First, I’m not left. Nor am I a lackey of Conservatives who seem to feel supreme. I’m independent; maverick independent. Sometimes the right is so far right they’ve lost contact with any moderate center. The idea of completely disarming the public across the board is even more disastrous than the present situation. But the argument for semi-automatic assault rifles has descended into an attempt of some to deceive–desperate enough even to bully–the public, who are largely unfamiliar with guns, to equate military use with civilian, and even home, needs. Home defense is not a multi-situational military operation demanding an assortment of weapon capabilities in one multi-purpose assault weapon.
Contrary to the overblown arguments for assault weapons in former Navy Seal, Dom Raso’s, video on Hannity’s Fb page, Navy Seals aren’t the only people trained in various weapons. Although my activities were a few years back, I’ve also handled assault rifles of the M-16 and Uzi eras and I’m an advanced black belt in close quarter combat techniques. As many mass shooters have proven repeatedly, it doesn’t take a great talent to operate a military assault rifle and kill people.
I’ve used various kinds of shotguns as well, I do know the difference between them and I carried a concealed handgun for most of my adult life (a .357 2.5″ stainless Smith rounded butt loaded with silver-tipped hollow points which my wife later carried when I went to a 9mm Smith model 59, also loaded with silver-tipped hollow points). I field stripped and cleaned all of them regularly. For decades we’ve had a legal-limit sawed-off 12g pump at hand, locked up, in our home. With these weapons, one has no need for an assault rifle to protect themselves or their family.
I suppose Dom might cite the Seals’ choice of a military assault rifle for the operation, inside a home, to eliminate Bin Laden. However, that would be misleading. Soldiers, fighting in an array of situations during an operation, cannot carry an entire assortment of weapons, switching weapons for each situation they might face. Like, law enforcement, the military needs maximum firepower. Thus, it’s useful to think of the semi-automatic military semi-automatic / automatic assault rifle as a Military / Law Enforcement (MLE, “milly”) rifle. For the homeowner, in contrast to a soldier on a military mission, a (legal limit) sawed-off 12g shotgun loaded, alternately, with 00 buckshot and “punkin” (or musket) balls is superior to an assault rifle–one shot of 00 neutralizes a swath; AND (Fox’s Tucker Carlson) it won’t go through a couple of walls and kill the neighbor’s child next door.
Not even the most patriotic and civic-minded citizen carries an MLE over their shoulder when they do grocery shopping, take their family to a restaurant, go to the cinema or mall or out dancing on a date night. Arguments that citizens need an MLE for defense are pure political porridge relying on unmitigated public stupidity.
It’s true that there will always be pressure cookers to blow up and other alternatives for terrorists. But it is ludicrous to argue that an all-out ban on assault weapons for civilians couldn’t keep semi-automatic military-style rifles out of the hands of MOST terrorists inside the US.
But BOTH of two things would have to happen simultaneously:  properly trained, qualified and licensed citizens were encouraged to carry handguns concealed everywhere and  there wasn’t an MLE for sale (except to law enforcement), or even seen in any gun store or show, outside of military and law enforcement, and possession of an MLE (or extended magazines to hold more rounds) was a serious felony with a serious prison sentence, then two things would happen:  terrorists would usually have to resort to handguns (an even playing field but outnumbered by trained armed citizens), knives, pressure cookers, etc., and the most important effect of all of this:  return fire would be immediate and disproportionate (on the side of defenders), whatever the target.
“Peripheral damage” of an MLE rifle that may have a range of half a mile or more is seldom considered by overzealous gun nuts (nor did Dom Raso mention it). But I’m a police academy graduate who has worked in police both in America and Israel and I know that law enforcement worr a lot about it. The effective range of a shotgun, by contrast, is perhaps 100 yards or so outside with no obstacle; inside stopped by any sturdy wall. For home defense, nothing beats a (legal-limit) sawed-off 12g pump shotgun. Even the sound of jacking a shell into the chamber can freeze a home invader with fear.
Another point Dom Raso gets wrong is that a proper ban against MLEs should be applied only to ordinary citizens having access to MLEs. Law enforcement should always have ready access to MLEs. But all sales of MLEs in the civilian markets should be eliminated. The public should never see or have access to find an MLE for sale, anywhere. Let Dom argue with police authorities across the US about this issue. Law enforcement doesn’t want to be outgunned by the criminals on the streets.
And anyone who “hunts” with an MLE is a trophy killer, NOT a respectable hunter. I’ve hunted with shotgun, with a bolt-action 30-06, with a bow and even tracked deer for miles without shooting it just to prove to myself I could do it. Using an MLE, like dogs and CBs, is industrial culling, not respectable hunting. If you can’t bag your limit during a season then it’s your lack of skill. Ramping up to an MLE because you lack skills doesn’t make you a successful hunter just because you’re able to kill something. Work on your skills. Will you need a grenade launcher next to kill a deer? Real hunters use bolt-action rifles or shotguns, never MLEs. Ergo, MLEs are solely for those, usually males, with lame and messed-up egos.
Furthermore, look at Israel. In Israel, soldiers are everywhere carrying their MLEs. It presents immediate response to terrorism and gives citizens a great feeling of security. Moreover, many citizens are trained in firearms and licensed to carry a concealed handgun everywhere they go. I’ve done so for decades. As a result, response to terrorist attack, no matter where it occurs, results in immediate return fire at the point of attack. If you want effective response to terrorism, that’s it–not have a trophy MLE on the wall gun rack at home (or exposed in a gun rack of your pickup), not with you at the coffee shop, the mall, taking the kid to school or football practice, etc. An MLE you’d always leave at home, which means you’d be more defenseless with an MLE (that you leave at home) than if you carried a concealed handgun!!! If you allow all citizens to walk the streets with an MLE slung over the shoulder then you provide terrorists with the cover to carry one as well; you can’t spot a terrorist with an MLE when he or she is just another person walking the street with an MLE slung over their shoulder. Dom is oblivious to such civilian considerations.
The gun laws on the books worked in Orlando: not a single victim had a gun. Worked in Paris the same way. Works in Chicago the same way. Laws aren’t magic bullets or magic barriers. Law-breakers always get guns when they want them; use bombs instead when easier, etc. But you can do the only simple-minded thing: keep innocent victims from having guns.
On the other hand, the idea that a handful of locals should have the right to form a “militia” and revolt against police or the American military if they get too “uppity” is childishly simple-minded and indescribably dangerous to the public. We’ve all seen how stand-offs (by wackos) against the FBI turn out. Should every citizen have the right to their own cache of nuke-tipped Cruise missiles so that their local “militia”–like Dem Trump-haters–can put down an “uppity” American gov’t?
But the military AND law enforcement MUST have ready access to MLEs and other weapons because no law against MLEs will work perfectly 100% of the time.