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Preventing mass murders in the US

If you could somehow could gather up and melt down every AR-15 or AK-47 clone in the United States, you would have virtually no success in preventing mass murders. My guess is that they’d occur about as frequently as they do now.

But the gun control advocates say that if we could just get “military assault rifles” out of the hands of nutcases, we’d be home free, right?

That demonstrates how clueless they are.

Where to start? Perhaps by noting I don’t own an “assault rifle” and have no desire to possess one. It has been decades since I pulled a trigger. I don’t belong to the National Rifle Association. White supremacist groups make me angry.

Enough proof I’m not a “gun nut?”

Before you hop on the bandwagon regarding a ban on “assault rifles,” consider:

– Most murders in the United States are committed with pistols, not rifles of any kind.

– There are as many as 10 million AR-15 clones in the United States already. You’re not going to get anywhere near all of them.

– They’re popular for both good and bad reasons. First, the bad: There are folks out there who want an AR-clone so they can pretend to be soldiers. They ought to enlist in the Army, instead.

But there are good reasons, too: The .223-caliber ammunition AR-clones use is relatively inexpensive. And if you want a good, reliable rifle, how can you beat a model endorsed, in effect, by the Army?

– Perhaps the most important point about “assault rifles” is this: They are not the type of gun favored by genuine “survivalists.” Folks who want to ensure they survive a mass act of violence — natural or human — favor .22-caliber rifles. Why? The ammunition is dirt cheap (4-5 cents a round) and can be found anywhere.

Confiscate every high-powered rifle in the country, and the homicidal maniacs will just turn to .22s.

– The point is that lunatics who want to kill people will find ways to do so.

– As far as inanimate objects — firearms — being the problem, think about this: If I really wanted to mow down a lot of people, wouldn’t I use a true machine gun? Contrary to what the gun control crowd wants you to believe, civilian models of the AR-15 are not fully automatic. “Bump stocks” can be used to make them sound like machine guns, but the real thing is much deadlier.

There are an estimated 638,000 true machine guns in the United States. If evil firearms are the problem, why don’t we hear of machine guns being used in mass killings? After all, they tend to be owned by the real gun enthusiasts we’re supposed to fear.

Machine gun ownership is tightly regulated and quite expensive. If you own one, Uncle Sam probably knows about it.

– There are an estimated 393 million firearms in America. About 40% of households have at least one.

So why aren’t there more mass killings?

Because deranged — or evil — human beings, not guns, are the problem.

Again, I’m not a gun nut. My life probably wouldn’t change if every gun in the country was confiscated.

But I am worried about violence, and that’s precisely why it upsets me that we aren’t thinking more about solving the human aspect of the problem. Until we tackle that problem — much tougher than regulating guns — the death toll will keep rising.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

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