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.

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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.

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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.”

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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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Comments 1-12 of 12

  • Charles M

    03/31/2018 08:18 AM

    So much ignorance, so little time... BTW, does anyone besides me think that snot-nosed twerp kid, David Hogg looks like a dictator in the making? He is actually getting scary looking with all the lefty media egging him on to grander statements...like perhaps he is starting to believe he may be God after saying boo to Laura Ingraham's advertisers and they all just ran for the hills.

  • Michael R Brannick

    03/29/2018 09:39 PM

    You mean the barrel shroud, also known as the shoulder thing that goes up?

    I used to have a Remington 742 semi-automatic hunting rifle in 30.06. It only had one "assault weapon" identifier, a removable magazine. It was legal under the 1994 "assault weapon" ban but fired just as fast and shot bigger hollow point bullets with more powder behind them. But it's not an "assault weapon."Think they'd ban it?

  • Bob Weiser

    03/29/2018 08:43 PM

    Mike (If i can be so familiar)
    I have not commented until now, but have read you eMails for a long time.
    First "IG" article - I support your suggestion of a series of publications; What do you have NOW!
    Second "Blue Wave" - very appropriate warning for November! Be an informed voter!
    Third "Census" - You exposed the lame stream for reporting it has never been used. Not 20 years ago it was one of the questions! Again, be informed; know what the census is used for. You did a good job on it.
    Finally "Gun Facts" - I can not add anything to you article.
    I am a Vietnam Vet (RVN 7/67-7/68). I qualified expert with both the M-14 and M-16 but only marksman with the 45 pistol. Being Special Forces qualified, I was appointed leader for a segment of our parameter during TET 68. That segment had a M-60 machine gun. I was asked if I could instruct a crew. I looked at him and smiled. So I asked for 4 volunteers to man the gun. Naturally nobody stepped forward. So I said and pointed "You, you, you and you." I told everybody else to man their positions. I took the 4 and so l spit them into 2 teams and instructed them in the use and feeding the ammo. Then one asked do we open up when we are fired on. I said NO! You wait for me to give you the command. I asked the four if they went through Basic. They nodded. So I asked do you remember being told to take out machine guns -FIRST? They looked dumb. So I added. "If you do, I will measure your life expectancy with the sweep second hand on my watch - they got it.
    Sorry for going on, but it makes a point - know the facts!

  • Margaret Hamm

    03/29/2018 07:10 PM

    I saw on FB last night where they were questioning the marchers for gun control. When what they were marching for and about guns. They really didn't have a clue. One woman when asked what an assault rifle was, after much hemming and hawing, finally came out with, it is a gun that shoots bullets. Guess that means she wants all of our guns. I never saw such a misinformed bunch as is there is now walking around around protesting so many different things. They don't seem to know much about what ever is being marched against.

  • Robert McFate

    03/29/2018 04:08 PM

    And the libturd said, "Facts are only what we say they are!"

  • Mike Smith

    03/29/2018 02:54 PM

    Hi again Mike,
    I'm not sure who was writing this piece, it's not up to the normal standards. Are you getting enough sleep?
    Anyway, "for the record" - the US Army has used the term "assault rifle" since at least the 60's, if not earlier. It's in LOADS of their manuals on rifles and in descriptions of our enemies rifles. So, even though it is misused so much, the term wasn't invented by the anti-gun zealots.

  • Bennye St Claire

    03/29/2018 12:41 PM

    Guns - Guns - Guns. It seems to me that bullying is much more important than guns. Well they (The anti-gun nuts) keep saying that the AR-15 is a combat weapon. Well we tried that weapon in Vietnam long enough to find out that the blasted thing froze up at inopportune times and if you happen to get mud in the barrel it could and would blow up, so for those that seem to think this is a combat weapon, dream on. The weapons that we used in combat are much more scary than an AR-15.

  • Rodney Burke

    03/29/2018 12:15 PM

    another fact which stupid left doesn't check. The military version of an AR-15 is an M-16, I was in the Air Force for 20 years and fired that weapon on semi and full auto on the range on almost a yearly basis. The AR-15 is not fully automatic. that is why we can buy it. Like you say, the brain dead left doesn't know that or even bother to ask. If you get down to it, I can asault someone with a .22 or a .410 shotgun. ha, ha!

  • Vernon Freeck

    03/29/2018 12:06 PM

    Just let people know that AR doesn't mean assault rifle, go to the manufacturing or background on its invention

  • Cordell (Corky) Axelson

    03/29/2018 11:34 AM

    Note: Third Paragraph - "...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..."

    I think the words adjustable barrels needs to be modified to adjustable stocks. I know and understand what is being said, but suspect others may not.

    Thanks,

    Corky

  • Stephen Russell

    03/29/2018 10:39 AM

    I say" Live The Cause" before U preach it IE anti gun, pro gun, Prolife, Eco etc.
    Tired of the Damn Lectures by the Left & they Live another way.
    Wrong & Unfair & NOT Taken seriously.
    Lose in Nov, right Lefties.

    ALL Lefties who are Anti Gun should NOT have own personal Gun, OK
    (aside bodyguards for VIPs).
    Then I can hold thier needs

  • Paul T. Sherwood

    03/28/2018 04:16 PM

    The gun controllers will always fail to mention that, according to CDC statistics, many more lives are saved with the defensive use of guns. Also they will not acknowledge that the AR-15 is reported to be one of the best defensive weapons available. It is easy to understand, use and maintain. For home defense it can be easily used by both men and women and even the young because of minimal recoil and it is accurate. I understand that, for many, guns are scary and feared but guns are a deterrent to violence and save lives.