Perspectives: So-called ‘assault weapons’ due place in society

Image composite by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

OPINION – Barack Obama should be nominated for the title of “Firearms Salesman of the Year.” Fears of a renewed ban on so-called assault weapons under his administration are prompting a buying frenzy on the firearm models most likely to be restricted.

But before rushing out to make a panic purchase, we should first consider the role these weapons serve in a civilized society.

First and foremost, the term “assault weapons” is a purely pejorative description of firearms that are self-loading; meaning that they fire exactly one shot each time the trigger is pulled. They may share certain cosmetic features with the select-fire assault rifles used by the military. But it’s the intent of the user and not merely the looks of a firearm that determine whether it is being used for good or evil purposes.

If, as some suggest, these firearms are only good for “killing large amounts of innocent people” then we should ask if that is what we expect of our police or military to whom they are issued. Do they use their patrol rifles to kill large amounts of innocent people? Or do these rifles serve a protective purpose?

If their real purpose is to protect innocent life from the lethally aggressive behavior of men bent on doing harm to others, then that need is just as real for law-abiding citizens who don’t have the option of radioing for backup when danger appears. Standard capacity magazines are preferable to reduced capacity magazines for this same reason.

A military-style self-loading rifle, in the hands of an individual with the will to use it, is the best tool for solving a life-threatening problem. This is especially true when one is confronted with multiple armed aggressors such as in a home invasion. But there is a much stronger reason that justifies the ownership of these rifles; preventing a state monopoly on force.

Jeff Cooper explains: “The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, because a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.”

Military-pattern firearms are the preferred tools for resisting tyranny because they create within the citizenry a degree of parity with the type of force that agents of the state are capable of projecting. Hence, statists tend to view gun control as a means to the end of people control. Propagandized people who think an AR15 in private hands constitutes a menace to society, think nothing of the very same weapon in the hands of state actors.

But which group actually has more innocent blood on their hands, private citizens or government operatives? The historical record could not be any clearer.

A powerful lesson can be gleaned from studying the genocides of the 20th Century in which out of control governments murdered nearly 170 million non-military individuals. One thing which all of these genocide victims had in common was that their governments first carefully disarmed them via gun control laws.

This does not suggest that gun control causes genocide, but it clearly shows that genocide can only occur when a targeted population is first rendered incapable of resisting. Considering that our own government now claims the power to assassinate or indefinitely detain anyone, anywhere, anytime, and for any reason, this seems a particularly foolish time to place our faith in the state.

Once again, Jeff Cooper offers some much-needed clarity; “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used for evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path or righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

In this context, a military-style, self-loading rifle in the hands of the law-abiding citizen is much more akin to a life preserver than an instrument of evil. Whether stormy seas are ahead or not, a life preserver is worth having on hand at all times. A bit of training in how to use one correctly wouldn’t hurt either.

That’s a topic I will cover in my next column.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

Image composite by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

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19 Comments

  • Fred December 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Bryan is so correct. I agree with him completely. How many of the 6 million Jewish People killed by Hitler gave up their guns when he came to power? Also Barry wants to shred the 2nd amendment. That is the ultimate goal of these radicals. Dictators cannot have the population armed to fight back against them.

    • Remember Romney? December 24, 2012 at 11:24 am

      What if those victims of Mountain Meadow Massacre had not surrendered their weapons to an armed group that promised them safety? They might have all died anyway, but at least taken out a few of those cold-blooded murderers. MMM was this country’s first mass murder of US citizens and remained the largest mass murder of US citizens until the Oklahoma City bombing.

      • 375ultra December 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

        how many of those massacered at mountain meadows were reponsible for murdering mormons in missouri

      • Dsull December 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        Though throwing Mormons under the bus is fun for you, there have been many mass murders in the US before the Mormons even existed. Giving them sole credit for the first mass murder in the US is a great stretch. The Catholics sure Massacred many in the Crusades. It’s funny to come from the east coast where they rip on the Catholics to here where you rip the Mormons.

  • Remember Romney? December 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Apparently people have forgotten that Willard Romney while Governor of Massachusetts imposed some of the most restrictive gun laws of all states. Willard was anti-NRA, until learning NRA was predominantly Republican. One can only wonder how many assault weapon sales his restrictions caused.

    To say Obama is responsible for gun sales is false. Gun sales have been steadily increasing since the Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004. This latest spike in sales may be due his calling for more controls on assault weapons, or it could be due to the mass murders this year, with the most recent being those 20 elementary school children. Wouldn’t you feel a need to arm yourself with an assault weapon if you have children you want to protect from killers like those in Newport and Aurora? Or would you just blame Obama?

    The real tragedy, though, is gun manufacturers stand to make record profits this holiday season because of the deaths of 20 elementary school children, ages 6 & 7. While people are unwrapping their Christmas gift assault weapons (nothing says Christmas better than guns), take a moment to reflect that 20 small children do not get to enjoy another Christmas because of a killer on a rampage with an assault weapon. Show your sympathy to those children and their families by buying an assault weapon for Christmas. Gun manufacturers will rejoice in their holiday sales.

  • Karen December 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Mr. Hyde is incorrect with his “Firearms Salesman of the Year” attribute to President Obama. The real ward should go to the NRA and others who stoke the public with fear-mongering. Gun sales have been on the increase since the 2008 election simply because the NRA and others promoted the idea that a Democrat might do something about guns. Obama was elected, gun sales did rise, and the fear continued but, as has been noted by all, Obama did not try to take away anyone’s guns during his first term. That is a fact.

    Fast forward to the 2012 election. We have LaPierre of the NRA in an interview earlier this year shrieking again about how Obama is definitely going to take away guns if re-elected. I watched it recently and it was totally irrational. The NRA (a lobby for gun manufacturers) has been very successful.

    And by the way, anyone who uses the argument about being armed to prevent government tyranny is delusional. I’d like to ask them how their weapons are going to stack up against drones, tanks, RPG, etc. Good luck with that. Another ridiculous argument.

    • Zeke December 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      First of all, don’t blame the fear-mongering on the NRA. Obama and his posse have all been against guns since they were in college and belonged to their various anti-USA clubs. That’s all well documented.

      I would also go out on a limb and say that 99.9% of all NRA members are honest law-abiding citizens who respect the bill of rights and other accomplishments of the founding fathers. NRA members are NOT the problem out there right now.

      And for a history lesson, the 2nd amendment is “all” about taking the government back if and when it becomes corrupted. If the gun owning public feels the need to defend their 2nd amendment, well then that’s what will happen. I would think that many of the USA troops would probably not go against the american public if they knew the administration had gone against the constitution.

      Dictator governments know that millions of people have to die in order for them to achieve their goals. Whoever “they” will be are fully aware of this. Armed americans know this too. Maybe it will take a revolution to see who is right.

      Also, the RPG is not an american weapon. But if we are invaded, then there would be RPG’s of course.

      • Not a Dixie-ite December 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm

        Have you checked the background of that guy in Central who shot up his girlfriend and her daughter? Law-abiding by your terms.

      • ken December 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

        First you spew a lot of bunk. Please show FACTS about anti US clubs Obama is a member of. I don’t really care for Obama but I care less for people who only spew the same bunk they puppet from Fox News! What a frickin joke that 99.9 percent of NRA members are law abiding, got to love that disconnect from reality!!!! Karen never said anything about RPG’s being an American weapon, got to hate reading comprehension!

    • Not a Dixie-ite December 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      I wonder if the NRA stands to gain financially by promoting gun sales? It sure doesn’t have any financial gain by promoting responsibility and gun controls. You certainly don’t see the NRA promoting anything but more guns… I think this means more dollars to the NRA.

      Kinda like some of those politicians from Texas who promoted oil & less safety standards, not to mention starting a war in Iraq to benefit some contractors. Those caused the worst oil spill in the Gulf and cost thousands of lives (American soldiers).

      Remember that guy in Central who murdered his girlfriend and her daughter? I think he was a NRA supporter.

  • Curtis December 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Perhaps it is just my cynical and suspicious nature, but why is the anti-gun crowd so adamantly opposed to the NRA’s recommendation that armed police officers be assigned to schools ? It almost sounds like the incremental disarming of the American citizenry is the objective and the preventing of the murder of innocents just an excuse. Unless a government is prepared to confiscate assault rifles and other high capacity rapid fire weapons then passing of proposed legislation will do nothing to prevent another slaughter. A trained, armed and determined police officer could minimize if not prevent such carnage. So could a trained, armed and determined school teacher for that matter.

  • Tyler December 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Mormons are sure obsessed with assault rifles.

    • william December 25, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Tyler – – Remember Nauvoo, –April 1840, Joseph Smith, Jr., led the Latter Day Saints to Nauvoo to escape religious persecution in Missouri. It is notable that “by 1844 Nauvoo’s population had swollen to 12,000, rivaling the size of Chicago” at the time.
      After Joseph Smith’s death in 1844, continuing violence from surrounding non-Mormons forced most Latter-Day Saints to leave Nauvoo. Most of these 12,000 refugees, led by Brigham Young, eventually went to the Great Salt Lake Valley.- – -12,000 pushed out.- – – – We have a long memory.
      Those who do not learn from history are doom to repeat history.

      • 375ultra December 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

        it wont happen again, I only wish I could have around back then.

        • Tyler December 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

          Your so called religious persicution was nothing morenthan society not wanting your polygamist anti chrsitian church in their area.

          • zeke December 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

            So…………killing people because they don’t believe the same as you is ok ? Is that what I understand from this comment? Hmmmm, interesting.

  • DoubleTap December 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Democracy is defined as two wolves and a sheep discussing lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

  • Tyler December 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Zeke try reading the Old Testament. Learn what God does to people who do not think like him. Of course as a mormon you don’t trust the Bible.

  • Jon February 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Tyler, the LDS church uses the Bible, specifically the King James translation, as canon just as much as the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants. We may interpret certain passages slightly differently than Catholics or Protestants, but it is the same book.

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