Top 2 Myths About Gun Control

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Top 2 Myths About Gun Control

Quinn Summerville, Reporter

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Gun Control advocates took no hesitation in politicizing a tragedy once again, standing on the graves of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Despite MSNBC’s Katy Tur’s claim that the gun debate is a choice between ‘Kids or Guns’, it is the exact opposite. The entire argument is based upon a misunderstanding of facts. No matter what tone or script a politician uses when manipulating language to benefit their ploy of tricking the public into electing them again, they won’t be able to change what the truth is. So, in tribute to the truth, here are the two most common myths about the Gun Control Debate, explained. 

  1. “…most people can go out and buy an automatic weapon.” said Don Lemon, during talk with radio host Ben Ferguson on Aug. 20, 2014.

To clarify Mr. Lemons baseless accusation, we must first define semi-automatic and automatic weapons. 

The 1968 Gun Control Act defines a semi-automatic as “any repeating rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” Essentially, one trigger pull, one shot. 

The 1934 National Firearms Act defines a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” 

Don Lemon went on to say, “During the theater shooting in Colorado, I was able to go and buy an automatic weapon, and I maybe have shot a gun three, four times in my life. I don’t live in Colorado.” 

Again, Lemon is wrong. 

The gun he bought was an AR15: a semi-automatic gun. “Most people can buy machine guns in lots of states,” Stephen Howard, a lawyer and firearms expert based in Lansing, Michigan said. “But, and this is one of those classic big ‘buts,’ they have to get through a background check by FBI that is as thorough as if you are getting clearance to become a federal agent.” Howard estimates this background checks takes up to six months. “There was a freeze put on them in 1986,” Joseph Olson, recently retired as professor of law at Hamline University, and a former board member of the National Rifle Association, said. “New Jersey representative (William) Hughes had an amendment that limited them to the ones that were registered at that time. There are a bit under 300,000 in circulation.” 

Anyone who wants to own a fully-automatic weapon must find a dealer who possesses not only a Federal Firearms License, but who has also undergone additional background checks as well as paying increased licensing fees. 

“These dealers are referred to as FFL/SOT (special occupational tax) or Class 3 FFL dealers,” Sean Davis of the Federalist explains. “It is a lengthy and burdensome process that requires extensive investigation by ATF.” 

 

  1. “I think the Second Amendment is in the Constitution so that we can have muskets when the British people come over in 1800.”-Rosie O’Donnell

There’s a common argument made from the anti-gun lobby that the 2nd amendment was designed for the weapons that were of the time of it’s drafting, such as muskets and pistols. This argument was made again and again by Rosie O’Donnell, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Rachel Maddow. 

They couldn’t be more wrong. 

When the Second Amendment was already written, multi-shot firearms were already accessible. 

At the time of the Revolutionary War, the Belton Flintlock was already available, and according to Joseph Belton, the inventor, was a weapon that could fire “…sixteen or twenty [balls], in sixteen, ten, or five seconds of time…” As these guns were available to the founders creating the bill of rights, they were perfectly aware of the capability of automatic weapons. To say they couldn’t predict that there would be weapon advancements would ignore their commendable foresight and experience with industrial innovations of the time. 

As we experience the horrifying trials of human conflict, ones that test our intelligence and competence in analyzing errors and finding a solution, it is evident that instead of pointing the finger at the gun, we should instead blame the monster who has their hand on the trigger. Before we politicize tragedy, it is perhaps better we wait for the facts.