If there’s one thing I really wish I could add to my collection, it would be something full-auto. I’ve always wanted a machine gun and I hope someday to be in a position to have one. I’m not a fan of all the hoops you have to jump through to get one, but I’m more than willing to try if it means I can check that off my bucket list.
In the meantime, I’m quite happy with my semi-automatic firearms. They serve their purpose well enough and though I don’t think I should be restricted to just semi-auto, I don’t actually need anything more (yes, I know, it’s not the Bill of Needs. Work with me here).
However, it seems that automatic weapons are an absolute scourge. At least, that’s the word from an MSNBC personality.
MSNBC contributor and former congresswoman Donna Edwards said on Wednesday that shooters are killing thousands of people with “automatic” weapons with “high-capacity ammunition.”
“It’s ridiculous putting the death penalty on the table,” the former Democratic lawmaker said in reference to the Trump administration’s proposal to execute mass shooters faster. “I mean, people who are committing mass shootings aren’t saying, ‘Well, I might get the death penalty so I won’t do it.’ No, they’re getting these automatic rifles, they’re using high capacity ammunition, and they’re killing, they’re mowing down hundreds, thousands of people every single year.”
Edwards made several inaccurate statements in her response.
That’s putting it mildly. In one sentence, she was able to get pretty much everything wrong.
Of course, machine guns are tightly restricted and no such weapons built after 1986 can be sold to private individuals. There’s also no such thing as “high capacity ammunition,” though that probably was supposed to be magazines.
However, the most hilarious comment was that there are thousands of people being killed by automatic weapons every year.
Not even close.
According to the FBI, there were only 403 murders carried out with a rifle of any kind in 2017. That includes the 59 people killed in Las Vegas, where we know the weapon was a semi-automatic firearm. So even if every other murder was carried out with a full-auto weapon, we’re still looking at just a few hundred deaths attributable to these kinds of weapons.
And we all know damn good and well that there’s no way all of these were with machine guns. We’d have heard about homicides like that.
No, these are mostly, if not all, carried out with rifles such as semi-auto weapons but also bolt actions, lever-actions, and even single-shot firearms. They’re not carried out with machine guns and we all know it.
For the record, in 2017 there were almost 1,600 people killed with knives, 467 people killed with blunt objects, and 696 people killed with “personal weapons” such as hands or feet.
I’m sorry, but I remain unconvinced that so-called assault rifles represent a real issue in and of themselves. That’s especially true in light of such histrionics by Edwards. The data isn’t particularly hard to find. She either didn’t bother to look, in which case she’s too lazy to be a contributor to a major news network, or she’s lying outright. Either way, she’s putting out false information and should be sanctioned for it.
Look, I’m not a fan of firing people for holding opinions I don’t like. I think that’s a road none of us should want to go down.
However, Edwards is just bad at her job, even by MSNBC standards.