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Stupidity, thy name is Legion

Idiot Canuck spouted today in comments on Facebook,

I am Canadian, eh….I agree but IMO assault weapons should NOT be available for purchase at Walmart. Assault weapons should only be available and legal for use by law enforcement or the military.

Beside the fact that this person is Canadian and should simply shut the fuck up when it comes to matters of American law and custom, it’s just more evidence that idiots simply regurgitate talking points they’re fed rather than do any actual vetting of those talking points before they mindlessly repeat them.  So I responded, somewhat irked, because I’m tired of typing the same words over and over (perhaps I should assign them to a macro),

Damn it, an AR-15 is not an assault weapon. It’s a civilian rifle tarted up to look like an M-16. It fires a tiny bullet that is designed to wound rather than to kill, and it’s difficult to actually kill someone with a single shot unless you hit something vital.

You can buy a standard wood-stock rifle that fires the same cartridge and nobody calls it an assault rifle.

“AR” stands for ARmalite, not “assault rifle”.

Finally, an AR-15 cannot be switched to full-auto, and is in fact designed to make it extremely difficult if not impossible to convert it so that it can be switched to full-auto.

You can shoot just as many people just as fast — and more lethally — with a semi-auto pistol, which in fact is a better weapon for the purpose the young madman intended.

When you people can wrap your brains around the difference, maybe you can contribute intelligently to the conversation.

Sadly, she did not block me (or maybe she did).  If not, more’s the pity.

To what I said, I could add (and others did) that Wal-Mart is bound by the same rules as any other merchant who sells guns (4473 and NICS check (or equivalent*) required for purchase), and (gee guess what) the young perp down in Florida passed all that with flying colors because his prior offenses were in juvie, locked down and inaccessible to NICS or anyone else.

After she apparently deleted her original comment (taking replies with it, although I have screen caps of the whole thing — the Internet is forever), I added my own comment:

For our Canadian friend, I should add: Your country tried to create a comprehensive gun registry some years back. Tens of millions of dollars were spent before it was recognized that maintaining a gun registry that preserved privacy and maintained network security was a practical impossibility (citizens scofflawed the registry, just like they do today in Australia; the registry admitted it was unable to count the number of times network security on the database had been breached), and the Harper government finally laid it to rest in 2012 (pending a failed appeal by the government of Quebec) and the registry was dissolved in 2015.

Yet a similar registry has been touted for years for the US. We have roughly 10 times the population you have, and better civil rights protections as well. Estimates for creating a US gun registry have run into the billions of dollars. And yet, the vast, vast, VAST majority of the 350 million guns in private hands in the US have never been fired in anger, and never will be.

The solution is not to ban gun ownership. The solution is to find the ill-intentioned people before they snap. The Florida perp was a walking, talking poster child for someone to jump in and institutionalize him long before he shot up that school, and blaming the NRA and private gun ownership don’t do a thing to solve that problem.

And as we are finding out more and more about what really happened in Florida, it’s clear that the perp was never expelled from school as was originally asserted (so there was no indication to the rest of the world that he was a problem child) and the sheriff’s deputy who was present when the massacre started didn’t even go into the school to try to stop him.  It took the local city police to actually do that.  The deputy has since resigned.  But as was noted by one of the Instapundit crowd, it’s no wonder the Broward County Sheriff was trying to deflect blame to the NRA.  He should resign as well, or be fired immediately.

And to be fair, as Michael Bane noted on Facebook, we can’t know until the event what our reaction is going to be.  To his credit, the deputy did the honorable thing by resigning when he found himself unable to risk his life to protect those children.  The sheriff, on the other hand, is despicable and has no honor.

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* I.e., handgun license that serves as an automatic NICS check, as some states already have, and as we will soon have in Indiana.