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Stop the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018

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It is clear that we have a problem with gun violence in this country, but a solution has not been proposed that does not violate our 2nd and 4th Amendment rights. Congressman Cicilline's proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 does not ban alleged "assault" weapons, but all semi-automatic weapons. This is a blatant infringement on the 2nd Amendment being brought forth as "common sense" legislation by labeling all semi-automatic weapons as "assault." Semi-automatic means that the gun fires one bullet per pull of the trigger, reloading the chamber automatically. This is different from fully automatic, which fires constantly as long as the trigger is held, and is often what people are referring to when they say "assault weapon." This bill would make everything from the AR-15 to Glocks illegal. 

Mass shootings are scary, terrible, and tragic, but they also account for the extreme minority of all firearm deaths, which are also minuscule.  According to the Center for Disease Control, you are .0113% likely to die by firearm, and that's including firearm deaths that are suicides. Taking this into account, a CDC study done in 2013, commissioned by President Obama, estimated that there are minimum 500,000 uses of firearms in self-defense every year, with the highest estimate at 3 million. You are vastly more likely to have your life saved by a gun than taken by one, but that relies on the population being armed for their own protection, otherwise you're left waiting, on average, 11 minutes for the police to arrive, according to Detroit's 2013 reorganization plan. The police will be the only ones who are armed to help you, which puts arms solely in the hands of the government.

That being said, the 2nd Amendment is the only thing protecting us from government overreach of power. Currently in the United Kingdom, for example, the mayor of London is cracking down on knife control because stabbings are at an all-time high and, according to him, "there is never a reason to carry a knife." A Scottish man named Markus Meechan was arrested and convicted of "grossly offensive speech" for teaching a dog the Nazi salute to prank his girlfriend; he could face a year in prison. No matter how benevolent a government may appear to be, why would we ever trust a governing body not to take advantage of that power when they know their citizens have no effective means of resistance?

The 2nd Amendment protects all of the other amendments. Its primary purpose as created by the Founding Fathers was not even for the purpose of self-defense; it was created so that the government would know that they cannot infringe on the rights of the people without consequence. In the words of James Madison, "What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 would restrict the vast majority of firearms to the point that it might as well be a repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and this is why it cannot be allowed to pass.



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