I'd like to submit this piece in hopes of throwing a bit of light onto the hot controversy surrounding prospective gun control legislation. It would seem that the terminology itself is confusing...both by intention and through ignorance. Since I am professionally engaged in the firing range industry, I'd hope that my advocacy might have some purchase...at least with those honestly confused and not ideologically rigid.
LETHALITY (not appearance) is the real gun issue. Semi-automatic and automatic weapons are military and police tools. They were designed to kill the enemy as quickly and efficiently as possible. Any distinction is academic between Semi- and Automatic weaponry. "Conversion kits," readily available on the grey-market, easily can reconfigure a semi- into an automatic weapon.
Definitions: A SEMI-automatic weapon automatically ejects the spent cartridge and automatically rechambers the next bullet. But you must pull the trigger for each shot. A fully AUTOMATIC weapon (ex: AK-47, Browning M2E2, UZI, HK-417) does all of the above, plus it will keep firing as long as you pull and hold the trigger, until the magazine is exhausted. (By the way, only Automatics are true "assault weapons." I wish our legislators would get their terminology straight. They leave a loophole large enough for the NRA's Wayne LaPierre to slither through!)
Neither style weapon — nor its accoutrements (30 > 50-round magazines, 100-round drums, unjacketed or hollow-point bullets, stockpiled ammunition -- have any business in the hands of civilians. (If one wants to outfit themselves with such an arsenal, I suggest they join a WELL-REGULATED Militia — as detailed in the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution)...the Marine Corps, the Army infantry, the Seals, Delta Force, the Virginia National Guard, or any big-city police SWAT team.)
For self and property protection, competitive and recreational target shooting, the hunting, skeet, and trap sports — a well-trained gun owner has no need whatever for semis- or automatics. These guns — because of their inherent lethality — have become choice Weapons of Mass Destruction for unstable mass murderers. They should be banned outright to the civilian gun owner community. Yes...that may well harm a very profitable part of the arms industry. So be it.
Just as important, the ATF Bureau must grow some teeth, backbone, and two more private parts. Their "regulation" of the gun trade, reporting requirements, background checks, etc. is a sick joke. They — and a supine Congress — make one wonder: for whom do they really work?
This note might appear that I'm anti-gun. Far from it...I'm in the business of supplying ballistic rubber media to firing ranges. This material safely encapsulates the fired projectile and its byproducts; lead dust, ricochet shrapnel, back-splatter. Many new and renovated ranges now are opening to provide live instruction in responsible gun ownership and to train owners to qualify for open-carry permits. I totally support both goals.
Jesse Clear, Owner/Principal
Rubber Mulch Is US LLC
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