(The following appeared on Planet Moron on September 23, 2013.)
People often ask why it is so important that we ban the AR-15 and other “assault” style rifles. The reasons are actually quite obvious:
1) Rifles, many of which may be AR-15s, are used in fully 2.5% of all murders. Only handguns, knives, blunt objects, shotguns, and bare human hands rank higher. Not impressed? Consider this statistic:
You are over 160 times more likely to be killed by a rifle, than you are being pushed out of a window.
Something to think about the next time you start waving the Constitution around.
2) Early reports indicated that an AR-15 was used in the most recent mass murder at the Navy Yard in Washington DC. Sure, those early reports were all wrong, but when you are trying to exploit a tragedy to attack the firearms you would prefer to ban, does it really matter which firearms were used in that tragedy? Really? Think of the children! There weren’t any children at the Navy Yard either, but think of them anyway.
3) If we are going to get serious about gun violence we have to put in place a gun-control regimen that bans the possession of firearms like the AR-15, requires vigorous background checks, the institution of security checkpoints, and other measures not unlike those practiced at military installations like the Navy Yard. Don’t think with your head.
Think with your heart.
4) By disarming law-abiding citizens of any practical means of defending themselves we ensure that we won’t get some cowboy saving people’s lives but instead will have everyone practicing the far more civilized and generally preferred self-defense method of “sheltering in place” in which you wait patiently to die.
5) For years, we’ve permitted guns to flood into the hands of law-abiding citizens at unprecedented rates. The consequences have been entirely predictable: Crime rates have plummeted. If you want to call that a success, good luck washing the lack of blood off your hands. Real success is getting guns out of the hands of citizens and into the hands of government personnel and criminals.
Where they belong.