Gun Control After Aurora

25 Jul

From .Copyright © 2012 Michael H. McGee. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share or re-post all or part non-commercially, hopefully with attribution.

I can almost understand the sheltered and cosseted ladies on the television program “The View” as they were howling, after the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, that we need to restrict gun ownership and ban “assault rifles.” I’m sure they’ve never had to defend themselves from criminals in a dangerous situation. Also, at their network I’m sure they have security guards, armed with guns, looking out for their safety, and have armed guards on call at home. I hope they always stay safe, and never have to face-off unarmed with an armed person who wants to do them harm.

Even sillier, these ladies and most other anti-gun ranters don’t even know what an “assault rifle” is. For them, ignorance forms much of their basis for rampant condemnation. An “assault rifle” is by definition a hand-held weapon which can be fired as an automatic weapon or a machine gun. Modern military “assault rifles” can be switched to fire either one shot at a time, three-shot bursts, or fully automatic.

According to Wikipedia, the term “assault rifle” was coined by Adolph Hitler to describe the Maschinenpistole 43, subsequently renamed the Sturmgewehr 44, the firearm generally considered the first “assault rifle.” Before Hitler redefined the concept, the American “Tommy-Gun” was the most ubiquitous American pre-WWII hand-held machine gun.

Rifles that are only semi-automatic, firing one shot only with each pull of the trigger, are not “assault rifles.” For example, rifles such as the AR-15 are not capable of switching to automatic fire. They are fired in an identical manner as a semi- automatic pistol; each trigger pull equals one shot.

Of course, no one who wants to “ban guns” is being entirely logical, given the privileged position of the right to bear arms in our constitution. These able folks are extremely emotional in their opposition, and thus are not really qualified to lead constitutional policy debates on gun control.

No one has ever supported the mass legalization of the weapons which are strictly defined as “assault rifles.” Hand-held machine guns have been tightly regulated by the United States since the 1930’s, and not even the NRA has complained of this regulation.

After the recent Aurora, Colorado, massacre, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for greatly increased gun control laws. New York City already has some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation, yet he wants more. It’s as if in 1755 an American frontier village was attacked and sacked by the French and Indians and ten or twenty civilians were killed. Then the colonial government steps in and forcibly takes away all the weapons from the remaining frontier villagers, as a way of preventing further massacres. Good thinking, boys and girls.

I genuinely love Michael Bloomberg, and I would take a bullet for him. He is one of the great men of our time, both in his development of instant financial information, and in his management of perhaps the most watched and admired city in the world. His blind spot is that in his privileged position he has always been surrounded by men with guns, both police and bodyguards. He hasn’t ever had to worry about protecting himself individually in his home, or when he’s walked the streets.

I can guarantee you that Michael Bloomberg has, on many occasions, been in the company of bodyguards heavily armed with assault weapons and other assorted machine-guns. Consider his trips to Israel. I’m sure he received as much protection as the Prime Minister when he visited, including a battalion of guards armed to the teeth.

The degree of protection Mr. Bloomberg receives is entirely appropriate for a person in his position. His use of guards and other surrogates, armed with the latest weaponry, is not at all in dispute.

Mayor Bloomberg, though, needs to open his eyes and see what it’s like for us normal people: non-wealthy folks who, just like him, believe in and practice justice and the American Way. We don’t have armed security folks surrounding us every time we peek our heads out the door of our homes or offices, or when we go to sleep at night in our own beds. Our only source of protection from the criminals in our midst is, among other weapons, the automatic pistols and semi-automatic rifles we own legally and use responsibly.

Take a look at a family living well on a farm in Minnesota. Let’s say the husband and wife and four younger children have gone to bed, safe in their home, doors locked. At four in the morning three heavily armed gunmen launch a home invasion. If the farmer has no guns, perhaps he could swing at all three of the ugly violent men with a baseball bat. If he has a double-barrel shotgun and a bolt-action rifle, he can likely get off a few shots, maybe kill one of the men before he and his family are massacred and the thieves make off with all the silver settings and other valuables.

With a semi-automatic pistol or rifle, carrying high-capacity clips of ammunition, the farmer has at least a fighting chance of staying alive and keeping his family safe. What is even more important, though, is that if those three criminals want to rob houses, and they don’t know who is armed with effective weapons and who is not, they are less likely to carry out their criminal activities. When honest citizens are armed randomly, the chance of crimes against the person is greatly reduced.

The scenario of the farmer is a bit extreme, yet it is really no different for any law-abiding family or individual living in any house or apartment anywhere in this country. We practice our weapons skills, hoping we’ll never be called on to fire a shot at another human being. Yet we will be ready, willing, and able to defend ourselves and those we love in the highly unlikely event of a confrontation with a criminal.

The rest of us don’t have phalanxes of bodyguards like Michael Bloomberg; or armed security guards on duty at work, and on call at our homes, like the ladies of The View. We have to protect ourselves. And we are willing and able to do so. Don’t take our most effective means of self-defense.

And I’m not even touching upon the other reason for able-bodied men and women to own their own effective weapons. We, you and I, are the Militia which will, if need be, pour into the streets throughout the nation, to protect our country and our president from any invasion or armed overthrow by those who might seek illegitimate power. It’s in the constitution. The Founding Fathers were concerned enough to see the need for an armed populace as a basic part of our freedom. Can we the people carry out this constitutional task of citizens, with such severe limitations on the types of weapons we can have at our disposal?

One Response to “Gun Control After Aurora”

  1. Meredith Owens January 4, 2023 at 3:09 am #

    Very tthoughtful blog

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