TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia are not the most passive of pro-gun partisans. They’ve reacted to the post-Sandy Hook gun-grabbing hysteria by commenting on the site (thanks for that) and unleashing a veritable blizzard of emails to their local, state and federal representatives. We know this because you guys are cc’ing us your handiwork. Unfortunately, we don’t have the brand bandwidth to publish them all. Or the responses from elected officials. Rest assured we read every email; we’ve yet to come across a polemic that was less than perfect. Seriously. We will post examples from time to time so you can see what arguments your fellow AI use to remind their reps to defend their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. At the risk of wandering over the borderline from blog to pro-gun activism, keep up the good work! Over to you Dr. Sheets . . .
I urge you in the strongest possible sense to leverage any and all power you have to stop the proposed Feinstein AWB and McCarthy Magazine Capacity Limits bills.
I can not find the exact wording of the Feinstein AWB nor the list of exempted firearms, however, the reports I read indicate she wishes to ban anything with a detachable magazine. To be clear, the percentage of current day firearms that possess detachable magazines is greater than 80% of all firearms manufactured today. Thus such a ban would restrict gun owners to less than 20% of firearms. In no possible way can this be viewed as sensible legislation and not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
The need assessment applied in debate is not applicable to Second Amendment rights of firearm selection. Regardless, I will provide some fodder for your future debates.
• Modern sporting rifles offer modern materials with high tensile strength and light overall weight.
• Lightweight materials are ideal for hunters who must carry their firearm long distances.
• These modern materials are extremely rugged and handle significant abuse without damage to the weapon.
• Many women are truly gaining momentum in shooting sports due to the light-weight nature of these modern rifles.
• A final supporting fact for the ‘need’ of an AR-15 style rifle is modularity.
• This platform is built with an automotive-manufacturing-style interchangeable parts system.
• This allows owners to customize their gun for their own shooting style or purpose.
• Varmint hunters use longer heavier barrels
• Distance shooters choose different caliber ammunition
• Adjustable stocks suit more than one person using it or different clothing options of the user (aka why belts have more than one hole, or bras have more than one clasp)
• A pistol grip is ergonomic and more comfortable than traditional straight grips
• Modularity is also a reason why it is nearly impossible to define the weapon, thus the current call for a single feature test.
The loudly proclaimed fact that these are the weapons of choice for mass murderers is deceptive. Statistical probability shows that the most common item is probably the item to be used. In other words, the single most common rifle in the US today is the AR-15 style rifle.
Thus, it has the highest probability of being used by the criminally minded. Banning the most common weapon only makes another weapon the most common and statistical probability predicts that the newest common weapon will then be the weapon of choice for criminals. Take this to the extreme in England where firearms are extremely scarce and you find higher incidences of bladed weapons being used.
I am led to believe that the Feinstein AWB leaves good ol’ fashioned shotguns alone, so as to further divide gun owners between modern spotters and classic hunters. The Cumbria, England shootings of 2010 demonstrate that even with extremely strict gun control, a madman armed with a shotgun can kill 12 and injure 25. It is simple, banning firearms doesn’t stop this kind of event. This also serves to refute Senator McCarthy’s concept of restricting magazine capacity, as the shotgun did not hold greater than 10 rounds.
When such measures are clearly ineffective at the publicly-stated intention of reducing mass shootings, it becomes obvious that the only reason behind these bills are the sponsors’ own fear of firearms (or worse, the ability to control the populace by disarming civilians). Restricting rights of lawful citizens to reduce sensation of fear and project a false sense of security lacks the “common sense” so often lauded by the anti-Second Amendment politicians and media.
To enable the ramrodding of this legislation, Senator Reid has negotiated a change to the senate rules with Senator McConnell. The trade off is the ability to propose 2 amendments to a bill. This is not a benefit, as the majority also get to propose 2 amendments and Senator Reid gets to decide what is valid and will be included. This a lose-lose proposition for the senate minority.
I strongly urge you to oppose this and force the Democratic majority to vote on the ‘nuclear option’. In debate you can kindly remind them how the American people felt previously about ramrodding legislation and how Democrats were quickly and decisively replaced after passing anti-Second Amendment legislation. When that happens they will be the minority and subject to these new senate rules. In other words they will be powerless to stop anything Republicans wish to pass after 2014.
I would like to leave you with a quote to rebuff the needs argument. “No one needs a military-style firearm anymore than Rosa Parks needed to sit in the front of the bus.” This is about Constitutional Rights and the expression of those rights.
Dr. Kristopher Sheets