2nd Amendment vs the human body

Last week 60 Minutes had an excellent report on the AR-15– the weapon of choice for mass shooters.  Yes, of course handguns can kill lots of people, too, but the simple fact is not nearly as many.  Assault rifles use high-powered ammunition that is designed to be uniquely lethal because the bullets are far more damaging to the human body.  There’s a nice demonstration of this (with simulated human tissue) in the story.   Shoot 15 people with a handgun there’s got to be a significant number that survive.  Shoot 15 people with an AR-15 and the vast majority and the vast majority die.  Any mass shooting is awful, but human deaths and a lot more awful than survived gun shot wounds.

AR-15’s are the civilian version of high-powered weapons designed to kill enemy soldiers in combat.  Ordinary Americans have no more need for these than they do anti-tank missiles or rocket-powered grenade launchers.  Banning this particular class of highly lethal guns in no way undermines a general 2nd Amendment right to possess a gun.  And I know there’s been controversy about what exactly makes an “assault rifle,” but it seems to me the lethality should be the key.  High-powered semi-automatic rifles should be strictly regulated.  And, hey, maybe you need one to kill a bunch of feral pigs on your ranch.  Fine, but there’s no reason we cannot have higher standards/regulations for purchasing guns that are especially designed to take human life.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to 2nd Amendment vs the human body

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    It’s about time the doctors stood up for the public.
    Now they have found their brave side, maybe they’ll stop reading state government provided, untruthful speeches to women about abortion and its “dangerous consequences”.

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