Your community/your voice: Semi-Automatics rarely used in crimes

Your community/your voice: Semi-Automatics rarely used in crimes

May 2nd, 2013 in Opinion Letters

Semi-Automatics rarely used in crimes

A recent letter to the editor criticizing an NRA recommendation to have armed security at all schools showed a total lack of knowledge of firearms. Obviously, the author does not know the difference between a fully automatic firearm and a semi-automatic firearm.

In the recent Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., shootings, the rifles used were AR-15 patterned semi-automatics: one trigger-pull -- one shot. There were no fully automatic firearms used.

Fully automatic firearms rarely are used in crimes. To my knowledge, the last time a fully automatic rifle was used in a well-known shooting was in the infamous 1997 North Hollywood bank robbery shootout.

There is a popular misconception, even among members of the news media, that the firearms used in recent mass shootings fire more than one round per trigger-pull. That is simply not the case.

AR-15 style rifles use the same operating system as most .22 rifles and semi-automatic shotguns. Semi-automatic designed firearms have been in use since the 1890s and have been widely used all these years for hunting and target shooting. Even the often vilified AR-15 has many hunting applications and is used in a number of competitive shooting competitions.


Conservatives can carry baggage, too

In recent column on the political comeback of disgraced former New York City Congressman Anthony Weiner, columnist Ron Hart writes, "Only in liberal, Northern, big-city politics can such a candidate with so much baggage even think about a comeback."

Apparently Mr. Hart is unaware of the fact that disgraced former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who turned "hiking the Appalachian Trail" into a euphemism for cheating on one's wife, is already in the midst of such a comeback in his home state, where he is running for Congress.

Sanford is a conservative Republican, he is Southern and he is running in a rural district. Perhaps Mr. Hart should consider that no party, ideology or region has a monopoly on philandering, ambitious, ego-maniacal politicians.

DAVID B. COE, Sewanee, Tenn.