I can not legally own a squad automatic weapon. I can not legally own a rifle propelled grenade. I can not legally own an armed predator drone. Why not? Don’t I have all inclusive follow me anywhere second amendment rights? No I don’t. I can’t own these items because they are military weapons. So what I am going to suggest next, isn’t negating the second amendment. I am just suggesting that we move the line on what’s legal and what’s not.

The AR-15 and its siblings are military weapons…they are more than styling…they are military design weapons modified for civilian use. The are designed to kill people…and to do it as quickly and dramatically as possible. There is not a game animal in the world where a hunter would need an AR-15 to conclude a successful hunt.

So I fully support banning the AR-15 and any other similar guns designed to react and kill the way military weapons do.

And yes I am aware that Marco Rubio was partly right. Many hunting rifles use similar mechanisms to operate as those found in the AR-15. But they are usually designed around much smaller magazines…something in the four to six shot size as opposed to thirty. Quite frankly 30 shots would be useless in hunting. If you don’t hit your prey with the first shot or so, your prey will be long gone. And a good hunter isn’t aiming at a perceived movement and spraying off a dozen shots…they are waiting to identify the target and taking that shot at the most vulnerable spot on the animal. And true hunting rifles are bigger bore for better accuracy and greater efficiency.

The smaller bores of weapons like the AR-15 are modeled after a number of military rifles and tear up the flesh they strike and leave large exit wounds by design. Not the effect you want when shooting a white tail up north to take home for venison and sausage. But that’s exactly the effect you want when facing an enemy in a gun battle when you can’t get a clear shot at the target.

So AR-15s and their siblings have no functional reason to be available in the civilian market. They aren’t the most effective tool for hunting…they are designed essentially to kill people rather than game. They should be taken off the market…they should be recalled/repurchased…they should be destroyed. Swords into plowshares. And there are certainly capable lawyers and elected officials who can write clear laws that differentiate between legal semi-automatic hunting guns and illegal weapons of war.

Now I realize outlawing these guns won’t on its own prevent attacks like we saw in Newtown or Parkland. But it can reduce the carnage if they do occur. And certainly hunting rifles can be modified to use larger magazines if they continue to be available in the market place. So outlawing them as well is absolutely necessary.

But what about the plaint that we are punishing the law abiding gun owner because of the malfeasance of just a few. Well my feeling is the law abiding gun owner is a law abiding gun owner until he isn’t. And we won’t find out until it’s too late.

Better background checks? By all means. Close all of the background check loopholes? By all means.

And just to set the record straight, there won’t be accountable mental health identification and follow up care until we have comprehensive universal health care.

I am not sure I got down everything that came to mind over the past ten days…but this is a good start. I am sure that I’ll write more on this and related issues in the coming weeks.

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