The truth about gun control

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 11:40 p.m.

The constitution is an amazing document. Though written over 200 years ago, it is still a powerful document today because of its forethought and wisdom. Among other rights, it gives the press and individuals the right to free speech. If these rights are denied, a firestorm of protest usually follows - which is proper.

But when it comes to the Second Amendment, there is all manner of interpretation. When I recently read letters written by uninformed individuals regarding gun control, I was not surprised The Gainesville Sun printed them, given the editorial staff's anti-gun bias, despite the fact that some statements were erroneous.

The use of the term "military assault weapons" is meant to invoke fear in people who do not know anything about guns. A true military assault weapon is a fully automatic weapon. You pull and hold the trigger and it keeps firing.

Unless you have a special federal license you may not own a fully automatic weapon and have not been able to since the 1920s. Very few people have such a license.

These supposed "military assault weapons," which one misinformed reader said were designed to mow down enemy soldiers, are not the same gun. The soon-to-expire provision of the Brady Bill outlawed civilian semi-automatic (one shot per trigger pull only) versions that looked like military full automatics. Their mechanical function is no different than that of a legal semi-automatic deer rifle.

In essence, the weapons were outlawed based on their appearance and not on their capabilities. These guns have a legitimate use, as does any semi-automatic for target shooting and hunting.

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