We are headed for another month or two of gun control debate and discussion. The president is moving forward with executive orders concerning “ghost guns,” arm braces, and “red flag laws.” However, he has aimed his sites at assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.
For the moment, let’s look at the rhetoric being employed in an effort to ban or significantly restrict the manufacture, sale, and distribution of semi-automatic rifles. Proponents of gun control frequently refer to these sporting rifles as “assault rifles” or as “weapons of war.” This rhetorical device is used to make them scary to anyone who has never been around guns.
They are usually talking about sporting rifles like the AR15, which are very popular. Some estimate that there may be between 15 and 20 million modern sporting rifles now in circulation. It seems very difficult to ban or restrict the AR15 without affecting all other rifles that also use a magazine.
The president also wants to ban what he calls “high-capacity magazines.” That means a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition. But notice that a small handgun (like the Sig Sauer 365 that fits in your pocket) can hold 12 rounds of ammunition and the magazine is merely four inches long.
A third rhetorical device is to question why anyone would NEED such a rifle for self-defense. But consider that any intruder would be carrying either a semiautomatic handgun or a semiautomatic rifle, equipped with a high-capacity magazine. A homeowner would want to have similar firepower and ammunition to counter what would be in the hands of the intruder.
Don’t let the rhetoric revolving around handguns and rifles prejudice the debate and obscure some obvious issues and concerns.