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Steve Regstad, Fargo, Published January 31 2013

Letter: Ignorance of gun-control crowd is about as stunning as it gets

Never in my life have I seen a subject or topic in which one side of the “argument” knows exactly zero, zip, nada, nothing about which they speak. A great example of this is Cole Carley’s opinion letter in a recent Forum, which included the title “Differences in firearms are obvious.”

Carley states that: “Firearms designed for the military and law enforcement should be confined to those bodies and made illegal for use by individuals. This would, of course, include all automatic and assault weapons. The logic for this idea stems from the fact that automatic weapons were created with one purpose: To spray bullets, to fire many rounds at a time at human targets. They were designed to make it possible for one person to kill several others or kill one person without having to aim carefully. They were meant to be used by authorized military and law enforcement personnel and that’s where they should stay.

“In situations where people like you and I wish to play with weapons like these, state government could sanction firing ranges to own and rent automatic weapons on-property.”

This statement is the height of ignorance. Everyday citizens cannot just go out and buy machine guns. In fact, to purchase one, a person must apply for, and receive, a Class III BATF license and cough up thousands of dollars for fees and the actual purchase price of the machine gun. They are also prohibited to own one that was manufactured post-1986, per a law passed that year.

I’d say it is very safe to say that the guns to which Carley is referring are

AR-15s. The AR-15 is not a machine gun, nor is it an “assault rifle.” An assault rifle is one in which the rate of fire is selectable, such as burst or full auto. The AR-15 may look like its military equivalent, the M16, but it does not function/operate the same. The AR-15 is semi-automatic only and operates exactly like the vast majority of firearms available to purchase today: One squeeze of the trigger equals one round fired.

There are other embarrassingly incorrect statements in Carley’s letter (and others regarding this same topic), but I don’t guess that The Forum will give me the space of the entire editorial page to dispel them. Silly me, I always thought that it was a good idea to have even a remote idea of what you are talking about when taking time to write in to the paper. Bah – who needs facts when it is easier to skip the research and go with what you think you know or have been told by others?