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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.    

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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Current Comments

6 comments so far (post your own)
magyart
December 27th, 2012 at 08:51am

"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, but significanly more powerful than the .22 used extensively by the general public........

Don't make it sound like the .223 is almost the same as .22.

Ken Davis
December 27th, 2012 at 11:41am

Guns do not kill people, people kill people. Recently there were three killed on a college campus with a bow and arrow. More people are assaulted with knives than guns. There are mechanically identical rifles and shotguns, one just happens to look military, the other not, congress won't ban both styles, so what's the point. I know police officers who will not participate in confiscating guns, they would rather be fired and then sue over protecting the constitution they took an oath to protect. Look for other options to deal with the person not the weapon of their choice.

Patriot
December 28th, 2012 at 02:26am

If a ban is enacted on "assault weapons", the very definition of assault weapons will be open to gun grabber interpretaion and will soon be expanded to whatever gun they intend to confiscate next. Their ultimate goal is to disarm the American people. Their motive for this ?????

Don Watt
December 28th, 2012 at 04:01am

Ken and Patriot should have had to go to each and every one of those 6-year-olds' funerals and tell their parents how great AR-15s are.

Carol
December 29th, 2012 at 10:48am

I don't know of anyone that would not feel compassion for the many parent's and families that lost their loved ones from the shooting in Connecticut. However, disarming the law abiding citizens is not the answer. If you take a look at the countries that have enforced gun control, many of their citizens, helpless and as sitting ducks, were rounded up and killed.

Jay Dee
December 30th, 2012 at 09:59am

Don.

Stop being a troll. There are lots of fingers to be pointed here.

Connecticut has some of the strongest gun control laws in the nation. They worked. Reportedly, the shooter attempted to legally buy firearms no less than 5 times but was turned down. Unfortunately,it appears there is no law requiring the shop to report these attempts to the local police. Can we say loophole?

The shooter's mother can be faulted for keeping all those weapons in her house; especially since her son's mental state was deteriorating. She had them under lock and key but, apparently, it never occurred to her that her son might murder her to get to her guns. I would say that she paid for her misjudgement. Of course, if Connecticut had an effective mental health program, someone might have thought of this.

One might fault the local police for not keeping better tabs on their mentally ill and disabled. They had him pegged as a vulnerable adult; no one stopped to think his behavior was changing. It took 20 minutes for the first Newton police officer to arrive on the scene. This is not unusual and frankly, the deed was done by then.

One can certainly fault the state of Connecticut for their lack of an involuntary treatment law. Most states institute such laws after similar incidents. Unfortunately, Nancy Lanza won't be here to advocate for such a law.

I especially fault the Connecticut Department of Education and the Newton school district for failing to plan for security of the children. All schools have multiple layers of defense against fires. Although extremely rare, buildings are designed for inclement weather like tornadoes and most schools have annual drills. We know for a fact that people like Adam Lanza exist; yet we absolutely refuse to plan for such an event. Would a sign banning matches & lighters be considered adequate fire protection? Not hardly! Yet, that is essentially what we do to secure our schools.

State law requires that state employees like teachers are disarmed of everything down to pocket knives while on the job. Sandy Hook had a remote lock on a door with a plate glass window and a series of "No Guns Allowed" signs. Does anyone have the temerity to suggest this is adequate to stop someone intent on murder & suicide?

You will note that I have not prescribed armed teachers. Armed teachers, by themselves, are totally inadequate without a multiple layer defense against the Adam Lanza's of the world. Most are found early but we have to do a better job at finding the remainder. We also need to find a better way of addressing the mentally ill rather than waiting for them to commit a crime; all too often, they have no intention of being taken alive. We need effective security planning, much like we have effective fire protection. One aspect of this could be a police officer on site or possibly an armed teacher or two. Finally, lose the moronic "No Guns Allowed" signs. They are worse than useless; they are an attractive nuisance to the spree killers of the world.

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