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Regarding a letter 3-31-21, by Susan Hull.

Ms Hull writes to inform us as to what she “believes” concerning the possession and use of an ill-defined object she refers to as an “assault rifle”. In doing so, she is either remarkably uninformed or willfully repeating a common propaganda theme of Democrat agenda to disarm the citizens of the US. Many readers will recognize that as her term for some variant of an AR15 .

Myth 1: The AR15 is a large caliber, fully automatic weapon. It is neither.

Myth 2: Anyone can walk into a gun store and obtain a “large caliber, fully automatic weapon”. Please direct me to this store. I will drive if you would come with.

Myth 3: A ban on “assault weapons” prevents mass killings. None of the dozens of government or academic studies on the 10-year Clinton ban (Sept 1994-Sept 2004) found that the ban had any effect on the number of mass shootings during or after expiration.

Briefly, quoting from a recent blog for those who don’t know:

“The AR-15 is a common, lightweight, modular, relatively small rifle, with intuitive ergonomics. It is so common, and so modular, and has been around for so long, that it is more useful to think of it as a category or type of rifle as opposed to one particular make and model (variants are made by hundreds of companies, and there are thousands of unique models that could all be considered AR-15s). Most, but not all, shoot one particular bullet – the .223 Remington (5.56mm in metric). The projectile is small and lightweight relative to most rifle bullets and moves a little faster than most rifle bullets. The bullet is used all over the world to hunt coyotes and prairie dogs, by law enforcement and also in most Western militaries.”

“People like me tend to resent the question “why do you even need an AR-15?!” or the quip, “no one needs an AR-15.” Because in a free country, the burden of proof should sit with the people trying to place a restriction. I think the people calling for more restrictions assume that case is both self-evident and air-tight. I don’t think it is. I think you would have a tough time proving why you need to ban the AR-15, and I think you would have a tough time even defining an AR-15 well enough to ban it, and I think you would have a tough time proving a ban once-enacted has done any good at all.”

I will not bother exploring the semantic gymnastics trying to definitively describe “assault”, “weapon”, etc., as that exercise finds little utility for any side of the discussion. I would never presume to know as much as Ms Hull about the wishes of most Texans regarding possession and use of any example of the AR15 platform. Folks I talk to want their AR15 because they can fight with it if need be.

J. Scott Aldridge Bandera