I’m sorry to say that I agree with this observation: “The only reason we still have gun rights is not because of the Constitution, but because Congress simply hasn’t taken them away yet. “
In the wake of mass shootings, gun control is in the news again. The opinion section is full of letters both for and against new policy with opponents cheering “shall not be infringed” as if that argument still means anything anymore. This letter addresses assault weapons.
By law, assault weapons are defined by cosmetic features unrelated to function. An AR-15 is functionally identical to a Ruger Mini-14, but an AR is called an assault weapon while the Ruger is not because it looks like a traditional hunting rifle. It’s absurd to ban guns just because they look scary, but that is what the ban does at face value. But if you give these people the benefit of the doubt and listen to their rhetoric, it becomes clear what they want: to ban rifles in general.
Unlike a handgun, rifles are designed to be fired from the shoulder which increases stability. This stability allows for greater accuracy and recoil control. While pistols and rifles have the same mechanical rate of fire, one shot per trigger pull, in practice rifles can be fired faster. Rifles are also more powerful simply because they’re bigger and fire bigger cartridges. These advantages: speed, accuracy and power are why rifles are demonized as killing machines, but these factors have nothing to do with being an assault weapon. They have everything to do with being a rifle.
by William Smith