Don’t Be a Dick About Automatic vs Semi-Automatic

15 06 2016

My friend Troy recently wrote something that clarified for me why a ban on semi-automatic weapons is unreasonable. Here’s the highlight:

Semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons are different. For the few who haven’t checked wiki on this yet: a semi-automatic weapon loads the next round into the chamber, but it takes another trigger pull to fire it off. While semi-automatic does *not* mean three round bursts, it does mean one can fire off many rounds very, very quickly. If you had the horror of listening to the audio recorded on a victim’s cell phone like I did driving home (thank you NPR), then you’ll hear exactly how fast that is,

The reason gun nuts and respectable gun owners don’t want to ban semi-automatic weapons is because nearly *all* rifles are semi automatic these days. That .22 ruger that holds 10 rounds and is not powerful enough to kill a deer in one shot? It’s semi automatic.

An AR-15 to the best of my knowledge is ‘just’ a higher powered .22*. Mechanically identical. 

And no, I had not wikied it. Because unlike Troy’s very kind and informative post, most people arguing the difference between automatic and semi-automatic sound like snarky assholes, splitting hairs while people die. Those type of posts don’t make me want to understand anything.

Here’s the beginning of a more typical one currently making the rounds:

Ok. I’m going to have to fix a few people on here because emotions are high and stupid shit is being supported.
First off, most of you have no clue what an assault rifle is! It’s not your fault you don’t know, I will educate you. An assault rifle is a rifle with the ability to go fully automatic. That means if you hold the trigger down, it keeps going bang until you release the trigger or the weapon runs out of ammo. The first assault rifle came about during WWII with the German Stg44. It had the power of a rifle with nearly the rate of fire of a sub-machine gun (full auto). Inspired out of this WWII era gun came the most well knows assault rifles of all time, the AK-47 and the M-16…

I’ma stop you right there smarty pants. I don’t give a single fuck about the history of guns right now. I will take any definitive information you want to share, but guns to me are not fun or beautiful or even the least bit interesting.

I understand that some people like guns. That’s fine. I like a lot of weird shit that is completely pointless, I won’t fault anyone for liking guns. But when you’re talking to us regulators, you have to understand: we are exploding with rage and frustration. People are dying, for no reason, more and more and more, and we get nothing but a stone wall of resistance to any action whatsoever.

My hands are shaking as I type this. I know that compromise is the only workable path forward. I know that stricter laws and tighter regulations will go a long way to solving the problem. I know that a ban on all rifles is not warranted or possible. But if I’m honest, I absolutely agree with my friend Sarah:

Take away our guns. All of them. Defend yourself with fists for all I care. Purge this country of its metal plague. Melt them down into little cups to catch the tears of the NRA. Every last gun ripped from its owners’ hands. No more fucking around.

This is where we’re at. Congress won’t take a single step to solve a problem that other countries have shown how to solve. People are dying for no reason. Literally anyone could be next. So don’t talk to me about your hobby, or your wild west good guy scenario, or god forbid your rebel vs tyrant standoff fantasy–seriously, how does end in any way but you getting squashed under a tank?

It’s unfair for me to be snarky and tell the other side you can’t, I suppose. You know what else is unfair? Gun owners and gun buyers have access to all the guns. Dead people have nothing.

So fuck you guys. It’s on you to make this right. I don’t want to hear a single fucking word out of you that doesn’t move us toward a solution.

 

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