Home > philosophy > Why are we talking about banning “assault weapons?”

Why are we talking about banning “assault weapons?”

You can’t have that assault rifle, but I will make sure you don’t have to pay for your partial birth abortion.

We celebrated a birthday in the office today.  During the cake-eating, someone brought up Friday’s shooting (it wasn’t me).  Everyone was talking about banning this and regulating that, and I said, in a joking manner, that the government will have to take my guns from my cold dead hands.  People laughed, because I’m funny.  One of my co-workers said something along the lines of “Nash, you don’t have any assault rifles though.”  While he is correct, I don’t have one, I thought it would be fun to say that I did.  So I said, “Sure I do.”  Silence.  Awkward silence.  Later my secretary, a gun-owning conservative herself, asked me why I needed such an item.

Make no mistake: the government is coming for assault rifles.  And since they’re now bringing the majority of Americans with them, it’s unlikely that many of you out there care.  I’ll say one thing about Americans: We’re quick to give up freedom for perceived safety.  After all, we were all ok with letting the feds do whatever they wanted after 9/11.  Many had a problem with pouring water on a terrorist’s face, but tapping our phones without a warrant?  No problem.  And don’t forget about the whole shooting a missile at an American citizen without due process thing.  But hey, it’s all in the name of safety.

Now, I could drop a line from Benjamin Franklin about those who give up liberty for security have neither, but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll just say that banning assault rifles won’t result in less crime, or fewer shooting sprees, or safer schools.  Kids are being killed in Chicago everyday, and it’s not happening with expensive assault rifles obtained legally.  It’s happening with semi-automatic pistols obtained illegally.

When I mentioned Americans giving up their freedom earlier in this post, I wasn’t necessarily referring to a Constitutional Right.  We certainly have a right to bear arms.  Included are semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns.  The Supreme Court hasn’t had a case dealing specifically with assault weapons though, so I don’t know if we have a Constitutional Right to them (but I think we’ll be finding out).  That doesn’t mean we’re not giving up our freedom though.

Everybody is understandably sad and angry over what happened.  But before we go banning something, shouldn’t we at least figure out if it will make a difference?  For example, would the shootings on Friday have happened if the shooter didn’t have the assault rifle?  Probably.  He brought two handguns as well, and being that there was no one available to stop him until the police arrived several minutes later, it’s unlikely he would have been held up in any meaningful way.  Also, let’s not forget that assault weapons were banned two decades ago, and there was no appreciable decline in shootings.  Moreover, when the assault weapons ban expired, there was no appreciable upswing in gun violence.

There are two groups of people who are pushing the ban.  First, there are the politicians, consisting almost entirely of libs from California and the Northeast who have likely never been friends with someone who owned a gun, let alone owned one themselves.  Dianne Feinstein of California, pictured above, is such an example.  Then there is the large group of people who are so angry over what happened, and a little scared to oppose the conventional wisdom, that they are willing to simply go along with it.

Newsflash: the aforementioned politicians don’t care about those killed with assault rifles, by the way.  They have an agenda, and are taking advantage of everyone’s fear and sorrow to push that agenda.  Don’t believe me?  Then, while we’re at it, why don’t we ban tobacco, cars, and alcohol?  How about rationing ground beef and bacon because of their cholesterol and fat content?  Maybe we should have a government mandate whereby every single person who ever enters the water needs to have at least twenty hours of swimming lessons to lessen the likelihood of them drowning?  Or limiting the number of television channels that someone can have or the amount of t.v. that they can watch because being a couch potato is dangerous to one’s health?  You’re far more likely to die from any of the aforementioned than from someone killing you with a gun.  Oh, and we don’t “need” any of them.

I said it yesterday, and I’m saying it again today: freedom costs.  And regardless of whether you own a gun or are scared to death of them, banning a product or activity that is perfectly safe when used responsibly is an affront to our freedom.  It also conveniently avoids the more obvious issues of why the ACLU found it appropriate to help strike down a Connecticut bill that would allow for involuntary institutionalization of adults, like the shooter?  Or why the government is utterly failing to enforce the gun laws we already have on the books?  It also avoids the issue of the cultural dumpster fire that we’ve created in this country.

But it's free speech!

But it’s free speech!

Hey, if you don’t want to take my word for it, here’s an article written by the smartest man in the world, Thomas Sowell.  It’s so simple, even a progressive from San Francisco can understand it.

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