Share this article

print logo

Letter: Assault rifles should be labeled as weapons of war

Assault rifles should be labeled as weapons of war

In regard to calls for a ban on assault rifles, at least one aspect of the issue is something that both Second Amendment advocates and the Supreme Court agree on – the federal government has the constitutional authority to take this step if it chooses to do so.

Everyone acknowledges the government’s right to place limits on the possession of weapons of war. If this were not the case, it would be legal for an individual to own bazookas, anti-tank weapons, surface-to-air missiles and the like. The highest court in the land has ruled that such restrictions do not violate the Second Amendment.

The only question that remains then is whether or not assault rifles are and should be classified as weapons of war.

These weapons, because of their automatic firing capabilities, seem wholly unsuitable for either target shooting or hunting. As for self-defense, the firepower of an assault rifle would be (if you’ll pardon the expression) overkill. At close quarters, a homeowner would be better served by a shotgun or handgun.

Assault rifles appear to have only one purpose – the taking of as many human lives as possible in the shortest amount of time – and meet the definition of a weapon of war.

Before someone throws out that disingenuous old argument that “guns don’t kill people …” stop to consider how much lower the death toll in Orlando would be if the terrorist lacked the capacity to repeatedly reload and fire hundreds of rounds in the few short minutes of life left to his victims.

Patrick Henry

Orchard Park