Should We Ban Assault Rifles?

              I normally don’t watch the Democratic debates because it’s still too early in the primary season and no matter who ends up with the nomination I’m going to vote blue every, single time. You see, I have this congenital physical ailment which when I get into a voting booth and reach for the Republican lever, my arm gets paralyzed and I can’t vote. I’m a bone fide gun nut and a yellow-dog Democrat and I’m proud of both.

              So I didn’t watch the debate last night but I did happen to see commentaries about the exchange between Buttigieg and Beto over Beto’s call for a mandatory buyback of AR-15’s. As I understand it, the media has decided that the Democrats are split between a ‘middle’ led by Joe and a ‘radical’ led maybe by Bernie, maybe by Warren, maybe by Ocasio, blah, blah, blah and blah. And the media has further decided that Buttigieg is somewhere in the middle while Beto is somewhere on the extreme. And what the media has decided is the acid test for where these two guys perch is over the issue of getting rid of AR-15’s.

              Now who would have ever thought that any kind of gun issue would be used to define the basic stance of the candidate who wants to lead the blue ticket in the national election next year?  I can see defining the candidates on something like universal health care, or whether or not to ‘tax the rich,’ or some other issue which hits in the middle of the must-do zone. But guns?

              Anyway, the argument between Buttigieg and Beto erupted because the kid from Texas has opted for a mandatory buyback of assault rifles, while Buttigieg wants to try and remain somehow relevant to Gun-nut Nation by saying that we can ask but shouldn’t require that gun owners turn over those lethal guns. And the way that Buttigieg is framing the argument is to challenge Beto to explain exactly how he is going to force assault-rifle owners to turn over their guns.

              Beto doesn’t yet have a plan to invoke the coercive authority of the government to get rid of all those black guns, but why should he be made to come clean on this issue when Liz Warren has promised to reduce gun violence by 80 percent without yet producing any plan at all? And let me tell you something about Lizzie; she produces position papers on just about everything under the sun. But so far we still don’t know how 120,000 fatal and non-fatal gun injuries each year will be cut down to 20,000 or less. So why should we expect Beto to explain how the government will pick up and throw out some crummy, semi-automatic guns?

              If this is the best that Buttigieg can do to vault himself ahead of Beto in the polls, I think he should go back to South Bend and figure out to keep the city parks neat and clean. That’s what municipal mayors are paid to do – collect the garbage, sweep the streets, make sure that everyone scoops up their doggie doo-doo, essential city services like that.  If someone asked me to go out and campaign for Buttigieg after he challenged Beto on something as stupid as whether an assault weapon buyback should be mandatory or not, to quote my old friend Jimmy Breslin, rather I should go lay brick.

              Mandating or not mandating a buyback of assault rifles isn’t going to make any great difference in how we deal with the violence caused by guns. What a buyback does, mandated or not, is to keep the issue of gun lethality where it belongs, namely, whether people understand the risks inherent in owning certain kinds of guns.

If you want to own an assault rifle and assume the risk, that’s fine. We all do risky things every day. But anyone who tells you that an AR-15 is just another ‘sporting’ gun is either lying or doesn’t know anything about guns.

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9 thoughts on “Should We Ban Assault Rifles?

  1. I broke down and watched all three hours, since my wife is on vacation and I had to put the dog down the other day so the house was pretty lonely. So I invited all 12 of them into the kitchen.

    I wouldn’t blame Pete for this dustup. Its Beto who is trying to vault his candidacy over a couple percent by grandstanding on AR confiscation or as Buttageig says, promoting a shiny object.

    There is middle ground on this, such as requiring an NFA type license rather than intensifying the culture war on guns with threats to go knocking on people’s door to, as a certain Senator once said, ensure that Mr. and Mrs. America turn them in. Meanwhile, rifles of all types make up a tiny fraction of America’s gun problem compared to some handguns; this hysterical debate takes away from two things. One, drastically reducing GV by attacking it more strategically and two, dealing with many of the economic and social issues that make the occasional American acquire and point a gun at someone else for all the wrong reasons.

    Agree that ARs are not like any other gun, hence why we should seriously talk about the fact that they have been legal for a half century, there are roughly 10-20 million out there (with big error bars on that number), occasionally, one of them causes mass carnage, and there may be a way to solve that problem without a silly season on TV. We don’t hear about machine gun mass shootings since you have to be a pretty dedicated gun nut to buy one. As for me, given what I do for a living, Uncle Same trusts me with far bigger game than a black rifle. But I’ve been willing to jump through all the hoops to earn that trust. Perhaps gun owners who want unfettered access to whatever they want should be willing to jump through a few hoops as well. It used to be called a social contract, before that became a bad word.

  2. Should We Ban Assault Rifles?

    What is an “Assault Rifle” and how exactly does it differ from any other Semiautomatic Rifle?

    …Even Mike (the Anti-Gun) “Gun guy” can’t answer that question…Which is WHY he helped write the new “Assault weapons law” (that they are trying to get passed in Florida) so VAGUE that it would in fact BAN ALL SEMIAUTOMATIC LONG GUNS including your Grandpa’s old .22

    • If (and this is a big IF, you know fake news and all) the articles report on what Mike said in reference to “assault weapons” is correct…it doesn’t surprise me.

  3. You say “Beto doesn’t yet have a plan to invoke the coercive authority of the government to get rid of all those black guns…” I believe I have the answer for Beto. Pass legislation to close down ALL gun stores (that includes your store Mike). Have government take over the sale of any firearm (firearms are regulated by government so why not have them sell them). This way government can vet any and all people who are interested in the purchasing of a firearm. Government will have all the records of the persons who have firearms and if their is a problem government knows where to go. Sounds to me as sensible as any proposal I have ever heard up to this point.

  4. You do realize mike doesn’t sell guns at his gun store, right?

    Kind of a unique situation.

    But, it also may explain a lot too.

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