LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It’s not the guns

Dear Editor,

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much which isn’t true.” – Ronald Reagan on October 27, 1964

“Assault” is an interesting word. Many politicians talk about wanting to ban “assault” weapons, but they do not tell us what the word means. Facts are also interesting things.

Many more people in the United States are killed as a result of being assaulted by hands, feet, knives, 2X4’s, screwdrivers and other objects than by rifles of any type. Is there any attempt to ban “assault hands,” “assault feet,” “assault screwdrivers?” I think not!

The number one cause of gun deaths in the United States is suicide. The vast majority of the remainder involve drugs and gang violence. Only a small number of these are committed using a rifle of any kind. Want some real numbers? According to FBI statistics, in 2019, the last year for which there are complete statistics, there were 10,258 firearm-related murders in the US. Of those, only 364 involved rifles of any type – only a small percentage of which were identified as “assault-type” or “assault-style” rifles. 

There was an “assault weapons ban” in effect in the US from 1994 until 2004. According to factcheck.org, hardly a right wing site, “The final report concluded the ban’s success in reducing crimes committed with banned guns was “mixed.” Gun crimes involving assault weapons declined. However, that decline was “offset throughout at least the late 1990s by steady or rising use of other guns equipped with [large-capacity magazines].” In other words, the last “assault weapons ban” had a negligible effect on gun deaths. Incidentally, Republicans did not repeal the law; it had a 10 year sunset, and Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – did not renew it. Why? Because it made virtually no difference is gun deaths.

For the uninformed letter writer, an AR-15 is not an “assault weapon!” My 11 year old grandson has a .22 rifle. It is a semi-automatic, which means it fires one .22 calibre round every time he pulls the trigger. I have an AR-15, which incidentally stands for “Armalite Rifle Model 15.” It is a semi-automatic, which means it fires one .223 calibre (virtually the same size as a .22) round every time I pull the trigger. If I am an expert firing 2 rounds per second, I can only shoot 20 rounds (10 seconds) before I have to reload because my magazine only holds 20 rounds. Generally speaking, a 30 round magazine is about as large as most people see. At 2 rounds per second, in 15 seconds the shooter would need to reload. Even if the ammunition used is 5.56, it still only fires one round every time the trigger is pulled. The idea these rifles fire 500 to 600 rounds per minute is preposterous! Machine gun ownership was banned by the National Firearms Act in 1934!

I guess my guns are defective; none of them has ever assaulted anyone. Of course, any reasonable-thinking individual knows a gun cannot assault anyone; only a shooter can. In 2019, 3.5% of shooters committing murder used a rifle – “assault” or not.

We have a mental health problem in this country! Gender dysphoria being pushed by the current Administration is simply adding to the problem, as is evidenced the fact a large percentage of non-gang related mass shooters in the US have some form of gender dysphoria. Parents need to be more involved with their children, and school personnel need to take a more active role in attempting to seek out these mental issues.

Cain killed Abel with a rock. Jim Jones killed 900 people with Kool Aid. It is not the guns!


Charles E. Saverance

Lamar, SC  

Author: Stephan Drew

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