Pittsburgh Gun Control Plan And AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

Paul Muschick:

The reaction to my recent column supporting Pittsburgh’s proposed ban on assault weapons, and calling for a similar ban statewide, was predictable.

There was a passionate and often vile backlash from gun owners who cited the Constitution’s Second Amendment and argued it forbids government from interfering with their right to own firearms.

I was called a traitor, a parasitic person, a shoddy hack, a fool, a Marxist, a leftist reporter, a libtard, a dumb $%& liberal and so on.

Several readers said an AR-15 does not meet the definition of an assault rifle, and that any weapon could be an assault weapon.

They raised a point worth a deeper look. There’s no question that any gun, and countless household objects ranging from knives to hammers, can be used to commit assault. So is it fair and accurate to use the term “assault weapon”? Just what does that mean?

Well, as you’d expect on a topic as touchy as firearms, there are multiple definitions. How expansive the definition is, and whether it includes an AR-15, depends on who is doing the defining.

I used the term because the proposed ordinance in Pittsburgh uses it, and that’s what I was writing about.

The legislation proposed in Pittsburgh defines an assault weapon as: “A selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or a firearm that has the ability to accept a large capacity magazine.”

The definition lists 36 specific “semiautomatic firearms” including “Colt AR-15.”

You can find the complete definition in the proposed ordinance on Pittsburgh’s website, pittsburghpa.gov. Look under “city info” and then “press releases” for the one titled, “Leaders Forward Package of Common Sense Gun Safety Measures.”

In April, a federal judge upheld Massachusetts’ law, ruling that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.

“The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms,’” U.S. District Judge William Young said in his opinion, according to the Associated Press.

Plenty of people disagree with that, so that debate never will end. Neither will the debate over what an assault weapon is, and whether to ban them.

As I said in last week’s column, bans won’t prevent all mass shootings, but they could make them harder to commit and minimize the damage.

I can live with being called a traitor, a hack and a parasite for suggesting that.

The above is just excerpts from the commentary.

It’s a silly law, almost as silly as this commentary.  The formal definition of assault weapon is as follows:

Assault rifles are short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges … Assault rifles have mild recoil characteristics and, because of this, are capable of delivering effective full-automatic fire at ranges up to 300 meters.

The law contradicts itself in its very definition, from first calling it a “selective fire” weapon (which by definition excludes semi-automatic firearms), and then rolling in semi-automatic weapons.

But it’s important not to get too wrapped up in definitions because most readers, as do I, believe that citizens should be armed at least as well as the military.  So let’s don’t worry about what we call it.

Paul commits a formal logical fallacy, to wit, he assumes the accuracy of an opinion based on who believes it, or in other words, the genetic fallacy.  Judges in Nazi Germany believed it was right to send Jews and Christians to the gas chambers too.  The fact that a tyrant believes something is no more proof of its righteousness than my dogs opinion.

Moreover, he’s trafficking in myth-making.  The notion that a ban will make shootings “harder to commit” and “minimize the damage” is just something he made up.  There is no proof of this assertion, and criminals will find a way to perpetrate horrible things regardless of the obstacles in their way.  Some of the worst mass casualties in American history as from explosions intentionally done by the perpetrator (consider Andrew Kehoe and the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan in 1927).

Furthermore, we know that one underreported method to obtain weapons illegally is by targeting LEOs, a tactic frequently employed in Brazil.  The notion that only the LEOs will have access to these weapons is patently false.  Only LEOs and criminals will have access.  The use of such weapons for an individual redounds to self defense, something we know has been employed numerous times with semi-automatic weapons and standard capacity magazines.

There is also the false idea pervading these discussions that a bolt action rifle from a standoff location cannot be used to effect the same casualties, something Charles Whitman proved wrong, and something we know to be wrong from the history of warfare.

Before I close, I want to complain about one more thing.  A pet peeve of mine when people use the word “analog” when they really should have used the word “analogue.”  The two words don’t mean the same thing.  So much for the idiot, U.S. District Judge William Young.


Comments

  1. On December 21, 2018 at 8:28 am, Talktome said:

    Re idiot fed judge who thinks an ar-15 or similar weapons aren’t within that original meaning of the 2A – pray tell learned wise man, what weapons were within the original meaning? Why, oh why do people worship these black robed tyrants?

    Just remember, free men have no duty to adhere to unconstitutional laws.

  2. On December 21, 2018 at 11:15 am, NOG said:

    So lets ask this “learned” reporter for equal rights. Surely he is for equality, right? He used the quote in his story “The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms”. So a computer controlled printing press and its “analogs” (What?) along with wireless media, are simply not tools within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to “free speech”. So to this idiot pretending to be educated, shut up, you have no right to a opinion outside your local neighborhood. See how that works? It’s called a slippery slope for a reason. I would bet this “educated” person has not read what the writers of the US Constitution had to say about the document and/or it would not matter as a distinct lack of critical thinking skills is displayed. Not much of a “learned” person after all, just another useful sheep.

  3. On December 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm, Chip McKeller said:

    If you don’t want to be called a traitor, a parasitic person, a shoddy hack, a fool, a Marxist, a leftist reporter, a libtard, a dumb $%& liberal and so on, don’t act like one. Easy peasy.

  4. On December 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm, Fred said:

    If I ever end up under trial, I want your dog as my judge. Without a doubt, your dog’s ability to apply the Right to Defense and the Laws of God’s created order would be perfectly adapted because it can know no sin and lives in a perfect state of nature, even if that means an occasional mess on the kitchen floor. Smile. The ‘Judge’ on the other hand by comparison, is some clown with 16 or more years of governmental illiteracy written upon his brain’s neural pathways. I would simply tell your dog that I did the next right thing by my (God’s) design specifications taking into account the sum total of my experience to date. At which point the dog would likely say, Good Boy, don’t do it again. Where there is no intent, there is not a crime, except that your negligence cause harm to a real person, so says God’s Holy Word.

    “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” And if nothing else, our State, like Rome and its quisling Sanhedrin (this is the correct understanding of this verse) lives by the sword. If the people are free, why would the State need to fear them; is the self-answering question. There is no crime against the State. Where the State claims such a victimhood is where it exposes the weaknesses of its soft underbelly and its own vulnerabilities. Gentlemen, it’s a blood covenant, this is where to thrust your swords. All rights are born of duties unto a Holy God. You can take my rights away but the duties remain. Pity you don’t know what that means, which leaves me to pity you now, because then, there will be no more time for remorse over you.

    @ProGunFred on Freezoxee

  5. On December 23, 2018 at 2:13 pm, elysianfield said:

    “The legislation proposed in Pittsburgh defines an assault weapon as: “A selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user ” or a firearm that has the ability to accept a large capacity magazine.”

    Or…OR?
    You do understand that this includes ANY magazine fed weapon? Extended magazines can and are made for most in existence. What this allows for is for the assault on any weapon that is magazine fed…I have a Beretta 950…a 5 shot 22 short pocket pistol. Someone, anyone makes an extended magazine for it and it would fall under the proposed law.

    Gun control legislation is only a step closer to full disarmament of the population. Logic, well meaning legislators, weeping mothers notwithstanding….

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You are currently reading "Pittsburgh Gun Control Plan And AR-15s", entry #20362 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) AR-15s,Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published December 20th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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