Dem congressman thinks AR-15s too dangerous for you to own

Dem congressman thinks AR-15s too dangerous for you to own
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The AR-15 is a very demonized rifle. Despite the fact that people kill others more often with their hands and feet than with any kind of rifle, modern sporting rifles of any kind are treated as if they’re just murder-death-kill machines with absolutely no other use.

For one Democrat running for re-election in Illinois, it’s just too much that folks like you and me can buy them.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville believes the private ownership and sale of military-style weapons like those used in several mass shootings, including this summer in Highland Park, should be outlawed.

“They should be banned,” said Foster, who’s seeking reelection in the 11th District. “There is a threshold that we have to set, (that) every country sets — at what point a weapon is too dangerous to be in private hands.”

This brings up an interesting point. At which point is a weapon simply too dangerous for private citizens to own in Foster’s world?

More people are killed with handguns every year than with AR-15s. Wouldn’t that at least suggest they’re more dangerous than military-style rifles?

And what determines just how dangerous a weapon is? For example, while I don’t want to be shot, if I had to pick, I’d take an AR-15 over a .50 BMG round any day of the week, as an example.

Is it how fast it can fire? Because I’ve seen Jerry Miculek run a freaking revolver faster and more accurately than most can run an AR-platform weapon.

So just where is that dividing line?

The easy answer is that there’s not one. That firearms are dangerous weapons and yes, they should be respected as such, but pretending some are just more deadly than others is beyond idiotic.

Then again, Foster doesn’t really understand the issue very well.

The Founding Fathers drew a line on gun ownership by allowing early U.S. citizens to own muskets but not cannons, Foster said, echoing a claim President Joe Biden made in a speech last year. However, historians have said the Second Amendment didn’t outlaw private cannon ownership.

Exactly. In fact, considering the Constitution includes empowering Congress to issue letters of marque–in other words, commissioning private warships as privateers–suggests that the Second Amendment was passed to also protect the private ownership of artillery.

However, Foster is really just parroting President Joe Biden on the cannon thing, but his comment there illustrates that he doesn’t actually understand what he’s talking about. In fact, the kinds of cannons used when the Second Amendment was ratified are still available for sale and people can do so without a background check, even.

Or is Foster unaware that cannons can be dangerous?

Look, I get that he doesn’t understand guns the way firearm people understand them. There’s no sin in that. The problem is that he’s making an argument that isn’t even an argument. He’s just asserting something with no evidence to actually back anything up. It’s an arbitrary line without even a hint of evidence backing up the claim.

Further, it’s the kind of argument that provides a moving target since all firearms are dangerous. That’s kind of the point of having them, after all. Yet his “reasoning,” if you can call it that, can and likely will be used to justify more and more gun control measures.

It won’t stop with the AR-15.

Luckily, post-Bruen, it’s unlikely that an outright ban of such weapons could ever be enacted, despite Foster’s fondest hopes.