The Gun Gap


Over the weekend, I had a chance to discuss with an acquaintance firearms and the current controversy surrounding them. This friend falls into the “not a fan” category when it comes to private ownership of anything powerful enough to stun a squirrel. During the course of our discussion, I realized that he also falls into the “doesn’t really know much about firearms” category; he joins nearly every liberal on the planet in that ignorance.

My friend continually referenced the availability of “automatic weapons with high-capacity clips.” I responded that those do sound awfully intimidating, and it’s a good thing they’ve been illegal in this country — excepting a tiny number of special permit-holders — for decades. He looked stunned, more so when I explained that “high-capacity clips” don’t really exist.

That’s the understanding gap that plagues the United States regarding gun politics; it isn’t a simple lack of communication between “pro-“ and “anti-.” The anti-liberty leadership has been lying to and frightening their supporters so effectively and for so long that the “anti-“ group has no idea what it’s actually protesting against. President Barack Obama and his accomplices are not trying to ban automatic weapons; those are already tightly controlled. For those of you who dismiss my argument as focusing on minutiae, I would respond by pointing out that focusing on minutiae and disseminating erroneous information are the essence of the liberal position on gun control.

It’s difficult to take seriously the Democrats’ fear and hatred of firearms if their rhetoric belies a lack of understanding of the subject. While “clip-fed” weapons do exist, they aren’t particularly plentiful, they aren’t particularly “high-capacity” and they certainly aren’t “automatic.” An M-1 Garand is clip-fed; but its capacity is limited to 10 rounds, and it weighs a relative ton. The ones owned legally by private citizens are also only capable of firing one round per trigger pull, meaning they are no more “automatic” than a .22 pistol. Furthermore, banning “military characteristics” like pistol grips may seem productive, but banning cosmetic effects would be about as useful in stopping crime as banning cars with spoilers would be in stopping the auto accidents that kill far more Americans each year than madmen with guns. Sure, you might clear out a few of those Lamborghinis favored by drug dealers, Hollywood blowhards and South Beach Eurotrash types; but mostly, you’d be ruining the weekend projects of a country full of teenagers who have seen too many Vin Diesel movies.

Should the left wish to be taken seriously on the subject of so-called “gun control,” perhaps it should reconsider not only the information on which it bases its prejudices but also the people who speak for it. I remain mystified by the idea that disgraced British gossip columnist and eternally smug peacock Piers Morgan has taken a leading role in the liberal anti-liberty passion play. The fact that Morgan is a mouthy twerp with clear disdain for America and Americans really isn’t material. The fact that Morgan is a moron really is. In an exchange on Twitter, Morgan pressed the liberal case against guns by inventing a new firearm and caliber.

…(Adam Lanza) used a Bushmaster .233 AR-15 assault rifle… Do you understand how a modified AT-15 behaves? It can fire up to 6 bullets a second, like a M-16 military assault rifle. Wise up.

Oh, my.

The Newtown, Conn., massacre that spurred on the liberals’ latest assault on the Bill of Rights tore into our sense of calm weeks ago. Since that time, the Democrats have proposed everything from forced registration to outright confiscation. Not one of those proposals would have prevented Newtown any more than similar draconian measures have made Chicago any safer. With sock puppets like Morgan leading the anti-Bill of Rights cheering section, at best, the gun grabbers think that forcing me to turn in my AR-15 will somehow avert tragedies elsewhere. At worst, they’re proposing non-existent solutions to the wrong problems. Classifying weapons as possessing “military characteristics” and then banning them based on that classification is ludicrous. My AR-15 isn’t a military weapon; it’s a replica of a military weapon. Anti-Constitutionalists like Morgan and Senator Dianne Feinstein don’t understand the difference; subsequently, they either can’t or won’t recognize that their demands will produce only one effect: more victims. And my friend (along with quite a few other people) doesn’t understand the difference… yet.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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