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I doubt that I’m the only American who was perturbed by your point of view. While loudly decrying and condemning the political trickery of the insidious socialists and authoritarians in our midst, you have now written and published an influential piece to further their agenda.
As an American Jew, and the founder of “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership” (JPFO), I believe that I can offer a unique perspective on the dangerous fallacies of “gun control”. I would hope that I might get you to reconsider your present stance.
You seem to be, as are many well meaning Americans, ignorant of certain aspects of world and U.S. history. You are, as are many, also significantly misinformed of some critical facts of life within the present day U.S. law enforcement community.
Most disturbingly, you seem to also misunderstand the true intent of the Second Amendment, the very cornerstone of The Bill of Rights. Perhaps more than anyone in this nation, you make full use of the First Amendment every day you are on the air, and every time someone accesses your web page. That you seem to have failed to make a connection between the Second and the First is disheartening. I invite you to view a JPFO production: “2A Today for the U.S.A” . It is a free download. It is perhaps the best explanation of the Second Amendment available to Americans today.
So, herein, I would like to counter your ill conceived assertions and, at the same time, make my case for why high capacity semi automatic rifles must remain available to Americans.
First, I must chide you on your use of the phrase “assault rifle”. It betrays either an ignorance of firearms, or you are knowingly using one of the gun prohibitionists’ pet deceptions.
Please realize that every time you use the term “assault rifle” you are using an emotionalized buzz word that has been purposefully mutated and distorted, and then injected into mainstream media jabber and political parlance by the likes of your close friends Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, William Jefferson Clinton, Sarah Brady, Eric Holder, and legions of their socialist ilk.
In fact, the present day purposeful mis-usage of the term “assault rifle” was the 1988 brainchild of venal gun prohibitionist and propagandist Josh Sugarmann. He openly declares in his own book why the deceptive nomenclature is so effective. Sugarmann says:
“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons."
-Josh Sugarmann, Assault Weapons and Accessories in America, 1988
For all intents and purposes, American citizens CANNOT own actual assault rifles. An assault rifle is a firearm that has a select fire option that allows it to operate as a fully automatic machine gun.
You may chalk this up as nit picking, but it is not.
Why? Because here is an important question: Can the police arm themselves with fully automatic rifles, actual assault rifles?
Of course! And they now do so with increasing regularity. Absolutely no one is stopping them!
Can the huge majority of Americans arm themselves with fully automatic rifles?
No, they cannot. Fully automatic rifles were made, for all intents and purposes, pragmatically illegal by the Firearms Act of 1934.
Yes, you can own a machine gun if you are willing to pay a $200 tax, and then find a pre 1986 full auto machine gun, and then shell out the exorbitant price for such a hard to find gun. So even licensed machine gun owners can’t get their hands on the hardware that your local cop shop can locate and easily acquire with a direct query to an agency like Homeland Security and/or BATFE.
Next in your opinion brief, you go on to infer that the police are “outgunned”. This is simply not true. In fact, it is a blatant lie that you have been duped into believing.
I repeat, the federal government, especially since 9-11, stands ready to fund the supply of both semi automatic and fully automatic rifles to police authorities. Many cops now drive around with semi automatic rifles within arms reach in their patrol cars. Chicago has instituted this policy. See, Huffington Post.
Every cop on the seven man Jasper, Florida police department packs a fully automatic M-16 in the patrol car! If the little town of Jasper can do it, no other municipality in America should find it difficult to follow suit. Read about this here, World Net Daily Article.
The transition to semi automatic rifles is really no more complex or difficult than the transition from revolvers to semi automatic pistols the police have almost universally made over the last two decades. Give the cops the guns. Teach them how to use them. It is being done all over America. Los Angeles was way ahead of the curve on this trend.
So “outgunned” is a red herring, Michael. Don’t be suckered.
The next important correction to your opinion brief: You infer that there is a “flood” of illegal semi automatic weapons being smuggled across our inarguably porous borders. Wrong. They are being made in America at this very moment. As fast as American factories can turn them out! Why? Because Americans by the millions NOW WANT THEM.
Maybe visions of Korean-Americans standing guard on their Los Angeles rooftops with AK-47 type semi auto rifles put some ideas in our minds. Ravaging looters were held at bay (and some killed) and many of the Korean stores were the only buildings left un-plundered in entire blocks. Other than the fact that Koreans are notorious for not messing around, I wonder why.
With America and the world in the first stages of a global financial meltdown, is such civil unrest likely to be repeated in America in the near future? Do you even need to answer that one?
These guns (semi auto rifles) aren’t being smuggled into America in any great numbers. The AR-15 style semi auto is legally manufactured by at least ten different firms in the U.S. Smith & Wesson makes one, Remington makes one, and Colt has been making them for decades. The AK style semi autos are mostly made abroad, but legally imported. However, there are also several U.S. manufacturers of the AK style semi auto. (Keep that image of the defiant Korean store owner in your head.)
Next, you use a deceptively simplistic quote: “Well, Mike, if we’re armed with these weapons, the government can’t possibly take our rights away.”
Nothing guarantees our freedom with complete assurance. Nothing. Our task as Americans is to make the theft of our freedom an extremely risky and bloody task for would-be tyrants. Nothing has changed in the more than two hundred years we’ve operated under the Bill of Rights. Human folly and deceit remains the same … it’s just being televised.
You are correct that a single person can’t make a successful stand against a corrupted government.
However, I should remind you that there are an estimated 65 MILLION gun owners (owning more than 200 million firearms) in America. Some quite neutral authorities estimate there may be a firearm in almost every other house in the United States. Read more here.
Suppose the state of affairs in this nation became so intolerable that “They” came to get YOU? (For that matter, wouldn’t you be the VERY FIRST guy on their list?)
Having said that, you would obviously want us in the streets loudly protesting. Unarmed, at first.
But at what point during your incarceration and “re-education” would you appreciate the fact that many of us were willing to take up arms to see you released? Men have been lynched by armed mobs … and men have been freed by armed mobs.
Or, in another not-so-unlikely event, what if house-to-house gun searches and confiscations (as were conducted by malicious governments throughout the entire 20th Century) start up here in America, in the land of the free? Michael, it has already happened, during Hurricane Katrina.
What do gun confiscations far too often lead to? Genocide. Mass murder. Please take a moment to study the easy-to-understand “Genocide Chart” that JPFO carefully researched and compiled. Trust me, it is a wake up call.
The first few victims of American gun sweeps would be hauled off for hiding their firearms or not meeting the registration check lists, but word of such events would spread like wild fire. Maybe the nation would hear about it from you first.
At some point, the jack boots would be met with force … quite likely a very significant force, from all directions. That is the key point you overlook in your blithe dismissal: FROM ALL DIRECTIONS. To be more accurate, from potentially 65 MILLION directions.
What if the American government ever “goes bad” and becomes a police state? That tyrannical government, IF it could enlist the willing support of every American soldier and every American cop (which is thankfully doubtful), could field perhaps a total of 1.5 million armed personnel. These duped soldiers and cops would have to go to their jobs each day facing a bare minimum of 10 MILLION very, very motivated and angry armed American citizens. The other 55 million would sit on the fence waiting, with their guns, to see which way the tide was flowing.
Additionally, you must logically ask WHY the present government is so obsessively committed to “gun control”. If our government has become so overpowering, so omnipotent, and it’s a waste of our time to even imagine resisting tyranny, then why do “They” even worry about the citizens being armed?
And why did the political regimes that committed genocide though the history of the 20th Century, first REGISTER and then CONFISCATE firearms before marching unarmed masses off to killing fields?
If an armed government is so omnipotent, why have so many armed governments gone to the effort and expense of gun confiscation?
The Turks did it to the Armenians. Lenin did it to Russians. Hitler did it to many Germans and all Jews. Stalin gave Russians a horrific double dose. And Mao, the world record holding mass murderer, did it to Red China.
Michael, I understand that you support the police in America. So do I. But don’t let your loyalty to the men and women in blue cloud your thinking.
Police are “public servants”. That makes us, in the final analysis, their masters. This is a somber realization, but Americans must face this responsibility. We are their masters. They work for us. Let them have their semi auto rifles. Gladly. Let them even have their fully automatic machine guns. But that doesn’t mean they can dictate public policy, and deny us the same right to personal self defense. Your or my life is NOT less important than the life of a police officer.
When the police make the laws, it’s call a “Police State”.
A huge and overwhelming majority of American gun owners salute the incredibly difficult job our police officers perform each day. But if we allow laws that result in the registration and confiscation of significant self defense weapons, and misguided cops march out to enforce those laws, you will see Americans turn on those police officers with a resentment that you cannot even imagine. Then we can talk about “outgunned”.
Aaron Zelman – Founder and Director JPFO