Calls for confiscation are most disturbing
Published: Thursday, December 27th, 2012
In the wake of the gunning down of 20 children and six adults in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, it is most disturbing to hear knee-jerk reactions of politicians and others calling for outright confiscation of all military style “assault” weapons in this country. The civilian AR-15 Colt .223 caliber semi-automatic has a number of copy-cat models including the Bushmaster .223 allegedly used by the 20-year-old school shooter.
There is a lot of misinformation about these .223 rifles being disseminated by some anti-gun politicians and the media, including that these are “powerful” military-style weapons, utilizing “high capacity” magazines. In fact, the .223 bullet is the least powerful round available to the military and was developed mainly for jungle warfare in Vietnam. It is just a step up from the .22 caliber used extensively by the general public for plinking, target shooting or hunting squirrels or rabbits.
AR-15 rifles are built on the same platform as the M-16 which is the fully automatic version of the rifle which utilizes standard 20- and 30-round magazines.
Also, referring to these particular black rifles as “assault” is a bit of a stretch. You can assault someone with any kind of rifle or pistol. In fact, you can assault someone with a knife, baseball bat or even a vehicle. In the world of legalese, these instances are generally covered by the charge of “assault with a deadly weapon.”
We see calls for gun confiscation of these .223 rifles in our country as more than just disturbing. It is shocking to believe that elected officials would suggest this course of action following this tragic event. The Second Amendment to the Constitution clearly states the right of our citizens to bear arms. There are already laws limiting the ownership of certain types of weapons, like fully automatic ones. Throughout history, a government taking guns away from its citizens has not worked out very well for the citizenry. We don’t seem to learn anything from history.
Gun shops and stores selling these AR .223 weapons had a rush of sales of these rifles, ammunition and high capacity magazines immediately following the school shooting. Gun enthusiasts and collectors are afraid of an outright ban on these weapons being enacted by Congress or another presidential proclamation from Mr. Obama, the nation’s number one gun salesman.
Our founding fathers knew the importance of having an armed populace for personal protection and protection from a tyrannical government. At the time, the single shot musket was the most advanced weapon. Now we have more sophisticated weapons available to citizens for their own protection and that of their families, and, again, protection from any tyrannical government.
Those who compare the era of muskets to today’s more modern weaponry to make their point forget one thing. The First Amendment of free speech still applies to the internet and social media today. Those methods of communication were far from being on the radar in colonial days but still come under the umbrella of free speech.
Those bent on doing evil will find a way to carry out their acts of death and destruction. They don’t need semi-automatic rifles or pistols to do their evil deeds. We see talk of banning or limiting ownership of semi-automatic .223 rifles, magazines or ammunition for law abiding citizens as an initial, incremental step which violates the intent of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
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