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By Robert A. Margulies, MD

We are in a culture war in which the enemy is using words in ways that are dishonest. Let’s set at least part of the record straight.

“High capacity” magazines

This is a false flag. The arguments against standard capacity magazines that are issued along with police handguns have the same benefit for honest citizens in the same circumstances that police need them.

Current statistics reveal that violent home invasions are more frequently perpetrated by larger numbers of assailants than in the past. Honest citizens cannot be expected to defeat multiple attackers without using the same tools that we think the police should use in similar situations.

Assault weapons”

There is no military definition of an “assault” weapon. There were fully automatic firearms that the German Forces of WWII called (in translation) “storm guns.” There are semiautomatic and select-fire firearms in various configurations.

The military describes the AR-15 and M16 class of weapons as “minor caliber.” Any firearm projectile can produce damage. The damage is proportional to projectile mass, configuration and velocity for a given target at a given distance.

In Washington State .223/5.56 caliber firearms are not allowed for hunting anything larger than coyotes due to their lack of effective lethality. Heavier and faster bullets are required to hunt deer and other game animals.

There are cartridges for revolvers that have more energy than the .223/5.56, which are actually classified as .22 caliber cartridges.

In all cases, it makes no difference in effect if the cartridge is fired from a break action single shot tool, a manual bolt action tool or a semi-automatic tool which still requires a separate trigger press for every round fired.

Thence arises the question: why are semi-automatics needed? The answer is that criminals do not want to prey on victims who are stronger than they are.

Functionally impaired individuals, whether elderly, injured or physically less capable, deserve to be able to fulfill their basic human right of self-defense just as well as others can. Terrorists, as in San Bernardino, did not hesitate to break laws and murder innocent victims who were forced into defenselessness by California’s prohibitions.

Only honest citizens obey the law, because laws do not prevent crime. Laws proscribe an activity and provide a penalty if caught and convicted of that activity. SCOTUS has ruled that law enforcement do not have a duty to protect individuals, but rather to serve society after the fact.

Nonetheless, AR-type rifles are issue items for many police departments nationally and internationally. We call them “patrol rifles.” These are the tools brought to the scene when police presence is required.

It is intellectually bankrupt to require citizens to call for police assistance and yet deny them the same tools for use in their own self-defense. In a home invasion or a criminal attack outside the home, it is not law enforcement officers who are the “first responders.” Rather it is the intended victims who must respond and then await second responder assistance.

“Gun violence

Like “assault rifle,” this is an emotion-laden, but semantically invalid, intellectually dishonest, morally corrupt and politically divisive term used by those who want to disempower honest people to the benefit of criminals and terrorists. Tools do not take actions by themselves.

In Washington State, for the latest full year available, more people were killed with hands or feet, as well as by other blunt instruments than by all long guns combined. More people died from injuries in motor vehicle accidents than firearm-associated suicide and criminal homicide combined. Yet we do not speak of “hand violence” or “hammer violence” or “car violence”.

It is also intellectually and ethically reprehensible for legislators, executors and jurists to take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” and pass, execute and validate laws that violate the Second, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, as well as 18 USC.

In jurisprudence (stare decisis) precedence is generally given to the most recent rulings. Yet the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states infringing on previously accepted recognition of citizen rights. Such infringing laws cannot reasonably be construed as lawful nor should rulings violating such rights.

In the real world, criminals and terrorists do not obey the laws. Laws limiting legal rights only make life hazardous for honest people.


Robert A. Margulies, MD, MPH, FACEP, FACPM is an emergency medicine specialist, retired Navy Medical Corps captain, sworn peace officer, and firearm trainer with multiple certifications from the NRA and the Massad Ayoob Group.

This article was originally published at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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  1. When the military possess these weapons, they’re called “small arms” When law enforcement possess them, they’re called “personal defense weapons” When the citizens possess them, they’re called “assault weapons” Just like the book 1984 describes; manipulating language—or newspeak. Big brother is real…and here.

    • 1984 was/is both a playbook and a warning. Much of it’s message was an indictment of past Totalitarian Ideology. As well as a warning of what the future would look like if allowed to Metastasize within a Society. Much of what We are seeing from the Liberal Socialist Democrats is a product of the things foretold by Orwell. Keep Your Powder Dry.

    • Well, it is refreshing to see you folks grokking the fullness of the wisdom in 1984 and animal farm.

      The author of 1984 was a very intelligent man who had studied history and human societies. He saw clearly the dangers of authoritarian regimes and had carefully studied the various forms of government that man had instituted in an attempt to achieve a just and equitable governance.

      That’s why he was a democratic socialist.

      “Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.”

      George Orwell was warning us about authoritarian leaders like Donald Trump, and his corrupt minions. The use of newspeak is rampant today, just look at trumps personal attorney’s statement “the truth is not the truth”.

      • Well, it is refreshing to see you folks grokking the fullness of the wisdom in 1984 and animal farm.

        Yeah, nice little cross over with some Heinlein, I GET it…

      • Hmmmm….Trump hasn’t:
        -Weaponized the IRS against conservative organizations;
        -Weaponize the FBI to exonerate as crooked as sin ex-FLOTUS/SOS for treasonous acts,
        -attempt an coup against an duly elected President for real collusion with the Russians.;
        -Run guns to Mexico to blame US guns laws…..aka The Second Amendment;
        -Flown in the middle of the night billions in cash to the premier terrorist support government;
        -Allow invasion of our borders for political purposes, and voting power;
        -…..well I can go on and on, but you should get the idea,

      • You ever read “The Road to Wigan Pier”? (Nice part of the comment)

        Also, fuck off Commie scum. (Douche part of the comment).

  2. Words mean things: Freedom from Tyranny…Liberty Against Totalitarianism…Individual Liberty over Egalitarianism. Yes words have meanings. All of which are worthless without the will to defend their meaning.

  3. Quite often, firearms owners are their own worst enemies.

    The duck hunters don’t like the AR-15 “black rifles” so they see no problem if attempts are made to ban them.

    The traditional rifle owners don’t like machine guns, so they have no problem with them being legislated out of existence.

    Some pistol owners see nothing wrong with certain long guns being outlawed just as some rifle owners would have no problem seeing pistols banned.

    You see, anti-gunners want them all. They will chip away a little at a time until their goal of civilian disarmament is complete. They have an excuse for banning every firearm.

    Scoped bolt-action rifles are defined by anti-gunners as “sniper rifles” because they are “too accurate”.

    Magazine-fed weapons are suspect because of high (actually normal) magazine capacity.

    Handguns are suspect because they are “easily concealable”.

    The gun grabbers want them all and have made (flimsy and suspect) excuses for banning every type of firearm. They don’t care how long it takes. and will use incrementalism to their advantage.

    Friends, ALL firearms advocates must “hang together” and realize that an assault on ANY means of firearms ownership and self-defense is an assault on ALL forms of firearms ownership and self-defense.

    There is absolutely NO ROOM for complacency among ANY Second Amendment supporters. An attack on one is an attack on ALL…

    ALL firearms laws are unconstitutional on their face. Imagine the hue and cry if “reasonable” restrictions were placed on First Amendment activities, especially with the “mainstream media”. The Second Amendment is clear–what part of “shall not be infringed” do politicians and the media not understand…of course, they understand full well…it’s part of their communist agenda…

    Even the NRA bears some responsibility for capitulation on matters concerning firearms.

    The NRA failed when it allowed the National Firearms Act of 1934 to stand without offering opposition, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the NICS “instant check” system, the “no new machine gun for civilians” ban in 1986, the so-called “assault weapons” ban in 1994, and other infringements of the Second Amendment.

    Let’s face it. What better way to increase membership than to “allow” infringements to be enacted and then push for a new membership drive. Yes, the NRA has done good, but its spirit of “compromise” will only lead to one thing…confiscation.

    If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…

    • Remember, Carlos Hathcock had 93 confirmed kills with modified, scoped 30-06 hunting rifles.

      The Germans formally protested that the use of pump shotguns by US Soldiers was inhumane in the trenches during WWI.

      They’re all weapons of war. That’s why we want them. When they get the ARs, they’ll come for the “sniper rifles” and “trench brooms”. None of the “this is for deer, turkeys, and geese” talk will matter.

    • “If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…”

      Oh, sure. And then what? I wish the general “purist” gunny could understand that absolutely maintaining one’s stated principles when dealing within politics is often an exercise in futility. There have been times when taking an absolute in the face of reality would mean total loss of the entire right.

      For example, no matter what NRA or its members would have threatened in 1993, the Brady Bill and some sort of semiauto ban was going to pass Congress and Bill Clinton was going to sign it. We ALL- NRA and the other splinter groups were opposed to it but it wouldn’t make a difference. Rather than give up the obvious defeat, NRA engineered amendments for a sunset of the semi-auto ban and also one for a strict definition of what an “assault weapon” was, as well as an amendment in Brady allowing individual states to determine what would be necessary to purchase handguns rather than a blanket national policy requiring NICS for every purchase. (In Iowa from day 1 after Brady passed, so long as one had a CCW or permit to acquire handguns there was/is no NICS check when purchasing any firearm since the permit provides proof of the purchaser passing the background check.) And since the sunset on the semiauto bill, we now have an almost limitless number of options concerning such rifles and even pistols built on the same platforms. Those who passed those bills never saw any of this coming, and yes, it did take a few years, but I consider nearly all things in the firearms category as being far better now than they were in 1993, particularly when you toss in Heller and all the states that now have concealed carry on demand and Constitutional Carry.

      Yeah- there are people out there in the “no compromise” cults that think NRA should’ve never “acquiesced ” to either. So, what good would just folding your arms and stomping your foot and saying “We won’t put up with this” have gotten us? Does anyone think NRA should’ve then declared a shooting war by its members against those in Congress who voted in favor, or perhaps put out a “hit” on President Clinton? Let’s hear some alternatives, Kommandos…

      None of the other little groups would ever have been able to engineer the amendments since they have no real legislative networks and without those poison pill amendments, I doubt the AR platform would be the most popular rifle in America. I doubt concealed carry would’ve taken off as it has because the Congressional handgun banning would’ve continued its course; gun shows would be a thing of the past and ammo would likely be banned or rationed as well.

      It’s easy to make statements like “If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…” so long as you’re only flapping the breeze with your buddies in your garage. In the real world it’s a completely different matter.

      BTW- anything prior to NRA ILA ca 1975 is off the table as far as NRA goes…

      • Correct.

        A carefully crafted compromise can often be a victory, in the fullness of time.

        But compromises rarely offer the ego satisfaction that the small children, stamping their feet, demand.

    • When the NRA negotiated background checks in 1968 started the situation we are in today. They gave govt an inch and now we see the outcome. No laws should have been allowed. Period. The state in which you reside has been has been following the other states where purchasing and selling firearms is major ordeal with hidden traps. In order to keep a free state we cannot allow them to diminish the Bill of Rights. Every single person needs to speak up and demand abolishing all gun laws, no compromise. Anything less will not do and prepare your children to become servants. The mistake can be made only once and they will send men with guns even after you have no guns at all.Your police department is armed with M16s and state police also. This is all by design.

  4. The same ole song & dance over & over with the words. I expect it with the liberals, but I see it over & over with the (Supposedly) the gun crowd. For example CDNN advertises High capacity glock mags for sale which are the 17rd for G17 15rd for G19 etc these are standard cap mags, then next to that they advertise standard cap mags for the same guns which are the 10 rd mags. My point is when the retailers are saying the same thing as the left we have serious problems…..

    • Perhaps you like I live in a Free State. Where Mag/Clip limits are Not Regulated. If so We have Freedom on Our side. Not all citizens have that Freedom. Supplying the Mag/Clip they are Allowed to Possess is just good business. As well as supporting them in the best way available in their pursuit of safety and ultimately Freedom.

        • I read it. I just refuse to allow the Left to control the definition and terminology of words. That is one of the ways We are loosing the this WAR. WE allowed them to get a foothold on OUR children thru the education system. Creating their form of Hitler Youth by defining what can be said and how it is defined. Unless We refuse to allow them this Ideological control. The War will continue to be lost. It may well be up to OUR generation to stop this assault. I unfortunately fear We have already lost at least the last 2 generation as well as the next.

        • I know what you’re sayin…I’m just saying it’s not helping the cause with some gun mfr’s & parts suppliers (the 2A people) using the same language as the left does!
          But unfortunately I have to agree that we are losing the war. When my Gen is gone I don’t see anyone taking my place (I’m 61) that’s sad, especially when I don’t have any relatives left that I can leave my guns too! But I will fight till I’m dust in the wind!

  5. How did we get to the point that peaceable citizens have to prove to their “representatives” in government that we are worthy or have a “need” for anything? When did we become answerable to politicians and unelected bureaucrats?

    • Through OUR OWN Ignorance,Laziness and Willingness to Cede OUR Freedoms in exchange for Peace,Prosperity and not having to get OUR hands dirty with paying attention. To what “OUR Leaders” are doing behind OUR backs. We now see the enemy and IT has been Us all along.

  6. We got to this point in time because of people that raise snowflakes instead of American kids, & especially the public school system is the biggest threat to kids because of the doctrines of the liberal instructors.

  7. Those words Don’t mean what the civilian disarmament Leftards think they mean but then again,Leftard’s are at a educational disadvantage because after all they are Tard’s.

  8. “Current statistics reveal that violent home invasions are more frequently perpetrated by larger numbers of assailants than in the past. Honest citizens cannot be expected to defeat multiple attackers without using the same tools that we think the police should use in similar situations.”

    Which, as I’ve said many times, pretty much eliminates revolvers and low-capacity semi-autos as viable concealed carry and home defense options. This is especially true given the propensity for people to miss up to seventy-five percent or more of their shots under combat stress – and that’s the average cop’s performance, let alone a civilian.

  9. I’ve been saying for years (more like decades) that we MUST use correct terminology – far too many get lazy and interchange ‘clips’ for ‘magazines’ as just one very egregious example. Every time we misuse terms we play into the antis hands.
    An example from the above article: the wholly made up term is “assault weapons” – not assault rifle which does indeed have a military definition – coined as ‘sturmgewehr’ (literally storm rifle) by adolph hitler. The other term was ‘invented’ solely to confuse, and it has proved wildly effective in misinforming far too many.
    Never mind of course the ‘experts’ who talk about fully semi-automatic guns (insert eyeroll)

  10. Minor point: the military has a definition of ‘assault rifle’. It’s a light weight, gas operated, air cooled, shoulder fired weapon that fires an intermediate cartridge and is capable of select fire. Select fire is defined as the ability to fire either semi-automatically and automatically (either full auto or burst) via the use of a selector switch.
    So while the term ‘assault weapon’ is wholly fabricated to push a political agenda, the term ‘assault rifle’ has a specific definition to the military.
    There is no military term that is ‘minor caliber’ that I am aware of.
    Now, all that said, it was almost 20 years ago that I was taught the definition of an ‘assault rifle’, but I’ll take the definition used by the premier death dealing gun club in world, the United States Marine Corps, over the one provided by the author, or any idiot politician/media talking head.

  11. The jurisprudence argument with the 14th is a good way to potentially limit the authority of government in a state-by-state basis, assuming it can be done properly. “It’s legal there, so it has to be legal here”, could open up things like legal weed nationwide, on demand, up-to-birth abortion, red flag laws, stop and frisk, or anything else. The only way it will work, is if the law expressly limits the legalities to constitutionally protected rights.

    I’m not a lawyer, don’t pretend to be one, never played one online or on tv. I’m probably completely far off, but I do like the sound of it in the aspect of mag caps, constitutional carry, etc.

    • The 14A expressly protects rights recognized by the feds. It doesn’t spread normal statutory laws from one state to another. So, for example, unless there was a “right to marijuana” that would still be state by state.

    • Being “legal” does not mean it is moral. What is immoral for me may not be so for you. as a society, we need to embrace our own morality and not judge others by what we may see as a lack of morality. The government is NOT my “book of rules”, it is only a system of laws(the fewer the better) that allows us to live in freedom without killing each other.

  12. With respect to defending or promoting our inalienable right to keep and bear arms, I am rapidly converging on the strategy that we should almost entirely abandon lengthy (and probably even brief) factual discussions and cut right to the chase.

    1) The problem:
    Something like half or more of our population have catastrophic mental/character flaws. Countless people are selfish and self-absorbed narcissists. Countless people are elitists who want to dictate what we can and cannot do. And countless people only care about emotion, fantasy, and transient/whimsical notions of “virtue”.

    2) The consequence:
    It is impossible to reason/bargain with such people and is therefore a total waste of time and resources to attempt to do so.

    Instead, why don’t we just tell people that we will do whatever it takes to protect ourselves and our families from anyone who tries to violate us. Period.

    Why engage in discussions, debates, or arguments over definitions, statistics, feelings, or anything else?

    • I tend to agree with you. As much as I like the idea of reasoned debate in general, I have found the typical gun control advocate to be immovable in their ignorance, false assumptions and flawed logic. I’ve started to, more often then not, when people demand that I submit to their plans for limits on me and my guns to just respond, “No. Your move”.

    • “Why engage in discussions, debates, or arguments over definitions…”

      Because your premise contains an underlying assumption that is untrue. That assumption is that your statements reflect some sort of change in the population to what exists today from something different that existed previously. This isn’t the case. Human nature has not fundamentally changed in the last 20, 200 or 2000 years.

      Fixing what’s wrong just takes a hell of a lot of work and as I noted yesterday, many “on our side” are not *really* on our side because they make the work harder and longer. They have good intentions but “know not what they do”. Meanwhile the other side is organized. As legal philosophers have noted; it’s not that tyrants and evil men are smarter, stronger or “better” than their opposition. It’s that such bad folks make more efficient use of time.

      The perennial conflicts that have arisen in the last 100 years have a root cause. If we don’t attack that we’ll never fix the problem and eventually, as Scalia noted in his writings, *they* will win when they inevitably make the BoR meaningless.

  13. Words do indeed mean things. That’s why the Left steals language and uses it for their nefarious purposes. When we (freedom-loving, Constitutional, patriotic citizens) speak and write, we must reclaim our words and assure their correct usage.

  14. The People dont want a flamboyant rich NYC business mogul with weird predilections who made his wealth from a posh ivory tower in Manhattan.

    The People want a champion for The People.

    Bloomberg is rising.

  15. So the conclusion is 60% of violence is Ok if it doesn’t involve a gun. Because those perpetrators’ mindset is somehow not also two standard deviations out of whack I suppose. I’d have to also conclude that victims of any other violence than gun violence deserve no sympathy.

  16. I correct everyone that uses the phrase “gun violence” in my presence. I simply tell them there’s NO such thing as “gun violence” on Earth. They usually get pissed and argue. Then I say “If there’s gun violence, then you have to admit there’s fork obesity. You have to also admit that pens cause misspelled words and punctuation mistakes.”

    They look all confused, then think about it, and admit that there’s no such thing as gun violence.

    I try to do my part.

  17. The Constitution only applies to American State Nationals as they are the only parties to it, not United States citizens (Territorial citizens of Puerto Rica, Guam, American Samoa, etc), or citizens of the United States (municipal citizens of the District of Columbia).

    All Federal laws only apply to Federal Citizens. When you you people wake up this these simple facts.

    Being a sovereign American State National means you are without Federal Jurisdiction and the Fed’s know it. They just don’t want those who are unaware of these facts to find that out.

    • It’s sad to see someone type out three paragraphs of jibberish and at the end the only thing the reader knows for sure is that the author uses a lot of words he/she doesn’t understand.

    • The facts is that’s law talk, not realty. The courts would listen to the facts, and after 45 minutes of hearing the truth, pass sentence your handcuffed and back to gen pop

  18. Instead of calling them “standard” capacity magazines…we should just call them “regular” magazines. It is easier for people to understand.

  19. When is hunting not really hunting?

    When Republican lawmakers want to bamboozle their base:

    “A Republican lawmaker is being called out for posting a clip that makes it appear as if she may be hunting.

    In reality, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) doesn’t even have a hunting license, according to records obtained by the progressive group American Bridge, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

    The clip posted to Instagram last week showed her and another person in hunting gear, carrying rifles into the countryside. It did not say she was hunting or a hunter, but rather touted her as a pro-Second Amendment conservative:”

    The GOP, what a bunch of grifters!

    • The TDS is strong in this one.
      Are you aware it’s legal to target shoot on private land WITHOUT a hunting license? How she chooses to dress is her business. Where you there to see if she fired a firearm?
      Also, GOP members are capable of supporting hunting/2nd A activities WITHOUT possession of a hunting license.
      For discussion sake, IF your “The GOP, what a bunch of grifters!” comment was based in reality, it could be argued that this “grifting” was acquired from decades of exposure to demonrats.
      Think “Black Plague”.

  20. Since I’m the author, I’ll join he discussion. I agree with Frank and My Name in that amongst ourselves we can discuss this civilly. With regard to the others, I tend to ask them simple questions: Will you defend your life or your family’s?. If “No” I walk away. No point in wasting breath. If “Yes” then I ask “how?”
    In my spare time, I teach self defense and Institutional security and trauma management. These are folks who will act, hopefully as accurately as Jack Wilson in White Settlement.
    Whatever the venue, The choice of words is critical and we own the facts. Let’s get them out there.
    And most cops- me included- are not planning on taking honest people’s guns or knives or cars, etc.
    We have enough to do with criminals.
    The storm is brewing because the left politicians and their sponsors do not understand that the American Military and Police will obey the Constitution before illegal laws.
    “stand by for heavy weather”.


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