In Endnote 2, you mentioned the District of Columbia’s licensing requirements. Apparently you weren’t aware that the requirements were ruled unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2017. The case was Wrenn v. District of Columbia. The District decided against appealing the ruling because it was felt that it would be upheld and could jeopardize “may issue” regulations nationwide. Unfortunately for the District’s hopes, the state of Hawaii decided that it would end issuance of carry permits, prompting a lawsuit, Young v. Hawaii, which resulted in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth District to rule that unconstitutional, laying the groundwork for a Supreme Court decision that could say that the Second Amendment protects a citizen’s right to openly carry a firearm.
Incidentally, since the Young ruling, the number of permits issued in the District rocketed from 123 to 1,896.
You cited a 2014 study that said 22% of Americans own firearms. In 2015, the General Social Survey pegged the percentage at 21% and a year later a Gallup study estimated the figure at 29%. The first question is what these numbers are a percentage of. By your statement, it’s 22% of Americans. Okay, so 22% of more than 328 million Americans is somewhere north of 72 million. That’s a bunch.
But just for the sake of argument, let’s do this the right way. The GSS and Gallup figures were percentages of American adults. So using those estimates, the number of gun owners is somewhere between 53 million and 73 million. (Note: Estimates run as high as more than 100 million)
The precise figures are unknown but it’s estimated that between 7.5 million and ten million AR-style rifles are currently owned by American citizens. Adding the AK-47 and similar rifles to the mix raises the number to perhaps 20 million. It’s certainly true that some people own more than one, so let’s cut that estimate by a quarter to 15 million. This means that somewhere between 20% and 28% of gun owners own one or more evil black rifles. That’s pretty common in anybody’s book.
The mythology that has been created around the AR-15 by gun control advocates has been a useful boogeyman. People like Mr. Everitt are happy to perpetuate the fantasy but get very upset when people who actually know something about firearms refuse to cower in front of their demon.
We know that magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles have been around since 1911. And even that first rifle, the Remington Model 8, could be fitted with magazines holding more than ten cartridges. Those rifles were actually developed for and marketed to American hunters. It wasn’t until two decades later that the U.S. Army began developing a semi-automatic rifle for general issue.
We also know that the AR-15 is chambered for a cartridge that is intermediate in power. The Army wanted a cartridge that slotted between the .30-caliber Carbine round and the 7.62x51mm cartridge used in the M14 battle rifle. Why did they want this? Because it was lighter and cheaper. A soldier could carry twice as much 5.56x45 ammunition without increasing his loadout weight. The new cartridge and the Armalite-designed rifle were also less expensive.
Now let’s examine the relative threat to the domestic tranquility posed by the AR-15. According to FBI data for 2017, all types of rifles and shotguns combined accounted for fewer homicides than knives, bare hands and other weapons.
So the AR-15 is in common use; it is not some insanely powerful nightmare weapon of mass destruction and it’s less of a threat to public safety than bare hands.
So, yeah, I would say ban fans could be in for a few rocky years.
You claim not to fear the NRA. Big whoop. What you should really be afraid of is the judges. Kavanaugh may be in the forefront in your mind, but he is just one of a number of federal judges who are taking a hard look at some of the gun regulations in the U.S.
Incidentally, gun violence is a joke. Firearms were involved in about 6% of the total number of violence-related injuries and deaths in 2016. While you’re focusing on the 6%, what about the other 94%?
According to the CDC, there were 14,415 firearm-related homicides in 2016. Yes, the number and rate did rise from 2014 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2016, but the rate in 2014 was the lowest U.S. homicide rate since 1958. And even the 2016 rate was below average for the period from 1981 to 2016. If you insist on adding suicides to make the numbers look bigger, you may be disappointed. The suicide rate has continued to climb even as the percentage of suicides by firearm has declined.