by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:
Not letting a tragedy go to waste, the anti-gun crowd is exploiting the recent shooting in Monterey Park, California to push for strict gun control measures. Since the psychotic shooter took the lives of 11 people and injured 10 others, gun-hating politicians have gone into overdrive.
We are now being reminded how bad “assault rifles” and semi-automatic pistols are and why law-abiding citizens need to be disarmed.
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In reality, however, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” The type of weapons used in Monterey Park and other recent shootings fire no faster than any other semi-automatic, such as a Glock 19 pistol or a Ruger 10/22 hunting rifle. This term is mere propaganda that politicians use to conflate AR-style rifles or pistols like the one used in Monterey with machine guns. And based on many comments online about people thinking these guns are “fully automatic,” the propaganda works.
As Reason Magazine wrote, Josh Sugarmann, founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center, laid out this strategy of misdirection and obfuscation in a 1988 report on “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America,” saying that because “few people can envision a practical use for these guns,” the public should be more inclined to support a ban on “assault weapons” than a ban on handguns. While handguns are by far the most common kind of firearm used to commit crimes, they are also the most popular choice for self-defense. Proscribing “assault weapons” therefore sounds more reasonable.
This propaganda over weapon types is nothing new and anti-gun politicians have long channeled this emotional response to incite fear. It is important to point out as well that the “anti-gun” politicians are actually only half anti-gun. When they say ban guns, they only want to ban your guns, not theirs.
This is why when California Gov. Gavin Newsom went on an anti-gun tirade on Monday, he was surrounded by guns. The guns are concealed but they are no less deadly.
While claiming that the state of California’s gun laws “save lives” — despite their history of violent mass shootings — Newsom called the Second Amendment a “suicide pact.”
Newsom was walking surrounded by armed guards on Monday near the site of the shooting and told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell “Nothing about this is surprising. Everything about this is infuriating. The Second Amendment is becoming a suicide pact.”
Newsom then implored Congress to act and claimed that California’s strictest gun laws in the nation are the example to follow. He conveniently ignored the fact that the shooter in Monterey used a gun that was illegal in the state.