistician is a person who drowned crossing a river with an average depth of three feet.
( as a former CEO, Insurance company administrator, and management analyst and business owner I can claim lots of experience with numbers and statistics)
Let’s assume for a moment that “assault” rifles are magically removed from the USA. Do we think such mass killings would stop? Do we think there would be an appreciable reduction in the average body count of these incidents?
Folks who know, respect, and use firearms responsibly and legally already know the answer to this question. A simple no.
The latest atrocity in Webster was perpetrated by a guy who was convicted of killing his grandmother with a hammer and was released from prison after serving 17 years.
If he did use the Bushmaster “assault” rifle was that particular type of rifle the cause? Or was the cause our failure as a society to either publicly execute him or require life in prison with no possibility of parole after he savagely bludgeoned his grandmother to death?
Of course he was prohibited from owning firearms as a convicted felon. Did that stop him?
If assault rifles were magically eliminated do we think he would have abandoned his plan to kill, thinking, oh no, without an assault rifle I just should forget about killing firemen, burning down the neighborhood, and go play miniature golf?
The fact is there are many millions of hunting rifles that are legal, safe, more powerful, equally or much more accurate, and would just subject this madman to changing lower capacity magazines more often ( takes but a few seconds ). Or use a lever action type rifle ( remember the old TV show The Rifleman? ) or slide a new round into the chamber of a “pump” action rifle.
So, it is clear to folks that understand guns that the differences in operating systems ( mechanism to fire, eject spent bullet cases, and re-load ) can be equally as deadly, particularly with practice or training.
This wacko also set seven homes on fire …do we now outlaw matches?
Are anti-gun folks prepared to make this deal? If we outlaw and even confiscate all “assault” style rifles and there is only one massacre in the next year will they support the elimination of all gun laws? I think not.
In a free society we make trade-offs every day between liberty and security. We don’t restrict the responsible many because of the reckless, stupid, or evil few.
If we did, we could save thousands of lives each year just ( one small example ) by raising the driving age to 25 because the 20-24 year old group accounts for a disproportionate share of automobile fatalities and serious injuries.
As a society we weigh the benefits against the costs and make reasonable and balanced judgments concerning the assumption of risk. That is the price we willingly bear to live free.