Stan Hall is the Director of the Victim Witness Program for the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office. He is also the host of the Gwinnett County Communication Network’s television show “Behind the Badge.”
I have never met a conservative who did not support the constitutional rights that we, as Americans, have to bear arms. In fact, most conservatives will tell you very quickly that the right to bear arms is one of the foundations of our Constitution and it is just as important as any of our guaranteed rights.
This right has proved very beneficial on many documented cases when our forefathers were called to defend themselves from everything from tyranny to carpetbaggers and many other threats that were thwarted by fast moving projectiles from the muzzle of a gun.
Our country’s history is steeped deeply in the fact that every American has the right to protect themselves, their family, and their homes. This defense has been most often performed by the use of a firearm. I am one of those conservatives that truly believe everything that I have alluded to thus far. If you are waiting for the “however” part; well here it comes!
Personally, I find myself in a position whereby I eschew anything that has to do with the weakening of the rights concerning firearm possession. On the other hand, I have been involved professionally as a law enforcement person who is sworn to do everything possible to protect life and property. An interesting dilemma; don’t you think? Is it possible to stand by the principles of your political beliefs and also believe in something that will be beneficial in your sworn duty at the same time? My Libertarian friends would answer that question with a very loud “no.” My liberal friends (I do actually have some) would answer just as quickly with, “of course.” Libertarians would like to see all waiting periods repealed, as well as, to do away with anything that prohibits an individual to carry a concealed firearm. Liberals think that we should extend the waiting period and that, most often; no one ever needs to carry a concealed weapon.
Hold on, here. What you’re saying is that as a “law enforcement person” you see beneficial aspects in weakening the rights concerning firearm possession? Well, then, I’m right with your Libertarian friends. What you’re advocating is statism – “big brother knows better.” That’s in direct opposition to what you state you believe politically. But to continue…
Personally, I find myself somewhere in the middle of all of them. But professionally, I have come to a conclusion that will probably make segments of both groups, not to mention my conservative friends upset. I cannot imagine a reason where there would be a need for a citizen to possess an assault type weapon.
These weapons are not even issued to police officers with the exception of specialized units.
That is incorrect, Mr. Hall. AR-15 rifles are common equipment in many patrol cars, having replaced the ubiquitous riot shotgun in many jurisdictions. Perhaps not in Georgia, but in many municipalities. There is, for example, a minor brouhaha going on in the Calexico, California police department over whether their officers – all of them – should be allowed “assault rifles” that are denied to the general public. Calexico is hardly a major metropolis. New Jersey has an “assault weapon” exemption for police officers – one that recently bit officer Ken Moose, Jr. on the ass. If you’re a law-enforcement officer, you should be aware of this fact.
But, now we have armed robberies, home invasions, and assaults on police officers during the commission of a crime where assault weapons are commonplace.
Another lie. Blatant, unrepentant, out and out lie. The first one I can let go as a mere oversight. This one I cannot.
Long guns – all of them – are used in only about 13% of firearm-involved crime, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and if homicide is any indicator, about half those long-gun crimes are committed with shotguns. Violent crime involving firearms has been declining since 1991, not increasing. Hell, Diane Feinstein claims the “assault weapons ban” caused “assault weapon” usage to decline. You don’t get it both ways, Mr. Hall. The use of “assault weapons” in crime is a rarity – not “commonplace.”
It seems absurd that criminals are showing up better armed than police officers whose job it is to protect the public.
Why? It’s always been that way. It wasn’t that long ago that cops carried “service revolvers” in .38 Special, and people protested their “upgunning” to .357 Magnums. Now they carry “high-capacity” semi-auto pistols and “assault rifles” in their cruisers.
It is no longer uncommon for police officers to find themselves in a scenario where their body armor will not even stop the ammunition that is being fired on them.
If the are being shot at with a rifle, no standard soft vest is going to stop the round. But here you’re – quite intentionally – raising the specter (in the meaning of “phantom”) of the “cop-killer bullet” fantasy. Another deliberate mendacity?
Quite frankly, when someone buys an assault weapon, it should be assumed that it will be used for some type of an assault. Many gun enthusiasts will dispute this by countering that they maybe (sic) for assaults fro (sic) some, for them the weapons are for competitive shooting, collector series, and all of the other reasons that may be legitimate. Despite these legitimate reasons, the majority of these weapons are being used to kill people in a violent act. They are causing law enforcement agencies all over this country to upgrade their arsenals simply to be competitive with the bad guys.
Willful, blatant, inexcuseable LIE
Our good buddies at the Violence Policy Center have provided an accounting of firearms manufactured in the U.S. According to them, Armalite built 32,504 “assault rifles” between 1995 and 2000. Bushmaster built 150,589 during the same period. Colt built 185,693. DPMS: 18,211. Knight’s Manufacturing: 2,611. Olympic Arms: 24,045. Those are just manufacturers of AR-15 clones. That’s 413,653 AR-15 “assault rifles” built and sold after the 1994 “ban.” Note that this does not include manufacturing during the years 2001 to the present. This also does not include AK-47’s, H&K G3 clones, FN-FAL’s, or any other so-called “assault weapons.” If “the majority of these weapons are being used to kill people in a violent act” then at a minimum there would have been 206,827 homicides since 1994 attributable to AR-15 clones alone. According to the CDC there were 105,142 homicides by firearm for the period 1994-2001. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, handguns are used in about 80% of homicides by firearm.
You’re lying to us, Mr. Hall, deliberately and badly. Perhaps you have an agenda?
This problem has led to many law enforcement executives leading the cause to prevent the ownership of assault weapons from being sold across the counter.
I just illustrated that “this problem” doesn’t exist. It’s been blown to hysterical proportions by lies such as this.
It is not a position that they take lightly, but has become a position that they are forced to support based on the past and potential tragedies that have and will be caused by these weapons in the hands of thugs. It may go against constitutional merit, but stands tall in the common sense department.
“Forced to support”? Even you admit it “may go against constitutional merit.”
So how about a constitutional amendment? But you never hear that option bandied about. No, they’d rather strip us of a right because it’s too costly – but I just illustrated that the cost they proclaim is false.
So why is it they want to destroy the right to arms through subterfuge?
Every person in this country should have the right to bear arms. (For now.) Every hunter in this country should have the right to bear arms; as many as they like. (For now.) Every person in this country should have the right to use these weapons in an act of self-defense or protection of their properties.
I would never argue these premises. (Yet) However, in the atmosphere that we find ourselves in, where one horrific act of violence is topped by the next, we have to do something. Policies that would keep assault type weapons off of the streets and out of the hands of those intent on creating a chaotic (sic) is something that I feel necessary to support. Maybe this is a case where the personal and protective rights of the many have to override the rights of the few. It is not a perfect science or formula but what in this world is anymore?
William Pitt once said, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” Here is but another example.
Are you afraid enough now to put your shackels on?
Or would you rather buy an “assault weapon” and tell them “Molon Labe!”?