Thread: Editorial
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BeardedHoplite View Post
Fun fact: I'm the editor-in-chief of my local high school's newspaper. So given my extra clout and the potentially anti-gun legislation coming up, I decided to pen an article denouncing the reaction to Sando Hook. It's not quite finished yet, but I want to put it here for you guys to see; tell me if anything is overtly wrong.




In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting two months ago, many politicians are calling for an increased level of control on firearms in the United States. Of course, a total ban, as some fringe elements always call for, is wholly unconstitutional and politically impossible, so I won’t waste type on it. However, many other proposals that have a higher chance of being passed into law such as a max magazine (it is never a “clip.” A good way to tell if someone is totally ignorant of firearms is if they refer to magazines as clips) capacity of ten rounds and an “assault weapons” ban. Both serve no practical practice while the assault weapon ban infringes on the constitutional rights of all Americans.
The logic behind a fixed magazine capacity is that a potential shooter would have to reload more often and that this period would save lives. Such a theory would have been perfect in the age of muzzle-loaded, single-shot muskets, but modern magazine-fed firearms can be reloaded in a matter of seconds by even unskilled hands. During the Virginia Tech incident, shooter Seung-Hui Cho was “limited” by ten-round magazines, he still managed to commit the worst school shooting in U.S. history by simply packing multiple magazines and reloading more often. So if a limited magazine capacity cannot save lives on a state—only six states and Washington D.C. have limits on magazine size—level, why even consider it?
The same sort of logic can be found in the cries for an “assault weapons” ban. I use the quotations because the term within is a completely arbitrary one invented by politicians. An assault rifle is a weapon that fires an intermediate cartridge bigger than a pistol round (9mm Parabellum, .45 ACP) and smaller than the large rounds used in battle rifles (7.62x51mm NATO, .30-06, 7.92mm Mauser). The most popular intermediate rounds are the ubiquitous 5.56/.223 cartridges and the Russian 7.62x39mm. examples of rifles firing these rounds include the AR-15, an umbrella term for civilian versions of the military M16 and M4 rifles, the AK-47 (with it’s many, many copies) and the Ruger Mini-14. All of which are legally required to fire in semi-automatic only. The idea that anyone can walk into a gunshop in America and walk out with a machinegun is horribly incorrect. It is possible to get ahold of fully-automatic machine guns, but it requires an extraordinary number of extra legal and tax hurdles to jump over.
As a former editor-in-chief myself, I have to ask whether a high school paper is an appropriate forum for such an editorial. Most of your audience A) can't vote, and B) can't buy guns. Maybe you can submit it as an op-ed in local non-school paper?
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