Every now and again someone asks me why I own a so-called assault weapon.
My reply: Because I can. I'm a freeman, haven't hurt anyone. I enjoy the look, feel and bang of my HK91.
That reply never suffices. I can tell by the look on their faces that they want more justification, fiber to my reply.
I then tell them that I like books as well, and that I'm against banning books. Thoughts, I tell them, can be quite dangerous in the wrong brains. Nevertheless, I state that anyone who supports banning books (thoughts) must have a different view of the first amendment than me.
That still doesn't quench his or her first why someone would want a gun that is so seemingly menacing and deadly.
I then ask them to tell me what an assault weapon is. I do this to gauge their level of knowledge regarding these guns. They typically cannot put a sentence together that accurately describes these guns. Quite often, these individuals use the words "machine gun" when describing assault weapons.
I then ask them if they know that their local Wal Mart sells more deadly and accurate guns than the guns President Clinton banned. That shocks them. Many do not believe me. I then offer to take them to Wal Mart and give them a basic lesson in firearms. None have ever taken me up on my offer.
I also ask them if they know the difference between a machine gun and a semi-automatic gun. Most do not. I explain the difference and that so-called assault weapons are semi-automatic. Some actually get angry with me because of their fundamental lack of firearm knowledge. I let them get angry. I have learned that some people experience great pain when exposed to facts and common sense.
I then tell them tongue in cheek that there are any number of things that we could ban that would make America much safer than banning so-called assault weapons, which, I tell them are rarely used in crime. I invite them to call their local police department and ask how many crimes were committed with so-called assault weapons over the past year. I doubt they ever make that call. Ignorance is comfortable and easy.
Let's start with cars. Why should America make any car that will travel over 75 mph? I tell them there have been any number of studies that indicate faster speeds equate to more accidents, injuries and death.
Throw booze in on top of fast cars and now you've really got a deadly combination. I ask them if they know how many people are mangled, injured and killed because of cars and booze. They never know this, so I tell them. I then ask them if they support banning fast cars and booze.
I also tell them that cigarettes and fattening food are the number one killers in America. Knowing that, I ask them if they believe we should regulate or out-right ban McDonalds, Burger King, etc. They typically stammer around and mumble something along the lines of ".of course not. That's a personal choice."
"Exactly," I reply. "Welcome to America."