AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Anti-gun columnists are plentiful, especially somewhere like the New York Times. The Gray Lady isn’t likely to attract a lot of pro-gun voices to their ranks. After all, it’s based in one of the most anti-gun cities within one of the most anti-gun states in the country. There’s absolutely nothing about the paper that looks appealing to most pro-gun voices except, maybe, prestige.
And among the pro-gun crowd, it doesn’t even have much of that.
Which is why it was surprising when a friend tagged me on an op-ed from the Times that basically argued that a so-called “assault weapon ban” was never going to get rid of those kinds of weapons.
The writer is clearly anti-gun, but she also believes that even if we banned the manufacture and sale of AR-15 and similar rifles right now, we’d have these with us for decades to come.
With proper care and maintenance, an AR-15 rifle manufactured today will fire just as effectively in the year 2119 and probably for decades after that.There are currently around 15 million military-style rifles in civilian hands in the United States. They are very rarely used in suicides or crimes. But when they are, the bloodshed is appalling.Acknowledging the grim reality that we will live among these guns indefinitely is a necessary first step toward making the nation safer. Frustratingly, calling for military-style rifles bans — as I have donefor years — may be making other lifesaving gun laws harder to pass.…Not only is confiscation politically untenable — the compliance rates of gun owners when bans are passed are laughably low. The distribution of these weapons across society makes even their prohibition nearly impossible. In 1996, Australia launched amandatory gun buyback of 650,000 military-style weapons. While gun ownership per capita in the country declined by more than 20 percent, today Australians own more guns than they did before the buyback. New Zealand’s leaders, in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, launched a compulsory buyback effort for the tens of thousands of military-style weapons estimated to be in the country.
The whole thing is, quite frankly, kind of rambling and includes a lot of stupid. After all, the writer would prefer AR-15s disappear tomorrow. I don’t ask you to read it because, well, you might lose IQ points from some of the stupid.
However, the one point is sound. Absent forced confiscation, tactical-style weapons like the AR-15 are going to be with us for a century or more. They’re not going to go anywhere at all.
Attempts at forced confiscation are a political non-starter for the simple reason that trying something of that sort will likely result in a civil war that no one really wants. Lawmakers know that not only will citizens die, but so will law enforcement.
Further, they know that they may find that many of those they want to send to take people’s guns will refuse, creating a crisis of another sort.
In other words, it’s not likely to happen any time soon.
So, laws will likely be crafted so that we would be “permitted” to keep our guns–how generous of them–even if we can’t buy any more of them. That, as the writer notes, will accomplish absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. They don’t wear out like anti-gunners would like to believe, especially if proper care is taken with them.
Just something for the anti-gunners to keep in mind.