How can someone take the time to write a pro-gun control editorial without taking the time to learn the difference between a semi-automatic rifle (one trigger press per round fired) and an automatic rifle (one trigger press sends multiple rounds downrange)? The cynical amongst you will claim it’s the Sugermann syndrome: an intentional obfuscation (like the term “assault rifle”) to make AR-style rifles seem unconscionably deadly. Me? I think it’s . . .
pure laziness. Oh, and unabashed contempt for facts. Here’s an example by Fran David, Hayward California’s retired City Manager, via mercurynews.com:
I am a responsible gun owner. It would not occur to me to be without one or more guns for protection against the uncertainties and challenges of life. Nor would it ever occur to me to stockpile weapons, own and use automatic weapons, or utilize large-capacity magazines. These latter things are part and parcel of our trained and equipped state militia and national military.
The recent events in Sutherland Springs, Texas, provide real-world support for this perspective. The perpetrator had an automatic attack weapon with large-capacity magazines, while the hero that brought him down simply had a single rifle designed to defend and protect.
President Trump stated, “If the neighbor who confronted the gunman hadn’t had a rifle, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead.” However, if the gunman hadn’t had automatic weaponry and large-capacity magazines, far fewer people in that church would have likely been killed and injured before the gunman was brought down.
This is the point where I usually ask “in a country with 300m+ guns, what are the odds of EVER making it impossible for evil people to get ahold of a firearm?” But today’s lesson is: how can people trust the opinion of someone who can’t even be bothered to get their basic facts straight? I’m looking at Fran David and the editors of the Mercury News.
The answer, I’m afraid, is the old adage “in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” Your average American is highly uneducated, unprepared to use what critical thinking abilities God and/or their parents gave them. So they’re oblivious to ignorance and glom-on to BS like the following:
Our current reasonable and logical gun ownership regulations in California need to be in place in every state, rigorously and consistently enforced, and applied to both the public and private sale of guns.
We need to build on these regulations by immediately banning the private ownership of automatic assault weapons, bump stocks, large capacity magazines and silencers.
It’s time to stop the rhetoric and partisan hard-lining, and get about doing the business of the people for the protection of both the people and the Constitution.
The good news? Americans love guns! Well, most do. And most of the ones who do have a consumer-based interest in knowing the difference between an automatic and a semi-automatic firearm.
They rightly see people like Fran David as ill-informed spoil sports. Which is not quite as good as seeing gun control advocates as a clear and present danger to their life and liberty, but that’ll do pig. That’ll do.
NOTE: After this post was published and the editorialist was spanked in The Mercury News’ comments section, the following correction was added and [some of] the offending text amended. “Correction: This commentary has been updated to correct the type of weapon used by the gunman in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting — it was an assault rifle, not an automatic weapon — and by the hero who shot him — who also used an assault rifle, not a “single rifle.”