Features on so-called assault weapons are mostly cosmetic

Feb 18 2013 - 4:56pm



In response to the letter of Feb. 17, "Only military need high firepower weapons," I am one of the "brainwashed by the NRA" people who try to introduce facts to the "brainwashed by Obama" people.

First, the assertion that recent shootings could have been avoided if the AR-15 was banned, the Newtown killings were committed by a gun that was already banned by that state, the Virginia Tech massacre was committed with pistols, and the Columbine massacre was committed in the middle of the last assault-weapons ban. Yes, the Aurora shootings were committed with a so-called "assault weapon," but the only reason President Obama didn't shamefully politicize that one was because it happened during an election year.

The second false assertion is that the AR-15 has greater "high fire power." Say what?  A semi-automatic is a semi-automatic; one pull of the trigger, one shot. Minor differences in recoil or trigger ease means 50 rounds per minute versus 45. The real facts are that Congress defined "assault weapons" in 1993 as weapons having a collapsible stock, muzzle flash suppressor, and pistol grip; cosmetic features that have absolutely nothing to do with lethality.

And finally, the laughable charge that AR-15s can be bought and resold to Mexican drug cartels and that they are responsible for "thousands of killings," the only assault weapons that Mexican drug cartels received were those that were walked across the border by the Obama administration during Operation Fast and Furious. Those guns were probably responsible for thousands of deaths in Mexico, but the facts in America are that total killings by any "assault" weapon since 2004 is 385; less than 1 percent of all gun crimes.

I suggest we get off this gun control kick and start addressing the real problems of gun violence: the violent culture fomented by Hollywood and video games, the breakdown of religion and family values, and the failure of mental health programs.

In the meantime, if President Obama really wants to stop the sale of firearms, I suggest he resign.  A world record 12 million guns have been purchased by Americans since 2008. Problem solved!

Gary Cole



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