In the latest mass shooting in the U.S., a Louisville officer who graduated just 10 days earlier from the police academy was shot in the head.
Officer Nickolas Wilt was wounded as he ran toward the gunshots police were facing as they arrived. He is listed in critical condition six days after the shooting.
Wilt’s body camera shows him following his training officer, Cory “CJ” Galloway, up the outside steps to the bank, his service pistol in his two hands. The video is stopped before he is shot
Police said that the shooter used an AR-15-style rifle that he’d legally bought six days before the attack, killing five coworkers and injured eight others while livestreaming before police fatally shot him in just the latest high profile shooting in America. As of April 15, 160 had happened in the U.S. as the total number from gun violence reached 12,159.
University of Louisville Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith, who treated three of the patients from the mass shooting, explained the injuries from a rifle don’t compare to a handgun.
“The rifle rounds pulverize and liquify tissue because of how fast they’re moving,” said Smith. “They powder bone. They tear large gaping holes in tissue. You don’t see that with a handgun.”
Terrifyingly, a weapon that can create that carnage is available at the local gun store in large parts of America.
But knowing that, Officer Wilt did not stop going forward to confront the latest mass murder who used an AR-15.
“Officer Wilt was a brand new officer, he had no experience. He was going based on two things: his training and his character. And you will see that he never hesitates – even after getting shot at,” Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey said at a news conference where nine minutes of body came video was released.
The day before the Louisville shooting, an officer was shot responding to a domestic violence incident in New Jersey. New Jersey’s Attorney General said in a statement afterwards that he “remained committed to getting guns out of homes and off our streets.”
State Sens. Ed Durr (R-3) and Doug Steinhardt (R-23) took issue with the message, framing it as an attack on the Second Amendment. Steinhardt pointed to the fact that the gunman used an illegal gun as proof of a trend that the state was not doing enough to address gun crimes being committed by known criminals.
“Thankfully, as a result of the Bruen decision, more people, including female victims of domestic violence, will have the right to protect themselves legally with a firearm both inside and outside their homes,” he stated.
We have two questions for the two lawmakers: Why is the solution always more guns? And do you think police are advocating for your position that will make their jobs harder and put their lives in more danger?
We can have two approaches at the same time: banning assault weapons and stepping up efforts to get illegal guns off the street.
Being a police officer is one of the top five most stressful jobs in America today for many factors. One is that they know they are outgunned by weapons such as AR-15’s, like the Louisville police who first responded were. Calls to more heavily equip officers are treating a symptom and not the cause.
Our society continues to get more violent, a trend that continues to get worse. You know when this started—when the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire in 2004.
The answer to reversing the trend is not to add more guns but to find ways to subtract and remove guns that tear human flesh and disintegrate bones.
That is a way to truly show your support for the police.
The third and better way to minimize gun violence without sinking into the dead-end of Second Amendment controversy is to allow anyone injured by a firearm to sue the gun manufacturer and anyone involved in the weapon’s chain of ownership. Suing the “ba$%@&ds” is a traditional American way to solve problems and doesn’t get into Constitutional law issues.
Currently, a laughably misnamed Federal “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (PLCAA) immunizes gunmakers from civil liability.
Firearms are inherently dangerous so, in the absence of PLCAA, normal tort law would apply the rule of “strict liability” to inherently dangerous products: if anyone its damaged by the inherently dangerous product, there is virtually no defense to the liability claim.
So, who in NJ’s Congressional delegation is proposing to repeal the PLCAA and let normal tort law apply? None that I know of! Any NJ Senator or representative who decries gun violence without introducing or supporting a repeal of PLCAA is simply a virtue-signaling hypocrite.
NJ State law should also provide anyone in the chain of ownership of a weapon used in a crime will be strictly liable. That would mean that the licensed dealer who sold a firearm used in a crime has liability if the dealer can’t prove full compliance with all gun laws or if he sold the gun to a minor, mentally incompetent, etc. And strict civil liability would attach to every person in the chain of ownership: selling the gun back to a licensed firearms dealer or giving it too the local police department should be the only way to dispose of a firearm and break the chain of liability. Giving away or lending the gun to another person doesn’t insulate the owner from liability. And the owner is liable if the gun is stolen and then used in a crime. And criminals are liable for civil damages to anyone they hurt: strict liability, no excuses.
After a few multi-million dollar judgements, manufacturers will cease making “military style” weapons (and probably all semi-automatic guns), large magazines, etc. and they will be very careful in their advertising. Dealers will also be VERY careful about complying with all gun laws and assessing the purchaser’s competence. Gun owners will store firearms — particularly long guns — in proper gun safes and will never give or lend the gun to anyone, friend and relatives included. Criminals might even decide “it’s not worth it” to use a gun. And insurance companies will quickly drop coverage of gun-related claims or substantially increase premiums for coverage and will inspect premises for proper storage, etc.
Actually, I’d like to convince some of these AR-15 enthusiasts that their guns are either electric toothbrushes or sex toys, and that the bullets are dentifrice or some feel-good drug, and that the trigger is the on/off switch. That would take care of the problem easily!
The Truth About So-Called “Assault Weapons”
Gun control advocates bring up “assault weapons” time and time again. It seems almost impossible to a have discussion about Second Amendment rights without hearing the term. And yet, what many Americans who aren’t familiar with guns don’t know is — it’s not even a real term.
How the Term “Assault Weapon” Came to Be
Gun control advocates adopted the term “assault weapon” from the military in an effort to deliberately confuse the public and advance the political cause of gun control. They now use it to mischaracterize a broad range of firearms used by law-abiding civilians.
The origin of “assault weapon” stems from the term “assault rifle,” which the U.S. Army defines explicitly as a selective-fire rifle chambered for a cartridge of intermediate power. The term “assault rifle” only applies to automatic firearms rather than the semi-automatic firearms that gun control advocates are focused on banning today.
The key difference is that semi-automatic firearms, such as AR-15s, only fire a single round each time the trigger is pulled. Automatic firearms — including military assault rifles — discharge continually when the trigger is pulled. Although they are often used in the Armed Services, these firearms are not readily available for sale to the general public. To purchase a fully-automatic firearm requires an extensive FBI background check including fingerprints and photographs, as well as registration of the firearm at the federal level.
However, gun control advocates refer to semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms interchangeably — in a deliberate effort to confuse voters and advance their broad agenda.
In 1984, a group called Handgun Control, Inc. first used the term “assault weapon” in reference to a rifle in a newspaper advertisement.
A few years later, in 1988, the term rose in prominence after Josh Sugarmann, a gun control advocacy group’s communications director, stated in a Violence Policy Center paper:
“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
This statement by a prominent gun control lobbyist outlined their intentions clearly. The goal behind popularizing the term “assault weapons” was always to deliberately mislead the American people in order to pass anti-gun legislation.
The use of the term “assault weapons” exploded in the years to follow, eventually catching on in the mainstream media, who used the adopted phrase to cause further confusion.
It helped gun control advocates garner support to pass the 1994 federal “assault weapons” ban — and the plan succeeded. The ban lasted for ten years until it expired in 2004 after Congress determined the ban had no impact on reducing crimes committed with guns.
Since then, gun control advocates have continued to push for additional bans. However, they now struggle to agree on a definition for their made-up phrase.
Gun Control Advocates Can’t Define “Assault Weapon”
Gun control advocates’ definition of “assault weapon” varies depending on the source because they cannot collectively agree on how to define it.
This even applies to politicians who could have potentially banned our firearms. Just look at David Chipman, for example.
Joe Biden nominated Chipman to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the government agency in charge of enforcing gun laws. Chipman couldn’t even nail down a definition during a May 2021 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
During the hearing, Senator Tom Cotton asked the simple question, “What is an ‘assault weapon’?”
Chipman tried to avoid a response before hesitantly stating:
“Any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22, which would include a .223, which is, you know largely the AR-15 round.”
Cotton pointed out that would “basically cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today.” It would also include a number of collectible rifles.
Chipman is just one example of how gun control advocates struggle or even refuse to define the firearms that they are seeking to ban.
And rifles aren’t the only firearms they’ve tried to put under the umbrella of “assault weapons.”
Gun control advocates have also targeted handguns, such as pistols that hold ten rounds. Biden himself said he would push to ban 9-millimeter pistols. He stated:
“I’m the only guy that ever got passed legislation, when I was a senator, to make sure we eliminated assault weapons. The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether — whether it’s a 9-millimeter pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.”
Again, gun control advocates are willing to refer to any firearm as an “assault weapon” if it suits their needs. But there is rarely any consistency in which firearms they decide to include.
This 1994 “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazine” ban named prohibited guns specifically but then tried to more broadly define the term to include several cosmetic features such as pistol grips and folding stocks. These cosmetic features had little or nothing to do with whether certain firearms were more likely to be used in a crime.
In short, gun control advocates will use any definition of “assault weapons” that suits their political motivations, and they’ve shown that over time.
Why Should “Assault Weapons” Not be Banned
The 1994 federal “assault weapons” ban shows us why a similar ban wouldn’t work today. Simply put, it had no impact in curbing violent crime.
A 1997 congressionally-mandated study looked at the effects of the first 30 months of the 1994-2004 federal “assault weapons” ban and found it had no impact on crime. And a follow-up study found that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
Later research conducted in 2018 also found no evidence that “large capacity magazine” bans and “assault weapon” bans affect mass shootings.
Studies and research are helpful indicators as to why another federal “assault weapons” ban wouldn’t work, but let’s also consider some commonsense points:
• Rifles overall are responsible for a very small fraction of violent crime. More people are killed with fists and knives than with rifles every year.
• Semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s are some of the most popular firearms used in home defense and in marksmanship competitions.
• Law-abiding Americans own an estimated 11 million AR-15s — yet violent crime has not taken over the country as gun control advocates suggested. In fact, it’s gone down.
“Assault Weapons” Moving Forward
Gun control advocates will undoubtedly continue to push the narrative that semi-automatic firearms are dangerous “assault weapons.” Biden even campaigned on the promise to reenact a federal ban, once again relying on scare tactics to gain support.
But there are steps you can take to help combat misinformation and preserve our Second Amendment rights. You’re already off to a good start by reading this article.
Educate yourself. Don’t rely on the words of politicians. Instead, research firearms and form your own opinions about semi-automatic rifles. Some helpful links are listed in the section below. Be sure to encourage those around you to do their own research as well.
If your proposed solution is for gun owners (some who may be your family, friends, etc.) that are simply exercising their constitutional right is to kill themselves, then you need to immediately seek psychological help.
You’re not well.
WHAT !! What you Say?? DAH; Out-Gunned Cop’s?? BUT; Hell, ‘They’ be doing Most of the Killing’s in The U.S.!! Or’n haven’t Y’all bin Listening to the News?? Maybe if’n ALL them Alleged Criminal’s also had ALL them Weepons & Protective Hardware worn by Cop’s! Only then Y’all MAY Allude to them as being Out-Gunned!! Actually, Cop’s in the U.S. are WAY, Way OVER-Armed for’n City’s & Civilian’s!! AND; This Issue must be Addressed!! BUT; They also GOT Onboard-Computer, accessing ALL-Yourn Info.’s at their disposals!! SO!!__ YO; “GOT-TANKS”; ‘GOT Machine-Guns’??//
An angry citizenry is heavily armed. This is a problem. But we can also take it a step further back than the heavily-armed factor, that’s been so difficult to address. We can also start from the “angry” problem. The introduction — or reintroduction — of basic ways to perceive the people in our world as fellows in the struggles inherent in life, rather than seeing them as the objects to struggle against, would begin to effect more change than all the legislation that can possibly be argued over. We need to identify what we have all have in common, rather than magnifying what we think divides us. Simplistic? Maybe so simple we overlook it.
Banning or limiting guns will make crime worse. The idea or paradigm of Trying to limit or control the device itself meaning the firearm or weapon to control the problem that is 100% psychological is completely Flawed ineffective and doomed to failure paradigm.
Noone should sue gun manufacturers. Gun makers are not responsible at all
The failure is, where it always is, with Government. Coercively taxpayer funded government provided security, otherwise known as police are the problem. The government run drug war, and the entire liberal progressive agenda that has decimated cities all over the country. Government is to blame for this. The solution is to allow anyotherwise law abiding person over 18 to have a weapon
The usual “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” ludicrous argument by Durr and anybody else who agrees with him.
With that argument we need to legalize all drugs because “Drugs don’t kill people, people kill people” and “If drugs are outlawed only outlaws will do drugs”.
Come Durr, introduce the bill to legalize drugs.
Another deterrent would be to tax ammo like cigarettes. I can remember when cigarettes were around 40 cents a pack. What are they now? $8-9?
A .22 bullet should cost about $6-7 each.
What a crock of BS. Ever since they switched to 9mm cops are trigger happy murderers. Go back to 38 revolvers which are far more accurate and can be used to take people alive. That plus hiring mercenaries trained to murder innocent un-armed people by our government who should never been allowed back into our country. They get away with murder and are rewarded for it with zero chance of accountability. Just yesterday 3 cops went to wrong address and murdered a home owner that was father of the young children – https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/nation/2023/04/15/new-mexico-police-release-body-cam-showing-fatal-shooting-wrong-address-robert-dotson/11670184002/?fbclid=IwAR3FENBfiKuuesLu1guXZRDi8fqHs9yMonldCUohtRTEESqnJ5_T-HNiT8k
What an ID 10T!!!
Seems like the government is responsible for all wrongs in your world. Actually there are just too many guns in the US. AR15 type guns are not necessary for protecting you and your family. They are just to kill as many people as possible in a short time. That weapon tears apart the body, so it is not for hunting/sport. It is a killing instrument, plain and simple
The anti-gun logic just never fails to amaze me. Mostly because it just contradicts itself.
Blame the object, not the person or their actions. Worse yet, sue a third party that committed no wrong-doing. Why can’t we likewise sue vaccine manufacturers?
Arm every single person in the Ukraine, but ban guns here.
Guns are bad, unless you’re a politician, celebrity or public servant, then guns and armed security are good and necessary.
Ban guns so bad people won’t do bad things (as if that’s the only tool they can use), and leave 330 million law-abiding Americans defenseless as prosecutors refuse to enforce the laws on the books against criminals, remove cash bail, introduce “bail reform” (get out of jail free card), and police refuse to engage violent criminals. What could go wrong?
The victimhood mentality in this nation is disgusting. I’m sick of infringing on the freedoms of the law-abiding because of the actions of a handful of law-breakers.
I have noticed that you don’t allow any comments supporting the Second Amendment or responsible firearms ownership, only those that seem to line up with your liberal agenda. You’ve blocked two of my previous comments.
You’re absolutely right.
I submitted my comments almost immediately after this opinion was posted but it just showed up an hour ago (23 hours later).
Other comments that support them are posted immediately.
They suppress/wait to post any comments that contradict their opinion with the hopes that the opinion (which is always just more left wing propaganda) is initially viewed by most.
I can always tell when someone is unfortunately not armed with the facts, has no knowledge of firearms, and repeats left-wing/media talking points. Please allow me to respectfully educate you a little bit, and I mean that in the most sincere way possible.
The AR-15 is not a military grade weapon. It has never been issued to the military. It is a semi-automatic, civilian sporting rifle. There are actually many other such rifles that perform in exactly the same way, but are not the subject to the same criticism and demonization.
The AR-15 in its most popular configuration fires a .22 caliber bullet — one of the smallest projectiles made. There are many other rifles that fire much larger projectiles that can travel much further and carry quite a bit more kinetic energy. In that sense, using measurable, quantifiable terms, the AR-15 is actually one of the least “powerful” platforms from which to shoot.
(IF “the weapon tears apart the body” as you insinuate, wouldn’t that make it ideal for hunting? Just pointing out a little bit of logic.)
The AR-15 itself does nothing. The damage done from any projectile is a matter of shot placement and the design of the projectile. In that sense, the gun is no more or less dangerous than any other gun. What matters is what the round was intended to do (target practice, long-range shooting, hunting, self defense, etc.) and where that round is placed. If you had more knowledge of firearms, you would know that a single 12 gauge 00 buckshot round is potentially far more devastating than anything shot out of an AR-15 can achieve. A 12 gauge round has more projectiles that are heavier, carrying more energy. It’s a matter of physics. So should we outlaw those?
While it is your OPINION that an AR-15 “is not necessary for protecting you and your family” they are owned by tens of millions of law-abiding Americans. Do you wonder why? The soft-shooting rifle has virtually no recoil and is very easy for people like women, the elderly or the disabled to use. And given its light weight and adjustable features, it can be easily made to fit any body type. These features make it easier and more manageable to safely and accurately shoot. Safety and accuracy are hallmarks of good marksmanship. They are not a bad thing.
You assert “it is a killing instrument, plain and simple”. That simply isn’t true. As mentioned above, 10s of millions of Americans enjoy shooting billions of rounds out of their AR-15s every year for sport, competition, youth marksmanship programs, hunting and many other legal activities.
You may not like firearms, or understand how they work, which is fine. However, you cannot reconcile your statements with the facts above. I would gladly take you to the range and give you a shooting lesson to demonstrate safe gun handling skills and help demystify the technology behind modern rifles. However, I suspect that you wouldn’t be swayed by the facts above or be open-minded to such an invitation. I would love to be proven wrong.