GOP Lawmakers Crossing the Line for “Assault Rifle Bans”

The more shootings that happen on U.S. soil, the more we get an opportunity to see the real colors of the people of this country. Some are willing to engage in debate, some believe they have the only acceptable answer. Many are disgusted by the views of the other, and few are willing to consider the other side. The one thing they all have in common is fear.

Fear of their kids going through another shooting just like this one. Fear that someone will take the right to defend themselves the way they want away from them. This isn’t an irrational fear for either side of the spectrum either.

Given the mental health crisis in this country, and the lack of respect by the government, either option could happen incredibly quickly as Canada is trying to show.

Currently, Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Chris Jacobs (R-NY) are two members of the GOP pushing toward the elimination of what they call assault rifles. During a CNN appearance on May 29th, Kinzinger spoke up about his record for bans. “I have opposed a ban fairly recently. I think I’m open to a ban now. It’s going to depend on what it looks like because there’s a lot of nuances on what constitutes certain things, but I’m getting to the point where I have to wonder. Maybe somebody to own one, maybe you need an extra license. Maybe you need extra training.”

While this is an attempt to bridge the divide between liberals and conservatives on the issue, this kind of mindset will never get full support, nor should it.

This is the kind of stance that tells the left that you fear losing your reelection, so you’ll say anything to get those extra swing voters to cast their ballot. It shows no backbone or conviction at all. Since the 1994 assault weapons ban many have stepped up to offer their opinion on the matter.

From Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) to Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) they have all stepped up to offer not only their condolences to the families in their cowardly attacks but to make suggestions about what needs to change. Their works often fall on deaf ears, and for good reason. Many of them are completely uneducated on the subject, and some claim to be very knowledgeable but have such a small clue of what they are talking about that it makes the uneducated look like geniuses.

Rep. Mast offered up an op-ed to the New York Times in February 2018 in response to the Parkland High School shootings. “The exact definition of assault weapon will need to be determined. But we should all be able to agree that the civilian version of the very deadly weapon that the Army issued to me should certainly qualify.”

This is a great example of someone who knows something about firearms (at least what he learned in the Army), but who has no clue about what differences lie between the black plastic of his “assault rifle” and the smooth wood of a “hunting rifle.”

Given the experience he claims to have, it should be easy to figure out looking at them side by side.

The fact of the matter is that there is no inherent difference. The pistol grip makes it easier to hold and fire the rifle, and by a negligible amount. The magazine well is a common look for most rifles, and the magazine size impacts the stability of the firearm greatly. The only reason these weapons are chosen by most mass shooters is the news coverage they receive.

You can demonize anything when it comes to firearms. From the size and capacity of magazines to the feel of a pistol grip, to the custom feel of an adjustable stock. No matter what you demonize, it’s all smoke and mirrors. It still functions the same.