Usually, I’m slightly amused when “gun rights” advocates parse words over the definition of an “assault rifle.”
But not today.
Dozens dead, hundreds injured, and you will again scream about your right to own a gun. So let me get this out there. I don’t give a shit about your handguns. Despite the overwhelming evidence that owning a handgun makes you more likely to die from one, I’ll cede that argument to your general misunderstanding of James Madison’s true intent. But semi-automatic rifles with removable magazine carbines? They are killing machines. And yes, they are assault weapons. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, passed in 1994, but no longer in effect, says “in general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use.” The bill also included “19 semiautomatic firearms, as well as semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns with specific features.”
The carnage in Las Vegas, however, was not done by handguns, or knives, or even IEDs. Hundreds of people were shot by assault rifles. The Las Vegas sheriff reports that the shooter was found with more than 10 rifles. In all US mass shootings, there have been different types weapons used, but they all had one thing in common: they were assault weapons. I’m not going to play semantics; your dogged attachment to an ignorant misunderstanding is killing people.
The details of the Las Vegas shooting are still emerging, but this is clear: deadly weapons such as these, automatic and semiautomatic weapons, kill many people quickly and efficiently. These are weapons originally designed for military purposes, and there is no doubt that the architects of our constitution would agree; these weapons shouldn’t be in the hands of Americans who are not in the military.
The “exact” definition of an assault may be in doubt, but their potential for killing is anything but. I once got into a heated exchange with Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy over his calendar featuring large-breasted women with guns. He was an idiot out of the Trump mold. But a dangerous idiot. So maybe we need to change our narrative from snowflakes to hard-core. It’s time to take our country back. So here it is tough guy—go ahead and keep your pistol. But I’m coming after everything else.