For an index of the two-dozen previous items in the post-Parkland gun-safety series, please see the bottom of this post. In this installment, I offer reader messages on two main themes. One is whether it matters to talk about the specific “killing power” of the AR-15 and the ammunition it uses. The other is about the specific historical background of the “well regulated militia” phrase in the Second Amendment.
Ammo and velocity. Reader J.E., in Kentucky, writes to object to another reader I quoted here, concerning the lethality of the AR-15’s high-velocity bullets. J.E. writes:
Our laws have capably recognized distinctions within the Second Amendment’s category of “arms.” This series of articles have helped convince me that a further distinction needs to be made delineating a class of semiautomatic rifles which includes the AR-15 and variants.
For the purpose of regulation, it is possible to define this type of firearm objectively without falling prey to the kind of loopholes found in the ’94 “Assault Weapons” ban. Such a definition is crucial to avoid the slippery-slope fallacies which have been levied by regulation opponents in the past (or recently by Marco Rubio). This possibility is evidenced by the 1934 National Firearms Act which has successfully regulated certain categories of firearms without spill over.
Since these definitions are inherently technical, the argument is not aided by gun-control proponents who make factual errors. When at a gun range or store, I regularly hear such mistakes being ridiculed. They go viral on social media depicting supporters of gun control as clueless (an example here).
I fear the previous comment [here] about the kinetic energy of .223/5.56 round being greater than that of a 30-06 unfortunately provides just one more example.