Plastic straws and AR-15s.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

I’m not a gun guy. Not that I’m anti-gun. I’m not. I am a full-throated advocate for the second amendment. I shudder to think of law-abiding citizens stuck between gun-wielding law-breakers on one side and an armed, tyrannical government on the other.

Nevertheless, guns aren’t my thing.

However, I know enough about guns to know that confiscating weapons like the AR-15 and its cousin the AK-47 will have exactly the same impact on reducing mass shootings that banning plastic straws will have on environmental pollution.

Which is to say, none. Zip. Zero.

Like plastic straws, the AR-15 has become a hobbyhorse of the Left. That’s because the AR-15 has a distinctive design. It is one badass-looking weapon. It gives liberal women and lifelong urban-dwelling, metrosexual men the vapors. Because of its distinctive visual design, those who know nothing about firearms look at it and think that it’s somehow orders of magnitude more powerful than more prosaic-looking rifles.

(And for the record, an AR-15 isn’t an “assault rifle.” By definition an assault rifle must be capable of continuous fully automatic fire. An AR-15 isn’t.)

Demonization of inanimate objects, such as SUVs, drinking straws, plastic shopping bags – and guns – is a time-honored tactic of liberals. It allows them to avoid actually addressing problems and debating policy on the basis of empirical data and provable facts.

There are any number of readily available rifles that are much more powerful than an AR-15. But you don’t hear politicians calling for their confiscation. It is true that an AR-15’s killing power derives in part from the fact that it will fire 30 rounds as quickly as one can pull the trigger 30 times. But many, many handguns can fire 16 to 18 rounds or more just as quickly. And unlike an AR-15, a 9mm handgun, together with multiple ammunition clips for fast reloading, can be easily concealed in everyday clothing.

Yet every time some deranged psychopath goes off his nut and starts shooting (no matter what weapon he shoots), the cry goes up to ban “assault rifles.” In an election year, the cry is more shrill. Listen to Texas’s own man-child former congressman Beto O’Rourke from the most recent Democratic debate.

Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans any more.”

It’s always so simple for liberals. But here’s the truth. If every single AR-15 in the world suddenly vanished, we’d still have mass shootings. If every firearm of any description suddenly vanished, there would still be mass killings. Humans have been killing each other since there have been humans.

Horrible mass shootings happen today for a complex set of reasons over which no posturing, arm-waving politician like Beto O’Rourke will have any impact – other than to support liberal policies that have resulted in the erosion of church and family and the guardrails of the social order – with the resulting pathology from which mass shootings often arise.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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23 Responses

  1. John Lester says:

    Excellent post as usual sir!

  2. Clint Pirtle says:

    Our blaming inanimate objects, plus offering world wide fame to the next one to deal out a more horrific number of casualties are all valid reasons we still have mass murders. It’s not guns. Great article!

  3. Darrell Durham says:

    Our country is being overrun with people seeking asylum here and escaping the violence, gang’s and corruption in their own country. They are fleeing because they have no way to defend themselves against their tormentors. They arrived unarmed, but found rocks to hurl at the U.S. border guards in protest. In Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. the news is filled with reports of car bombs. People are fleeing those countries, too. Maybe they should ban cars. Killing is happening everywhere, and it won’t be stopped by banning the current method of killing. It won’t be stopped by leaving the country, either. It won’t be stopped by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a gun. But if the 1st amendment gives you the right to say whatever you want, the 2nd one gives me the right to protect myself and the ones I love. Both are equally important to the ones that believe in them and fight to protect them. That’s why everyone wants to come here – we have FREEDOMS other countries dont. George Washington once said, “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain that status of independence from ANY who might attempt to abuse them, including their own government.” Take away our guns and we are headed towards the end of our freedoms and independence.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      For those who don’t follow the link, it leads to an AP story that says that Colt is ending production of the AR-15 rifle. GREAT NEWS!!! That means that mass killings are going to stop. All will be well. I am so relieved!

      • C M Solomon says:

        The Left is not REALLY trying to end mass killings by elimination of guns. Anyone with a thinking brain knows that mass killings can done with a host of other normally harmless items that can be turned into “terrorist” weapons as Durham explained, above. The Holland style Left is sympathetic to less personal freedom (guns, etc.) in favor of TOTAL TRUST in an ALL POWERFUL government that “rules” over us as subjects of the State without fear that we will be able to defend ourselves from an ever creeping tyrannical government. I used to know a near genius (lacking in common sense) that actually believed that most citizens are too dumb to run their own affairs, independent of “mother” government controlling every aspect of their lives. This is what the elitist Left is all about. Mass killings are just one of the tools the Left exploits for their own demented goals, chief of which is to destroy the Constitution and our God given Rights.

  4. Ron Eagleman says:

    The AR-15 and AK-47 are merely stepping stones for a complete disarming of the population. Any self-respecting Marxist will tell you that an unarmed population is essential to the successful overthrow of any government. If a solution to the mass shootings and the blood baths in Chicago and other urban centers were the real objective, more emphasis would be directed to the root causes. There is almost no attention paid to the daily slaughter of the citizens of those Democrat-controlled cities, as it would be counterproductive to the leftist agenda. How much ink and air are devoted to the results of eliminating fathers, personal responsibility, and God from our society? There are almost none; therefore, the untold numbers of these urban victims remain faceless collateral damage for the incremental transformation to an obedient society. Not to beat a dead horse……yes, actually to beat a dead horse; medical care controlled by the government will also accomplish the same goal. If the government can deny care to those who are not behaving according to the rules, including having a firearm in the home, presto, a disarmed and obedient populace! Never forget, the second amendment is not only about hunting and self-defense, it was the brainchild of founding fathers who were escaping a very oppressive government.

  5. “Inanimate object:” Heroin.
    Kills only when humans abuse.
    Why illegal?

  6. Ron Eagleman says:

    What is more predictable, a leftist using a non-nonsensical analogy, a leftist linking to an irrelevant article, or a leftist changing the subject when convenient? As a reminder, heroin is an opiod with strong euphoric and thus addictive properties; there really is no legitimate need for heroin in our country for medical uses. However, opiate analgesics are valuable pain control chemicals, which when administered as designed are critically important for those suffering from cancer and other chronic pain. Most firearms have very legitimate uses, and are enshrined in our Bill of Rights. Yes, they are inanimate, but LEGAL, and for good reason. I agree with Solomon; a better analogy would be with other inanimate objects which are legal, but very harmful or lethal if not used correctly. In recorded history, there has never been a firearm that has caused any harm to anyone or anything without the assistance of an outside force!

  7. How about teen vaping?

  8. Darrell Durham says:

    Mr. Cooke suggests that laws will prevent misuse of harmful things such as drugs, guns and poisons. Some people are fully capable of using these things in the manner for which they were designed without harm. They relieve severe pain, provide food and protection, and kill harmful insects. Warnings are given to users of the consequences of misuse. When abuse occurs the user is already disregarding rules. That’s what humans do. You simply cannot legislate away bad behavior. You CAN legislate away GOOD behavior. Is that freedom?

    • Darrell: Though nowhere above have I suggested that “laws will prevent misuse of harmful things,” I appreciate your reasonable tone.

      • Darrell Durham says:

        You equate guns and heroin as inanimate objects incapable of damage absent abuse, and question why heroin is illegal when guns are not. Congress banned the manufacture, sale and import of heroin in 1924. How did that work out?

    • C M Solomon says:

      “You CAN legislate away GOOD behavior. Is that freedom?” You just nailed it, Durham! Believe me, common sense (such as freedom) is like the Cross to Dracula when it comes to the Left. Don’t even try to penetrate their love affair with the Leftist Utopian goals they wish to achieve by “Tyranny”, my term for their plans!

  9. Darrell Durham says:

    Mr. Cooke suggests that laws will prevent misuse of harmful things such as drugs, guns and poisons. Some people are fully capable of using these things in the manner for which they were designed without harm. They relieve severe pain, provide food and protection, and kill harmful insects. Warnings are given to users of the consequences of misuse. When abuse occurs the user is already disregarding rules. That’s what humans do. Lets just say the left is successful at banning the manufacturing, sale and use of guns, and has taken those in lawful possession. When some nutjob decides to drive a car into a parade, killing dozens (again!) and other copycats follow suit, then will Beto scream, “Hell yes, we’re gonna take your cars! We’re not gonna tolerate these weapons of mass destruction to be used against our children!?” You simply cannot legislate away bad behavior. You CAN legislate away GOOD behavior. Is that freedom?

  10. Darrell Durham says:

    Migrants are fleeing Honduras, etc. because of gangs, extortion, corrupt officials, and violence. Families feel they have no choice but to sell out, pay a smuggler all the money and come to the U.S. for a better life. Google Honduran gun control laws and read them. They are eerily similar to those proposed by many democrats. Gun ownership is 6 in 100. No wonder the citizens have no choice but to flee the country! I don’t know about you but i prefer being able to protect MY stuff from gangs, corrupt cops, and anyone else that tries to take it.

    • C M Solomon says:

      The HC logic assumes that outlawing gun ownership makes it more difficult for criminals to commit gun violence because fewer guns are available to the lawless by default, hence making YOU safer. This logic also assumes that Law Enforcement (the government) will protect you better than you can protect yourself in the long run. The HC demand to enforce their “safer society” goals is built on a belief system in which a gun-less population (except for the ruling government, of course) is a vastly superior (utopian) goal worthy of pursuit regardless of your mistaken opinions based on individual Rights that must be made subordinate as a consequence. It follows that control over weapon(s) availability is the only way that our safety can be guaranteed by government in order to achieve a “safer society” at large.

      The END (goal) always JUSTIFIES the MEANS regardless of the individual consequences. This is a non-negotiable, foundational corner stone of the HC logical universe and belief system. It is based on the “greater good” results, independent of any moral absolutes to get there.

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