Americans seem to be a confusing group of people to outsiders. On the one hand, we are highly apathetic to politics, with 23% of able voters choosing not to register. Another 20% only intermittently votes according to Pew Polls. At the same time, if one picks a hot button issue, we seem enraged and outspoken as a nation, split along a divisive chasm of which there can be no reconciliation.
One of those issues is gun control. Both sides of the debate are filled with passion, fiery rhetoric, and confusing comments. Advocates for gun control talk about mass shootings, gun violence, and the propensity for higher levels of crime. Dissenters reference the second amendment, claim that the government is out to take their rights, and some choose to open carry their weapons just to prove that they can.
After another violent shooting in San Bernardino, California, gun control advocates immediately let their issues be known. They called for more restrictions on assault weapons and large magazines. They are right of course; this horrible terrorist attack would have been a lot harder to do if they could not get their hands on the weapons or ammunition. No one seems to disagree with this statement, and yet, the opposing side seems rather blind to this common sense.
The California gun laws are pretty clear on the matter. It already bans the sale of weapons which are identified as assault weapons. California does not permit the purchase of large capacity magazines and requires background checks for all gun sales. In fact, the assailants seem to have legally purchased some of their weapons in accordance with some of the strictest laws in the country.
A common argument is that there is no such thing as an assault weapon. Many gun control advocates look at an AR-15 carbine and proclaim that the AR refers to assault rifle. Unfortunately, it is a reference towards the company name, ArmaLite Rifle. Moreover, the military version, the M4, is also not an assault rifle; it is a carbine – due to the fact that it has a shorter barrel than the rifled version of the M16.
Hence why it seems to confuse gun advocates when people say that the terrorist had an assault rifle or weapon, because they immediately talk about how the gun control advocates do not know what they are talking about. Although, to their credit, in California they would once again be right. According to California Penal Code sections 12276, 12276.1, and 12276.5 (OAG), the state has clearly identified with pictures, those weapons they officially recognize as assault weapons. So for the sake of common, shared understanding, the gun control advocates would again be right in referring to an AR-15 variant as an assault weapon or rifle.
What about the fact that a terrorist was able to get their hands on a weapon and commit mass murder? As gun advocates like to commonly express – people who are criminals tend not to follow the law anyways, so why would they limit their actions to those which are within the bounds of the laws? Remember that expression, gun laws are only followed by non-criminals.
At the end of the day, both sides have very valid points, and both sides ignore the other side’s valid points. Perhaps it would be a better world if both the gun control advocates and gun advocates could see each argument for what it is, and recognize validity when it is present. That is how a chasm is bridged – through mutual listening and understanding.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.