If you’re going to devote your life to a cause, you’d think that at some point, you’d sit down at the computer for half an hour and do a little research to learn the most basic facts about it. It’s astounding to me that so many people who want to be put in charge of writing gun laws (or who spend so much time campaigning to ban guns altogether) don’t seem to know the first thing about them.
At the big anti-gun march last week, there were signs demanding that “automatic weapons” be banned (they’ve been banned for all but a tiny handful of heavily-vetted owners since 1934). They say that AR-15 rifles should only be used in combat (they aren’t: they just scare some people because they look like military rifles.) As this video from Campus Reform shows, they want to ban “assault weapons,” yet can’t even define what they are.
For the record, “assault weapon” is a meaningless term invented by anti-gun campaigners (all weapons can be used to assault someone – according to the famous Monty Python sketch, you can assault someone with a banana, just hope he doesn’t defend himself with a gun). It refers to a combination of features that simply make a gun look scarier to the ignorant. Some are safety features, like a shield to keep the user from burning his fingers on the hot barrel. Others are conveniences: an adjustable stock allows a husband and wife or father and son/daughter to use the same rifle when target shooting. Without it, you’d have to buy a different rifle to fit each family member. That’s right: banning adjustable barrels would help gun makers sell more rifles. Don't think that's what the gun control boosters intended.
(I’ll also be helpful and tell them that a “trigger” is a thing you pull to shoot the gun, not a different viewpoint that makes you feel scared and weepy.)
Sometimes, there are people in the media who do know a few facts about guns, but when anti-gun activists start spewing falsehoods, they feel so much sympathy for their position that they don’t want to interrupt to correct them. Imagine a CNN reporter who hates to interrupt! I’ll bet President Trump would love to see more of those.
And then there are the self-appointed experts, like the New Yorker magazine writer who produced a typically windy anti-gun piece that in its very first sentence referred to the weapon used in Parkland as a “semiautomatic machine gun.”
Spoiler alert: there’s no such thing. A machine gun is an automatic weapon (again, banned since 1934). A semiautomatic machine gun is an oxymoron, which means a contradiction in terms, not someone who writes for the New Yorker.
Back in the mid-20th century, the New Yorker not only used to print only the greatest writers in America but was famous for rigorously fact-checking every detail of their work. It’s ironic that an anti-gun piece should illustrate how badly the New Yorker’s reputation for accuracy has been shot to hell.
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