2018-06-21 / Letters

Left ‘blurs definition of assault rifle’

To the editor:

The Second Amendment is a very simple to understand part of our Constitution: at least for most people. Armed, law-abiding citizens are not the threat to America nor are the rifles they use for hunting and sport shooting. FBI statistics bear that out. Those that would deny us our right to bear arms are the real threat.

A recent letter to the Enterprise put forth the Liberal notion that “assault weapons” are not needed by American civilians because the military is there to protect us. Imagine the outcome had the British tried to impose such a law on the colonists. Like the writer, I too am ex-military. The difference between us is he is now trying to take away the rights he swore to defend.

Liberals deliberately blur the definition of “assault rifle” to influence the naïve and misinform the public. They cleverly moved the most common types of sporting rifles in America into the “assault rifle” category by including guns that simply look like assault rifles. Functionality, not appearance, determines a weapon’s capability. Technically, true assault-style rifles have the capability of firing on full automatic (machine gun) with the use of a selector. This capability is already illegal in our country except in rare cases where special licenses are issued by the government...

According to the FBI, in 2013, just 285 people were murdered in the entire United States by all types of rifles combined. Statistically, homicide by rifle is not a problem. On the other hand, over 300 were killed in liberal-run Chicago alone each of the last two years. One wonders where the liberal movement is to disarm the criminals in Chicago where some of the toughest gun laws exist.

Jim Miller
Omena Point Rd.

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It is true that the military

It is true that the military definition of assault rifle includes the ability to fire in fully automatic mode. But just about everything else in this letter is wrong. First, try telling the parents of Sandy Hook victims or the loved ones of people killed in the Las Vegas shooting or the Parkland shooting (I could go on) that the deaths in those shootings are "not a problem." Second - the words "well regulated militia" do have meaning. To understand them one needs to understand the historical milieu in which they were written (e.g. what did they mean by "militia.") So it really isn't that simple. Third, even under the Heller decision, which was written by a very conservative justice, citizens do NOT have an unlimited right to own any type of weapon they choose (shoulder fired surface to air missile, anyone?). Fourth, there are reasons that lots of mass killers use AR15s. We shouldn't dismiss that as meaningless because you can also use one to hunt deer. Fifth, yes, Chicago has lots of gun deaths. What that proves is not the inefficacy of Chicago's gun laws, but the futility of our patchwork system of regulating access to guns. Strict gun laws in Chicago are easily subverted by going to another state (like walking across the street into Indiana on the south side) or going to a gun show. Sixth, the "liberal movement" is indeed trying to do something to disarm criminals. How about universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole for a start?