I am convinced that the most pervasive problem we have in the United States right now, other than our Congress, is the news media. So many misconceptions are created by media sensationalizing and misstating news events to influence readership or followers for the purpose of advertising dollars.
Right now in this country government leaders are sensationalizing a tragedy committed by a deranged youth to pass laws for their own agendas. Talking heads on TV and big headlines in newspapers scream about assault rifles. They are mistaken; assault rifles are not the stock in trade for your average killer. More likely they are used by paramilitary organizations and criminal gangs.
I went to the FBI website and looked up statistics for murders. According to the latest published data, North Carolina in 2011 had 489 murders, 48 of which were committed with handguns, and 5 percent with rifles. California, meanwhile, had 1,790 murders, 48 percent of which were committed with handguns, and 2.5 percent with rifles. In California hands, fists, feet and pushing were used twice as often in murders as rifles.
Assault-style rifles seem to be the least chosen weapon for murders. They may look cool to some folks but they would be most unlikely to be the choice of weapon for bad guys who do not want you to see that they are armed; they would prefer to conceal weapons until actually performing the holdup. So why does our government want to limit the availability and ownership of the least-used weapon in murders? Because of sensational news coverage and the outrage that it’s caused that’s been blown way out of proportion.
Gun crimes are surely a problem, but coming up with better methods of making sure that the people buying guns are not criminals or mentally disturbed people is a better idea. I think we should punish people who use guns to commit crimes rather than the general public who are law-abiding citizens.
It should not matter what the looks or capability of a weapon are as long as it is not used in a crime. What is the problem with a law-abiding citizen having a semiautomatic weapon capable of shooting 30 times if that is what he wants? I would worry more about the criminal drug gang member with an M16 fully automatic rifle than a group of avid hobbyists at a range shooting automatic weapons.
Banning specific types of weapons based on the emotional outrage caused by news events may be expedient for government officials with an agenda, but that does little to uphold and defend our constitution and protect our country.