Last night I spent some time with an old friend and the topic of the Second Amendment came up. It was apparent I was not going to change his mind on the subject so I gracefully let the topic move on, but gave me some insight. The NRA basically takes the stance that gun rights should not be tested and must be preserved. They do not care about any other political issue, only gun rights. The NRA is much more than that, but for the context of today’s post that is what I will focus on.

It was obvious my friend believes long guns and handguns are fine, but draws the line on Class 3 automatic weapons. I also got the feeling he may not like the so-called “assault rifles”. Let’s explore that for a minute. If a long gun is not fully automatic, then it has no real difference whether it looks like something a SWAT team or the military would use or appears to be something from the Old West. It is still a rifle, or maybe even a shotgun and the calibers could be exactly the same. Take a look at the rifle below.

Many uneducated people would assume it is an assault rifle. In reality it is exactly the same caliber as this rifle.

The top is a Ruger SR22 and the bottom is a Ruger 10/22. The caliber is 22 rimfire and in terms of cartridges is the lowest powered cartridge on the market. Personally I do not care for the style of the long guns with a military appearance, but many do. I much prefer the guns with an appearance as if they came from the Old West like a Henry rifle or a Steven’s Favorite which are still 22 caliber rifles.

We had a nice discussion about the Second Amendment and I asked him to look at Wikipedia to see how the final wording progressed. In the end, the discussion was brief, civil and thought-provoking, which is what intelligent discussion should strive to achieve. I doubt I convinced him in our brief conversation that standard semi-automatic rifles and one with a military appearance can be very similar, but I can almost guarantee he will take the time to check it out.

Now as far as Class 3 firearms, I’m not sure I will ever convince him private citizens should own those weapons. There is some danger involved with Class 3 firearms in managing the recoil and so I’m not 100% on board with everyone being able to obtain one. Currently there are a few ways to get one in NC, but that is fodder for another post on another day.