We Should Ban Semi-Automatic Firearms

Beretta

I’m not generally on the gun control beat, but I’ll repeat my view for the record: semi-automatic weapons should be banned for civilian use. Basically, shotguns, revolvers, and bolt-action rifles would remain legal, and that’s it.

The last time I mentioned this, a bunch of gun folks chimed in to claim I was an idiot. Revolvers are semi-automatic weapons! Ha ha ha. Being the reasonable guy that I am, I was willing to consider them manual load weapons, since it takes human power to advance the cylinder. A true semi-automatic uses the power of expanding gas¹ to chamber a new load. However, if the gun folks consider a double-action revolver to be a semi-automatic, who am I to argue? That just means my list has been revised to include shotguns, single-action revolvers, and bolt action rifles.² In other words, the only legal firearms would be those that require a separate human action to load a new round. There are other details I’d support too, but this is the main thing.

If I were your benevolent dictator, this is what would would happen. But I’m not, and nothing like this will happen in my lifetime. This is why I don’t spend much time writing about guns.

¹Or, in the case of most handguns, recoil force.

²Or pump action or lever action. You get the idea, I’m sure.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.