Myths and lies are used by many groups to try and sway public opinion toward their cause. The Nazi Party gained popularity as Hitler and his followers told Germans how losing World War I was a Jewish conspiracy. PETA talks about ending hunting by telling people that hunters are cruel murderers, while they fail to mention that not hunting wild game animals would result in over-population and starvation because humans have already killed off most natural predators. Anti-gun groups have their own bag of falsehood as well. Their most potent myths and lies include telling people about “high-powered assault rifles”, making claims about “cop killer” bullets, and insisting that more restrictions on guns equals less violent crime.
The term “high-powered assault rifle” is thrown around almost every time an AK-47 or AR-15 type of weapon is mentioned in the media. The term itself is flawed, and here is why. The concept of an assault rifle is to have a lightweight weapon that a soldier can carry more easily and to use small calibers of ammunition so the soldier can carry more of it. The Germans came up with the idea in World War II, as they found that their sub-machine guns that fired 9mm pistol ammunition were not powerful enough for longer-ranged engagements, but the rifles that their infantry carried had much more range than what they usually experienced in a battle. They took their 7.92x57mm round used in their bolt-action rifles, made it shorter, and the 7.92x33mm Kurz round was born. They put this in their Sturmgewehr 44, which bears many similarities to the AK-47 and provided much influence for the Soviet design. It is the first assault rifle, and the AK-47 fires a round that is smaller in diameter and has slightly more power with the 7.62×39. The M-16s and M4s used by the US military and AR-15s that civilians use, fire a 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. It is even smaller in diameter than the AK-47’s bullet, and was based on the .233 Remington, a bullet used to hunt coyotes, varmints, and small deer. The US military adopted this over the M-14 and its 7.62x51mm NATO, based on the .308 Winchester, rounds used still today for snipers and long-range deer hunters.
The AK-47 and AR-15 rifles are not “high-powered” at all. They are lower-powered alternatives to bigger rifles. For a graphic comparison to “high-powered” rifles, you can watch this video, that shows a man shooting watermelons with different types of rifles, a shotgun, and a pistol as well as a little background on the weapons. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgr3kTU68uw The media loves to prey on them as very deadly, very powerful rifles that criminals love to use, but you can see how they are much less effective than even the least powerful hunting rifles used today.
The media will also tell you that an AK-47 is a criminal’s favorite weapon by far and it allows them to gun down law enforcement officers with ease from range. Well, here are some statistics on what guns criminals use. in 1993, the year before the expired Assault Weapons Ban was passed, 57% of all murders were committed with pistols. Only 3% were with rifles of any kind. (http://www.firearmsid.com/Feature%20Articles/0900GUIC/Guns%20Used%20in%20Crime.htm) In 2005, 50 police officers were shot to death. 42 of those officers were killed with pistols, five were killed with shotguns, and only three were killed with any type of rifle. (http://www.saysuncle.com/2006/05/17/police_shooting_stats/) As you can see, assault rifles seem to be the least favorite weapon used by criminals.
The AK-47 also gives no real advantage to a criminal who does decide to use one. They do have more range than a pistol, and can be equipped with 30 and 40 round magazines to give it plenty of ammunition to put downrange. However, the AK-47 lacks one thing: accuracy. Hitting a man-sized target becomes increasingly more difficult as you get further and further. The rifle was meant to be used to put down a wall of fire with an entire Soviet mechanized infantry squad firing all at once to get kills.
Law enforcement officers are carrying AR-15 variants more and more commonly, and this takes away the advantage. An AR-15 can deliver amazingly accurate fire at 300 yards with a trained shooter and even the cheapest rifle scopes. So a long range shootout with police would be the last thing a criminal with an AK-47 would want to be in when a cop could put a bullet through his heart at a range he would be fortunate to hit the officer’s car.
At close range the AK-47 offers more ammunition, but most people forget two things. First, simply “praying and spraying” is how most untrained users fire a semi-automatic. They are not used to the recoil, and aiming is not a real concern. They also do not take into consideration that the police officer is very well-trained with his pistol that probably holds 15 rounds that he has more magazines for, his shotgun that he can fire a spread of buckshot quickly at a criminal, and his rifle that has the obvious advantages described above.
Sure, a criminal could buy an AR-15 style of rifle, but with the cheapest ARs running about $700-800, they would likely pass on having one of these more expensive rifles instead of a “hot gun” (one that has already been used in a shooting) that can be had for under $200.
Even with this information in mind, Bill Clinton got his Assault Weapons Ban pushed through Congress in 1994. The bill banned many kinds of weapons, most notably most of the AK-47, AR-15, and other military-style rifles that were on the market. In this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X12-dA3TJD0, you can see the lies in action. Watch as the second speaker in the video lies to the American people by telling them that, “These are the weapons that criminals prefer to use.” Think about how the broadcaster uses emphasis when he says the term “powerful”. Think about the way that Chuck Schumer uses the bogus phrase “spray shoot”. (How does it spray? Is it a pattern like a shotgun? Is it a fully-automatic weapon that is already illegal anyway?) Notice how Wayne Lapierre disproves the “assault weapon” argument by putting a picture of a rifle used commonly for hunting small game and the same rifle that has been modified to have more tactical features. See how Dianne Feinstein proves Tom Delay’s assertion that the Assault Weapons Ban is just a step in taking away guns in a CNN interview, saying, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it.” It really is nice when you tell the truth, Mrs. Feinstein.
Here is another myth that the gun control crowd used: “cop killer bullets”. Winchester produced a line of bullets called “Black Talon” in 1991. They came in all sorts of pistol and rifle calibers, and were a fairly advanced design at the time. They were designed to expand in a way that would slow the bullet down once it hit its target so the bullet would not overpenetrate, not expanding fast enough to cause damage. The design was for law enforcement and self-defense use, but the media quickly branded it as the “cop killer bullet”. They claimed that it would punch through police body armor, as well as leave horrible wounds that were unsurvivable. Now anyone who knows anything about punching holes in armor will tell you that this is a lie that is meant to demonize a type of ammunition. Penetrating armor requires a small, fast projectile, not one that slows down and spreads out. This is how sabot rounds work against tank armor. They punch a tiny little hole by flying very fast and being hard enough to stay intact. Black Talon ammunition was pulled from store shelves after several shootings with it just a couple years after it was released after massive public uproar, all thanks to a lie.
Now we will get to the biggest fairy tale about gun control. Gun control supporters tell us that less guns means less crime. What they really mean is “less legal guns will mean less crime”. A gun ban, requiring registration and licenses, or any of the other schemes that gun control activists come up with only take legal guns away from law-abiding citizens. You already saw the video of Democratic leaders telling us that the Assault Weapons Ban would make the country safer, but did it? Looking here, http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm, you can see that violent crime did fall after 1994. But when the law expired in 2004 crime did not go back up much at all, and certainly not to pre-ban levels. When we have already seen that “assault weapons” account for a slim minority of crimes, crime rates must have been affected by other factors.
Gun control advocates will say that less guns equals less crime. Well, in 1995 Texas passed a “shall-issue” concealed handgun license law, allowing citizens who have been trained and licensed to carry a pistol hidden on their body after a Luby’s Cafateria in Killeen was attacked by a man with a gun in 1991, with many people being killed or wounded. As shown here, http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/txcrime.htm, Violent crime dropped by over 1,000 cases in just a year. It dropped by another 6,000 cases by 1997 and held relatively steady until 2001 despite a substantially increasing population. So basically, the crime rate drops when you put more guns on the street in the hands of law-abiding Texans.
The District of Columbia passed legislation requiring gun registration and banning handgun ownership in 1975. Let’s look at what it did here. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm So violent crimes did drop by almost 3,000 in the first three years of the ban, but then they shot up well over pre-ban levels by 1981. They remained high and peaked in 1993, with almost 1,700. They dropped by almost 2,000 the next year, but 8,000 people left. Who can blame them wanting to leave such a dangerous place, especially when it is illegal to own something to defend yourself with?
How about looking at the cities that had the highest violent crime rates in 2010? Looking here, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43158398/ns/business-us_business/t/crime-down-these-cities-are-still-dangerous/, you can see that Michigan holds the top two spots. They require a special license to purchase a pistol, and “assault weapons” may not be sold in the state. New Haven, Connecticut comes in fourth, and their state government requires a license for pistols and bans AR, AK, and SKS rifles. California, a state that requires registration of pistols, has local law enforcement officers that refuse to issue concealed carry permits, and bans “assault weapons” among other laws, has two cities on the list. You can see that these gun control measures do nothing to stop crime.
Criminals are already going to be breaking laws to begin with, so why would they care about breaking some gun law? I hear the sentence for murder or armed robbery is stiffer than the ones for gun law violations. These are in comparison to Kennesaw, Georgia, a city that has had a law on the books requiring every household to own a gun. It has far lower crime rates than state and national levels.
The bottom line, just like with any politician or activist, is you need to actually investigate the things they are telling you instead of accepting it as the Gospel. They are going to lie and they are going to fool people into thinking that they are making the world safer by taking legal guns away. All they are doing is stripping you of your ability to defend yourself.