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Phil3
03-28-2009, 2:41 PM
I am doing my best, talking to anyone who will listen, supporting firearms rights. Right now, assault weapons are the topic, and there is one issue that is more difficult for me to defend. Semi-autos. Semi-auto rifle and handguns CAN deliver damage downrange, faster than any other legal firearm. I know semi-autos are used in some sports, law enforcement, but given they are the weapon of choice for criminals, what arguments can I present that best defend the semi-auto? Especially the semi-auto rifle, since the speed of fire is much faster than a bolt action rifle. I want to present the most compelling argument I can, and welcome any thoughts.

- Phil

squishyhead
03-28-2009, 2:52 PM
Carry a pocket constitution with you. The next time someone wants to run their mouth, open it up and point to the 2nd Amendment (which the SCOTUS has declared applies to individual citizens). Explain to them, that as a free man it is your right to own whatever gun you want, not whatever gun the government feels like allowing you to own. Better yet, the next time you're asked why you need a semi-auto weapon, just turn the question around on them. Ask why any government makes laws designed to keep certain weapons out of the hands of LAW-ABIDING citizens?

LOW2000
03-28-2009, 3:03 PM
I thought the "weapon of choice" if there were any, was the pump shotgun as far as being used in the highest number of crimes.

Also, the media screams about getting "automatic" weapons and "machine guns" off our streets and that we need a new AWB. Well surprise, the AWB doesn't do **** about automatic weapons and machine guns.

-hanko
03-28-2009, 3:06 PM
The anti's have you backed into a corner.

The 2nd Amendment does not talk about action type nor sporting purpose. Study WHY the 2nd was written.

-hanko

EastBayRidge
03-28-2009, 3:32 PM
"Semi-auto rifle and handguns CAN deliver damage downrange, faster than any other [California] legal firearm."

Fixed it for ya.

Yes, exactly why I need them against criminals.

Capt Jack
03-28-2009, 3:46 PM
Its funny but I just had this conversation with someone at breakfast this morning. I mentioned that ammo is really hard to get atm because everyone is so afraid of Obama passing another AWB so there is panic buying.

One of the ladies at the table (from Oklahoma) mentioned that that was one of the few things she really did not like about Obama since she grew up with guns.

At that moment, a guy who was at the table (someone invited him, not a friend of ours) said "I hope he passes an Assault Weapon Ban!" My response was that it would not do anything but keep law abiding citizens from owning them to which he replied that nobody needs an assault weapon. I stated that the antis just want to label any semi auto as an assault weapon regardless if it is a military style weapon or not and he just didn't care "I really don't like guns, they are bad..."

Turns out this guy had been in the army but you could tell that he was a wanna-be hippie love child or some thing like that :rolleyes: I personally was under the impression he was a tweaker since he kept randomly twitching and drank about 6 cups of coffee in about 10 minutes....

My sis-in-law then spoke up to remind me to take her shooting again so I at least converted 1 person! :thumbsup:

The point of this is that the antis pretty much will not listen so you point out the 2nd and choose your battles as you will probably not be able to reason with a hard core anti as "all guns are bad, can't we all just get along!" is their mantra....

Phil3
03-28-2009, 3:53 PM
Carry a pocket constitution with you. The next time someone wants to run their mouth, open it up and point to the 2nd Amendment (which the SCOTUS has declared applies to individual citizens). Explain to them, that as a free man it is your right to own whatever gun you want, not whatever gun the government feels like allowing you to own. Better yet, the next time you're asked why you need a semi-auto weapon, just turn the question around on them. Ask why any government makes laws designed to keep certain weapons out of the hands of LAW-ABIDING citizens?

I have the free pocket size Constitution from the Heritage Foundation. I just pulled it out and will carry it with me. Good idea. The mere fact that a person would carry it, sends a strong message. Also, turning the question around as you did is quite good, but one could answer that the law would also keep the guns out of criminal hands too. Don't worry, got that covered, since that is now off the topic of semi-autos.

- Phil

Phil3
03-28-2009, 4:02 PM
The anti's have you backed into a corner.

The 2nd Amendment does not talk about action type nor sporting purpose. Study WHY the 2nd was written.

-hanko

Believe me, I am 100% committed to the 2nd amendment, but to further strengthen my arguments, please permit me to play Devil's advocate here. If as you say, the 2nd amendment does not talk about action type or sporting purpose, then why are we generally not critical of laws banning machine guns? Why not then, have legal fully automatic AR or AK rifles? It sounds hypocritical to say the 2nd amendment does not talk about gun actions, but then by our silence, say we are OK with laws banning a specific action type (i.e., full auto). Help me here, I want to be fully prepared for those who have questions that could trip me up!

- Phil

EastBayRidge
03-28-2009, 4:06 PM
"If as you say, the 2nd amendment does not talk about action type or sporting purpose, then why are we generally not critical of laws banning machine guns?"

We are. Currently, the reason is political expediency. One battle at a time. See the uproar in the full-auto community after Gura's statement in the oral argument during Heller.

"Why not then, have legal fully automatic AR or AK rifles?"

You can, you just have to live outside of CA and pay a fortune.

eflatminor
03-28-2009, 4:07 PM
You need to know WHY the second amendment, in conjunction with the entire Bill of Rights, exists. Read about the great debates between Federalists and Anti-Federalists on standing armies, their advantages and their history of abuse in the hands of tyrants. We ultimately agreed to a standing army but ONLY if certain rights were spelled out in detail. The 2nd most important right was the means to directly counter balance an army turned on its own people; the right to bear arms. That right must not be infringed. Sure, an armed populace also helps deter foreign invaders, provide personal protection and a means to feed one’s self through hunting, but that's not the reason for the 2nd amendment. The people must have the means to defend themselves against their own army. The army has semi autos, so must we, and because the army also has fully automatic weapons, we must overturn the 1934 act that restricted them. Remember, it's not only a fundamental right that shall not be infringed, it’s the REASON we're so proud of our armed forces. There has been so little domestic misuse of those forces due to the 2nd, we have little reason to fear the military, as so many unarmed citizens today and throughout time have.

AngelDecoys
03-28-2009, 4:09 PM
I'm not sure I would spend a lot of time arguing the issue. Get better friends :) But if you really need to argue it i'd agree to discuss the constitution, the bill of rights, the fact that police don't need too show up, etc, etc.

Follow it up with discussing the Heller decision. It says all common arms are off the table. Semi-autos are about as common as firearms go (technology that's been around for over 100 years). Just tell them a ban wouldn't hold up in court so move along......

Phil3
03-28-2009, 4:14 PM
"better friends". I know there are lost causes. We have one acquaintance that won't come to our house because we have guns. Doesn't matter if they are locked up, etc. This is a woman who was hesitant to put a flag out in front of her house on July 4, because she was afraid people might think she supported the Iraq war. Whacked... And pointless to discuss gun rights with.

- Phil

eflatminor
03-28-2009, 4:20 PM
I'm not sure it's ever pointless to discuss any of The Bill of Rights with even the most frustrating of fascists. You never know what impression you might make on them, even if its years later and that person would never admit to being influenced. You never know. Besides, perhaps it's the 2nd amendment supporter that's not making a convincing case. Try harder!

12gaugederringer
03-28-2009, 4:34 PM
Semi-autos are the prevailing weapon of choice for criminals, law enforcement and citizens because they are the current state of the art and are "common" in our day. The whole point of citizens using arms for protection against tyranny and for self defense goes out the window if some special class (Leo/criminal) is allowed superior weaponary. This is why it is vital that citizens continue to bear arms that are equally powerful as those used by all other entities, to keep this balance of power.

510dat
03-28-2009, 4:35 PM
Semi-autos are the current state of the art of firearms. Bolt-actions, levers, pumps, etc. were all invented in 18xx. The first Winchester repeating rifle used in the Civil War was the "Assault Weapon" of the day. One round every three seconds or so is very different than the one round every twenty seconds for a muzzle-loader. When you use a bolt-action rifle, you are using technology lifted straight from the Mauser rifle designed in 1892.

Semi-auto rifles and handguns were, for the most part, developed in the 1900's. Even the AR-style rifles were designed in the mid 50's.

Should we stop all development of new arms because some people mis-use them?

Do we insist on using 12Mhz DOS computers, just because modern desktops can be used to design effective explosives and steal credit information? No, we accept that most people will use them for legitimate purposes, and we prosecute those who use computers for doing wrong.

To suggest that semi-automatic weapons should be banned because of their potential to cause harm is equivalent to banning radio transmitters because of their potential to influence many people, or banning the entire internet because some people use it to trade child porn, or banning automobile engines larger than 2.0 liters because they can be used to accelerate heavy vehicles to dangerous speeds.

The question is not "should we allow semi-automatics," but "why are you so ignorant of guns that you're afraid of a machine?"

bohoki
03-28-2009, 4:50 PM
i despise the term semi-auto it implies that it is a disabled "full-auto" what we should be calling them is "autoloaders"

wash
03-28-2009, 5:01 PM
The first amendment protects speech, even speech that you or the government might not like. The second amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms, even arms that you or the government might not like...

A free citizen should be able to own whatever arms they want.

I will get a few full auto, suppressed, short barreled and any other weapon as soon as the government recognizes my rights.

7x57
03-28-2009, 6:57 PM
why are we generally not critical of laws banning machine guns? Why not then, have legal fully automatic AR or AK rifles? It sounds hypocritical to say the 2nd amendment does not talk about gun actions, but then by our silence, say we are OK with laws banning a specific action type (i.e., full auto). Help me here, I want to be fully prepared for those who have questions that could trip me up!


First of all, several people have said that the 2A doesn't specify type of arm. That's true, and I think that's quite intentional. The original model for the 2A was the English Bill of Rights and the developments in the state Constitutions. The English right had several qualifications; you had the right to arms "for defense," "if you were a protestant," and "suitable to your station." It may also have said "as allowed by law," I forget. We deleted all the conditions, for the very good reason that it's too dangerous to permit the government to have opinions on whether a particular weapon is suitable for civilians. Liberty means the government is not involved in any way.

So you are right--that implies the unconstitutionality of all the NFA restrictions. There is no doubt about that, because whatever the 2A covers it *must* cover the standard infantry weapon of the day so I can privately purchase my standard kit and show up for militia duty properly armed at my own expense. Thus it must cover the M4, which is a select-fire short-barrel carbine.

And, just to be clear since someone once doubted it, if it were legal I would buy one and keep it with an infantryman's loadout and, if given the opportunity, report to the local militia officers for drill. Not because I want to be a soldier, or because I'm likely to be a good soldier, or because I'm in good enough shape for that to be fun, but rather because there is no legitimate reading of our history that doesn't make that my obligation as a citizen. This is the duty side of the 2A that people rarely talk about, though many quite clearly understand it.

Why don't we campaign about that? Two main reasons, one good and one bad. The bad reason is that even gunnies have often bought into the fundamental lie that particular weapons are particularly evil and possessed of evil spirits. We need to get rid of that irrationality. The good reason is rather hard to explain, but Don Kates has written an extremely important piece (http://nramemberscouncils.com/kates/) on the legal side of it. The political side is this: all gun politics is about trust. Most people really know nothing about guns. When they are asked to make policy decisions about guns, they have no choice but to choose who to trust. The antis make claims about the effects of private ownership of guns, and as those claims are backed by the media and by the academy they are the default experts. We make very different claims, but we have an uphill fight because of the monolithic control of information by antigunners. Once you realize that you know one reason for the particular slanders aimed in our direction--the claim that gun owners are hillbillies, rednecks, savages is aimed precisely at discrediting us before we even speak. It is about creating distrust of anyone who might contradict the monolith.

Our one advantage is that these are claims about reality, and we are actually right and they are actually wrong. What we need most of all is a chance to demonstrate this. The nationwide CCW movement is perhaps the most significant development we have had because it has consistently supported our assertions about reality and denied theirs. That reality is slowly seeping through in spite of the best efforts of the "respectable" media. Our predictions came true--their predictions of blood in the streets and bullets everywhere did not. What that does is build trust.

We're still in the early days of this, I think, and must not screw it up because we are playing a single hand for keeps. We still have to get shall-issue in the states that don't have it, and then we have to very very carefully use the credibility we gain to work on other 2A rights. But if we overreach and ask for something we don't yet have the credibility for, we lose. If we do that in court, we set a bad precedent and lose for ever. I *think* we are going to win not just the legal battle but the hearts & minds battle, the credibility battle for semiautomatic carbines. It may take a generation to win everywhere, as we haven't won until residents of DC, Chicago, and New York City can exercise their right to own the carbine of their choosing, but I do think we'll win. Perhaps at some point we'll be able to put a crack in the NFA on something like short-barreled weapons or suppressors.

If we do all that and more, at some point we may have the credibility and also have extended the "gun franchise" widely enough to openly say what has always been true--that no weapon is more evil than another, even "machine guns," and that further the Constitution and the world-view that goes with it does not permit their restriction nor does it wish the government to have such things when we do not. But even with all that, the fear that the public has been taught to associate with "machine guns" (though of course we're talking about automatic rifles, not carbines) is so great that I'm not entirely sure we'll win it.

What I'm saying is that my boy, or his boy just maybe will be able to exercise his full rights as a citizen, but probably not me and especially not in California (though I'd like someday to move, frankly). And they won't unless we are smart enough not to over-reach, to always build credibility and franchise a step at a time, and in general to rebuild a gun culture that has been severely damaged.

I'm told Alan Gura told someone "if you want machine guns, take someone shooting," and that's more or less the point. The anti-gunners have played a generations-long strategy of slowly eating away at the right and quenching the culture. We can't win the full rights that the Constitution promises every law-abiding citizen unless we plan for just as long a campaign. We have to play in court, but we also have to earn credibility and extend the franchise.

That's why we don't make a big deal about it now. At least if we're smart. But in the long run, we're not settling for hunting rifles and handguns. We want it all. We have to, because that's actually what the law means. If we aren't fighting for the law, then we're playing the same game as the antigunners, just for a different goal.

7x57

CSACANNONEER
03-28-2009, 7:19 PM
Semi-auto rifle and handguns CAN deliver damage downrange, faster than any other legal firearm.


Really, maybe you should go to a SAS shoot sometime. Some of those guys can shoot SAs and lever guns faster and with greater accuracy than most can shoot a semi. Or, you can watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3fgduPdH_Y. I bet you can't shoot a semi half this fast and maintain the same accuracy. I know I can't.

JBBenson
03-28-2009, 7:20 PM
If someone tells me "guns should be banned" or "I don't think anyone should have guns", I just tell them that it is not their decision to make. Sorry!

Sometimes they make a joke about "who I'm gonna shoot with my guns" but I just stare at them in silence until they realize they sound like a total idiot for saying that. More effective than arguing with them.

But I am meeting fewer and fewer people these days who are reflexively anti-gun. I remember it being worse, years ago.

Thinking people are sensing that our rights are under siege from various interests, including some rights that they may not particularly like, like the 2nd amendment. They are realizing that that the BOR is a pretty special thing.

So they accept the 2nd, perhaps reluctantly. But they accept it as legitimate.

wash
03-28-2009, 7:44 PM
At my previous company I knew one other person with firearms. That company had about 120 people at my location, about 300 world wide.

At my present company I know three other people with firearms. This company has about 25 people total. A lot of them are foreign and probably not able to buy so the ratio is higher than it seems.

I don't know if it's a sign of the times or just luck but I like it.

fnman
03-28-2009, 7:47 PM
I got it, maybe we should tell them that because of computer hackers that we should ban all computers above 4 ram and above a 586 Processor with a modem.I mean thats all we really NEED isnt it?

shark92651
03-28-2009, 9:32 PM
Semi-auto firearms represent the state of the art. Why should you be denied the latest, most effective tools available for the defense of yourself and your loved ones? The criminals are going to have access to them whether they are banned or not.

nicki
03-29-2009, 2:01 AM
When dealing with anti gunners you are dealing with emotion, to talk to them with facts is wasting your breath.

When someone says that we should ban semi autos or anything else, I ask why do they feel that way and shut up?

They speak.

Then the next question is how should it be done?

Well, they will either talk crap or say they don't know because the bottom line is prohibition doesn't work. Until you can stop the illegal importation or maufacturing, the guns aren't going to go away, in fact, guns far worse than semis will replace them since the world black market is full off FA AK47's.

At that point, they are either going to say, they didn't think of that or they will just kinda ramble on.

Many of us can make a eloquent constitutional argument, but what you need is a practical reason based argument of why the AW Ban not only can't work, but in fact will create more opportunity for organized crime and will result in worse type guns in the wrong hands.

Several things you can bring up is that the AW ban diverts attention away from many failed government policies and social problems that need to be addressed and that by focusing the publics attention on guns, it diverts attention and resources away from things that really need to be fixed.

Obviously our drug policies are a disaster, our criminal justice system and our prison system are seriously flawed, our education system is screwed, government policies stunt economic growth, etc.

For most people, other issues are higher priority than guns and if gun prohibitons effect the things they care about the wrong way, you got a way into them.

We are not going to be able to turn alot of the public, but we can divert them.

Nicki

SirGlockALott
03-29-2009, 9:35 AM
Semi-Auto's Rock

CSACANNONEER
03-29-2009, 9:46 AM
There's an article on this very subject in the latest American Rifleman!

-hanko
03-29-2009, 11:26 AM
If as you say, the 2nd amendment does not talk about action type or sporting purpose, then why are we generally not critical of laws banning machine guns?

Why not then, have legal fully automatic AR or AK rifles?

It sounds hypocritical to say the 2nd amendment does not talk about gun actions, but then by our silence, say we are OK with laws banning a specific action type (i.e., full auto). - Phil
It's not an "IF"; who is "generally not critical of laws banning machine guns?"

Having legal fa weapons is fine.

Try reading the origins of the NFA.;)

-hanko

yellowfin
03-29-2009, 11:36 AM
For all our reading of the origins of the NFA, we still haven't been able to get anything done about it. :mad:

beerup949
03-29-2009, 1:45 PM
The first amendment protects speech, even speech that you or the government might not like. The second amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms, even arms that you or the government might not like...

A free citizen should be able to own whatever arms they want.

I will get a few full auto, suppressed, short barreled and any other weapon as soon as the government recognizes my rights.

+ 1

bussda
03-29-2009, 2:18 PM
I am doing my best, talking to anyone who will listen, supporting firearms rights. Right now, assault weapons are the topic, and there is one issue that is more difficult for me to defend. Semi-autos. Semi-auto rifle and handguns CAN deliver damage downrange, faster than any other legal firearm. I know semi-autos are used in some sports, law enforcement, but given they are the weapon of choice for criminals, what arguments can I present that best defend the semi-auto? Especially the semi-auto rifle, since the speed of fire is much faster than a bolt action rifle. I want to present the most compelling argument I can, and welcome any thoughts.

- Phil

Awww. The old spray and pray argument. Yes, you can shoot many, but are they hitting the target?

The weapon of choice for most criminals are handguns, because they are easily concealable. Most criminals who would use them would use them at short distances, unless they are using them for intimidation. So you are not talking about a weapon that is a criminals first choice.

Be blunt on a specific point. If a person is intending to use a firearm to commit a crime, nothing will stop them, no law and no person. Steer the conversation to the legal points of firearm ownership. And defending freedom is not in these people mindset, safety and risk are up front. More firearms, more safe; less firearms, less safe. Go from those points.

Little fact, the speed record for firing rounds out of a handgun was made with a revolver. Semiautos are too slow.

radioburning
03-29-2009, 8:29 PM
The point of this is that the antis pretty much will not listen so you point out the 2nd and choose your battles as you will probably not be able to reason with a hard core anti as "all guns are bad, can't we all just get along!" is their mantra....

I've converted many antis who have this same argument. It's just a matter of burying their argument with logic backed by statistics.

"Why should anyone be able to own an AR-15?"

Well, in a nation of over 300 million people, 100 million of which are gun owners, and at least tens of millions of AR-15's already in widespread proliferation in America...but the number of people killed every year by AR-15's is less than 600, why would anyone think that banning them is necessary? More people die from slipping in the bathtub than getting shot with an AR. Did you know you're more likely to get struck by lightning than to get shot with an AR?

Why shouldn't anyone be able to own an AR-15?

"Hhhhmmm, I didn't really know it was like that."

The trick is to not be antagonistic, angry, or over zealous about it. Polite, informed, logical, and well spoken arguments can, and do, convert anti's.

Antebios
03-30-2009, 4:29 AM
Hey Phil 3, one of the best resources that I have found (probably here on calguns, can’t remember) is the GunFacts handbook. From: http://www.gunfacts.info/ It is full of great info. More than you will even know what to do with.

It is a compilation of gun statistics, and famous quotes/arguments… which debunk the misconception, and brainwashing of our society today about guns.

The main reason we still have any gun rights, is that there is still a large number of true Americans who have grown up with, and learned to respect instead of fear guns. Alongside with our strong gun lobby. (the U.K. had no strong gun lobby)

What I fear most is the day when enough Americans grow up brainwashed, with no one to teach them about guns, and as a result they no longer have a desire for their 2nd amendment right, and give it up. So we must all teach our friends and family to ensure such a day never comes.

eflatminor, what you are saying is right on, those are some of my exact thoughts, but no one seems to understand this anymore. For example the Soviets, and Nazis took away peoples gun rights, and we all know what happened to those poor people soon after!

cousinkix1953
03-30-2009, 6:38 AM
The point of this is that the antis pretty much will not listen so you point out the 2nd and choose your battles as you will probably not be able to reason with a hard core anti as "all guns are bad, can't we all just get along!" is their mantra....

I know what you mean. Some of these stupid people actually believe that you can buy hand grenades and RPGs at a gun show; just because they heard an idiot like Anderson Cooper say this on CNN. Firecrackers are illegal. The BATFE will arrest somebody for selling M80s too. In that case, why would anybody with a brain believe that the feds won't bust you for hand grenades?

ChuckBooty
03-30-2009, 6:42 AM
I'm tired of people trying to paint the second amendment as "The Right To Go Hunting". Our current government justifies talk of an AW ban by saying things like, "...these rifles are NOT used for hunting and are NOT used for sports...".

Fine

I'll buy that. They're NOT used for those things. But I'm not even 30 years old and TWICE in my life time, major American cities has erupted into violence, lawlessness and chaos. If you happened to be living in Los Angeles in April of 1992 and you didn't have a weapon, you were a victim. Same in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Most police officers did what ANYBODY would do...they grabbed their family and got the f--- out of there. So if you happened to be in the city with your family after all the cops left and all the zombies started roaming the streets...you were a victim. Your family were victims. Period.

BUT...if you found yourself in either situation, but you happened to be sitting outside or up on your roof with an AK-47 and a few full magazines, chances are the zombies would take one look and go back the other way. Americans have always been self-reliant.

The police force is a LUXURY and not a first line of defense! We have a Fire Department too...but who in their right mind doesn't own a few smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher? Should the government pass a law saying that their citizens can not own hoses and that we are only permitted to use well water and a wooden bucket to protect ourselves from fires?

deleted by PC police
03-30-2009, 6:45 AM
Ask them if they think revolvers are ok, when they say yes say well most revolvers fire everytime you pull the trigger just like a SA handgun.

When they get that confused look on their face tell them it's not in their best intrest to believe everything cnn crams down their throat.