Since the 1980s, gun lobbyists such as the National Rifle Association have generated a huge number of lies in order to further sales of gun manufacturers. Here are just a few of the lies:
1 – “The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of all Americans to possess firearms.”
The meaning of 2nd Amendment has been debated for decades. The exact wording is “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Obviously, it ties the right to keep and bear arms to a Militia.
When the 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791, the US had defeated the British only 8 years earlier. The future of the nation was not assured (the US was nearly defeated and the Capitol occupied in the War of 1812) and the nation’s standing army was small, supplemented by state militias. In order to ensure the nation’s future, it was necessary for the US to enlist help from its citizenry.
It’s difficult to imagine that Congress ever intended the 2nd Amendment as a means to allow the indiscriminate slaughter of our citizens by weapons its representatives could not even imagine.
2 – “The government has no right to limit the number and type of firearms.”
In fact, the federal government has been regulating arms for many decades. The government has banned private ownership of fully-automatic “machine” guns, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-fired rockets, surface-to-air missiles, armed military-style aircraft, etc. The 2nd Amendment only mentions “Arms.”
I think we can all agree that it is necessary, for the safety of our citizens, to prevent people from owning nuclear Arms.
3 – “The 2nd Amendment was intended to prevent tyranny by our federal government.”
In a nation with a government of the people, by the people and for the people, this claim seems absurd. However, most of the nation’s founders were opposed to the nation maintaining a standing army. In discussions by the founders leading up to its passage, the focus was on defense of our nation against external foes, i.e. the British.
4 – “Guns are necessary for self-defense.”
I’ve never seen a gun that can stop a bullet.
For all practical purposes, guns are an offensive weapon. Being armed with a handgun does not prevent an armed assailant from robbing or shooting you if the assailant has drawn his gun first. Even if you’re able to draw your weapon, at best, you are likely to be involved in a shootout that will be won by the quickest, most accurate shot. At worst, you’ll endanger innocent bystanders who could be caught in the crossfire.
90 percent of self-defense is having the awareness to avoid dangerous situations before they happen!
5 – “Any form of regulation is the first step in the government taking our guns.”
Nonsense. It won’t and can’t happen without our consent. There are simply too many gun owners for that to happen. And, no, that’s not what happened to Germans when the Nazis took control. Hitler actually relaxed gun control laws passed by the previous government.
6 – “The United Nations is coming to take our guns.”
That has as much credibility as the Mayan Apocalypse! The US helped found the UN. The US is the strongest member of the UN. The US military is more powerful than virtually all of the other member nations’ combined (See #5). And, despite the paranoia being shoveled by the extreme right, the latest UN treaty on arms control does not affect domestic policies. It is intended solely to control illegal arms trade to rogue nations and terrorist groups.
7 – “AR-15s, AK-47s and similar weapons are not assault rifles.”
In reality, the AR-15, AK-47s and many other “tactical” weapons sold to civilians were actually designed for use by the military and law enforcement agencies. The biggest difference between them and military weapons is that they are strictly semi-automatic, which means they fire each time you pull the trigger as compared to fully-automatic weapons which continue to fire as long as you hold the trigger. (In some cases, the fully-automatic feature has simply been disabled and can be restored with an inexpensive kit sold separately.) But there’s not all that much difference in the rate of fire. Even the military discourages fully-automatic fire as it is less accurate and wastes ammunition.
These weapons are not used for hunting. They have only one purpose: killing people.
8 – “Only Democrats and liberals favor gun control.”
I guess that’s true, if you consider Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to be liberals. Both spoke eloquently in favor of banning the domestic sale of assault rifles. Come to think of it, if these men were running for office today, they would probably be labeled liberals.