With the rise of mass shootings prominently displayed on news programs, many Americans are calling for stricter gun control laws. There are some very radical gun control proponents who wish for a complete end to all public gun ownership, and equally hardline gun rights supporters who feel any limitation on their gun ownership is a violation of their rights.
Most people take a less extreme stance, and feel that with a proper background check most gun owners should be able to buy new guns, with certain restrictions against criminals and mentally ill people. One aspect of the debate is how it applies to “assault” rifles, and whether certain types of weapons should be made illegal altogether.
Altogether, as much as 60 percent of Americans oppose banning weapons that have been called “assault rifles” by the media, and we’re going to take a look at why that is.
Definitions: Real versus Colloquial
It’s important to note, in reality there is no such thing as an “assault” rifle. Nobody has ever defined the term with authority, so the word is used to mean different things by different people.
Is it a civilian version of a military weapon? That makes little sense to ban, if the weapon has been altered for safe civilian ownership. I
s it any semi-automatic rifle? Again, that makes no sense for being banned as a .22LR and an SKS are both semi-automatic, set the SKS only holds 5 rounds and .22s simply don’t have the power to be great weapons.
Perhaps the most practical definition of the term is that it is a semi-automatic with a heavy caliber and a large magazine capacity, pistol grip, folding stock, heightened optics, and a muzzle brake flash suppressor. And it has to have a black finish, and a synthetic stock material… It starts to get a bit ridiculous, especially considering how any of those features might be desirable on a gun used for hunting or sport target shooting.
So, here we have our first reason — it’s hard to rally behind banning something when it means so many different things to different people.
The Expense of Confiscation
The problem with attempting to ban guns is logistical in nature. Beyond that, there is no practical means for confiscation. A voluntary turn-in would disarm innocent law abiding people. Not to mention, the government can’t take something which was legally purchased, and they can’t make an ex post facto law to declare what you’ve already done to be a crime. All that leaves is the potential to stop manufacturing and selling certain guns, but then there is no way to determine which guns are and are not legal by determining who bought them and when.
There simply is no reasonable way to impose a gun ban on American society compared to what may have worked in other countries.
All told, America remains a very pro-gun country, but the gun community must continue being vigilant in defining why the Second Amendment is so important. All of the rest of our Constitutional rights depend on this.
~ Firearm Daily