The AK-pattern rifle is one of the most produced rifles in the history of man, most likely. It’s a venerable design and it’s been the subject of many debates comparing it to the AR-15, particularly among gun nerds.
And for a long time, it was the subject of much public derision and not the AR-15-style rifle. That’s because, unsurprisingly, bad people did bad things with it and so everyone freaked out.
Now, the tone has changed, but an AK is still an evil “assault weapon,” as we can see from an op-ed from Florida.
Last month, a man came into a Key Biscayne restaurant with an AK-47 and threatened the shop owner before being arrested. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before we had a semi-automatic, high-capacity weapon brandished on Key Biscayne.
There are already more guns than people in our country – and more than 20 million AR-15-style weapons in circulation in the U.S. These types of weapons can spray up to 45 rounds per minute and are responsible for most of the mass killings in this country.
Since 1982, there have been nearly twice as many handguns used in mass shootings than so-called assault weapons. Handguns are more easily concealable and are plenty capable of taking human life.
Take Orange County, for example. Of all the firearms used, not a one was a rifle of any kind.
Florida recently passed a law allowing permitless carry, meaning Floridians can carry concealed weapons without a permit if they met some requirements in state statute. An AK-47 – like possessed by the man arrested on Key Biscayne – is legal in the state if it is deemed semi-automatic.
Florida’s permitless carry is irrelevant because open carry is still prohibited and an AK isn’t exactly a concealable weapon. In other words, invoking the specter of “permitless carry” is, at best, a red herring meant to distract the reader with thoughts that numerous laws allowed this to happen.
So, we should not be surprised that such a weapon was allegedly used in an attempted aggravated assault on the Key and we should feel lucky no shots have been fired – so far.
Here’s the thing, though. Would anyone feel better about an attempted aggravated assault if a shotgun had been used? Probably not.
For all the author’s alarmism, though, one thing is missing from this discussion. The issue is and has always been less about the tool than about the tool using it.
Removing an AK from the equation doesn’t change what happened. Someone wanted to use a gun to threaten and intimidate other people. That’s already against the law, so while the author claims she doesn’t want to restrict responsible gun owners–while clearly advocating for an assault weapon ban–what she misses is that those who aren’t law-abiding, responsible gun owners still get firearms with great regularity.
Let’s remember that the AR- and AK-pattern rifles are extraordinarily common, even in a small town of Key Biscayne. If this is the first time one has been brandished–let’s remember that the alleged perpetrator didn’t threaten a mass shooting. He only threatened a single soul–then Key Biscayne isn’t the kind of place that needs to worry.