By Samuel Farley
After two mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs Texas, America is resuming the national debate on gun control.
Democratic leaders such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California have proposed a new assault weapons ban for 2017.
I do not support this bill because it is a blatant attempt to violate the second amendment by passing too broad of a legislation which will be ineffective and leave the American people disarmed.
To understand what is being banned the first thing to know is what is an assault weapon? Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines an assault weapon as any of various automatic or semiautomatic firearms; especially assault rifle.
So then what does the 2017 ban propose?
The ban includes all variants of AK’s and AR’s along with some handguns and shotguns. The ban also includes bump stocks which act as a modification that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire faster. The reason why bump stocks are receiving so much attention is because several of the Las Vegas shooter’s guns had bump stocks on them.
It is important to note that Jill Snyder, a special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, has stated in previous interviews related to the Las Vegas shooting that “Bump stocks simulate automatic fire, but do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically.” Yet, Democrats seem fixed to capitalize on these modifications as they push for further gun control.
The main verbal assault coming from the pro-gun control camp is that inaction cannot continue in this country.
I agree wholeheartedly that inaction is bad, but I cannot bring myself to support a ban that is simply not going to be effective.
Gun owners know that the bump stock modification can be replicated without an actual bump stock. I spoke to a local gun clerk who walked me through the process of making a gun fire faster without a bump stock.
He told me that if you know what you’re doing and have the right gun, You can modify it to fire faster regardless of a bump stock. Another contributing factor is if a person regularly trains with a firearm, they can increase their reaction time and trigger speed.
The end result is that banning modifications to guns is not a solution. That is why Democrats want to ban these guns out right. Unfortunately, Feinstein’s plan to ban these guns is not going stop people from committing crimes with guns.
What it will do is stop law abiding citizens from owning them. Fully automatic weapons are extremely hard to poses because they’re expensive and require an almost spotless record. After the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act was signed by Ronald Reagan, all automatic firearms made after that date became illegal to the general public.
Citizens can legally own automatic firearms but they must predate the 1986 act. The gun must also be sold by a class 3 FFL dealer who is licensed by the A.T.F. to sell these kinds of weapons. Because these guns are so rare they are sold at extremely high prices ranging in the thousands of dollars, gun owners in general don’t own these weapons.
The push to ban the AR-15, which is a semi-automatic civilian rifle, is not going to help prevent mass shootings because the weapons that Democrats fear so much are already regulated.
The real question I believe is not if we have enough gun laws, but rather are officials following protocol to keep guns out of the wrong hands?
Devin Kelley was the shooter at the rural church in Sutherland springs. He had a history of domestic violence for which he was court-martialed for during his time in the Air Force. The Air Force failed to follow existing laws when they did not put Kelly into an FBI database.
James Mattis has ordered the Pentagon’s inspector general to investigate how the military is doing with regards to updating data bases on violent offenders in the armed forces.
But rather than focus on these issues, Democrats seem to think that simply prohibiting assault weapons will solve our problem. The simple truth is that criminals will always find a way to get their hands on weapons.
Broad bands like Feinstein’s is not common sense gun control.
It’s simply control.
The way forward for our nation is to create a culture which is educated about guns and active shooter situations. Instead of feeling threatened by guns, people should know how to use them properly to protect themselves and others.
America should refuse the narrative that gun owners are simply raging red necks who want to shoot stuff up. Our second amendment is important because it allows people to protect themselves.
— Samuel Farley is a journalism major and a staff writer.