This may be only the first showdown. We, the People.
President Biden’s remarks last week on the three-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, shooting that saw a gunman kill 17 students and wound another 17, was seen by gun rights advocates as the administration’s first salvo in what is expected to be a fierce and prolonged battle over Second Amendment rights in America. “I am calling on Congress to enact common sense gun law reforms,” said Biden, “including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
“President Biden’s demand that Congress ban the modern sporting rifle (MSR), which he knowingly mislabels as an ‘assault rifle’ and ‘weapon of war,’ denies the reality that more murders are committed with knives, fists and clubs than all rifles combined,” responded the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s influential advocacy arm. “Over 20 million MSR’s are in circulation today, used daily for lawful purposes. And rolling back protections on lawful manufacturers of firearms would be akin to allowing activist lawyers to sue Ford for the wrongful deaths caused by drunk drivers.”
MSR’s are most commonly used for hunting, recreational target shooting and for personal protection. As a practical matter, these are semi-automatic firearms which means you must squeeze the trigger every time you want to fire a single round (the sale of fully automatic weapons was banned in 1986 as part of the Firearm Owners Protection Act). That functionality is no different than hundreds of other semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns used for everything from duck and dove to deer and boar hunting as well as target shooting and self-defense. Most U.S. soldiers, on the other hand, are issued fully automatic M4 Carbines capable of shooting 950 rounds per minute (press the trigger and the bullets keep flying), so while they may look like MSR’s, a military relegated to using semi-automatic rifles would be at a decided disadvantage in any modern warfare scenario.
By Chris Dorsey