Letter: Cartoonist doesn’t understand gun laws


Regarding the political cartoon in your Aug. 10 issue that shows two soldiers marveling that civilians can get the “same” assault weapons that they are issued.

The cartoonist is either ignorant of current gun laws, or more likely, calculating that his and your readership are ignorant of those laws.

The U.S. military uses weapons that are, or are capable of, full automatic fire. i.e, you hold down the trigger and the rifle fires until the magazine is exhausted. Such weapons, while not totally outlawed, are very tightly regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.The retaliatively few people who legally own them have gone through vast numbers of checks and much paperwork. The notion you can walk into any store and buy an automatic weapon is utterly wrong.

The weapons that virtually all civilians can obtain are semi-automatic, i.e. weapons in which the trigger must be squeezed for each round.

These include large number of .22 rifles and pistols, some of which go back to the early 1900s and are used for plinking and target practice.

The backers of the recent I-1639 managed to convince the voters of the state of Washington that event the lowly .22 is an “assault rile.”

Don’t get me wrong — they can call these anything they want. You can call a Volkswagen a Ferrari because they are both cars or one of our ferries the battleship Missouri because they both float. But through ignorance or calculation, it doesn’t make them so.

Richard Slater


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