Photo by Bexar Arms on Unsplash

Just Ban Semi-Automatic Weapons; Just Ban Them Finally

All those Rambo wannabees who insist it is their beloved second amendment right to own an AR-15 style, semi-automatic assault weapon have been bought and packaged by the gun companies and the NRA. They just don’t know it even though it shouldn’t be so hard to understand that they are being used. In fact, they should be used to being used by grifters whose name is spelled trump.
So here we are again, in the aftermath of yet another slew of mass shootings with semi-automatic assault weapons as the preferred instrument of death. We could just ban them but it’s like trying to convince those same red-blooded, MAGA types that trump really isn’t what they want him to be.
There is no federal assault weapons ban, but a familiar chorus of Democrats are calling for such a ban while a predictable gaggle of Republicans are ready to man the barricades so their constituents know they are on the side of God.
I will scream if I hear one more wahoo insist that they use their semiautomatic assault rifle to hunt deer. The semiautomatic assault weapon is a civilian version of military assault weapons. It is not significantly different even though proponents cynically label the non-military variety as “modern sporting rifles.”
Military assault weapons can be fired fully automatic, with one pull of the trigger. The semiautomatic civilian assault rifle requires the trigger to be pulled for each round fired. Military assault weapons were designed and developed for a specific military purpose — laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone, also known as “hosing down” an area.
Civilian assault weapons are designed in a similar way to allow spray-firing while quickly drawing on the trigger. Semi-automatic weapons also automatically reload.
That is why they are favored by terrorists, mass killers, and violent criminals, who want to kill or maim as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, the same purpose for which the semiautomatic military assault weapon was designed.
An AR-15 style weapon has been the killing device of choice for the most violent mass killings in American history, including a July 20, 2012, slaughter in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in which 12 people were killed and at least 70 others injured.
It was the same kind of weapon used in the 1999 murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa.; at the 2017 attack that killed 60 people and wounded at least 413 at the Route 91 Harvest musical festival in Las Vegas; at the bloodfest in 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherlands Springs, Texas, when 26 people were killed and 22 wounded; the 2016 murder of 49 people and wounding of 53 more at the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.; the 2018 killing of 17 people and wounding of 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.; and the 2012 murder of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The non-profit, Violence Project, reported that 22 of the 66 mass shooters who killed four or more people in a public place from 2012 through 2022 used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. In the 123 mass shootings between 1966 and 2022, just five shooters used semi-automatic rifles, the project said.
How easy is it to buy a semiautomatic assault rifle? In some states it’s easier to buy a beer than it is to get a semiautomatic assault rifle. In 2016, a reporter for the paper, “Seven Days in Vermont,” was able to legally buy an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with three, empty 30-round magazines for just $500, 39 hours after a gunman used a similar weapons to kill 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
In Mississippi, someone wishing to buy a firearm must not be underage or drunk and only must pass a 13-question background check. That’s it, no waiting time, just leave with the firearm.
California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C. ban assault style weapons and Minnesota and Virginia regulate the sale and possession of assault-style weapons. So what is the problem?
Just ask California how hard it is to ban semi-automatic assault weapons. The state did ban such weapons but the gun makers simply retooled their semi-automatic assault rifles to meet the complicated guidelines of the California law. It’s the same evil scenario for all the states that have had the nerve to buck the NRA.
In New Jersey, there is a law banning residents from buying a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 15 rounds. So take a minute or two on the Internet and there will be websites that sell AR-15-style firearms with 10 rounds making it “New Jersey compliant.” And if your Internet is down, just visit a gun show in some other state, like Pennsylvania, and pick up the weapon of choice, with virtually no questions asked.
The same goes for seven other states which also restrict semi-automatic assault rifles to 10 round limits while Colorado allows up to 15 rounds in a clip. Those with 10 round limits included California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.
The 2006 movie, “Dark Storm,” involves a race against time and greedy weapons dealers by a group of scientists who must stop the Dark Matter discovery they made from destroying the world.
You can buy a DSI Variant 1 Standard (semi-automatic assault style) Rifle 5.56 tungsten for just $1,795 from a Long Island gun shop called, appropriately, “Dark Storm Industries.” It just so happens that Dark Storm is moving its base of operations to Florida.
“I commend Dark Storm Industries on their wise decision to make Florida their new base of operations,” said Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis and his resolve to ensure our state remains open, we are welcoming new companies to our ever-expanding business landscape. We look forward to the positive impact Dark Storm Industries will have on Florida’s economy.”
Positive landscape evidently includes the marketing and sale of semi-automatic assault rifles.
Enterprise Florida is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the State of Florida. It is governed by a board of directors chaired by DeSantis.
It also just so happens that Dark Storm Industries developed its DS-15 line of rifles “to meet the changing regulatory environment in states like New York and California.” That means that the DS-15 rifles are as close to semi-automatic assault rifles as possible and still squirm under the law. Dark Storm advertises the DS-15 Typhoon as an AR (assault rifle) style rifle chambered in 5.56mm NATO, the second, standard service rifle cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.
Illinois is the latest state to ban assault weapons. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the law following a shooting in Highland Park, Ill., over the summer in which a shooter killed seven and injured dozens at a Fourth of July parade.
Less than a week after Pritzker signed the law, an Illinois firearms company sued to block it. Within a week, a fourth lawsuit was filed to block the ban. The latest was filed in state court on behalf of hundreds of plaintiffs, led by Darren Bailey, the former GOP gubernatorial nominee. The suit claims the ban violates the Illinois Constitution.
The complaint says, “AR-15 rifles are among the most popular firearms in the nation, and they are owned by millions of Americans.” It claims that “encounters with criminal intruders in the home, where the AR-style rifle may be most useful, are not uncommon” and that “at least a third of all gun owners use a firearm for hunting or sport shooting, and recreational target shooting is a top reason for owning semiautomatic rifles like those banned by Illinois.” It sounds like the NRA should get credit for writing the complaint.
The ban, which went into effect on Jan. 1, outlaws the sale of 170 weapons and requires current owners of semi-automatic weapons to register them with the Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024.
A federal lawsuit also has been brought the by Illinois State Rifle Association and various gun stores statewide, claiming the law violates the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, a number of county sheriffs have pledged not to enforce the ban, claiming it violates their oaths of office. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul have both said that police who do not enforce the state’s ban will be fired.
Other legal challenges include a suit filed on behalf of more than 800 plaintiffs by former Illinois GOP attorney general candidate Tom DeVore who has the words “liberty” and “freedom” tattooed on his forearms. The Illinois State Rifle Association also has vowed a legal fight.
In 2021, a judge in Colorado blocked Boulder’s two-year-old ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, saying the law was contrary to state law. Two weeks later, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa purchased an assault rifle that he used to kill 10 people at King Soopers grocery store in Boulder.
A federal law banned assault weapons from 1994 to 2004. The gun lobby insisted the law have a 10-year sunset provision. Studies show that public, mass shootings where at least six people were killed, went down during the 10 year period. Since then, the number of gun massacres has mushroomed, mostly caused by people armed with semiautomatic assault weapons with high capacity magazines. A year after the ban expired Congress passed another law that immunized gun manufacturers against lawsuits for harm caused by the criminal use of firearms.



Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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