Automatic weapons have one purpose and one purpose only, and that’s to kill multiple people at one time. Therefore, no one in this country should have an automatic gun other than our trained military.It would be easier to carry on an intelligent discussion of gun control laws with people like Mr. Lee if they weren't so ignorant of basic facts. (Of course, if they were concerned with facts they might not write such uninformed letters in the first place, but one can't expect leopards to change their spots, or liberals to change their preconceived notions. Anyway...)
We should remember that until 2004 automatic weapons were outlawed, and there has been an uptick of mass shootings since.
The lies and rationalizations regarding automatic weapons spewed by Republicans are an affront to the sensibilities of the vast majority of Americans who cry for stricter gun controls.
I hope that during the 2016 congressional elections, frustrated Americans go to the polls and vote out every congressman who has opposed common sense gun control legislation.
To clarify, since Mr. Lee seems unclear on the concept, let's first define our terms. From the font of all knowledge - Wikipedia - we have the following:
An automatic firearm continuously fires rounds as long as the trigger is pressed or held and there is ammunition in the magazine/chamber. In contrast, a semi-automatic firearm fires one round with each individual trigger-pull.Now that we understand what we're talking about, let's take a closer look at Mr. Lee's letter.
"Automatic weapons have one purpose and one purpose only, and that’s to kill multiple people at one time."Or to make sure that one person is well and truly dead. But I quibble. Let's continue.
"Therefore, no one in this country should have an automatic gun other than our trained military."What about law enforcement? They are currently allowed to posses automatic weapons. Should we disarm them?
"We should remember that until 2004 automatic weapons were outlawed, and there has been an uptick of mass shootings since."I was unaware that automatic weapons became legal in 2004. If true, I'd love to run right out and get one. Unfortunately, after doing a little research, here's what I found.
It has been unlawful since 1934 (The National Firearms Act) for civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department... (Note: a fully automatic weapon is legally considered to be a machine gun (or submachine gun, if it fires a handgun cartridge) under the National Firearms Act.)Furthermore:
Since the Firearms Owners' Protection Act of May 19, 1986, ownership of newly manufactured machine guns has been prohibited to civilians. Machine guns which were manufactured prior to the Act's passage are regulated under the National Firearms Act, but those manufactured after the ban cannot ordinarily be sold to or owned by civilians.So it looks like ownership of automatic weapons is either tightly regulated or prohibited under two different federal gun control laws (not to mention multiple state and local laws). What on earth happened in 2004 to legalize automatic weapons?
As near as I can figure out, Mr. Lee is talking about the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (officially, the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act) which was enacted in 1994 and expired in 2004. Assault weapons, of course, are not the same as automatic weapons, but to the confused residents of Liberal Land they are one and the same. So let's give Mr. Lee the benefit of the doubt on this one and examine his claim that "...there has been an uptick of mass shootings since."
The following comes from a report compiled by the Congressional Research Service dated July 30, 2015.
From the report:
|Click to embiggen.|
What this tells us is that the average number of mass shootings remained relatively constant at around 20 per year over two five-year periods (1999-2003 and 2004-2008), with a slight increase to an average of 22 per year over the five year period of 2009-2013. There was no "uptick" in the five years immediately following 2004.
Furthermore, in the period between 1999 and 2013:
...out of 317 "mass shootings," offenders used firearms that could be characterized as "assault weapons" in 31 incidents (9.78%), or roughly 1 out of 10 incidents...Back to Mr. Lee's letter:
The lies and rationalizations regarding automatic weapons spewed by Republicans are an affront to the sensibilities of the vast majority of Americans who cry for stricter gun controls.Based on the facts presented above, I think it's pretty obvious that it's not the Republicans who are lying and rationalizing about gun controls.
One final note: back to the 'automatic weapons' point. Even on this issue the facts are unarguably against the leftists.
Since 1934, there appear to have been at least two homicides committed with legally owned automatic weapons. One was a murder committed by a law enforcement officer (as opposed to a civilian). On September 15th, 1988, a 13-year veteran of the Dayton, Ohio police department, Patrolman Roger Waller, then 32, used his fully automatic MAC-11 .380 caliber submachine gun to kill a police informant...Yes, you read that right. In the last 81 years, legally owned automatic weapons have accounted for a grand total of TWO deaths. Yet they are feared and demonized by the left.
The other homicide ... occurred on September 14, 1992...
It's not about facts, or guns. It's about control.