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As a former member of the US Marines and the Army, I oppose the sale and use of military assault weapons in civilian settings. The allure of such weapons seems to be centered around extreme protection, especially from the government, and it appears to be a predominantly male fantasy. I would go so far as to say that half of the 1,000 men prosecuted for the January 6th, 2020 insurrection against the Capitol would not have been drawn to participate if it were not for these fantasies.

Assault Weapons Ban

The Assault Weapons Ban, also known as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, was enacted on September 13, 1994, and was in effect for ten years. The ban targeted semi-automatic firearms designated as "assault weapons" based on their features and cosmetic appearance, as well as large-capacity magazines holding more than ten rounds.

The ban aimed to reduce gun violence and the use of these weapons in crimes by limiting their availability. The ban was lifted due to its "sunset provision," a clause written into the legislation that automatically caused it to expire after ten years, unless Congress reauthorized it.

The ban on assault weapons for civilian use is obvious and supported by the American people. And the reason we don''t still have that ban is because of a warped interpretation of the intent of the Founding Fathers. The carnage that horrifies us every few days has been forced upon us by a political activist Supreme Court and a Congress bought and paid for by gun industry lobbyists.

Why The 2nd Amendment Is Not Settled

The interpretation of the Second Amendment has been the subject of much debate, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller. The amendment itself reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

There are two primary interpretations of the Second Amendment. The collective rights interpretation argues that the Second Amendment only protects the right to bear arms within the context of a well-regulated militia. This view asserts that the framers intended for the amendment to protect state militias from being disarmed by the federal government, rather than guaranteeing an individual right to possess firearms.

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In contrast, the individual rights interpretation, which was upheld in the Heller decision, asserts that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess firearms, regardless of their affiliation with a militia. Supporters of this interpretation argue that the language of the amendment, the historical context, and other writings from the time suggest that the framers intended for citizens to have the right to bear arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes.

The debate over the original intent of the Second Amendment is influenced by various factors, including historical context, the language of the amendment, and the writings of the framers. Despite the Heller decision affirming the individual rights interpretation, the issue remains a contentious topic among legal scholars, historians, and others interested in the meaning and implications of the Second Amendment.

In the 21st century, we have a well-equipped National Guard in every state, under the partial control of the governor. There is simply no need for a vigilant-style private or semi-private militia. And those that do exist are merely role-playing. The claim that individuals or small groups of people can compete with the US military or extremely armed law enforcement is not grounded in reality.

Less Lethal Guns

While the style of assault weapons is material, two other factors relate to using these weapons and others with similar capabilities, which should be outlawed for civilian use. One is the extreme capacity magazine and bullets that tend to yaw (tumble) on impact.

There is no reason to have a magazine capacity beyond five rounds, and even that might be considered excessive by some. It should be illegal to own more than one magazine per weapon or have more than one in their possession at a time.

Extreme capacity magazines of 30 rounds are not desirable in civil society as they serve no purpose other than if involved in actual combat. The idea that individuals or a small band of like-minded people can compete with the US military or extremely-armed law enforcement is merely a fantasy from movies and video games.

The AR-15 assault rifle, which is popular now, is commonly chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO or .223 Remington, high-velocity rounds. These bullets have a tendency to yaw or tumble on impact, causing more significant tissue damage than non-fragmenting bullets. This increased damage is due to the temporary wound cavity created by the bullet's path through the target, which can stretch and tear tissue. Children hit in the head by one of these rounds or a limb completely blown off are examples of the damage caused.

Simply put, these style of bullets are designed to increase the likelihood of killing people. Though these super-killing rounds are commonly available to the public in many jurisdictions, less lethal alternatives are available.

The .22 Long Rifle and various .30-caliber cartridges have a long history of use for hunting and varmint control in the United States. The .22 LR cartridge was introduced in 1887, the 30-30 Winchester was introduced in 1895, the 30-06 Springfield was developed by the US military in 1906, and the .308 Winchester was introduced in 1952. These .30-caliber cartridges and others have been used for hunting and varmint protection in the United States for many decades.


The US accounts for 82% of gun deaths in wealthy countries, highlighting the actual extent of the problem. It is estimated that roughly 60% of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides. In comparison, homicides account for about 35% to 40% of gun-related deaths. Mass shootings that garner most of the news represent a paltry small proportion of overall gun homicides of, 1% in 2019. But most of all, firearms are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-19, surpassing motor vehicle crashes in the United States.

It is time for people to step up and end this slaughter-for-profit, of the American people. The Supreme Court has allowed the NRA and gun manufacturers to bribe our politicians in the statehouses and Congress, and enough is enough. We must prioritize the safety and well-being of our society and work towards reasonable gun legislation that will make our communities safer. It is possible to uphold even the warped Second Amendment interpretation while implementing common-sense gun laws that can help reduce the number of deaths caused by gun violence in the United States.

About the Author

jenningsRobert Jennings is co-publisher of with his wife Marie T Russell. He attended the University of Florida, Southern Technical Institute, and the University of Central Florida with studies in real estate, urban development, finance, architectural engineering, and elementary education. He was a member of the US Marine Corps and The US Army having commanded a field artillery battery in Germany. He worked in real estate finance, construction and development for 25 years before starting in 1996.

InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as Please support our work.

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