The push for gun control following the San Bernadino shootings is filled with misinformation, according to columnist Rich Lowry. He takes a look at the “assault weapon” used in the attack that many want outlawed.
From Rich Lowry, Don’t let facts get in the way | Oklahoman.com:
The president and The New York Times, which saw fit to publish a front-page editorial for the first time since it thundered against Warren Harding in 1920, have fastened on the two “assault weapons,” AR-15s, used in the attack. The Times called them “weapons of war, barely modified.” President Obama referred to them as “powerful assault weapons.”
On this question, the left has fallen for its own propaganda. Decades ago, gun-controllers decided to play on the confusion between semi-automatic versus automatic weapons to push for a ban on nasty-looking assault weapons, even though they are, for the most part, functionally indistinguishable from other semi-automatic rifles.
The AR-15 is one of those semi-automatic guns. It isn’t exotic or particularly powerful. It is the most popular rifle in the country. At least 3.5 million are in circulation. It is lightweight, accurate and doesn’t have much of a kick. You wouldn’t use it in combat and, in fact, wouldn’t necessarily use it to hunt. A .223-caliber gun, it is less powerful than many handguns. Some states forbid .223-caliber rifles in deer hunting because they aren’t powerful enough to reliably take down the game.
If gun-controllers know any of this, they hide it well. Nor do they seem to care that a prior version of the assault-weapons ban, in effect in the 10 years after 1994, was wholly ineffectual. A Department of Justice-backed study concluded, “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” (Rifles of all types, let alone assault rifles, are used in gun homicides only rarely.)
The AR-15 looks like the military’s M-16, but it’s a civilian version that is semi-automatic (you pull the trigger for each shot) rather than automatic (firing multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger, like a machine gun). Also, it’s much lighter and is small caliber, essentially a .22.