USOFF: A Discussion About Guns

Written by Larry Usoff on March 31, 2020

A little over a year ago, there was going to be a minor skirmish regarding the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Deerfield, Illinois had come up with a plan to ban “assault weapons” under what was a rather cloudy ordinance. The council’s theory was, I believe, that not enough people would even notice the passing of the ordinance and once it WAS passed, it would have the force of law. In their apparent wisdom, they failed to take into account the activists on the side of the Second Amendment and their willingness to do battle on whatever detrimental wording was being put forth.

As it was written and presented to the council the gun ban ordinance contained language that would have allowed confiscation and destruction of so-called “assault weapons” and their original capacity magazines, and levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to surrender their guns. The council was basing this new ordinance on one that was adopted a few years ago that was designed to “regulate” firearms after the state passed its preemption statute in 2013. Only an alert pro-gun activist group kept this abomination of an ordinance from becoming law. My belief is that, had this gone through and become law in Deerfield, it would have been copied by other towns close by. After all, you don’t want to have all those gun owners moving out of Deerfield and into YOUR town, do you? Of course not. That’s tongue-in-cheek satire, but it doesn’t show up in print.

Anti-gunners are a curious lot…at least in my not-so-humble opinion. On any given day, somewhere in the United States, one of them is voicing something about guns…a subject they seem to know little or nothing about. They will call semi-automatic rifles machine guns, magazines will become clips, and almost to a man, the AR15 will be labeled as an assault rifle. They will tell you to your face that the AR designation MEANS “assault rifle” when, in fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with that. The “AR” in “AR-15” rifle stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” If someone calls an AR-15-style rifle an “assault weapon,” then they’ve been duped by an agenda. Nevertheless, and as we’ve seen, facts mean nothing to the anti-gunner crowd.

Machine guns, which fire continuously when the trigger is pulled once, are quite different from semi-automatic weapons which require a pull on the trigger for every round fired. There’s a world of difference in that. Machine guns, for all practical purposes, have been banned from private use since 1930, but does that mean that they cannot be owned? No. What it does mean is that you apply to ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) for a PERMIT. It’s a very costly process, it takes a long time, because they are investigating you thoroughly, and you may not get it even though you might have already paid all the fees. Added in to that is the enormous cost of one of these weapons and you’ll understand why 99.9% of the gun-owning public doesn’t have one. Listen to most anti-gunners and your head will be swimming in murky waters ginned up by the know-nothings of the opposition.

In home defense, it’s ludicrous to figure that the invaders are going to use anything but what they consider to be overwhelming force. That force, more and more, is being countered AND defeated by semi-automatic weapons and more of those are either AR rifles or AK rifles. Either of these weapons is readily available (following the background check, of course,) and they do marvelously well as home defense weapons BECAUSE they have firepower–lots of it, and in many cases the homeowner has the upper hand only because of that superior weaponry. Every home invasion, because of the layout of the domicile, is going to be different. In my home, as an example, to reach us the perpetrators have to come down a hallway. I have a short-barrel 12 gauge pump shotgun for that very event.

Incidentally, it should be noted that the bad guys are very seldom going to be using rifles. A long gun is not easily concealed, and in close quarters becomes more of a liability than an asset. That means the bad guys are mostly going to have pistols. Chicago, which probably has the strictest gun control laws in the country, has an extremely high crime and homicide rate. Even in gang-on-gang shootings, handguns are used. I’d go out on a limb and say that the biggest majority of shootings, of any type, are done with handguns…so that should suggest something.

A word or two here about “snapping”. To the best of my knowledge, no test of any kind can predict accurately when, or if, a person is going to snap to the point where they will commit a heinous act. Ask yourself, should EVERYONE be disarmed, or only those who commit crimes with guns? Every country that disarms its citizens has come to be something less than a nice place to live. America survives as it does because we are armed, and we are sensible about it.

Parting shot: Don’t remember history? We became a nation in which guns are ours as a right.

Larry Usoff
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired. Articulate. Opinionated. Patriotic. Conservative. Cultured enough so that I can be taken almost anywhere. Makes no excuses for what I say or do, but takes responsibility for them. Duty. Honor. Country. E-mail me at: