Former SEAL, Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez flips position on assault weapons ban

As you might expect from a Massachusetts politician, Gabriel Gomez was for it, before he was against it:

The overwhelming number of citizens and experts throughout Massachusetts supported banning these weapons and high capacity magazines. At the time, given my Navy SEAL experience, I felt they were wrong.

A lot of people, including my wife Sarah, disagreed with me.

Since the campaign, free from the burdens of a grueling spotlight, I have spent much time reflecting on these exchanges. I asked myself whether my position against banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines represented what is best for the people of our Commonwealth and our Country.

In short: on this issue Massachusetts is right, my wife Sarah is right, and I was wrong.

Based on everything I have learned, seen and heard from the citizens of this Commonwealth, I can no longer support legislation that would allow the continued sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and here is why:

My opposition to banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines was based on my experience as a platoon commander and as a member of the US Navy SEALs. My fellow SEAL team members are the most highly trained, professional warriors in the world.

Navy SEALs can handle assault weapons and high capacity magazines with complete competency and safety. Others cannot. I can show virtually anybody how to change a high capacity magazine clip in five seconds. But that does not mean virtually anybody should have one.

Despite the political risks my decision may pose, the risks to schoolchildren and to other innocent victims caused by assault weapons are simply unacceptable.

I remain a strong, proud proponent of the Second Amendment. I will continue to speak out when politicians play politics and fear monger on guns. However, I will also continue to listen, learn and consider new evidence and arguments from the other side.

Which is the worst part of Gomez’s reversal, the naked attempt to pander for votes, or his intentional deception in attempting to explain away his betrayal of the Second Amendment?

Because of his military experience with small arms, Gomez knows better than most the difference between the real selective-fire assault rifles and machine guns used by military forces, and semi-automatic (one shot per trigger pull, also known as self-loading) firearms that have been owned and used safely by millions of civilians in this nation for more than 110 years.

Gomez made the calculated decision to conflate machine guns with semi-automatic firearms, calling both “assault weapons,” as if there were not significant differences between them both under federal law and in practical reality.

Real, selective-fire assault rifles have never been easily purchased by the general public, and we can find no evidence that legally-owned assault rifles have been used in a murder in the history of the United States.

Not one.

Further, “assault weapons” is an entirely made-up political term created by a an anti-gun Democrat gun control advocate in the late 1980s (as a side note, is a great resource to explain the difference between assault rifles and assault weapons to your friends).

While self-loading rifles (such as the AR-15) have been used in a handful of high-profile mass shootings in recent year, they are statistically insignificant in murder according to FBI data (you’re more likely to be killed with a hammer, fist, or foot than rifles of any type), despite the fact they are the single most popular type of centerfire rifle sold in the United States.

Having been trained on multiple weapons systems, Gomez knows that 30-round magazines are standard capacity magazines for the two most common semi-automatic rifles patterns in the United States, the AR-15 and the AKM-based series of rifles. He also knows that standard capacity pistol magazines may range from 13-20 rounds depending on the design; real “high capacity” magazines are those outside of the original specifications. Just as he did when he dishonestly called self-loading firearms “assault weapons,” Gomez adopted the gun control term “high capacity” to describe standard capacity magazines.

But even more offensive than than his eager adoption of gun control terminology in hopes of gaining office is his assertion that the American people have neither the right nor the skill to competently use semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines.

Let’s read his dismissive and arrogant statement again.

Navy SEALs can handle assault weapons and high capacity magazines with complete competency and safety. Others cannot. I can show virtually anybody how to change a high capacity magazine clip in five seconds. But that does not mean virtually anybody should have one.

No one will argue that SEALs are far better trained with the use of military small arms and small unit tactics than most civilians (though certainly not all; SEALs and other special operations forces do bring in civilian trainers, which Gomez fails to mention), but as we noted before, he is intentionally and dishonestly conflating military weapons with common civilian semi-automatic firearms.

Semi-automatic firearms have been around since 1885; common semi-automatic like the Browning Auto 5 shotgun and mass-market rimfire and centerfire rifles hit the American mainstream in the first decade of the 20th century, predating the SEALs by almost 60 years. Tens of millions of semi-automatic, magazine-fed firearms have been sold and used by hunters, target shooters, plinkers, competition shooters and in self defense in this nation over the past century… and somehow, we’ve survived without Gabriel Gomez’s permission.

It’s also worth noting that Gomez’s blatant pandering is a minority position even among elite military operators.

An overwhelming majority of elite forces military veterans support the right of citizens to own the same guns that Gomez would now sell-out in hopes of gaining votes. A group of more than 1,000 Green Berets going so far as to send a warning to politicians Washington, DC earlier this year that they would not tolerate such an infringement as an assault weapons ban. This letter, curiously enough, was ignored by the mainstream media.

Gabriel Gomez may have once been a Navy SEAL and a defender of the Constitution, but we’re sad to report that he has become something far less: a dishonest gun-grabbing Massachusetts politician, willing to say anything in hopes of getting elected.