Been thinking about retiring your old AR-15A1 and buying a suppressed, short-barreled AR for home protection? Need a new AR, because you’ve worn one out, shooting in Three-Gun matches? Been thinking about improving your AR with a mil-spec barrel and bolt carrier assembly, a “flat top” upper with a red dot sight, a low-profile handguard, and a more effective flash hider?
If so, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has a plan that can help you.
This week, DeLauro said that she’s going to introduce legislation to provide a “$2,000 refundable tax credit” to anyone who turns an “assault weapon” over to a law enforcement agency. Depending on the market value of the gun you would give up to get that $2,000, DeLauro’s tax credit could be enough to pay for a new AR, a chest rig full of new “large” magazines, and a case of ammunition, and leave a few Ben Franklins in your wallet for other purposes. Make that two ARs, if the gun you hand over is that $85 SKS you bought in the 1990s.
Now, lest you think we’re pulling a belated April Fools’ prank here, we assure you that the bill is real. Called the Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for Our Streets (SAFER) Act of 2015, it’s a repeat of legislation DeLauro introduced in 2013. However, as the bill’s name indicates, helping you be better armed for defensive or any other purposes is not what DeLauro has in mind.
DeLauro is one of the most anti-gun members of Congress. She hates AR-15s and, like other anti-gunners, she has no regard for Americans' right to own them. As radical a gun control advocate as they come, DeLauro says, “Assault weapons are not about hunting, or even self-defense. There is no reason on Earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for the battlefield.”
Were we inclined to argue, we could point out that DeLauro is wrong. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle for defensive purposes today. It’s the most widely used rifle for marksmanship training and competitions centered on defensive firearm skills. And it’s illogical to claim that firearms aren’t “about . . . self-defense,” and in the next breath claim that they are “designed for the battlefield,” where everything is about surviving the enemy's attempt to kill you.
But there’s no point in arguing with DeLauro or anyone else who thinks that if you have any right to firearms at all, it doesn’t extend to the most generally useful rifles on the planet. In their minds, anything that makes a firearm more effective or user-friendly argues against its legality.
Instead, let’s devote our energy to defeating such people at the polls and the insulting, disrespectful and intellectually bankrupt ideas they promote in the court of public opinion. And when we achieve victories, let’s capitalize on our momentum and roll up freedom’s adversaries like old carpet.
Over time, that’s precisely what’s been happening, of course. Since gun control supporters organized themselves in the 1970s, we have defeated their handgun bans, their semi-automatic rifle bans, their magazine bans, and their attempts to prevent people from being able to carry firearms for protection in most states.
Proportional to our successes, gun control supporters’ theories--“more guns means more crime” and the like--have been exposed to sunlight and have failed to survive that ultimate disinfectant. As a result, public opinion on gun issues is moving in the right direction.
Let’s keep it that way. The voters of Connecticut’s 3rd congressional district may continue to send to DeLauro to Washington, but we can render her and those like her politically irrelevant, by increasing our pro-Second Amendment majority in Congress and electing a pro-Second Amendment president in 2016. Victory is certain only when it is complete. And there’s still a ways to go.