Walmart Supercenter in Luray, Virginia. Photo by Ben Schumin.

Gun Grabbers Call to Protest Florida Walmart but Totally Miss the Obvious

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They were also reminded of Walmart’s nationwide policies at the locations that do sell firearms.


Despite politicians and activists constantly “assuring” us that they only want to take the “bad guns” whatever that means or the “assault weapons” whatever that means, their actions seem to speak much louder than words in most cases. They often pretend that “assault rifles“, a legal distinction for a weapon with fully automatic capabilities, are prevalent and somehow are being used in mass shootings and should be banned.

The truth is, no assault rifle has ever been used in a mass shooting in the United States and as I have previously discussed in a recent story, they are extremely difficult to acquire. Most gun owners don’t have them and they cannot afford or qualify to own them either.

“Assault weapon” is a made up distinction that has no legal basis outside of one piece of federal legislation that called to ban them for 10 years in 1994. It defines an assault weapon by it’s cosmetic characteristics and banned additional modifications which also had no bearing on the performance of the firearm.

There has been talk that the 1994 AWB ban reduced mass shooting deaths and was a great success. Joe Biden as recently as yesterday made that claim on the campaign trail. Even President Clinton made that same claim earlier this week on Twitter. The problem with those claims is that they aren’t true. Federal investigations said it wasn’t true. Media reports showed studies that it wasn’t true. But the most damning evidence of all, the stats, show that the AWB had no discernible difference in mass shootings or the numbers of casualties inflicted by them. 149 people died in mass shootings in the 10 years prior to the assault weapons ban of 1994. 148 people died in 30 mass shootings (including the Columbine Massacre) during the 10 years the ban was in place.

Some of this confusion, I have to admit, is the gun buyers and gun manufacturers fault. But only because it’s good marketing. When Colt acquired the rights to make civilian AR-15’s (which are not assault rifles) from Armalite I’m sure there was some marketing involved with that decision. It’s the gun the M-16 was loosely based off of, and it looks like what the Military uses. In a nutshell, it looks badass. Other manufactures started making semi automatic rifles based off of the AK-47 for the same reason. Because they still call it an AK-47 it’s led to a lot of confusion. It is not the same AK-47 that armies around the world use.

When you hear politicians calling to ban these “military style assault weapons”, what they are actually saying is ban anything that looks kind of badass but is functionally no different than every other semiautomatic rifle in existence. If the guy in the movie used something that looks like it we should ban it because it’s scary.

Now the bigger issue, and I do understand it, is that semi automatic rifles of all models and to a much greater extent, semi automatic handguns are being used to kill people in mass shootings and homicides in general. Nobody wants that to happen at all, but it’s what weapons are designed to do. They kill.

Unfortunately, it seems to be happening more frequently, but I believe that the real numbers don’t necessarily bare that out.

The homicide rate is actually going down if you can believe that. With a 24/7 sensationalist reporting cycle, anything that might seem like it could be a mass shooting is instantly called one. Since we are all plugged into this crap way more than we probably should be we remember a lot more things that we might have skimmed over being called a mass shooting when in fact it was a false alarm or a domestic incident, or gang violence.

It seems changing the definition of something has become a new game for pushing an agenda too. For example, when looking up mass shooting victim stats yesterday, I found an incident in the 1980’s where somebody hijacked a plane, shot and killed 5 people and then the plane crashed and killed the remaining passengers. The statistic reported the event as a mass shooting with 43 casualties, even though the shooter only killed 5. In many other instances I noticed that any time the shooter killed himself he was listed as one of the victims. Furthermore if the shooter committing suicide made the “body count” reach 4 people by including him as a victim, then the statistic was now considered a mass shooting event when it would otherwise not have been.

Ultimately, I think focusing on the tool is the wrong approach. It doesn’t address the real underlying issue of why people are killing each other. The prefered tools and methods of murderers are extremely broad and seem to range from a whole slew of household items like knives and hammers (a surprisingly high stat), to poison and even bare hands. Drowning, and suffocations are very prevalent as well. Don’t even get me started on cars.

In the end, I don’t want people killing each other either, with anything; be it a gun or a car or a truck load of fertilizer. So maybe we should start trying to figure out why people are killing each other and fix that instead of fighting to take away the personal property of the 100 million people who aren’t killing people with it.