On March 24th, 2018 a March was held in response to the recent Parkland High school shooting that happened in Florida, resulting in the death of 17 people including a teacher. The perpetrator was a 19 year old student who was riddled with all kinds of issues in the recent years and months leading up to this event. What sparked this march has to do less with what happened than it does with the fact that happened to begin with. Some say it was the students age, or ability to obtain the gun, some say it had to do with the type of gun he had. Many disagree and would argue that it’s not about how it happened and more about what happened exactly. However, listening to the responses and complaints of so many who attended the march, including those who have been vocal online, I’ve come to a different conclusion.
Speaking with “anti-gun” activists online has given me much insight into what those who attended the “March For Our Lives” believe and why they believe it. They have a variety of beliefs but, some of their loudest rhetoric are statements like “We should ban the Assault Rifles” (what they believe is the AR-15 or as many have mistakenly called it the AK-15…)or, that the 2nd Amendment only applies to "Muskets” or, the more extreme statement that “we should ban all guns including pistols and repeal the 2nd Amendment” which has been growing in popularity among the dissenters. As controversial as it is saying this, having said information I can conclude that most of this march has been spurred on by misinformation and is being fueled by those who take an emotional stance rather than an intellectual one.
Here are 5 of the many myths you’ll hear from anti-gun activists.
Truth : The most obvious reason why this is false is that the “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for “Assault Rifle”. It actually stands for “Armalite Rifle” stemming from the company behind it “ArmaLite” which was founded in 1954, and designed by a weapons designer and former Marine named Eugene Stoner. Their goal when was to create civilian small arms for the commercial market and in turn use that momentum to possibly land Military contracts. This means that the AR-15 is in fact a civilian rifle and is why regular citizens own them.
Another thing we have to consider is this term “Assault Rifle”, what does it actually mean? Well, if we look back into the history of this gun control debate, politicians have used this term to label any rifle that isn’t a “hunting rifle” and has certain cosmetic features like a “pistol grip” or a “detachable magazine”. The truth of the matter is that this phrase was created to make the rifle sound more daunting than what it is and push the agenda of Gun Control through fear, because no one wants to be assaulted right?Any rifle can be an assault rifle. If I can assault you with it then it’s an assault rifle, including hunting rifles. If we go by what the Military considers an “Assault Rifle”, they are rifles that are equipped to shoot fully automatic. By that definition we rule out the AR-15 because most AR-15 rifles do not shoot fully automatic, and the one’s that do are highly regulated (As a side note, the rife used in the Parkland shooting was not a fully automatic rifle and was equipped with only 10 round magazines, which are typically less than what full sized pistols carry).
Truth : The 2nd Amendment was not written for hunting, in fact the 2nd Amendment was written for a far more important reason. The founding fathers knew that the human condition was flawed, that we as humans have a tendency towards evil. They knew that government, who is run by us humans with a tendency towards evil, can ultimately become tyrannical and oppressive towards its people, stripping them of their fundamental freedoms. This is why the 2nd Amendment is specific with its wording.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
There is no mention of hunting in the 2nd Amendment and the context in which it was written and the intent behind it, bears us evidence that hunting was never the target subject in mind. To clarify that further, here is a direct quote from Thomas Jefferson who was on the committee in charge of writing the constitution.
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms… The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. — Thomas Jefferson
Truth : This one is quite simple to debunk actually with some basic logical thinking. The most obvious is the lack of the word “Musket” in the writing of the 2nd Amendment. The founding fathers wrote “the right to bear arms” not “the right to bear muskets”. The dictionary definition of “arms” is any weapon, armament, or ammunition”. That alone should make it obvious that this wasn’t written about Muskets alone. The other underlying premise here is that, during that time, there were no repeating rifles, everything was single shot, and citizens were not allowed to own any advanced weaponry. There’s a problem with that. The Constitution was written and came into effect in 1789 but by then there were already repeating rifles that could out shoot the average musket and the founders had no issue with citizens owning them.
The Belton Flintlock was a Flintlock rifle that was designed in 1777, 12 years before the constitution came into effect. This rifle could shoot upwards of 20 balls of ammo within 5 seconds. During that time this was basically the equivalent of what “anti-gun” activists would call an “assault rifle”.
The Puckle Gun was created and patented about in 1718. That’s roughly 30 years shy from a century before the Constitution came into effect. This was a primitive early gatling gun design.
The Pepperbox revolver was another one of those guns that shot more than one round and were created way before the constitution.
The early Cannon was also another piece of artillery that civilians were allowed to own and this was confirmed even after the constitution took effect by James Madison’s signed letter of marque and reprisal to a citizen that would allow him to own mounted cannons for his ship. Not only was he allowed to own those cannons but he was also given allowed to shoot any enemy vessels if they were spotted. Would you agree that cannons are dangerous and could blow up an entire school? Yet the ownership of this weaponry was still protected under the 2nd Amendment.
I think I’ve hammered home the point here pretty clearly that the 2nd Amendment is not about just owning Muskets, would you agree?
Truth : According to statistics about 99% of all gun crimes (0.1% in states like Mayland and New Jersey) are committed with some kind of pistol. According to police reports the AR-15 is a non-issue.
The Columbine school massacre that left 13 dead and more than 20 wounded did not involve a single rifle. The two shooters were using pistol caliber carbines, 9mm to be exact, which is the same exact caliber used in most pistols on the market today. Mind you, this massacre happened during the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. This means that even a total ban will not stop school shootings or homicides involving guns.
Pistols are more concealable than the AR-15. They can be deployed much more quickly in confined spaces, hold 12–17 rounds on average and can hold upwards of 100 rounds with high capacity magazines depending on the make or model of pistol. Pistols can also be shot very rapidly. A Killer wielding a pistol can wreak just as much havoc as someone with an AR-15, sometimes even more havoc due to its small size in comparison.
So considering all these facts, does this also mean we should ban all pistols? Most would argue “no, of course not” but then point to the AR-15 again even though it’s confirmed that AR-15’s are a non issue when it comes to overall crime usage. Some would outright say “yes, I want all guns banned!” which is extreme but, at the very least those people are consistent.
This belief poses several problems for many reasons. I’ll try to run through a few of them very quickly.
People have been saying that police brutality has been an issue for a long time and have been abusing their power over us. Those same people however want citizens to hand over their guns to the police, who they’ve been saying have been abusing their power. Does that make any sense? How is giving the people, you call abusive, more power going to solve the issue of abuse? If anything it emboldens them to become more abusive because the power gap has widened that much more.
If the police are supposedly more well trained, capable of protecting us, then why did the police, who showed up at Parkland High school, not do anything to stop the shooting early on? Why did the police fail so miserably? Why does law enforcement show up so late? This only proves that law enforcement is not enough to keep us safe and is why more people should carry guns, for events like this one that demands quick action.
Most of the people advocating for gun control were the same people calling Donald Trump (The President of the United States) a “literal Nazi”. So does it make sense to hand over our guns to someone you consider a Nazi?
Two of the most notable recent events in our history give us clear pictures of regular citizens needing their AR-15 to protect themselves and the lives of others. The first is the Sutherland Shooting which occurred on November 5th, 2017. A gunmen walked into a “First Baptist Church” of Sutherland Texas, killed 27 people and, left 20 wounded. This was the 5th most deadly mass shooting in the United States and was nothing short of a massacre. The man who shot and killed the gunmen was an NRA instructor by the name of Stephen Willeford. The gun he used to stop the shooter was an AR-15. He caught the killer as he ran outside of the church, shot him, and the killer was found dead down the road as he road off.
The second is the “ 1992 Rodney King riots in the anti-gun city of Los Angeles. We have footage of Korean store owners sitting on the roofs of their stores, armed with these “assault weapons.” Of all the stores and businesses that were burned to the ground, those were the stores that did not get burned to the ground. Those same people, who were armed with their “assault weapons” were the people that were not dragged into the street and beaten by rioters because, as is obvious, they were well equipped and able to defend their lives.
It’s very clear that regular citizens need their AR-15s. These events are not uncommon, we just don’t don’t hear about them daily. We don’t hear of the many stories of civilians scaring off a thief, or a gang, or a rapist with their pistols and their AR-15s. We don’t hear of the many stories people have been rescued from near death simply because they had their “assault weapon” on them, or someone around them did. We most likely won’t hear of these stories much any time soon either because the fact of the matter is that these stories do not sit well with mainstream anti-gun activists and advocates. None of the facts, statistics, or stories support their agenda, so the best they can do is make up hypothetical scenarios, twist statistics, blow stories out of proportion and systematically position propaganda so that people being to believe that our country as absolutely gone insane.
There is so much misinformation going around right now that it’s impossible to keep up with it all but, these are 5 of the most popular myths I find “anti-gun advocates” repeating time and time again. As we’ve read, there is so much that their arguments do not account for and is why I stated in the beginning that I have come to the proper conclusion that this “Anti-Gun” movement is fueled by nothing more than emotion rather than intellectual arguments.
Talk to you soon, be blessed.