The same tired arguments based on the same lack of knowledge.

Time for class, kiddies!

Semi-automatic firearms have been around since the end of the 19th Century. The Mauser C96 pistol was the first to be adopted for large scale production by a military force. The Browning automatic pistol made its debut in 1900 and was marketed to civilians.

In 1935, Fabrique Nationale of Herstal, Belgium introduced the GP35. The “GP” stood for “Grand Puissance” or “High Power” and was originally created by John M. Browning, who died before the design could be completed. The final product was the work of Dieudonné Saive. The pistol was the first with a magazine that today might be considered to be high-capacity. The magazine would hold 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition. With a cartridge in the chamber, the total capacity was 14 cartridges.

The Winchester Model 1903 was the first semi-automatic rifle on the American market. Sales were entirely aimed toward the American hunter. In 1911, Remington introduced the Model 8 which could accept magazines holding up to 20 cartridges.

This was 20 years before the U.S. Army began serious work on a general-issue semi-automatic rifle.

The rifle the Army adopted was the M1 Garand. While its clip heal only eight rounds, it could be more quickly reloaded than a magazine-fed rifle and its .30–06 cartridge was, and is, far more powerful than the cartridge in the basic AR-15.

The Colt AR-15 was introduced to the civilian market in 1964 and from the start was marketed as a sporting rifle. Over the years, the AR-15 and various rifles developed using the AR (Armalite Rifle) design have become very popular not only for hunting but for competitive shooting, as well.

Contrary to the popular myth, the AR-15 in 5.56x45 NATO/.223 Remington chambering is not a particularly powerful rifle. The cartridge was specified as being intermediate in power between the .30-caliber cartridge used in the M1 carbine and the 7.62x51 cartridge used by the M14 battle rifle. The Army’s goal was to acquire a lighter, less-expensive rifle and a lighter cartridge that would allow a soldier to carry more ammunition in the standard loadout.

The wounds often attributed to the AR-15 cartridge are the result of very high velocity and bullet construction which cause the bullet to fragment. The legend applied primarily to the military standard fully jacketed round. Any close-range hit from a centerfire rifle round will produce devastating injuries and the wounds produced by modern soft-point or hollow-point hunting ammunition will cause much more damage. The gory tales, such as Dr. Cannon’s account, are from people that are more familiar with wounds from handgun bullets.

Incidentally, it would be interesting to get Dr. Cannon’s take on the wounds inflicted by Demetrios Pagourtzis, the shooter responsible for the killings and injuries at Santa Fe High School in May. Pagourtzis used a 12-gauge Remington 870 pump shotgun which at close range can deliver far more devastating injuries than an AR-15. One of the police officers responding to the call took a hit and, despite the fact he was wearing ballistic armor, was critically wounded in both arms and required a month of hospital care and will need a long period of rehabilitation. At two times during the officer’s transport to the hospital, his vitals indicated he had died. Fortunately, he was able to be resuscitated.

In 1966, using a bolt-action Remington 700 ADL rifle, Charles Whitman was able to inflict one-shot kills at a range of 500 yards.

Incidentally, a civilian in many countries can buy a rifle that will bring a bull elephant or rhinoceros down with a single shot, something that would be virtually impossible to do with an AR-15. American citizens can buy rifles that in the hands of expert snipers have killed targets at ranges of over two miles.

Our tour through fairyland continues with 3D printed guns. The decision by the State Department was based not on Second Amendment grounds but on First Amendment grounds that the dissemination of plans was protected speech. Americans are allowed to build their own firearms but cannot sell or otherwise transfer them to another person without obtaining a serial number from the government. Such individuals wishing to produce any firearm for sale must obtain a manufacturer’s license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Gun control advocates appear to remain blissfully unaware of the myriad laws governing firearms, right down the point of what is actually considered a firearm. There are numerous devices for firing bullets that are not even regulated.

The lack of a serial number is just one of the issues that will confront law enforcement with the 3D guns. Due to their design, it will be virtually impossible for a forensic examination to identify whether a particular 3D gun was used in the commission of a crime.

The quotes cited by Mr. Mathur in the Huffpost article from the majority opinion penned by the late Justice Antonin Scalia are taken out of context and are clearly contrary to Scalia’s intent. Referring back to the 1939 opinion written by Justice James McReynolds in United States v. Miller, Scalia noted that: “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

What is important is what comes next: It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like — may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment ’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

The Miller opinion is probably one of the most-abused Supreme Court decisions. Justice John Paul Stevens cited it in his dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller. But Stevens, like many others, read context into the opinion that does not exist. The court ruled on a very narrow issue: whether a sawed-off shotgun was protected by the Second Amendment. The court’s ruling was that since a “shotgun with a barrel of less than 18 inches” was not in common use in the militia, it was not protected. Had the firearm in question been a Tommy Gun, the ruling would most likely have been different since M1919 Browning Automatic Rifles and Thompson submachine guns were in common and regular use, both in the organized militia (the National Guard) and in the regular Army.

I don’t see how Scalia’s comments could be construed in any way, shape of form to imply justifying a ban on even the AR-15, let alone all semi-automatic firearms. See the passage in bold above. It is impossible to credibly argue that Americans do not commonly possess semi-automatic firearms. Indeed, the best-selling rifles and handguns all all semi-automatic.

As I said in my opening comment, Mr. Kominiak’s ideas are simply another rehash of the same old, same old and rely on resources that are either fraudulent or sensationalist to the point of distortion. Ignorance of history, firearms, the law and the actual sources of his points make his claims largely irrelevant in a fact-based discussion.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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