Semi-automatic weapons are designed for the sole purpose of killing people. Hunting and pest control are the only justifications for owning guns, and a semi-automatic gun is surplus to the hunter's need. In addition to this, I believe that the ban should be extended to all handguns, belt-fed and magazine-fed weapons, as well as automatic weapons and weapons above .22 calibre or standard buckshot.
The M16 style semiauto rifle is capable of firing over 120 rds/minute. This is also true of almost every other semiautomatic weapon. Additionally, with simple modifications, sometimes even legally obtained ones, legally installed (depending on the state), they can be converted to fully automatic weapons.
There are no civilian uses for such weapons. They are not defensive in nature, they are not sporting during hunting and target shooting. The amount of firepower that these weapons provide are meant for military use to overcome other military users, not for homeowners to ward off an intruder.
In NYC, just recently, there was an incident where two cops tried to "stop and frisk" someone who resisted. It ended up with them shooting at the perpetrator. They missed every shot, and two innocent bystanders were shot instead (this happened near Times Square in the evening, I believe). A perfect example of the ridiculous firepower brought to bear by these weapons. BTW, by all accounts, the perpetrator was not armed and had his arms raised as they shot at him from several feet away.
Just this weekend the NY Times released an article which clearly showed how we are miscounting (THANKS AGAIN, NRA!) when young kids shoot other young kids. They estimated that our current national figures are off by at least 100%, i.E. The number of shooting incidents are at least twice of what we've been getting every year. More kids are injured by other kids than shot by "bad guys". More adults are shot accidentally than in crime sprees, and that does include all those mass murders and gang shootings!
The majority of the country wants gun control - this fact has been clear for nearly 20 years. Every single unbiased poll has shown this. And yet we're still held hostage by a special interest that cares more about gun sales and instilling fear than protecting its members. The same special interest which a few years ago sent fliers to all its members recommending that they shoot police officers if they feel violated. And yes, that's our "wonderful" NRA.
Is that really the kind of country the NRA appears to favor? One where we all "protect" ourselves by chasing suspicious people down and at the first indication of a confrontation (verbal or otherwise) we blast them with unrestricted glass-filled magnum bullets at 120+ rds/minute with a laser pointer and a starlight scope?!
Notice that just like creationism, this entire conversation is a non-issue for the rest of the Western world. Europe is far more peaceful, doesn't have weekly mass-shootings, and btw - has more than twice the population in a more dense area with many more different cultures and languages. How do they do it? O wait - they recognized the need for gun controls 75 years ago after WWII...?!?
These guns are certainly not necessary for personal protection and so their only purpose can be recreational use: much like an atomic bomb, they're too powerful for personal possession. You may claim that they can be needed to revolt against the government - however, if that is your intention, I fear you will need something much stronger than a semi-automatic to defeat the U.S. Military.
As a non American many people will say, "well you just don't understand our culture, our constitution etc". But why on earth does a person need an automatic gun. I can understand the right to protect your home with a pistol or something similar, a rifle for hunting. But why would your every day Joe need an assault rifle?
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Guns don't kill people, people kill people. I know that's been said numerous times but that doesn't make it less true. More people die from car accidents (33,687 in 2010) than murder by firearm (11085 in 2010).(1) Should we ban all cars? Death by firearm homicide actually decrease from 2009 to 2010.(1) Gun are not the problem.
Could you imagine if your founding fathers only had sticks and stones to fight the tyrannical British? They would have never won. Now think about it happening again, just as the founding fathers planned. How would we fight a tyrannical government without equal firepower? We wouldn't stand a chance, and would all perish.
The 2nd Amendment was created so that if the United States government ever became tyrannical, we as a people would be able to over through them. But with laws about secession and bans against guns, how are we, the people, ever going to able to do that! Most of the time, criminals who use guns to commit crimes do not even fire them, they want money, not to kill people. Also, most time when a gun is fired, it is an unregistered gun so I do not see how this will help. Think of your freedom people!
Support freedom, support the Constitution, support guns. "Semi-automatic weapons" as you call encompass most of the guns on the market. They do have a purpose; they are used for recreation, sports and competition, collecting, hunting and personal defense applications. In fact, semi=automatics have likely become the number one actions for a hunter rifle, shotgun, and handgun. "Semi automatic weapons" are no more dangerous than bolt action or lever action rifles, in fact the later is typically more dangerous as they typically fling a much larger bullet. Pistols are no more dangerous than revolvers, in fact revolvers are favored by dangerous game hunters for there reliability and ability to fling much larger, faster bullets.
I guarantee if this happens myself and millions of other gun owners will become criminals over night. Is that fair for a victimless, non violent crime? Well, come and get them anyways, but I am giving you my bullets first. From my cold dead hands. This isn't just about guns, it is about freedom. The right to protect myself against criminals, governments, and people who hate freedom.
Well, if you're just now talking about banning semi-automatic weapons, you came a little late to the game. They've been around since 1885. It's not like it's some new murderous technology, or in any way more dangerous than anything else. Sure, they can be popular in mass shootings. But statistically, those are so rare as to be pointless to worry over.
However, these weapons are vastly popular as collectibles, target rifles, hunting rifles, self defense pistols, etc. Banning them would be incredibly foolish, and impossible to enforce.
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This is simple text to understand. Moreover when has anything the government banned ever been honored among criminals who use the banned items? Never. And that is why bans of any kind can never work. I'll keep the Constitution, you can have the crime.
If everyone carried a full automatic M6, how many people will die each day? If the teachers in Sandy Hook carried guns how many kids will have been saved? What about in Navy Yard? Those soldiers who are trained to use those weapons? I do agree that a Ban on automatic weapons should take place (I used the M6 as an example) but not all weapons, Handguns of the smallest caliber, capable of killing someone should be allowed for purposes such as defending yourself and massive shootings.
Semi automatic should only be allowed on towns, where police departments and hospitals are not a 5 minute ride, (if you get the point) mostly on the Midwest