On Feb. 18, the KJ published a column, “A combat veteran’s take on assault weapons,” that contains so many false and misleading statements that it should not go unchallenged. So this Vietnam veteran (199th Light Infantry Brigade, 91st Evacuation Hospital, 1970-71) will give it a shot.

First off, let’s get our terminology straight. An “AR” is not an assault rifle, it is an “ArmaLite Rifle.” An assault rifle is capable of firing multiple bullets with one press of the trigger. They are regulated under the National Firearms Act, and are allowed in private hands with a permit. An ArmaLite Rifle can only fire semi-automatically, one bullet with one press of the trigger.

The author ignores the fact that AR 10/15s are used across the country in shooting competitions. Before there was football, baseball, or basketball, there were formal and informal shooting matches. The ArmaLite Rifle is the latest in a long line of military firearms that have been used by civilians in competition.

There are about 25 million of these Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in private hands, which meets the Supreme Court definition of “in common use,” thus being protected by the Second Amendment. Some gun owners don’t like “black rifles.” They have their trusty “thutty-thutty.”. Fine. Don’t buy one.

The author claims ARs are awkward for home defense and a poor choice for hunting. But didn’t Joe Biden tell us to “get a shotgun,” which is just as awkward? And most deer hunters in Maine don’t use .22-caliber cartridges. They use something bigger. Most mass shootings are carried out with handguns.

Banning ARs is unconstitutional and ineffective. The Lewiston shootings were the result of a failure to properly implement existing laws, and the fact that those poor souls in the bowling alley and bar were unarmed. When seconds count, police are only minutes away. You are your own first responder.

Bob Scheirer

Randolph


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