Email Ken Stallings   The Truth Gets Uttered

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The theme of this column is making sense of the things that go on in society.  Because for most things and most people, whether revealed or not, there is an underlying truth, or sense, behind what they say and what they do.  People who's consciences are clean don't feel the need to hide anything, so they just come out and say it plain what they are after, and what their motivations are.  People who have some nefarious aim are the ones who hide their motivations.

By now, practically everyone knows that on a nationally televised debate stage, Robert Francis O'Rourke publicly exclaimed, "Hell yes!  We're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47" when asked if he wanted to confiscate so-called assault rifles.  It is helpful to quote his entire philosophy, uttered the next day on nationally aired televised media:

"Hell yes!  We're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.  The high-impact, high velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on the battlefield."

What O'Rourke just described is the precise physical means of inducing death that every rifle employs.  The muzzle velocity of a bolt action deer rifle is higher than that of an AR-15 or AK-47.  For example, the muzzle velocity of a 7mm Mauser is 2,950 feet per second, and strikes with an impact of 2,580 foot-pounds.  By contrast, an AR-15, which has many different models, features a muzzle velocity of anywhere between 3,100 feet per second to 2,710 feet per second.  Moreover, since the bullet it fires is significantly lighter than that of a 7mm Mauser, the critical impact force is much less, only 1,367 foot-pounds of force. 

This is why assault rifles (the real kind used by military forces) are not issued for use in sniper missions.  It's also why, even today, many military snipers prefer to carry bolt action rifles for this mission.  The so-called "deer rifle," used for hunting, packs over 52% more kinetic energy when it strikes a target, than does the sort of rifles that O'Rourke says he wants to confiscate.  So, having explained his rational, it seems clear that the man's focus is terribly misplaced. 

Many have used this ignorance of his public statements to rhetorically bash O'Rourke, but in doing so, they miss the larger point.  O'Rourke may well be grossly ignorant of a great many facts, but his emotional arguments have revealed the precise nature of his intentions.  It isn't merely so-called assault rifles that leftists like O'Rourke want to confiscate.  No, they wish to confiscate every firearm there is, and by defining his rationale for doing so, O'Rourke just emotionally grouped every single rifle and pistol into his "logic" for the government taking them from the people!

In his world, every means of delivering a "high-impact, high velocity round" to the human body must be reserved strictly for the government to possess, not the people.  The Second Amendment be damned!

What leftists like O'Rourke are doing is selfishly leveraging criminal acts to frame a public argument.  They calculate that with the media demonizing the object instead of the criminal, that public sentiment might be ready to let them confiscate a sub-set of firearms.  What people like O'Rourke are doing is fueling a mob mentality, devoid of reason, and filled with an emotional appeal deliberately designed to usurp Constitutional liberties.  They are mischaracterizing the facts of the situation, as well as mislabeling what is, in truth, an assault rifle.

So, in the spirit of speaking plain truth, let's immediately dispense with a gross falsehood.  The plain truth is that assault rifles are those weapons that feature automatic fire capability, meaning when the trigger is pulled, more than one round is fired.  The very first true assault rifle was developed during World War II by the German military.  It was named the Sturmgewehr 44, or translated from German, "assault rifle model 44."  The rifle was first fielded in late 1943, but technically considered fully fielded in early 1944, hence the model 44 designation.  It's official military names were StG-44, MP-43, or MP-44, depending upon the exact model one refers to.

The assault rifle featured rifle grade ammunition and combined it with automatic fire, something that until then was featured only in machine guns that weighed significantly more, and made individual carry challenging.  It should be noted though, that long before this point, the United States had already developed and equipped soldiers with the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR).  So, the whole notion of the true granddaddy of assault rifles is up for some debate.  But, the term "assault rifle" really is not. 

The primary reason why the military adopted assault rifles is the flexibility of selectable semi-automatic versus automatic fire, plus the fact that a single soldier can carry roughly double the number of rounds into combat, due to the lower caliber of ammunition resulting in much lighter weight.  By switching from semi-automatic to automatic fire, the soldier can choose the optimal mode for the situation he is faced with, and by carrying more ammo in the field, each soldier can remain in the fight longer.

Rifles like the AR-15 are considered an ideal self-defense weapon because they are light, shorter than a hunting rifle, and therefore can be used in tight quarters situations, such as those more likely encountered when a person is attacked by a group of people threatening his life, or his family's lives.  And frankly, range is not a priority, nor does one need the kinetic force needed to bring down large wild animals.  Us humans are, in truth, more akin to varmints than large animals in terms of body strength.  Fact is, the AR-15 is vastly more effective as a defensive weapon than as an offensive weapon, regardless of what the media and a handful of crazed criminals might think. 

This is why military tactics relegate the assault rifle to primarily defensive operations, while using the longer range weapons to support offensive efforts.  And in this effort, the true assault rifle's selectable automatic fire mode is reserved for defending oneself from the assault of a large group of people, where accuracy isn't the prime need, but deterring a large attacking force is.  In this manner, the civilian version of the AR-15 is nothing more than a low-grade semi-automatic rifle, best used as a desperate and last-ditch option for self-defense from a group of people wanting to harm you.  Every military sniper knows that the best weapon to offensively attack people is a long range, high velocity, high powered rifle, not an AR-15. 

O'Rourke has been asked several times since his bombastic promise to define and clarify his remarks.  Each time he has remain steadfast in saying that citizens should not own "high velocity, high impact" rifles.  Let's take the man at his word.  What he's clearly saying is that citizens should not own any firearm capable of firing in excess of 2,000 feet per second, nor hitting a target with more than 2,000 foot pounds of force!  In other words, he doesn't believe citizens should own any brand of rifle, and is perfectly prepared to order the federal government to send troops of men into every state of the union on a quest to forcefully take every rifle not previously handed over to the government by its owner.  He wants to make rifle ownership illegal in America, despite the precise language of the Second Amendment, which reads:

 "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Two vital points are essential.  First, in the time that the Constitution was written, it was common practice that all males between the ages of 16 to 60 were required to be a part of the local militia of a county, town, or small region.  In fact, many states had laws that required those men, who were unable to be in the local militia, to pay a small monetary tax in lieu of that service.  Second, the term "well regulated" did not equate with government regulations, but instead was understood to refer to function, meaning, that in today's language, the Second Amendment should read:

"A well functioning Citizens' Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

So, the common arguments made to attack the Second Amendment, that it somehow applies only to the National Guard, and that it must feature numerous government regulations, simply does not hold up to truthful analysis.  The truth is that in our Republic, a free people shall have at their immediate ready, the means and methods to defend their liberties against any assault, internally derived or externally sourced.  It doesn't matter whether that threat to liberty is a wild animal, an individual criminal, a group of thugs, or the worst of all possibilities, a foreign army or despotic government.  Moreover, that armed citizenry shall be well functioning, and that directly means that the nature of the firearms that the people "keep and bear" must remain effective against the threats to liberty that exist at the time.  That being the underlying need for the Second Amendment, the argument for the AR-15 is crystal clear.

The point of the Second Amendment is, quite frankly, to ensure that no future federal government shall ever pass laws that would prevent an armed citizenry of the United States.  If leftists like Robert Francis O'Rourke really want to carry out their intended actions, they must first repeal the Second Amendment.  They know they cannot do that.  So, they have resorted to other means, including propagandizing, lying, and subterfuge.  What the leftists who criticize O'Rourke are showing in their anger against him, is that he honestly revealed their collective aims.

These people want control of society vested in the hands of a small group of self-appointed elites.  The Second Amendment ensures that the spirit of liberty, enshrined in our Constitution, does not depend merely upon the government for defense, but ultimately the people as a whole.  In America, we the people defend and guard our rights and liberties; we do not assign it to others to do for us!

-- Ken Stallings

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