Letter: Getting the facts straight

Getting the facts straight

I believe you are confused when it comes to the details of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban. You claim, “We firmly stand against the ownership of military-style, semi-automatic weapons for private use.” Then, you go on to say “A gun designed for rapid firing is only meant for killing mass numbers of individuals quickly and efficiently.”

This is my first of many problems with your editorial. It is important to understand that a semi-automatic firearm fires only one shot when the trigger is pulled and is perfectly legal and common. It does not “spray fire.” Many people, however, confuse semi-automatic with full-automatic, but there is a world of difference between the two.

Fully automatic guns, commonly referred to as “machine guns,” fire multiple bullets with a single pull of the trigger and have been heavily restricted since 1934. With this in mind, your editorial brings up “loopholes” that allow modifications to enable semi-automatic firing of weapons.

In all reality, the intent of the 1994 assault weapons ban was to make “military looking” firearms illegal. The banned guns were no more powerful than the guns that have been legal for the past 10 years. They both shoot the exact same bullets.

According to the NRA-ILA’s fact sheet, violent crime in the United States has actually declined 12 straight years, 35 percent overall, and is at a 27-year low. Murder rates are the lowest they have been since the mid-1960s. At the same time, the number of privately-owned firearms rises by five million a year. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the “assault weapons” ban and other gun control schemes, and found “insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.”

I could go on and on, but that is not the objective of this letter. I only hope that the next time the editorial board writes an opinion on such an important issue, the facts are checked. Maybe as these “semi-automatic conversion kits” are being shipped across the country, the board will have time to do so.

Dan Skinner

sophomore in ACES