Letters to the Editor

Letter: Gun information must be accurate

After every tragic mass murder, politicians and the press push to ban the AR-15 calling it an “assault rifle” or “weapon of war.” This is inaccurate.

Assault rifles fire rounds continuously with one trigger pull. M16 rifles and M4 carbines fit this category. Special permits are required to legally obtain such weapons.

Conversely, the AR-15 is a “military style” semi-automatic rifle capable of firing only one round per trigger pull. It is not a military assault rifle (it only looks like one).

The “AR-15” insignia stands for “ArmaLite Rifle Design 15,” the designer’s name and not the politician-dubbed “assault rifle.” Prototype AR-15 rifles were designed by ArmaLite for military purposes and later modified into the U.S. Army’s M16 rifle which is not available to the public.

The 1994-2004 assault weapons ban prohibited the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms it defined as assault weapons, as well as certain ammunition magazines it defined as “large capacity.”

Even though the ban ended, the gun homicide rate remains about half (3.8 deaths per 100,000) of what it was (7 deaths per 100,000) in the early 1990s. The media bombards us with gun death stats and campaigns for more bans, but never notes that most of the surge occurs in large cities like Chicago and Oakland that have the strictest gun laws in the nation.

Gun control laws will never stop criminals from stealing guns, buying from other criminals, or making straw purchases.

It definitely won’t stop radical Islamic terrorists from killing us.

Terry D. Payne