TTAG reader Ray H. writes:
I can say with 100% certainty that short barrel rifles (SBRs) are the absolute best guns for home defense. Not pistols. How can I know this with such certainty? Because when a SWAT team enters a home, SBRs are the firearms that they use to protect themselves. SWAT does not and will not enter a dangerous situation with pistols, and civilians shouldn’t have to either. Wait? What? Of course SWAT teams need SBRs, but what do you need it for? Well, are police executioners? No, they only have guns to protect themselves and to protect others. So do we. So if they need their SBR to clear bad guys out of a house, I also need a SBR to clear bad guys out of my house . . .
While the gun control crowd has gotten people to think of law enforcement gun rights as different from civilian gun rights, it is unnatural, and I think exposing this false dichotomy and exposing this invalid separation of force is paramount to winning hearts and minds back to firearms freedom. If we can get the public to realize that civilians need weapons for the same reason that police do, all other gun control arguments become invalid.
For instance, a federal judge recently upheld Maryland’s assault weapons ban. I read her opinion and she cited that police in Maryland were unable to find a single instance of a civilian needing more than 10 rounds to defend themselves. She coupled that with another statistic that most civilian uses of firearms only include two rounds or less being fired and then subsequently deemed high-capacity magazines as “dangerous and unusual” and unnecessary for self-defense.
Wait, what? Well if I don’t need a 17-round magazine in my pistol, do the police need them? Yes. Why? To protect themselves and to protect others. Well that’s why I need 17 rounds!
I’m upset at the plaintiff’s legal counsel for not attempting to draw parallels between police need and civilian needs in that case. It would have negated the judge’s position that high-capacity magazines were not necessary. My cousin is a police officer. He shot 14 rounds at a single armed robbery suspect who was barricaded in a car shooting back at him. Why did my cousin shoot 14 rounds? Because that’s all he had. His partner shot 16 times at the same perp, he had to reload. But really, why did they shoot so many rounds? Because bullets lose their power after penetrating barriers and the point of police shooting anybody is not to exact justice, but to stop a threat. Do civilians need to stop threats? Yes.
I think the future of civilian defense statistics need to incorporate police shootings as part of the context. Police use their guns a heck of lot more times than civilians do for lawful self-defense. But just because police use guns more doesn’t mean our need for the same types of guns is less. Although the Maryland police couldn’t find any instance of a Marylander shooting more than 10 rounds in self-defense, I’m sure they could have found dozens of instances of their own police needing more than 10 rounds.
I tried searching for hours and couldn’t come across any nationwide statistics that are readily available for how often police use AR15s, SBRs, machine guns etc to protect themselves and protect others. But I’m sure it’s a lot. When the next Piers Morgan ask’s how many times do you know somebody who used an AR15 to defend themselves, we should be able to point right to that statistic, people using AR15s to defend themselves. They may be police, but they’re people just like you and I.
Likewise, I can’t find any readily available statistics for the number of police shootings each year and the number of shots that they fired, but I’m willing to bet they shoot more than 10 rounds per officer per instance in a fairly high rate of occurences. If they need the extra capacity so do I. Not that I would only need 10 rounds if we restricted police to 10 rounds, it’s that we don’t restrict police to having just 10 rounds because they need more, and so do we! They have found that short barreled machine guns like the MP5 are the absolute best guns for clearing bad guys out of houses. Wait!!!! What if a bad guy were in my house!? I don’t get an MP5 submachine guns to protect my house?
Since there isn’t a level-headed politician that would ban police from having more than 10 rounds in their magazine nor is there a level-headed politician that would ban SWAT teams from having SBRs and machine guns, we know that they are the most ideal weapons suited for home defense and pass the tests for constitutional rights according to Heller and McDonald.
I recently came across a new gun rights organization that is advocating for expanded rights regarding NFA items. The organization is NFAFA. They want to repeal the Hughes Amendment, get rid of CLEO sign offs or at least make it into CLEO “shall” sign, and they want to remove Silencers, Short Barrel Rifles, and Short Barrel Shotguns from the registry. I’d like to see more people support them in their cause, because it’s an area of advocacy that needs more attention from the gun community.
(Note to editor, I’m not a member of NFAFA, don’t work for them, and not personally associated with them at this time. I just like them.)