Stop focusing on tools — focus on causes

As a child of the ’60s and ’70s, and as an engineer, I have been taught to judge people and things based on their performance, not by the way they look.

That is why I find this recent push to ban “assault weapons” humorous at best. The Remington AR-15 Bushmaster is a .223 caliber, semi-automatic rifle, with a black stock and a pistol grip. The Remington Model 750 Woodmaster is a .223 caliber, semi-automatic rifle with a wooden stock. Both have a muzzle velocity of 3,239 feet per second and a force of 1,281 foot pounds. These values fall off rapidly compared to other guns at 100 yards. The only difference between the two rifles is cosmetics and cost.

It is abundantly clear that the people pushing for these bans do not know what they are talking about and have given the issue little thought. Now, instead of using that AR-15, the criminals will use the model 750. The results will be the same. It is obvious that banning things based on their appearance is both senseless and an exercise in futility. Just imagine if we applied these same principles to people.

However, let us address the magazine issue. Anyone with military training who has shot the military (and police versions) of the AR-15 know it is a trivial task to change the magazine. And for those who have used the pretty, wood-grained rifles, they also know that it is a trivial task. With just a little practice, one can change out the magazine in less than 2 seconds. This ban, too, is just an exercise in futility.

I hear many asking the question: “Why do you need an AR-15?” But we shouldn’t stop there: Why do we need 90 percent of the things in our homes? We, as a society, must understand freedom is not about needs, it is about wants and desires. To those who wish these draconian bans, I ask this: What have I done so wrong that I should not be allowed to own one?

This problem will never be solved until we, as a society, stop focusing on the tools and start focusing on the real problems and causes of these crimes. Take away the guns and the criminal will just use a different tool.