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Does the normal American need an assault rifle?

Don-At-WorkDoes the normal American need an assault rifle?

By Don Valentine

        The Founding Fathers put in the Second Amendment to the Constitution after realizing the need for the citizens to protect their property. This was not just from crime but from a government they found collectively not to be in their favor.  They did not in vision, nor is there a need to have high volume assault weapons for the general populace.

The San Bernardino terrorists and the 26 killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School used, among other weapons, semi-automatic “Long Gun” rifles capable of carrying large rounds of ammunition. These rifles have an easy action cartridge allowing the shooter in one motion to easily reload another high volume cartridge. You could speculate this might be more fire power than you need to stop a “Car-Jacking” or “Home Invasion”.  Unless we get invaded by Cuba, you are not going to need this kind of artillery. The right to State Militia is an excellent clause in the Constitution. It should be exercised when we ever get invaded by Mexico, but short of a full scale invasion the Second Amendment should be used with prudence.

There is no excuse for companies like Smith and Wesson or Remington to glorify the possession of such egregious civilian armaments. What should surprise — and horrify — us is that Remington actively promotes the AR-15’s capacity to inflict mass causalities. Remington markets its AR-15s with images of soldiers and SWAT teams; it dubs various models the “patrolman” and the “adaptive combat rifle”; and it actively encourages the notion that the AR-15 bestows power and glory upon those who wield it. That “Macho” imagery is fine for Ford to sell F-150 trucks. It does not need to be used to fuel the unnecessary carnage it has created in multiple episodes over the years. Clearly, Assault Rifles are meant for real war time usage. Compare these rifles to the use of grenades, tanks and missiles being used to allegedly protect your property. If you extend the N.R.A. argument you could get to that point. The absurdity of this comparison is the same as advocating the need for a high capacity assault rifle. Does a hunter or average “Non-S.W.A.T.” citizen need a high volume assault rifle to protect their property? One should take everything in context to the situation.

Don Valentine – Free Lance Writer, U.C. Berkeley B.S. Psychology ’89, J.D. McGeorge Law School ’92

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