These are responses that I submitted to various Committees regarding the 2nd Amendment:
“From my cold dead hands”
There’s no other way to explain it. At this point, to try to restrict access to semi-automatic rifles is going to prove ineffective as there are plenty out there after a century of mass production.
Before I go into a straight answer, I wish to state, clearly and directly, this country needs more gun education. This isn’t a “should we” issue. We have sex education in school, why do we not have “Gun Education”? Bear with me. I have been around guns all my life. I have had them held to my head while my friends were being robbed. I have hunted. I carried one for a year straight, day in and day out, while I was deployed to Bosnia. I knew my weapon and therefore never felt nervous around it.
What we have today is a society where people are purchasing guns to feel safe, but not spending the proper amount of time learning how to clean, maintain, and effectively utilize their firearms. Kids hold 9 mm’s to the side because it looks cool. Well, the only reason it looks cool is because they’ve no idea what they are doing. Teach kids how to disassemble, clean, oil, and re-assemble firearms before the eighth grade. I bet every class would have perfect attendance. It is also my opinion that operator failure related incidents a.k.a. accidental shootings would decrease.
However, back to semi-automatic rifles, the real issue at hand comes down to the popular models of AR-15 and AK-47. These are the gang weapons, real collectors know that there are far better and more powerful weapons out there. (Side note: a lot of us are used to the AR15 because of the nearly identical military M16.)
The problem is, they are too cheap. When an individual can purchase a semi-automatic rifle for less than the down payment on a brand new vehicle, there is something wrong with that. Especially when just a single carjacking can provide a criminal with enough cash to purchase such a rifle, to keep prices so low is a mistake. The most efficient method at this point would be to create a tax on high capacity magazines and rifles to increase current costs anywhere from 5 to 6 times the cost. Bullet production should be split into different types. A cheaper material for practice shooting could be used to help mitigate training costs.
While this may put some individuals off at first, please bear with this logic. First, any individual who currently owns 2 or 3 rifles in this category will find that they have just now made a huge profit. Corporations that produce these weapons will rake in huge profits, while at the same time they will slow down production, to keep the market in check. Provide incentives in documentation of sales for owners, penalties for failing to file a sale. You have to let the DMV know when you sell a car, same thing here. Require the presence of a notary to authorize transfers perhaps. There’s a lot more that can be expanded on this, but for now my position is clear. You’re not going to keep Americans from their weapons. Stop trying.