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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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

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