The tragedy of Newtown behind us now by several weeks, I think it’s time I vent my anger and thoughts. Originally I was going to write one article about the shooting, guns, gun control, and gun control advocates, but as I wrote more and more and put off posting it longer and longer, it went from being an article to being a long, meandering manifesto. So I decided I will post it all in a serialized format to make it easier to digest and for me to edit. Here is Part One.
I was angry about nearly everything as I listened to more and more arguments in favor of gun control. The reason I was so angry is because nearly everyone I have seen on TV or read on the internet have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to guns.
This is particularly true for politicians and to date I have no reason to believe a single media personality has any experience or knowledge on the technical details of firearms. I have seen so many comments on articles (and even some articles) where the people writing them say things like “no semi-automatic weapons should be available for anyone” and in general describe any semi-automatic weapon as an “assault weapon” or a “military style” weapon. Likewise, many media figures on TV place so much emphasis on the evils of semi-automatics and decry the notion that these “weapons of war designed purposely to kill” have no place in our society, since they say “no hunter needs a semi-automatic assault weapon”.
I really don’t think they have any idea what a semi-automatic gun is or how it differs from other guns. Semi-automatic guns are very simple devices where one pull of the trigger=one bullet fired. If you fire and continue to hold the trigger, nothing will happen. If you have a fully automatic weapon, and very few people in America legally do, then you can continue to hold the trigger and the weapon will continue to fire. These are the guns that “spray bullets”.
Not all guns fall under the general umbrella of “automatic”. Some are single shot, requiring a new cartridge be put into the gun after each bullet fired (like a Civil War era musket or many youth rifles of today). Others are pump or lever action (shotguns being very commonly pump action and many “cowboy” rifles are lever action), and many old-fashioned military rifles from the First and Second World Wars are bolt action rifles; these weapons can fire multiple shots before reloading but require the gun be manually cycled before it can be fired. You also have revolvers, a specific type of handgun, which is mechanically much different from semi-automatic pistols, but most modern revolvers can fire bullets just as quickly as modern pistols.
I have given a basic outline of the general types of firearms, and if you have read it all: congratulations! You now know more than do most politicians and media personalities.