Opinion: Banning assault rifles will not stop the evil behind mass shootings

A picture of the Constitution.
A picture of the Constitution.

Cole Guenther
Oxford Stories

The Second Amendment is one of our fundamental rights, laying the groundwork for American government. It is under attack today when mass shootings appear to be becoming more common.

When the founding fathers sat down and wrote our Constitution, they did so with the intention of protecting this new nation from becoming the corrupt and tyrannical government they seceded from, Great Britain.

These were some of the brightest minds on the planet, and they knew the Second Amendment gave United States citizens a great chance to protect themselves from a government that could one day become tyrannical again.

Many politicians are declaring certain guns “weapons of war,” and they say guns, such as the AR-15, should be outlawed because they are “the weapons of choice for mass shooters.”

The first is a blanket statement that is so uneducated it is hard to break down everything wrong with it and still take the person saying it seriously. The statement is meant to convey it is bad for an assault rifle to accomplish its intended purpose – killing the intended target.

The Second Amendment was designed to protect the people from a tyrannical government, so if the government is trying to take away one of the most basic, and far from most effective, assault rifles, then that should trigger a red flag that there is a bigger agenda taking place.

The second idea that the “AR-15 is the choice weapon of mass shooters” is recency bias and an insult to anyone who has done a modicum of research. Out of the 166 mass shootings that have occurred in America since 1982, only 28 percent occurred with an assault rifle. Even less occur with an AR-15.

The agenda is not to get the AR-15 off the market. Hardly any reasonable person could believe that taking this single gun off the market would fix the mass shooting problem we have in America.

The real agenda is to get rid of guns and the Second Amendment completely. If they really wanted to stop mass shootings, then the arguments they should be having during the primaries on national television would be about banning handguns. Handguns accounted for more than 55 percent of the mass shootings in the same time period.

Politicians know they cannot win banning handguns over Americans … yet. This is why they are going after the big, two-handed scary looking metal weapons, such as the AR-15, even though there are many less scary wood weapons with the same destructive capabilities.

The Ruger 30 is a wood assault rifle used for hunting that is semi-automatic just like the AR-15, holds the same caliber bullet like the AR-15, and is deadly from a 1,000 yards.

This leaves us with two options. One is, either the politicians who are proposing gun bans are extraordinarily uneducated on the topic, or they have a bigger agenda in mind. I believe the latter, as I have a hard time feeling that well educated politicians don’t even know the basics of gun mechanics and statistics.

If politicians just came out and said what they meant, at least the country would be able to have a legitimate discussion on whether or not an all out gun ban would be reasonable (assuming they could still follow the “wiggle room” guidelines of the Second Amendment).

One country that implemented an all out gun ban was Australia in 1996. The year after the ban, gun suicides in Australia shot up by nearly 20%, and even more people killed themselves the following year, according to The British Journal of Criminology 2006 article Gun Laws and Sudden Death: Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?

This is a horrifying thought considering that 61% of all gun deaths in the United States are suicides, according to gun violence statistics from the Giffords Law Center, a San Francisco-based policy organization dedicated to researching and defending proven laws and programs to save lives from gun violence.

All of these mass shootings are horrifying tragedies, and everyone in America mourns equally over our losses. After the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, conservative political talk show host Ben Shapiro of said to television personality Piers Morgan, “You tend to demonize people who differ from you politically by standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook.”

The method that some people are taking is to entrap people into believing what they believe politically. They show pictures of scary military looking guns and claim it’s the gun’s fault, and we need to do away with the guns, when this is not the case.

There is unfixable evil in the world that no laws can stop. This does not mean we should not attempt to place new policies to stop this evil. But taking away basic rights from people who are law abiding citizens because politicians are too lazy to do any research and just want to sit around and blame the guns is not fair to the American people. This country should be disgusted by it and not stand for it.

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