I’m writing in response to a column in Monday’s paper, “Battle-call for common-sense conservatives.” Hindsight says I should have stopped reading at “common-sense.” What I initially had hoped to be a balanced piece on the hysteria surrounding mass shootings turned out to be nothing more than another anti-gun piece, in a very long line of anti-gun pieces.
The lawful firearm-owning community of this country are as concerned, or actually more concerned, about the epidemic of mass shootings as anyone else. They should be; they have the most to lose. And while both sides want the exact same thing, a severe reduction in the number of murders via firearms, especially mass murders, they could not be more different in how they want to get there. Sadly, since the two sides refuse to talk to each other, I don’t see much hope for compromise. I will offer one unbidden suggestion to the anti-gun folks. If and when you should ever talk with a firearm owner about this subject, there a couple of phrases you should erase from your vocabulary, reasonable and common-sense. Once these phrases are heard, the firearm owner doesn’t hear another word you’re saying. The column to which I am responding proves my point vividly.
The major point of the piece seems to be the suggestion of “banning” AR-style rifles. According to the FBI, people killed with rifles (all of them combined) are near the bottom of the list of weapon of choice. Further, more people are killed by “hands, feet and fists” (by a margin of 200) than all rifles. So it boggles the mind that if one were truly interested in solving this problem, why not look to someplace other than semi-automatic rifles? The answer is as close as your nearest media outlet.
As mentioned, the anti-gun column suggests (among several other things) a total ban on the “manufacture, sale and civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles” to include the “buy back” of assault weapons. Therein lies the rub. The ONLY way a buy-back works is if it is mandatory, and if it’s mandatory, it’s not a buy-back, it’s government confiscation by another name. It would do good to remember how exactly; we became a free nation. If memory serves, it was the use of firearms against a tyrannical government. We should all pray that would not happen again.