Ban All Semiautomatic Firearms

Combat Handguns magazine thinks highly of this single-action, snub-nosed .22 magnum revolver from North American Arms. "Manufactured from stainless steel," the reviewer says, "the single-action revolver sports a short 1.12-inch barrel for deep-cover concealment." Needless to say, single-action revolvers are also available in many other calibers.North American Arms

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Rand Corp’s Benjamin Bahney writes today about my favorite solution to the problem of mass shootings:

Recent history shows that mass killings in the U.S. don’t follow a single script. But there is one common element shared by many of these tragedies: legal access to semiautomatic guns. Domestic terrorists such as the mass shooters in Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh and Parkland, Fla., come from different demographic backgrounds and have different characteristics….But all three killers used semiautomatic guns, which research has shown are more lethal on average in terrorist attacks than explosives or other weapons….A prohibition on sales of particularly lethal semiautomatics, such as the 1994 assault weapon ban, and on related assault weapon technologies (bump stocks, high-capacity clips and fast-clip replacement mechanisms), would make it much harder for terrorists to obtain their most effective means of killing.

Sadly, Bahney loses his nerve toward the end, implying that we should ban only “particularly lethal” semiautomatics. By contrast, I would ban all semiautomatics. That would leave the gun owners of America with three types of weapons they could legally own:

  • Single-action revolvers
  • Shotguns
  • Bolt-action/pump-action rifles

That’s plenty for self-defense and for hunting, but pretty slim pickings for mass murder. Problem solved.

But don’t worry, gun nuts. This will never happen and I have zero power to make it happen. It’s just a suggestion to gun control advocates that they should think bigger. No one outside of the military or law enforcement really needs the high-speed shooting of a semiautomatic. What they need is low-speed shooting and better training.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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